What Are Rotary Tools?

Rotary tools are a portable version of a power drill because they are versatile hand-held motorized tools. They can be equipped with numerous attachments and accessory parts that serve a variety of purposes. Simply put, a rotary tool rotates at a high speed to assist you in performing a variety of tasks. All you have to do is adjust the speed according to the task at hand.

Types of Rotary Tools 

Practically any task can be completed if you have the right rotary-cutting tool. But it can be confusing to know which one is best for you. There are two basic types of rotary tools.

Cordless Rotary tools  Corded rotary tools 
As the name implies, it is wire-free An ordinary rotary tool
Easier to use and carry than a typical multi-corded rotary tool It is a high-powered tool, tasks can be completed more quickly.
The majority of models feature quick-charging, long-lasting batteries. It is best for hard materials like stone or metal.

What Can You Do with Rotary Tools?

Rotary tools can be used for a variety of tasks, including engraving and gold polishing. They can adopt to almost any related task. Here are a few common rotary tools applications: 

Carving Wood

You can control the speed and accuracy of a very quick method of carving wood with a good rotary tool and the right bit. You’ll be able to carve wood much more quickly than doing it manually with a rotary tool once you master it.


There are several rotary tools accessories, such as acerbic stones, that have various shapes and levels of roughness, allowing you to add sharp edges or remove them. When you want to blunt the edges of metal, this function is useful.


The straight bits can be used to cut wood, drywall, plasterboard, or any other type of material. You can use the cutting wheels to cut plastic or small pieces of metal.  The carbide burrs can be used to make precise cuts on hard metals like steel.

Drilling Holes 

Rotary tools can drill into soft materials like drywall and gypsum board ceilings by using the proper bits and router bits. They are rotary tools and they can drill, but they are not as strong as electric drilling machines.

Rotary Tools Accessories 

The rotary tool has been a favorite among many DIY builders, woodworkers, machinists, maintenance workers, toy manufacturers, and hobbyists. The rotary tool can be your go-to power tool because it is so versatile. Its interchangeable bits and accessories can be used for a variety of tasks. Here are the most common accessories for rotary tools: 

Drum Sander

Industrial professional stationary abrasive sanding machine with long grinding belt. Mechanized woodworking carpenter tool close-up in carpentry workshop. Limited depth of field.

Sanding is not a fun thing to do, but you can make this job quicker and easier by using a rotary tool and a drum sander. A drum sander consists of a shank mandrel and an attached rubber drum. The sleeve that does the sanding part is usually made of aluminum oxide abrasive material. Just slip the abrasive sanding sleeve onto the drum, and you’re now ready to start sanding.

Drum sanders come in many sizes by diameter, and the most common sizes are ½”, ¼”, 1/8”, and 3/8”. The sanding sleeves are available in many grits ranging from the course (50 grit) to the smoothest (120 grit)

Grinding Stone

Among the most significant advantages of a rotary tool is that you do not need to use separate machines for cutting, grinding, sharpening, etc. A grinding stone is a rotary tool attachment made of aluminum oxide, just like in other grinding tools and machines. It makes clean and precise sharpening on various tools such as knives, scissors, and pruning shears. This attachment is also ideal for smoothening welded joints, grinding off rivets, and getting rid of rust.

Engraving Cutter 

When you need to do precise carving, etching, routing, and engraving of different materials, the engraving cutter is the accessory to use. Hobbyists, as well as woodworkers and artisans often use this bit. When buying an engraving cutter, make sure that they are made of high-grade steel for longevity. Also, be sure to run your rotary tool at higher speeds when you’re working with hardwoods, and slower speeds for metal.

Cutting and Shaping Wheel 

This 1-and-1/4” cutting and shaping wheel looks a bit unusual because it is coated with durable and ultra-sharp carbide grits. These grits allow the wheel to cut and smoothen in just a single pass.

This attachment is used in cutting, shaping, and contouring virtually all types of material – softwood, hardwood, plywood, plastics, composites, fiberglass, and laminates

Metal Cutting Wheel 

Electric wheel grinding on steel structure in factory

There are times when you need to cut some metals for your projects, and this metal-cutting wheel will do the job. The high-speed motor of your rotary tool makes it perfect for cutting metal. When choosing a metal-cutting wheel, you might want to go for the premium quality ones because they are the best value for your money.

A standard cutting wheel made with fiberglass may be the most affordable, but it grinds down pretty quickly and thus has a shorter useful life. A cutting wheel made of cubic boron nitride, on the other hand, maybe the more expensive option, but it lasts up to 20 times longer compared to its fiberglass-reinforced counterparts.

Diamond-Wheel Point

The diamond-wheel point accessory works pretty much similarly to the drum sander. However, the former is covered with super-sharp and durable diamond particles, which can remove any foreign material easily and quickly. The diamond-wheel point accessory is used in cutting, shaping, carving, and smoothing various materials such as ceramic, glass, hardwood, and semi-precious stones. It can even work with hardened steel.

Glass-Drilling Bit

The glass-drilling bit mainly Drills small-diameter holes not only in the glass but also in other materials such as ceramic tiles, stone, clay pots, and even seashells. The most common glass-drilling bits have one drilling head, but other bits have drilling heads on both ends. Keep the surface wet to achieve the best drilling results

Straight-Cut Router Bit

The straight-cut router bit is used along with a router base to make precision routing applications in wood. When you attach this bit, it can convert your rotary tool into an instant router. You can use it for routing grooves, mortises, dados, shallow holes, grooves, or recesses for inlay veneers.

Multi-Purpose Cutting Bit

At first, this type of bit doesn’t look so promising. But appearances can be deceiving! The multi-purpose cutting bit is probably the most commonly used of all rotary tool accessories. The name of this bit speaks well of its sheer versatility and usefulness – it can cut through a variety of materials such as wood, plywood, hardwood, vinyl, drywall, plastic, laminate, and many more.  Multi-purpose cutting bits are distinguished by their deep and elongated grooves that allow you to cut various materials with just a little effort. It is ideal for edge-cutting and plunge-cutting.

Tungsten-Carbide Cutter

You can tell the tungsten-carbide cutter’s appearance by its unique cone-shaped head studded with tungsten carbide, a mineral that is nearly as hard as diamonds. It is used to cut and shape tough and resilient objects such as hard rubber, epoxy, plastic, ceramic tile, as well as wood.

How Do You Use Rotary Tools?

Initially, make sure the device is off and the power source is unplugged. If the device is battery-operated, remove the battery or unplug it. To soften, initially push the shaft lock button and manually rotate the shaft till the lock interacts, preventing further rotation. To insert the preferred bit, loosen the collet nut with the collet spanner. Stiffen the nut again, making sure the bit is stable.


What are rotary tools used for? 

It is a portable power tool used for honing, polishing, and grinding a variety of materials and has a fast-spinning motor tip.

Is it safe to use rotary tools? 

Rotating tools have fast-spinning motors, so if amateurs handle them improperly, it can be dangerous.

How do you know which accessory to use? 

It can be difficult to decide when and where to use a specific bit when there are so many options available. But in the end, the task or job is what decides which part is best for you.


Rotary tools are versatile and handy power tools that are widely used for a range of applications. They are suitable for both professional and DIY projects and can be used to cut, grind, sand, and polish a variety of materials. Whether you need to make precise cuts in wood or metal, or simply want to smooth out rough edges, a rotary tool can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. With a wide range of attachments and accessories available, rotary tools offer a high level of flexibility and can be customized to suit your specific needs. Overall, they are essential tools for any workshop or toolkit.