Rotary Tools Guide

Best Rotary Tool Reviews 2017 – Buyers Guide

For those budding DIY enthusiasts and professionals we at RotaryToolsGuide compare and review different rotary power tools, providing all the information you need in our guide to help you make an informed choice when it comes to finding the best model for your needs.Best Rotary Tool

With so many different models and brands out there, it is natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. Making the wrong purchase could cost you both time and money. So before you spend the money, make sure that you are getting the best tool for your needs.

We have spent many hours putting this guide together to give you all the information you need to find a suitable model.

Our Pick – Best Rotary Tool

Dremel 8220

Dremel 8220

The Dremel 8820 is powerful and quiet making it perfect for a professional and DIY’er. It has a new lithium battery that ensure you have a longer run-time then the 8200. The unit is compatible with all the Dremel attachments unlike other more compact Dremel models.

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We have compiled a list of the best rotary tools 2017 we could find based on durability, versatility and user reviews

  • Click on the make/model link in the table to read a more detailed review
  Make/
Model
Max
RPM
Rating/
Reviews
#1Milwaukee 2460-21Milwaukee
2460
320004.8/5.0
(75 Reviews)
Check Price
#2Dremel 8220Dremel
8220
33000 4.6/5.0
(1046 Reviews)
Check Price
#3Dremel 3000Dremel
3000
320004.6/5.0
(437 Reviews)
Check Price
#4Hitachi GP10DLHitachi
GP10DL
350004.5/5.0
(102 Reviews)
Check Price
#5Black & Decker RTX-B-Speed RTXBlack & Decker
RTX-B
30000 4.4/5.0
(1100 Reviews)
Check Price
#6WEN 2305WEN
2305
30000 4.2/5.0
(3992 Reviews)
Check Price
#7Kawasaki 840589Kawasaki
840589
300004.1/5.0
(128 Reviews)
Check Price
#8SE PT9.6S.E.
PT9.6

200003.7/5.0
(327 Reviews)
Check Price

Rotary Tools – Buyers Guide

The term rotary tool can cover a broad spectrum of hand held tools. Generally speaking there are two categories of this tool.

  • Handheld tools – these are generally small, lightweight handheld tools with small motors. They are suited to projects that require greater control and fine detail such as engraving, polishing, cutting and more.
  • Cut-out tools – These tools have bigger motors then the handheld units and are more suited to tougher jobs like cutting through different building materials.

Why do you need a Rotary Tool

Rotary tools have different attachments available and this helps in any home improvement project. Different brands have unique features attached to them but regardless of there differences; they are effective for cutting, polishing, sanding, routing and woodworking projects.

Cutting

The models have specialized bits that can be used for small cutting tasks like wood, plastic, fiberglass and copper pipe.

Polishing

They are perfect for polishing tasks like jewelry making, polishing silverware, coins and many others.

Sanding

For projects that require meticulous tasks like removing the rough edges, rotary power tools are appropriate. Sanding a piece of wood or removing rust in a metal piece can be done with the correct attachment.

Routing

A router bit that can cut special edges on a piece of wood or metal. If you are making a shelf and it requires specific cutting details, these tools can make the task easier.

General Woodworking

Woodworkers use rotary tools for carving into wood pieces. Since it has different attachments, it can be used to create complicated designs.

Engraving Wood/Glass/Metal

With the correct accessories a tool can be used to engrave small grooves onto the surface of various materials.

Key Considerations

Rotary tools are designed to perform well in any home improvement tasks. Whether professional or novice users, it is necessary to look some of its key features in order to maximize the use of this tool.  Some of the key features to look out for are;

Application

Although rotary tools tend to work in the same way, there are differences when it comes to its applications. Heavy duty tools are intended for professional work because they are more powerful. They tend to be heavier and slightly larger but well suited for demanding tasks. On the other hand, smaller tools are used for woodworking, fine detail work and crafting tasks.

Cordless/Corded

You can find both corded or cordless units. Cordless tools are more convenient because there is no need for the user to attach it in a power source, but corded tools tend to be lighter because it does not carry its own battery. Therefore, when it comes to portability and short term usage, cordless tools can be a preference, but in terms of unlimited power supply and lightweight usage, the corded rotary tool has an advantage.

