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.
Includes five accessories, a storage bag, a user guide, and a wrench. Extremely efficient and user-friendly option.
- 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
- Some issues with the flip-lock mechanism
- Mechanism has been known to break if not handled correctly
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.