The 10 Best Rotary Tools – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Rotary Tool

For home improvement project, construction, crafts and DIY projects, it is always a great idea to have a versatile tool that you can use for more than one thing.

The rotary tool is one such tool as it will be useful for everything from cutting and sanding to carving and engraving. Hence, it is one of those that you will use for almost all your projects.

A rotary tool is a relatively simple handheld power tool with a rotary tip and its versatility comes from the fact that it accepts various attachments and accessories.

Most will also some with many of these accessories for a variety of applications. But when it comes to choosing the best rotary tool from the many brands and models in the market, there is a lot you need to know.

In this piece, we cover the vital things that you need to understand about rotary tools and also review 10 top rated ones.

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Product Name

Applications

Accessories

Rating

Current Price

Dremel 4000-2/30 Corded Rotary Tool Kit

1. Dremel 4000-2/30 Corded Rotary Tool Kit

Carving, engraving, cutting, cleaning, polishing, grinding, sharpening, sanding

30

4.4

Dremel 8220-1/28 Cordless Rotary Tool

2. Dremel 8220-1/28 Cordless Rotary Tool

Carving, engraving, cutting, cleaning, polishing, grinding, sharpening, sanding

28

4.6

Black & Decker RTX-B Rotary Tool

3. Black & Decker RTX-B Rotary Tool

Cutting, sanding, grinding, carving, cleaning, polishing, engraving, sharpening, drilling

5

4.3

Dremel 7300-N/8 Cordless Two-Speed Rotary Tool

4. Dremel 7300-N/8 Cordless Rotary Tool

Cleaning/polishing, grinding/sharpening, sanding

8

4.3

DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool

5. DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool

Cutting

1

4.3

Wen 2305 Rotary Tool With Flex Shaft

6. Wen 2305 Rotary Tool With Flex Shaft

Cutting, engraving, carving, drilling, polishing, sanding

80

4.1

Dremel 7700-AT Automotive Cordless Rotary Tool

7. Dremel 7700-AT Cordless Rotary Tool

Cutting, carving, engraving, cleaning, polishing, grinding, sharpening, sanding

10

4.0

Black & Decker RTX-6 Rotary Tool

8. Black & Decker RTX-6 Rotary Tool

Cutting, grinding, sanding, carving, polishing

27

4.0

Makita 3706 Drywall Rotary Tool

9. Makita 3706 Drywall Rotary Tool

Cutting

1

4.9

Genesis GLHT72-65 Rotary Tool

10. Genesis GLHT72-65 Rotary Tool

Cutting, grinding, sanding, drilling, carving, polishing

65

3.5

#1. Dremel 4000-2/30 Corded Rotary Tool Kit

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Dremel 4000-2/30 Corded Rotary Tool Kit
  • Type: corded-electric
  • Application: Carving/engraving, cutting, cleaning/polishing, grinding/sharpening/sanding
  • Tool Set: 4000 corded rotary tool, 30 accessories, hard carry case, accessory case

Dremel is an industry leader when it comes to the manufacture of rotary tools, and you can always trust them to have something that suits your needs.

Their Dremel 4000 is a lightweight and compact rotary tool that comes with 30 accessories and 2 attachments. However, it is also compatible with all the other Dremel accessories and attachments.

This electric Dremel rotary tool is a variable speed model which makes it ideal for various applications and it generates speeds of between 5,000 and 35,000 RPM.

Changing the accessories is also fast and straightforward thanks to the integrated nose cap wrench. And this is also a comfortable rotary tool to operate as it will come with a 360-degree grip zone.

Pros:

  • Variable speed with a wide range
  • Works with all Dremel accessories and attachments
  • Excellent grip zone
  • Fast accessory changes
  • Relatively lightweight and compact

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier

#2. Dremel 8220-1/28 Cordless Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Dremel 8220-1/28 Cordless Rotary Tool
  • Type: Cordless-electric
  • Application: Carving/engraving, cutting, cleaning/polishing, grinding/sharpening/sanding
  • Tool Set: 8220 cordless rotary tool, 28 accessories, 12V lithium-ion battery, 1-hour charger, carrying case

If you are on the hunt for a compact and lightweight cordless rotary tool, the Dremel 8220 will be an ideal choice and it is also a perfect tool for use in tight places.

