Best Grout Removal Tools – Complete Buyers Guide for 2018
Table Of Contents
- 1 Best Grout Removal Tools – Complete Buyers Guide for 2018
- 1.1 Grout Removal Tools
- 1.2 The Best Grout Removal Tool – In-Depth Guide
- 1.3 The Best Budget Grout Removal Tool
- 1.4 The Best Grout Removal Tool
- 1.5 Further Reading: Grout Removal Tools
- 1.6 In Conclusion – The Best Grout Removal Tool
Are you planning to replace a cracked tile or repairing troublesome grout?
Do you need some great grout removal tips and want to know about the best grout removal tools?
You have come to the right place!
As you know the first step to all these tile projects is grout removal!
Removing old tile grout can be one of those daunting tasks any
Without a proper grout removing tool it can lead to extensive damage to your tiled surface or the delicate substrate beneath.
Cracking grout can happen to any tiled surface and
Well, I am a trained professional and I am telling you that you can do it!
Grout repair is a great DIY project anyone can do!
Grout Removal Tools
With a couple grout removal tools and some knowledge, you can repair your tile grout in a couple hours and get that beautifully tiled surface looking like new again.
Whether you use an electric grout removal tool or a traditional grout remover like a grout saw, either method will work to remove your tired and damaged tile grout.
From shower grout to kitchen backsplashes and everything in between, my grout removal guide will make your next project a success.
The hardest part of any grout repair project is removing the old tile grout and this is the major factor that might scare you from attempting a repair of any kind.
This information will also apply if you are wanting to replace a damaged tile as removing the grout around it is the first step to cracked tile repair.
After reading this grout removal guide you will have all the confidence of a trained professional (like me!) and you’ll be ready to fix your cracking grout or remove it all together.
For the past 20 years, I have been tiling professionally and I have fixed my fair share of grout in that time and replaced more tiles than I’ve had hot dinners.(Seriously.)
I have also educated a lot of good folk about damaged grout repair and removal as I believe anyone can do it with the proper tools and knowledge.
Of course, this wasn’t always the case and I learned these tricks at the cost of a lot of skin off of my back.
Hopefully, this grout removal guide will help you avoid any mistakes I did in my time and make your project a success.
I want to pass this knowledge onto you so that you can do the job right, the first time and get your grout looking like new again.
• Advice on the best grout removal tools
• Tips on how to use them and other grout removing tools.
• Links to where to find the best price on all grout removers in this article
• Insider knowledge from someone in the tiling trade
The Best Tools for Removing Grout
I understand you might be busy and want the answer immediately.
The grout removal blade is essential as it is specially designed to cut through grout.
A special carbide coating ensures it cuts through grout cleanly and efficiently with a minimum of effort required by you.
Throw this battery into your cart!
The latest 6 Amp Hour battery pack will maximize running time while ensuring the grout removal tool runs at peak performance!
6Ah Battery Packs are the highest capacity available and a must-have if you’ll be removing large areas of grout.
The standard battery is 2AH, this is 3X as powerful!
Want The Cheapest (but still great) Grout Removal Tool?
Try the Genesis Multi-tool! It’ll do the job without the premium price tag.
↓Click the image for the lowest price on your next grout removal tool↓
Together with the Genesis Multi-tool, you will have the ultimate grout removal tool on a budget!
You simply attach the grout removal blade like any other and it will tear its way through grout. It’s simple, creates no dust clouds and best of all: It’s safe to use!
Complete with the grout removal blade your oscillating multi-tool is the ultimate in powered grout removal tools.
They are easy to use thanks to a simple design and it won’t create a mess as the grout turns into a powder that stays on the floor.
That means an easy cleanup and everyone loves that!
If you want to learn more about your tool for removing grout or tips on how to use it, continue reading!
Otherwise sit back and relax, you have done the hardest part of removing old grout from a tile.
Once your new removing grout tool comes in the mail you’ll be ready to let rip and reclaim your beautiful tiled surface!
Check the best grout removal tool in action!
Here’s a quick video showing off the DeWalt doing more than just being the best grout removal tool.
It is also a very versatile tool for all home projects.
This article provides more information on the versatility of your new oscillating multi-tool and shows it is more than just a one-trick grout removing pony!
Which Powered Grout Removal Tool Do I Choose?
You may be wondering which of these two oscillating power tools you should buy.
As powered grout removal tools go, they will both do a great job so don’t allow their price difference affect your judgment of their abilities.
Both the Dewalt and Genesis oscillating multi-tools equipped with a grout removal blade will tear through grout and make short work of your grout removal project.
DeWalt manufactures power tools for professional tradesmen and anyone requiring the very best that they can rely on.
If you are a handy DIY-er and do a lot of work around your home or are a professional then the DeWalt should be your choice.
The price premium will pay itself off in the long run as you’ll have a great all-round tool for years to come.
Not only will it serve its role as grout removal tool like a champion, it will help with cutting and sanding tasks you will throw at it.
If you have extensive areas of grout to remove or are a professional then a Dewalt oscillating multi-tool is the way to go.
If you are planning to do a small grout removal job or just occasional grout removing as the free time arises the more affordable Genesis will do great for any home projects.
It will easily handle whatever tasks you throw at it and it will be your favorite tool for removing grout without a doubt.
Despite the low cost, it is more than up to the role as a grout removal tool. Genesis believes their product can do the task as they even produce a specialist grout removal blade especially for it.
It may not look as fancy or have the prestigious name on the side but it is a powered grout remover that is more than up to the task.
For small grout removal projects like shower grout removal or kitchen backsplashes that do not require too much time or effort, the Genesis oscillating multi-tool will be more than adequate.
The Genesis offers homeowners and casual DIYers at any budget level to get their hands on a grout removal tool without blowing a hole in their budget.
This tool is ideal for those previously mentioned small odd projects that crop up so you don’t want to spend a lot on a tool you won’t be using for months at a time.
