As far as power tools go, the rotary tool is one of the simplest but also among the most versatile. While this tool does not have much in the way of complicated features, it is a handy companion for any DIY enthusiast and an excellent alternative to bulky power tools.
This tool does come with dozens of different attachments, allowing you to complete intricate craft projects such as engraving and etching and more demanding workshop tasks including cutting, polishing, and resurfacing of metal, marble, wood, glass, or plastic.
If you are looking for a power tool that you can quickly pick up to work on different types of projects around the home or workshop, a rotary tool might be a good option. Here are our top recommendations for the best rotary tool.
Quick Glance: The Best Rotary Tool
The Best Rotary Tool on the Market 2021
1. GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit With MultiPro Keyless Chuck And Flex Shaft (Our Top Recommended)
This Goxawee tool kit with a keyless chuck might be a good alternative to the Goxawee Multipro kit if you are looking for something inexpensive but versatile enough for all your small DIY projects. In the tradition of Goxawee tools, this one has an ergonomic, compact design so you can hold it like a pen or like a harmer depending on your needs.
A much-appreciated feature is the hard case, easy-carry storage box that offers a nice way to organize all your attachments. Additionally, the kit comes with a 3-jaw keyless drill chuck that accepts other rotary tool accessories with a shank size ranging between 1/64” to 1/8’’. Not only that, but the chuck design eliminates the need to tinker around with collets trying to find the right size for each accessory.
Sourcing replacement carbon brushes can be a hassle and, thoughtfully, the guys at Goxawee included an extra pair of carbon brushes. You also get additional diamond and mini cutting wheels that can tackle most cutting jobs. Other useful attachments include a flex shaft, cutting guide, and a transparent shield.
I found the RPM range of 8,000-30,000, complemented by a robust 1.3 Amp motor, to be handy for light to medium tasks. However, after prolonged use, the hand-held shaft can get quite hot but this is common for most motor-powered tools. It also took some time to figure out how to properly fix the shaft; you first need to insert the right collet before attaching the shaft to the power tool.
All in all, the large speed variation and wide choice of accessories makes this a solid companion for light DIY tasks.
What I Like
- 3-jaw keyless chuck- Accepts other accessories and increases the tool’s versatility
- Replacement carbon brushes and complimentary diamond cutting wheels
- Brazed diamond accessories that last longer than diamond coated
What I Don’t Like
- Flex shaft is not as user-friendly
2. GOXAWEE Multifunctional Power Rotary Tool Kit
This Goxawee multifunctional tool kit comprises of a heavy-duty rotary tool running at a speed range of between 8,000 and 32,000 rotations per minute (RPM). This, coupled with a relatively powerful 2.2 Amp motor, makes it quite a good choice for light to medium-duty tasks such as cutting and sawing metal, fiberglass, and ceramics.
Another impressive feature is the 6-step speed drill for increasing and decreasing the speed according to the project you are working on. For example, you can easily lower the speed for tasks such as sanding and cleaning and adjust the speed upward for tougher applications such as drilling, cutting, or engraving.
The universal keyless chuck adds to the versatility of this tool. You can easily attach and use standard accessories bought from a different manufacturer.
If you are more interested in a tool that will help with detailed jobs, the ball bearing flex shaft might be particularly useful. You can comfortably hold this flex rod like a pen as you etch or engrave on your surface of choice.
One small downside, although you can adjust the speed according to your project needs, this tool might not deliver enough power output for professional-level jobs.
All in all, this is a very dependable tool for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts wanting to complete light-duty projects.
What I Like
- Ball bearing flex shaft minimizes vibration
- Variable 6-step speed allows for precision and maximum control over your projects
- Larger collet (0.5-6mm collet) accepts big and small shank bits
- Fan design with interior cooling fans keeps the device from heating up
What I Don’t Like
- 2 Amp power output might be too low for heavy-duty work
- Feels a little too heavy for light tasks
3. Tack Life Rotary Tool Kit RTD35ACL (Best for the Money)
If you are looking for an easy-to-use, lightweight rotary tool with plenty of good quality accessories, this one could be worth looking at. First, the ergonomically designed plastic body is covered in rubber for a comfortable grip and for protection against wear and tear.
Other than that, this tool boasts great horsepower with speeds starting from 10,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM. Although the 1Amp motor sounds unremarkable, the tool actually delivers plenty of power for light to medium duty tasks around the house.
Additionally, you get over 80 accessories for engraving, drilling, cutting, grinding, polishing, and sanding, which increases the possibility of the types of projects you can undertake.
At first glance, you get the sense that this tool was built with precision in mind. In particular, you can attach a cutting guide, which is especially helpful when cutting out small circular blocks out of surfaces such as ceramic, fiberglass, or acrylic.
In addition, the kit features a transparent protective cover that you can attach over any one of the accessories to keep dust and debris from spluttering all over the workspace. You also get a flexible rod and an auxiliary handle to complete detailed craft projects.