It comes with a 1-hour charger to ensure minimal downtimes and the package also includes a 12V lithium-ion battery to ensure you have everything you need for immediate use.

This powerful rotary tool comes with 28 accessories but it can work with al Dremel accessories and attachments. And it alsohas a quick collect lock for fast and easy accessory change.

Its compact and lightweight construction makes it one of the best rotary tools for wood carving as it is easy to maneuver and you can hold it on your hand for many hours with minimal fatigue.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Minimal downtimes
  • Compatible with all Dremel accessories
  • Fast accessory changes
  • Variable speed

Cons:

  • Shell does not seem very rugged

#3. Black & Decker RTX-B Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Black & Decker RTX-B Rotary Tool
  • Type: Corded-electric
  • Application: Cutting, sanding, grinding, carving, cleaning, polishing, engraving, sharpening, drilling
  • Tool Set: RTX-B corded rotary tool, 5 accessories, storage bag

This relatively affordable rotary tool from Black and Decker is also quite a high performer thanks to is powerful high torque motor that also helps to make it one of the best corded rotary tools on our list.

Although it only comes with 5 accessories, it uses a universal collet system that will accept all standard rotary tool accessories and hence making this a highly versatile tool.

Black and Decker uses the flip-lock spindle lock system on this rotary tool to make accessory change quick and easy and also ensure you never have to hold down an awkward button when doing it.

This tool also allows you to choose from three speeds which are 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 RPM for maximum precision and control.

Pros:

  • Universal collet system
  • High torque motor
  • Quick and easy accessory change
  • Separate speed dial
  • Ergonomic and rubberized textured grip

Cons:

  • Speed dial is a little hard to operate

#4. Dremel 7300-N/8 Cordless Two-Speed Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Dremel 7300-N/8 Cordless Two-Speed Rotary Tool
  • Type: Cordless-electric
  • Application: Cleaning/polishing, grinding/sharpening, sanding         
  • Tool Set: 7300 cordless rotary tool, 8 accessories, 3-hour charger, battery

The light and compact Dremel 7300 is designed for portability and convenience. And it is a two-speed model to ensure that users always get better control and accuracy.

With this cordless rotary tool, you get up to 4.8 Volts of power which makes it a perfect choice for delicate and fine detail tasks like sanding and polishing.

The lightweight plastic housing helps to keep the weight of the tool down for easy maneuverability.

With this rotary tool, you get a removable battery pack and this means that you can buy an additional pack to ensure that your tool will always be charged and ready to use.

Pros:

  • Highly  portable
  • Great for delicate and fine detailtasks
  • Lightweight plastic housing
  • Rechargeable and removable battery pack

Cons:

  • Housing is not very tough

#5. DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

DeWalt DW660 Rotary Tool
  • Type: Corded-electric
  • Application: Cutting
  • Tool Set: DW660 corded rotary tool,1 drywall cutting bit

Dewalt DW660 has one of the most powerful motors on our rotary tool reviews. The 5-Amp motor delivers speeds of up to 30,000 RPM to make this a highly powerful cutting rotary tool.

And besides being one of the most powerful rotary tools on our list, it is also quite a convenient machine to use thanks to the slim body design that minimizes hand fatigue.

The turn-on/bump-off switch is also a great feature as it makes it easy for the user to shut-off the tool after use. And you can change the bits fast and easily without using a wrench.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Slim body design
  • Dual-sealed switch
  • Fast and easy bit change

Cons:

  • Hard to control for beginners

#6. Wen 2305 Rotary Tool With Flex Shaft

Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)

Wen 2305 Rotary Tool With Flex Shaft
  • Type: Corded-electric
  • Application: Cutting, engraving, carving, drilling, polishing, sanding
  • Tool Set: 2305 corded rotary tool, 80 accessories, hard carry case

For DIYers and hobbyists in the market for the best budget rotary tool, the Wen 2305 is just what you need to buy as it is the cheapest on our list but still a high performing unit

It is a variable speed corded rotary tool that will operate at anywhere between 8,000 and 30,000 RPM and it will come with more than 80 accessories to make it a highly versatile unit.

