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What is a Rotary Tool Used for? – Step-by-Step Guide for Using Dremel

The presence of a rotary tool in your toolbox can prove to be a trustworthy helping hand in every DIY project. Woodworking becomes easier with this handheld power tool as it is an all-in-one piece of equipment that can adapt to different roles, including an engraver, a sander, and a cutter. This ability to do multiple tasks helps to accomplish many tasks efficiently. All you have to do is buy the best rotary tool for your workplace and use it properly. Now you might ask what are rotary tools used for? Here is detailed information about the distinct uses of a rotary tool or Dremel tool, its steps to operate, and safety precautions associated with it.

Most Common Rotary Tool Uses

A rotary tool has been designed for different tasks making it a versatile and user-friendly device. Apart from the typical woodworking activities, you can also use this tool to polish distinct materials. In addition, numerous accessories with this rotary tool make it a more functional instrument in different applications for an individual. Check out what can you do with a rotary tool to make your work convenient and quick:

1. Grinding and Cutting

The primary purpose that rotary tools serve is grinding and cutting. You can attach the grinding attachment to the equipment to either produce sharp edges or eliminate them from the wooden project. It is one of the finest handy tools that you can use to grind the edges of the metal and sharpen scissors and kitchen knives. Rotary tools can contribute a lot to every wooden project, irrespective of the project size for cutting needs. For example, you can use cutting wheels to trim plastic materials, straight bits to cut plasterboards, and carbide burr for achieving fine cuts on hard metals.

2. Carving and Sanding

Carving becomes simple with rotary tools as they are easy to handle and perform different functions without giving any trouble to the user. You will get attachments for both wooden and metal things that allow you to develop designs, decorative projects, frames, etc. Sanding is another job that a rotary tool can perform. It provides incredible outcomes if you work on small details or moldings. For the sanding work, you need to utilize a sanding attachment like a band or a flap wheel.

3. Cleaning and Polishing

Your rotary tool is a complete package of amazing characteristics that can provide impressive results with every use. For example, you can easily clean things using the appropriate attachment of a rotary tool, and it can bring the objects like jewelry back to their original state. In addition, you have to only apply polish to a polishing bit before running the equipment at moderate speed, and it will serve you with shinier results.

4. Drilling Holes

There are several drill and router bits available in the market that you can use with rotary tools for drilling holes in softer materials like plastic and wood. It is also possible to drill holes in gypsum board ceilings through a rotary tool. But it is suggested that you go for a drilling machine to create holes in hard materials and metals.

How to Use a Rotary Tool on Wood, Metal & Others?

For any DIY projects or commercial works, rotary cutting tool is the perfect choice. Let’s see step-by-step procedure of using this tool for different tasks.

Step 1: Choosing the Appropriate Rotary Tool

Choosing and buying the best rotary tool is necessary to complete projects and achieve the required outcomes. First, you need to understand the type of project you will work on and how the tool can contribute to it. A typical rotary tool can provide good results for general uses, whereas, for heavy-duty tasks, it is better to look for a pneumatic rotary tool. You have to ensure that the rotary tool must allow you to replace the existing worn-out motor brush. Further, the availability of different attachments can make your work easier and faster.

Step 2: Understand the Basics of the Tool

Before commencing the use of the rotary tool, it is important to learn the basics related to it:

  1. You have to find the speed control buttons on the tool and the button that helps in detaching the bits.
  2. Focus on learning the technique to remove and replace bits.
  3. You have to notice the shank size of bits as it enables you to recognize the bits that your rotary tool can use.

Note: For personal protection, arrange the safety instruments, including the rubber gloves and safety goggles.

Step 3: Select the Tool Bits Suitable for Your DIY Project

The quality of results depends on the selection of the bits that you make before starting the work. However, it is possible to interchange the bits with those with a similar shank size. If you don’t have much knowledge about it, you can consult a professional to get proper advice.

Step 4: Start Working on the Project

After making your tool ready and wearing Personal Protective Equipment, you can begin the work with a rotary tool. You have to draw the outline on the material for cutting purposes and cut it along those lines. It can take multiple cutting passes for hard materials. Similarly, polishing can also become easy with a rotary tool. You have to use sanding drum bits, a wire brush, and a polishing wheel with a polishing compound to accomplish this task. It is better to keep the speed within the moderate limit. Moreover, you can change the bits accordingly for other activities like carving and obtaining the desired results.

Safety Precautions for Using Handheld Rotary Tool

Although rotary tools are easy to operate, it is usually advised that you should follow some necessary safety precautions before dealing with them. It is because this tool spits off ultra-tiny particles that are sharp, hot and can be dangerous for you. Therefore, to ensure complete safety, you can consider the following safety precautions or measures:

  • Protect your eyes and ears by wearing safety glasses and earplugs, respectively.
  • Never forget to wear rubber gloves while working with a rotary tool. It can be extremely useful for you while working with sharp materials.
  • Place your working project in a proper ventilation room as it can lead to the generation of debris.
  • You can also wear a face mask to prevent their entry into your body.
  • Avoid contact with the object if your tool is off. Do it only after turning on the equipment.
  • Before changing the attachment, you have to disconnect the rotary tool’s plug from the power board.


The rotary tool is an indispensable part of a worker’s toolkit and allows individuals to accomplish multiple tasks with this single instrument. From light cutting to glass working, a rotary tool delivers the most satisfying results with every use. Of course, you have to follow the steps properly while using it to adjust it according to your project’s requirements. Moreover, you have to pay close attention to every safety precaution to prevent any injury and accomplish the project without any hassle.

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