Whether you’re an engraver, woodworker, contractor, remodeler, or a simple hobbyist, you know how important a good rotary tool is to your workshop. It might look very simple at first glance, but what sets this power tool apart from other tools you have in your arsenal is the presence of different accessories that are capable of accomplishing multiple functions, including sanding, polishing, and machining. It can also be used for grinding, honing, engraving, and drilling. No wonder it is one of the most indispensable tools in any workshop.

Maybe you just got into a new hobby and you want a basic rotary tool to get started. Or you’re a professional and your Dremel tool suddenly stopped working in the middle of a project. In this article, we’re going to talk about what a rotary tool is, its many applications, and dish out some safety tips when using this indispensable power tool. We’re also counting down the best rotary tools available online so you can make an informed decision when shopping.

1.
Sale
Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit with LED Light- 5 Attachments & 40 Accessories- Engraver, Sander, and Polisher- Perfect for Grinding, Cutting, Wood Carving, Sanding, and Engraving
  • Premium rotary tool kit - Includes 4300 high performance rotary tool, 5 attachments, 40 high-quality Dremel accessories, and plastic storage case.
  • High performance motor – Our most powerful motor delivers maximum performance even in the most demanding applications.
  • Variable speed - 5,000 – 35,000 RPM with electronic feedback for consistent performance and accurate tool control
  • Universal 3-jaw chuck - Allows the use of all Dremel accessory shank sizes making it compatible with the entire line of our high-quality accessories.
  • Pivot light - Rotates to illuminate your projects even in difficult to reach spaces
2.
WEN 23114 1.4-Amp High-Powered Variable Speed Rotary Tool with Cutting Guide, LED Collar, 100+ Accessories, Carrying Case and Flex Shaft
  • Powerful 1.4-amp variable speed motor provides 40% more power than alternative rotary tools
  • Features three innovative collars: a drilling/routing guide, an LED light attachment, and a rotatable spark and debris deflection shield
  • Attach the 3-foot flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate and complex detail work
  • Multi-compartment carrying case allows for easy organization of your tool, collars, flex shaft, and 100+ accessories
  • Packed with accessories, including three different collet sizes (1/8”, 3/32”, 1/16”), diamond-coated bits, grinding bits, drill bits, felt polishing wheels, sanding bands, cut-off wheels, sanding discs, and more
3.
BLACK+DECKER RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool with Storage Case
  • HIGH-TORQUE MOTOR – 2.0 Amp motor delivers the power you need to finish the job faster without getting bogged down under load.
  • 3-SPEED FUNCTION – Choose 12,000/24,000/30,000 rpm for power and precision across all applications.
  • 3-SPEED DIAL – For “set-and-forget” convenience.
  • UNIVERSAL COLLET SYSTEM – Compatible with all standard rotary tool bits and accessories.
  • FLIP-LOCK SYSTEM – Spindle lock allows for quick and easy bit and accessory changes without you needing to hold down a button.
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5.
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft
  • Perfect for cutting, sanding, polishing, shaping, drilling, deburring, grinding and more
  • Variable speed goes anywhere from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM
  • Includes an 80-piece accessory set of bits, sanding discs, polishing pads, mandrels and more
  • Onboard spindle lock makes for quick and easy bit changes. 2.3mm & 3.2mm collets
  • Attach the included flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate detail and precision
6.
Sale
PROXXON Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E, 38481
  • Compact precision machines with aluminum die-cast head, quiet, precise and efficient
  • Usable for extended periods when grinding, polishing, cleaning, cutting and engraving
  • Ideal for mechanics, model builders, jewelers, opticians, artists and electronic enthusiasts
  • High-revving motor with full-wave electronic speed control, variable speeds between 5,000 and 20,000rpm
  • Scope of delivery: 1x PROXXON Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E including MICROMOT collet set and 34 bits and cutters. Part number: 38481
7.
VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set with Flex Shaft, Stand and Storage Case Including 34 Piece Multi-functional Accessories Tool Bits Set For Cutting, Sanding and Polishing
  • ULTIMATE VERSATILITY: Use the multi-tool for precision cutting, drilling, engraving, grinding, milling, polishing, removing burs, sanding, scraping, sharpening and shaping. The cutting wheels can be used for a variety of light duty cutting tasks – cut through wires, old glue, plastics, pipes, drywall, wood, thin sheet aluminium and more with precision and accuracy.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 5 position variable speed control with 10,000 - 32,000rpm range – easily adjusted using the thumbwheel
  • ACCESSORY SET: 34 piece accessory set – housed in included carry case – includes 5 X collet, 1 X mandrel, 1 X screw mandrel, 1 X sanding drum, 3 X sanding bands, 5 X cutting wheels, 2 X engraving cutters, 7 X grinding shanks, 2 X fabric wheels, 4 X drill bits, 1 X carbon brushes and 1 X spanner
  • FLEXI SHAFT: Includes a flexi-shaft which provides an extension to the multi-tool - ideal for intricate and professional work such as engraving metals or glass. The flexi-shaft comes with its own stand which securely clamps to a bench or table and includes a hook to hang the multi-tool
  • QUICK and EASY: Features a built-in collet chuck, making changing attachments quick and easy. The VonHaus Multi-tool is compatible with most DREMEL rotary accessories
Best Rotary Tools Review - Sebring Design Build

What Is A Rotary Tool?

