Differences between Grinding Machine and Dremel Rotary Tools. Which one is the best? (2023)

Agrinderand a Dremel tool are similar in appearance, and their principles of operation are also comparable. So what is the difference between the two?
Differences between Grinding Machine and Dremel Rotary Tools. Which one is the best? (1)
Something that can be really confusing if you're not familiar with the intricacies of various power tools is the difference between angle grinders and Dremel rotary tools (also known as "Dremels"). This gets even more confusing when you consider that many people use the words "dremel" and "shredder" interchangeably on the internet. At one point I also had a very difficult time finding a definitive answer as to what the differences are between a grinder and a Dremel.

In this article, I'm going to break down what separates these two tools.

Dremel vs. Grinder Comparison

In case you don't want to read the details, here is a quick comparison chart between the two tools.

For whom? Best for home users and fine detail work. Suitable for heavy industrial operations.

Power sourceElectricityAir, Electricity/Battery
SizeSmallercomparatively bigger
CanLess torque and power.Higher material removal rate
PrecisionPrecision Hand Grinderless accurate
SpeedHigher RPM (5000 to 35000)Less speed (2500 RPM)
speed controlPrecise variable speed provides better control.Pneumatic grinders have less control over speed.
The speed can be controlled on electric grinders.
Preciodremels are more expensiveAir grinders are cheap.
Wireless connection can be expensive.
recommended toolDremel 4300 kitIngersoll Rand 3107G

The 9 main differences

So instead of explaining each tool individually, I'll jump right into clarifying the main differences between the two.

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1. One is a brand

Probably the most obvious difference is that while angle grinders are a type of tool, Dremels aren't technically tools, they're a brand. While people often have a very specific type of tool in mind when they talk about "Dremels", the reality is thatDremelmanufactures a wide range of different tools. Most of them tend to beoscillating toolsor rotary tools of some kind.

2. Power sources

One of the main differences between the two lies in the way each feeds. Grinders come in two types, pneumatic (powered by an air compressor) and electric. Generally speaking, pneumatic types are more popular and much more common, but electric models are not uncommon. Wireless versions are also becoming popular.

Dremel tools, on the other hand, are almost always powered by electricity. Due to the type of tools they are, they don't really need the extra power that air compressors provide.

3. The grinders are bigger

In terms of size, the angle grinder is a much larger power tool. Your standard grinder will be much larger than your typical Dremel tool. This is quite interesting, because if you know somethingabout angle grinders, so you know this is sort of a larger "version" of angle grinders. In this case, while there are differences between grinders and Dremel tools, you can think of grinders as a larger version of the Dremel that does many of the same tasks.

4. Dremel tools are faster

As is often the case with power tools, the smaller the power tool, the faster it works. This is also true in this situation. Dremel tools, being much smaller, spin much faster than grinders.

To give an example of the speed disparity, your typical grinder will have an RPM (revolutions per minute) of around 25,000. A typical Dremel tool will have an RPM of about 35,000 max. So with an increase to around 10,000 RPM, you can easily see why Dremel tools are so much faster.

Remember that Dremel rotary tool motors are designed for high rpm. Its speed usually starts at 5000 rpm. That means you can't use it for jobs that require low speed and high torque. If you force the tool to carry the heavy load at the lowest speed, you may burn out the motor.

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5. Grinders are more powerful

While angle grinders can be a bit lacking in the speed department when it comes to Dremel tools, one area they don't lack is when it comes to power. Die grinders have a clear advantage here as they are much more powerful than Dremel tools. If you were to compare the torque produced by your average grinder and the torque produced by your average Dremel tool, it wouldn't even be a contest, the grinder would win by far.

Of course, power is not everything. Some jobs don't require a lot of torque; instead, they may require more precision. Situations like this are where a Dremel tool will shine. If, on the contrary, a job requires brute force, a grinding machine will be the best option.

6. Angle grinders are more versatile

Don't get me wrong, both angle grinders and Dremel tools are incredibly versatile by power tool standards. Any of these tools can be used to complete a wide variety of jobs, including material grinding, material cutting, wood sanding or metal smoothing, and much more. However, I do feel that the size of the Dremel tool (they are usually quite small as I mentioned above) lags a bit. It can be very useful, but the size means it's not as useful as emery.

The grinders are sort of a good "medium" size. They are small enough to be used in situations that require some degree of precision, while large enough that they can be used on larger objects. Trying to work on a large machine or car with a Dremel tool would be difficult due to the size, but this is not the case with the grinder.

The next two factors are not directly related to the design of the tool, but to the power source. The pneumatic and electric versions each have a distinct advantage.

