7 Best Rotary Tools [2021 Reviews]

Whether you’re an engraver, woodworker, contractor, remodeler, or a simple hobbyist, you know how important a good rotary tool is to your workshop. It might look very simple at first glance, but what sets this power tool apart from other tools you have in your arsenal is the presence of different accessories that are capable of accomplishing multiple functions, including sanding, polishing, and machining. It can also be used for grinding, honing, engraving, and drilling. No wonder it is one of the most indispensable tools in any workshop.

Maybe you just got into a new hobby and you want a basic rotary tool to get started. Or you’re a professional and your Dremel tool suddenly stopped working in the middle of a project. In this article, we’re going to talk about what a rotary tool is, its many applications, and dish out some safety tips when using this indispensable power tool. We’re also counting down the best rotary tools available online so you can make an informed decision when shopping.

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Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit with LED Light- 5 Attachments & 40 Accessories- Engraver, Sander, and Polisher- Perfect for Grinding, Cutting, Wood Carving, Sanding, and Engraving
Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit with LED Light- 5 Attachments & 40 Accessories- Engraver, Sander, and Polisher- Perfect for Grinding, Cutting, Wood Carving, Sanding, and Engraving Premium rotary tool kit – Includes 4300 high performance rotary tool, 5 attachments, 40 high-quality Dremel accessories, and plastic storage case.High performance motor – Our most powerful motor delivers maximum performance even in the most demanding applications.Variable speed – 5,000 – 35,000 RPM with electronic feedback for consistent performance and accurate tool controlUniversal 3-jaw chuck – Allows the use of all Dremel accessory shank sizes making it compatible with the entire line of our high-quality accessories.Pivot light – Rotates to illuminate your projects even in difficult to reach spacesCheck Price Below

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WEN 23114 1.4-Amp High-Powered Variable Speed Rotary Tool with Cutting Guide, LED Collar, 100+ Accessories, Carrying Case and Flex Shaft
WEN 23114 1.4-Amp High-Powered Variable Speed Rotary Tool with Cutting Guide, LED Collar, 100+ Accessories, Carrying Case and Flex Shaft Powerful 1.4-amp variable speed motor provides 40% more power than alternative rotary toolsFeatures three innovative collars: a drilling/routing guide, an LED light attachment, and a rotatable spark and debris deflection shieldAttach the 3-foot flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate and complex detail workMulti-compartment carrying case allows for easy organization of your tool, collars, flex shaft, and 100+ accessoriesPacked with accessories, including three different collet sizes (1/8”, 3/32”, 1/16”), diamond-coated bits, grinding bits, drill bits, felt polishing wheels, sanding bands, cut-off wheels, sanding discs, and moreCheck Price Below

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BLACK+DECKER RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool with Storage Case
BLACK+DECKER RTX-B 3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool with Storage Case HIGH-TORQUE MOTOR – 2.0 Amp motor delivers the power you need to finish the job faster without getting bogged down under load.3-SPEED FUNCTION – Choose 12,000/24,000/30,000 rpm for power and precision across all applications.3-SPEED DIAL – For “set-and-forget” convenience.UNIVERSAL COLLET SYSTEM – Compatible with all standard rotary tool bits and accessories.FLIP-LOCK SYSTEM – Spindle lock allows for quick and easy bit and accessory changes without you needing to hold down a button.Check Price Below

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WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft Perfect for cutting, sanding, polishing, shaping, drilling, deburring, grinding and moreVariable speed goes anywhere from 8,000 to 30,000 RPMIncludes an 80-piece accessory set of bits, sanding discs, polishing pads, mandrels and moreOnboard spindle lock makes for quick and easy bit changes. 2.3mm & 3.2mm colletsAttach the included flex shaft for jobs requiring intricate detail and precisionCheck Price Below

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6.>Sale

PROXXON Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E, 38481
PROXXON Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E, 38481 Compact precision machines with aluminum die-cast head, quiet, precise and efficientUsable for extended periods when grinding, polishing, cleaning, cutting and engravingIdeal for mechanics, model builders, jewelers, opticians, artists and electronic enthusiastsHigh-revving motor with full-wave electronic speed control, variable speeds between 5,000 and 20,000rpmScope of delivery: 1x PROXXON Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E including MICROMOT collet set and 34 bits and cutters. Part number: 38481Check Price Below

