Angle Grinder vs Polisher: Ultimate Comparison

If you need to find the best tool for grinding, cutting, or touching up a surface, you may find yourself comparing an angle grinder and a polisher.

After all, you want to be sure you are choosing the right tool for the job. Both of these handheld power tools can be used for various tasks, and it is best to learn about each tool to create an accurate angle grinder vs polisher comparison.

Angle Grinder vs Polisher

What is an Angler Grinder?

An angle grinder is used for grinding, polishing, cutting, deburring, and finishing various surfaces. You can also use it to remove grout from tile and brick and shorten bolts. This tool is suitable for surfaces such as stone and metal.

What is a Polisher?

A polisher is used to remove spots, scratches, and other undesired marks to create a smooth surface. You can use a polisher to polish, wax, and buffer surfaces such as wooden furniture, but this power tool is mostly used on the bodywork of cars.

When making an angle grinder vs polisher comparison, you want to be sure to take note of all the similarities and differences between these tools. This way, you can use the information to figure out which power tool is right for you.

Similarities Between an Angle Grinder and Polisher

Angle grinders and polishers are both handheld power tools that can be used to create a smooth surface on various materials. Both tools offer high speeds to keep them steady as you complete the job.

Another similarity is the fact that both tools can be used for polishing a surface. You can purchase an attachment to turn an angle grinder into a polisher, or you can use an actual polisher for your project.

Differences Between an Angle Grinder and Polisher

When you first glance at an angle grinder and polisher, you may think they are the same tool. However, each tool has different qualities that make them useful. It is best to learn the difference between angle grinder and polisher to ensure you are purchasing the right tool.


It is best to learn about the design of each tool before you make a purchase. This way, you do not have to worry about mixing up these handheld tools.

An angle grinder features a side handle, an adjustable guard and a rotating disc. A polisher has a similar design to an angle grinder, but most polishers feature a motor, an abrasive disc and a buffing pad.


There is a huge difference in the weight of each power tool. A polisher is a lighter tool than an angle grinder. However, some polisher models are heavier than others.

Speed and Torque

An angle grinder and a polisher can both be used at a fast speed to stick to a steady pace, but the angle grinder is actually the faster of these two handheld power tools.

You are also going to find that an angle grinder has more torque than the polisher. Angle grinders have more speed and torque because they are designed for bigger jobs.


There are similar uses between an angle grinder and a polisher because they can both be used to smooth and polish a surface.

However, you can use an angle grinder for jobs ranging from grinding to cutting. A polisher is usually used for polishing, buffering and waxing.

You can use a polisher to improve the appearance of your car and wooden furniture.

An angle grinder is a great tool for metal and stone surfaces, but this tool is too abrasive to use on wooden pieces.

Movement and Operation

There is not a lot of movement involved in using an angle grinder because it only spins clockwise.

The single position makes this tool a great option if you do not have a lot of experience in handheld power tools. You do not have to worry about any unexpected movements while you are using an angle grinder.

The pad of a dual-action polisher can be used at different angles to polish every area of the surface.

The different movements of this power tool can be difficult to handle if you are not experienced, and you may find yourself making several mistakes as you get used to using a polisher.

Types of Angle Grinders

Types of Angle Grinders

You do not have to worry about choosing between several types of angle grinders. The multiple uses of this tool mean you only need to purchase several types of discs for different jobs.

For example, you may decide to purchase a cut-off wheel, sanding disc and an angle grinder polishing attachment for your tool.

Types of Polishers

Types of Polishers

There are two types of polishers on the market today, which are rotary and orbital polishers.

Learning about each type can help you decide which polisher is right for your level of experience and the job itself.

Rotary Polisher

A rotary polisher only uses a single motion to polish a surface, and it is very similar to the movement of an angle grinder. It is a great option if you are just learning how to use handheld power tools.

Rotary polishers can be used to remove various paint defects, swirls and sanding marks. You can also use this tool for buffering, glazing and waxing a surface.

Orbital Polisher

An orbital polisher is also known as a dual-action polisher, and it features more random movements than a rotary polisher. The backing plate and center of the pad generate heat while in use, but the random movements slow down the motion and keep the heat from damaging the surface.

You can use an orbital polisher for wax application and light-to-moderate swirl removal.

When you take the time to learn the difference between angle grinder and polisher, you are making it easier to find the right tool for the job.

Can I Convert an Angle Grinder to a Polisher?

You can absolutely convert an angle grinder into a polisher because it uses accessories that work for various jobs.

The first step is to remove the angle guard from the grinder. Next, you are going to add an angle grinder polishing attachment to the piece.

You have just turned your angle grinder into a polishing tool, and this can save you money on buying multiple tools.

However, the high speed of an angle grinder can damage the surface of your car or furniture.

The usual speed ranges from 9,000 rpm to 12,000 rpm, and most angle grinders come at a fixed speed. It helps to look into an angle grinder with an adjustable speed, but you still need to be able to control the speed and movement of your tool. This is why you want to learn how to properly use an angle grinder before turning it into a polisher.


The following are several frequently asked questions about angle grinders and polishers.

1. Is a grinder the same as a polisher?

A grinder and polisher are two different tools with several similarities. You can use an angle grinder as a polisher, but it can also be used for tasks such as grinding, cutting, finishing and grout removal. On the other hand, a polisher is not as versatile as an angle grinder.

2. Which one is best, an angle grinder or a polisher?

The best tool for the job is going to depend on your needs. If you are working on a project that requires several tasks, an angle grinder is the better option. A polisher is the best option for a project that requires you to smooth a surface from various angles and movements.

3. Can I use an angle grinder to polish my car?

You can use an angle grinder to polish your car, but it is not a good idea unless you are experienced with the speed and control of this tool. Otherwise, the higher speed can damage the paint on your car. You should also look into models that allow you to adjust the speed.

The best way to choose between these tools is to compare their similarities and differences, from the design and weight to the speed and torque of each tool.

Arthur Kyser Morn

Hey Guys! It's me Arthur Kyser Morn, aka AKM, the proud founder and author of Tools Auditor. I'm a content marketer, a dad of 2 lovely sons, and a handyman. I love trying out new tools, and together with my team, I've been creating helpful guides since 2017 with tools and DIY tips.

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