Even if it’s for a one time job, you can easily justify spending the coin on the Genesis and then pawning it off to a friend or just holding onto if the need ever arises.
It’s the beauty of the low cost, it empowers anyone to have a powered grout removal tool at any budget.
Remember with any oscillating multi-tool, a quick blade change will empower you to cut all common materials so it is a great investment whichever way you choose to look at it.
So to simplify it:
If you’ll be needing a grout removal tool ALOT – Get the Dewalt Multi-Tool
If it’s only for occasional use – Get the Genesis.
Advantages of a Grout Removing Oscillating Mutli-Tool
• Quick learning curve (if you have never used one before)
• All dust created stays on the floor and doesn’t rise at all (as opposed to a grinder which creates a cloud)
• A wide range of prices for most budgets.
• Extremely versatile for most projects around the home + job site.
• Very easy to use
• Much safer to use than a grinder or even a manual grout removal tool
• Variable speed to suit every situation.
• Nothing beats this grout removing tool.
For much less than the price of calling a professional to repair the grout, you can own the best electric grout removal tool available on the market today.
Once you purchase it you can keep it forever and have it handy for any future repairs or even projects around the home.
Consider it the Swiss Army Knife of power tools.
Or the Ultimate Grout Remover Extradonaire.
After you purchase one I am sure you will be calling it all sorts of things, it truly is the best grout remover out there.
This Dewalt DEWALT DCS355D1 20V XR Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool kit comes with a universal adapter that allows you to use ANY multi-tool bit from EVERY manufacturer.
This means the superior DeWalt Grout Remover blade will fit perfectly onto your new Dewalt oscillating multi-tool and make the old tile grout removal job an absolute breeze along with any other grout removal blade.
Check this out on Amazon and you will see over 500 satisfied customer reviews and 5-stars for this beast of a professional grout removing tool.
If you do not trust me then let good folks just like you convince you of this DeWalts capability as a grout removal tool.
Not only that, but you can use this amazing tool for hundreds of uses and for cutting just about every material imaginable.
With the snap of a new blade, your powered grout removal tool turns into a cutter and sanding tool. The skies the limit with an oscillating multi-tool and this Dewalt DCS355D1 is the cream of the crop.
If you do not own a multifunction tool already I highly suggest you purchase one immediately, you will never know how you went without it.
Not only will it be invaluable for your tile grout removal jobs but you will quickly find 101 uses for it around the home and work site.
The great part is it comes with a multi-kit with a whole selection of cutting tools for both metal and wood.
Simply change the grout remover blade and you can be cutting wood, metal or sanding in less than ten seconds thanks to the quick adapter plate.
Do you know of any other tools that can do the same?
If you do not fancy a cordless system then you can have the tool as a corded accessory and it is also cheaper than the cordless!
It offers similar performance and versatility as the cordless multi-tool along with the same versatility. Check out the corded DEWALT DWE315K here.
Which one should I choose?
Apart from the price, the deciding factor for you should be how much grout you have to remove.
If you are going to be completely regrouting an area like a kitchen or bathroom I would recommend going with the corded Dewalt DWE315k.
It is a great tool for removing grout simply because you will never run out of power.
It also costs much less than the cordless varient making it a great all day tool for removing grout and a real work horse.
The DeWalt DWE315K will be ready to work for as long as you are and you will never have to worry about the battery running out.
Modern Lithium Ion batteries are stunning in their power and run-time but they do run out eventually.
However, the beauty of batteries is that you can buy multiple batteries!
If you already own a DeWalt XR power tool using the Lithium Ion batteries you can just interchange the batteries and keep going.
If you indeed own some DeWalt batteries then the added portability and wireless usability of the cordless Dewalt DCS355D1 would be my choice.
With either the DeWalt Multifunction Tools and the DeWalt Grout Removal Blade, you will be ready to tackle any grout removal job.
This is the same setup I use in my work dealing with tile grout removal so you can rest assured it is the best method possible.
If you called a tiling professional to remove your grout they would use the same grout removing setup as well.
Remember that professionals need to do their jobs quickly and properly to make sure they can continue to feed their families.
They also do these things everyday!
So if a professional tiler is using an oscillating multi-tool with a grout removing blade to remove tile grout, you can rest assured it’s the best method.
Now you can have a professional grout removal tool of your own.
Below I have provided you with links to both tools with the best prices I have found on the internet.
Remember that you will need a grout remover blade coupled with the DeWalt oscillating multi-tool to get the best and quickest results.
Another highly recommended grout removal blade is by Bosch, it has a proven track record as a great grout remover, feel free to check it out.
I provide grout removal tips on how to get the best out of your tool for removing grout and some essential safety tips.
Consider it as an instruction manual for your new grout removal tools.
Read it while you wait for your grout tools arrive so you’ll be ready to go!
The information above will still apply to whichever brand you prefer so do not feel pressured into buying a DeWalt branded one.
So if you want a new multifunction tool, then click below to find your prefered brand and have a browse at the large selection available.
Amazon is becoming a candy store for power tool nerds like us, take a moment to browse and drool at their wares.
The Best Grout Removal Tools Are:
1 – Oscillating Multi-tool with a grout removal blade
2 – Carbide Cutter
3 – Grout Saw
The Best Grout Removal Tool – In-Depth Guide
Before you begin removing any old grout you need to take a moment and consider these few things to decide which removing grout tool is right for you and your project.
The Size of the Job
This factor will determine how you should proceed with your grout removal job and which grout removal tool you should purchase.
Now, I could bore you with precise measurements and tables that will force you to measure your grout lines, send in samples for analysis and ultimately annoy you to death.
I’m not going to do that.
I’m like you; I go onto the internet and I want the best answers without getting jerked around or being patronized by someone thinking they’re cleverer than me.
If I want to be treated like a fool I can go argue with my wife about why she doesn’t cook dinner in the dishwasher.
