Angle Grinder Vs Dremel

Although both the angle grinder and Dremel have similar functions in terms of use, they also sport considerable differences as well.

Differences Between Dremel and Angle Grinder

Dremel and Angle Grinder
In a nutshell, the Dremel is a rotary tool designed to work with one hand whereas an angle grinder is a heavier and larger tool intended to operate with two hands. The Dremel is mainly used for DIY, crafts, and artwork, while the grinder is a heavy-duty industrial power tool.

For those who face a decision as to which one to choose, the answer should be based on understanding the important differences and comparing that to the type of work being performed.

What is an Angle Grinder?

The primary job of an angle grinder is to grind and cut hard materials such as steel, metals, stucco, tile, and masonry. So strong is the angle grinder that it is often used to sharpen tools and blades. You can also use the device to polish metal and sand wood.

See the different uses of an angle grinder to find out how versatile the tool is.
Angle grinder with disc
You’ll often find the angle grinder used in workshops, auto repair shops, and construction areas.

What is a Dremel?

It should be noted that Dremel is a brand, not a specific tool. However, the rotary tool made by Dremel has become so synonymous with the rotary tool that it is called a Dremel. This is a high torque rotary tool that uses the same principle of rotation as a power drill.
Dremel 4000 rotary tool explained
You add different bits to the end of the Dremel to do a variety of different tasks. This allows you to cut, sand, drill, polish, and carve depending on the Dremel bit that is used. You will find the Dremel used for cutting strong materials such as glass and metal.

Angle Grinder Vs Dremel Comparison

Angle grinder versus Dremel


There is little doubt that the angle grinder and Dremel are considerably different in terms of their appearance. The Dremel looks very much like an electric screwdriver or a typical power drill with a straight handle rather than a pistol grip. While the angle grinder has a flat, spinning wheel attached to the side of the device. But there are similarities as well.

Working Principle

The Dremel rotary tool has an electric motor that drives the main spindle of the tool which in turn rotates the tool bit. Here, the spindle is in line with the motor. The motor is powered by battery (in the case of cordless models) or in the case of corded models such as Dremel 4000 or 4300, it is plugged into a regular electricity socket.

On an angle grinder, the drive shaft where you load the grinding disc is perpendicular to the motor axis. Here the motor may be powered by electricity, battery, or compressed air. The pneumatic angle grinders are powered by traditional vane motor or a more powerful turbine motor.

Although not totally accurate, generally speaking, an angle grinder is used for larger projects while a Dremel is used for smaller ones. For repainting your vehicle, the angle grinder is the better choice. For shaping jewelry, the Dremel is ideal.

Type of Cutting Blade

The angle grinder mainly uses circular abrasive discs and flap discs. It is mostly designed for grinding, but you can find blades that are well suited for cutting. The angle grinder tends to be more robust, but less versatile compared to a Dremel.

The blade on a Dremel will depend on the bit that is used. You can choose from a wide variety of bits that can do cutting work.

Size and Weight

Angle grinders are available in different sizes. Although neither device is that large, even the small 4.5-inch angle grinder tends to be bigger compared to the Dremel. Grinders above 7-inch are much larger in size and weigh considerably more.

The weight of the angle grinder makes it well-suited for cutting metal and handling projects made of tough materials. However, the weight can be tiring at times which makes it difficult to use if you plan on cutting all day.

The Dremel is considerably more compact and lighter. It is also smaller than a die grinder, a tool that sits between a Dremel and an angle grinder in terms of size, weight and cutting power. This means that it will be easier to use for projects with fine intricate details compared to the angle grinder.


Angle grinders are mostly used for grinding metal. But it is also quite versatile in that you can cut, chamfer, polish, deburr, sand, and sharpen using this device. The grinding action is quite useful for removing rush, polishing, and cleaning. You can use the angle grinder on metal sheets and blades, masonry, rebar, concrete, ceramic tiles, and more.

The Dremel is best used on wood, glass, or metal. This one-handed tool is ideal for detail work such as carving, engraving, and etching. Plus, given the proper bits, it can also grind, sand, polish, sharpen knives, cut, drill, and even grind the nails of your pet.

All you need to do is replace the Dremel bit and you are ready for the next operation.

One key feature to note here is that, you can use a Dremel to drill holes while an angle grinder cannot.

Depth of Cut

The maximum depth of cut for each tool depends on the size of the abrasive disc or Dremel cutting wheel that is being used. A 4.5-inch angle grinder can cut up to a depth of 1-inch and as the size of the disc gets larger it offers deeper cuts. A 9-inch disc goes up to a whopping 3.5-inch deep.

On the other hand, the depth of cut on Dremel is usually limited to slightly more than 1/2 inch.

Depth control is an important factor when cutting into metal. A single mistake can ruin the project if you are not careful. For those who want better control over the depth of the cut, the Dremel comes with such attributes. While the angle grinder generally does not have a way to control the depth.

For precision work, the Dremel is arguably the better tool for the job because you can control the depth of the cut to a greater degree. However, if you are doing demolition work or the depth control is not that big a factor, then the angle grinder might be a better choice.


The cost of the devices should be the last consideration, but one of the most important. In other words, you should focus on purchasing the best device first and then get the lowest price. Not purchase the cheapest one no matter its use.

In terms of price comparison, angle grinders are generally less expensive compared to a Dremel. If you do not need to do finely detailed work, then the angle grinder is the more economical choice.


All power tools need to be handled with caution. However, Dremels pose relatively lower risks when compared to an angle grinder. If not used in the proper manner, the latter can cause serious injury. We have an entire guide dedicated to angle grinder safety here.

Which Tool Should I Get?

What tool you need will depend on what uses you expect to fulfill. This includes the level of precision to your work, the materials being used, and your budget.

When to Go for an Angle Grinder?

Angle grinders are best for use on large surfaces. You can remove rust or repaint large areas such as vehicle surfaces with ease using an angle grinder. This device also works well in cutting hard materials such as concrete, rebar, and ceramic tile.

Angle grinders tend to be less expensive which is always a plus. However, they are not well-suited for precision work. They are perfect for demolition work, although they can be used for polishing, grinding, and the like.

Who Should Get the Dremel?

A Dremel is ideal for precision work. If you need to etch, engrave, or carve hard materials such as glass, stone, wood, or metal, then a Dremel is ideal. This is particularly true for smaller objects, something that an angle grinder might have difficulty working with.

The Dremel is often considered a universal tool. While it is arguably not the best tool available for a single job, it is the best if you need to do a wide variety of jobs.

This means that you can use a Dremel as an angle grinder. However, its small motor means that it will not last nearly as long.