Angle Grinder vs Sander

Angle Grinder vs Sander: Which One Should You Buy?

Sander tools are used for smoothening and sanding wood, while angle grinders are used for grinding metal. As they are both hand-held power tools, it is important to understand the differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision before spending both time and money. Different types of grinders and sanders have many applications in both professional and home crafts. However, their applications differ.

In this blog, we will learn about Angle Grinder vs Sander in depth.

What is an Angle Grinder?

What is an Angle Grinder

An Angle Grinder, also known as a rotary tool, is an electric grinder used to speed up and simplify grinders. The tool consists of two main parts: the head (which may be made up of several different attachments or serve as a single attachment) and the handle. An electric motor powers the grinder, so it spins rather than cuts. When you turn on this tool, it catches whatever excess material you are using with its grinding bit, sanding aluminum, woodworking, metal maintenance, etc.

What is a Sander?

What is a Sander

A sander is a hand-held grinding/cutting tool used to rough up and smooth surfaces. It consists of two parts, the sanding roller (which may not always be separate from the handle), which rotates freely, that is pushed by an electric motor, along with its adjustable head attachment containing abrasive material on fine meshes or coarser materials such as paper. Sanders is common in heavy industries where they are commonly used for metal finishing.

Differences Between Angle Grinders & Sanders

Although there are similarities between the tool and its purpose, yet it serves different purposes. For example, angle grinders are used to leave precise marks or smooth surfaces like cutting planes in metals. The sanding machine is mainly used outside of metalworking, where the grinding bit cut gets damaged or leaves harsh effects on the surface.


Most of the accessories used in these two different types vary. As far as sanders go, larger grinder plates are mostly considered more versatile than smaller ones because they can be tricky for some people with dexterity problems and multiple applications.

On the other hand, Angle grinders must follow safety rules but offer bigger universal tool (especially attachments) that adapt themselves better to a wide variety of materials.

Different types of sanders may use one or more rotary means to grind onto wooden surfaces, but they can also be made electrically motorized. These differ widely in selection and ability between models and cost depending on whether the electric motors are internally geared (e.g., Porter-Cable) or not with independent encoders that independently raise only each side of the grinding bit rather than all sides simultaneously like internal gearing.

 One other considerable biggest difference between these two types of sanding machines is that angle grinder ones come with various pads. At the same time, one type of sander also has a variation in power. For example, battery power most, but corded and electric models may also be available (for those who do not want to go too far from the electrical outlet).

 The Working Tool

The single most significant distinction between an angle grinder and a sander is what is pushed by the motor and how this impacts the tool’s capabilities.

 Angle grinders operate by spinning a disc that performs all of the work. When the cutting edge of the angle grinder disc comes into contact with an abrasive surface, it rotates at a high RPM and grinds through it. As a result, the name says it all.

 On the other hand, Sanders employs sandpaper, which is usually held in place on a belt or pad and then driven at high speed by the engine.

 A sander’s sandpaper may usually be changed in size and grit, allowing it to be used for various tasks, but it is a considerably more limited tool than an angle grinder. 


Larger sanders, such as belt sanders and huge cutting disc sanders, are inaccurate instruments to sand large areas quickly. Hand-held sanders are more precise, with some types built specifically for completing delicate woodworking tasks.

 A grinder is a lot less exact than a sander. Angle grinders have a lot of power; they’re made to cut through metal, not edge an antique chair.


angle grinder vs sander

There is no such thing as a totally safe power tool. However, because of the sheer power of the motors that drive these instruments, there is always a measure of risk.

Angle grinders are far more harmful than sanders when used side by side. If a hand-held sander malfunctions, it may kick back and remove several layers of flesh, or it may latch on anything and fling itself across the room. However, if you’re wise and work safely, the risk of long-term, major harm is low.

Sanders generate a lot of sawdust, so a dust collecting system makes the operation and cleanup a lot easier. You may also need to wear a mask or breathing gear.

On the other hand, if you use a grinder, you could easily injure yourself or others. For example, the cutting abrasive disc on a grinder rotates at high-speed range and may readily cut through skin and bone. 

Ensure you’re following proper safety practices when utilizing power tools of any kind. Wear safety glasses, gloves, tuck any loose clothing into place, and clear the area.

Angle Grinder vs Sander: Similarities

Both versatile tools serve the same purpose, they use friction and abrasion to remove undesired items embedded in resin or stuck to paper or metal.

They also remove the softer material with sanding disc types, a sandpaper pad, or a grinding blade connected. The electric motors in these two stationary tools will therefore finish the task faster and with less effort than manual grinding.

When to Use an Angle Grinder?

Angle grinders are an excellent handy tool for removing large chunks of material, such as concrete, wood, and stone. They are also useful for cutting metals, plastics, and other materials. When using an angle grinder, it is essential to use the correct angle and variable speed to prevent injury.

 The best time to use an angle grinder is when you need to remove large chunks of material quickly and without damaging the smooth surface. For example, if you need to remove a large chunk of concrete from a wall, it is best to use an angle grinder. The angle grinder will quickly cut through the concrete and remove it without damaging the wall. Additionally, if you need to cut metal, plastic, or other materials, using an angle grinder is the perfect power tool for the job.

 It is important to use the correct speed and angle to avoid injury. 

When to Use a Sander?

There are a few times when you might need to use a sander. The first time would be if you needed to smooth out rough edges on a piece of wood. If the wood is unfinished, you might need to sand it down to the bare wood in order to ensure that the finish will adhere properly.

 The second time you might need to sand is if you are refinishing a piece of furniture. For example, if the furniture has a finish that is wearing off, you will need to sand the finish off and apply a new finish.

 The third time you might need to sand is if you are refinishing a piece of metal. If the metal has a finish, you will need to sand it off and then apply a new finish.

 You might need to sand if you are refinishing a piece of marble. If the marble has a finish, you will need to sand it off and then a new finish can be applied.

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Is it possible to use a grinder as a sander?

Grinders are designed for cutting, grinding, and shaping. Angle Grinders may be used as Sanders or vice versa; the results will depend on their personality. But it is easier to move a stationary grinder around than an active one.

Is it possible to use a sander as a grinder?

No, it is not possible because a sander needs more work in terms of fuel.

What is the best sander for furniture?

There isn’t really the best sander for woodworking, but if you’re constantly working with or restoring furniture, a palm or hand sander will give you the most bang for your buck. In particular, seek a detailed sander with a pointed edge, which is great for reaching into tight spaces.

Is it possible to sand metal with a sander?

Yes, though you’d need a sander with an abrasive wheel (like sandpaper, pads) instead of something like steel wool.


Many people confuse the sanders and angle grinders. Angle grinders are used to cut metal or stone, while Sanders is used to polishing surfaces. If you need help deciding which tool is right for you, this blog is a complete comparison of both of these tools.

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