Since it’ll cook the food while cleaning the dishes they’re in it’s bound to work right?…
I know you want the goods delivered in a language you understand.
It’s what I want when I’m searching for answers and it’s only natural I provide you with the same experience on my website.
We ain’t scientists here, we’re just hardworking folks wanted to get our projects done and make our lives just a bit better, one grout line at a time.
When you are going to be removing the grout in your home, office or wherever the tiles are, you will be wanting to find the best grout remover for the amount of work required.
Having the correct grout tool will ensure you get the job done in the least amount of time along with the least amount of effort.
The quicker you get the job done the quicker you can go enjoy a beer. It’s simple really.
So if the job is minor like touching up some flaky or crumbling grout in your kitchen backsplash you can use a simple hand grout removal tool.
For example, any job that only sees you replacing a line or two of grout here and there can be easily managed with a cheap carbide grout saw.
It will get the job done with a little bit of effort required by you and a tiny amount of money spent.
If you will be taking on large areas of cracking/discolored or any ill grout it’d be wise to consider a mechanical grout removal tool.
The Dewalt DWE315K Multi-tool I discussed above would be an example of this.
Any job where the trouble area is over a square foot or two is worth considering investing in a powered grout removal tool to help with the job.
If your task is to replace all the grout on your kitchen floor for example then without a doubt get a power tool.
It will make light work of the tile grout and see you can finish the job in one day as opposed to taking all day just to remove the grout.
Then you got to factor in you’ll need to also grout the tiles after and by that point your arms feel like two chunks of lead and regrouting that shower will be sheer torture.
Also, consider how valuable your time is.
Most of us find our time is far more precious than a couple hundred bucks spent once over two weekends spent on our knees regrouting our showers.
Weekends are for family and drinking beer.
Not grout removal projects.
This stuff is my job and even I cringe at the thought of spending my whole entire weekend removing grout.
No thanks bud, you’ll find me outside working that grill or annoying my wife with a wild Banjo solo and I’m sure you would prefer that as well. (Minus the Banjo.)
So to reiterate.
If you only need to touch up a few lines or patches of cracking grout, a hand grout removal tool will suffice.
Anything bigger than that will require a powered grout removal tool like an oscillating multi-tool with a grout removing blade.
I will give examples of each tool further on in the guide, continue reading below to learn which one is best for you.
The hardness of the existing grout
Arguably, it is the biggest factor in which grout removal tool you should purchase.
As you know there are a bunch of different grout types and each one comes with different strengths and densities after they harden.
If you have an old tile job and especially if it is on the floor or outdoors chances are you will have a sanded grout.
Sanded grout is very dense and solid with it’s primary composition being silica sand and cement.
If your tiles have been grouted with sanded grout you will have an extremely difficult time removing it with hand grout removal tools
• Do a visual inspection of the grout and see if it looks gritty/grainy.
Sanded grout is very grainy and does not have a smooth finish. If you see any large grains or does not feel smooth beneath your finger it will be sanded.
• Take a knife or sharp object and scratch the surface.
An unsanded or latex modified grout should be easy to penetrate the surface and could even come out in clumps. If the surface is barely scratched (see photo) then chances are you have a sanded grout or even Epoxy.
So if you see the grout is either very coarse or is difficult to scratch with a sharp blade you should definitely go with a powered grout removal tool.
Of course, you might be in the situation where you only need to touch up a few grout lines and you have a dense grout like sanded or epoxy grout.
In that case, I recommend you continue reading and see what kind of grout removal tools I list and purchase the one best suited for your budget.
In a perfect world, everyone should be able to purchase a DeWalt Multi Tool as it’s the very best for the job and you’ll be able to use it everywhere around the home after you’re finished.
However, you and I are not made of money so we need to make concessions to make ends meet. If you would like a budget friendly grout removal tool then keep reading as I will start listing the variety of tools soon.
It can serve as an even cheaper alternative to the Genesis Grout Removal Tool I previously mentioned, or as a handy accomplaiment to it.
Okay, now that you know how much grout you will be removing and what type it is let me show you the best grout removal tools for every budget.
You can mix and match them as you wish and use anyone for whatever the job you will be undertaking.
I am simply listing the very best for the amount of work required. You can easily use the cheapest tool for the largest job or the most expensive tool for the smallest.
It all depends on how much work and time you are willing to put in. A quick tip if you will be replacing grout.
Be sure to give your tiles a good clean beforehand to ensure no dirt contaminates the new grout. I have written a detailed review about a product that is ideal for this purpose. You can read it here.
Why Do I have to remove old Grout?
Before we talk about the best grout removal tools I want to address this question. I get asked this alot from clients and I have even been sent emails from my readers after I first published this grout removal tool guide. They all ask the same thing:
“Why do I have to remove old grout?”
Now I do understand this question and why you would consider asking it.
It does seem like a lot of work just so you can remove a tile or replace some old grout.
Instead of bluntly saying: “yeah you do, go buy some grout removal tools and get to work.” All while I am cracking a whip and laughing.
No, I would rather explain why you need to remove grout so you learn more about tiles and so that you understand the task you are undertaking.
When you apply grout, which is a very liquid form of cement in it’s simplest explanation, it creates a bond with the whole entire tiled surface.
The grout helps bond and tie all the tiles and substrate together to form one strong and united surface.
Removing one tile from a surface that is all locked together is like removing a card from a house of cards. If your very lucky your tile will be the very top card and it won’t affect the whole structure however that happens about as often as you win the lottery.
When you remove a tile from a surface that hasn’t had it’s grout removed you are essentially removing the bottom card from that house of cards. And what happens when you remove the bottom card? The whole house collapses.
Now I am not saying that if you remove a tile without removing the grout first that your whole entire tiled surface will crack and fail. I’m just trying to get a point across, what you really are doing is affecting all the tiles around the tile you are trying to remove.
