A Complete Rotary Tool Buyers Guide (2022)

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If you are still carving and engraving wood using traditional hand tools then STOP! We promise you there is an easier and better way that is going to allow you to achieve even better results…and this comes in the form of a rotary tool! A rotary tool is designed to work with a wide variety of bits and heads, rotating these (hence the name) at high speeds so that they can smooth, polish, cut, engrave and grind into different materials! The time it takes you to hand carve into the wood will be dramatically reduced when using a rotary tool – and the amount of effort that you have to put in will be removed too! 

But a rotary tool isn’t just for engraving into wood – they can do so much more than just that! There are actually many rotary tools that can even be used with plastic, glass and even drywall (if you buy the right models). So if you are looking for a tool that really can do it all then keep reading for all that you need to know about rotary tools! 

Best Pick Rotary Tool – Dremel 4000

Sale
Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool 175 W, Rotary Multi Tool Kit with 4 Attachment 65 Accessories Variable Speed 5000-35000 rpm for Cutting, Carving, Sanding, Drilling, Polishing, Routing, Sharpening, Grinding
1,085 Reviews
Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool 175 W, Rotary Multi Tool Kit with 4 Attachment 65 Accessories Variable Speed 5000-35000 rpm for Cutting, Carving, Sanding, Drilling, Polishing, Routing, Sharpening, Grinding
  • FULLY VARIABLE SPEED: The fully variable speed control from 5.000-35.000 RPM allows for maximum precision and control in many different applications
  • POWERFUL: High power 175 Watt motor with electronic feedback provides consistent maximum force for any DIY task such as cutting, carving, sanding, drilling, polishing, routing, sharpening, grinding
  • SOFT GRIP: Comfort design with 360 degree soft grip in all gripping areas which reduces vibration to prevent fatigue and provide a steady grip
  • EZ TWIST: With the EZ-Twist Nose Cap there is no need for a separate wrench making it easy to switch accessories, so you can finish your task quicker and easier
  • GUARANTEE: 2 years guarantee standard. Get 1 year extra when registering your Dremel tool on MyDremel

Last update on 2022-04-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

Wanting to race ahead to find the best rotary tool but don’t know where to begin? Here is all the essential information that you need to know about rotary tools before you find one to buy! We have also included some of the best rotary tools to help you decide! 

Torque and Speed 

All rotary tools are going to come with different amounts of torque and speed. What is most important is that these readings work together – a rotary tool with low torque and high speed won’t be effective, nor will a model with high torque but no speed, so you need a moderate level of both! 

The speed of your rotary tool is going to be measured in rotations – as in the number of rotations of the bit that can be achieved in a minute.There is a massive variation in the RPM readings that we found from as little as 5000 RPM up to 40,000 RPM. Just make sure that when you are comparing models you check to see whether it is the Maximum Speed or the Load Speed as these scores are going to be quite different because the load speed is a more realistic reading as this is the speed that the rotary tool will work at when under pressure! 

TOP TIP: The best rotary tools are going to come with variable speeds that will allow you to adjust the speed depending on the job that you are completing. This is the best way to achieve a perfect finish to the job that you are completing whilst still allowing you to work on a variety of materials. Higher speeds for cutting chunks out of materials and lower speeds for polishing and buffing when the job is nearly done. 

You also need to look at the torque, or power, of the rotary tool to make sure that this is compatible too. These will be measured in either amps or Volts (usually volts for cordless models). Most models are going to range from as little as 1 amp up to around 5 amps depending on the model. However, 5 amps is on the much higher scale of the spectrum with most coming in at around 2 to 3 amps. 

 Battery Powered or Mains Powered?

The torque and speed that you are going to get with your rotary tool will often be determined by whether you want a battery powered model or a mains powered model. There are pros and cons to both so it really comes down to personal preference! 

Mains powered models offer you the reliability that you need to work whenever you want. They are also going to offer you considerably more power so that you will be able to work with harder materials and at quicker speeds – which means you need to put in even less effort to achieve a perfect finish! You are also going to be able to work with them for longer periods of time – as some of the cordless models don’t have particularly long battery lives. However, you are going to be massively limited as to where you can actually work as you need to be close to a power source at all times. 

