Removing grout is easy with one of these handy tools
You want nice new grout on the tiled surfaces in your shower and kitchen. But removing existing grout is strenuous and often produces a lot of dusty mess!
If you opt for a grout removal tool, you’ll be able to quickly remove that stubborn grout. Hand tools are ideal for smaller jobs, but you can also choose a powered tool to remove grout in larger areas.
We’ll tell you what to look for in a grout removal tool, and which will work better for different grout types (whether they are sand-based or not).
And our roundup of the best grout removal tools will let you pick a tool that suits the size of your job and budget.
Our Top PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
1. Best Overall : ENERTWIST Oscillating Tool
- Customers liked the versatility it offered for a range of jobs around the house
- Most users said it felt very solid and durable so they felt like it was a quality product
- A lot appreciated the different speed settings, which let them carry out different tasks with ease
- Universal Fit System means that it’ll accept all major brands of accessories
- Some found it a bit loud – this is to be expected with a powerful electrical tool but something to consider if noise is an issue for you
- A few struggled with the release function when changing blades
Get rid of even the toughest grout with this oscillating multi tool from Enertwist.
With an impressive 33 accessories, you’ll be able to tackle your grout lines as well as lots of other cutting, scarping, and sanding jobs in your home.
The oscillating angle of the blade is set at 5o, which is about 30 to 40% higher than comparable models and gives you better control. And the speed dial has 6 different settings ranging from 8,000 to 16,000 RPM to suit different types of jobs.
There are 2 handles so it’s easy to move around while removing your grout, and the main handle has a comfortable rubber grip.
Plus, the different grout removal blade and scraper accessories are ideal for tackling grout lines of different widths.
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
|Cutting Angle||5 degrees|
2. Best Budget : PROENS Tile Grout Cleaning Grout Remover
- Lots of customers said that it offered good value for money
- Many liked the angled design which was ideal for removing tile grout and also kept their hands safe
- Sturdy and durable but yet much more lightweight than an electric grout remover
- Users found the additional brush feature a plus point as it helped them to get rid of grout dust
- Some said that they wouldn’t recommend it for big jobs, such as a large shower, as it would take too much time and be very laborious
- Some consumers weren’t happy that they couldn’t buy replacement blades
You don’t need to spend a fortune just because you’ve got some grout removal to do! For a very affordable price, this Proens grout remover is a great fit for small jobs in your showers or kitchen floors.
The handle is made of recyclable ASB plastic and the heavy-duty blades come pre-assembled.
Proens have also redesigned their original manual grout removal tool so that it now features a brush on one end for a quick and easy clean-up afterward.
And the angled handle offers a good grip while you work. The blades are serrated to help you remove old grout but also designed so that you won’t scratch your tiles.
RELATED : Best Grout Cleaners of 2023
3. Best Electric : Regrout Tool Electric Grout Removal Tool
- Consumers said that it was really easy to handle and use due to its light weight and compact size
- Feedback suggests that little dust is produced so you don’t need to worry about making a mess
- Users liked the smallest tip that was great for removing tile grout in tight corners
- Requires little effort – customers said they didn’t need to press hard as the hand tool did the work for them
- Some reviewers suggested that it wasn’t as good at penetrating deep grout lines
- A few thought that the tips were too small for some jobs
Get to grips with removing grout with this slim yet powerful handheld electric tool from Regrout.
It’s lightweight and you can be sure that the vibrating motion won’t damage your tiles as your work.
There are 3 adjustable speeds that can be used to tackle old and damaged grout which is either sanded or unsanded. And you’ll get 2 different sized tips so that you can work on grout lines of different widths.
You can use this grout removal tool in your bathrooms, kitchens, and on your tiled floors.
Plus, it’s ideal for getting into those tight spaces and corners that are hard to reach with bulkier power tools.
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
4. Best Manual : ReeTree Grout Removal Tool
- Customers loved this versatile tool which offered different tip sizes – so they didn’t need to change the tip/blade for different grout line widths
- Users were satisfied that the metal tips were as durable as the manufacturer claims – they didn’t dull or mark
- Feedback suggests that it’s marketed at an affordable price
- As powerful as some electric power tools but not as much mess from dust
- Some users said that this hand tool wasn’t very durable as it broke after not much use
- A few found that the multi-tip design meant that it wasn’t that easy to store
Removing grout is quick and easy with this manual tool from ReeTree. It features as Amazon’s Choice in Tile Grout Cleaners, so you know it’s got good ratings and is well-priced.
The handle has a comfortable grip and is a good length at 13 inches, meaning that you can reach into even awkward grout joints and seams.
And the tungsten steel tips offer great quality as they’re harder and more durable than those made of carbide or stainless steel.
We think you’ll like the blade design, which is an all-in-one that includes different sized tips.
Plus, as well as grout, you can also use this tool to get rid of old and unwanted mortar, caulking, and hardened dirt from your surfaces and floors.