It could be a house of cards scenario if you only have one tile spare and you end up damaging 2 or more tiles, then it is a house of cards situation as you essentially need to replace all the tiles.
The reason it is very unwise to go about tile removal without removing all the grout from around the failed tile is that any attempts at removing it can translate to the other tiles.
For instance, the first thing in removing a tile is to hammer at it, break it into pieces until you have a large enough section removed to allow you to stick a chisel in underneath the tile. If you go about hammering the tile and the grout is still in place, those shock waves will travel to the bordering tiles and they will crack.
Trust me, I have done it in the past and have seen it happen to others.
To ensure you do not damage any tiles around the one you are replacing, you first want to remove the agent that is bonding all of them together.
Que your grout removal tool.
Once that bonding agent (grout) has been fully removed from around the failed tile, you can safely attack it with force.
Keep in mind that the substrate is still connecting all the tiles so don’t go nuts okay?
Don’t use a jackhammer or swing your mallet will wild abandon, precise quick taps with a hammer are all that’s needed.
You can even use a drill and make a hole that way, then pry up the remaining tile with a chisel. Removing tiles is a precision job and it all begins with the best grout removal tool.
Grout is a solid cementitious substance and it needs a minimum thickness to cure properly.
Before that happened you would have also noticed the old discolored grout showing through the new.
Since there was very little room for the new grout to go in the grout lines, there would be very little of it actually stuck in the grout line.
Once you go to remove the excess and clean up with your sponge and water, you’ll quickly realize how much new grout you are washing away.
This will result in a lot of frustration and wasted grout. So even when regrouting, you need to remove the old grout.
Remember you do not need to remove all of it for simple grout replacement.
The general rule of thumb is to remove half the thickness of the tile in grout.
That will give the new grout plenty of room to enter and there will be enough of it to form a new layer on top of the existing one.
It will cure properly and it won’t fail, that’s the most important part.
Of course, since you will be using the best grout removal tools around, you will find you’ll end up removing all of it anyway.
Especially if you are using the electric grout removal tools like the DeWalt oscillating multi-tool.
Now that you understand why you need to remove the old grout better than anyone else, let’s finally take a look at the best grout removal tools.
The Best Budget Grout Removal Tool
This hand tool for removing grout is your best option for small jobs where you only need to remove a few lines or are replacing a tile.
Advantages of this grout removal tool:
• Thick handle makes it very comfortable
• Extremely cheap
• Replaceable blades
• Easy to use
• Won’t damage or chip tile
Disadvantages of this grout removal tool:
• Very slow
• Labour intensive
• Blade does not last long
• Sanded grout is very difficult to remove.
When people think grout removing tool, the image of this little guy pops into their head.
Its popularity stems from the fact that for many years, a grout saw was the ONLY specialist tool designed for grout removal.
It’s only in more recent times have we seen the invent of grout removing multi-tools and various other diamond-encrusted attachments to remove grout.
Back in the good ol’ days, if you needed to remove grout, you had two options: this grout removing saw or a handheld tile saw/angle grinder.
I have a handful of these guys floating around my work truck as they’re so cheap and handy to have.
I have been using these tools for as long as I can remember and the basic design has not changed in over twenty years.
It is simply a nice comfy handle with a carbide tipped metal blade that smashes its way through the old grout. It is great for soft grouts like the kind you would often find on walls or the more modern unsanded grouts we use nowadays.
If you are going to be removing sanded grout then take my advice and do not buy this, I will link a much better hand tool below that you could use for that.
This tool for removing grout can rip through sanded grout however it will take a very long time and require a lot of effort.
You will be grinding away with this thing for over ten minutes per a half foot to get any semblance of a clean grout line. If the grout line is thick then the time is doubled or even tripled.
Quick Tip Using The GoldBlatt Grout Removal Tool
When you first begin scratching the grout, I found using only the top tip to etch deeply into the grout works well to soften the top layer of grout.
Run it up and down the grout line for about the length of your arm.
Be sure to angle the tool to the left and right so you also soften the grout edges nearest the tile. Once you have removed the top layer and start getting purchase, you can use the whole entire blade and keep scoring until the desired amount of grout is removed.
The basic idea is just like a wood saw, you are sawing through the grout with repeated strokes.
It’s a long and slow process but it works!
If you are replacing a tile then I would recommend you remove as much grout as possible.
If you are replacing the grout then removing about half the tiles depth of grout should be sufficient for the new grout to cure properly.
If you have a quick grout project and do not want to spend a lot of money then this grout removal tool is for you.
It only costs a few bucks and it will do the job, just remember it’s limitations!
The Even Better Budget Grout Removal Tool
If you want the real insider knowledge on grout removal then this tool is a hidden gem.
I have not heard anyone talking about this cutter as a grout removal tool so it’s hidden use is still unknown about.
I started using this carbide cutter as a tool for removing grout a few years ago and it has honestly changed my working life.
It is a true wonder how well it works and how quickly.
• Much quicker than regular grout saw
• Blade hardly needs replacing
• Has multiple uses
• Very affordable
• Could chip tile if you are careless
• Requires more strength over a saw
• Not as effective on sanded grout
I bet there are already a few old salts grumbling and cursing at me for even suggesting using a carbide cutter as a grout removal tool.
Whatever their thoughts on the subject may be I can truthfully say my idea of using a carbide cutter to remove grout was a rare flash of brilliance.
In theory, there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t work. Just like every other grout removal tool it has a carbide tip to strengthen and aid tile grout removal.
The major difference is that the carbide tip is pointed and sharper than a regular saw. When you take this to grout it is incredible.
Unsanded grouts crumble and flake away after one or two good runs with this tool and it even eats into sanded grouts.
Since I have started using this tool my work load with grout removing or tile replacement has effectively halved, it’s truly a marvel.
As great as this grout remover is, it does have some drawbacks that prevent it from getting the coveted best grout remover award.