This is something that you are going to be safe from having to worry about with rotary tools that are battery powered – they will literally be able to go anywhere with you. However, they are not perfect! They are going to come with less power and as we already mentioned, some have quite a limited battery life, which can mean you will be unable to finish the job in one go, or you will have to purchase replacement batteries to be able to switch between if you are completing bigger jobs! One of the main things that we do really like about cordless rotary tools is the fact that you aren’t going to have the cord getting in the way. Working on more complex carving and engraving jobs will leave you having to hold your tool in all manner of directions – and the cable can be a real nightmare in these situations! 

TOP TIP: If you do opt for a cordless model we would recommend checking if the battery is detachable or not. If it isn’t then you are even more limited as to how long you can work for as you will be relying on the battery being recharged every time it runs out! 

Best Budget Rotary Tool – Vastar Rotary Tool

Sale
Vastar Rotary Tool Cordless, with 51 Pcs Accessories, 3.7V Rotary Tool Kit Potable Grinder, Rotary Multi Tool Kit with LED Light, Varible Speed 10000-33000 RPM for Craft, DIY, Christmas Gifts
1,107 Reviews
Vastar Rotary Tool Cordless, with 51 Pcs Accessories, 3.7V Rotary Tool Kit Potable Grinder, Rotary Multi Tool Kit with LED Light, Varible Speed 10000-33000 RPM for Craft, DIY, Christmas Gifts
  • 🔨【Abundan Accessories】High performance wireless rotary tool with 51 accessories,suitable for all kinds of home projects or manual projects, such as grinding, cutting, grinding, carving, polishing, drilling, manicure.
  • 🔨【Excellent Performance】Overload protection, works more safe and reliable. 3 adjustable speed from 6000 to 21000 RPM, can flexibly adjust the speed to meet different work requirements. High quality rotary tool, long service life, low noise, produce more stable and perfect results.
  • 🔨【Ergonomic Design】Small size, powerful function. The rubber covered handle has anti-skid function, which can achieve better control, reduce the fatigue when operating the micro rotary tool, and can easily complete more delicate work.
  • 🔨【Fast Charging】Built in 2000 Ma large capacity battery, equipped with a 1m long charging line, it only takes 1-1.5 hours to fully charge. (the battery needs to be activated for the first time, please fully charge before use)
  • 🔨【What You Can Get】3.7V cordless rotary tool, tool bag, 51 accessories, USB cable, accessory box and user manual.It's a great gift for boyfriends, dads, friends and DIY lovers.

Last update on 2022-04-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Rotary Tool Kits 

It is rare that you will actually purchase a rotary tool on its own – most are going to come as part of a kit and with good reason! There are so many jobs that a rotary tool can do – but you need the bits to go with it to be able to do the jobs! We found that there is a huge variety of bits that are included with rotary tool kits so you really need to check whether what you need is going to be included or not, to see whether you will have the parts that you need for the job that you are planning on completing. 

These are some of the main attachments that we found with rotary tool kits:

  • Cutting wheels – This is going to be your first essential as without it you aren’t going to be cutting through any of the materials that you work with. 
  • Saw attachments – These are similar to the cutting attachments but are designed to cut through harder materials – but they will need some finishing afterwards as they won’t complete as much of a neat cut as the cutting wheels do. 
  • Spiral drills – Used to cut solid holes into materials. 
  • Wire Brush wheels – Perfect for if you are working with pieces of metal as they will clean and polish the metal to remove rust and bring out a lovely shine. 
  • Sanding pads – The best way to remove thinner layers of materials and sand down areas that you may have just cut or are working on. 

TOP TIP: Look out for rotary tools that come with bits in a range of sizes as these are going to allow you to work with a much wider range of jobs and complete a wider variety of cuts! 

Heavy-Duty Rotary Tool

Most of the rotary tools that we have discussed are standard rotary tools which are perfect to use on a range of jobs – but sometimes you need a little bit more umph than this. Heavy-duty or cut-out rotary tools can be used to cut circular holes out of drywall, pieces of wood and other materials! This makes them perfect for if you are completing renovations, plumbing or larger DIY jobs around the home! 

Just bear in mind that they are going to be slightly more expensive and usually heavier due to the amount of power that they hold! They also usually come with additional features such as dust vents, varying speeds and higher torque to allow them to cope with the larger jobs. 

