Angle Grinders vs Oscillating Tools: Making The Right Choice

Feeling confused about the differences between oscillating tools vs angle grinders?

That’s a tough one! 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.

Luckily, in this article, you’ll learn all about their differences!

When comparing oscillating tools vs angle grinders, consider your needs. Angle grinders are powerful, versatile, and easy to handle, but can be expensive. Oscillating tools are more maneuverable and affordable, but require more maintenance.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these tools!

Oscillating Tool vs Angle Grinder

To make things easier for you, in this section, we’ll compare both tools across five categories.

This way, you can choose the right tool for your project.

#1 Types of Blades/Discs

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

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.

Oscillating tools are great for cutting trim and baseboards, undercutting, flush cutting, removing grout, installing or modifying cabinets, repairing windows, preparing wall for painting, and more.

On the other hand, angle grinder attachments are different and have varying levels of sharpness. Also, these tools don’t typically use blades, but discs.

Angle grinders are ideal for removing paint and rust, cutting tiles and stones, cleaning or polishing metal, sharpening tools, and more.

While they might seem like they’re both very similar, you can’t use angle grinder accessories on oscillating tools, and vice versa.

#2 Handling

Believe it or not, the movement each tool makes greatly determines how easy they are to handle. While angle grinder discs rotate, oscillating tools oscillate (or vibrate). This difference in design alone can make a night and day difference.

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 typically 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 mostly needs both hands and a bit of pressure applied.

#3 Price

Oscillating tools are cheaper than angle grinders. A cheap oscillating tool can be bought for as little as $12.97, with the high-end models going up for $250-300.

Prices for angle grinders, on the other hand, range from $35 to $180, and they can go up to $500. This, of course, is the price for the tool alone. Any additional attachments and accessories can drive up the price considerably.

#4 Safety

Although oscillating tools are “safer” than angle grinders because they have a clean operation and don’t throw off any kind of debris (except for sawdust), you should always wear PPE (personal protective equipment) while using them.

And the same goes for angle grinders. In fact, PPE is even more important while working with this tool, as it’s known to shoot out debris as you cut or work on materials.

#5 Maintenance

The more attachments a power tool has, the harder it is to maintain. This is a major factor to keep in mind when choosing between oscillating multi tools vs angle grinders.

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

Can You Use a Multi Tool as a Grinder?

As you can see, there are many points to consider, which makes the decision very difficult. However, I’ll try to simplify and break it down to make everything clearer.

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/discs.

This means that oscillating tools don’t provide the same level of efficiency that angle grinders do, as they tend to remove material a little slower.

Moreover, since oscillating tools may leave small scratches on whatever material you’re working on, often an angle grinder is used to polish them away. So, in some cases, they can even complement each other in the same project.

Can You Use An Angle Grinder as a Sander?

An angle grinder is a multipurpose tool to work with precision and convenience.

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

So, yes. You can use your angle grinder as a sander, but it will not replace all types of sanders out there.

Angle Grinders vs Oscillating Tools: The Recommendation

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.

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

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 go with 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 deciding between an angle grinder and an oscillating tool, both have their benefits. But it all depends on what you need them for.

I hope this article made things clearer for you regarding the two multipurpose power tools I’ve discussed, your work should now be cut out for you.

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!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more