Speed and Bit Size

Rotary tools have different speed and bit size, but some of the latest models have speed settings that maximize its performance on variety of tasks. The more speed settings and the wider its speed range, the greater the versatility of the rotary tool.

Attachments/Accessories

The availability of attachments varies between the manufacturers. Some models will have more attachments because of the tasks that they can perform, while others tend to have specific attachments for detailed work.

Easy Bit Change

Tasks that are quite complicated require regular bit change. That is why; some models have several spindle locks for this demanding work. Know the tasks you are going to do and purchase the tool that provides an easy access of bit changing.

Comfortable Grip

Check to see if the tool provides a comfortable grip. Some of these tools already have cushioning in order to have a full grip and maneuverability while using it for several tasks.

Replaceable Motor Brushes

The replaceable motor brushes will enhance the life of the tool because it allows the user to change it when worn.

Reviews

1 – WEN 2305 Review

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

WEN 2305

The WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit is a very powerful tool with a 1.0 amp motor that generates 8000 to 30,000 RPM. With variable speeds and a flex-shaft this tool ensures work gets completed faster. At lower speeds its excellent for dog nail filing.

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The WEN 2305 unit comes in a storage container, along with instructions to keep everything organized. The assortment of tools is fairly good, and of a higher quality then one would expect for the price. They should last a casual user a while.

This model comes with two different collet sizes; 2.3 mm and 3.2mm collets that allow a user to use a variety of tips/bits from a different manufacturers. The accessories can be finger tightened using the keyless chuck, whereas the supplied flex-shaft will require a wrench.

The WEN 2305 is supplied with a flex shaft, which makes it much easier to do fine detail work. It also enables a user to complete work in almost impossibly in tight situations.

You can use the variable speed dial to easily change the speed. The dial is found near the base of the unit and is numbered. The variable speeds all work well whether you use the flex-shaft or not.

The tool can be used to do your pet’s pedicure and the flex-shaft makes it easier to manipulate the grinding head whilst your grinding your dog’s nails.

How to put on the WEN 2305 Kit Flex Shaft

Features

Powerful – Powerful 1.0 motor.

Variable speed – Adjustable speed from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM.

Flexible shaft attachment – Great for detailed/precision work.

Assortment of accessories – 100-piece accessory set of bits for sanding discs, polishing pads. and more.

Spindle lock – Quick and easily change bits.

Verdict

The WEN 2305 performs well, when you consider its price vs. other popular models. So it would definitely suit somebody searching for a budget tool that comes with a flex-shaft. It also comes with a durable case and a large assortment of accessories.

You can use the tool for a variety of projects from repairing household items, hobbies, engraving, creating jewellery and more. At lower speeds its can be used to do pet pedicures.

Users highly recommend the WEN 2305 tool with users leaving reviews at The Home Depot giving it a average rating of 4.4/5.0 and users on Amazon rating it 4.2 stars out of 5.0

2 – Black & Decker RTX-B-Speed RTX Review

Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit

Black & Decker RTX-B-Speed RTX

The Black & Decker RTX-B-Speed RTX has a high torque 2 amp motor that is almost twice as big as rivals. The power from this motor quickens any cutting, sharpening, sanding, polishing and engraving tasks.

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The RTX has an extraordinary flip-lock spindle-lock system, users will not have a hard time changing the accessory quickly and easily.

Aside from that, this Black & Decker RTX-B has rubber over-molded grips which provide control and superior comfort. It also has the universal connect system that accepts the standard tool bits.

The unit does not come with continuous variable speed. It instead comes with 3 speed settings; 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 RPM to complete all manner of tasks. 

If your interested in using this tool to groom a pet then the slower speed setting is fairly quiet and is easily strong enough for almost any size dog.

Features and Benefits

Variable speed – Variable speed with “stops” for low, med, high speed settings. Variable speed from 5,000 to 32,000 RPM

Compatibility – Compatible with all existing bits & accessories. So you don’t have to invest in new ones.

Ergonomic – The ergonomic and rubberized textured grip allows for more comfortable and easier for me to hold and control.

Flip and lock – The “flip and lock” switch is easy to use & stops you from accidentally turning it on while locked.

