On many construction projects, either an angle grinder or an oscillating tool is going to be needed at some point. Especially for accurate grinding in complex areas.

These tools are built to cut through wood or plastic. Some are used to strip off paint or corrosion from metallic surfaces.

This article is a comprehensive comparison between angle grinders and oscillating tools. Our goal is to help you decide which one will suit your needs better!

Are you ready? Then let’s dive in.

What are Angle Grinders?

Angle grinders are multi-purpose power tools that have a rotating disc.

These discs are replaceable and contain blades of varying sharpness. These can be used to sharpen or smoothen metal, as well as rounding the edges.

Angle Grinder
Angle Grinders have various attachments for different purposes

You can also find various attachments for different purposes, such as polishing, cutting, sanding, and much more.

Angle grinders have a powerful motor that provides you with sufficient power to easily handle tough materials. They require both hands for smooth operations.

The disc on an angle grinder is placed at an acute angle to the driveshaft.

Angle grinders can perform some tasks with precision and perfection, like:

  • Removing paint
  • Removing rust
  • Cutting tiles
  • Removing mortar
  • Cutting stones
  • Cleaning or polishing metal
  • Sharpening tools

Apart from these, angle grinders can be used for several construction and fabrication jobs.

What are Oscillating Tools?

Moving on to oscillating tools. These are powerful and multipurpose power tools that can be used for sawing, cutting, sanding, polishing, and much more.

Oscillating tool
Oscillating tools are also multi-purpose and can be used for cutting, sawing and much more

Like angle grinders, oscillating tools are used with various attachments.

Oscillating tools also have a high-performance motor. Its head is placed at a perpendicular angle, giving it the required torque for high-performance projects.

Also known as oscillating multi-tools, these guys tend to have a compact design. This makes it easier for you to use it with just one hand.

Oscillating tools are perfect for certain jobs, such as:

  • Cutting trim and baseboards
  • Undercutting
  • Flush cutting
  • Removing grout
  • Installing or modifying cabinets
  • Repairing windows
  • Installing thin planks on the floor
  • Preparing walls for painting

There are many other tasks that you can undertake with an oscillating tool.

Difference Between Angle Grinders & Oscillating Tools

Now that you’ve gotten an introduction, let’s jump into the differences between the two.

Type of Blades

Both angle grinders and oscillating tools have various attachments to perform multiple functions.

There are different blades for each specific task.

For instance, an oscillating tool has a straight blade attachment to cut various materials. Similarly, you can use scraping tools, toothed blades, or sanding pads.

On the other hand, angle grinder attachments are different and have varying levels of sharpness.

You can also find grinding discs, sanding pads, cutting discs, and much more. You can’t use the oscillating tool attachments on an angle grinder, and vice versa.


Among the two, oscillating tools are generally more maneuverable. They have thin blades that can easily be inserted into tight spaces for cutting objects.

Angle grinders are also easy to handle. But their attachments are generally larger, which makes them difficult to use in tight spaces.

Think about oscillating tools as the lighter option that can be used with one (strong) hand. An angle grinder generally needs both hands and a bit of pressure applied.


Oscillating tools are cheaper than angle grinders. A standard oscillating tool can be bought for $100, with the high end models going up for $250-300.

Prices for angle grinders range from $120 to $180, and it can go up to $500. Remember, attachments add to the cost.


Oscillating tools don’t require any kind of safety gear or protocols to operate them. They have a clean operation and don’t throw off any kind of debris, unless you’re cutting through rusty metal.

Angle grinders require wearing safety clothing and equipment. They cause a lot of debris to fly around.


The more attachments a power tool has, it can be increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain.

This is a major factor to keep in mind when choosing between an oscillating tool and angle grinder.

In this regard, oscillating tools are high-maintenance, since they have more attachments.

Can you Use a Multi Tool as a Grinder?

This is what makes it so hard to choose between the two. However, I’ll try to simplify and break it down so you can understand it better.

Both oscillating tools and angle grinders can be used for similar tasks. Since both are quite powerful, they can replace each other at a certain level.

However, there is a difference in their cutting capacity and also in the sharpness of their blades.

This means that oscillating tools don’t provide the same level of efficiency that angle grinders do.

Moreover, the angle grinder does a much better job and provides a better finish when it comes to grinding or polishing work. So, even if you use the oscillating tool for such jobs, you’ll still need an angle grinder to add finesse.

Can you Use an Angle Grinder as a Sander?

An angle grinder is a multi-purpose tool to work with precision and convenience.

One of its basic functions is to be used as a sander. This eliminates the need to buy a separate sander.

To use your angle grinder as a sander, all you need are the sanding attachments from a hardware store. These attachments come in various levels of thickness, so you can choose one according to the task you need to perform.

Angle Grinders vs Oscillating Tools: The Recommendation

Now comes the big question, angle grinders vs oscillating tools, which one to choose?

Don’t worry, because the best way to make this decision is to consider the types of construction or fabrication jobs that you undertake.

If you want to cut, sand, polish, or scrape all types of materials with finesse and precision, then the angle grinder is your best bet.

However, if you’re used to working in tight spaces, then choose oscillating tools.

Plus, if you’re looking for something powerful to cut through various materials, then the angle grinder is an all-round great option. It’s also convenient to carry and doesn’t have too many attachments.

On the other hand, an oscillating tool can be difficult to carry around, since it has a lot of attachments.


Choosing the right power tool is an important decision. It influences your ability to work on all your projects with ease and precision.

When choosing between an angle grinder and an oscillating tool, both have their benefits. But it all depends on what you need it for.

I hope this article makes things clearer for you regarding the two multipurpose power tools I’ve discussed. You should be able to choose between the two much more easily now.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you liked this post, feel free to check out similar articles on our site.

Thanks a lot for reading, and have a great day!