Best Rotary Tools of 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

a rotary tool being usedWhether you’re simply doing a small DIY project or carrying out major home renovations, a rotary tool is extremely useful to have around. To be able to do sanding, cutting, polishing and more with such a compact tool and a few attachments is a clear benefit. Aside from the tool’s versatility, it’s compact and high speed. What’s more, it’s easy to use. Needless to say, it’s well worth getting the best rotary tool you can.

If the versatility of the rotary tool sounds like something that appeals to you then your next step is to explore the market. This can be time-consuming but we’ve created a list of rotary tool reviews to help. With our comprehensive reviews, you can save time and effort and hopefully find the perfect one for all your DIY and home improvement needs!

Of course, buying a rotary tool is more than just exploring a few options on the market. It’s also about considering things such as what you will use it for and what price you’re willing to pay. That’s why we’ve also provided all of the tips you need in order to help you make your decision. You’re welcome!

Comparison of our Favorite Products

ProductPriceWeightEditor Rating
Dremel 4000-6/50
Dremel 4000-6/50
(Top Pick)


Check Price
3.2 lbs4.9/5
DeWalt DW660
DeWalt DW660
(Best for the Money)


Check Price
3.4 lbs4.6/5
Dremel 4200-8/64
Dremel 4200-8/64


Check Price
11.4 lbs4.3/5

Hitachi GP10DL
Hitachi GP10DL


Check Price
1.1 lbs4.3/5
WEN 2305
WEN 2305


Check Price
3.2 lbs4.0/5

5 Best Rotary Tools 2018 – Our Reviews

1. Dremel 4000-6/50 Rotary Tool – Top Pick

Dremel 4000The Dremel 4000 is a high-performance rotary tool. The best rotary tool on the market, it has accessories for every application imaginable. With it, you can do everything from carving to cleaning and sharpening to sanding. The 1.6 amp motor offers speeds between 5,000 and 35,000 RPM. It auto adjusts your power and speed as you go, which provides greater precision and control.

Changing accessories is quick and easy thanks to the integrated nose cap wrench which simply twists. A useful feature of the Dremel 4000 is that it’s compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories and attachments, of which there are a lot! This tool has a slim and ergonomic body with excellent grip, allowing you to always maintain control.

This particular unit comes with some 50 accessories as well as 6 attachments. Needless to say, this provides tremendous versatility for any project. There’s not much in the way of negatives with this unit. Some users have complained about motors burning out and switches failing but these comments are few and far between. This is a high-quality product that should prove to be very reliable in a wide range of DIY and home improvement projects.

 

Pros
  • High-quality performance
  • Vast range of accessories
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • A minority of users complain of motor and switch faults

2. DeWalt DW660 – Best Rotary Tool for the Money

DeWalt DW660Tools are often used in rugged environments that inevitably lead to a few bumps and scrapes. So the durable and compact design of the DeWalt DW660 is very much a welcome feature. The 5.0 Amp motor with its max speed of 30,000 RPM motor offers power when you’re cutting.

At 3.2 lbs, this rotary tool is lightweight which, along with the slim body design, helps reduce fatigue during prolonged use. Speaking of prolonged use, this can cause problems to some power tools as dust and the like enters the switches. Thankfully this isn’t a problem with the DeWalt DW660 due to the dust-sealed switches. Changing bits is designed to be fast with the tool-free bit change meaning no wrench is necessary.

Primarily a cutting tool, this unit is particularly effective at cutting through drywall, tile and the like. For the price at which it’s listed, the DW660 is the best rotary tool for the money. This is thanks to its excellent cutting ability, durable build, and very powerful motor. Perhaps one disadvantage of this model is that the motor is a little too powerful and can make it harder to control but this will be little problem to more experienced rotary tool users.

 

Pros
  • Durable unit
  • Powerful
  • Great for cutting
Cons
  • Can be hard to control

3. Dremel 4200-8/64 Rotary Tool

Dremel 4200If you’re looking for a rotary tool that offers an incredible array of attachments and accessories, the Dremel 4200-8/64 is surely worthy of your consideration. Not only does it come with some 77 pieces, it also includes a sturdy metal case so that you don’t lose or damage them!

One of the key features of this particular unit is the patented, tool integrated EZ change mechanism which is supposed to make changing accessories quick and convenient. This means that no wrench is necessary when changing up. However, this is not the most reliable feature and sometimes struggles to hold the bits that have been attached.

