Cut off tools and angle grinders are often compared to each other.

Every DIY-lover knows no good tool comes cheap, so people often ask which they’ll get more use out of – a cut off tool or an angle grinder. In short, an angle-grinder is the more versatile of the two, unlike a cut-off tool which can only, well, cut! That said, a cut off tool tends to be more accurate and better for delicate jobs.

There’s much more to it than that, though. In this article, I’ll be comparing cut off tools with angle grinders. I’ll also show you how you can choose between the two so you can make the best decision for your toolkit (and your wallet).

So, are you ready? Let’s get right to it!

What is a Cut Off Tool?

A cut off tool is a type of power tool that’s used to cut things that require more precision or power. They come in corded and cordless variations, and can be operated with one hand easily.

In a cut off tool, the ‘cutter’ or cutting accessory is mounted at a 90-degree angle to the driveshaft. This allows for a smooth operation.

cut off tool cutting metal
Cut off tools are for more precise and hard-to-reach places

Cut off tools make it easy for you to cut objects in hard-to-reach places and tight corners. They can be used on various materials, such as different types of metals, wood, plastic, and much more.

Their compact size makes them easy to use and carry.

What is an Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder is a cutting device with a rotating disc attached. This disc may have sharp edges or an abrasive surface.

It is used for various purposes, such as cutting, grinding, polishing, etc. Angle grinders allow you to use different attachments, which makes them multifunctional.

Typically, they’re used for grinding and cutting, requiring both hands for smooth and efficient operations.

male using angled grinder for metal
Angle grinders are for larger and harder pieces of materials

Angle grinders have a powerful motor, delivering the speed and precision required to cut through large pieces of hardened materials.

Their head is built at a certain angle to the driveshaft. This allows you to modify the cutting angle and power as required.

Main Differences Between Cut Off Tools And Angle Grinders

Both cut off tools and angle grinders are essential power tools when it comes to the building or fabrication industry.

They’re used in every factory or workshop where metal work or other types of materials are cut and shaped.

There are a few fundamental differences that help set the two apart, which are as follows:

  • A cut off tool can only be used for cutting, whereas an angle grinder provides you with cutting, shaping, sharpening, grinding, and other functions.
  • A cut off tool can be easily operated with one hand, while the angle grinder requires both hands.
  • The typical horsepower for the motor in a cut off tool is around 1hp, whereas an angle grinder has a much more powerful motor ranging from 3 to 7 hp.

Considering all of the differences, it can be difficult to judge which one would be more suited to a particular job.

You may be tempted to buy both of them to save yourself from the hassle of choosing one. Let’s make the decision much easier for you in the following sections.

Can You Use An Angle Grinder As A Sander?

An angle grinder provides you with various functions. It offers the possibility of joining various attachments to its head.

It can also be used as a sander, which makes it a cost-effective power tool. It saves the money you’d have to spend on buying a sander separately.

To convert your angle grinder into a sander, all you need to do is to buy some sanding attachments, which are also called “flap discs”.

You can find them in different sizes and thickness. Choose between them according to your requirement.

Once you fix the attachment to your grinder, you can use it for smoothing or polishing surfaces.

Can An Angle Grinder Be Used As A Cut Off Tool?

A cut off tool has only one operation: cutting. As opposed to this, angle grinders provide you with a wide range of applications, and cutting is one of them. You can use your angle grinder to cut anything you’d use a cut off tool for. Since it has more horsepower, it’ll also be easier to cut things with the angle grinder.

However, an angle grinder is heavy and needs a two-handed operation. It isn’t built for use in tight spaces like a cut off tool.

So, if your job requires you to work around tight spaces and enclosures, then a cut off tool is better for you. However, if you need more power to cut a particular type of material, then the angle grinder is your best bet.

If you own both power tools, never make the mistake of placing a cut off wheel from the cut off tool onto an angle grinder. This can cause the motor to malfunction and can also cause severe injury.

How To Choose Between A Cut Off Tool And Angle Grinder?

You have to keep in mind certain factors that come into play when you have to go with one of the power tools. I’ve listed down some important factors that you should consider while making a choice.

Handling

The main difference between a cut off tool and angle grinder is that the former can be operated with one hand only. This makes it much easier to use, especially if you’re working on small fabrication projects.

If the majority of your fabricating jobs are small-scale, you can easily go for the cut off tool.

However, if you’re used to cutting large pieces of metal, a two-handed angle grinder is the better option.

Application

Since a cut off tool is used only for cutting various types of metals, it limits the scope of work.

Whereas an angle grinder gives you the utility for cutting, grinding, sanding, polishing, carving, and many other functions.

tolls for construction on a wooden bench
Angle grinders can be used for a variety of tasks

If you’re certain that your job description is limited to cutting only, you can make do with a cut off tool. Otherwise, go for the angle grinder if you’re looking for versatility in your chosen power tool.

Horsepower

No matter which type of power tool you’re buying, the horsepower determines its revolutions per minute. This translates to its cutting power.

When you go for more horsepower, you also get a higher cutting speed and power.

In terms of horsepower, cut off tools are on the lower end as compared to angle grinders. This limits them to small and low-powered cutting jobs only.

An angle grinder, however, has 3 to 5 times more horsepower than the cut off tool. This makes it suitable for a wider range of fabrication jobs.

Positioning

The positioning of a power tool is also crucial, as it determines the ease with which you’ll be able to tackle challenging fabrication jobs.

Cut off tools have better positioning than angle grinders. They can be operated single-handedly and their head is positioned at a perpendicular angle. This allows them to be used in enclosed spaces.

Depending on your fabrication jobs, you can determine whether you need a tool that can be easily maneuvered around tight spaces, or you need a tool that can manage high-powered jobs.

Safety Features

There can be no compromise on the safety features. Since you’re dealing with cutting and sharpening metal on a daily basis, you’re prone to accidents.

That’s why it’s essential that your selected tool has certain safety features.

Also, apart from the safety features on your power tool, you should also take certain measures for your safety. These include wearing eye protection, masks, hard hats, gloves, etc.

Pricing

Lastly, but most importantly, pricing plays a major role. It also impacts how much value your power tool will bring to your fabrication projects.

What separates these products from each other is their price range. You can make the selection based on your budget.

Since it’s a one-time investment, I’d suggest choosing a power tool with maximum utility and safety. It’ll pay off for a long time.

Conclusion

The choice for a certain power tool differs from project to project. But, you can’t go about buying both a cut off tool and an angle grinder, even if you can afford them.

It’s better to take note of your expertise and the type of jobs you get the most. This way you can make an informed decision.

My personal recommendation is to go for the angle grinder, which eliminates the need for multiple power tools. It can be used for big and small fabrication jobs. You can also adjust its power by moving it at certain angles.

I hope this blog serves its purpose and allows you to learn how to choose between a cut off tool and an angle grinder.

If you’re interested in learning more about power tools and other things, make sure to check out other similar articles on our site.

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

-Craig