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Difference Between Grinder and Sander

Difference Between Grinder and Sander

When you are new to this metalworking world, it’s hard to know the right tool for your workpiece. But it becomes harder when it comes to Grinder and Sanders, as they both appear identical but perform differently on different surfaces. People often get confused about which tool to use and for what material.

Therefore, I am writing this article to give you a clear picture of these similar-looking tools.

What Is A Grinder Or Angle Grinder?

When we talk about metal grinding tools, we usually refer to angle grinders - the most commonly and frequently used power tool. An Angle Grinder or grinder is a power tool used to cut, polish, sand, and finish surfaces accurately. Grinders are corded and cordless and have a rotating disc at the end. They are aggressive; hence, they are ideal for metals and wood and can even cut through concrete. 

Several different sanding disc, cutting wheel, grinding wheel can be used with a grinder for different grinding phases and are easy to change and attach. One of the best things about grinders is that they can cut through anything and everything. As a result, these grinders are highly versatile tools.

Read: How to Use an Angle Grinder For Metal Cutting

What Is Sander?

Sanders are power tools used to sand, smooth uneven surfaces, and remove paint, mainly from wooden surfaces. Sanders is also used to remove scratches from metal surfaces. Attach sandpapers to the power tool and use it to make even strokes.

Random orbit sanders and palm sanders, which use sandpaper in the round and square pads, respectively, are two common types of sanders. On the other hand, Belt sanders use belt-shaped sandpaper that can move around to cover a larger area.

Difference Between Grinder And Sander

Although both tools serve the same purpose: to remove undesired material embedded on the surface, both are very different tools with different features. Below is the list based on features:

Based on



Type Of Attachments

  • Uses Rigid discs, each designed for a specific purpose and material
  • Multiple attachments
  • Use sandpaper pad or belt
  • Limited attachments


  • Ideal for metal mainly
  • Works well for concrete, plastic, wood, stone, aluminum, tin, etc.
  • Ideal for wood
  • Works well for metal and plastic

Adaptability Based On Usage

  • Very high
  • Cut, polish, remove paint, works on hard material like concrete and even sand
  • Very low
  • Sanding& shaping

Based On The Risk Involved

  • High-risk
  • Aggressive in nature
  • Works on high speed generating sparks
  • Low-risk
  • Works on low speed generating dust

Based On Accuracy

Low or high accuracy

High accuracy

After reading this detailed comparison, I hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the key similarities and differences between grinders and sanders.

To summarize, use a sanding tool if you only want to achieve a smooth finish on soft materials like wood. If you need to work with hard materials or want a multi-functional tool that can cut, polish, and sand, an angle grinder is a way to go.
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