Reviews

The Best Rotary Tools: Versatile Woodworking Devices

Consider these rotary tools for your next home renovation project

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BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON January 14, 2021

A rotary tool is handy and extremely useful for DIY or major home renovation projects. With a high-quality rotary tool in your workshop, you can finish your woodworking projects by polishing, grinding, cutting, and more. You can work on intricately carved woodworking projects, and the best rotary tools come with a variety of attachments for different uses. Owning a reliable and powerful rotary tool is a smart idea. With recent advances in technology, there are more options available for rotary tools and rotary tool kits. Whether you are looking for great value, durability, versatility, or portability, we look at the best rotary tools available. Check out which rotary tool is the best fit for your needs.

Best Overall
Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool
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Summary
Summary

Includes five accessories, a storage bag, a user guide, and a wrench. Extremely efficient and user-friendly option.

Pros
Pros
  • Features a patented Flip-Lock spindle lock system for quick and easy accessory changes
  • Can be used with any standard rotary tool accessories
  • Has a high torque motor and variable speeds to maximize efficiency and the number of projects you can work on with this tool
Cons
Cons
  • Some issues with the flip-lock mechanism
  • Mechanism has been known to break if not handled correctly
Best Overall
Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool
Best Value
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit
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Summary
Summary

Ideal for a variety of DIY projects, including cutting, sanding, polishing, shaping, drilling, deburring, grinding, and more. Includes a variable speed adjustment that ranges from 8,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM. A corded option can be used for heavy-duty projects with its robust one-amp motor.

Pros
Pros
  • 80-piece accessory tool set includes bits, sanding discs, polishing pads, mandrels, and more
  • Extremely user-friendly, featuring an onboard spindle lock system, which allows for quick and easy bit changes while working
  • Includes a flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate detail and precision
Cons
Cons
  • Limited reach and cannot be used unless your workspace is near a power outlet
  • If you will be working at a job site or outdoors, you may want to consider one of the cordless rotary tools
Best Value
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit
Honorable Mention
Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit
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Summary
Summary

Can be used on a variety of professional, heavy-duty projects. Includes a high-performance rotary tool, five attachments, 40 high-quality Dremel accessories, and a durable, protective plastic storage case.

Pros
Pros
  • The variable speed of this rotary tool ranges from  5,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM 
  • Includes an electronic feedback system for consistent performance and accuracy
  • Universal three-jaw chuck makes this tool fully compatible with any accessory in the Dremel line
  • Innovative airflow system includes a patented ventilation mechanism that helps prevent heat build-up for smooth and quiet operation.
Cons
Cons
  • Plastic threading of accessories has been known to wear out
  • Accessories will likely need to be replaced before you ever need to purchase a new Dremel rotary tool
Honorable Mention
Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Rotary Tools

  • Lightweight: An important feature of rotary tools is that they are compact and portable. It is essential to be able to hold your tool for long periods and carry it with you while traveling if necessary.
  • Versatile: Another important benefit of rotary tools is that they are extremely versatile. Rotary tools can be used for DIY or major renovation projects, and they typically come with various attachments to work on several different types of projects.
  • Reliable: Rotary tools are very reliable and durable products. They are typically built to withstand the test of time, feature a long-lasting battery or long cord, and can be used for several years without worry.

Types of Rotary Tools

Corded

Corded rotary tools are an extremely reliable type of rotary tool. This type of rotary tool typically features a long cord for versatility while working in your home or workshop. One major downside of this type of rotary tool is that it has some limitations with reach and portability. If you purchase a corded rotary tool, make sure that you will be using it in a space with a power outlet nearby. Otherwise, you will need to carry an extension cord with you to use this type of rotary tool.

Cordless

Cordless rotary tools are the more modern and versatile type of rotary tool. Cordless rotary tools are battery powered and can be used in any location, including outdoor woodworking projects. This type of rotary tool typically features a rechargeable battery that can be charged via a battery pack and electrical outlet. While this type of rotary tool is more portable, it is typically less powerful than corded rotary tools. If you purchase a cordless rotary tool, it is typically a good idea to carry a spare battery with you in case your battery runs out of power.