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VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set with Flex Shaft, Stand and Storage Case Including 34 Piece Multi-functional Accessories Tool Bits Set For Cutting, Sanding and Polishing
VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool Set with Flex Shaft, Stand and Storage Case Including 34 Piece Multi-functional Accessories Tool Bits Set For Cutting, Sanding and Polishing ULTIMATE VERSATILITY: Use the multi-tool for precision cutting, drilling, engraving, grinding, milling, polishing, removing burs, sanding, scraping, sharpening and shaping. The cutting wheels can be used for a variety of light duty cutting tasks – cut through wires, old glue, plastics, pipes, drywall, wood, thin sheet aluminium and more with precision and accuracy.VARIABLE SPEED: 5 position variable speed control with 10,000 – 32,000rpm range – easily adjusted using the thumbwheelACCESSORY SET: 34 piece accessory set – housed in included carry case – includes 5 X collet, 1 X mandrel, 1 X screw mandrel, 1 X sanding drum, 3 X sanding bands, 5 X cutting wheels, 2 X engraving cutters, 7 X grinding shanks, 2 X fabric wheels, 4 X drill bits, 1 X carbon brushes and 1 X spannerFLEXI SHAFT: Includes a flexi-shaft which provides an extension to the multi-tool – ideal for intricate and professional work such as engraving metals or glass. The flexi-shaft comes with its own stand which securely clamps to a bench or table and includes a hook to hang the multi-toolQUICK and EASY: Features a built-in collet chuck, making changing attachments quick and easy. The VonHaus Multi-tool is compatible with most DREMEL rotary accessoriesCheck Price Below

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Best Rotary Tools Review - Sebring Design Build
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1. Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit

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Pros:

It comes with its own hard plastic carrying case that protects it from dust, moisture, or impact.  Multiple Dremel accessories and Dremel attachments are included in the bundle.The bright LED work light allows you to see your work surface even in poor light conditions.Its powerful motor delivers 5,000 to 35,000 RPM. The speed is variable, ensuring greater control and accuracy whatever your project.It has an ergonomic and non-slip soft grip.

Cons:

The quality of the tool can be hit-and-miss.

Sebring Tip:

Rotary tools have been called and genericized as ‘Dremel’ thanks to the company’s pioneering innovations. It seems that the Dremel tool is still the undisputed leader when it comes to rotary tools.

The Dremel 4000-2/30 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit is one of the company’s best-selling products and there’s no need to wonder why. It has a powerful motor that produces anywhere between 5,000 to 35,000 RPM. The speed can be adjusted according to the material you’re working ⁠— whether it’s etching on delicate glass or polishing corroded brass.

This Dremel tool kit comes with multiple accessories which include sanding discs, polishing pads, and more so you can work on your project with ease.

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2. WEN 23114 Rotary Tool

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Pros:

It comes with a spark and debris deflection shield for additional protection.You can see your work area clearly thanks to its LED light collar attachment. The tool comes with an easy-to-install drilling and routing guide.It has a long flex shaft for producing intricate work.An impressive array of attachments that are neatly organized in a compact clear-top plastic box.

Cons:

The carrying case is made of fabric.

Sebring Tip:

This WEN 23114 Rotary Tool allows you to create masterpieces with different materials or clean your rusty or corroded tools within minutes.

This is not your regular compact rotary tool. This rotary has a fairly bulky body that houses its 1.4-amp motor that delivers up to 35,000 RPM. Keep in mind that the speed can be adjusted depending on the material and type of project you’re working on.

The whole set includes polishing wheels, collets, sanding drums, sanding discs, cut-off wheel discs, and mandrel. It also includes a wire brush, grinding stone bits, drill bits, diamond-coated bits, and more.

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3. BLACK+DECKER RTX-B Rotary Tool

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Pros:

This is a very compact and lightweight rotary tool that is great for smaller and lighter projects.It is compatible with Dremel and other rotary tool accessories manufactured by other brands.Changing accessories is easy thanks to its Flip-Lock™ spindle lock.It has a 2-year limited warranty.This rotary tool fits any budget.

Cons:

It only has three variable speeds.Some sanding discs do not fit the drums snugly.

Sebring Tip:

Let’s say you’re just getting into engraving or glass cutting, and you don’t know if this is a long-term hobby or it is going to fall victim to your fickleness. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty but affordable rotary tool for your new hobby, then the BLACK+DECKER RTX-B Rotary Tool might be the best rotary tool for you.

This is a light and compact tool that’s perfect for the casual hobbyist and even professionals thanks to its variable speed and powerful motor. There’s no need to stress out when changing accessories as BLACK+DECKER has made it more convenient with the Flip-Lock™ spindle lock.

