Best Rotary Tools

One of the must-have options for any handyman or DIY-er is a quality rotary tool. Powerful and versatile, the best rotary tool is the jack-of-all-trades found in any well-equipped toolbox, capable of endless repair, maintenance, design, and cleaning projects.

How do you know which rotary tool is right for YOU and the tasks you have in mind? You don’t want one that can’t handle the toughest chores and lets you down in the middle of an important job.

We’ve assembled a list of the Top 5 Rotary Tools. We will discuss what a rotary tool is and how you use it. We will then give you an overview of several top models, listing the Pros and Cons of each. Finally, we will see how other customers feel about their purchase.

What is a Rotary Tool?

A rotary tool is a small handheld power tool used for many home improvement or light construction projects. A motor drives a fast-rotating spindle to which you attach various tool bits, depending on the task– polishing tools, sanding bits, or cutting wheels, etc.

Despite their handheld size, rotary tools are quite powerful. Most spin at 20,000 revolutions-per-minute, although more powerful models reach 35,000 RPM. This speed gives the tool the power to tackle many kinds of projects. Most models let you choose the power level, so at the right setting and with the right attachment, you handle anything from rough grinding jobs to intricate precision work.

Examples of Rotary Tool Projects

Because they are so handy and versatile, every toolbox deserves a good-quality rotary tool. They can be used for:

  • Cutting: Match the attachment to the material being cut: Light materials like wood or plaster (straight bit), to trim plastic or part metal (cutting wheel), or to make fine cuts on tile, steel, or other tough metals (carbide burr).
  • Grinding: Attach an abrasive grinding bit to sharpen knives, metal tools, and garden implements. You can also remove sharp or jagged edges from any piece of metal.
  • Carving/Engraving: Because the variety of attachments let you work on wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, and tile, you can confidently handle any design or decorating project.
  • Glasswork: With special steel bits coated in diamond, use your rotary tool for glass etching, engraving, and carving projects.NOTE: Never use a regular bit to work on glass, as it could shatter, ruining the project and possibly injuring you.
  • Drilling: Although not ideal for hardwoods or metal, rotary tools easily drill holes in softer materials like most woods or plastics.
  • Sanding: With any of several sanding attachments, you can tackle lighter sanding jobs such as crown moldings, furniture, or picture frames.
  • Polishing and Cleaning: With a polishing wheel or wire brush attachment, you can clean and detail metal, chrome, jewelry, or even old mechanical devices.

Dremel 8220 Rotary Tool Kit

Founded in 1932, the brand name “Dremel” is synonymous with top-of-the-line rotary tools. For nearly 100 years, this American company has sold what it once advertised as a “pocket-sized machine shop.” Today, the Dremel Company also produces powered screwdrivers, scroll saws, hot glue guns, and oscillating tools.

The Dremel 8220 Rotary Tool Kit is an ideal choice for the serious professional or home handyman. Its powerful motor reaches up to 35,000 RPM, and it comes with 28 accessories, giving you the versatility to take on any project imaginable. Best of all, it is completely cordless so that you can take it anywhere. The 12-volt lithium-ion battery charges in one hour, reducing downtime.

 PROS

  • Dremel is the most-trusted name in rotary tools.
  • Made in America.
  • The motor has six settings from 5000 – 35,000 RPM.
  • Cordless, powered by a 12-volt lithium-ion battery.
  • One-hour charge time.
  • 33% longer run time than the previous model.
  • Lightweight, only 1.6 pounds.
  • Ergonomic 360-degree grip zone for comfortable use and precise control
  • Comes with a hard carrying case and 28 high-quality Dremel accessory bits
  • 95% of purchasers give the 8220 model a 4- or 5-star rating
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • Much more expensive than budget rotary tools.
  • Has relatively few accessories compared to some other models on this list.

BOTTOM LINE

In our opinion, it is hard to beat a Dremel for performance or quality. They set the bar quite high for any would-be competitors.

GOXAWEE G4007 Rotary Tool Kit

GOXAWEE is a Chinese company specializing in small and micro power tools. Their products are perfect for DIYers, craftsmen, and home hobbyists.

There is much to like about the GOXAWEE G4007 Rotary Tool Kit. For an entry-level multi-tool, it has many features desirable to anyone wanting affordable performance versatility.

