Is a Dremel the Same as a Grinder. Rotary grinder tool

Is a Dremel the Same as a Grinder?

For DIY household projects, everyone needs three things: skill, patience and the right tools. Having the right tools for any job gets you halfway to your target. But for that, you need to know what’s in your toolkit.

Many people tend to confuse grinders with other rotary tools due to their ability to accomplish somewhat similar tasks. They are not the same, however, and have many operational differences. Below we’ll cover how the two tools differ from each other.

Dremel Rotary Tool vs. Angle Grinder

As far as angle grinders are concerned, these are heavy-duty power tools designed to cut through hard materials, like tiles, stucco and metal. They are usually used in workshops, auto repair shops and construction sites. Many DIYers also use them for sharpening blades, sanding and polishing different materials, including metal.

On the other hand, Dremel is a brand or an umbrella term used for a variety of power tools used in workshops and construction work. It is also synonymous with a rotary tool that doesn’t rely on high torque like a power drill. This tool uses its fast speed for drilling, carving, cutting, sanding and polishing rigid materials like glass and metal.

Now, let’s discuss their differences in detail:


Generally speaking, an angle grinder weighs significantly more than a rotary tool. While the former is designed for handling heavy-duty projects and can cut through tough materials, its weight often makes the job difficult.

Most users avoid using an angle grinder for longer projects to give their arms some rest. In contrast, rotary tools tend to be compact and lightweight. DIYers often prefer these tools as they can be used for long hours without causing excessive fatigue.

Power sources

Another significant difference between the two tools is how they’re powered. Angle grinders are commonly powered in two ways: with an air compressor (pneumatic) or electric. While pneumatic grinders are more popular, electric ones offer superior speeds. On the other hand, rotary tools are usually not powered by air compressors. An electric power source almost always powers them.

Cordless operation

Portability is a primary requirement in construction tools because you never know where you will be using them. Having a cordless tool is beneficial because it doesn’t limit you to work only where you can plug it.

While grinders and rotary tools are available in cordless options, the former offers a more powerful output than the latter. If you want a portable but powerful tool, you should go with a grinder instead of a rotary tool because they’re high-powered.

Depth control

To ensure that you are able to cut precisely while handling metal, your tool needs to have depth control. One wrong move and you may end up ruining the piece. As far as grinders are concerned, they usually don’t come with this feature, making them pretty useless for anyone who wants precision. Rotary tools, on the other hand, have great depth control, allowing you to get accurate cuts.


You won’t find a significant difference between the of the two tools as long as you choose the ones suitable for DIY projects. If you’re getting one for professional use though, you may find that rotary tools are generally more expensive than angle grinders. If you manage to find low-priced ones, they usually don’t have the right power for professional use.

Final Thoughts: Which One Should You Use?

Well, it depends. Both tools offer great benefits, but the perks of one may stand out to you more, based on your requirements. You should choose an inexpensive angle grinder if you’re on a budget but need some work done around the house.

If you’re looking for precision, however, you may want to invest in a rotary tool. So, ultimately, it comes down to the requirements, amount, and quality of your work when choosing between the two tools.

Rotary Tools: Types, Uses and Safety

What is a rotary tool and what can you use it for? A rotary tool is a versatile power tool that can be used for different kinds of projects. The most commonly known know rotary tool brand is Dremel. It’s basically a do-it-all kind of device that’s especially useful for light cutting, grinding, and cleaning task, making it one of the must-have tools in any toolbox.

What Is a Rotary Tool?

In simple terms, a rotary tool is a handheld fast-rotating motor connected to a spindle to which you can attach a tool bit. There is a wide range of accessories and attachments such as cutting wheels, sanding bits, and polishing tools, to tackle different tasks around the workplace.

dremel, same, grinder, rotary

Although rotary tools come in different models and power levels, they all share the fact that they have to spin at very high speed to achieve the needed results. Most rotary tools spin at around 20,000 RPM, while some can go for up to 35,000 RPM. Considering their small size, it’s easy to see how these handheld tools can reach such high speeds without causing muscle fatigue and discomfort.

What distinguish the different types of rotary tools is the amount of torque that they can deliver, which means that there is a rotary tool for basically any task, be it a light or heavy duty one.

