Rotary Tools: Discover the Best 6 Rotary Kits of 2023!

ROTARY TOOLS are so practical and handy that you might say they are some of the most overused tools of all
ROTARY TOOLS are so practical and handy that you might say they are some of the most overused tools of all

ROTARY TOOLS are so practical and handy that you might say they are some of the most overused tools of all. You’ll find them in homes, workshops, and construction sites where people use them to cut, grind, polish, scrape, carve, and punch holes through all kinds of material.

The Dremel Company introduced the first electric rotary tool in the 1930s. Since then, people have been using rotary tools for just about every task that requires torque and power.  

Today, there are literally thousands of rotary tool models and types out on the market. In fact, the abundance of models, features, and accessories can make the decision to choose just one tool can at times be overwhelming.

ROTARY TOOLS are so practical and handy that you might say they are some of the most overused tools of all.
ROTARY TOOLS are so practical and handy that you might say they are some of the most overused tools of all.

Best 6 Rotary Tools of 2023

If you are shopping around for a rotary tool, then you are in luck. We’ve consulted industry experts and professionals and tested a fairly large sampling of rotary tools for you.

After a lot of hard work, we have arrived at what we can confidently say is the best shortlist on the Web. Here are 6 of the very best rotary tools you can buy for your workshop this year.

Here are 6 of the very best rotary tools you can buy for your workshop this year.
Here are 6 of the very best rotary tools you can buy for your workshop this year.

1. Dremel 8250 Rotary Tool

Dremel is to rotary tools what Frigidaire is to refrigerators. In both cases, half the world uses the brand’s name in reference to the product.  That is because Dremel is not new to rotary tools, Albert Dremel, Jr.  –a son of the company’s founder – has developed the first of its kind in the early 1930s. The Dremel 8250 Cordless Rotary Tool proves that the company still leads the industry in terms of innovation and product quality.

This became immediately evident when we unboxed our test kit. This rotary tool even looks a little different. Dremel markets this product with an accessory set that comes with various iterations.  Our kit included three 1-1/2″ cut-off wheels, a 1-1/2″, a mandrel, a battery pack, a battery charger, an accessory storage case, and a nice fabric tool storage case.

Simple Lock System, Simple Efficiency

The mandrel and cut-off wheels employ Dremel’s EZ Lock system, which we liked. The system allows for quick and tool-free installation of the attachment onto the rotary tool. You simply pull back the lever, insert the accessory, and release the lever to securely lock it in place. This eliminates the need for a separate wrench to tighten the wheel.

Dremel packed a brushless motor into the 8250. The motor is powered by a 3.0Ah 12V battery. Brushless motors are generally more efficient and durable than brushed motors. The result is that the 8250 packs 20 percent more power than the corded Dremel 4300 — the company’s previous flagship corded model. That is saying a lot.

If you have used earlier Dremel cordless rotary tools, you will notice how much more pressure you can apply on the 8250 while you are cutting and sanding. You will not stall the tool as quickly as you would rotary tools with brushed motors since there is no friction among the motor’s working parts. The 8250 also runs longer while performing the same tasks.

“Whisper Quiet” Power and Performance

The speed dial on the 8250 provides 5,000 to 30,000 RPM. That’s impressive power for a cordless rotary tool. A blue LED indicator lights up the speed in increments of 5,000 RPM increments.

What we liked the most about the Dremel 8250, apart from its cordless convenience, versatility, and power, is that it produces no noticeable vibrations at all, thanks to its brushless motor. “It whispers quiet,” says one customer review. “It doesn’t vibrate at all.” We quite agree.

The 8250 is a little under 10 inches long and is a tad bulky, in our opinion. The handle widens somewhat toward the back end to accommodate the 12V battery. Our test unit weighed over a pound with the battery on, which tells you that this is a tool built for high performance rather than precision. 

Now, we admit that there was some debate as to which product should come first on our list. Our editor says we should tell our readers why the 8250 won. Personally, this writer thinks that would have been obvious. In fact, it would have been easier to say why it shouldn’t be further down the list.

That said, the Dremel 8250 is compatible with all Dremel rotary accessories and attachments. That means it can cut, sand, engrave, drill, clean, grind, and sharpen metal, wood, glass, and ceramic material with less vibration and noise – and more power! – than Dremel’s corded options. And it does it all with battery power that runs on a 95-minute charge even as it eliminates the hassle of a cord. Need we say more?