A rotary tool is a power tool used for a wide range of applications, such as cutting, polishing, sanding, sharpening, grinding, and honing different materials. It can also be used for carving, engraving, and routing. 

Unlike other tools that you can only use to cut or drill a certain type of material, rotary tools are prized for their versatility. This handheld power tool can be used on metal, glass, plastic, wood, and many more.

One question that’s probably been bugging you for some time now is why it is called ‘Dremel’ even though other brands have produced their own rotary tools.

You probably know that Dremel is an American company that designs and manufactures power tools. The man behind the company — and the first rotary tool — is the Austrian immigrant and prolific inventor, Albert J. Dremel. In 1935, he designed a handheld power tool that could rotate at high speed. Plus, it had removable accessories that could grind, carve, polish, and cut different materials.

For many years, Dremel dominated the market and was the undisputed leader when it came to rotary tools. The company and the product became so linked that the Moto-Tool was genericized as ‘Dremel.’ Even today, many people still call the power tool ‘Dremel’ even when they are manufactured by WEN or Makita or Black & Decker.      

So, how does a rotary tool work?

As the name suggests, the spindle is the part of the rotary tool that spins. It is linked to the tool’s motor, as well as connected to the collet and the tool’s collet nut.

The rotary tool has an on and off switch that is usually located at the lower part of the power tool. The speed control is located on the upper portion of the power tool for easy access. 

Rotary Tool Applications

All of these applications are made possible thanks to its interchangeable attachments and accessories. It can be used for grinding, cutting, carving, and engraving. It can also be used in drilling, sanding, polishing, and cleaning.  

Attachments And Accessories

Sanding

This includes attachments such as sanding discs, sanding bands, and flap wheels. Other attachments under this application also include detail abrasive brushes, finishing abrasive buffs, and carbide shaping wheel.

Cleaning and Polishing

Clean or polish your workpiece with the rubber polishing point, bristle brush, carbon steel brushes, and stainless steel brushes. 

Some units also come with brass brushes, nylon brushes, felt polishing wheels, and polishing cloth. Others come with impregnated wheels and a polishing compound.

Cutting Wheels

This includes regular and fiberglass-reinforced cutting wheels, carbide cutting wheels, and diamond wheels. You can also buy crosscut blades and cutting bits for your rotary tool. 

Grinding and Sharpening

Abrasive wheels, grinding wheels, and grinding stones are sometimes included in the package. They are made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide.

Some units have a chain saw sharpening stones and finishing abrasive points.

Carving and Engraving

You can carve or engrave designs on wood or glass with the rotary tool’s assorted cutters. These include high-speed cutters, engraving cutters, and diamond wheel points. Tungsten carbide cutters and structured tooth carbide cutters are also available.

Drilling

Some rotary tools have drill bit sets, brad joint drill bit sets, and glass drilling bits.

Routing

You can also use a rotary tool for routing. Some rotary tools come with an assortment of routing attachments, including straight, V-grove, chamfer, corner rounding, and more.

Other Accessories and Attachments

When you purchase a rotary tool, you will also get some mandrels, a Dremel chuck, a collet nut kit, and a dressing stone.

Keep in mind that not all attachments and accessories are included in the package of some rotary tool brands. They are sold separately, but the good news is that they are easy to find in your local hardware or online.

Want more home remodeling ideas, tips, and product reviews? Then check out our blog for more.

Best Rotary Tools Review - Sebring Design Build

How To Use A Power Tool Safely

  1. Always read and understand your product manual before operating your rotary tool.
  1. Make sure that your workshop is clean, well lit, and ventilated. 
  1. Do not use your rotary tool where flammable gases or liquids are kept. Keep your work area free from dust.
  1. Rotary tools produce dust and spark that could damage your eyesight. Invest in a good pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust, spark, or even shrapnel. A dust mask should also be worn to protect your nose, throat, and lungs.
  1. Inspect your tool, accessories, and attachments before using your rotary tool. Never use cracked or damaged attachments to prevent accidents or injuries.
  1. You might see many people engraving or carving a workpiece with one hand and holding the rotary with the other hand. Keep in mind, however, that this is unsafe. Always use a clamp or vise to secure your workpiece to the table.   
  1. Be mindful and firmly grip the tool with both hands to prevent it from bouncing or snagging.
  1. Turn your rotary tool off and wait for the wheel to stop completely before setting it down on your table or workbench.

Check out this video for more safety tips and general information about rotary tools.

Conclusion:

I hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the best rotary tools available online right now. We’re nearly at the end of the road, but a review is incomplete without giving my favorite rotary or ‘Dremel’ tool.

And the best rotary tool for me is still the original Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit. The performance of its motor is impressive, and it is one of the most reliable rotary tools on the list. The setting ranges from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM, giving you maximum control of the tool whether you’re cutting a piece of pipe or engraving an artwork on glass.

It also has a pivot light that illuminates even the tightest nooks and crannies of your workpiece. The number of attachments and accessories are also impressive. The durable hard case and the plastic box keeps your Dremel tool, attachments, and accessories in place.

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