In the match of a Concrete Grinder vs Concrete Polisher we find the terms are used interchangeably. Yet, they actually perform different functions.
Concrete Floor Grinders are available as small as 7” single-head hand grinders and as big as 32” 4-head 480v industrial machines. Even a hand grinder can aggressively grind coatings off a concrete floor. Regardless of the number of heads a grinder has, each head would have any number of diamond pad(s) or blade(s) attached to it that cut into the coating or concrete.
On the other hand, Concrete Floor Polishers almost always have four counter-rotating heads (2 rotate clockwise, the other 2 counterclockwise). While single-head polishers do exist, they are extremely weak and slow because effective polishing requires a large amount of weight over a large area (1,000lbs over a 20”x20” footprint).
A single head floor polisher would take several days (and may passes) to polish a small section of a garage floor that a multi-head grinder could finish in 2-4 hours. Just like with sanding wood, a good polish requires several different sets of diamond pads, sometimes with multiple passes each.