Top Brands

Black+Decker

Founded in 1910 and headquartered in Towson, Md., Black+Decker Inc. is one of the biggest American manufacturers of power tools and home improvement products. In addition to high-quality rotary tools, Black+Decker also produces power tools, lawn equipment, car accessories, home appliances, and more. 

DeWalt

Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Towson, Md., DeWalt is a registered trademark of Black+Decker. It is an extremely reputable manufacturer of power tools and hand tools for the construction industry. In addition to reliable rotary tools, DeWalt also produces drill sets, hand saws, lawn mowers, and more.  

Dremel

Founded by Albert J. Dremel in Racine, Wis. in 1932, Dremel has developed into one of the most trustworthy and quality manufacturers of power tools, specializing in the Dremel rotary tool. In addition to high-quality rotary tools, Dremel also produces power saws, laser cutting materials, pet accessories, merchandise, and more.   

Rotary Tool Pricing

  • Under $30: Rotary tools in this price range are available at excellent value. Products in this price range can either be corded or cordless, but they do not come with any special features or attachments.
  • $30-$70: This is the most common price range for rotary tools. Products in this price range typically are very high quality, reliable, and come with a few special features and attachments.
  • $70 and up: Rotary tools in this price range are priced at a premium. Products in this price range are typically the highest quality, can be sold as part of a rotary tool kit, feature several special features, and a variety of attachments.

Key Features

Ease of Use

Owning a rotary tool that is user-friendly and extremely easy to use is an important consideration. It should be easy to change out the various attachments and bits included with your rotary tool. If your rotary tool requires a wrench or some type of tool to switch out the attachments, it can be quite time-consuming. Look for a rotary tool where the attachments can be changed with a simple button or twist-and-lock mechanism for a more efficient method and to save time while working on a major project.

Power

The amount of power generated by your rotary tool is another important feature. The power is typically measured in volts or amperage. Whether you purchase a cordless or corded rotary tool, it should feature at least a 1.6-amp rating and a minimum of 4.8 volts. Corded options typically can generate more power. If you will be working on major products that require a heavy-duty rotary tool, look to purchase a product with at least 12 volts of power.

Weight

The weight of your rotary tool is an important consideration. If you will be using your rotary tool for large projects or extended periods, you will want to consider a lightweight, compact option that still features a high power rating. A lightweight rotary tool is also convenient to carry with you as part of a tool kit or in your bag while traveling to the job site. 

Other Considerations

  • Speed. The speed of your rotary tool should be considered before making your final purchase. A rotary tool's speed is typically measured in revolutions per minute. Some models only feature a single speed, while other models feature variable speeds to work on a variety of different types of projects. The variable speeds make your rotary tool more useful for several different projects around your home.
  • Design. The design of your rotary tool can be an important consideration. The design has a major effect on both the comfort level and the ability to use your rotary tool for extended periods. Look for a rotary tool that will feature a comfortable, non-slip grip, as well as a contoured body to provide excellent safety and balance while in use.
  • Warranty. The length and type of warranty are important considerations when considering the best rotary tool to fit your needs. Most reputable manufacturers will include some type of warranty with their products. Look for a limited warranty that will at least cover any manufacturing defects or issues with your rotary tool upon delivery, or any issues that arise within the first few months of use.

Best Rotary Tools Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Black and Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool

If you're looking for a high-quality rotary tool, the Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool may be the best product on the market today. This rotary tool includes five accessories, a storage bag, a user guide, and a wrench. It is an extremely efficient and user-friendly option, featuring a patented Flip-Lock spindle lock system for quick and easy accessory changes. This eliminates the need to hold down a button while working. In addition to the included accessories, this rotary tool can be used with any standard rotary tool accessories. It has a high torque motor and variable speeds to maximize efficiency and the number of projects you can work on with this tool. The three different speed options, including 12,000 RPM, 24,000 RPM, and 30,000 RPM, can be easily changed with the push of a simple button. It can be used for a wide variety of projects, including woodworking, engraving, cleaning vintage furniture, polishing, and more.


