Angle Grinder vs Oscillating Tool – Which One is Better?

In today’s era, there are wide ranges of power tools available in the market for the construction sector and other demolition fields. Angle grinder and oscillating tools are two of them. These are multi-purpose tools yet not all of them are worth using. It mostly depends on the type of your task. Even though both angle grinder and oscillating tool come with almost similar features yet there are some differences.

Especially for grinding purposes, people get confused about which one to get an angle grinder or oscillating tool. To talk about the efficiency of these tools, both are built with features to cut through plastic, wood, or any other materials. To strip off corrosion and paint, these tools are also used.

Angle Grinder vs Oscillating Tool

You see both tools serve almost the same purposes. But, for having some distinct differences the topic comes, angle grinder vs oscillating tool, which one? Well, a comprehensive and in-depth comparison might help! Because we understand you too are confused about these two power tools let us clear things for you in this article.

Before jumping to the detailed discussion let’s have a short comparison table for your convenience.

Comparison Table:

Factors Angle grinder Oscillating tool
Purpose Grinding, cutting, polishing, and others Cutting, grouting
Blade type Rotating disc Straight blade
Maintenance Low High
Attachments Few Many
Cost High Low
Travel-friendly Yes No

Oscillating Tool – & Its Uses:

Using Oscillating Multi Tool

Seeing almost the same features and looks, you might think of them as the same tool. But they are not the same when you know which is best for which task. However, always remember what type of work you are dealing with. It will help you to make the right decision in the fastest way.

Now to talk about the oscillating tool, it is a multi-purpose tool that can participate in versatile activities. This tool is called by many names in both formal and informal ways. The oscillating tool is most well-known as a master tool because of its high demand on construction sites. Its built-in features are capable of sanding, cutting, sawing, rasping, scraping, polishing, and whatnot! The tool comes with several accessories and attachments that make it more versatile.

How does it work?

The oscillating tool works with a high performance and an efficient motor. To make it heavy-duty, the tool is equipped with a head that is placed in a perpendicular manner. This feature helps in providing the required amount of torque needed for a task. Moreover, it comes with a compact design. Thus, you can handle and work using only one hand.

The mechanical part of this tool works in an oscillatory motion. That is why it is called an oscillating tool. It prevents the tool from sliding and provides effective operation and smooth performance.

What is it used for?

Jobs that require the use of the oscillating tool:

  • Sawing and cutting
  • Flush cutting and undercutting
  • Baseboards and trim cutting
  • Repairing and modifying cabinets and windows
  • Installing windows, cabinets, and thin floor planks
  • Preparing the surface for painting
  • Grout removal and all

So, we can see that an oscillating multi-tool is used for various purposes. Other than the stated things, it is used for many other jobs.

Angle Grinder – What is it?

Using Angle Grinder

Like the Oscillatory tool, the angle grinder is also a very popular and well-known tool. It is also a commonly used tool not only in construction sites but also in other sectors. This tool is named for what it is used which is grinding. So, the tool is mostly used for polishing purposes.

Nonetheless, there are wide ranges of angle grinders available. Most of them are manufactured by renowned and reliable companies. Angle grinders come in different types as well. Surpassing their effectiveness in only one job, these units can deal with other jobs as well. The ones that use a power source are known as disc grinders as well.

How does it work?

Well, unlike oscillatory tools, angle grinders can be featured with disc blades of different sizes. The rotating discs come in optional sizes, they are replaceable and have different ranges of sharpness. The small built-in motor inside the tool runs the disc and rotates it at high revolutions.

It also comes with a knob or handles design that offers a great grip. This feature helps in cutting through wood, metal, tile, pile, and other materials. The tool is maneuverable and easily can be manipulated in different directions.

What is it used for?

The tool is also serving actively in multiple sectors like Forever.

  • Grinding and polishing surface
  • Removing paint and rust
  • Cutting tiles, stones, and wood
  • Cutting and cleaning stones
  • Sharpening several tools
  • Other fabrication tasks

Angle Grinder vs Oscillating Multi Tool – Main Differences:

Now that you have a detailed perception of both the oscillating tool and the angle grinder, let’s compare them. Even though both the tools are compact and multi-functional yet, they have distinct features to differentiate.

Blade Types:

Both the angle grinder and oscillating tool require blade attachments for functioning. Each type of task requires a specific blade size. Whereas angle grinders require disc blades, oscillating tools come with an attachment of a straight blade. This blade is capable of dealing with several things including removing mortar or cutting wood. To talk about other attachments, you can also use toothed blades, scraping tools, and sanding pads with oscillating tools.

In the case of angle grinders, besides rotating discs, they also come with the attachment of sanding pads. However, the shape size, and style are not the same at all. To make them heavy-duty, angle grinders also include eponymous grinding blades and wire wheels. These materials are featured to deal with the surfaces of metal pieces. Even angle grinders are also used for scouring other masonry materials.

However, the main point is, that both tools come with different types of blade attachments. You can not use the angle grinder blade attachments on the oscillating tool and vice versa.

Movability or Maneuverability:

According to movability, till now oscillating multi-tools on the show. With more maneuverable options, these tools are more acceptable. It is simply because the oscillating tool comes with easily movable attachments and thin blades. These features allow them to work effectively on tighter corners and spaces. You can do framing tasks easily with the help of it.

However, angle grinders are also not that tough to manipulate. However, their attachments do not allow framing tasks or any indoor tasks. They come in mostly larger sizes and shapes. Hence working in a tighter space becomes a bit tougher.