This grout removal tool is great until you start scrapping sanded grout. It simply doesn’t work as well as it does on unsanded grouts. Do not even try using it on epoxy grout as you and this grout remover will be there all day.
Quick Tip for using the Hyde Tools Carbide Cutter
For best results using this as a tool for removing grout, I suggest you use it very much like it’s intended purpose.
Mind blowing, I know.
I find if I score the grout with slow deep cuts with some strength put into it I can get most of the grout removed in one or two pulls.
Try doing that with a grout saw!
Check out the animated image at the top again to see this beast tile remover in action.
It is seriously the best manual grout remover tool and one I simply love to use. Just remember that this grout remover needs a lot of caution mind you.
If your hand slips and your run into the tile glaze you could chip the surface of the tile.
This is especially the case with tiles that have a sharp flat edge found on most porcelain these days.
If you are careful, then this tool will be a God-send to you and seriously speed up any DIY grout removal projects.
It is especially great for floor grout removing and fixing up shower grout as you can use more muscle power while crouching.
I recommend using it for any small jobs all the way up to replacing a full bathroom floor or kitchen. Give it a go and see how you find working with it, you won’t be disappointed.
The Best Grout Removal Tool
I bet you are not surprised that this DeWalt Multi-Tool is the best grout removal tool.
It is the true professional’s grout removal tool.
I did cover most of its key points in the concise quick link guide above, however, I would like to add a few extra things.
If you will be working with grout extensively or your removal job is a large one then I would honestly recommend you go straight for this tool.
For speed and ease of use, it is unbeaten by any other mechanical means.
The only power tool that is faster is an angle grinder fitted with a diamond blade.
You have to have supreme control over the tool as one minor slip will result in you cutting the tile or chipping it at the minimum.
The other thing is it’s very easy to cut into the substrate and damaging anything underneath.
This is particularly scary if you have underfloor heating or waterproofing underneath your layer of thin-set mortar. I do not even need to mention what a mess the grinder makes as well.
All that grout that’s removed gets thrown up into the air as a fine dust that clouds thickly indoors. Your spouse will kill you before you even get one grout line removed, trust me. A grinder may be the quickest grout removal tool but it’s no way near the best grout removal tool.
This effectively cuts while preventing any dust and debris from being thrown up and creating a mess.
This is ideal for any situation as it seriously will not make any mess or dust.
Check out the gif to see how grout is removed with the multi-tool
Show this one to your spouse if they aren’t convinced of you buying one.
Tell them this:
“I need an oscillating multi-tool to repair our grout. It is the quickest and cleanest way to do the job and I can use it forever.”
That line worked on my wife, it was an easy sell.
Especially after I added it will create no dust or damage the tiles.
A carbide grout remover can chip the tiles if your hand slips causing a bigger problem than the original one you set out to fix.
The worst an oscillating multi-tool with a grout removing blade attached can do is make a whizz mark along the surface, this is usually easily removed without issue.
In saying that you’ll probably remove all your grout without so much as an accident as the powered grout remover is so easy to use and gentle.
As I mentioned previously you will need a grout removing blade fitted onto the tool for best results.
Remember you will need a universal adapter like the one the DeWalt comes with if you will be mixing brands.
Once your powered grout removal tool is complete with those two components you can remove any grout you wish.
Simply run it up and down the gap, taking your time and letting the tool do its work. I find starting from the middle of the grout line and then pushing to the sides of the gap works best.
You will get great purchase as the grout removing blade has bitten into the grout line and by angling the tools sideways you will clean up the rest of the grout on the edges of the tile.
Take it at small sections at a time and use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any debris before proceeding further. This will ensure you don’t miss a spot and remove enough material as possible. The only limitation of your multi-tool will be when you run it up against a wall.
You might find the blade cannot reach the last inch of grout as the blade starts touching the wall. In this case, you need to employ a manual method and either scratch out the grout with a grout saw or even a craft knife.
Remember your safety gear!
While the multi-tool shouldn’t throw any dust into your eyes it’s best if you throw on some goggles just in case.
Also, hearing protection is a must as these tools sound like a nest of angry hornets buzzing right in your eardrum.
Lastly, you will be spending A LOT of time on your knees. If you haven’t already then I highly recommend you read my review on the TOP 10 Best Knee Pads For Work Review.
After reading the horrific experience I went through after not wearing knee pads, I am sure you will be picking up a pair to avoid following in my footsteps.
Do you yourself a favor and add one of the knee pads I reviewed to your cart when ordering your grout removal tools, you can thank me later buddy.
In the end, I recommend you get a multi tool for whatever job you will be undertaking as it will make the task much easier than you’d ever thought imaginable.
Here is a link to the DeWalt multi tools I talked about earlier in both cordless and corded forms. Just click the picture of your desired variant to go shopping with the lowest prices.
With two 5 amp hour XR batteries and a charger, you will have more than enough power to take on any job you will throw at it! This is the ultimate package and highly recommended for your next DIY grout removal job. Check it out here or click the image → → →
Further Reading: Grout Removal Tools
Want to learn about other removing grout tools and understand why they aren’t included as the best grout removal tools?
This section is for you!
I talk about other popular grout removal tools and share my experiences and opinions on them in order to dispel common internet rumours about them.
Yes, they all remove grout but do they do it well?
Read below to find out!
Simply attach a diamond blade to it and you’re away.
Run the angle grinder straight along the grout line and boom you’re finished.
Sure, it sounds all good and rosy and in the ideal world; the angle grinder works great as a grout removal tool.
One thing it has on all other tools for removing grout is that it’s by far the quickest method of removing grout.
It is the best commercial grout removal tool as it rips through grout like no other power tool out there.
With a practised hand you can remove grout from a tile in twenty seconds or less because compared to tile, grout is very soft and crumbles underneath the power of a diamond blade.