Dremel 8250 Rotary Tool

2. Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool

Dremel has called the Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool a multi-tool. We do not mind telling you that we are pretty sure there was a bit of marketing thrown into the decision to call it that, but it is based on fact. We also do not mind telling you that the 3000 was a contender for the top spot on this list, and there was a good deal of disagreement as to whether it should precede its cordless cousin, the Dremel 8250.

Like the 8250, the Dremel markets the 3000-in kits that come in various iterations. Dremel starts you off with a kit containing 15 accessories. Our test kit contained a little more than that with engraving cutters, polishing wheels, diamond wheel points, sand bands, and cutting bits. These will save you money as you will not have to purchase different accessories later on.

Good Torque, Speed, and Versatility

As with the 8250, the corded Dremel 3000 is fitted with Dremel’s EZ Twist nose cap system, which the company first introduced on the 4000. The system spares your thumbs and index fingers the irksome grating that usually attends the simple tightening and undoing of the locking collet. This is thanks to a wrench attachment located inside the collar.

The 3000 runs on a 130W motor that provides good torque. The speed range remains at par with other rotary tools in its class at 10,000-33,000rpm. That’s not bad for a cordless rotary tool, right?

The speed range makes the tool suitable for carving, cutting, cleaning, polishing, grinding, and sanding a variety of materials, depending on what attachment you choose. We tested this rotary tool on small tasks involving metal, wood, and plastic. It performed far better than what we had expected.

“This is a great drill for small projects,” says one customer review. “I make jewelry, and this is the drill I need to drill sea glass, plus so many other things.”

A Classic in the Making

We cannot speak to its durability because we had our test kit only for a week, but the tool does feel sturdy enough as rotary tools in the same price range go. It also comes with a two-year warranty, not that you’ll probably need it.

Writing in 2023, one other customer says, “I bought this in October 2014, and it still works wonderfully. I don’t use it often, but it’s been great to have for a variety of applications.”

Dremel installed a ventilation mechanism on the 3000 that helps prevent heat build-up for cooler and quieter operation, as well. We had no heat problems with the 3000 and it does run a little quieter than Dremel rotary tools in the 300 range. Beyond that, we cannot say it is any quieter than other models from other manufacturers.

Our final verdict? We loved the 3000. It did everything it was supposed to do in our tests, and it did it exceedingly well. As we were limited to a 26-piece kit, we experienced issues with maneuverability and reach, which made detailed work a little difficult.

If – like many – you want to get a Dremel 3000, we recommend that you purchase a compatible model of Dremel’s Flex Shaft, which extends the tool’s reach even as it allows more maneuverability.  We are sure it will make all the work you put into your projects so much more satisfying.   

Dremel 3000 Rotary Tool

3. Hardell Mini Cordless Rotary Tool

If you are a novice DIYer who has nevertheless had some experience working with power tools, then chances are you’ve heard of the Hardell tool company.  The company was established in 2015 by a group of DIY enthusiasts who shared a passion for creating high-quality hardware tools that are both affordable and easy to use.

So, you might understand our excitement when we received our test unit of the Hardell Mini Cordless Rotary Tool. We were surprised by how far the company had taken the concept of a “mini” tool. While the tool was not exactly tiny, it was much smaller than any other cordless rotary tool we had tested until then.

This conveniently compact test unit came with 55 accessories. These included a 3.7V rechargeable battery that will run for 200 minutes on each charge and seven different collet sizes. This means you can use the tool with accessories from many other brands. The box also contains an assortment of attachments for sanding, grinding, drilling, and polishing, as well as a plastic storage case.

Lightweight and Ergonomic

The motor for the Hardell Mini Rotary Tool is powerful enough for a unit its size. The push button 5-speed settings allow you to rotate through 5,000, 7,000, 9,000, 12,000, and 15,000 RPM.  We tested this rotary tool on a range of applications. 

This small, affordable tool fits easily into the hand with its lightweight ergonomic design. Almost immediately, we could tell it would be perfect for tasks that required detailed precision, such as engraving glass, drilling small holes, or carving soft wood. Weighing only 0.135 kilograms, or a little less than 5 ounces, it is quite portable. You can carry this tool anywhere.