7. Tool Bit Size

You have many cuts andgrinding bitsWhat would you like to use with your new rotary tool? So you should know that the maximum shaft size that Dremel will accept is 1/8″ (approximately 3mm). This is good enough for small cutters andtool bitsfor a good job. However, most larger cutting bits have a 1/4″ shank that you can't use with the Dremel.

Grinding machines, on the other hand, can accept both small bits and larger cutters.

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8. Variable speed

Dremel offers variable speed that can be precisely controlled. This allows you to perform a wide variety of tasks on different materials. For example, when polishing a hardened die, you will need the polishing bur to rotate at high speed. Compare that to woodworking where you have to slow down.

Pneumatic grinders do not have the ability to precisely control speed. Of course, you can adjust the airflow to speed up or down; but it is not necessary. Both electric and cordless grinders offer variable speed options.

9. Overheating

One of the advantages of air tools is that the compressed air flowing through the tools keeps them cool. Cordless and battery powered power tools, on the other hand, tend to get hot when you use them continuously for a longer period of time.

The Dremel is equipped with an electric motor and can overheat. But isn't it the same with an electric grinder? Yes, but there is a difference.

Since the grinder is more powerful, it can complete the task faster than the Dremel. This means that even if you are using an electric version, you tend to use the grinder for less time and therefore less heat.

There is. The complete list of differences between a grinder and a Dremel rotary tool.

10. Precio

You said 9 differences and now it's 10. Yes, because I added it later. For many of you, the price can be an obstacle. Air grinders are inexpensive tools. If your garage is equipped with adecent air compressor, so opting for the pneumatic grinder is the most cost-effective option. Dremel with its variable speed electric motor is expensive.

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However, if you don't have an air compressor in your shop, you should also consider the cost of the compressor. It will change the whole equation.

Which one should you buy?

Ultimately, it is a personal choice. Surely you have already seen in detail the comparative grinder vs Dremel. Choose the tool that suits your job.

Here is my recommendation.

  • If you have an air compressor in your garage, buy a pneumatic grinder. They are inexpensive and smaller than cordless shredders.
  • Get a cordless angle grinder if you're working on large industrial or construction projects where portability is important.
  • For small to medium work pieces that require a precision touch, choose the Dremel rotary tool.
  • The Dremel works best for jobs that require fine detail, such as wood carving, glass working, modeling, stone carving, beading, and jewelry making, etc.

Tool and die makers working on large plastic molds, die casting dies, etc. you will find a die grinder to be more useful than the Dremel.

back to content

  • Dremel vs. Grinder Comparison
  • The 9 main differences
    • 1. One is a brand
    • 2. Power sources
    • 3. The grinders are bigger
    • 4. Dremel tools are faster
    • 5. Grinders are more powerful
    • 6. Angle grinders are more versatile
    • 7. Tool Bit Size
    • 8. Variable speed
    • 9. Overheating
    • 10. Precio
    • Which one should you buy?


  • Deburring Vs Dremel
  • How do I change Dremel bits and accessories?
  • Rotating Tools: Types, Uses and Safety
(Video) The Ultimate Dremel for you



What's the difference between a Dremel and 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.

Can you use a Dremel as a grinder? ›

Dremel's grinding and sharpening tools help you with both activities, whether you're deburring metal after cutting it, smoothing welded joints or sharpening secateurs. You can use these tools on glass, ceramics, stone and porcelain too.

Is Dremel still the best? ›

We evaluated rotary tools based on reliability, ease of use, available attachments, durability, and overall performance. Our top choice is the Dremel 3000, which comes with a flex shaft and 25 useful accessories and attachments. Here are the best rotary tools for a wide range of applications.

What is the best rotary tool for cutting metal? ›

The Dremel is a high-speed rotary tool. It's gun-shaped with a handle and a barrel.

What are Dremels best for? ›

A Dremel is a handheld rotary power tool that has a range of different accessories for undertaking a wide variety of craft, hobby and DIY tasks. In a broad sense, a Dremel can be used for cutting, sanding, engraving, cleaning & polishing and grinding & sharpening.

Which Dremel series is the best? ›

BEST OVERALL: Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit. BEST FOR WOOD CARVING: Dremel 3000-2/28 Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit.

Which Dremel is most powerful? ›

Dremel 4300 Product Features At-A-Glance:

Powerful motor for maximum performance in demanding applications. Compatible with ALL Dremel rotary tool attachments and accessories (Some applications require the use of a collet system, included in kit)

What is the best tool to grind metal? ›

Angle grinders are the most important hand tools used for different metal fabrication jobs including cutting, grinding, and sanding. The angle grinder is the most common and multi-purpose grinding tool. The angle in the name (angle grinder) refers to a disc or wheel fitted at an angle to the power tool shaft.