The 1.3 amp motor has three variable speed settings, ranging from 8000 to 30,000 RPM, easily capable of most light jobs. The G4007 model is so versatile that the kit includes a whopping 140 accessories.No matter what your woodworking, craft, or repair project is, this rotary tool is more than capable.

PROS

  • Good value for the money.
  • The motor has six settings from 8000 – 30,000 RPM.
  • Includes a huge assortment of accessories.
  • Cover shield for safety.
  • The Quick-Change Drill Chuck accommodates multiple bit sizes,
  • Comes with a hard carrying case.
  • 85% of purchasers gave the G4007 model a 4- or 5-star rating.
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • At 3.3 pounds, the G4007 is not lightweight. Fatigue may become a factor.
  • Not cordless.
  • The cord is less than 5 feet long.
  • Directions are not in correct or clear English.
  • Best used for smaller, less-demanding tasks.
  • Some purchasers complain of overheating.

BOTTOM LINE:

This is a good budget rotary tool, but it is probably best for hobbyists, rather than people trying to do major repair or maintenance projects.

WEN 2307 Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit

Founded in 1951, the WEN company has been a pioneer in the industry for decades. They say that they “bring tools and electricity together” and that they put “the power in power tools.”They aren’t just boasting, because WEN research is why we have the electric sharpeners, engravers, soldering guns, and jigsaws of today.

For a budget rotary tool, the WEN 2307 model has a lot going for it. It has a variable-speed motor with settings from 8,000 – 30,000 RPM. This range makes it suitable for sanding, grinding, cutting, and engraving. It weighs less than two pounds, so this model is also a good choice for intricate, detailed work.

The kit comes with 100 accessories, including mandrels, polishing pads, sanding disks, grinding stones, cutting wheels, and much more. Open the box and get started on your next project right away.

PROS

  • WEN is an established and reputable American company.
  • Budget price makes it the ideal rotary tool for beginners.
  • Motor speed is adjustable from 8000 – 30,000 rpm.
  • At 1.9 pounds, the WEN 2307 is very lightweight.
  • A huge assortment of accessories is included.
  • 80% of purchasers give this model a 4- or 5-star rating.
  • 1-year warranty.

CONS

  • This model is not cordless.
  • The 1-year warranty is shorter than that offered by other brands.
  • Although WEN is an American company, the 2307 model is made in China.
  • Most customer complaints say the attachments are of lower quality.

BOTTOM LINE

With the ultra-low price, we consider this to be the best budget rotary tool for crafting, rather than for handymen or serious DIYers.

Dremel 4300 High-Performance Rotary Tool Kit

The Dremel 4300 High-Performance Rotary Tool Kit is made with professional craftsmen and serious DIYers in mind. With a powerful 1.8 amp variable-speed motor that adjusts from 5000 to 35,000 RPM, five attachments, and 40 high-quality accessories, there is no limit to the number of repair, maintenance, and design projects you can take on.

Every feature on the 4300 model enhances performance, from the pivot light that sharply illuminates your work to the airflow system that prevents overheating to the replaceable motor brushes that extend the life of your rotary tool.

Weighing 25 ounces and sporting a slim, ergonomic design, the Dremel 4300 won’t tire you out while you are working, a major plus when you have a delicate project to finish.

PROS

  • Dremel quality.
  • Powerful variable-speed motor, adjustable from 5000 – 35,000 RPM.
  • The most-desired attachments and accessories are included — a sharpener for garden tools and lawnmowers, a shield attachment, a multipurpose cutting tool, and a grinding/sanding guide.
  • The airflow system cools the motor, reduces vibration, and makes for quieter operation.
  • Separate speed dial and on/off switch gives more control.
  • Replaceable motor brushes extend the life of the tool.
  • Pivot light helps you see your project, even in hard-to-reach spaces.
  • 95% of purchasers gave the 4300 model a 4- or 5-star rating.
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • Compared to other brands, Dremel is extremely expensive.
  • This model is NOT cordless.

BOTTOM LINE

This is the rotary tool you want if you want all the bells and whistles and over-the-top performance. You will not be disappointed.