The design of rotary tools is quite simple. First, there’s the spindle, which is the part that spins because it’s connected to the motor. The spindle is usually threaded to accept the collet and the collet nut. The collet fits directly into the axis while the collet nut screws into it to keep everything in place and clamp the flanges down.

dremel, same, grinder, rotary

On the body, you’ll find your speed control, which can be a slider or a couple of buttons that you can use to adjust the speed depending on the project and material at hand. You’ll also find the power button, which is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to what it does.

Many tradesmen consider rotary tools a must-have in their arsenal due to the versatility, portability, and power they pack.

Uses of Rotary Tool

What is a rotary tool used for? As we mentioned above, rotary tools are pretty versatile, and using them for different applications is as simple as switching the attachment. Here are some of the best uses for rotary tools:


By attaching a grinding attachment, such as bonded abrasive stones, you can use your rotary tool to create sharp edges or eliminate them. In other words, a rotary tool can come in handy when you’re trying to grind metal edges into submission, sharpen kitchen knives, shears, and scissors, or clean old, rusty tools.


Rotary tools are especially useful for cutting because you can tackle both big and small projects.

  • Using straight bits to cut wood, drywall, plasterboards or any kind of light material.
  • Using cutting wheels to part metal or trim plastic.
  • Utilizing carbide burr to do fine cuts on tough metals like steel

Did you know that rotary tools are the secret weapon of plumbers, which they use to cut through tough situations when repairing kitchen or bathroom faucets? Maybe it’s time you added it to your do-it-all tools as well.

When cutting small pieces of metal, I recommend using cutting oil on the surface to reduce heat and increase the efficiency of the carbide metal-cutting wheel.


Rotary tools are small, comfortable, and versatile, making them the perfect companion for your engraving or carving projects. There are attachments, such as carbide bits, for both wood and metal, which means that you can use your rotary tool to work on designs, frames, and any decorative project. Even carving pumpkins is a breeze with a rotary tool!

Glass Working

Are you an artist or hobbyist who love making glass curios? Using a diamond point wheel (diamond bits) you can do etching, carving and engraving on glass.

Do not attempt to cut or work on glass with regular bits. The glass will break and you might get injured. Diamond cutting bits are tools made out of steel with diamond grits impregnated on it. They can cut and remove the glass without damaging the glasswork.

Tip Keep a glass of water next your working area. When carving glass the bits can get really hot and you need to cool it down. Dip your cutting bit in water often to keep the temperature of the tool in check.

dremel, same, grinder, rotary

If you are etching on a glass tumbler or jar, fill it with ice-cold water. This will prevent them cracking due to excessive heat.

Drilling Holes

You can get a variety of drill bits and router bits for rotary tools, with which you can drill holes in soft materials like wood and plastic. You can also use it to drill drywall and gypsum board ceilings.

However, I would recommend going for a proper drilling machine to drill holes in hardwood and metals.


Although mainly designed for small, light tasks, rotary tools can be used for sanding if you only need to work on moldings or little details. Simply use a sanding attachment, be it a disc, Band, flap wheel, or abrasive buff, and you’ll be able to get impressive results every time.

Polishing and Cleaning

With the right attachment, be it a wire brush, polishing point, or polishing wheel, you can use your rotary tool to clean a helluva lot of things, including silverware, jewelry, or old devices. Just apply some wax or polish to the buffing/polishing bit before turning the tool at medium speed, and any surface will become shinier than ever.

Of course, those are only the headlines of what rotary tools can do, and you can get as creative as you want when using one.

  • Sharpen your chainsaw’s chain? A rotary tool can do that.
  • Fix an old kitchen rack? Just load a wire brush into your rotary tool, and you’ll get it done in minutes.
  • Cut curves in the tiles of your bathroom? It’s as simple as loading a tile-cutting bit into a rotary tool.

Types of Rotary Tools

Is a rotary tool the same as a Dremel? The short answer is yes. Dremel is one of the most popular brands of die grinders. Dremel also makes other power tools such as oscillating multi-tools. And there are brands other than Dremel that makes rotary tools.

What about die grinders? What is the difference between die grinder and a rotary tool? Yes. Die grinders are a type of rotary tools which is bigger and more powerful than Dremel. The Dremel rotary tools work on electricity whereas compressed air powers the die grinder. You can see the detailed comparison between die grinder vs Dremel here.

Pencil grinder which also works on compressed air or electricity also falls under this category. These are slim rotary tools that you can hold in your hand like a pencil. You can control the movement of this tool very precisely and hence is an excellent choice for carving details.

