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Reciprocating Saw vs Angle Grinder: Which One to Choose?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: July 30, 2022

The angle grinder, and the reciprocating saw are two of the best power tools used for cutting both hard and soft materials. In addition, they have a lot of differences, but both of them are amazing tools which makes the choice hard.

That’s why we will help you by sharing a detailed comparison between reciprocating saw and angle grinder. We will give you more information that will most likely help you to make the right decision for you.

General Overview

In general, both machines are very powerful. The angle grinder is best for metal cutting, and it can also cut almost any hard material such as sand, polish and grind. It can make blind and plunge cuts, but if you will be making curved cuts the angle grinder is not for you.

On the other side, the reciprocating saw can cut through any material if it is equipped with the right blade. It has higher cutting capacity and it is more versatile than the angle grinder, since it is not as noisy and dirty. However, it can not make blind and plunge cuts.

Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating Saw – what is it?


Reciprocating saw is one extremely powerful and famous two-handed power tool. It can easily cut through almost any material if it is equipped with the right blade, and it is a very versatile machine. 

It has great design, which makes it easy for use. This makes it perfect for beginners, DIYers, but also for professionals.

Functionality

As we already mentioned, the reciprocating saw can cut through almost any material if it has the right blade. It can cut through metal and wood, and through many more materials. This machine can also be used for demolition work.

However, it can not make blind and plunge cuts, even though it is great for curved cuts. This machine can cut through material such as copper, aluminum, brass, and steel if equipped with bimetal blades.

Versatility


One of the biggest strengths of the reciprocating saw is it’s great versatility. This machine is not noisy, which makes it perfect for almost any person, even the ones that work at home. It does not make a lot of dust, which makes cleaning it an easy task.

Furthermore, there are no sparks, which makes it one great and safe option. The safety issues with the reciprocating saw are less.

When to use a reciprocating saw?


The reciprocating saw should be used for multi-material cutting. So, if you are a person who is going to cut through a variety of materials, this tool is great for you. Yes, you can also cut through soft materials with ease. Soft materials include wood, plastics and foam. It can also be used for demolition work.

Pros:

  • versatility, which makes it great for professionals and DIYers
  • great for remodeling projects and demolition work
  • it can cut through almost any material if it is equipped with the right blade
  • easy to use, safe tool

Cons:

  • you need good knowledge of blades 
  • needs a lot of maintenance

Angle Grinder

Angle Grinder – what is it?


Angle grinder is a handheld power tool that can be used for metal cutting, grinding, deburring and many other tasks. This machine does not use blades, but discs to operate. There are corded and cordless options.

The disc has to be chosen based on the material that will be cut. The angle grinder is great for cutting metal. It can also make blind and plunge cuts, but it is hard to make curved cuts.

Functionality


The angle grinder has a lot of functions, since it can make different cuts such as blind and plunge. It can cut through extremely hard materials, and it can be used for general metal projects.

However, the angle grinder is not good for cutting soft materials such as plastic and wood, since they may burn/melt it. 

Versatility


When it comes to versatility, the angle grinder is considered to be a versatile tool. It can be used with a lot of materials, and it can accomplish many tasks. However, it is not as safe as other tools, and surely can not be used with soft materials.

It is noisy, and it makes a lot of dust, so many people who work at home don’t like that. However, it is one of the best options for professional users.

When to use an angle grinder?

It is best to use an angle grinder when cutting through extremely hard materials such as steel, stone and rock. It can be done with ease. The angle grinder is also great for general metal projects such as polishing, deburring, grinding, etc.

Pros:

  • Versatility
  • Can cut through hard materials
  • Different models, many choices
  • Can make different cuts

Cons:

  • may be dangerous, not good for DIYers
  • a lot of noise and dust

Similarities between reciprocating saw and angle grinder

There are not a lot of similarities between reciprocating saw and angle grinder. Both of those machines can be used with hard materials, especially with metal. Both of the power tools are offered by many brands and price can be different.

Differences between reciprocating saw and angle grinder

There are a lot of differences between reciprocating saw and angle grinder. The angle grinder can be used with hard materials, and it can not be used with soft ones, while the reciprocating saw can be used with almost any material if equipped with the right blade.

The angle grinder is more dangerous and is not perfect for beginners and DIYers, while the other type of power tool is safe and good for people working at home and learning how to do that.

The angle grinder can make blind and plunge cuts, but can not make curved ones, while the reciprocating saw can not make blind and plunge cuts, but when it comes to curved cuts it works great.

The angle grinder is noisier and makes a lot of dust. Furthermore, there are sparks while using it. However, with the reciprocating saw there is not a lot of noise, neither dust. And, almost no sparks.

To conclude we can say that the choice between an angle grinder and reciprocating saw may be a hard decision. It has to be made based on the tasks that are going to be accomplished and the level of experience of the user.

If you are going to cut only hard materials and you have experience with power tools, then angle grinder is great for you. However, if you are going to cut soft materials too and you are a DIYer or beginner you better use a reciprocating saw.

Think about it before buying a power tool. We wish you good luck!

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