Home Improvement Woodworking

Tool School: Rotary Tool 101

Happy almost-spring, friends! With the weather warming up, I’m looking forward to more time with the shop doors open! Better weather means way more projects too, so today I’m tackling a tool I use a lot in my shop – rotary tools! As per usual, I’ll be sharing the ins and outs of the rotary tool here on the website and demo’ing some rotary tool uses over on my Instagram! There is a ton of information to cover in this rotary tool 101, so to help me out, my friend Timisha at Toolbox Divas is hosting a rotary tool school as well on her website and Instagram, so check her out!

How To Use A Rotary Tool 101

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot and is part of the ProSpective program. It contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure & sponsorship policy, click here.

1. What Is A Rotary Tool?

A rotary tool is a handheld power tool with a motor tip that spins. The tip can be affixed with different bits that can be used for a slew of different jobs (i.e., sanding, grinding, polishing, engraving, cutting, etc.). A rotary tool can have variable speeds (based on the model you have) and typically comes in a compact size for easy use.

2. What Does A Rotary Tool Do?

A rotary tool is only as good as its attachments and bits, so let’s break those down a bit more!

Rotary Bits

Rotary bits are small, interchangeable tips that can be used with your rotary tool. Some of the more popular bits include small sanders, cut-off wheels, engraving bits, and polishers. You can find different bits for different jobs on The Home Depot’s website

There are three frequently used rotary bits that I always love to recommend to people starting out!

Sanding & Grinding Attachments

I love using my Dremel to sand, grind, and clean up small edges and grooves when working. They are great for live edge projects, furniture restoration, and small details sanding!

Cutting Wheels

A rotary tool is perfect for times in which you don’t want to invest in a large metal cutting blade for smaller metal projects. Just make sure to get your hands on on some cutting wheels!

Engraving Bits

Rotary tools are compact, which makes them awesome for engraving. 

Rotary Attachments

Rotary attachments are different from bits in that they are physical attachments that can be added on to the tool itself to help it function in a different way. For example, you can add a plunging base to create a router, or add a flexible head to help you reach into small spaces.

3. What Rotary Tools Do You Recommend?

While the reality is that the accessories and attachments are the real MVPs of the rotary world, there are a few different rotary tools I highly recommend!

Best Entry-Level Rotary Tool:

Dremel Lite 7660 Cordless Rotary Tool (w/ 10 Accessories): This specific model is designed for beginners! It has 4 different speed settings, is lightweight, and makes changing accessories quick and easy!

Best Value Rotary Tool:

8220 Series 12-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Variable Speed Cordless Rotary Tool Kit with 30 Accessories and Case: This model is one of the most powerful cordless rotary tools on the market and comes with 30 accessories.

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Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.

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