In short, there are 3 types of rotary tools.

  • Die grinder: The biggest rotary tool that is used for tough jobs
  • Dremel style tools: These are the most popular type.
  • Pencil Grinders: Inexpensive pencil grinders are easy to handle.

Safety Precautions

Since they’re basically fast-spinning motors, rotary tools can be dangerous if mishandled. While not as dangerous as an angle grinder, these tools also spit off ultra-tiny particles when cutting, grinding, or sanding. These particles can be hot, sharp, or anything in between. That’s why you need to take some safety measures into account when using one.

  • Wear a face shield or safety glasses. The last thing you want is a tiny particle hitting one of your eyes.
  • Protect your ears by using earplugs or headphones as rotary tools can be pretty loud, especially when it comes to heavy-duty models such as die grinders.
  • Wear work gloves or any kind of skin protection to protect your hands and skin, especially if you’re working with fiberglass or other sharp materials.
  • If you have long hair, be sure to put it in a ponytail or, even better, a bun because you really don’t want your hair sticking to a Dremel while it’s spinning.
  • If you’re working on a material that can produce a lot of dust, we highly recommend tackling your project in a well-ventilated room or wearing a face mask.
  • Always turn on the tool before getting in contact with the material.
  • Don’t forget to turn off the tool and disconnect the plug from the power source or battery pack when you need to change the attachment.

The 8 Best Rotary Tools of 2023 for Your DIY Projects

Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like and Better Homes Gardens, among others.

Deane Biermeier is an expert contractor with nearly 30 years of experience in all types of home repair, maintenance, and remodeling. He is a certified lead carpenter and also holds a certification from the EPA. Deane is a member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.

Rotary tools are perfect for many household tasks, including repairs and maintenance, crafting, and hobbies; there are even attachments designed for use on your pets’ or your own nails. When choosing a rotary tool, you’ll find both corded and cordless options; most DIYers prefer a cordless tool, which can go anywhere it’s needed, but corded rotary tools often have a little more power. Thomas Hawkins, handyman, master electrician, and owner of Electrician Apprentice HQ, expands further, advising, “The corded versus cordless debate depends upon the project. If working in a tight area where you don’t need a lot of power but need versatility, go cordless. But if you’re not restricted in your movements and especially need extra power, go corded. It all boils down to what you’re trying to accomplish.”

We evaluated rotary tools based on reliability, ease of use, available attachments, durability, and overall performance.

Here are the best rotary tools for a wide range of applications.

Best Overall

Dremel 3000 Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with Flex Shaft

  • Smooth, powerful performance
  • Includes large selection of attachments
  • Compatible with a wide range of Dremel bits and attachments

Since they invented the high-speed rotary tool in 1934, Dremel has been crafting high-quality tools that can be used on a wide range of projects. The Dremel 3000 is one of the best rotary tools ever created by the brand and comes with a flex shaft and 25 pieces that allow you to do just about anything.

The Dremel 3000 lets you grind, sand, and cut with a variable speed ranging from 5,000 to 32,000 rpm. The hand-held, plug-in rotary tool is made with cool-running ball bearings for smooth and quiet functionality. This tool works with every Dremel attachment and this set includes 25 of them. To attach the polishing or beveling attachments, you only need to use the EZ twist nose cap for quick transitions—which makes it perfect for a complex project. There are many attachments included in this set, with the exception of drill bits, although most Dremel drill bits will fit the 3000.

The Flex Shaft attachment only furthers the versatility of the Dremel 3000. This piece gives the user a new level of precision that is ideal for small crafts and intricate carving. The Dremel 3000 is our top pick for rotary tools because it works well, lasts long, and can do just about everything.

Price at time of publish: 75

Power Source: Corded | Power Output: 1.2 amps | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 32,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

Best Budget

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

  • Includes flex shaft and large accessory kit
  • Very reasonable price
  • Reliable performance

The WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit might not have the catchiest name, nor is it the option with the highest power, but the price tag will definitely catch your attention. This model is a massively popular product that features a low price—with or without the flex shaft.