5. Best Rotary Grout Removal Tool : Dremel 4000 High-Performance Rotary Tool
- Many said it worked really well on removing bigger areas of old grout, and they could also use one of the sanding accessories to smooth any bumps in grout lines
- Users appreciated the handy carry case that meant storage and transportation was easy
- Customers liked how they could use this one rotary tool for a range of jobs, saving money on having to buy additional tools
- The design made this tool easy to hold and maneuver into different positions
- Some customers complained about getting refurbished models rather than the new product they thought they’d ordered – check your tool carefully on receipt
- Expansion attachments are expensive to buy
“Does it all, better” – This is Dremel’s promise for their rotary tool. This rotary grout removal tool is great for removing both softer and harder types of grout with variable speeds from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM.
This 32-piece kit will cover all your grout removal and other DIY needs. And it’ll last you a long time as the motor brushes are replaceable which will extend the tool’s life.
Plus, this model has an innovative air-flow system to avoid fine dust and debris building up. This means it’ll work more smoothly on your grout lines. And operate at a quieter level if you’re worried about disturbing people with a loud power tool!
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
6. Best for Small Spaces : Dremel MM502 1/16-Inch Grout Removal Blade
- Ideal for narrow grout lines – customers said it didn’t damage their tiles even when the joints were very thin
- Users also said it was good at cutting tiles
- Feedback suggests that Dremel blades are less expensive than other manufacturers, but offer just as good quality
- Customers said that the shipping was fast so they didn’t have to wait long to start their grout removal jobs
- A few users said that they had to buy more than one blade for bigger jobs, as they tended to wear out fairly quickly
- Some said that it didn’t work as well on floor tiling as on wall tiles
Remove your existing grout in tight spaces and awkward corners with this oscillating multi-tool blade. It’s got a universal design and so will fit on any of your Dremel, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, or other power tools.
With just a 1/16 of an inch thickness, you can easily tackle even a very narrow grout line.
This curved carbide blade can be used on grout joints between tiled walls or floors once fitted to an oscillating tool.
Dremel also makes carbide blades of different thicknesses if you have grout of varying thicknesses to get rid of. And their customer service team is based in the US – so you know you’ll be able to quickly speak or message someone local if you have any issues.
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
7. Best Reciprocating Saw : DEWALT DWE305 Reciprocating Saw
- Consumers liked being able to position the blade in 4 different directions
- Customers liked that it was heavy-duty and would last them a long time
- Can be used to cut many items around the house as well as grout, including pipes, refrigerators, and hot tubs according to reviewer feedback
- Users said that despite the power of this tool, there wasn’t too much dust to clear up afterward
- Some found it quite expensive, especially as you need to purchase reciprocating blades on top of the price of the saw
- A few found it heavy to move around – so think about its nearly 8-pound weight if this is an issue for you
Power up this reciprocating saw to tackle your larger grout removal jobs. This Dewalt model has a 12 amp motor and a variable speed trigger so you can control exactly how quickly it works.
The blade clamp is keyless and operates by a lever-action, so it won’t take you long to change blades.
And you can position the blade in different positions, which means that you can get really flush to the grout lines you’re working on.
Plus, Dewalt offers a 3-year limited warranty. So you know that if you have any problems, you’ve got a long time to secure a refund or replacement.
|Power Source||Corded Electric|
What To Look For In a Grout Removal Tool
Manual grout removal tools are usually made up of a handle and a blade. They come in different designs, depending on the shape of the blade and how ergonomic the handle is.
One of the most common types is a handle with a blade with a jagged-edged shape. An example is this Edward Tools Grout Removal Tool.
Another usual design is a tool shaped like a screwdriver with a tip that’s pointed or triangular. See, for example, this QEP Grout Removal Tool (10020).
You won’t need to rely on a power source for these manual tools. And they are often cheaper than their electric counterparts.
But, manual grout removal tools are best for smaller jobs where the grout is unsanded and therefore easier to remove. Or they’d be ideal for cleaning your tiles after you’ve used a power tool to remove the grout.
Otherwise, relying on them for big projects will probably result in it taking you a long time. And the work will be difficult and tedious!
Electric grout removal tools will work faster and are great when you’ve got big jobs to tackle.
This is a machine-powered saw where the motion of the blade creates a cutting action by a push-and-pull or reciprocating motion.
Using a reciprocating saw is one of the best tools that you can remove grout. And this includes epoxy grout and sanded grout, which are normally difficult to get rid of.
And, you’ll not make as much mess – reciprocating saws don’t create lots of dust.
Oscillating multi tools can perform lots of different jobs. You can use them for cutting, scraping, grinding, sawing, and sanding, and they’re good in tight spaces.
So they’re ideal for removing all types of grout. And as the blade of an oscillating tool vibrates over a narrow arc, you won’t get lots of dust mess like you might with a jigsaw or high-speed rotary tool.