So the angle grinder is the fastest grout removing tool out there and that is where the advantages of an angle grinder used as a grout removal tool end.
If you don’t lock your arm securely and work with an extreme precision you will end up cutting into the tile you are removing grout from.
“Oh, it’s not that hard to cut straight, is it!?”
I know you’re thinking it and I bet you have never tried using a grinder as a tile grout removal tool.
An angle grinder spins at an average of 10,000rpms, it is also much heavier than a DeWalt oscillating multi-tool or any other for that matter.
That makes it harder to use and easier to misplace your cutting line. When your cutting through a soft material such as grout (in comparison to tile), it goes through it very quickly.
If you so much as move a hair off target you will end up cutting into the tile. You know how tiles look, any damage near the edges will be seen instantly.
If I did such damage in a client’s job I am legally liable to either fix that tile or even retile the whole entire floor if that tile isn’t available and my client decides to play hardball.
It happens, believe me.
My buddy nearly went bankrupt after he had to retile the whole entire floor area of a home, all because he slightly damaged a tile that wasn’t being made anymore.
Even if you are removing grout in your own home and end up damaging that tile, you will end up regretting it as you look at that damaged tile every day.
If the old damaged grout was enough of an eye-sore that it led you to removing it, then a damaged tile will be even worse.
Now imagine damaging a few tiles while removing that grout?
An angle grinder is so volatile as a grout removal tool I can honestly say nearly every job I saw a contractor remove grout with it, they messed up the tiles.
If they can damage a tile so easily I believe it helps prove my point that you should avoid using an angle grinder to remove grout.
Of course, there are more reasons why they are not the best tools for removing grout.
Imagine removing grout in small 4 inch (10cm) tiles where there are plenty of intersecting grout lines.
You’ll end up accidentally cutting into a neighbouring tile while you’re removing the grout.
How about mosaic tile?
Removing grout from those is a lengthy enterprise no matter which grout removal tool you use, with an angle grinder you are better off just tearing it all out and starting over.
As bad as all these cases sound, there is one point which is by far the worst and what makes the angle grinder downright disastrous in the wrong hands.
An angle grinder has no depth perception, at least at the depths your working with, cutting a quarter inch deeper is only a millisecond away.
Now you cut through the grout and keep going, without realizing it you will cut into whatever is beneath.
If you’re working on a concrete substrate that’s fine, you won’t damage anything just cut into the concrete underneath.
Now, what if you’re working in a bathroom, with a waterproofing membrane and even underfloor heating? In a split second, you can cut into those thus destroying their integrity.
For waterproofing that means a leak where it will end up going everywhere and eventually rotting away your floor or walls.
We all know someone with a nightmare that occurred due to water leaking somewhere, usually from a bathroom. For underfloor heating, it means a cable is cut and your heating won’t work anymore.
Either scenario results in removing the tile and reapplying whatever has been damaged.
Are you scared yet?
Hopefully not, I am not trying to impose the homeowner’s apocalypse into your mind here. I just want you to be aware of what can happen when you turn that grinder into a grout remover and go ham on your grout.
With any of the tools for removing grout, I mentioned in this article, ALL OF THESE situations will not happen.
The DeWalt DCS355D1 will make it very apparent when you have removed all the grout, you have plenty of time to pull out.
It will take a conscious effort to cut into the substrate.
Besides that, the DeWalt will not buck or kick or tear into your tile if you even so much as blink too long and go off course.
It also offers you the advantage of instantly stopping the tool with it’s trigger on/off system. You squeeze the multi-speed trigger to power it on and all power stops if you release the trigger.
So if you run into trouble or drop the tool accidentally, it will turn off before it causes any damage to you or the material around you.
An angle grinder has a locking on/off switch on top of the power tool and will still keep going if you drop it and that diamond blade will keep spinning a good ten seconds when you shut it off anyway.
It’s a dangerous tool if used inappropriately and so it’s use as a removing grout tool for home handymen or home flippers isn’t recommended.
Hopefully, this has given you insight into the grinder as a grout removal tool. It can seem like the easiest option for removing grout but take a second to think about it and the flaws begin to show.
Before the multi-tool was invented I used angle grinders to remove grout, I even used my handheld tile saw.
Every time I used it I held my breath and locked my arm into a terminator like grip and hoped I won’t be eating tinned beans for years because I had to retile everything after I damaged a tile.
Thankfully I took my time and didn’t end up in that situation, however, my beard began greying prematurely thanks to the stress.
When I discovered the oscillating multi-tool with grout removal blade I switched to that and never looked back.
I believe if you purchase a DeWalt Mult-tool with a grout removal blade you won’t either, it simply is the safest and best grout removal tool out there period.
What About The Grout Grabber?
Is it a Good Grout Removal Tool?
Back before the oscillating multi-tool earned it’s place as a reliable and versatile power tool, grout removal was primarily done with only two tools.
A grout saw and an angle grinder/tile saw equipped with a diamond blade.
While effective, the two were far from perfect.
Enter center stage the Grout Grabber.
It was a carbide tipped attachment designed to be used with a reciprocating saw.
It had the benefit of allowing multiple blades to be fitted to the handle in order to get a wide cut at one time.
This made grout removal in wide gaps much quicker as you could remove the whole width of grout in one stroke.
While it is a great idea and proved versatile, there are times where even the single blade on the handle proved to be too wide for a grout gap.
As times went on and tile gaps went smaller to accommodate trends and new tile designs, the grout grabber was starting to get too big for grout removal.
You can forget about using it to remove grout in mosaic tiles as the grout gaps in those are so small that you would end up chipping and shaving the delicate mosaics while removing grout.
Not that a lot of people regrout mosaics anyway, that’s a job requiring a lot of mental fortitude, patience and horse tranquillizer to kill the pain in your arms and shoulders as you spend hours grinding away that grout.
