For those of us who have a fine-eye for detail, we need specific tools in our arsenal to keep in handy. Nothing beats being able to tackle those smaller, important areas with the best rotary tool. When it comes to rotary tools (aka die grinders by some), a brand called Dremel definitely dominates the market without a doubt. However, there are also some very solid options that are both affordable and come with high-quality to take into consideration. Today we review the top 10 best rotary tools in the market that are worth checking out.
What is a rotary tool?
A rotary tool, also known as a die grinder, is a handheld tool that it is used for machining, polishing, honing, sanding and grinding. It is used typically on metal but sometimes it can be used for wood and plastic. They can be driven pneumatically, but there are also electric and flexible shaft drives available. The name comes from one of the earliest archetypal applications known as the tool and die work that were used to make the precise contours for dies or molds.
Particularly before the advent of widespread CNC usage, this tool was relied upon for contouring using manual skill that it is comparable to that of a sculptor. It can be used for the needs of welders, iron workers, millwrights and boilermakers. Others who can benefit from it are those who want to use it for hacking and woodworking. Die grinders are typically used for cylinder head porting, engraving, or general shaping of a part.
How to pick your rotary tool
- Price-point – Rotary tools aren’t too expensive. If you want a high-quality, feature-packed and decked out with accessories rotary kit, it’ll start to cost you a bit more. However, most are pretty affordable.
- Corded or cordless? The typical power tool debate comes into play here — Want to hassle with a battery or cord? In our opinion, a cordless rotary tool is best since you’ll be using it in smaller areas that a cord may become pesky here and there. However, we’ve included both types of die grinders in here just in case.
- Main features – Want one that can cut through materials? A polisher only? Variable speeds to have a more custom work-flow? Some grips are more comfortable than others, while other cordless models use a Lithium ION battery. It’s all in your preferences.
- Additional accessories (kits)? You can also use other brand’s accessory kits if they’re compatible (for example, we’ve seen people pair a Milwaukee rotary tool with some Dremel accessory kits). Most models do come with their own replaceable parts and other custom heads.
The top 10 best rotary tools
To start off our top 10, this is one of the best rotary tools in the market. The Dremel 8220 is a cordless rotary tool with variable speed and offers high performance and versatility. As stated previously, Dremel pretty much has taken over this market. This one has a strong motor that facilitates the maximum performance for all speed levels. It has the ability to work on different projects because of its attachments and accessories (just check the photo). Its slim ergonomic body offers over 360 degree grip zone for the control of different positions. It is powered by 12 VMAX lithium-ion battery technology. It is compatible with most attachments and accessories that Dremel offers so if you ever want to add-on in the future you always have that option. The battery can maintain its charge for up to two years while in storage which doesn’t hurt, either. There are thousands of reviews on this one for a reason, so if you want some confidence when making your pick, this won’t hurt at all.
Up next, the WEN 2305 is another one of the best rotary tool kits that has a flex shaft which allows the user to work with precision details for their projects. If we had to choose a model besides the previous (or future) Dremel models, we’d say this is a great option for those looking to save some money — it’s our pick for the best budget-friendly rotary tool. The user can remove burrs, drill, cut, grind, sand and polish with it. It comes with 80 accessories to use for all rotary needs and it can be stored well in its custom case and uses a 1-amp motor and 2.3mm and 3.2mm collets. It offers variable speeds with a flexible lightweight shaft attachment that may be used for precision work. It is used for double insulation and its case offers security and organization. For cutting, it can slice through plastic, woods, old glues and wires. For engraving, it can be used to carve images and text in mirrors, glass and other materials. It’s a nifty WEN all-purpose die grinder if you have ask us.
This is Dremel’s most popular upgrade to the rotary tool and it has user requested features that improve its ergonomics and design. The Dremel 3000 is also known for the EZ twist, a nose cap with an integrated wrench which allows the nose cap to be used like a wrench to tighten the accessories and also eliminate the need to use a separate wrench. The efficient fan design with side vents offers a cooler running tool that makes it comfortable for extended periods of use. The rotary tool features a symmetrical design that includes a trumpet-shaped nose cap and facilitates the pencil-grip tool hold and the ability to use existing accessories available at the market. It also comes with way too many accessories to name. This is one of their other highest rated rotary tools in the market today.