Having said that, after prolonged use, the tool can get a little hot. However, this is to be expected for any tool with a motor. Your best bet would be to allow it to cool for a few minutes in between your project.
Another small negative is that this tool uses collets, which adds an extra step to the process of attaching accessories to the device itself. Some rotary tools come with a universal chuck, which eliminates the need for a collet and makes changing accessories a little easier.
All in all, this is a hardy, versatile tool you can use for all sorts of applications around the house.
What I Like
- Wide array of good quality accessories for different types of projects
- Cutting guide and flex rod ensure precision
- Transparent guide for dust and debris control
- Powerful 1Amp motor delivers superior horsepower
What I Don’t Like
- Tool is prone to overheating and requires some downtime
4. NoCry 10/125 Professional Rotary Tool Kit
With its all-plastic body and small size, this tool is super light and admittedly, easy to underestimate until you power it on and realize it certainly packs a punch with its immense horsepower.
With a no-load speed range of between 8,000 and 35,000 RMPs and a robust 1.4 Amp motor, you can do a lot with this tool including grinding, sawing, grout removal, and cutting just to mention a few.
Some handy attachments you will find in the kit include a 3-jaw multi-functional chuck, a collet nut, and three collets, sharpening guide, cutting guide, safety shield, and a precision handle. All in all, there are over 100 attachments to tinker with in this kit. The best part is that the accessories and the motor brushes have two spares, which means fewer trips to the store.
I love the fact that the tool comes with a pilot light, such a nifty addition for when you are working on intricate tasks that require adequate lighting.
Another great and, frankly, not so common feature is the extendable stand on which you can park your tool temporarily. The stand also helps with keeping the power tool out of the way and the flex shaft straight when you are using the precision handle.
Other rotary tool accessories with a shank size of 1.8 inches can easily attach to this tool, saving you the hassle of trying to find NoCry-specific accessories.
The only negative is that this tool is a little bit louder than others I have used. However, this should not be a deal breaker when you consider its hardiness.
What I Like
- Over 100 accessories to complete a wide range of tasks
- Sharpening and cutting guide for precision
- Pivot light illuminates work surface for maximum convenience
- Handy storage case
- Replacement motor brushes to minimize downtime
What I Don’t Like
- Tool can be considerably loud
5. Dremel 3000-1/25 Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit (Best Dremel Rotary Tool)
Dremel is a trusted brand when it comes to small and precision power tools and this kit certainly lives up to that reputation. This one might be a good option if you appreciate the brand name more than the number of accessories that come with the kit. To start with, the tool’s body is made of reinforced fiberglass and nylon, so right out of the box you know it was built to last.
While most rotary power tool kits come with tens or even hundreds of small parts, this one limits its attachments to just one, that is, a safety shield to protect against dust and debris, and about 25 accessories. Still, there is a lot you can do including cutting, carving, grinding, cleaning, polishing, engraving, and sharpening. Depending on the task at hand, you can adjust the speed widely from 5,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM.
In addition to this, the tool incorporates a ball bearing system that ensures smooth and quiet operation. Overheating is a common problem with power tools but it is not the case with this Dremel tool, which features side vents that keep the body and shaft cool, comfortable, and safe even after prolonged used.
Having said that, this tool does not come with a universal chuck, which means you need different size chucks for each group of accessories. Not only this, but the tool accepts only Dremel accessories.
Overall, a tool of excellent quality that gets the job done smoothly and quietly.
What I Like
- Brand name with a good reputation
- Sturdy body built from fiberglass and nylon
- Ball bearing system for quiet and smooth operations
- Fan design and side vents keep the tool cool
What I Don’t Like
- Incompatible with other accessories – You have to source for Dremel accessories
- Different size chucks needed for the various attachments
6. BLACK+DECKER RTX-6 2 Amp 3-Speed Rotary Tool
Black+Decker is yet another well-known brand name and this particular device comes with all the bells and whistles of what you would expect from a company with years of experience. First, the tool is encased in a low-density polyethylene body, making it lighter than most and is easy to use especially when maneuvering tight spaces.
While other tools offer much more variety when it comes to accessories, this one comes with just 27 of them. However, it makes up for this with its 2Amp high-torque motor, which is significantly more powerful than what you find in other similar tools. With this superior power, you can get more work done faster.
This item is listed as having 3 adjustable speeds and it is easy to dismiss it as a dud. However, when you consider the fact that the speed range is between a low of 12,000 RPM and 30,000 RPM at peak performance, you realize that this device actually packs a lot of power.
Easy accessory change outs are much appreciated when using a power tool. I love that this device comes with a convenient flip-lock, which holds the shaft in place when you want to change accessories. Other brands have a button that you need to hold down while changing accessories, which can get a little awkward.
The only downside is that the flip-lock system is plastic which means it can wear out fast but this should not be an immediate problem; like most other power tools, wear and tear becomes apparent after months or even years of decent use.
