What is the Best Rotary Tool? Great Kits for Wood, Metal & More (2023)

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A rotary tool’s versatility in woodworking and other industries is undeniable, but with many affordable options popping up lately, DIYers tend to purchase models that stop working after several uses. 

It is difficult to find the best rotary tools that are fit for the long run, so our tool experts have put to the test the top-performing picks today.  

Premium Option
Milwaukee M12TM
Editor’s Choice
Dremel 3000-2/28
Budget Option
WEN 2305
Milwaukee M12TM
Dremel 3000-2/28
WEN 2305
• Powerful motor
• Heavy-duty cutting wheels
• Variable speed up to 32,000 RPM
• 5000-32,000 RPM variable speeds range
• Corded rotary tool
• With sturdy case
• Flex shaft w/ lots of accessories
• Variable speeds up to 30,000 RPM
• Corded rotary tool
Premium Option
Milwaukee M12TM
Milwaukee M12TM
• Powerful motor
• Heavy-duty cutting wheels
• Variable speed up to 32,000 RPM
Editor’s Choice
Dremel 3000-2/28
Dremel 3000-2/28
• 5000-32,000 RPM variable speeds range
• Corded rotary tool
• With sturdy case
Budget Option
WEN 2305
WEN 2305
• Flex shaft w/ lots of accessories
• Variable speeds up to 30,000 RPM
• Corded rotary tool

Reviews of the Top Rotary Tools

1. Dremel 3000-2/28 Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit

Dremel’s rotary tool kit features a 1.2-amp motor that can handle variable speeds ranging from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM. Its smaller motor makes it easier to handle for precise cuts, giving enough power to move through the wood.

The Dremel 3000-2/28 kit also has a rubber grip, making holding easy, and is contoured to the hands. It also features a variety of Dremel accessories, such as carving and cutting accessories. 

The tool’s collar can be used as a toolless chuck and features a built-in chuck designed to fit over the collet. 

Also Read: Dremel Bits Guide 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Milwaukee M12TM Portable and Cordless Rotary Tool Kit

If you’re looking for a portable rotary tool that can handle various tasks, the Milwaukee M12TM is a good choice to consider. 

This cordless rotary tool uses the company’s M12 batteries producing speeds of up to 32,000 RPM. It comes with a charger, a set of heavy-duty wheels, and a chuck for easy bit changes.

This handy tool is very easy to use and can quickly cut through various types of steel, which is very different from other cordless models on the list. Although Milwaukee doesn’t explicitly state that it has slow starts, we found this feature to be useful.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

The WEN 2305 rotary tool kit is not that popular, but its price tag will catch your attention. This tool kit comes with or without a flex shaft.

This WEN rotary tool is a versatile tool you can use for cutting, polishing, and drilling. This tool kit includes 100 individual pieces, each with its own set of a drill, polishing pads, and sanding discs. The onboard spindle lock system can be used to change the drill bits’ characteristics.

This power tool can be your best option if you’re looking for more precise control at a budget-friendly price. Its lightweight design and included accessories make it an ideal choice for both home and craft users.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Dremel 4300-5/40 High-Performance Rotary Tool Kit

The Dremel 4300-5/40 is one of the best rotary tools that’s powerful and made with high-quality material. Its 1.8-amp motor has a speed range of up to 35,000 RPM and features a detachable work light that can handle any task. 

It also has a universal chuck, carving bits, and various accessories, such as cutting and sanding wheels. These items are stored in a hard storage bag to keep them organized and safe.

The Dremel 4300-5/40 is incredibly powerful during our tests. Even though it was made from thick steel, it could cut through faster. The detachable work light is also useful when replacing the collar. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit w/ MultiPro Keyless Chuck and Flex Shaft

This Goxawee Rotary Tool is another affordable tool to get started with various projects, such as wood carving, metal engraving, and crafting. It features over a hundred attachments and accessories, allowing you to do various tasks such as cutting, carving [1], and engraving. 

Aside from including all the necessary accessories for most DIYers, the Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit also performed surprisingly well for all sorts of projects. Its 1.3-amp motor generates speeds of up to 30,000 RPM that can suffice for different light to moderate projects. 