Changing the accessories is also easy and fast as it also comes with an onboard spindle lock. And it will be a great rotary tool for tasks that require precision thanks to the included flex shaft. 

Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • Variable speed
  • Quick and easy bit change
  • Comes with more accessories
  • Lightweight build

Cons:

  • Some of the bits are poor quality

#7. Dremel 7700-AT Automotive Cordless Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

Dremel 7700-AT Automotive Cordless Rotary Tool
  • Type: Cordless-electric
  • Application: Cutting, carving/engraving, cleaning/polishing, grinding/sharpening/sanding
  • Tool Set: 7700 cordless automotive rotary tool, 10 accessories, 3-hour charger, 1 battery

The price tag, versatility and performance combine to make this one of the best cordless rotary tools out there. And it is also lightweight and compact for easy handling and to minimize hand fatigue.

The battery pack on this rotary tool is removable which means that you can use an additional one to ensure that you have minimal downtimes or for continuous use.

Like most other Dremel rotary tools, changing between the 10 accessories is easy as it comes with a convenient wrench for this.

And the rotary tool also comes with a 3-hour charger that has an LED charger to indicate when it is charging properly.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Relatively affordable
  • Removable battery packs
  • Easy bit change

Cons:

  • Quite a loud tool

#8. Black & Decker RTX-6 Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)

Black & Decker RTX-6 Rotary Tool
  • Type: Corded-electric
  • Application: Cutting, grinding, sanding, carving, polishing
  • Tool Set: RTX-6 corded rotary tool, 27 accessories, 2 spring clamps, 1 wrench, soft-sided carry case

The low-density plastic body makes the RTX-6 a lightweight and easy to handle rotary tool. And if you also factor in the comfortable rubber over-mold grip you can be confident of minimal hand fatigue even when you use it for extended periods.

This rotary tool also has adjustable speeds and you can choose from 3 different speeds which are 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 RPM depending on the application.

RTX-6 comes with 27 different accessories but with a universal collet system to ensure that it can work with all standard rotary tool accessories. And there is also a flip-lock system to make bit change quick and easy.

Pros:

  • High-torque motor
  • Comfortable rubber over-mold grip
  • Adjustable speeds
  • Universal collet system
  • Quick and easy accessory switch

Cons:

  • Not very good for heavy-duty tasks

#9. Makita 3706 Drywall Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating: (4.9 / 5)

Makita 3706 Drywall Rotary Tool
  • Type: Corded-electric
  • Application: Cutting
  • Tool Set: 3706 corded rotary tool, 2 drywall bits

Makita makes some of the best corded rotary tools and their 3706 model is for someone looking for something relatively affordable but still powerful enough.

It is a great tool for drywall cutting and it comes with two bits for this. And although there are no any other accessories in the package it will work with various rotary tool accessories and attachments.

This rotary tool runs on a powerful 5-Amp motor that will deliver up to 32,000 RPM for fast cutting and it also features an all bearings construction to minimize friction and for smooth rotations.

Also changing the bits is quite easy and fast thanks to the conveniently located shaft lock button.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Relatively lightweight construction
  • Comfortable to hold and easy to control
  • Fast bit change
  • All-bearings construction

Cons:

  • Bare tool with no accessories

#10. Genesis GLHT72-65 Rotary Tool

Editor's Rating: (3.5 / 5)

Genesis GLHT72-65 Rotary Tool
  • Type: Cordless-electric
  • Application: Cutting, grinding, sanding, drilling, carving, polishing
  • Tool Set: GLHT72 cordless rotary tool, 65 accessories, 2 lithium-ion batteries, docking charger

With the Genesis GLHT72 you will get 65 different accessories but what makes it even more impressive is that it will also work with all standard rotary tools accessories. And this makes it a highly versatile tool.

