The Difference Between Angle Grinder Vs Circular Saw

Whether you’re planning on doing woodwork or some other type of craft project, you need to have the proper tool to execute it. Circular saws and angle grinders are excellent for carpenters, plumbers, constructors, and other types of workers to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. But while some jobs require a circular saw, others need an angle grinder. 

Both angle grinders and circular saws have their advantages, but which one will better suit your needs? In this article, we will take a look at the purpose and design of each item, as well as its pros and cons, so you can have an easier time deciding which product is better for you. 

What Is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a tool that rotates and uses a toothed or abrasive disc to cut through materials. Besides cutting wood, it can be used for other materials like masonry, metal, and plastic if you equip it with a proper blade. But because of its sheer nature, it’s not recommended to use a circular saw to cut through materials other than wood.

A circular saw is typically powered by electricity, but it can also be done using a hydraulic motor or a gasoline engine. How the circular saw is powered will depend on the requirements of the project, or on whether or not there is electricity present on the construction site. 

This tool operates in two ways, hand-held and fixed. The hand-held model is very useful when you need some precision in your work, but it’s limited to small cuts. 

The fixed mode is used when carpenters pass a piece of wood gradually and slowly through the circular saw, which is set in the middle of a table. Even though it’s not as widely used as an angle grinder, it can still be found on plenty of job sites and woodworking shops. 

Advantages of a Circular Saw

A circular saw is one of the most useful and adaptable tools you can find today, and it would benefit any tool kit. There are many reasons why we love circular saws: 

  • Portability - Circular saws are very portable, and this is especially true if you have a model that runs on batteries. Even mounted and big models are pretty easy to move around. The only thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to have to do a bit more work to break it down. 
  • Easy maintenance - A circular saw rarely needs to be repaired, greased, or oiled. To improve your cuts, you will need to sharpen the blades every now and then, so remember to purchase a saw file. But besides that, there isn’t much maintenance to do.
  • High efficiency - A circular saw is very efficient compared with other cutting tools. The blade is efficient and constantly rotates, so you can cut almost anything.
  • Versatility - After a quick swap of the blades you’re good to use your circular saw on concrete, metal, and other solid materials. If you plan to use your circular saw for strong materials, make sure that you get a powerful model. To cut concrete and metal, we would recommend going for 1,800 to 2,000 Watts. 

Disadvantages of a Circular Saw

Just like any other tool, there are also disadvantages to it. In this section, we will go over the limitations of the circular saw. 

  • Rough cuts - Although the circular saw is very efficient and speedy, there is also a disadvantage to it. You might end up with rough edges or tears in your material that you might need to sand afterward. It’s not a big issue, but you need to keep in mind that these rough edges can worsen if you work too quickly or your blade dulls. 
  • Loud noise - Even though almost every tool makes some noise, a circular saw is pretty loud. In this case, you may want to wear earplugs to avoid damage to your hearing. Plus, people might complain about the noise you’re making, so you should warn your neighbors as well.
  • Potential for binds - To keep your boards steady during cutting, you will have to use a couple of clamps or have another person hold your material in place.
  • Limited curve cuts - Straight cuts are amazing with a circular saw, but this isn’t the case for curve cuts. Tight curves with a circular saw aren’t possible, and the best you can get is some broad curves. 

What Is An Angle Grinder?

An angle grinder is made especially for polishing and grinding materials. It is a very versatile tool that can be used for many other things such as on surfaces like stone, marble, metal, and others. It is also known as a side grinder or disc grinder since the blade isn’t sitting up straight like a saw, but instead, it’s laying flat like a disc.  

It comes in both a cordless and corded version and it can be used with plenty of materials, from concrete to metals. When more disc rotation and power are needed to do the job quickly, people typically use the wired variant, whereas the cordless version is typically used for DIY projects, since it's very lightweight and easy to use.

Due to the cutting, the disc can sometimes get damaged. As a result, the discs of angle grinders are commonly replaced as a way to ensure constant precision while you’re working.

Advantages of An Angle Grinder

The Difference Between Angle Grinder Vs Circular Saw

Angle grinders come with a set of advantages, including:

  • Compact size - Despite not being giant, angle grinders are quite small, so they are easy to transport wherever you go.
  • Safe design - People can sometimes misuse a circular saw and hurt themselves in the process, though the risk is significantly lower with angle grinders due to their two-handle design. 
  • Different uses - Circular saws are used to cut materials, while angel grinders can grind, polish, cut, and much more. They are really handy for a wide variety of projects.
  • High power - Masonry or metal workers and carpenters love using angle grinders because of how powerful they are - you can cut off huge chunks of material with little to no difficulty. 

Disadvantages of An Angle Grinder

No matter how amazing an angle grinder is, it’s not perfect. Even though the downsides of this tool are minor, they still exist. Below, we will go over the setbacks of an angle grinder.

  • Learning curve - Angle grinders are a bit harder to learn. If you’re a first-time builder, you might lack the level of precision these tools require. There are options on the market that are easier to use, but these also require some time before you get the hang of it.
  • Overheating - People sometimes find their angle grinder overheating. Even though this can be due to inexperience, sometimes it’s the tool’s fault. We would suggest you give your angle grinder a break every 30 minutes while using it.
  • Pricey discs - You need several discs if you want your angle grinder to be the best it can be. These discs are a bit pricey, so you need to keep this in mind when buying an angle grinder.


When you don’t know their function, making a decision between a circular saw and an angle grinder may seem difficult, but once you know what each tool is used for, it’s pretty easy to see which one will best fit your needs.

You should use a circular saw if you need to cut wood, whereas an angle grinder is better if you need to polish or sand a metal material. We hope that our guide helped you in making a well-informed decision. 

Last Updated on April 30, 2022 by Tom Bradly

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Tom Bradly

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise. See more at

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