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From what I've read on google, angle grinders and (portable) circular saws appear to be quite similar. Aside from a circular saw being perhaps a bit larger and maybe having some supports on the bottom, is there any major difference between an angle grinder and a circular saw? Thanks.

  • They both contain a motor that makes a disk rotate. That's about where the similarity ends. – fixer1234 Feb 8 '18 at 4:16
  • Go to the hardware store and look at both of them. The answer should be glaringly obvious. – cathode Feb 8 '18 at 16:37
  • I will say, Dremel's Ultra-Saw is pretty close to a mix between the two. It's got a smaller blade that can take wheels meant for surface prep, metal, or wood -- but the "wood" blade has very shallow teeth, and basically just shreds through the material instead of trying to actually cut it. Throws up a ton of dust. Handy for certain uses (like cutting my cabinets from the inside while they were up on the wall) but not good for normal sawing. – Robert Nubel Feb 8 '18 at 17:22
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Generally speaking, they're both "circular". Pretty much anything that spins a blade is "circular" - miter saw, table saw, chop saw, trim saw. They're all spinning blades, but when you say "circular" most think of a "handheld" circular saw usually used for cutting wood. "Angle grinder" is referring to a specific tool. So, if this is for an answer on a tech school test, i'd run with that :).

If you're specifically referring to handheld circular saw vs. an angle grinder I think there are many differences as stated, speed and power being key, but the main I see, is that a handheld circular saw has a base/guard that can be adjusted for depth and angle. This base is held against the material you are working with to cut in straight lines. An angle grinder has a perpendicular handle and is intended to be used free hand to run sand pads, grinding wheels, metal cutting disks, flap disks... you name it.

I think you could shape wood with the sanding pads and other disks on an angle grinder, but I think any kind of a blade intended for "cutting" wood is an ER visit waiting to happen.

On a circular saw, you can get blades for cutting metal, and it works well if you're cutting a lot of sheet metal or thinner plate. I think any kind of a blade for shaping or grinding metal with a circular saw is another ER visit waiting to happen.

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Different

  • power
  • gearing
  • speeds
  • collets
  • tool diameters
  • direction of forces
  • means of use
  • climb vs conventional
  • accessories
  • ability to sand or wirebrush

I think even if you managed to fit a sawblade on a grinder, you would have a completely uncontrollable tool that would be impossible to successfully engage to any work except for cars full of lost college students who make very poor decisions and scream a lot. While that may sound like fun, in the end Final Girl will kill you.

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Circular saw is for wood. Angle grinder is for metal.

  • Angle grinder us also for masonry, with the right tooling. – poorplanning Feb 8 '18 at 14:03
  • But why? What are the differences that make this the case? – AndyT Feb 8 '18 at 16:19
  • Nope. Circular saws are available that are designed to be used for cutting metal. And there are electric wet circular saws for cutting masonry and tile too. – cathode Feb 8 '18 at 16:54
  • I have sanding disks for my angle grinder for wood, any kind of grinding wood metal or masonary disks or pads are available. With my skill saw I have metal cutting blades for sheet metal, and wood and masonry . Saws saw, grinders grind. – Ed Beal Feb 8 '18 at 18:07

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