Rotary Tool Reviews
So, you are a fan of power tools and love performing some Do It Yourself projects at home. However, you don’t love the idea of a regular power tool. So, what’s the next best thing? A rotary tool. A rotary tool is a tool that is handheld and uses various kinds of attachments depending on its use. What this means is that you insert a bit at the tip of the tool depending on the function you want to derive from it. For instance you may put a sanding drum if you would like to perform small sanding operations. You may also put a buffing bit to polish various metallic surfaces. Simply put the rotary tool is a wonderful tool which once you start using, will start to wonder how you used to live without it before. The tool has so many functions you may even put a sharpening bit to sharpen your knives at home.
Rotary Tool Buying Guide
Rotary tools are versatile handheld devices designed to complete a wide array of novice and professional projects. Because their applications are so broad and varied, purchasing the right rotary tool can be a complex process. This guide will help you understand the various rotary tools and how they work so you can choose the right one for you.
Rotary Tool Features
Here are a few of the common features you’ll come across when shopping for a rotary tool:
- Easy-to-Change Bit – If you need to change bits frequently, consider a tool that features a spindle lock for bit changes.
- Comfort Grip – Most models of rotary tools are held by the body, which may not have cushioning for added comfort. A few models feature a cut-out design on the handle, and others have a removable handle attachment. Make sure you choose a tool that’s comfortable for you to hold and maneuver.
- Replaceable Motor Brushes – The ability to replace motor brushes can lengthen the life of your tool. Consider a tool with a replaceable motor brush feature so you can swap out old and worn brushes.
Types of Rotary Tools
Rotary tools are divided into two basic categories: basic rotary tools and cut out tools. The main difference between the two types of rotary tools is their motor. Cut out tools generally have larger, more powerful motors than rotary tools.
Heavy-duty rotary tools are sometimes referred to as spiral saws or cut out tools. These are designed for professional use, as they offer the power needed to cut drywall, lights, electrical boxes, and other items. Spiral saws are larger and heavier than other rotary tools, and don’t include many accessories or attachments. These are best for use on demanding projects.
Smaller versions of rotary tools are used for fine detailing, woodworking, and crafts. They are frequently used by novices, hobbyists, and do-it-yourselfers. Below is a list of just some of the tasks that can be performed with a rotary tool:
– Carving wood
– Repairing siding
– Cutting a rusted toilet bolt
– Sanding and trimming doors for a better fit
– Polishing cabinet hardware
– Shaping and fitting tile
– Sharpening a mower blade
– Deburring pipes
– Cleaning lug threads
– Working with plastics and acrylics
– Drilling drain holes in plant pots
– Sharpening chain saw
– Cleaning copper
– Removing rust and grout
– Drilling holes
– Squaring off screwdrivers
– Resetting screws
– Cutting a space for an electrical box
– Etching glass
– Repairing drywall
– Cutting gutters
– Removing exhaust pipe clamps
Corded vs. Cordless Rotary Tools
Both corded and cordless versions of rotary tools can be found on the market. Cordless tools provide greater flexibility and convenience than corded models, but corded rotary tools tend to be more powerful.
The motor on a corded rotary tool is around one amp, whereas a corded cutout tool can have a motor ranging between four and five amps. Because of this, corded rotary tools aren’t usually as powerful as corded cut out tools. The powerful motor of a corded cut out tool is effective in cutting through most building construction materials. If you need greater control, however, a smaller motor can be beneficial.
When deciding between a corded and cordless rotary tool, consider the types of materials you need to cut and how easily you can access electrical outlets to perform the job.
One major benefit of corded tools is that they have an unlimited power supply. They also usually weigh less, as they don’t have their own power source built in. Lighter rotary tools reduce muscle fatigue, and can improve control when working on long projects.
Power and Speed
Rotary tools are available in varying degrees of power and speed to suit both novices and professionals. Rotary tools can be used both in the home and work environments, and can be purchased with additional accessories. Basic accessory sets include the necessary attachments to complete any type of detailing project. All rotary tools are designed to perform the same basic functions however: to cut, shape, and created finely-detailed work.
The power of a rotary tool is measured in amps: corded models have between 1 and 5.5 amps, while cordless models feature 4.8-18 volts. If you need the tool for a long project, you might want to consider a high -voltage model. Other options include extra batteries or a lithium ion battery as a power source.
Rotary tool speeds range from 5,000 to 10,000 rpm for a cordless model and up to 35,000 rpm on a corded model. The more speed settings and wider speed range you tool offers, the more versatile it will be. The size of bit shank your rotary tool can use will depend on the collet or chuck of the tool. Larger collets or chucks are more versatile, as they can be adjusted to accommodate smaller bit shanks. Keep in mind, however, that that they can’t be adapted for larger bit shanks.
Rotary Tool Attachments
Below are some of the basic attachments and accessories that can be purchased with a rotary tool or in a separate kit.
- Drill Press – This allows you to convert the rotary tool into a miniature drill press.
- Bits – Various bits are available for engraving, cutting, shaping, etching, polishing, and more.
- Chainsaw Sharpener – This allows you to hold the rotary tool at the proper angle for sharpening chainsaws.
- Router Table – This lets you mount the router tool on a tabletop.
If you work mostly with hard and heavy materials, a cut out tool is the better option for you. If you complete smaller, crafty jobs, you may be better off buying a more basic rotary tool. Before you make your choice, you’ll need to consider the materials you want to work with and what types of projects you need to finish.