Also, it has a variable speed range of between 8,000 and 18,000 RPM to make it ideal for various applications.

This cordless rotary tool will also come with a docking charger for fast battery recharge and a couple of lithium-ion batteries that will deliver long run times.

Pros:

  • Works with all standard rotary tool accessories
  • Variable speed
  • Relatively affordable
  • Built-in work light
  • Comes with a docking charger

Cons:

  • Relatively shorter battery life

Rotary Tool Applications

Rotary Tool Applications

The rotary tool is quite versatile and this is why it should always be a part of your toolkit whether you are DIYer or hobbyist.

And although the application will depend on the particular rotary tool that you have and the accessories and attachment, the following are the typical uses of these tools.

1. Cutting

A rotary tool is handy when it comes to cutting everything from metal to wood and glass. Most rotary tools will come with an attachment for cutting and in most cases, there will be different ones for use when cutting different materials.

In most instances, rotary tools will come with both a wheel cutter and straight bit for your cutting applications.

The cutting wheels are often best suited for delicate cutting activities while straight bits will be ideal for general cutting applications.

And the best thing is that with a rotary tool you can handle even the smallest cutting applications with the delicacy they require.

2. Sanding

The circular and tabular rotary tool attachments work like sandpaper which means that these tools will be great for sanding and smoothing surfaces.

You can use rotary tools to sand and smooth different material like wood and metal. And since the sanding bit on these tools spins, it will be more consistent and easier to use than sanding by hand and also more precise than many large sanding machines.

However, when it comes to sanding, rotary tools are more ideal for detail work and will not be very useful when working on large pieces.

Sanding attachments for these tools will come in various forms including discs, bands and flap wheels.

3. Grinding

When you need to create sharp edges or eliminate them, the grinding attachments that come with rotary tools will be very useful.

Most rotary tools will come with a grinding stone which is useful for most grinding applications but many will also have a grinding wheel, abrasive wheels, and carbide tips to ensure you have something to grind various materials.

Note that the right attachment for grinding depends on what you are working on. For example, the triangular and cylindrical tips are ideal when working on round surfaces.

4. Carving and Engraving

Carving and engraving are some of the main reason why many people will buy rotary tools. The small size of rotary tools and the variety of carving and engraving attachments makes them very useful when working on decorative designs for your crafts.

And the good thing is that the best rotary tools will provide attachments for engraving both wood and metal pieces.

5. Polishing 

With the right bit on your rotary tool, it can be very useful for polishing various surfaces. And you can do some very precise and efficient polishing.

Whether you want to do some fine-detail polishing or polish in tight spots, a rotary tool will always be the best choice as it will do the job way much better than most other polishing tools.

The advantage of using a rotary tool for polishingis its massive power, and with the right bit attachments, there is almost nothing that you cannot use it to polish.

How to Buy a Rotary Tool

How to Buy a Rotary Tool

The best rotary tool for you will depend on the projects that you want to use it for. And so you should always start by thinking about how you intend to use the tool.

However, when you start shopping for a good rotary tool, there are some vital factors that you will need to keep in mind regardless of how you intend to use it. And they include the following six

#1. Types

Rotary tools from different brands will differ in both appearance and performance. But, when it comes to the rotary tool types, there are two main options which are the basic and cut-out rotary tools.

In order to buy the most powerful rotary tool for your projects or at least something high-performing, you need to understand what the two types are all about.

1. Basic Rotary Tools

Basic Rotary Tools

These are the compactsize core model rotary tools that are often the best options for beginners and use around the home.

Basic rotary tools will also come with a relatively smaller motor (between 1.2 and 1.8 Amps) and so they tend to be slower than the cut-out types.

But despite the relatively smaller motor, these rotary tools allow for maximum control and flexibility, unlike the large motor types. And they will be very useful for cutting, shaping, smoothing and engraving.