Which Dremel bit will grind metal? ›

The versatile 3/8 In. (9.5 mm) diameter Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone works well for extended general purpose grinding on metals, sharpening tools, castings, welded joints, rivets and rust removal.

Can a Dremel grind hardened steel? ›

What can you do with it? For slicing and cutting metal including hardened steel. Ideal for cutting, grooving and trimming all kinds of metal.

Is Bosch and Dremel the same company? ›

Since 1993, Dremel is a division of the Bosch Group

Dremel tools have the same standards of quality and performance as every Bosch Power tool.

Are all rotary tools the same? ›

There are 3 different rotary tools which are basically same when It comes to function but slightly different size, shape and design. Angle-grinders are the biggest ones in size and they are used for heavy-duty cutting and sanding operations. There are smaller ones which are known as die-grinders.

How long do Dremels last? ›

How long does the Dremel 8220 battery last? With about 45 minutes for a full charge, the Dremel 8220 usually lasts about 15 minutes before requiring a recharge.

What can I use instead of a Dremel? ›

The MAKERX Rotary Tool has a universal fit system, so it is compatible with bits from other brands, including those designed for Dremel Rotary Tools. If you are looking for power, precision, portability, and versatility, MAKERX is the best rotary tool available.

What is the best brand of rotary cutter? ›

  • BEST OVERALL: Fiskars 01-005874 Titanium Softgrip Comfort Loop.
  • RUNNER-UP: Olfa Deluxe Rotary Cutter (60mm)
  • BEST SMALL: ARTEZA 28 mm Quilting Rotary Cutter.
  • BEST ERGONOMIC: Martelli Ergo 2000 45mm Rotary Cutter.
May 5, 2021

What size rotary cutter is best? ›

If you know you'll be cutting yards and yards of fabric, you'll probably want to reach for a 60mm rotary cutter. An 18mm rotary cutter is used mainly for making small cuts, or for cutting curves. If you want to have one rotary cutter that will be sufficient for nearly all projects, your best bet is the 45mm.

How do I choose a rotary cutter? ›

Choose the 45 mm size when you have small straight cuts to do, like cutting on the line for half square triangles. The largest 60mm size is great for those who have larger hands. It is good for cutting up to six layers of quilting cotton, and best for long straight cuts like the width of fabric folded.

Should I buy a rotary tool? ›

Whether you are into the woodworking and fabrication trade or like to do everything around the house on your own, a rotary tool is one of the best tools that you should own. It is a versatile and multifunctional tool that can be used for various DIY projects, and all you have to do is to replace the accessories on it.

Why use a Dremel instead of a drill? ›

Also, the Dremel tool is much smaller and lighter than an electric drill which is very useful in many applications such as carving, etching and working with small work pieces. Dremels can be used with non-Dremel accessories such as drill bits and grinding wheels so you are not locked in.

Are Dremel tools reliable? ›

They are extremely helpful, versatile, and multi-functional for both amateurs and professionals. Dremel rotary tools are one of the most flexible pieces of equipment in the workshop since they can be used for various jobs like cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing.

Is Dremel Made in USA? ›

History. Founded by the Austrian inventor Albert J. Dremel in 1932, the company is located in Racine, Wisconsin, US.

What is the best wood to use with a Dremel? ›

Know the best woods for woodcarving

If you're just starting out with woodcarving, it's better to choose a softwood like birch, limewood, pine, willow or horse chestnut. These are easier to carve. Soon, when you're more experienced, you can use birch burl, cherrywood, maple, apple, pear, olive or walnut.

What is the difference between Dremel 4000 and 4300? ›

Here are the key differences between Dremel 4300 and 4000: Dremel 4300, you are stuck with what you get in the kit, Dremel 4000 allows more attachments. Dremel 4300 is quiet and calm while the Dremel 4000 is loud. Dremel 4300 has a pivot light mechanism, where's the Dremel 4000 don't and you can see it's much cheaper.

Can a Dremel cut through thick metal? ›

The Dremel 15/16 in. Heavy-Duty Cut-Off Wheel is ideal for cutting, grooving and trimming all kinds of metal. It can also use on other materials, including thin wood, plastics and ceramics. This cutting disc is constructed from a hard abrasive used for slicing and cutting metal including hardened steel.