Warranty – Comes with 2 year parts AND labor warranty

Universal collet system – Universal collet system accepts all standard rotary tool accessories

Verdict

The Black & Decker RTX-B Tool definitely feels well made and solid. It comes with three speeds: 12,000, 24,000, and 30,000 rpm. You will glad that armature lock makes changing bits is super easy.

If you have owned other models then you will be glad to know that it is compatible with other manufacturers attachments including Dremel. You also get a powerful 2 amp motor.

In terms of what users think about the Black & Decker RTX-B, many would recommend it to others. It has been rated 4.4 stars out of 5 by over 1000 users on Amazon and an average rating of 4.9/5.0 on Ebay.

3 – Dremel 3000 Review

Dremel 3000

Dremel 3000

The Dremel 3000 has an improvised design and ergonomics that enhances the user experience. It has an EZ twist nose cap with a wrench in order to tighten the accessories and lessen the need for using another wrench. The fan design and even its side vents are more efficient and can provide a cooler tool for an extended period of time.

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The Dremel 3000 unit comes with enough attachments/accessories to do most general jobs that you need to take care of. There are all sorts of accessories available but ensure you check that the accessories will fit this model since not all accessories will work with all Dremel models.

It also has a symmetrical design with a trumpet shaped nose cap that facilitates the pencil-grip tool. It can work on all Dremel attachments and accessories, except for MS400 and PL400 attachments.

Features and Benefits

Variable speed – Variable speed gives users better control the units speed based on the project. 

EZ Twist nose cap – The EZ Twist nose cap on this model allows for easy change of accessories

Ergonomic – Improved design for multiple grip positions. The 360-degree grip-zone improves balance and comfort.

Warranty – Comes with a 2 year limited warranty

Supplied Attachments – Includes 2 attachments: a sanding/grinding guide and a cutting guide

Runs Cooler –  The improved venting fan makes the 3000 run cooler and stay comfortable for longer duration jobs.

Verdict

The Dremel 3000 will fit well in your hand, it’s easy to use and comes with a decent set of different accessories that make it extremely versatile. The instructions that come with the unit are clear, and the attachments can be changed very quickly.

It has been rated 4.6 stars out of 5 by over 400 users on Amazon, an impressive 5.0/5.0 rating on Ebay and 4.5/5.0 from over 240 user reviews on Home Depot.

4 – Milwaukee 2460-21 Review

Milwaukee 2460-21

Milwaukee 2460-21

The Milwaukee 2460-21 is a powerful cordless tool as you would expect from Milwaukee. It maintains its power and efficiency while completing all sorts of tasks and would suit a DIY’er or a professional.

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When you receive the Milwaukee 2460-21 it comes is a nice case that has some velcro straps, a battery, and a charger. The straps help to keep everything organized.

This unit comes with a one 1.5 Amp lit-ion battery that holds a charge for a long time. It takes about 30 minutes to fully charge the battery.

You will love the fact that the Milwaukee 2460 is cordless, this gives it the versatility you need so you can take it anywhere and not have to be concerned about being restricted by a power cord.

The adjustable speed is makes it perfect when you need to dial up the speed for more power or dial down for finer work since you are not to limited to fixed Hi and Low speeds

It comes with an easy to lock chuck with built-in button makes it easy to change bits. This tool is compatible with Dremel accessories.

Features and Benefits

Compatible – 1/8-inch Collet is compatible with many rotary power tool accessories

Cordless – Access difficult to reach areas.

Variable Speed – 5,000 – 32,000 RPM making it up-to 10% faster than similar competition

Lightweight – Weighs in at only 1.3-pounds

Verdict

The Milwaukee 2460-21 is a powerful tool full of features suitable for professionals like electricians, plumbers and more. It is capable of polishing, drilling and cutting just like a Dremel.

In addition it is built on the Milwaukee M12 tool platform. If you already have M12 batteries and a charger then adding this tool to your tool-chest will be easier on your and might be a natural choice.

Users highly recommend this model especially for professional use, they would also recommend picking up at least one more battery if your going to using in for larger projects. It has been rated 4.4/5.0 by users on The Home Depot, rated 4.8 stars out of 5.0 by over 70 users on Amazon and 4.9/5.0 by over 20 users on Ebay.

