The Best Rotary Tool (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Rotary Tool Review GuideEver since the Industrial Revolution changed the way that products and items were manufactured, tool designers have been coming up with new ways to streamline and perfect production. Rotary tools were originally designed for use by experts machinists, who would carefully guide the powerful drill or burr to machine extremely precise dies and molds. Old-timers and industry insiders still refer to these tools as “die grinders” for this reason, but most people today call modern models “rotary tools”.

Homeowners, property managers, woodworkers, contractors, builders and hobbyists can use a rotary tool to perform a wide range of tasks, including sanding, honing, sharpening, polishing, grinding, and machining metal, wood, and other hard surfaces. Today’s advanced rotary tools use powerful motors to create a strong circular rotation to drive attachments and accessories such as burrs, bits and grinders. Using high speed rotation and substantial torque drives rotary tool attachments to quickly and efficiently achieve precise control when grinding, sanding or polishing wood, metal and other items.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Rotary Tools of 2016

What is a Rotary Tool?

Originally, industrial “die grinders” or rotary tools used compressed air to rapidly drive the circular motion of the tool, but today’s models feature advanced electric motors to achieve greater torque and more revolutions per minute. The primary function of the rotary tool is to create a powerful circular rotation that can drive attachments and accessories such as burrs, bits, saws and grinders.

Considered by many people to be a “Dremel”, the brand name of a popular line of rotary tools, quality rotary tools of different dimensions and abilities are available from multiple manufacturers. With an enormous variety of attachments that can be powered by a rotary tool, home builders, crafters and hobbyists can easily perform woodworking, engraving, shaping, polishing, machining and grinding tasks. The collar or area of the rotary tool that connects to attachments is known as the “collet”, with different sizes and designs used for different attachments.

What are the different types of Rotary Tools?

Modern rotary tools are designed for a wide variety of home woodworking, engraving, grinding, sanding and other repair and building tasks. While almost all modern rotary tools are powered with electric motors, some use direct, corded power to operate while others are equipped with a battery pack to be used independently. Rotary tools come with a variety of options, including speed control to allow for precision work, and torque for heavier grinding or polishing jobs.

Some rotary tools today come with universal collets that can be used with nearly any second-party rotary attachment, while other rotary tools feature popular collet sizes commonly used in the power tool industry. Some rotary tools also include a number of attachments to offer buyers a complete package for their rotary tool needs.

What are the advantages of owning a Rotary Tool?

An enormous number of quick jobs around the house can be efficiently and rapidly accomplished with the use of a rotary tool, including polishing, sanding and engraving. Whether recording serial numbers on expensive electronic items or using honing attachments to sharpen knives and blades, a rotary tool can offer quick and powerful solutions to a wide range of home repair, maintenance and building tasks. Some home builders use rotary tools to quickly cut through drywall, plasterboard, and other thin sheeting materials.

Woodworkers can use rotary tools to shape and sand angles, curves and other delicate features. Many businesses charge steep prices for simple engraving or honing jobs, so having your own rotary tool at home can save you substantial money and lost time. With thousands of attachments available, a rotary tool can easily become one of the most versatile and useful tools any homeowner, hobbyist or property manager can own.

Which models are the contenders for the Best Rotary Tool?

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool – This elegant rotary tool from the legendary toolmaking company Black & Decker comes in an attractive red and black design with three speed adjustment and a simple one-press system for changing accessories. With a universal collet system that can handle any standard accessory, the Black & Decker RTX-B offers outstanding torque and the ability to rev up to 30,000 RPM when needed. With an included storage bag and five accessories, the Black & Decker RTX-B is an outstanding rotary tool.

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out 5 Amp 30,000 RPM Rotary Tool – This futuristic rotary tool from DEWALT features a powerful 5-amp motor that can generate up to 30,000 rpm. With a unique slim body design and circular guide, the DEWALT DW660 offers hobbyists and builders outstanding control for longer use with less fatigue. With the main power switch sealed against dust and other particles, the DEWALT DW660 is built to offer years of hard service.

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool – The new 8220 from Dremel offers complete mobility and autonomy with two powerful 12-volt lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Built to handle even heavy-duty jobs, the Dremel 8220 ships with an included complete rotary tool kit that includes 28 accessories. With the tool and attachments neatly fitting inside a convenient carrying case, the Dremel 8220 offers hobbyists and builders a complete rotary tool package.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Rotary Tool

  • Rotary Speed – Different rotary tools come with different speed settings, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). Faster RPMs can allow the rotary tool to achieve higher precision for detailed machining and grinding jobs.
  • Attachments and Accessories – Some rotary tools are shipped with several included attachments. Rotary tools use different “collet” systems, the connecting part of the tool that secures the attachment. Different collets grasp and secure attachments and accessories using different systems.
  • Torque – While high-speed RPMs are excellent for precision work, the amount of torque generated by the rotary tool determines its ability to handle grinding, polishing and honing tasks.
  • Additional Features – Many manufacturers of rotary tools include other features and advanced functions that give hobbyists, builders and crafters greater flexibility and more options when grinding, sanding, polishing and engraving.

Rotary Speed

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX – The Black & Decker RTX-B comes equipped with a simple three-speed adjustment switch to choose between 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 RPM, allowing users to choose the right speed for the most precision.

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out – The DEWALT DW660 uses a powerful 5-amp corded electric motor to instantly spin up the connecting tip to 30,000 RPM, allowing users to drive a wide variety of attachments at very high speed.

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless – Once charged, the powerful 12-volt lithium-ion batteries on the Dremel 8220 can be adjusted to deliver between 5,000 RPM and 30,000 RPM.