Extra Rotary Tool Features 

Once you have decided on the power and type of rotary tool that is going to be right for you, it is time to consider those extra features that will determine how easy your rotary tool is to use and the jobs that you are going to be able to complete with it! 

Design

When looking at the design of your rotary tool, the first thing to check for is the size that is going to be right for you. The more powerful the tool, generally the bigger that it is going to be but this isn’t always the case! A tool that is too large is going to make it impossible for you to access those harder to reach places. 

You also need to check the grip that comes with the rotary tool – some are designed with rubber grips that are going to be more comfortable to work with for extended periods of time! 

Some rotary tools are designed so that they sit in a docking station when they are not being used – which will also charge them. Not only does this make them really easy to store but you can be sure that your rotary tool is always going to be charged and ready to go when you need it! Another great extra is rotary tools that come with cases….as far as we are concerned this is essential, because the amount of bits that come with the tool means you are going to have a lot of small parts that you need to store in one place! 

TOP TIP: We really like some of the best rotary tools that come with lighting to help illuminate the area that you are working in. Some also have lights to signal that the battery is running low which is really helpful! 

Mechanics 

There are some more technical features that are also going to be worth considering if you want a rotary tool that is going to be able to give you a perfect finish. These include: 

  • Shank size compatibility – Look at the head of the rotary tool and check the shank size that it is going to be compatible with. Most will work with ⅛ and ¼ bit pieces but you should still check as otherwise you will be limited to purchasing the manufacturer’s own bits which will cost you more in the long run. 
  • Electronic feedback systems  – These are used to try and maintain a more consistent RPM when you are working. They send messages back to the motor to try and keep it working at a steady speed regardless of the changes in the material, which is the best way to achieve a more professional finish. 
  • Tool free bit change – There are many rotary tools that need you to use a tool to change the bits which is going to add time and hassle when you are changing between the bits regularly. Some models have tool-free changing which is going to be much quicker! 

Best of the Rest

Sale
Hi-Spec 121 Piece 130W Corded Rotary Power Tool Kit Set with Dremel Compatible Bit Accessories. Drill, Cut, Trim, Grind & Sand in DIY Repairs, Hobbies & Craftwork
3,266 Reviews
Hi-Spec 121 Piece 130W Corded Rotary Power Tool Kit Set with Dremel Compatible Bit Accessories. Drill, Cut, Trim, Grind & Sand in DIY Repairs, Hobbies & Craftwork
  • ROTARY TOOL VERSATILITY: For fine DIY work, precision craftwork and specialist hobbies, power up the Hi-Spec 130W Rotary Power Tool Kit. With its Dremel compatible bit accessories tool kit, cut, drill, engrave, grind, polish, sand, and trim across a wide range of materials and work pieces
  • DIY YOUR WAY: Whatever the DIY repair or crafting task, there is a specialised bit for drilling, cutting, sanding and grinding in the Hi-Spec 130W Rotary Power Tool Kit. Simply swap them out and fix in at the chuck end. NB. Attachments such as flexi-shafts or keyless-chucks need to be checked for compatibility
  • SPEED CONTROL: The Hi-Spec 130W Rotary Power Tool has an injection-moulded nylon body that safely houses its high-speed 130W motor with a 1.9m cord for power outlet connection. A rearward thumb-wheel speed control allows for between 8,000 to 30,000 rpm for precision speeds and time-saving operation
  • 120 PIECE BOX OF DELIGHTS: Find all the Dremel compatible bit accessories needed for fine cutting, drilling, sanding, grinding, shaping, smoothing and polishing: Grinding Stones; Sanding Drums, Bands & Discs; Drills; Diamond Wheel Points; Mandrels; Cut-Off & Felt Wheels; Wire Brushes; Wrench; Collets. NB. Consumable items with a lifetime limited by usage conditions
  • INFORMATIVE MANUAL: The illustrated owner’s manual has step by step instructions and guidance for your next DIY rotary tool project. Step by step instructions for fitting and using the Bit accessories with the interchangeable brass collets (sizes 1.5, 2.3 and 3.2mm) that securely hold-in the various types of bits at the chuck head