This compact, powerful and portable cutoff solution for professionals offers at least 10 times longer life than typical rotary tools (or so they say). The Milwaukee 2460 is in our opinion another one of the best rotary tools that can be used as a cordless tool and it has optimized electronics and a motor design that offers high performance. This is a compact and versatile model that offers variable speeds of less than 5,000 up to 32,000 rpm and collets which are compatible with the 1/32 for the shank accessories that can be used for polishing, sanding, grinding and cutting solutions for maintenance, auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians and contractors. The variable speed dial gives fluid control and its lights 1.3 pound weight offers hours of comfortable use. This Milwaukee tool exceeds performance and endurance expectations if you have the cash — it just doesn’t have many accessories in the box so you’ll have to grab those separately.
The Proxxon 38481 is a bit up there in terms of price point to come in as the best rotary tool within the higher-end of price-points, but is very solid nonetheless if you can afford it. It features a variable-speed motor and an aluminum die-cast head. It is best for a wide range of hobbies and professional projects. Its lightweight and capable of higher torque even when it is used at a low-speed. It is a well-balanced rotary tool and it includes over 34 accessories to use for engraving, polishing and grinding. It is the ideal option to be used for a wide range of applications with the speed control off 34 quality cutters and bits, which include six triple slit steel collets. It has a flexible motor which operates from 5,000 up to 20,000 rpm and can perform for an extended period using low speeds for the projects that require cutting.
Black & Decker RTX-6
This Black & Decker RTX-6 is considered by some as the best rotary tool. It is an affordable corded rotary tool and has three speeds that can be used for different things like polishing, sanding and grinding. It has a spindle lock to offer the quick change of accessories with a no-slip and soft grip. The universal collet does accept the standard accessories for the rotary tools. The three speeds are 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 rpm for the best results for every job. With double the torque and power than some of its competitors, it can help in getting a job done faster and it is not going to be bogged down with the load. The flip-lock spindle lock should be used for easy and quick accessory changes, and it also features the soft grip of no-slip control and comfort. This Black and Decker model also made Popular Mechanic’s best rotary tool article.
This is another one of the best rotary tools by Dremel to help people successfully tackle different jobs with a 7.2-Volt multi-pro kit. The Dremel 7700 has over 15 included accessories that can be used to do most anything you need a rotary tool to do. The tool comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty and has two speeds of 10,000 rpm and 20000 rpm so that the user can match the speed for the application as needed. It is extremely lightweight at 1.86 lbs for easy handling with less fatigue and has a portable design so that it can be carried around different work areas. The 3-hour charger with an LED light indicates the proper charging and the battery is removable to allow additional packs for continuous use. It also won’t break your wallet.
Here’s another WEN rotary tool to check out. The WEN 2307 offers some decent quality for one of the lowest-priced die grinders worth looking at. It comes with 80 accessories that can be used for different rotary needs for any project you have at hand. The variable speed does range from 8,000 up to 30,000 rpm, which can be adjusted using a simple turn of the knob. The lightweight build can make intricate designs easy to execute and allows the user to do small or complex designs in steel, wood, plastic and glass. Nothing too crazy here but it’s definitely an option if you still weren’t feeling our previous picks.
The Kawasaki 840589 is a rotary tool decked out with accessories. You may use it to cut shapes or drill in sand, ceramics, metals and plastic. It can be used to polish and buff just about any materials with the accessories found within the set. It is also great for the people who use it for woodworking, jewelry making, crafts and other hobbies. This rotary tool is rated super high compared to competitors so it was hard not to include in this article. It has a 1-Amp motor with a no load rpm from 8,000 up to 30,000 variable speeds. It includes the comprehensive polishing, cutting, grinding and sanding attachments. It also comes with a handy carrying case and a 3 year warranty for the tool alone.
We managed to only have 4 Dremel models in this article and we’re quite proud of that. We’ll have the Dremel 4000 top off our list. It’s a little more expensive than the others but it comes with more accessories than you’ll probably need. The ergonomic and slim design offers 360-degrees for its grip zone for control and comfort in different grip positions. Its high performance is achieved at different speeds and the electronic feedback ensures consistent speed within the load. The variable speed is meant to be used for great versatility and it also features a quick collect lock for fast accessory changes and the cool-running ball bearing ensures quiet and smooth operation. Just another one of the best Dremel rotary tools to take into consideration in your shopping endeavors.