One downside of the Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool is the flip-lock mechanism. Make sure to read your instruction manual properly. Otherwise, the mechanism has been known to break if not handled correctly.

Best Value
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

If you're shopping on a budget, you can't go wrong with the WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit. This rotary tool is ideal for a variety of DIY projects, including cutting, sanding, polishing, shaping, drilling, deburring, grinding, and more. It includes a variable speed adjustment that ranges from 8,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM. This corded option can be used for heavy-duty projects with its robust one-amp motor. For its great price point, this 80-piece accessory tool set includes bits, sanding discs, polishing pads, mandrels, and more. This rotary tool is extremely user-friendly, featuring an onboard spindle lock system, which allows for quick and easy bit changes while working. There is even an included flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate detail and precision. The protective and convenient carrying case is great for storage, organization, and portability. 


One issue with the WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit is with its mobility. Due to the corded option, this rotary tool has a limited reach and cannot be used unless your workspace is near a power outlet. If you will be working at a jobsite or outdoors, you may want to consider one of the cordless rotary tools.

Premium Pick
Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit

Although it is priced at a premium, the Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit is a high-quality product that can be used on a variety of professional, heavy-duty projects. This tool kit includes a high-performance rotary tool, five attachments, 40 high-quality Dremel accessories, and a durable, protective plastic storage case. The variable speed of this rotary tool ranges from 5,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM, and it includes an electronic feedback system for consistent performance and accuracy. The universal three-jaw chuck makes this Dremel rotary tool fully compatible with any accessory in the Dremel line. An innovative airflow system includes a patented ventilation mechanism that helps prevent heat build-up for smooth and quiet operation. The motor brushes or this rotary tool are completely replaceable to extend the life of the tool.


One downside of the Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit is its durability. The plastic threading of this rotary tool's accessories has been known to wear out. The accessories will likely need to be replaced before you ever need to purchase a new Dremel rotary tool.

Best Heavy Duty
DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool

The DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool is built for heavy-duty projects, featuring a 5.0-amp, 30,000 RPM motor. This rotary tool includes a user-friendly tool-free bit change. The dust-sealed switch is designed to protect against dust ingestion for added durability. The turn-on/bump-off switch is an essential safety feature that allows the user to easily shut the tool off when needed. The compact and ergonomic design is extremely comfortable and known to cause less fatigue over extended periods of use. The various special features of this rotary tool make it a great fit for DIY projects, home renovations, as well as a great tool for professional drywallers, electricians, and carpenters. The product uses spiral cutting bits, which work equally well plunging into a cut as they do laterally. Despite its high power output, this rotary tool's motor runs very smoothly with low vibration.


One issue with the DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool is with the bits. Some customers have reported that the bits are not very durable and have been known to break while using. You may want to consider using or purchasing different bits to use with this rotary tool to improve its durability.

Honorable Mention
VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set

For its excellent price point, the VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set includes 34 accessories for precision cutting, drilling, engraving, grinding, milling, polishing, removing burs, sanding, scraping, sharpening, and more. It can be used to cut through wires, old glue, plastics, pipes, drywall, wood, thin sheet aluminum, and more. The five-position variable speed control includes a range of 10,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM. In addition to the rotary tool, this set includes a carrying case, five collets, one mandrel, one screw mandrel, one sanding drum, three sanding bands, five cutting wheels, two engraving cutters, seven grinding shanks, two fabric wheels, four drill bits, one carbon brush, and one spanner. The flex-shaft provides an extension, which is ideal for intricate and professional work like engraving metals or glass.


One issue with the VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set is its durability. Some customers have reported that this rotary tool has worn down sooner than expected. If you will be using this product for extended periods or a long period, then you may want to consider another rotary tool.