We used this tool to drill holes, grind and remove rust from metal, sand wood, carve wood, and even do some engraving on a few softwood coasters. The spindle locking button allows for quick and easy bit changes and a built-in LED light provides some illumination on the workpiece.

Great for Small and Medium Projects

Charging the lithium-ion battery will take about 2 to 4 hours. Once the battery is charged, the indicator light will turn green. If you work extended periods with higher speeds, we suggest that you purchase a second battery. There is some vibration, but a few reviewers have found an easy workaround.  

“To help lessen vibration, just make sure to seat the bit shank deeper into the tool,” advises one satisfied customer. “Here’s the best part, the battery is replaceable.”

The Hardell Mini Rotary Tool is a good, solid piece of equipment with a one-year warranty. We would not recommend it for heavy-duty tasks, but we think it is perfect for small, intricate work that requires detail and precision. For that, and for its affordable price, it takes the third slot on our list.

Hardell Mini Cordless Rotary Tool

4. Ryobi 18V One+Cordless Rotary Tool Station

The main reason behind the importance of a rotary tool to craftspeople is its versatility and variability. The Japanese tool company, Ryobi, has expanded on those characteristics with one of its best offerings thus far, the Ryobi 18V One+Cordless Rotary Tool Station. Getting your hands on this kit allows you to cut, grind, and polish, among others, with advantages that other rotary tools simply do not offer.

Ryobi is a well-known brand in the homeowner and maker realm. They manufacture and sell a wide range of tools that people like for their budget-friendly price point and unique lineup. Innovation has allowed Ryobi to create a rotary tool that is not like any other.

Rather than encompassing their rotary tool in bulky, and sometimes even unwieldy, housing like other handheld rotary tools, this unit has a base with a flexible shaft connecting to a pen that permits the user a far more natural, pen-like grip.

Perfect for Precision

The resulting rotary tool pen is much more apt for precision work. What is more, is that the length of the shaft allows you room for flexibility. The weight of the battery is on the table rather than your hand. In turn, having a separate battery base allows space on the tool for storing accessories, which offers you even more convenience.

Ryobi has issued two models in this tool station configuration: the Ryobi P460 and the PCL480. For our tests, we obtained a Ryobi PCL480, which is a bit smaller, packs more power, and can be used with a foot pedal. The PCL480 also has a quick-change collet.

The kit includes an 18V ONE+ 2Ah Battery, an 18V ONE+ Charger, a 36-inch flexible shaft, 35 bits for grinding, cutting, sanding, and polishing accessories, an accessory storage case, a wrench, and an operator’s manual.

Mightier than the Pen?

The Ryobi Cordless PCL480 Rotary Tool packs power, running up to 35,000 RPMs, enough power to permit easy versatility. Ryobi includes rubber feet on the base of the unit to improve its stability on the work surface. The handheld shaft is lightweight and easy to operate.

The speed control knob is simple to use, as well. Right beside it is the tool’s on and off switch, which you engage by simply pressing the button.

We liked the PCL480 impressive controls and layout, both of which promote intuitive use. The onboard accessory organizer was outstanding, and built, quite impressive. You get high-quality connections between the pen shaft and base.

We loved using this rotary tool on carved wood designs. We used it to sand complex patterns on a cedar wood table, and we even used it to clean a keyhole.  Because it offers so much precision and control, it is suitable for even the smallest, most elaborate work.

We loved the Ryobi Cordless PCL480 Rotary Tool Station. We think both professionals and beginners will enjoy using this tool. We also think that it deserves a place on our list of the best in 2023.

Ryobi 18V One+Cordless Rotary Tool Station

5. Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit

Your brand might be a key selling point of the products you sell. But before that can ever happen, you need a product that serves as your brand’s best advertisement.

Unlike names like Dremel or even Ryobi, the manufacturing company behind the Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit is almost completely unknown in many parts of the world, but they do have a product that is a strong competitor in an industry dominated by long-celebrated brands.

Goxawee has a wide range of power tools. Most of them have received high user ratings because of the rather prodigious range of accessories you get with them. The Goxawee G4007 Rotary Tool Kit comes with 140 pieces including spares for commonly used parts.

Compact and Flexible

Although it may not look like it, the tool is surprisingly compact. The spec sheet says it weighs 3.3 lbs. and is 11.02 x 9.45 x 2.95 inches, but it feels lighter and less bulky than the figures state.  Like the Ryobi Rotary Tool Station, the Goxawee rotary tool kit includes a flexible shaft. This allows you to hold the tool like a pen for your precise projects.