5 – Dremel 8220 Review

Dremel 8220

Dremel 8220

The Dremel 8220 is capable of delivering 5000 to 33000 rpm to meet the power required for a small or large project.

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The Dremel 8220 has removable battery pack that allows a continuous use of additional packs and a 1-hour charger having LED light that shows proper charging. The battery will easily hold a solid charge through several heavy uses.

Moreover, the Dremel 8220 is supplied with 28 genuine accessories. They all can be stored in a compact and lightweight case for less fatigue and greater comfort.

This is a cordless model, which makes it much more convenient than using a corded tool that reduces your range of movement.

Features and Benefits

Cordless – No more power cord getting in the way, use the

Long Charge – Powered by 12-volt max lithium-ion battery. The new Lithium battery holds a charge much longer even if the device is not being used.

Fast Charging – A one-hour charge allows for minimal downtime.

Variable speed – The variable speed allows users greater control with the tasks they are trying to accomplish.

Fast Accessory Change – Quick collet lock for fast accessory changes.

Verdict

You can use the Dremel 8220-2/28 to complete craft projects and work around the house. Using various accessories you can easily cut, shape, polish, and drill a wide variety of materials including plastic, wood and metal. This 8220s Lithium-Ion battery run-time is great and the batteries recharge to full capacity quickly with an hour.

It runs with a variable RPM range, and with it being cordless makes like much easier. It comes with an assortment of accessories and a solid storage case.

When looking at user ratings the Dremel 8220 scores highly with most users recommending it to others. It has received over 900 user reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0. And at The Home Depot this model has been rated 4.3/5.0

6 – SE PT9.6 Review

SE PT9.6 Cordless Variable Speed Rotary Tool

SE PT9.6

The SE PT9.6 Rotary Tool is a good tool for very small projects and to trim pets nails. This model can use the same accessories as most popular rotary models. It is cordless ensuring a user and there pets don’t get tangled in a cord.

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The SE PT9.6 Tool uses a NiCad battery. Charging it is easy using a supplied charging dock. You will be surprised by just how much torque you get from the 9.6V battery. With this unit using a NiCad battery if you use it continuously at high RPMs it will last for approximately 30 minutes before it needs a recharge.

This model has variable speed, which is a plus so you can select a suitable speed for greater flexibility. It runs quieter at slower speeds ensuring it does not disturb either the cats or the dogs when doing there nails.

You will find that slower speed settings are better for pets that can get nervous when having there nails done. Whereas the faster speed settings are better for pets that cooperate more.

Changing bits is quick and easy using the chuck. To remove accessories you need to hold a button on the neck of the tool. One this button is held you can tighten or loosen the chuck that holds the shaft of the inserted accessory.

The supplied charger does not come with an automatic shut off once the NiCad battery is fully charged making it possible to overcharge it.

Features and Benefits

Variable Speed –  5000 to 20000 RPM

Cordless – The cordless design ensures a user can have an unlimited range of motion.

Hanging loop – This is found on the back of the unit as allows for easy storage

Chuck key –  Quickly change accessories.

Charging dock –  Recharge battery for its next use.

Verdict

The SE PT9.6 is light, powerful, rechargeable, easy to use and all at an extremely good pricing. It’s the perfect toenail trimmer for dog’s nails and would suit both a pet owner or a professional groomer.

This model has received positive ratings from users with a rating of 4.5/5.0 from over 80 user reviews on Ebay and a user rating of 3.8 stars out of 5.0 from over 300 Amazon Users.

7 – Kawasaki 840589 Review – Best Budget

Kawasaki 840589 Rotary Tool Kit

Kawasaki 840589

The Kawasaki 840589 is a much cheaper alternative to the more well known brand tools from the likes of Dremel. Still this tool does come with plenty of power for most users.

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The Kawasaki 840589 is perfectly suited to a hobbyist or a DIYer. The tool comes with a huge set of accessories that can be used for lots of tasks around the house.

The powerful 1.0 Amp motor delivers 8,000-30,000 no load RPM. It will enable a user to cut metal, plastic, wood, engrave and drill holes.