The grout grabber is still being used today as a grout removal tool even though it’s simply outclassed by the grout removing oscillating multi-tool.
We briefly touched on the problem of thickness and it’s unsuitability for modern tiles with thin grout gaps.
You can still use the single blade to remove grout from such tiles but you run the high risk of chipping off the glaze from around the gap line.
The width of the carbide blade can brush up against the tile while the reciprocating saw is working and take chunks off the tile.
This is very hard to remedy and the only proper way to hide the chips is by taking the tile out and installing a new one.
That’s hardly the result you’d want, especially when the original goal was to regrout your tiled area.
Even when your aim is to remove a damaged tile, the grout grabber isn’t the best option as you run the risk of damaging the bordering tiles of the damaged one!
You could end up replacing one damaged tile but in the process end up damaging 4 new tiles!
A reciprocating saw or a saws-all as it’s commonly known as was designed as a cutting tool.
Delicate operations like grout removal are not best suited for this bull-in-a-china-shop of a machine.
Can a transformer do ballet? That’s how I look at it.
The problem lays with how the reciprocating saw works.
This action is great for cutting wood or metal as it really punches through the dense materials and grabs well, making cutting a breeze.
You don’t want that sort of violence located so close to a material that can be damaged so easily however!
This is compounded by the way the grout grabber flaps about when in use, going from side to side in a gap.
For tough, glazed tiles with a rounded finish it is not so bad but for modern-day large format tiles that are cut straight at the factory, this sort of thing can lead to tiles getting chipped.
I for one, do not trust the grout grabber for my professional use as a grout removal tool simply to the fact it’s too unpredictable. I would sooner use an angle grinder to remove grout and you know how I feel about those. (Read above if you missed that section.)
Another problem that is commonly reported by those that use the grab grabber to remove grout is that the carbide blades wear out very quickly.
This is especially a problem when used to remove sanded or epoxy grout where the quartz and silica in the grout is harder than the carbide on the blade.
This results in the blade wearing down to the bare metal before a few square feet are removed.
While this isn’t too much of a concern as you can buy new blades to replace the perished ones, having to stop every few minutes to undo the screws and reattach the new blades can get irksome, especially when you have a large grout removal project on your hands.
Use of water to lubricate the blade can work but it’s not a permanent solution to the problem as the blades will still wear out much faster than a grout removal blade on a multipurpose tool.
So as you can see, the grout grabber and reciprocating saw are far removed from being the best grout removal tools.
They’re nearing the lower end of the spectrum where the hammer and screwdriver live as far as grout removal tools go.
While a neat invention in the older days where electric grout removal tools were restricted to angle grinders and handheld tile saws only, their time as the grout removal tool of choice has ended.
If you are thinking of picking up a set of these things I would highly recommend you read about the oscillating multi-tool and why I call it the best grout removal tool currently available.
If you don’t already own one of these wonders then you can read my oscillating multi-tool buyers guide to help you decide.
I can assure you that you’ll be making the right decision and you will find grout removal a whole lot less stressful with one of them in your hands.
The Hammer And Screwdriver
Are They A Good Grout Removal Tool?
How about I just go right out and say it: The hammer and screwdriver are the worst grout removal tools EVER.
The hammer and screwdriver combo shouldn’t be used as a tool for removing grout and it is a bad idea.
A hammer and cold chisel should also be avoided as that combo is essentially the same thing.
Yeah, it’ll get the job done but it is very primitive, can easily damage tiles and with so much better grout removing tools out there, there’s no good reason to use this method.
Tile grout is not mortar between bricks and should never be treated as such, the principles that allow you to chisel out mortar should never be applied to tiles unless you intend to ruin the tiles and take a month to accomplish it.
Using a hammer and screwdriver to remove tile grout may sound funny to you but trust me it’s a concept that has found its way onto the internet and some folk do ask me this question:
“Can I remove grout with a hammer and screwdriver?” or “How do I remove grout with a chisel/hammer and screwdriver?”
After I bang my head against my solid wood computer desk for a few hours, I reply:
“No, no and simply no. Do not try to use a hammer and screwdriver to remove grout and there are no methods I will share with you to accomplish this task.”
What really get’s me going is seeing this caveman method of grout removal on Top 10 lists of the best grout removal tools. You have probably seen a site or two mentioning this primitive method before you stumbled upon my site.
It’s frustrating that such misinformation is still alive and kicking in 2018 and good folk not knowing better will think that it’s the right way to remove grout because some caveman wrote it on their site.
I’ve got nothing against cavemen, I’m one myself, just take a look at my picture, but at least I am a caveman that embraces electricity, modern tools and my brain. (Okay, only a little.)
This site is dedicated to providing tiling advice for everyday people, not throwing together random information for the sake of having a top 10 list.
Back in the good ol’ days when we were driving in first gen Mustangs and Apache’s, I could see the hammer and screwdriver being one of the popular methods of removing grout, simply because there wasn’t much else available.
Back in those days, however, tile gaps were much wider and the tiles were made differently, not to mention the grout was just concrete mixed with sand.
So pops could spend all weekend hammering out his grout with those hand tools as it probably worked a whole lot better with their configuration of tiles.
Fast forward a few decades and now we have large format tiles with straight edges, minimal tile gaps and most important of all: power tools equipped with diamond or carbide tips!
The more heavy-handed methods of tile grout removal do not really apply in our modern times as the risk of damaging tiles is far too great and because you can waste your valuable time doing something that could be done in one-tenth of the time.
I’ll admit it.
Removing grout with a hammer and screwdriver/cold chisel does work, you’ll eventually get the grout out…along with 30 chips of tile glaze if you don’t take care and you have luck on your side.
The only reason you’ll want to remove grout with this method is if you have huge grout gaps like you’d see in terracotta tile but even then only in conjunction with the oscillating multi-tool.
What others say about using this grout removal method:
Before writing this segment I dug around on the web to see what others had to say about using the hammer and screwdriver to remove grout.