The tool is also very easy and comfortable to use. It also came with other accessories like a guard collar and replacement brushes. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Hardell Mini Rotary Tool Kit

Unlike most rotary tools, the Hardell Rotary Tool doesn’t require a thick cord. It’s a completely cordless rotary tool that you can charge using a USB cable. But its battery life can last for up to 200 minutes. 

Hardell is a small rotary tool ideal for smaller projects, such as carving soft wood, polishing metal, grinding stones, and drilling holes. Its convenient speed control allows enough grip regardless of your project. 

The versatile rotary tool comes with 55 accessories featuring seven different sizes of chucks. We also liked the LED light that eliminated the appearance of blind spots and shadows on our work surface.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Black+Decker RTX B-3 Speed RTX Rotary Tool

The Black+Decker RTX-B3 is a great pick for those wanting a portable tool that can handle various tasks. It comes with a variety of accessories, featuring a universal chuck you can use to interchange accessories of other rotary tools. 

Its powerful 2-amp motor makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a more powerful tool. The variable speed settings allow power control. Its highest speed range can reach 30,000 RPM, which is quite powerful. 

In addition, the flip-lock spindle lock provides a convenient way to change accessories. We recommend this option for those who want a hi-spec rotary tool for professional and occasional use.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Rotary Tools Buyer's Guide

What Are Rotary Tools?

Rotary tools are machines you can use for various types of work, such as cutting drywall, engraving, polishing, and many woodworking projects. Also, you can use it with drill bits. 

Various accessories can turn any good rotary tool into a miniature woodworking drill press. Swapping the attachments and accessories for each other is very quick and easy.

Although most rotary tools are portable, the latest models are usually less powerful than corded rotary tools. One of the most used nowadays are battery models that have consistent performance.

Terms You Need to Know

Voltage

Volts or voltage work together with the amperage. It helps the electric current flow, which provides a good idea of how powerful rotary tools are.

Amperage (amp)

Amperage is the amount of electricity that your device’s motor has provided. The higher the amp number, the more power the tool has.

RPM

The speed at which your rotary tool will operate. The best devices will allow you to set variable settings to adjust them based on your project.

What Are You Using the Rotary Tool For?

One of the most popular features of rotary tools is that they can do so much. Whether planning on doing something simple or complex, the best rotary tools can help you accomplish your goals.

Small or DIY Projects

You can do these projects without a lot of power, but they require more skill. It is best if you have a tool to do the job correctly. For instance, if you’re planning on making jewelry, consider using a combination of glass etching and engraving.

For Your Home

If you have a lot of projects that need to be completed, the rotary tool can be a great tool. It can be used to remove old paint, cut drywall, and eliminate grout or rust.

Big Projects

If you are upcycling an old piece of furniture or creating new fixtures for your home, you might need a powerful rotary tool that can handle heavy attachments such as a sander.

Corded or Cordless?

Some companies now produce cordless rotary tools, which are more versatile and can be used in tight spaces that traditional tools cannot. These tools make it easy to touch up projects that require a lot of work.

Despite the advantages of these tools, traditional corded models are still around. They have lower power output, variable speeds, and RPMs and will eventually need to be charged. This means finding an outlet to plug in a charger is a must for any workday.

Motor Power

The motor’s amp or the battery’s voltage determines a rotary tool’s power output. The lowest output is typically found in cordless tools with a battery voltage of less than 4V. 

These tools are great for engraving as they tend to have lower RPMs and are good for light jobs.

Higher power outputs can be found in 12V and 1.8-amp rotary tools that can reach 35,000 rpm and are equipped with heavy-duty motors. 

These types of tools are cumbersome to handle, and you can use them for a long time. An intermediate model is ideal if additional power is needed for carving or cutting.

Rotations per Minute (RPM)

The RPM is a good measure to compare different types of rotary tools. It can also be used to determine which one is appropriate for your needs.

The higher RPMs are ideal for certain jobs that need a lot of force, such as carving, cutting, and sanding. However, they can also be very expensive. On the other hand, a lower RPM is good for working with soft materials.

In addition to having a variable speed setting, most rotary tools also have a variety of tools that allow users to select the appropriate RPM for their project. 

However, if a lighter model is used, it will have a hard time reaching a higher RPM. Before buying a new tool, make sure that it can handle the expected job through its RPM.