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4. TACKLIFE RTD35ACL Rotary Tool Kit

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Pros:

It comes with a durable carrying case to protect it from dust, moisture, and impact.The location of the on/off switch and variable speed adjustment dial is intuitive.It’s easy to install the various attachments and accessories thanks to its tooled design.It has a powerful motor that delivers anywhere between 10,000 to 32,000 RPM.It is affordable.

Cons:

The overall quality of some of the power tools can be inconsistent. You might get something you’ll love, or if you’re unlucky, receive a rotary tool you’ll loathe.

Sebring Tip:

This TACKLIFE Rotary Tool Kit is a great addition to your workshop with its impressive design and reliable performance. It has an impressive motor that produces as much as 32,000 RPM.

The speed is variable, so you can adjust it to suit your material and your project. Choose the lowest setting if you want maximum control and accuracy, and switch it to the highest setting for more efficient and powerful performance.

The kit comes with a Flex Shaft which makes it easier for you to wield the tool while working on delicate or smaller materials. Plus, it comes with attachments and accessories, including cutting wheels, sanding bands, felt polishing wheels, an Allen wrench, and an open-ended wrench. It also includes several sanding discs, dressing stone, bits, and grinding stones.

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5. WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

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Pros:

This WEN Rotary Tool Kit is compact and lightweight, making ideal for small projects or for occasional use.It includes 80 essential accessories.The hard plastic case allows you to protect and organize your tool, accessories, and attachments.It comes with a flex shaft that allows you to create intricate patterns or reach tight spots and corners.This is the most affordable rotary tool kit on the list.

Cons:

The overall performance of the motor of this particular model is poor.It is non-returnable.

Sebring Tip:

You’ll either love the WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit or completely loathe it. It’s a great compact tool for small-scale projects and ideal for hobbyists. It has a good enough motor which produces up to 30,000 RPM (if it’s working as it should).

What I like about it is the inclusion of the flex shaft. Keep in mind that this is a budget rotary tool kit, so the addition of the flex shaft comes as a surprise.

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6. Proxxon 38481 Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E

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Pros:

It has a nice hard polypropylene carrying case that protects it from dirt, debris, and moisture.The accessories and attachments are neatly organized in the box (unlike other units where they are stored rather haphazardly).This is a compact and lightweight rotary tool.The variable speed can reach up to 20,000 RPM. 

Cons:

This rotary tool is pricier than most.

Sebring Tip:

The Proxxon 38481 Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E is the ideal tool for hobbyists and professionals alike. It is compact and lightweight, making it easy to wield in case you’re working on delicate material or you’re creating intricate detail.

The housing is durable thanks to its reinforced polyamide construction. The gear head, on the other hand, is made of die-cast aluminum. The package already includes an assortment of bits and cutters, plus steel collets.

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7. VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool

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Pros:

It includes 34 accessories, including an assortment of bits, collets, sanding bands, cutting wheels, and more.The flex shaft is included.It comes with its own stand so you can have it within reach while you’re working.The powerful motor can produce up to 32,000 RPM. The speed can be easily adjusted with the dial located on top of the unit.This is easily the most affordable rotary tool on the list. 

Cons:

The flex shaft is the rotary tool’s weakest link as it is not well-made at all.

Sebring Tip:

When it comes to price and number of accessories and attachments included, one of my favorites in this list is the VonHaus Variable Speed Rotary Tool. It comes with multiple sanding bands, engraving cutters, grinding shanks, and fabric wheels. You will also receive several drill bits, a sanding drum, collets, and more. Everything is neatly stored in a durable plastic carrying case, while the metal stand that can easily be clamped on the edge of the table is a nice addition too.

The motor’s performance is reliable and performs well even under pressure. It delivers up to 32,000 RPM, making it perfect whether you’re engraving, polishing, drilling holes, or sanding wood. The vibration is kept at a minimum, while the motor is relatively quiet compared to other units.

But keep in mind that this is not ideal for heavy use over long periods. This is ideal for crafters and hobbyists.

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What Is A Rotary Tool?

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

Unlike other tools that you can only use to cut or drill a certain type of material, rotary tools are prized for their versatility. This handheld power tool can be used on metal, glass, plastic, wood, and many more.

One question that’s probably been bugging you for some time now is why it is called ‘Dremel’ even though other brands have produced their own rotary tools.