Moreover, the blades have the properties of throwing off debris while functioning. Hence, for the outdoor task, angle grinders are okay to use. Again, oscillating tools provide you with the privilege of working with one hand. On the contrary, most angle grinders require both hands for guiding direction and functioning. It also requires some pressure while running. So, if you want to go for a lighter tool with effective maneuverability, you should go for oscillating tools.


Well, we have already mentioned oscillating tools come with more attachments than angle grinders. All the attachments are high-maintenance. Power tools that are designed for more attachments require more time to set up and also sometimes show difficulties. This feature also requires higher prices for maintenance.

On the contrary, angle grinders do not come with too many attachments. Maybe it is just the blades with which you have to struggle a bit.

Nonetheless, in today’s era angle grinders are manufactured with an easy setup design. So, the maintenance is also quicker. Therefore, if you are a lazy one and always look for shortcuts then go for an angle grinder instead of an oscillating tool.


Security or safety is the most important thing to consider especially when you are using a power tool. In most cases, the devices require inserting sharp blades which is to some extent dangerous if carefulness is not maintained. However, you will not have to maintain any safety gear or security protocols if you are using an oscillating tool.

This is because oscillating multi-tools boast their clean operation while functioning. Unlike angle grinders, the oscillating tool does not throw off any debris while the blades are running. However, in the case of cutting rusty metal, it might mess up a little bit. But compared to an angle grinder it is nothing.

You must take safety gear before using an angle grinder since it generates plenty of sparks and debris. Otherwise, the debris might hurt you. The eye mask is a must for using an angle grinder. Or else the small particles of the debris might fly straight into your eyes making you blind at once.
Again, in some cases, it requires wearing full PPE and snug-fitting clothes. So, in this case, oscillating tools are the ones to go with.


Last but not the least factor is cost. Anything you want to buy its price matters a lot. Hence, it is certainly an important factor. You have to judge the performance quality of the tool to the amount of money you spent on it already. We all look for the highest return rate. However, the rate of price mostly depends on the functions of the power tool. Mostly two things determine if the price will be higher or not.

They are:

  • Attachment types
  • Multi-purpose functions

So, according to these determining factors, angle grinders are less expensive. Compared to oscillating too they offer only limited functions. But oscillating tool offers versatile attachments required for the process of construction. Hence, it is known as the jack of all trades.

To talk about the price of the attachments, it mostly depends on the project you are dealing with. Since the oscillating tool has a wider range of accessories, it is also higher in price. Even both tools require blades that come at different price ranges as well.

Again, the price range can vary according to the brand value. You can buy an average oscillating tool at a price range from 80 to 150 dollars. However, if you want to buy the high-end models then you have to pay $250 to $350.

On the other hand, to work more efficiently, angle grinders require expensive and branded discs. The tool also comes with a price range from 120 to 180 dollars. This price can go higher up to even $500.

Oscillating tool attachment for angle grinder – would it work?

We will simply explain this to you since many get confused. Even though both the angle grinder and oscillating tool are mostly used for similar tasks, you can replace the attachments only to a certain extent.

Because both tools have different levels of cutting capacity and require different types of blades with several sharpness ranges. So, the attachments would not work in an angle grinder. Especially if you are thinking of polishing or grinding then only the angle grinder is enough. It is the best at what it does.

So, Oscillating Tool or Angle Grinder – Which One to Choose?

Coming to the main point, now that you know everything regarding the two tools including their difference, you can determine which to get. Whatever the tools offer, first know your type of job. Acknowledge the type of fabrication or construction projects you have undertaken then choose accordingly.

However, let’s specify some points to make your decision-making easier.

  • If you want your work to be precise, perfect, and smooth then choose an angle grinder. It is best for polishing, sanding, cutting, scraping, and whatnot. It brings finesse to the job.
  • Again, if you are looking for a travel-friendly power tool then go for angle grinders. Though both power tools are compact in design yet oscillating tool has more attachments. Whereas, angle grinders with fewer attachments are easy to move, keep, and transport. It is also lightweight.
  • Nonetheless, if your work is in a tight space, then the oscillating tool is good to go with.
  • Also, if you are looking for an affordable tool for the time being, again oscillating tool would be a great buy.
  • But if you have to deal with these projects regularly, you should get one with a longer life span. Though angle grinders are a bit expensive, they are long-lasting too. So, to get served for a longer period buy an angle grinder.


Question: Is an oscillating tool better than a grinder?

Answer: You must have known now that both angle grinder and oscillating tools are better from different aspects and facts. Both tools have distinct features that make them better than each other. However, for precise and fine work oscillating cannot surpass an angle grinder.

Question: Is an oscillating tool the same as an angle grinder?

Answer: Not entirely. Both tools are used for almost the same task. However, according to their features and design, they are not all the same.

Question: Can you grind with an oscillating tool?

Answer: Yes, you can grind materials like concrete and shape them only when you use a carbide grit blade on your tool. However, though the angle grinder lacks maneuverability yet it does the task of grinding like nothing else can do.

Question: Is a cut-off tool the same as an angle grinder?

Answer: A cut-off tool is only capable of cutting. But an angle grinder can be used not only for cutting but also for sanding, grinding, sharpening, shaping, polishing, and all. So, the angle grinder is more versatile.

Question: Can you cut 2×4 with an oscillating tool?

Answer: You can cut 2×4 with an oscillating tool only if you are a bit skilled. Nonetheless, the process will be slow and the cut might not come out straight. Instead, try with an angle grinder.

Final Words:

Long story short, find your necessity first, and then find out what tool will meet your needs. Only knowledge can make you decide the right thing. So, now that you have in-depth knowledge about angle grinder vs oscillating tools, use them effectively. Hopefully, your invested bucks will not go in vain.

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Rogers Weber

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