The general consensus wasn’t overly surprising.
Yes, people were removing grout with a hammer and screwdriver and no they don’t recommend it to anyone thinking of doing the same.
While they managed to remove the grout, they also managed to ruin their tiles when the screwdriver slipped on the smooth grout and they ended up hammering into the tile and not the grout.
They also mentioned how long it took to even remove one row of grout around the tile.
The speed of any grout removal project with the hammer and screwdriver is directly affected to how solid the substrate is.
If you are removing grout from a wall tile or a tiled floor with a wooden foundation, you will find the tiles to “bounce” as the substrate isn’t 100% solid and moves with the force of the impacts.
This trampoline effect will absorb a lot of your effort and make the task even slower as only a fraction of the might from your impact is actually hitting the grout.
The rest is being absorbed by the flexing substrate.
Does all this sound like something you want to do?
Even if you own a rental home and do not care what the tiles will look like for your tenant, your time is far more valuable than to spend it on your knees, painstakingly hammering away at old grout.
You can pick up a total grout removing oscillating multi-tool set for $50 and get the job done much faster. You will also be able to move your shoulders the next morning without any pain.
If budget is a concern and you need to remove grout urgently then I would sooner recommend you get a grout saw.
They are cheap and effective and can be picked up everywhere online or home renovation stores so getting your hands on one shouldn’t be too hard.
Before anyone rips into me about my opinions on the hammer and screwdriver, please remember I am only trying to share with you what I found over years of experience to work.
I am not going to announce that removing grout with a chisel is a good idea or that it’s the best grout removal method because it is not.
There are far better and more efficient tools for grout removal that will do the job quickly without any damage to your tiled surface.
Can I use the hammer and screwdriver/chisel to remove grout when replacing a tile?
Short answer: No.
Here is another problem with the caveman grout removal combo.
You can use the hammer and chisel to remove grout for a regrouting job but it will not work if you are wanting to replace a tile.
The screwdriver/chisel will only be able to “safely” remove about half the depth of the grout, anything further and the shaft of the tool will be touching the glaze of the tile.
This will lead to damaging the tile when you strike the chisel to remove the grout further.
This becomes a problem during tile replacement as you need to remove all the grout from around the tile to ensure you don’t damage the bordering tiles while you remove the damaged one.
The reason being that the grout acts as a bridge or connector between the tiles and if they are still connected, the grout may come out together with pieces of tile glaze from the bordering tiles.
So you need to remove all the grout from the grout gap, down to the mortar, to ensure a safe tile removal and replacement but you can’t do that with a hammer and screwdriver/chisel.
I believe it has become abundantly clear by now that I want you to avoid damaging tiles at all costs when removing grout.
As a professional, the thought of damaging a tile while removing grout or replacing a single damaged tile makes me sick.
A client is paying me to repair something and make it look better, not make it worse and I want you to do the same.
It’s this mentality that I am trying to instil on you so that you can accomplish your grout removal task without heartache or further costs to your budget.
I know how easily tiles can get damaged during grout removal, I have seen it happen countless times and all I can do is equip you with the knowledge on how to go about it the best way.
So put down that hammer and screwdriver, there are many better ways to remove grout from tiles that are safer, quicker and ensure no tiles will get damaged needlessly.
Yes, you can remove grout with them but at the cost of the tiles, your time and your health.
I’ll hit you with a classic platitude to end it off:
“It’s time to work smarter, not harder.”
Leave the screwdriver in the cupboard, grab a grout saw or oscillating multifunction tool and remove that grout properly.
In Conclusion – The Best Grout Removal Tool
In this in-depth article about the best grout removal tools to use in 2018, I dove deep into the techniques, the factors to consider about grout and what are the best ways to go about grout removal.
I dispelled some common internet myths about other grout removing tools that simply do not cut the mustard (or grout) in our modern times and should better be left on the shelves.
From a hammer and screwdriver to an angle grinder and the grout grabber, I showed that all these products are inferior to other grout removal tools.
I then introduced the best-removing grout tools that you should use for your next grout removal or tile replacement project.
Whether you are searching for a grout removing tool for a small job or for a full regrout I have found a few products that do the job the best.
For a budget remodel, the Hyde Tools Carbide Cutter is the superior grout remover that promises amazing results with the least time invested.
Although it requires care and some input of strength I feel you will get the best and quickest results using this unusual grout removal tool.
In an ideal world if you are needing to remove grout then you should definitely add a DeWalt oscillating multi-tool to your collection alongside the cutter.
No other tool offers the same amount of versatility, ease of use and dust-less results than a DeWalt multifunction tool. It’s a highly useful home and commercial grout removal tool bar none.
With great variants in either corded or cordless form, there is one for every home DIYer and professional.
From a bathroom regrout to a full-on home regrouting project, it will handle any task effortlessly.
Luckily even if your budget is limited you can still get the benefits of a powered grout removal tool in the form of a Genesis oscillating multi-tool.
For a fraction of the cost, it will also make short work of your grout replacement project and ensure you are done in a day, not a week.
If you already own a DeWalt cordless tool then getting a cordless one is a no-brainer thanks to the ability to use your existing batteries.
I have been using both tools discussed for many years for all my grout and tile removal jobs and they have served me well.
If you do the same then I am positive your next job will go smoother than a fresh batch of unsanded grout.
Afraid of removing grout?
Of course not!
Now getting busy, that grout won’t remove itself!
Found this guide useful?
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Want to learn even more about grout removal and the best grout removal tools?
Check out my grout removal guide here
I talk more in-depth about my favorite tool for removing grout and many grout removal tips you will find invaluable!
Before you go buying up half of Amazon, remember you need to proper clean your tiles before regrouting them!
Give this buyers guide a read and learn how to quickly and effortless clean your tiles.
I guarantee I do not even mention the archaic baking soda and vinegar trick.
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