Overall, this is a solidly built tool with superior power and is suitable if you are looking for something inexpensive but reliable.
What I Like
- High-quality polyethylene body to withstand wear and tear
- Powerful 2Amp motor gets work done faster
- Flip-lock system makes for easy accessory change outs
What I Don’t Like
- Plastic flip-lock system prone to early wear and tear
7. WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit With Flex Shaft
This Wen tool does quite well for itself for a budget power tool. The set comes with more than 80 bits and discs and the tool itself features an easy-to-use knob that lets you vary the speed from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM to meet your project needs.
In addition to this, the tool has a spindle lock system, a handy feature that allows you to remove and insert accessories with ease and without worrying about the chuck spinning around endlessly.
Another great feature is the flex shaft, which I found to be thinner compared to others; it felt extremely lightweight and comfortable to work with. The shaft provides an extra three-foot extension so there is ample length to comfortably work away from the vibrations coming from the power tool. I also like the fact that this tool is comparably quieter.
One negative I noticed is that although the device is well ventilated, the side vents do not have a mesh which means dust, debris, and other particles easily jump inside the tool, something that can wear down and reduce the motor’s lifespan.
Admittedly, with a 1-Amp motor, this tool’s horsepower is a little limited but this might still be a good option if you are looking for a versatile tool for lightweight tasks.
What I Like
- Super slim flex shaft that feels light and is easy to use for detailed work
- 3-foot long shaft minimizes vibrations from the power tool
- Spindle-lock system for easy accessory change-outs
What I Don’t Like
- Flex shaft can get too hot to hold after a period of use
- Side vents lack mesh to keep debris away from the motor
If you are in the market for a rotary tool, you might be wondering what features to look out for. Simple as this tool might be, you need to consider several essential factors to get the most value for your money.
In this guide, I will provide you with important tips for buying the best rotary tool for your needs.
Compact Vs. Advanced Rotary Tools
Rotary tools are available as compact or advanced tools. A compact rotary power tool is the most basic type. It is generally light, can easily fit in one hand, is simple to maneuver, and is best for completing lightweight DIY jobs.
On the other hand, advanced rotary tools are slightly larger and heavier. Even though the tool can fit in one hand, you need some amount of skill to control it. These tools are built for more demanding tasks such as routing and removing drywall.
The compact type might be a better choice if you are an amateur or hobbyist with little experience using a rotary tool. You can also complete a myriad of tasks that might not be possible with the advanced tool.
Corded vs. Cordless
Before buying a rotary tool, consider whether you will use it for small, quick tasks or for protracted and detailed work.
A corded rotary power tool is ideal if you need an unlimited power supply to complete lengthy, demanding jobs. The only downside is that you cannot use the tool where there is no electrical socket. Many rotary tools are corded.
The main advantage of the cordless option is maximum mobility so you can work from anywhere as long as the tool is charged. This might be a suitable option if you only intend to use the tool for short, quick projects.
Overall, corded tools are more powerful. Direct connection to electricity compared to battery power delivers more horsepower, which means you can get more work done faster.
Type Of Project
An important factor to consider when buying a rotary tool is the type of work you will be doing. This will influence the types of accessories and attachments that you should be keen on when comparing tool kits.
Most manufacturers include numerous accessories that will let you do everything from etching, engraving, sanding, grinding, cutting, to sharpening.
If you plan to do a lot of etching and engraving, consider tool kits that include a flexible shaft, an auxiliary tool that you can hold like a pen to complete such detailed work.
Some tool kits come with very specific attachments, for example, a grout remover. Not everyone needs a grout remover but if this is something you specifically need, you should check rotary tool kits that come with this attachment.
Power and Speed
It is not enough that a rotary tool kit comes with hundreds of accessories. The device needs to have enough horsepower and torque to get work done fast enough. You need to check two things—the power rating and speed.
For corded tools, the average power rating ranges from 1-5Amps or slightly higher. For cordless tools, check for the volts rating, and for battery-operated ones, check the Ampere-hours (Ah). The higher the Amps, volts, or Ah, the more powerful the motor is.
In addition to this, find out about the tool’s variable speed range, measured in terms of rotations per minute (RPM). Ideally, you want a tool with a high RPM rating, which means the tool spinners faster and works more precisely.
While each of the seven tools offers some really impressive features, I have to settle for the GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit with MultiPro Keyless Chuck and Flex Shaft as the best rotary tool.
Admittedly, it took a little bit of time to figure out how to attach the flex shaft. However, I really like the lightweight compact design and keyless chuck, which makes accessory change-outs a complete breeze.
What’s more, the robust motor that delivers great horsepower, the comparably high-speed range of 8,000-32,000 RPM, and the extremely good quality bits (most of which had spares), not to mention the pocket-friendly price, make this Goxawee tool a clear winner.
I highly recommended this one for hobbyists and semi-pros looking for a solid and versatile tool that works fast and can complete a wide range of small DIY projects.