The WEN 2305 is versatile and durable with a variable speed from 8,000 to 30,000 rpm. This toolkit features 100 individual pieces including polishing pads, sanding discs, and drill bits. Bits can be changed easily via the onboard spindle lock and the bits in this kit can be used for drilling, grinding, shaping, cutting, sanding, and polishing. If you decide to go with the kit that includes a flex shaft, it allows for more precise rotary tool work. DIYers and crafters will love this budget-friendly option for its versatility, lightweight design, and included accessories. Plus, this corded rotary tool features a one-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 20

Power Source: Corded | Power Output: 1 amp | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 30,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

Best Lightweight

Hardell Mini Rotary Tool Kit

Most rotary tools require a thick cord to cut, grind, or sand, but the Hardell rotary tool is completely cordless and not much larger than a pen. The tool uses a 3.7V Li-ion battery that can be charged with a USB cable and last up to 200 minutes. This tool only weighs 5 ounces and is a little less than 7 inches in length, so it can easily be carried or stored.

The small rotary tool is specifically designed for smaller projects, such as engraving glass, sharpening metal, drilling small holes, or carving soft wood. You can even use it to grind down your own or your pet’s toenails. It is not, however, designed for larger, heavier tasks, such as drilling or grinding hard materials. The Hardell rotary tool has five convenient speeds ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 rpm. This allows for precise control no matter what job you are tackling.

The convenient cordless device comes equipped with 55 accessories, which include seven different collet sizes, so you can use the tool with accessories from most other brands. You’ll also get a variety of attachments for sanding, grinding, drilling, and polishing, as well as a plastic storage case. There’s even a built-in LED light to reduce pesky shadows and blind spots on your work area.

Price at time of publish: 30

Power Source: Battery | Power Output: 3.7 volts | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 15,000 | Variable Speed: No

Best for Cutting

DeWALT DW660 5-Amp Rotary Tool

Drywall, wood, stone, metal, tile—the DeWALT DW660 Rotary Tool can do it all. With a 5.0-amp, 30,000 rpm motor, the DW660 is the strongest rotary tool available and is perfectly designed for difficult cutwork.

This rotary tool is often used by electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople who need to cut through different materials quickly, and as a bonus, the thin and compact size is ideal for prolonged use. The tool has very little vibration or sound, so you won’t have that buzzed hand feeling either.

The DeWALT DW660 uses spiral drill bits, like a standard power drill, to seamlessly punch through difficult materials. This rotary tool uses a simple mechanism for changing accessories and comes with both 1/4- and 1/8-inch collets. The power tool only comes with one bit, but can easily use a wide range for reliable cutting. The DW660 has a one-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: 70

Power Source: Corded | Power Output: 5 amps | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 30,000 | Variable Speed: No

Best Set

WEN 23190 Steady-Grip Rotary Tool with 190-Piece Accessory Kit

Many rotary tools are sold in sets, but few boast the combination of accessories and an affordable price tag that the WEN 23190 Steady-Grip Rotary Tool with 190-Piece Accessory Kit does. This inexpensive option provides a quality power tool, 190 various accessories, and a carrying case for all of it.

This set features four collets in different sizes, which is uncommon. You’ll also get a flex shaft and an auxiliary “Steady Grip” handle for precision work. Other accessories in the kit include a wide range of attachments for grinding, polishing, cutting, and drilling. There’s even a small container of polishing paste. Each accessory or attachment has a specific use that broadens the possibilities of what you can do with this WEN rotary tool.

The rotary tool itself boasts a significant speed range, with variable speeds from 8,000 to 35,000 rpm. It’s 1.3-amp motor provides plenty of power as well. Accessories are switched out easily with a spindle lock system.

Price at time of publish: 34

Power Source: Corded | Power Output: 1.3 amps | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 35,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

Best Cordless

Milwaukee 2460-20 M12 12-Volt Rotary Tool

Compact and lightweight, the Milwaukee 2460-20 M12 is an excellent choice for those who don’t want a cumbersome cord attached to their tool. Perfectly designed for tradespeople on-the-go, or anyone who wants to keep a versatile tool in the truck, the rotary tool can do just about anything that more expensive or bulky models can, and do it well.

This Milwaukee tool delivers significant power despite being cordless. The lithium-ion battery, called REDLITHIUM by Milwaukee, powers the 12-volt motor and allows users to sand, grind, and cut without issue. The rotary tool has variable speeds ranging from 5,000 to 32,000 rpm.

The entire tool only weighs 1.3 pounds and is just under 10 inches in length for optimal maneuverability and effortless carrying. It’s compatible with a wide range of accessories, and it has special exhaust ports that help prevent overheating when grinding or cutting. Note that this model does not include the battery.