What is a Dremel 4000 used for? ›

Dremel 4000-6/50 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft- 6 Attachments & 50 Accessories- Grinder, Mini Sander, Polisher, Engraver- Perfect for Routing, Cutting, Wood Carving.

What is a Dremel 3000 used for? ›

DREMEL® 3000 (3000-2/25)

Perfect for DIY projects that require powerful and precise light duty finishing applied on various materials. Swap applications using the 25 accessories in no time: from carving, engraving, sanding, polishing to cutting and more.

What metals should you not grind? ›

Grinding non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, bronze, copper, and brass can be dangerous when done in the wrong environment. Keep the area and the equipment safe with this danger sign.

What is the best thing to use to grind aluminum? ›

The best abrasive grains to cut and grind aluminum alloys include aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, blends of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, zirconia, and ceramic.

Can you use Dremel grinding bits on wood? ›

The first set of bits are Dremel Carving Bits. You can use these high-speed bits for carving, cutting, and slotting in different types of material such as wood, plastic and soft metals (aluminum, copper, or brass).

Which grinding stone is better aluminum oxide or silicon carbide? ›

Silicon carbide is a sharper and harder grain compared to aluminum oxide, but silicon carbide is less durable because it is brittle and has a more narrow shape that wears down at an increased rate.

Can you grind aluminum with a Dremel? ›

Materials. Perfect for ferrous metal materials including stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. Grinding Surface.

Can a Dremel make a hole in metal? ›

The Dremel 7-Piece Steel Drill Bit Set is an excellent choice for jobs that require precision drilling and for drilling in metal. The set includes 7 small-diameter drill bits and a storage case.

Can a Dremel grind concrete? ›

A: Yes. It will even grind concrete.

What is the difference between a Dremel and a dog nail grinder? ›

The Oster Gentle Paws Nail Grinder goes toe-to-toe with the Dremel PawControl in most respects, but it's just a bit louder on high than the Dremel, and unlike the rechargeable Dremel it requires four AA batteries (which aren't included). The trade-off is a savings of around $30.

What are the 3 common types of grinders? ›

Three of the most common types of grinders are angle grinders, surface grinders, and die grinders.

What is the difference between a grinder and a disc sander? ›

Sanders are only used to sand, but grinders can be used for multiple things. They can cut through metal, strip metal, and polish surfaces.

Can I use a Dremel to grind dog nails? ›

When you cut your dog's nails with a guillotine cutter or a scissors type cutter you still need to go back to the nail and file it down to get rid of any sharp points or edges that may snag. A Dremel grinds down your dog's nails, making trimming easy and high-tech. The Dremel is the easy part.

Is it better to cut dog nails or grind them? ›

Clipping and grinding are equally efficient and safe ways to trim your pup's nails. Clippers are cheaper and less noisy, while dremels are louder and more expensive but more precise and efficient.

How do I choose a grinding machine? ›

How to choose a Grinding Wheel
  1. The Material Being Ground.
  2. The Severity of the Operation.
  3. Required Finish and Form Accuracy.
  4. Area of Contact.
  5. Wheel Speed.
  6. Coolant Use.
  7. Machine/Spindle Horse Power.
Jun 18, 2021

Which grinding machine is the most widely used? ›

Surface grinding

Horizontal spindle/reciprocating table. This surface grinder is the most commonly used type in machining operations. It is available in various sizes to accommodate large or small workpieces.

What are the two main types of grinding? ›

While belt grinding machines are typically used for finishing processes, surface grinding machines are most commonly used for material removal. When compared to other grinding machines, surface grinding machines are able to remove significant amounts of material, making them desirable for such applications.

Which grinding machine is used for? ›

A grinding machine, often shortened to grinder, is a power tool (or machine tool) used for grinding. It is a type of machining using an abrasive wheel as the cutting tool. Each grain of abrasive on the wheel's surface cuts a small chip from the workpiece via shear deformation.

How long does a grinding disc last? ›

It has always been Saint-Gobain's recommendation that Resinoid Bonded grinding wheels be used up within 2 years from the date of manufacture.

Can you cut with a grinding disc? ›

Angle grinders (also called “disc grinders,” “right angle grinders,” or “side grinders”) are excellent tools for cutting both hard and soft metals. With the right grinding or cutting disc, they can perform various metal-related tasks, including cutting.

Will a grinding disc cut wood? ›

An angle grinder is not a cutting tool in the same sense as a circular saw. Angle grinders are fitted with abrasive wheels, not blades. These wheels operate by abrading the material they come into contact with. These wheels are not suitable for cutting wood: they have no teeth.


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