Die Grinder vs Dremel Rotary Tool: 5 Main Differences

The best way to understand the differences between a die grinder vs Dremel rotary tool is understand 4 points:

  • Die grinders and Dremel tools are both variations of a type of tool called a rotary tool
  • They both have the same basic function or use which is to cut, grind, sand, polish etc. via rotational force of the associated bit or disc you attach to the tool
  • When the general public refers to a rotary tool, they usually mean a Dremel type rotary tool, as opposed to a Die grinder type rotary tool.
  • Although both tools are rotary tools in a technical sense, there are some key differences that set these tools apart

Let’s look through these differences…

 

Die Grinder vs Dremel Rotary Tool – What’s The Difference?

 

1. Dremel is an actual brand!

Dremel is a brand that manufactures their own range of rotary tool (along with oscillating tools, saws and more), and have established themselves to be so popular with that type of tool, that the brand is what is generally used to describe that type and range of tool.

There are other alternative brands to the Dremel rotary tool though – like WEN, Black & Decker, and Proxxon.

Die grinders on the other hand are made by many different brands, and there are several types and variations of die grinders.

 

2. Electric Die Grinders are generally much more powerful

Dremel rotary tools are finishing type rotary tools meant for light and small tasks.

The most powerful electric Dremel rotary tool as of February 2017 is the Dremel 4300 – having a 1.8 Amp motor.

The common way to describe a die grinder is as a Dremel on steroids. When comparing Amps, Horsepower and the main power specs, die grinders win out most times.

This extra power makes a die grinder generally a lot more suitable for working on tough materials like thicker metal, and for performing the more demanding tasks and bigger jobs, like in workshops and industrial environments for example.

However, you can definitely perform smaller and finer jobs with a die grinder too – get the right die grinder, get the right bits, and if necessary – vary the speed to match the activity.

 

3. Dremels generally spin faster

In terms of rpm of the bits and attachments, variable corded and cordless speed Dremel rotary tools can max out on average at around 35,000rpm.

Die grinders on the other hand top out at around 20,000 to 25,000 rpm for most models.

The smaller the discs or bit, the less distance it has to spin in diameter, and hence the extra speed.

 

4. Die Grinders are bigger in most ways

Generally everything is bigger when it comes to a die grinder, especially when talking about electric die grinders.

You can get small die grinders, but even the small die grinders are powerful and tend to have larger attachments, bits and discs than most Dremels – in terms of dimensions.

For example, a shank on a die grinder is generally 1/4 inch, and Dremel tool bit shanks are generally 1/8 inch or 1/16 inch (but there are 4 different sizes).

 

5. Dremels are mainly electric powered

The standard Dremel is electric powered, with cordless models available as well.

Die grinders on the other hand can be either electric, or pneumatic/air powered.

It generally takes more power to run a die grinder for electric versions, and you have to have an air supply/air compressor for the pneumatic models.

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