Why is Speed Important for a Rotary Tool?

Throughout our review, we’ve emphasized the various speeds that these tools can achieve. One of the most important factors we consider when choosing a rotary tool is that it can achieve a very high rotational speed while still having enough options to run slower.

High-speed tools are ideal for various tasks, such as drilling and carving. However, they can also generate too much heat when used for sanding or carving. Having the ability to dial in the speed makes for cleaner work, as the tool can cut and shape properly.

People who use high-speed tools for pet nail trimming should remember that too fast a speed can hurt their animals. For instance, if you’re polishing a surface, start at the lowest setting and work up to a higher gear in the middle. 

The wider the range of speeds, the better equipped your rotary tool will be.

Ease of Use

Are you a professional who needs a powerful unit that can handle various materials? Or are you a beginner who needs a light touch when creating delicate jewelry? 

The type of rotary tool you choose can affect how well it performs your job. For instance, if you choose a tool with lower motor output and slower speeds, it might not be able to cut through thick materials.

If you are planning on spending more money on a powerful tool, it might not be practical for someone with delicate goals. Use attachments such as a flex shaft to make intricate jewelry designs easier to carve. 

If you’re a beginner might opt for something simple to use. What you choose depends on what you’re planning on using it for and how easy you can use it. 

Attachments for a Rotary Tool

Some rotary tools come with a variety of attachments, which can be fun to have if you are planning on tackling a lot of projects. These bits can offer a wide range of options, such as drilling, sanding, and more. 

However, if you are only doing a specific project, you might not want to spend a lot of money on a new set of attachments.

One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a rotary tool is its ability to change out the attachments easily. Some models come with a keyless chuck, which is very convenient. 

However, it’s also important to note that many of these accessories don’t stay on for long. You should also ask other people if they have used this type of tool and if it worked just as well as a standard chuck.

If you’re the usual DIYer or a beginner, you might want to look for the following attachments:

Accessories

Although there are many accessory options, Dremel is the only brand that can provide you with high-quality products. 

Some special brands make specialized attachments and rotary burrs, such as Kutzall. These are typically much more expensive than the actual tool itself. 

Most people buy these expensive drill bits when they need them the most, as this is where the money goes.

Other Features

Most rotary tool kits feature various accessories and power output to enhance their appearance. These tools are usually accompanied by a variety of parts to make them look more professional.

Some kits also have additional features, such as an ergonomic design, a bump-off switch, and a USB charger. These features make the rotary tools more comfortable to use.

Although the USB charger has not caught on with the best models yet, it could be a useful feature for those not looking for a professional rotary tool.

Safety

It would be best if you had both ear and eye protection when working at high speeds. Masks are also required in certain cases. Fiberboard dust is not meant to be inhaled, so you must avoid it at all costs.

FAQ

Are a Dremel and a rotary tool the same thing?

A Dremel and a rotary tool are not the same thing. Dremel is a manufacturer of rotary tools, which confuses some people referring to rotary tools as Dremels. However, other companies make various types of rotary tools, and Dremel only makes certain types. 

Why use a Dremel instead of a drill?

Many use a Dremel tool instead of a drill because of its lighter and smaller profile. It is ideal for working with small workpieces and carving. It can also be used with other non-Dremel accessories, such as grinder wheels and drill bits.

Will I be able to use a rotary tool to cut glass?

Yes, you just need special cutting wheels or bits. The good thing today is that many companies produce diamond-embedded bits for rotary tools.

Will I need to choose a powerful rotary tool for drilling holes?

Although many rotary tools are powerful enough to drill holes, they’re not capable of doing so if the material they’re working on is not good. A good quality bit is more important than the output of the tool. But if the tool’s power is not maintained properly, it might take longer to get the job done.

Our Top Pick For a Rotary Tool:
Dremel 3000-2/28 Variable Speed Rotary Tool

After careful consideration and tests, our team chose the Dremel 3000 as the best rotary tool. It’s a versatile tool that works with a wide range of attachments. 

It features Dremel and cutting attachments, ideal for a wide range of tasks. Plus, its powerful and smooth performance compared to the power tools on this list makes it exceptional.  

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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