The Difference Between Cut-Off Wheels and Grinding Wheels: Why Materials, Size and Shapes Matter

While cut-off wheels and grinding wheels are seemingly similar, there are important differences between them. Knowing which tool to use for a particular job can make all the difference for needed results.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the similarities and differences between cut-off wheels and grinding wheels.

Cut-off wheels versus grinding wheels

Cut-off wheels, also known as cutting wheels, have a different build and applications as compared to griding wheels.

For example, if you are looking for a higher precision and accuracy, then cut-off wheels will do the job nicely. They have a thin build compared to grinding wheels and are built to cut materials at a 90—degree angle. They are also focused on small pieces of material, rather than grinding wheels which cut or grind larger pieces of material from a low standing point.

So, while both cut-off wheels and grinding wheel can offer desired results, if you are looking for precise cuts for objects such as sample materials in metallography, using a cut-off wheel is your best choice. Using a cut-off wheel that is made from high quality materials can also mean less preparation time and costs.

Advantages of using a grinding wheel is that a thicker wheel means that it is capable of cutting sturdier and thicker materials. Because grinding wheels are generally not used for exact precision rather than efficiency, grinding wheels can offer a higher turnover of cut materials, where cut-off wheels will take more time and may break when used on thick materials.

Things to keep in mind when choosing a cut-off or grinding wheel

Regardless if you are choosing a cut-off wheel or a grinding wheel, there are different factors that you should keep in mind according to your desired results.

Details such as the material, shape, abrasive grain, and size are important to consider for which type of cutting wheel will be the best to get the job done.

Materials can make a huge difference so when looking at cut-off and grinding wheels it may be worthwhile to consider materials such as diamonds. Using wheels with diamonds can extend of longevity of the cutting wheel and reduce the chances of thermal damage and deformation when cutting.


It is worth taking some time to consider your desired outcome when choosing which type of wheel to use for your cutting job.