Price at time of publish: 134

Power Source: Battery | Power Output: 12 volts | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 32,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Crafting

Hi-Spec Variable-Speed Rotary Tool Kit

The Hi-Spec Rotary Tool is a great option for crafting because it gets the job done and is user-friendly. Even a first-time rotary tool user will feel comfortable drilling, polishing, or sanding because of the intuitive design and included accessory guide (which gives you instructions on what each gadget can be used for). If you need to change the bit, the onboard lock system allows for quick and easy changes, and the universal collet system means that most accessories on the market will fit this tool as well.

The corded tool has a 160-watt motor and variable speeds ranging from 8,000 to 35,000 rpm. The motor is specifically designed to reduce vibration and that buzzed-hand sensation without reducing effectiveness. The kit includes 121 items in total with grinding stones, sanding pads, felt wheel, mandrels, and much more. The number and variety of accessories make this tool perfect for crafters working with a lot of materials. All accessories can easily be stored in the carrying case.

Price at time of publish: 33

Power Source: Corded | Power Output: 1.4 amps | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 35,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

Best for Household Tasks

Dremel Lite 7760-N/10 Rotary Tool

Many people appreciate the versatility of a rotary tool for simple tasks around the home, such as grinding down a pet’s toenails, smoothing a rough edge on a piece of furniture, or working on various hobbies and crafts. For those people, the Dremel Lite 7760-N/10 is the perfect tool. Super-easy to use, versatile enough for most of the tasks a crafter, hobbyist, or handyperson is likely to ask of it, and reasonably priced to boot: what’s not to like?

dremel, same, grinder, rotary

The Dremel Lite works with most Dremel attachments and accessories, but you’ll get several useful attachments with this tool, including an engraving cutter, 60-grit sanding Band, ⅜-inch grinding stone attachment, a small and medium felt wheel for polishing, and a nylon bristle attachment for cleaning and buffing.

The rotary tool has four variable speeds, a twist nose-cap for easy attachment changes, and a battery life indicator. It runs on a 4-volt Li-Ion battery and includes a USB charging cord as well as a plug for charging the device off one of your home’s electrical outlets.

Price at time of publish: 64

Power Source: Battery | Power Output: 2 amps | Max. Rotations Per Minute: 25,000 | Variable Speed: Yes

If you want a rotary tool that has the utmost versatility, works with an astounding array of attachments and comes with 25 of them, has plenty of speed and control, and is suited to a very wide range of uses around the house, garage, or crafting room, then you want the Dremel 3000. But if all you need is a simple rotary tool for lightweight sanding, engraving, polishing, hobbies, or even grinding down your own or your pet’s nails, the Hardell Mini Cordless Rotary Tool is an excellent choice.

What to Look for in a Rotary Tool

Power Source

There are two types of rotary tools: those powered by batteries and those powered by your home’s AC current.

Corded rotary tools have more power than their cordless counterparts, as a general rule, but the tradeoff is that you’ll be tethered to the nearest electrical outlet. While the majority of rotary tools sold today are cordless, it’s still worth considering a corded tool if you expect to use it for lengthy sessions or for heavy cutting, grinding, or drilling.

Cordless rotary tools are the most popular option, as they free the user to work wherever desired. While typically cordless tools have a little less power and aren’t quite as fast as corded options, today’s models are very close.

Power Output

The typical light-duty corded rotary tool has a 1.8-amp motor, but you’ll find stronger models with 2-amp to 5-amps of power. If you use your rotary tool frequently for heavy work around your home or garage, it’s worth paying a little more for a more powerful motor, but if you only need the tool for lightweight work, 1.8 amps should be sufficient.

Cordless rotary tools normally run off lithium-ion batteries. Those designed for lightweight tasks generally have 4-volt batteries, but if you need more power, you’ll be happier with an 8-volt or even a 12-volt tool.

Rotations per Minute

Most rotary tools today have a variable speed control, letting you tailor the rotations-per-minute to your needs. As a general rule, the lowest setting is around 5,000 rpm, and the highest setting is anywhere between 25,000 to 35,000 rpm. If you only use your rotary tool for lightweight tasks, such as buffing or polishing, you won’t need the utmost in rotations per minute, but if you plan on using your tool for cutting, carving, grinding, or sanding, particularly of hard materials, you’ll be happiest with a tool that hits the highest speeds.