Last update on 2022-04-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Rotary Tool 160W Tilswall Rotary Multi Tool Kit with 6 Variable Speed 8000-33000RPM, 145pcs Accessories for Cutting, Sanding, Carving, Polishing, Drilling, Engraving, Cleaning
1,373 Reviews
Rotary Tool 160W Tilswall Rotary Multi Tool Kit with 6 Variable Speed 8000-33000RPM, 145pcs Accessories for Cutting, Sanding, Carving, Polishing, Drilling, Engraving, Cleaning
  • 💎【160w & 6 Level Speed】160w electric rotary tool with pure copper motor, it supports variable 6 level speed 8000-33000RPM, meet the requirements of diy; handle with led light can work clearly in dark, and the auxiliary handle can realize precise operation.
  • 💎【145pcs Accessories】Covering all needs of cutting, grinding, milling, cleaning, polishing, drilling, sanding, and engraving. high-quality multifunctional milling cutters can easily cut wood, plastic, fiberglass, gypsum board, laminate, and aluminum and vinyl siding, it‘s ideal for multi-purpose cutting.
  • 💎【Alumina Abrasive Band &Tin Bronze Chuck】instead of ordinary sand ring, our sand ring of alumina abrasive is bonded with a dense emery cloth to solve the problem of cracking in use. 3-jaw sandwich core made of tin bronze chuck is more flexible than conventional aluminum, which fits tightly to the handle of the accessory and improves the concentricity, ensuring that there is no shaking during use.
  • 💎【All-Covered Soft Rubber & Abrasive Buff 】Made from soft rubber, this rotary tool is more comfortable to use for a long time. the abrasive buff with handle is very suitable for use on metal, glass, wood, aluminum and plastic, and can easily remove rust on brass.
  • 💎【Storage & Support】Re-designed storage bag is convenient for placing accessories and preventing damage to the machine from falling. if you have any question about this item, please feel free to contact us, tilswall team is always serving for you!

Last update on 2022-04-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit, 288Pcs Multi Purpose Rotary Tool Set with 130W Die Grinder, Hold Hanger Stand Clamp, Flexible Drill Shaft and Mixed Accessory Kit for Craft Projects and DIY Creations
924 Reviews
GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit, 288Pcs Multi Purpose Rotary Tool Set with 130W Die Grinder, Hold Hanger Stand Clamp, Flexible Drill Shaft and Mixed Accessory Kit for Craft Projects and DIY Creations
  • ★COMPLETE POWER ROTARY TOOL SET - 288 Pieces inclusive combo kit includes 4 attachment, it's enough for you to grind, drill, polish, engrave etc. But when you drill, please do not use it for accurate drilling, I don't recommend.It can't replace the drill driver. All the rotary tools can't do the accurate drilling, even dremel rotary tools.
  • ★MULTI PURPOSE ROTARY COMBITOOL MULTI-TOOL - Ideal for craft projects and DIY creations in your home, working in the garage, Hobby, Jewellery, Jewelry tools and equipment, Model Making, Woodworking, Metalworking and more purpuse you can go to dig and bring endless possible to your creations
  • ★Multi-functional Rotary Tool Kit - Perfect for cutting, sanding, polishing, shaping, drilling, deburring, grinding, cleaning ,engraving, trimming etc, and enabling you to achieve different crafting work efficiently
  • ★WHY YOU WANT IT - 6 Step (8000--30000RPM) variable speed rotary tool kit - Low speed for cleaning applications and using brush accessories, High speed for routing, cutting, sanding for providing maximum control and precision. Holder stand clamp working with flexi shaft can be better to expand the work space and more convenient for DIY creation, Drill carving rotary locator can make the grinder punch accurately, grinder cover case protects you from debris and dust, ALL for extensive application
  • ★We provide the best service for you. If you have any questions, please contact us, we will help you until you satisfied with us.

Last update on 2022-04-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rotary tools come with a guarantee? 

Yes! All rotary tools will come with at least a 12 month guarantee, however we found many models that offer between 2 and 3 years. This does only cover you for “domestic” use though, so if the motor is deemed to have been put under considerable pressure then usually the guarantee will be invalidated. 

Does a rotary tool work on metal? 

Yes – some of the more powerful rotary tools will be able to work on a wide range of materials including wood, metals, glass and plastic! Just make sure to check the different bits that come with the rotary tool as this is the only thing that will really limit exactly what you can work with! Specialist bits are needed particularly if you are wanting to work with stronger metals or glass!

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