For those jobs that may last a while the handle is very comfortable. It comes with variable speed that you can adjust using the dial on the unit.

To store the unit and all those accessories you get a solid plastic case to keep everything organized.

The tool is corded and requires a 120 Volt power supply, which means you don’t have to wait to recharge a battery before completing a project.

Features and Benefits

Powerful – Comes with a 1.0 Amp motor

Variable speed – 8,000-30,000 no load RPM

Accessories – Includes an excellent assortment of attachments for sanding, grinding, cutting and polishing

Storage case – keeps everything organized.

Verdict

The Kawasaki 840589 is both well made and easy to use. It comes with a heap of adapters to complete all sorts of tasks around the house. Its a budget alternative to the more well known brands in the industry.

This model is recommended by users. It has over 120 user reviews on Amazon with a user rating of 4.1 stars out of 5.0.

8 – Hitachi GP10DL Review

Hitachi GP10DL Rotary Tool

Hitachi GP10DL

The Hitachi GP10DL is a 12 Volt Cordless tool suited to grinding pet toenails, grinding and cutting metal. It comes supplied in a robust case along with an assortment of attachments for various jobs.

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The Hitachi GP10DL is a cordless unit that is charged via a base unit charging point from a 120V AC 60Hz supply. You cannot use it whilst it is plugged in for charging.

This unit comes with a speed dial rather than a trigger so you can adjust the speed to meet your needs. At lower speeds there is less torque, but torque increases with higher speeds. However you will find that at lower settings it’s not too loud and is perfect to grind dog nails.

The tool comes with a 12V lit-ion battery that is powerful and long lasting. If you already own Hitachi 12V Peak tools then the bonus is that the Hitachi GP10DL shares batteries with those 12V tools.

The LED light is found at the tip of the unit and allows you to you see what you’re doing especially in poor light conditions. Changing accessories is easy to do since you do not need any extra tools.

Features

Lithium Ion Battery – Power comes from a 1.5 Ah Lithium Ion battery that holds charge for longer and is lighter then comparative NiCad batteries.

Variable speed – Quickly select a suitable speed between 5,000 to 35,000 RPM using the speed dial.

Lightweight– Weighs its at just 1.06 lbs

LED light – Use the tool in the darkest work-space

Comfort – Increased control and comfort is delivered using the anti-vibration system.

Reduce fatigue – The soft grip handle increases comfort and thereby reduces fatigue

Battery Status Indicator – A low battery indicator light alerts a user when the battery needs to be recharged.

Verdict

The Hitachi GP10DL tool comes with adjustable speed, is compact and lightweight. The Lithium Ion battery holds charge for greater run time, even with sustained high speed use. It comes with precise speed control and is comfortably balanced.

Users highly recommend the Hitachi GP10DL once they have had a chance to use it based on it being powerful and portable. It has over 90 user reviews on Amazon and has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.0.

Different Types of Accessories

Accessories for the rotary tools can vary between different brands and you often get a mix of attachments when you buy a tool. Here is a list of the types of attachments that are available;

  • High Speed Cutters. These are often made of high speed steel that can use for hollowing wood and shaping metals. Manufacturers provide different shapes and sizes for high speed cutters.
  • Tungsten Carbide Cutters. These are made of durable materials that are considered to be a long lasting high-speed steel cutter.
  • Burr. Burrs are also referred as rotary files. These are small cutters attached to rotary tools that are spun on several thousand RPM’s.
  •  Diamond Wheel Points. These attachments are used for wood, glass and ceramic surfaces that require a fine detailed work.
  • Cut off wheels. These are emery wheels utilized for cutting and slicing a plastic and metal piece.
  • Structured Tooth Tungsten Carbide Cutters. These are made of fast cutting teeth that efficiently and effectively cut a rubber, fiberglass, plastic, wood, and epoxy material.
  •  Aluminum Oxide Stones. Manufacturers are making aluminum oxide stones in variety of shapes. These are used for a general purpose grinding, deburring and sharpening objects.
  •  Small Engraving Cutters. These are used for carving and engraving different materials.

How to Use a Rotary Tool

Watch this short video on how you can use a rotary tool to carve wooden decorations, just one of many uses for these multi-use tools.

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