  • Polish
  • Sharpen
  • Cut
  • Grind
  • Buff
  • Carve
  • Engrave
  • Sand
  • Drill
  • Clean

While both a drill and a rotary tool—whether corded or cordless—have fast-spinning tips that hold some sort of attachment, they are not the same thing. It’s true that both can be used to drill holes and drive screws—although a drill is better for that purpose—but as a general rule, rotary tools are much more versatile, thanks to their vast range of attachments that can be used not only for drilling, but also for cutting, polishing, sanding, and many other tasks. But one of the biggest differences in these two tools is in the type of power they produce. Rotary tools are all about speed; it’s standard for these tools to have 5,000 to 35,000 rpm, depending on the brand. Drills, on the other hand, are far slower, but have far more torque than a rotary tool. Torque is the force of the spin. So while a rotary tool is well suited to more delicate, precise tasks, a drill is the better choice for tasks that require a little more “muscle” to accomplish. If you enjoy fixing things around your home or taking on a variety of DIY projects, it is well worth your while to own both a drill and a rotary tool.

The speed of a rotary tool is measured in rotations per minute (rpms), and refers to how quickly the tool can spin an attachment. Most rotary tools have either set speed settings—two or three is common, although some have as many as six speeds—or a variable speed control that lets you choose the exact speed desired. Typically, a rotary tool has a speed range of around 5,000 rpms up to 35,000 rpms. As a general rule, you’ll want to use a slower speed when working on delicate materials or materials that could melt, such as plastic. You’ll also want to use a slow speed for polishing, buffing, or any task that involves an attachment with a brush. Higher speeds are best for tasks that involve cutting or sanding. But always keep in mind that no matter the task, you should start off slowly and gradually turn up the speed. This allows you to maintain the best control of the rotary tool.

  • Drum sander
  • Sanding disc
  • General-purpose cutting wheel
  • Metal-cutting wheel
  • Engraving tip
  • Grinding stone
  • Polishing wheel
  • Drilling bit

Once you have the basics, you can add more specialized attachments as the need arises.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of rotary tools, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and customer feedback, as well as advice from Thomas Hawkins, handyman, master electrician, and owner of Electrician Apprentice HQ.

What Is A Rotary Tool? – A Simple Guide

A rotary tool might seem like a strange name for a tool since the main function of so many tools is rotation. Drills rotate, die grinder rotate, even mix masters have rotation as their main function. So what exactly are we talking about when we say that a tool is a rotary tool.

A rotary tool is a small handheld tool with a rotating spindle. A bit is attached to the spindle which rotates at a rate of 5000 to 35000 RPMs. Different bits are used depending on the task. The main uses of a rotary tool are light tasks like sanding, polishing, grinding, sharpening, cutting different materials, engraving, and more.

A rotary tool is a very versatile tool with so many different purposes and uses and I think everyone should have one in their tool kit. Let’s get to know the rotary tool and all the different things it can be used for.

What Is A Rotary Tool?

Rotary Tools And Bits

Rotary tools are mainly used for lighter tasks that do not require too much power or torque from the tool. Surface work is good examples, like sanding, removing surface rust, or deburring a metal edge. I will explain more about the uses further down in the article.

A rotary tool can also do “some” heavy work, like cutting stainless steel. But the tool is limited to the cutting of smaller pieces of hard materials because of the lack of power and the small size of its bits/cutting discs.

Rotary tools come in many different sizes and the power of the different rotary tools will also vary. You can get small rotary tools for lighter tasks and DIY uses, and you can get bigger and more heavy-duty rotary tools if you need the extra power.

Here are three different rotary tools in different, sizes, shapes, and for slightly different uses:

Dremel 4000

Bits And Collets

Rotary Tool Bits And Collets

A Dremel uses collets to secure the different bits of the tool. We use different sizes of collets for bits with different shank sizes. The collets come in four sizes. 1/32-inches (0.8mm), 1/16-inches (1.6mm), 3/32-inches (2.4mm) and 1/8-inches (3.2mm).

When the collet nut is tightened, the collet will clamp and secure the bits that are inserted into the collet.

Bits are what we use to perform the different tasks we can do with a Dremel. There is a wide variety of bits for rotary tools, you can even make your own.

You will find bits for sanding wood, grinding metal, engraving glass, carving wood, cleaning, removing rust, cutting different materials, and so much more.