Honorable Mention
Tacklife Rotary Tool Kit

The Tacklife Rotary Tool Kit is another high-quality product available at a great price point. This rotary tool kit includes a 2.0 keyless chuck for convenient accessory changes. The universal keyless chuck accepts all size accessories ranging from 1/8 inch to 1/32 inch. This versatile product can be used for many different projects, including cutting, engraving, drilling, sanding, polishing, and even grinding your pets’ nails. It includes six levels of speed adjustments, ranging from 10,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM. In addition to a powerful rotary tool, this tool set includes a protective tool box, accessory case, over 100 accessories, four Attachments, and a convenient user manual. Perhaps best of all, this rotary tool comes with an excellent customer service team that is very helpful, and will offer a refund or replacement should there be any issues with your product.


One downside of the Tacklife Rotary Tool Kit is that some of the accessories can be inconsistent. Make sure to inspect all of the accessories for any damaged products in the tool set before using it for the first time.

Honorable Mention
Proxxon 38481 Professional Rotary Tool

The Proxxon 38481 Professional Rotary Tool is another compact, lightweight, yet a reliable product. This rotary tool is ideal for a variety of projects, including grinding, polishing, cleaning, cutting, and engraving. It has a variable speed adjustment that ranges between 5,000 RPM and 20,000 RPM. The rotary tool can be used for extended periods at low speeds for projects that require brushing and cutting, or at high speeds for heavy-duty jobs that require grinding and milling. This well-balanced rotary tool includes 34 accessories. The six, triple-slit steel collets cover 1/32 inch to 1/8 inch. Despite its high power, the 1/8-horsepower motor is specially designed for minimal vibration while working. With a weight of just 1.3 pounds, the tool is very easy and comfortable to handle. It even comes with a convenient storage case for added protection while not in use.


One downside of the Proxxon 38481 Professional Rotary Tool is its price point. While it does feature several different accessories, if you are shopping for a budget-friendly product, you may want to consider another rotary tool.

Honorable Mention
Makita Rotary Tool

The Makita Rotary Tool is another versatile, powerful product. This rotary tool includes a heavy-duty five-Amp motor to cut a variety of materials and work on many different projects. The motor features a cutting speed of up to 32,000 RPM. The two-way slide-and-bump switch is easy to operate, and can simply be shut off if needed for safety reasons. A dust-sealed switch allows for extra protection from dust and debris to prolong the lifespan of this rotary tool. This tool accepts 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch bits, and it is engineered with ball bearing construction to reduce friction and allow for a smooth rotation while working. The slim design of this rotary tool is built to maximize comfort and efficiency, allowing for optimum control on intricate projects. There are fan exhaust vents direct air and debris away from the motor and prevent overheating. 


One issue with the Makita Rotary Tool is its durability. The various pieces of this tool are quite fragile and can be broken if dropped, so be careful with the tool while working.

Tips

  • Make sure to thoroughly read your instruction manual or watch any instructional videos before using your rotary tool for the first time. It is important to know how to properly use your tool to avoid any safety issues or problems with your work. 
  • To maximize your safety, avoid using your rotary tool in any areas where flammable gases or liquid products are stored. Make sure to thoroughly clean and dust your work area before using your tool.
  • Make sure to always wear safety goggles before using your rotary tool. Rotary tools produce dust, spark, and even shrapnel that can permanently damage your eyesight. A dust mask should also be worn while working with your rotary tool.
  • Make sure to always inspect your tool kit, accessories, and attachments before using your rotary tool each time. Never used any cracked or damaged tools to avoid accidents or injuries while working.
  • Always use a clamp or vise to secure your workpiece to the table when using a rotary tool. It is unsafe to hold your workpiece by hand while working.   

FAQs

Q: What is a rotary tool?

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

Q: Are cordless or corded rotary tools better?

Cordless rotary tools are typically more versatile and allow the user to get into tight areas where corded tools cannot reach. However, corded rotary tools typically provide more power for heavy-duty projects.

Q: What is the best rotary tool?

There are several high-quality rotary tools from a variety of reputable manufacturers available on the market today. Our top-rated rotary tool is the Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool, but make sure to read all of our reviews to find the tool to best fit your needs.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality rotary tool, consider the Black+Decker RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool, featuring a patented Flip-Lock spindle lock system, or the WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit, including an 80-piece accessory tool set. 

Drop us a comment and let us know what your favorite rotary tool is and what you love about it.