How to Use a Rotary Tool || 5 Steps of Using a Rotary Tool


A rotary tool is usually a power tool and handheld equipment that has a rotary tip where you can attach various attachments or brits to perform different tasks. This tool is usually versatile, high speed, and compact size, which makes it a better alternative for larger power tools.

You can use the rotary tool with different attachments to perform specific tasks. For example, the wire wheels should be attached to the power tool to help you remove any rust from the metal. If you are to use the wire wheel, ensure you set the power tool at a higher speed.

Moreover, you can also sharpen other tools using your rotary tool. For sharpening, you have to attach a small sharpening wheel to use it and sharpen shears, scissors, knives, and more. When sharpening tools, remember to stay away as the sparks tend to fly.

If you want to cut small metal pieces, you can also use a carbide-metal cutting wheel but at medium speed. Cutting oil is useful as it helps reduce heat on the metal’s surfaces.

A rotary tool is, therefore, an essential power tool to perform various projects, including DIY projects. Here is how to use a rotary tool.

5 Easy Steps of Using A Rotary Tool

If you have a DIY project at home or work at a metal and woodwork shop, you have likely come across a Dremel rotary tool. This is a multitool and handheld type of rotary tool that you can attach a variety of accessories and attachments. With your cordless rotary tool or corded model, you can use it on metal, glass, wood, plastic, electronics, among other materials.

Rotary tools are useful and play a vital role in arts and crafts types of projects or small home repairs. Besides, they are recommended for easy access at the hard to reach spaces. After learning how to use a rotary tool in these 5 steps, you can readily appreciate this versatile power tool. 

Step-1: Learning the Basics

The first step is to choose the rotary tool you want to use. There are different tools from different companies, and that depends on your budget. However, these rotary tools have various features to compare, such as:

  • Sturdier and more robust or lightweight and mobile
  • Fixed models or cordless models
  • Fixed speed or variable speed
  • Battery life

The model you choose comes equipped with the owner’s manual. You have to read it and understand. Moreover, it also comes with various types of drill bits. When you read it, especially for the first time, you will be familiar with its controls.

Check the on/off switch, speed controls, and button for changing bit where they are located.  The manual helps you because the model might be an update of the previous version.

Step-2: Wear Safety Gear Properly

The first and essential step before using a rotary tool or other machine is to have proper safety gear. When running your Dremel, you should be equipped with gloves. They help to keep you safe from sharp edges and debris. Also, remember to wear protective safety glasses when polishing, cutting, or grinding with rotary tools.

Ensure your workspace is clean. When you want to operate the tool, children and people should be a way to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Step-3: Inserting and Securing Bits

To insert rotary tool bits is the other step. You have to learn how you can fix them safely. When inserting a bit, you have to place it into the hole, which is located at the end of the Dremel tool and then slightly back it slightly. After that, you have to tighten your collet nut which helps to secure the bit and wiggling.

If you have to remove your bit, press down your tool’s shaft lock button as you turn the collet. It will help to loosen the bit and replace it with another. When inserting the bit, ensure you have plugged the rotary tool out of the power socket or the switch, and the rotary tool is off.

Remember, different bits are used for various tasks. So, the choice of bit attachment you want to use will depend on material and type of task. For example, for routine tasks, you can use router bits, for drilling, use drill bits. For carving or engraving tasks, you need structured tooth carbide cutters, high-speed cutters, tungsten carbide cutters, diamond wheel points, or engraving cutters.

Step-4: Insert to Power Socket

After you have inserted the bit you want to use; you can now insert your Dremel tool to the socket. However, ensure it is switched off before plugin the tool.

Once you’ve plugged in, you can now turn it on and choose the lowest setting speed. If you’re using it on intricate tasks, you can hold it lightly like a pencil. But for more substantial tasks, you have to firmly grip your rotary tool such that your fingers will wrap around it. Different tasks require a specific type of speed, so choose accordingly. If you want to secure the material you’re working on, use a vice or clamps.

Step -5: Cleaning the Tool After Use

After each task, always clean your rotary tool. Before you start cleaning, switch your Dremel tool off, remove it from the socket and remove the bit to place it back in its case. Wipe appropriately with the cloth.

Cleaning helps extend the life of the rotary tool. However, before you can disassemble the tool for significant cleanup, consider the safety precautions from the manufacturer’s manual.

If you’re cleaning the air vents, you have to use compressed air frequently. Therefore, you will prevent having an electrical failure in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you set up a rotary tool?

It is easy to set up your rotary tool. All needed is knowing how to change the accessories. When changing bits, ensure you have switched off the power tool and has stopped rotating. Check for spindle lock to lock the spindle and avoid it from rotating. Put the accessory you need to use at the end. Press the button and tighten your accessory. When done tightening, release the button and ensure the bit is rotating freely. Unlock the spindle lock, and the rotary tool is ready for use.

2. How do you cut with a rotary tool?

It depends on the cutting attachment you plan to use. However, when cutting with your rotary tool, always start it drilling off slowly as you continue to build the speed you want to work with. When cutting, choose cut off discs because they are hard and abrasive.

You can use to cut nails, top of screw heads, plastics, and more. Remember not to overtighten the discs because these types are brittle and can easily snap. If you want to cut the drywall, you can use a spiral saw type.

3. Can I use a rotary tool to cut drywall?

A rotary tool can be used to cut drywall. However, you need to use the correct bit before cutting the drywall. For example, a spiral saw is a perfect type of bit to use because it is easier, faster, and more accurate, especially cutting openings for electrical boxes.

Besides, this bit will speed up cut taping time and drywall hanging to avoid extra patching mis-cut holes. Once you have the spiral saw, you can accurately cut the drywall without consuming time.

4. Can you use a rotary tool to cut wood?

A rotary tool can be used to cut different materials, including pieces of wood. However, to cut wood, there is a specific bit to have because they vary with the material you want to cut. Cutting a wood 0.5 inches or lower in thickness, you need a cut off wheel or straight bit. But a wood thicker than 0.5 inches requires a more prominent tool.

5. What is the best tool for cutting drywall?

If you want to cut drywall, there are various ways you can perform the task. Each method will require you to use a specific tool. The best tool to use when you want to cut drywall should be the utility knife. The machine is pretty simple. For example, you can easily use it, its affordable, safe, and you have lots of control. However, it is not as rapid as other tools, but this method is effective and reliable for use by every skill level.

The Final Verdict

There are numerous types of handy tools, of which they’re all useful and have their specific roles. However, there is a tool that can be said to be more valuable than other types of tools, even when put together. This tool is a rotary tool which comes with numerous benefits.

Choosing a rotary tool gives you well balanced, smooth, and comfort at your hands. The machine does not vibrate and rattle, such that sound quality should last for years! You can be astounded because of the many accessories you can purchase and fit in your rotary tool.

These accessories play a vital role and include drills, abrasives, stones, burrs, pads, rubber burs, silicone publishers, brushes, discs, among others. So, whatever the project you want to do, either commercial or do it yourself type, this tool is crucial. Besides, you can use a rotary tool on different materials, making it the friend to have in your workshop.

Travis Lewis

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