This is a smaller handheld electrical tool. Rotary tools offer versatility because they have a motorized tip that’s fast-spinning. And they can be used for sanding, grinding, and polishing different material types.
If you get the right attachment, a rotary tool is ideal for removing grout, especially in tighter spaces.
But, it’s not as fast or powerful as some of the other electric options. So it’s better suited to smaller jobs.
An angle grinder, or side or disc grinder, is great for grinding or abrasive cutting and polishing. It has a lot of power so can be used to take grout off whether it’s epoxy-based, sanded, or unsanded.
But, they will create more mess with dust flying into your home – so consider this before opting for this type of tool.
Types of Grout
Check what type of grout you need to remove. Different tools work better on different grout types.
- Epoxy grout has an epoxy resin and hardener and is really resistant to stains. So it’s often used with ceramic tiles in areas where stains and chemicals are likely, such as on countertops.
It’s the most difficult type of grout to remove because of its great bonding strength. Therefore, you’ll need a powerful tool such as an oscillating tool or a reciprocating saw – a manual tool won’t be able to remove this grout type.
- Unsanded grout is used on wall tiles. And it’s reserved normally for grout lines that are less than one-eighth of an inch wide. This type of grout is fairly easy to remove. So you can opt for a manual tool or a smaller handheld power tool.
- Sanded grout is usually used on floor tiles where the joints between the tiles are about one-eighth to three-eighths thick. This grout is denser and more solid than unsanded grout and so a bit trickier to remove. You’ll need to use a rotary tool or angle grinder.
Look at what the grout removal tool weighs before buying. You’ll need to balance a tool that is light and easy enough to use against how powerful it is for the type of job you’re tackling.
Manual tools will be lighter and can be lifted easily to work on wall tiles. See for example this Spyder Grout-Out Multi-Blade Set, which is very lightweight.
But if you have very hard grout to remove, a lighter model might not be powerful enough. In general, the heavier the tool, the more powerful it is.
So in order to remove tough grout, you may need to choose a heavier, more powerful tool.
See what different features are available with different grout removal tools. Some will help you out when working, and/or get the job done quicker.
Some electric tools have features such as trigger locks, convenient cases for you to transport the tool, or LED lights to give you better visibility while working.
Also, consider picking a powered tool that has variable speed control. Lower speeds will allow you to work accurately and avoid damaging your tiles, whereas higher speeds will be ideal for finishing big jobs in less time.
For manual tools, look at the handle – one with an ergonomic grip will be more comfortable for you to hold. And see what the blade tips are like – a variety will mean that you can tackle different areas easily.
Check how many blades, tips, or sanding wheels come with your tool. And if you need to buy extras, how readily available they are.
Some grout removal tools will have accessories that can be easily replaced. These blades or other accessories will probably be available online or in a local hardware store.
But other models will require you to buy quite specific replacements which could be more costly and harder to find.
Plus, check the quality of the accessories that come with your grout removal tool. Items such as blades need to be of good quality or you might regret buying a product that doesn’t work very well and wears down easily!
Will Vinegar Soften Grout?
As vinegar is an acid, it’ll break down the cement found on grout. This is because cement is alkaline and will therefore dissolve in acids – even when it’s sealed.
Is There A Chemical To Remove Grout?
Yes, you’ll find several chemicals that can be used for removing grout. These include cleaning products that have oxalic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, muriatic acid, or sodium bisulfate.
These types of acids are often used by brick builders to remove mortar. So they’ll also work well to take grout out.
What Is The Easiest Way To Remove Old Grout?
This will depend on what type of grout you have. Whether it’s new or old grout, this will determine what the easiest way to remove it is.
For sanded or epoxy grout, an electric power tool is best. For unsanded grout that is easier to remove, a manual tool will probably be sufficient.
And whatever type of grout you have, we’d recommend either a reciprocating saw or an oscillating tool if you want fast results.
Does All Grout Need To Be Removed?
No, you don’t need to remove all of the grout. Often, just getting rid of the dirty or damaged grout on the surface is enough and will provide a good base for your fresh grout to bond with.
As grout is mainly just cement, you can leave the bottom layers of it. You just need to remove enough from the top of your grout lines so that the surface left behind is bondable when you’re replacing it with new grout.
Grout Removal Tools in Comparison Chart
|Product||Power Source||Cutting Angle||Weight||Material|
|ENERTWIST Oscillating Tool||Corded Electric||5 degrees||3.5 pounds||N/A|
|PROENS Tile Grout||Manual||N/A||3 ounces||Tungsten carbide|
Regrout Tool Electric Grout
|Corded Electric||N/A||2.4 pounds||Tungsten carbide|
|ReeTree Grout Tool||Manual||N/A||3.8 ounces||Tungsten steel|
|Dremel 4000-2/30||Corded Electric||N/A||22.5 ounces||N/A|
|Dremel MM502||Corded Electric||N/A||1.1 ounces||Carbide|
|DEWALT DWE305R||Corded Electric||N/A||7.9 pounds||N/A|