2. Cut-Out Rotary Tools

Cut-Out Rotary Tools

Unlike the basic rotary tools, the cut-out types tend to be large and cumbersome, and this is because they come with larger motors.

In most instances, the cut-out rotary tools are used for commercial and professional applications as they tend to be more powerful.

These are tools that you would expect to see with contractors when removing dry-wall for large-scale home improvement and remodeling projects.

Most will have 3 to 5-Amp motors and these powerful motors allow them to handle tasks like cutting hardwoods and metals with ease.

Also, the cut-out rotary tools will have more features such as adjustability and also more attachments.

#2. Corded vs. Cordless Rotary Tool

Once you understand the different types of rotary tools and what makes each one stand out, another important decision is to decide whether to go for corded or cordless tools.

And when it comes to the choice between corded and cordless rotary tools, every professional and DIYer seems to have their particular preferences.

However, to make sure that you pick the right one, it is important to know the pros and cons of each.

1. Corded Rotary Tool

Corded Rotary Tool

The corded rotary tool is what most people seem to prefer to use when working around the home or workshop as they provide unlimited power supply.

Once you plug them in you will not have to worry about running out of batteries and so you can work for as long as you want.

Also, the fact that they do not require large batteries to operatemakes them relatively lightweight. And their only drawback is the limited mobility as you can only use them where there is electricity supply.

Pros:

  • Unlimited power supply
  • Best for detailed and tedious work
  • Relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • Limited mobility

2. Cordless Rotary Tool

Cordless Rotary Tool

As their name suggests, the cordless rotary tools are the kind that does not require plugging-in to operate and instead use rechargeablebatteries.

They do not have any annoying cord to deal with and they are also more convenient and mobile as you can use them almost anywhere.

However, the presence of large batteries makes them heavier than the corded types and also means they will require frequent recharging.

Also, most cordless rotary tools are not as powerful or as fast as the corded types.

Pros:

  • Convenient and mobile
  • No annoying electrical cords
  • Usable almost anywhere

Cons:

  • Relatively heavier
  • Require frequent recharging

#3. Performance

The performance of the rotary tool determines its suitability for your projects and so it is a vital factor to take into account.

When it comes to performance there are several factors to look out for. However, the power and speed of the tool are the two main things that determine how it performs.

Also, the number and types of accessories and attachments can have some influence on its performance.

You should always go for something with as many high-quality attachments and accessories as possible and lots of extra features as it is always the best performing.

#4. Portability

Unless you are planning to be using the rotary tool from a stationary point in the workshop or garage only, the portability is also a vital factor to consider.

Cordless rotary tools are more portable than the corded ones as they do not require plugging-in to work. However, some can also be cumbersome due to the large batteries and hard to carry around.

Hence when it comes to portability, you should go for a lightweight and compact rotary tool that comes with a good case but this does not always necessarily mean going for a cordless one.

#5. Comfort

A good rotary tool should be comfortable to use for extended periods. It should come in an ergonomic design that will ensure that the hands do not get cramped or sore when using it.

A soft-grip handle is vital when it comes to comfort as it helps to maximize maneuverability and control when using the rotary tool.

#6. Warranty

Warranty is always a vital factor to take into account when buying any tool and so it will also be a crucial consideration when it comes to purchasing the rotary tool.

Most top rotary tools will come with at least a 2-year warranty. But, for some, it can be a little longer than this and a few others will also come with a money back guarantee.

The longer the warranty the better as it will help to protect your investment onthe rotary tool for long.

Conclusion

Whether you want to do some sanding and polishing as you finish up a wooden product or are into crafts and want to do some engraving and carving, a rotary tool will be very useful.

Rotary tools are one of the most versatile tools that you can have at home. When it comes to choosing one that suits your needs, you need to first understand the different types and decide whether to go for a corded or cordless one.

And by also considering factors like performance, comfort, and warranty and using our top 10 reviews above for recommendation, getting the best rotary tool for your projects should not be a tedioustask.