The electronic feedback circuitry of the Dremel 4200 allows consistent performance, whatever the speed. The motor is 1.6 Amp and variable speed allows for better overall control. At 11.4 lbs, it’s not the lightest of rotary tools but the sturdy construction makes up for this. It has excellent grip all around the handle and an ergonomic design to avoid hand fatigue. Overall this is a rotary tool that is well worth mentioning since it has many good Dremel features.

 

Pros
  • Lots of accessories
  • Ergonomic design
Cons
  • EZ change mechanism
  • On the heavy side

4. Hitachi GP10DL Rotary-Tool

Hitachi GP10DLComfort and control are the aims of the Hitachi GP10DL. The slim soft grip handle is designed to be comfortable and reduce hand fatigue. This is helped further by the anti-vibration system which aside from delivering comfort, also provides a greater degree of control.

Yet one of the best features of this particular rotary tool is actually the battery. It’s powered by a 1.5 Ah Lithium-Ion battery which allows prolonged usage and a very steady level of power. One of the best things about the battery is that it’s really light. This is reflected in the overall weight of the Hitachi GP10DL which is just 1.1 pounds.

The speed of this unit can be controlled by the user via a variable speed dial which allows anything from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM. A built-in LED light is a useful feature since this can help increase visibility even in dark work areas. One of the few disadvantages of the GP10DL is that some of the attachments aren’t the best quality. Despite this, this is a good rotary tool available for a competitive price and is certainly worth looking at, particularly for its excellent battery and lightweight design.

 

Pros
  • Excellent battery
  • Very light
Cons
  • Some poor quality attachments

5. WEN 2305 Rotary-Tool

WEN 2305The number 1 best seller on Amazon, the WEN 2305 must be doing something right! A versatile rotary tool, it’s for cutting, sanding, polishing and more. The fact that it can do so much is down to the 100-piece accessory set that is included. This unit has a variable speed of 8,000 to 30,000 RPM which can easily be adjusted and thus offers more flexibility to the user.

The WEN 2305 weighs 3.5 lbs making it very light though it’s still not the lightest of rotary tools on the market (or indeed in this guide!). The light weight allows for greater control and precision. This rotary tool is affordable and offers good quality for the price tag. It offers excellent versatility thanks to the wide range of accessories and attachments available, even if some aren’t of the highest quality. The build itself is solid and should stand the test of time. However, there have been some complaints that the vibration is too strong as well as it getting too hot and overheating in some cases. Despite this, it has proven to be a popular choice at an affordable price and is worth looking at if you’re on a budget.

 

Pros
  • Solid unit
  • Variable speed dial
Cons
  • Vibration is quite strong
  • Can overheat on occasion

Buying Guide

Now that we’ve had a look at 5 of the best rotary tools on the market, it’s time to look at some of the specific things you should look for when deciding which rotary tool is for you. There are plenty of factors to consider but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

using my rotary tool

Types of Rotary Tools

Before we get into the various uses of a rotary tool, let’s take a look at the two main types available on the market which are electric and cordless.

Electric Rotary Tools

The obvious advantage of choosing an electric rotary tool is that you don’t need to worry about power running out! Most good rotary tools have a nice long cord, so connecting to a power source shouldn’t be an issue. So you can work as long as you want. Other advantages of electric rotary tools are that you can work on heavier projects since you’re not draining the battery. Also, they tend to be lighter which reduces hand and arm fatigue as you use them.

Cordless Rotary Tools

Choosing a cordless rotary tool has a number of advantages. The main one is that they’re very convenient to use. Having a long cord can be annoying at times so a cordless rotary tool is great for its portability. If you’re looking to do small, quick jobs then this type will get the job done quicker. However they do tend to be heavier and you have to charge them fairly regularly, unlike electric rotary tools.

5 Things you can do with a rotary tool

As you likely know by now, there is a whole host of attachments and accessories that you can use with your rotary tool. These can allow you to do so many different jobs from cutting to sanding to cleaning. Let’s take a look at some of the accessories that you can use to get the most out your purchase:

  1. Cutting
    Probably one of the most popular uses for a rotary tool, it makes cutting anything from drywall to tiles easy. With a rotary tool, you can cut using either a wheel or a straight bit. Cut-off wheels make light work of metal, wood, and plastics. The best are reinforced with fiberglass for increased durability.
  2. Carving
    Both carving and engraving can be made much easier with a good rotary tool. It could be a decorative design on a table, for example. Some rotary tools will come with carving and engraving kits and others might be sold separately. They typically include engraving cutters and grinding stones.
  3. Sanding
    While you wouldn’t use a rotary tool to sand a large surface, it’s ideal for small details on wood and metal. Some people even use the sanding feature to trim down their dog’s nails but this should obviously be done with caution! Sanding and grinding kits typically come with accessories for sharpening tools and removing rust.
  4. Cleaning
    When people think of a rotary tool they think of mess. But rotary tools can do more than just create piles of wood shavings! With the tiny wire brush bits, you can clean and polish your tools and even things like jewelry. They’re particularly useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas that larger cleaning items can’t.
  5. Grout removal
    With a grout removal kit, you can easily remove wall and floor grout using your rotary tool. It’s worth keeping in mind that to do this, you really need a top quality, powerful rotary tool. Just as important is having a strong, durable attachment. The best rotary tools have an adjustable design for controlled cutting.

5 Features to consider

So you know about the types of rotary tool as well as their main uses. So what type of rotary tool is best for you? In order to answer this, we should take a look at portability, type of work, ease of use, attachments and price to get a good overall impression.

  1. Portability
    If portability is the most important factor for you then you should really consider getting a cordless rotary tool. This means that you can move around freely without having to worry about a long cord that always has to be connected to a power outlet. However, it’s worth remembering that cordless rotary tools tend to be heavier (due to the battery). You need to be prepared to charge a cordless rotary tool on occasion. Also, you sometimes sacrifice power when you choose to go cordless so it’s really down to how often you will use it and whether it will be on heavy projects or just smaller-scale things. If portability is not essential to you, you should opt for a lighter, more powerful electric rotary tool.
  2. Type of work
    For the professional who needs a rotary tool on a daily basis, an electric rotary tool is the best way to go. After all, you’ll need something with unlimited power, as well as being as powerful as possible for a wide range of applications such as cutting, sanding and cleaning. Those who only want a rotary tool for the odd DIY jobs around the house, a cordless rotary tool is worth considering. The type of work you do should lead you to consider the power on offer. Cordless rotary tools tend to be less powerful so make sure you check out all of the specifications before making your choice.
  3. Ease of use
    The best rotary tools should be relatively easy to use. This includes when you’re changing the accessories and attachments. Some rotary tools are difficult to change up so keep an eye on this when you’re narrowing down your options. Both the cordless and electric rotary tools are easy to use in different ways. For example, while the cordless rotary tool isn’t hindered by a long cable, the electric rotary tool tends to be lighter. Another thing to consider is whether your chosen tool has an ergonomic design for comfortable grip – this can make a lot of difference when you’re working over several hours at a time. Finally, try to find out how much the tool vibrates as the constant vibration can cause hand fatigue.
  4. Attachments
    Most rotary tools come with a variety of attachments included, some as many as 100! However, it’s still worth considering what you will use your rotary tool for and ensure that you’ll have everything you need. It is possible to buy separate kits of attachments so even if you don’t have everything, there’s always a solution. Most good kits should include cutting wheels, sanding pads, saw attachments and more. When you’re looking at products, check out comments regarding the quality of attachments. The last thing you want is to find out that they’re flimsy and unreliable so keep this in mind when browsing.
  5. Price
    As with anything, how much you’re willing to pay will determine the quality of product you receive. Thankfully, there is a range of quality rotary tools to suit all budgets. One of the leading factors in price is actually down to the brand name. If you’re willing to forego a bigger brand for a lesser known international name, you might just get yourself a great deal. Of course, there’s more to it than if your rotary tool has DeWalt or Dremel written on it. For example, whether the rotary tool is electric or cordless or indeed how powerful it is. Some tools may look more expensive but come with a whole bunch of accessories and attachments. Try to find out how much these would cost to buy separately and whether it’s a bargain or not.

Conclusion

As you’ll have gathered, there’s plenty to consider when choosing a rotary tool. From the type of work to portability to price, there are so many factors that can help you further narrow down your options and find the right rotary tool for your needs.

It certainly helps that rotary tools have really made huge strides over the years to deliver the great quality products available today. There are so many fantastic features including endless accessories and attachments that make it such a versatile tool. What’s more, rotary tools are available at a wide range of prices to suit all budgets, high and low.

There are also many rotary tools to choose from with different brands and types to look at. Reaching such a decision can be overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. With the information here at your disposal, making a decision should be much quicker and easier. Our reviews of rotary tools and buying guide contain all of the information you need to make your choice. We wish you well with your purchase, whichever it may be!

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