Main Uses Of A Rotary Tool

Uses Of A Rotary Tool

Here are some of the main uses of a rotary tool:

Sanding – A rotary tool can be used for sanding a wide variety of materials. But sanding bands and discs are mainly used for sanding wood.

Engraving – A rotary tool can be used for engraving materials like glass, metal, stones, and wood. Fine diamond bits are the bits mainly used for engraving.

Cutting Metal – A rotary tool can easily cut through thin pieces of metal, but it will have a harder time cutting thicker pieces of metal. Normal-sized bolts and screws can be cut by a rotary tool. Cutting discs of different sizes and qualities are used for cutting metal with a rotary tool.

Cutting Wood – A rotary tool can cut through wood with little effort. There are several attachments and bits the user can utilize for cutting wood. A great example is the Wood Cutting Disc #EZ544 that the Dremel company produces.

Sharpening – A rotary tool can be used for sharpening anything from chainsaws, to knives, to scissors, to shears, and garden tools. Different grinding stones are used for this task.

Grinding/Deburring – A rotary tool is great for deburring and grinding sharp metal edges after a cut. Different grinding stones are used for this task.

Cleaning – A rotary tool can be used for cleaning many different substances. A good example can be hard spots that are hard to reach with a rag in the shower and needs some extra power to be removed. We use a wide variety of steel and silicone brushes for this task.

Routing – A rotary tool can actually become your own little mini router, this is mainly used for wood. You can use attachments like the plunge router or the cutting guide depending on which type of routing you want to do.

DIY/Crafts – A rotary tool is a must-have for any kind of DIY’er or crafter. It can cut, shape, and decorate most materials. A great rotary tool for DIY’ers is the Dremel Stylo.

Drilling – A rotary tool can be used for drilling tiny holes in wood, plastic, and metal. The small size of the rotary tool gives you the ability to drill precise tiny holes.

Polishing – A rotary can be used for anything that needs to be polished to a smooth shine. Many jewelry makers actually use rotary tools for finishing oof and polishing their jewelry to a shine.

Many Different Attachments

A rotary tool is designed so it can be used with many different attachments. An attachment is an addon and a piece of equipment for your rotary tool that is designed and used for more specific tasks. This increases the uses and usefulness of your rotary tool.

Here are three attachments for rotary tools that I find really useful:

Quick Change Chuck

The quick-change chuck gives you the ability to change bits without worrying about collet sizes.

Flex Shaft

The flex shaft is an extended handle for the rotary tool that is easier to control, lighter, and better for detailed work.

Cutting Guide

The cutting guide gives you the ability to cut more accurately and use the rotary tool as a router.

The Dremel Brand

Dremel is the leading brand when it comes to making rotary tools. The Dremel rotary tools are actually so popular that people are using the word Dremel when referring to rotary tools of other brands as well.

So when someone mentions a Dremel, they are probably talking about the rotary tool. And it does not have to be made by the Dremel brand.

Dremel makes several different rotary tools for different purposes, some are small for DIY work, some are larger and more powerful for heavier work, and some are cordless and useful when you don’t have an electrical socket nearby.

Dremel also makes other tools like oscillating tools, scroll saws, 3d printers, and more.

Is A Rotary Tool The Same As A Drill?

Even though the main function of a drill and a rotary tool is rotation, they are very different in use. A rotary tool is meant to be used for light work, it has little torque and has a high rpm. A drill is meant to be powerful enough to drive in screws and for drilling, it has a large amount of torque and operates at a low rpm.

A Drill does not have RPMs to do the tasks of a rotary tool effectively.

A rotary tool does not have the torque or motor power to do the tasks of a drill effectively.

Is A Die Grinder A Rotary Tool?

A Die Grinder is technically a rotary tool. But since die grinder tools have a name, we use their names when talking about them. The main function of a die grinder is to rotate and has many of the same uses as conventional Dremel-like rotary tools. The die grinders are just more powerful.

Is A Rotary Tool The Same As A Dremel?

Most rotary tools can be referred to as a Dremel. And most people would understand that language. But a rotary tool is not technically the same as a Dremel. Dremel is a brand that produces many different types of tools like scrolls saws, 3d printers, saws, rotary tools, and more. But the rotary tools made by the Dremel brand have become so popular that a Dremel has become the term that people use when talking about rotary tools.

Recent Posts

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