Black + Decker RTX-B Rotary Tool

A 2010 merger of two of the world’s most reputable tool manufacturers created Stanley Black + Decker, the international tool giant that now stands behind the RTX-B Rotary Tool. Surprising for a mid-priced model, but not surprising given its pedigree, this model is a fantastic choice for DIY enthusiasts, crafters, and handymen.

This variable-speed motor has three settings — 12,000, 24,000, and 30,000 RPM, which is enough power to handle almost any project. It is extremely lightweight and ergonomic, weighing just over a pound and sporting a soft, rubberized non-slip handle that reduces hand fatigue. In other words, you will be able to take on demanding or intricate jobs with fewer rest breaks.

The RTX-B comes with sanding accessories and a universal collet system that accepts all standard rotary tool attachments.

PROS

  • Black + Decker is one of the most well-known and reputable tool manufacturers in the world.
  • For the mid-range price, this is an excellent value in terms of quality and performance. 
  • The motor is adjustable to three speeds, up to 30,000 RPM.
  • At just 1.04 pounds, the RTX-B model is the lightest entry on our list.
  • The 2.0-amp engine delivers more torque than any of the leading competitors.
  • 89% of purchasers gave this model a 4- or 5-star rating.
  • 2-year warranty.

CONS

  • This model is not cordless.
  • There are very few included accessories, necessitating additional purchases.
  • Some customers complain that the RTX-B model is rather loud.

BOTTOM LINE

Because of the outstanding torque and the affordable price, we really like this Black + Decker rotary tool. If you aren’t ready to spend big bucks on a Dremel, this is a good option for most crafting and around-the-house chores.

Final Thoughts

How to buy a rotary tool depends on what you want to use it for and how often you are going to use it. If you only occasionally work on craft or minor DIY projects, then any of these is a good choice about which you can feel completely confident.

But if you are a dedicated DIYer, handyman, or crafter, then take the next step and move up to the well-known brands — Dremel and Black + Decker. We like these American-made products, just as we like their power, versatility, and overall capability. With the right attachments and accessories, these models successfully meet any design or project challenges we may encounter.

What to Look for in a Rotary Tool: A Buyers Guide

Before you purchase a rotary tool, there are several considerations:

    • How powerful is it?: As a general rule, the greater speed and rotary tool offers, the more projects it can handle.
    • Is it easy to use?: This can mean several things: the weight of the tool, the ergonomic feel of it in your hands, the simplicity of changing attachments, the placements of the controls, etc.
  • How is it powered?: Does it have a rechargeable battery or do you have to plug it in? Do you like the convenience and portability of a cordless rotary tool, or do you prefer uninterrupted power of a corded one?
  • How will you use it?: Are you a handyman or dedicated DIY-er? Do you need a rotary tool for major repair or design jobs? Or are you a hobbyist? Is your rotary tool for smaller craft projects?
  • Does it come with any attachments? Different tasks require different attachments, and the more accessories you have, the more versatile your rotary tool becomes.
  • How much does it cost? For many people, this is the most important consideration. If you are an occasional hobbyist, you may not want to pay premium prices for the top-of-the-line model. On the other hand, if you are a serious handyman or craftsman, you cannot afford to buy an underpowered tool that you will have to quickly replace.

All of these important factors are unique to your situation. Keep them in mind as you look at our list of the Top Five Rotary Tools for 2020.

Frequently-Asked Questions

  1. I am a beginner. Is it hard to use a rotary tool?

With a little bit of practice, absolutely not. Do not be intimidated, because it is a skill that can be learned. Our advice would be to start out with a few simple projects that will let you build your confidence as you get accustomed to your rotary tool.

  1. I’m pretty confident about my ability to make simple cuts, but I have never engraved anything. Is it difficult?

Actually, simple engraving is one of the easier rotary tool projects, once you get the hang of it. Think of engraving as merely writing or drawing on metal or stone. Basically, if you can use a pen, you can use a rotary tool for engraving.

  1. Where can I get ideas about how to use my rotary tool?

If you have mastered the basics and are ready to use your rotary tool to its greatest potential, you can find inspiration on YouTube, Pinterest, and other DIY websites.

  1. What safety gear do I need to use a rotary tool?

You should wear safety gloves, goggles, and hearing protection every time you use your rotary tool.

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