The tool is rich with other interesting and convenient features. There is a cover shield to provide better protection for cutting and grinding.  A drill locator helps with precision work on wood. The diamond cutting wheel is good enough for glass, ceramic, and floor tiles. The kit also includes a pair of extra carbon brushes. 

Operation is easy and the variable speed settings on the rotary tool’s 1.3-amp motor allow five speeds ranging from 8,000 to 30,000 for good versatility. The Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit was a big surprise in our tests, given that we had only read about the tool online.

“Still Going Strong…”     

The sheer number of accessories that came with this tool was almost overwhelming, considering its affordable price. It ran smoothly and had sufficient power for most tasks for which a DIYer will need a rotary tool. But it was conspicuously underpowered when it came to cutting through steel.

Nonetheless, for crafting or woodworking projects, we think the Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit is an affordable way to get the work done. We used it on stone, glass, wood carving, model ships, and more.  The tool is so good for such projects, and its price point so attractive, that we all agreed the tool deserved a place on our list. So do many other satisfied users.

“I have so gotten my money’s worth and more from this,” says one customer review on Amazon. “ I’ve had it a couple of years and it’s still going strong.”

Goxawee Rotary Tool Kit

6. Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 Cordless Lithium-Ion Rotary Tool

The Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 Cordless Lithium-Ion Rotary Tool is among the few cordless rotary tools in the market that give some other electric tools in its category a run for their money. If you are shopping around for a rotary tool, the 2460-21 is an especially good choice. This is especially so if you have other M12 tools and batteries in your workshop.

Our test kit did not have a battery, although you will find kits that include a battery. Luckily, we do own a few tools in the M12 line. The Milwaukee M12 line of tools is popular for its power-sharing feature where batteries from one tool can power other tools in the same line. Otherwise, you will have to buy an M12 battery and charger for the 2460-21.

The 2460-21 is a product of the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, a multi-national company with its main headquarters in Hong Kong. The company develops, manufactures, and markets power tools; and has been North America’s biggest supplier of cordless power tools since 2016.

More than Just Versatile

The specifications of the 2460-21 rotary tool are at par, if not better than, some of the other offerings on the market. The tool weighs a little less than a pound at 9.37 x 4.02 x 2.76 inches. The bare bones kit comes with a standard 1/8″ collet. This means you can use it with an abundance of bits and blades that are available out there.

Combine these specs with the well-established M12 RedLithium batteries and you will have a tool that both DIYers and professionals will enjoy using.

The speed control is a wheel that can crank the rotation from 5,000 up to 32,000 RPM. You get a separate on and off sliding toggle switch. This means you don’t have to change the tool’s speed to turn it on or off.

A Tested Favorite

As our test kit had no accessories, we used those from another tool for testing. We used 2460-21 to cut through wood, metal, drywall, and tiles. When we ran the tool at its maximum 32,000 RPM, it created such heat on the plastic that the material melted. We kicked the speed down to 10,000 and were able to carve through plastic without a problem.  

We used a grinding stone bit to sharpen blades, as well. The tool accomplished the task without so much as a hiccup. Bit changes were easy and convenient, too.

Our verdict? The Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 Cordless Lithium-Ion Rotary Tool kit is an excellent replacement for your old rotary tool. We liked the power, ease of use, and the price of this model. If you are already invested in the M12 line, then you have all the more reasons to choose this tool.

“I love the M12 tools I have,” says one satisfied customer. “This may be my favorite so far. This is my first wireless rotary tool and it’s so nice to be untethered. I was worried about the power, but this thing is great.” We couldn’t agree more.

Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 Cordless Lithium-Ion Rotary Tool

Before You Make a Purchase …

Before you decide on purchasing a specific brand and model of rotary tool, it’s important to first determine the specific needs, projects, and tasks for which you’ll need the tool. Do your research and compare different brands and models. Consider factors like power, speed control, ergonomics, and customer reviews.

It is also important to assess the availability and compatibility of the attachments and accessories you will need for your intended applications. Of course, you will have to set a realistic budget and balance it with the features and quality of the rotary tool you intend to buy.

Choosing the right tool involves a combination of research, understanding your needs, and considering your budget. From there, patience and careful evaluation will help you select a tool that best suits your requirements. The list above should be a good starting point. 

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