Attachments and Accessories

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX – The Black & Decker RTX-B features a universal collet system that can quickly lock on to or release any standard rotary tool accessory. With the company’s patented Flip-Lock one-handed system, users can quickly and easily switch out attachments. The Black & Decker RTX-B ships with five included accessories.

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out – The DEWALT DW660 ships with both 1/4″ and 1/8″ collets for use in connecting to a wide variety of industry standard rotary tool attachments. The DEWALT DW660 also comes with 1 drywall cutting attachment for accurate and rapid slicing through standard gypsum board and drywall.

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless – The Dremel 8220 comes with a complete set of accessories, ready to handle nearly any building, repair or hobby design task. With a recharging stand and two included lithium-ion batteries, the Dremel 8220 is a complete rotary tool package perfect for any workshop, basement or home garage.

Torque

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed – The Black & Decker RTX-B features a very efficient electric motor capable of delivering outstanding torque even under heavy load.

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out – With a corded 5-amp motor, the DEWALT DW660 is built to deliver maximum torque even when under very heavy load.

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless – The twin 12-volt batteries on the Dremel 8220 are designed to provide maximum torque at any speed throughout the entire charge.

Additional Features

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed – The Black & Decker RTX-B ships with a convenient carrying case. The Black & Decker RTX-B features a patented spindle system to quickly release or grasp almost any third-party rotary tool accessory.

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out – The on/off switch of the DEWALT DW660 is designed to be quickly bumped off to improve user safety, and the switch is sealed against dust and particles to provide years of reliable service.

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless – The Dremel 8220 is, naturally, able to be used with any Dremel accessory or attachment. The battery on the Dremel 8220 can be quick-charged in just one hour, allowing builders and crafters the ability to complete even the longest tasks. With the included carrying case and accessories, the Dremel 8220 is a complete tool package ready to handle nearly any home improvement, building or crafting job.

Conclusion: Our Rotary Tool Reviews Are In

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool – Best Low-Cost Rotary Tool

The Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary ToolThe powerful Black & Decker RTX-B offers homeowners and hobbyists their choice of three different speeds to achieve the ultimate in precision and efficiency when grinding, sanding, polishing and machining.

With its attractive red and black design, this compact high-torque rotary tool can power accessories to quickly and accurately hone, polish, grind and engrave on a wide variety of different surfaces.

Pros:

Built solid and yet quite compact, the Black & Decker RTX-B looks great on any workbench or in any home garage. With the universal collet system, any accessory can be quickly attached and used, giving owners unparalleled flexibility. With a top speed of 30,000 RPM, the Black & Decker RTX-B is more than enough rotary tool to handle even the most demanding jobs.

Cons:

Many users find that changing accessories is much simpler with the use of a keyless chuck, a tool not included with the Black & Decker RTX-B.

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The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out 5 Amp 30,000 RPM Rotary Tool – Best Rotary Tool for the Money

The DEWALT DW660 Cut-Out 5 Amp 30,000 RPM Rotary ToolThis elegant rotary tool from DEWALT comes in the company’s signature yellow, featuring a slim body design to minimize user fatigue during longer jobs. With a powerful 5-amp motor able to drive attachments at 30,000 RPM, the DEWALT DW660 rotary tool is ready to handle even the toughest jobs.

With a simple but effective switch that is sealed against dust, the DEWALT DW660 is ready to offer years of reliable use for any home repair or building jobs.

Pros:

The including drywall cutter attachment slices through drywall and other thin sheets of particulate or wood as easily as a hot knife through butter. The circular guide on the end helps improve user control and stability, and the slim body design reduces hand and arm fatigue when using the rotary tool for extended periods of time.

Cons:

Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the DEWALT DW660 secures attachments. If not secured correctly, attachments can damage or destroy the locking collar.

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The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool – Best Rotary Tool Overall

The Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary ToolDremel is the premiere name in the rotary tool business for good reason, and the 8220 Cordless is another fine model in their excellent line-up of powerful, battery-driven rotary tools. With its high-torque motor and vast range of attachments and accessories included with the tool, the Dremel 8220 is ready to tackle any home hobby build, repair or craft need.

Neatly packaged in a convenient travel case made out of durable polycarbonate material, the Dremel 8220 is a complete rotary tool package perfect for gifts, new home owners, or any hobbyist or builder wanting to replace aging or inferior equipment.

Pros:

Dremel is once again at the top of their game with the 8220, and the rotary tool is very heavy-duty and powerful even though it operates solely on batteries. With 28 included accessories and everything necessary to get started, home hobbyists and builders can begin working on projects in minutes.

Batteries charge rapidly and hold their charge even after extended use under heavy load.

Cons:

Anyone looking for a small and simple rotary tool for occasional engraving or hobbyist use will find the Dremel 8220 and its full range of accessories to be too much tool for their needs.

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In Conclusion

Home builders, hobbyists and crafters know that having a powerful and efficient rotary tool can allow anyone to grind, sand, polish, cut, saw, and hone an enormous range of different objects and surfaces. Woodworking, drywall installation, engraving and countless other home building and improvement tasks can be quickly and easily handled with the use of a good quality rotary tool. With so many different makes and models to choose from, buyers should carefully assess their requirements to find the right rotary tool for their needs.

The clear leaders in the rotary tool industry are Dremel, and their new 8220 cordless rotary tool offers heavy-duty power with the freedom of using batteries. With an advanced quick-charge design and complete set of 28 attachments and accessories included, the Dremel 8220 is a complete rotary tool package. Whether given as a gift to graduates, new home buyers, hobbyists or simply to replace older and inferior equipment, the Dremel 8220 cordless drill and included toolkit offer the best rotary tool package on the market today.

Sold at an attractive price, the Dremel rotary tool and complete accessories kit offers home builders and crafters the ultimate in flexibility and versatility when building, grinding, creating and shaping wood, metal and other materials.