Sanders and grinders are commonly used in the construction industry. They are power tools for sanding and grinding, respectively. While they may involve similar operations, though, sanders and grinders aren't the same. If you're thinking about buying one of these power tools, you might be wondering how sanders and grinders differ from each other.
What Is a Sander?
A sander is a power tool that's designed for polishing, sanding and buffing applications. It typically features a motor, belt and a piece of sandpaper. When turned on, the motor will turn the belt, and the belt will turn the sandpaper. Pressing the moving sandpaper against the surface of an object will remove a thin layer of material from that object.
Common types of sanders include the following:
- Belt sander
- Oscillating sander
- Orbital sander
- Drywall sander
- Disc sander
What Is a Grinder?
A grinder is a power tool that's used for cutting applications. Like sanders, they are available in corded and battery-powered models. Grinders also feature a motor. The motor will turn the cutting disc attached to the grinder. Pressing the cutting disc against the surface of an object will cut that object.
Differences Between Sanders and Grinders
Sanders and grinders aren't the same. They are used in different work-related applications. Sanders are used in polishing, sanding and buffing applications, whereas grinders are used in cutting applications.
In addition to supporting different applications, sanders and grinders feature different parts. All sanders feature sandpaper or a sanding belt. Sandpaper and sanding belts are thin sheets of an abrasive material.
Grinders don't feature sandpaper, nor do they feature a sanding belt. Instead, grinders feature a cutting disc. The cutting disc is a wheel-shaped bladed tool. As it spins, it will cut into the object to which it's exposed. You can use a grinder to easily cut through objects, assuming the cutting disc isn't dull.
Both types of power tools support a variety of materials. With that said, sanders are typically used with wooden objects. Grinders, in comparison, are used with metal objects. If you need to cut through a metal object, you may want to use a grinder. To sand down a wooden workpiece so that it's smooth, you should use a sander.
Grinders are more versatile than sanders. You can use them in more applications. Sanders are limited to polishing, sanding and buffing applications. But grinders support all cutting-related applications.