You probably know that Dremel is an American company that designs and manufactures power tools. The man behind the company — and the first rotary tool — is the Austrian immigrant and prolific inventor, Albert J. Dremel. In 1935, he designed a handheld power tool that could rotate at high speed. Plus, it had removable accessories that could grind, carve, polish, and cut different materials.

For many years, Dremel dominated the market and was the undisputed leader when it came to rotary tools. The company and the product became so linked that the Moto-Tool was genericized as ‘Dremel.’ Even today, many people still call the power tool ‘Dremel’ even when they are manufactured by WEN or Makita or Black & Decker.      

So, how does a rotary tool work?

As the name suggests, the spindle is the part of the rotary tool that spins. It is linked to the tool’s motor, as well as connected to the collet and the tool’s collet nut.

The rotary tool has an on and off switch that is usually located at the lower part of the power tool. The speed control is located on the upper portion of the power tool for easy access. 

Rotary Tool Applications

All of these applications are made possible thanks to its interchangeable attachments and accessories. It can be used for grinding, cutting, carving, and engraving. It can also be used in drilling, sanding, polishing, and cleaning.  

ttachments And Accessories

Sanding

This includes attachments such as sanding discs, sanding bands, and flap wheels. Other attachments under this application also include detail abrasive brushes, finishing abrasive buffs, and carbide shaping wheel.

Cleaning and Polishing

Clean or polish your workpiece with the rubber polishing point, bristle brush, carbon steel brushes, and stainless steel brushes. 

Some units also come with brass brushes, nylon brushes, felt polishing wheels, and polishing cloth. Others come with impregnated wheels and a polishing compound.

Cutting Wheels

This includes regular and fiberglass-reinforced cutting wheels, carbide cutting wheels, and diamond wheels. You can also buy crosscut blades and cutting bits for your rotary tool. 

Grinding and Sharpening

Abrasive wheels, grinding wheels, and grinding stones are sometimes included in the package. They are made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide.

Some units have a chain saw sharpening stones and finishing abrasive points.

Carving and Engraving

You can carve or engrave designs on wood or glass with the rotary tool’s assorted cutters. These include high-speed cutters, engraving cutters, and diamond wheel points. Tungsten carbide cutters and structured tooth carbide cutters are also available.

Drilling

Some rotary tools have drill bit sets, brad joint drill bit sets, and glass drilling bits.

Routing

You can also use a rotary tool for routing. Some rotary tools come with an assortment of routing attachments, including straight, V-grove, chamfer, corner rounding, and more.

Other Accessories and Attachments

When you purchase a rotary tool, you will also get some mandrels, a Dremel chuck, a collet nut kit, and a dressing stone.

Keep in mind that not all attachments and accessories are included in the package of some rotary tool brands. They are sold separately, but the good news is that they are easy to find in your local hardware or online.

Want more home remodeling ideas, tips, and product reviews? Then check out our blog for more.

Best Rotary Tools Review - Sebring Design Build
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How To Use A Power Tool Safely

Always read and understand your product manual before operating your rotary tool. Make sure that your workshop is clean, well lit, and ventilated.  Do not use your rotary tool where flammable gases or liquids are kept. Keep your work area free from dust. Rotary tools produce dust and spark that could damage your eyesight. Invest in a good pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust, spark, or even shrapnel. A dust mask should also be worn to protect your nose, throat, and lungs. Inspect your tool, accessories, and attachments before using your rotary tool. Never use cracked or damaged attachments to prevent accidents or injuries. You might see many people engraving or carving a workpiece with one hand and holding the rotary with the other hand. Keep in mind, however, that this is unsafe. Always use a clamp or vise to secure your workpiece to the table.    Be mindful and firmly grip the tool with both hands to prevent it from bouncing or snagging. Turn your rotary tool off and wait for the wheel to stop completely before setting it down on your table or workbench.

Check out this video for more safety tips and general information about rotary tools.

Conclusion:

I hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the best rotary tools available online right now. We’re nearly at the end of the road, but a review is incomplete without giving my favorite rotary or ‘Dremel’ tool.

And the best rotary tool for me is still the original Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit. The performance of its motor is impressive, and it is one of the most reliable rotary tools on the list. The setting ranges from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM, giving you maximum control of the tool whether you’re cutting a piece of pipe or engraving an artwork on glass.

It also has a pivot light that illuminates even the tightest nooks and crannies of your workpiece. The number of attachments and accessories are also impressive. The durable hard case and the plastic box keeps your Dremel tool, attachments, and accessories in place.

Other Great Articles to Read:

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Kathryn Bowers