What are Rotary Tools Used For? An Expert Explanation

Rotary Tool Buying Guide

Rotary tools are versatile handheld equipment that allows you to do almost any home DIY project.  The tip of a rotary tool rotates to perform several tasks, and it accepts a wide range of attachments that do work like sanding, polishing, carving and sharpening.

A rotary tool is small and is a popular favorite for creative who want to complete a variety of tasks that would otherwise be done with large, bulky tools. In this article we will look at 6 of the ways you can use a rotary tool for your projects. This way you know the attachments you need for each of the DIY tasks you want to complete.

What are Rotary Tools Used For - Expert thoughts.


Rotary tools are great for reaching the areas of a piece of work that are hard to sand off using regular sanding techniques. These areas include corners and detailed bumps on a piece. You can attach sandpaper to the rotary tool and with the flexibility you can reach any area in the piece that needs smoothening.

Ensure that the sandpaper bit is secured tightly into the rotating end of the rotary tool. The sanding bit should also be the best quality depending on the type, whether coarse or smooth. The best quality ensures that your piece is not scuffed unnecessarily when you sand it off.

If you are sanding plastic pieces or wood, choose a low rotation setting in order to do the job perfectly. Higher settings are suitable for sanding tougher materials like metals. It is important that every part of the sanding bit comes into contact with the piece to get an even job.


A rotary tool can be used to polish any number of things, from metal to precious silver jewelry and rocks for your collection. Polishing requires specific tools in order to remove the dirt and oxidation layer on the material you are polishing without scratching the actual material.

A rotary tool relies on speed rather than force and that is why it is good for polishing. There are ranges of polishing tools for jewelry. Rubber silicone polishers are ideal for polishing silver jewelry and other metals. These do not require extra cleaning agents or any wetting as they do the job perfectly well on their own.

When polishing rocks, it is necessary to use a cleaning compound to give a natural shine to the rock. It is also important to clamp the object under polishing and wear protective eye glasses so as to protect your body from debris.


Rotary tools are great for sharpening work. You can attach a small wheel with a blade designed to sharpen any range of tools, from kitchen knives to scissors, lawnmowers and pruning shears. A rotary tool can sharpen larger tools like chain saws. There are attachment tools made especially for sharpening chain saws.

These tools come with grinding wheels in your desired diameter. They attach to the rotary tool easily through a screw and can be used to sharpen any size of chain saw. Remember to wear protective glasses when doing sharpening work since the speed at which the rotary tool spins is high enough to cause sparks to fly. Tightly clamping the material that you want to sharpen is also important to prevent any injuries, and also to expose the blade part that you want to sharpen.


Rotary tools are useful for drilling any type of material, including wood and plastic and soft metals. All you need to do is attach a drill bit of your choice. These can be purchased from your local hardware or online shop either individually or in a set. Diamond drill bits are suitable for drilling holes in hard, delicate materials like glass and ceramics.

Carbide drill bits are suitable for metals and fiberglass. They come in a wide range of diameters suitable for your drilling needs, up to 60mm wide. When purchasing drill bits, keep in mind the RPM capacity of your rotary tool to ensure that the two parts fit. When drilling, ensure that the material you are drilling is clamped so that it does not shift around and cause inaccurate drilling.

Furthermore, lubrication is important since drilling bits work better when the heat is controlled. This goes especially for diamond bits wear out when there is too much heat. The lubricants you can use include water or other lubricants that you can purchase in a hardware store.


A rotary tool is the best tool for carving on any material, whether it is a metal, glass or wood. The flexible shaft of the rotary tool gives you the leeway to carve your piece into any shape and design you desire.

As with all working with rotary tools, you need to be protected by wearing protective eyewear, gloves and dust mask, especially when working with wood. The bur of a bit is the one that does the carving and they come in different shapes like round, pointed and diamond cut.

Carbide burrs can be single cut and are suitable for materials like stainless steel, copper. They are fast and provide a smooth finish for the metals. Double cut burrs are suitable for ferrous metals like aluminum and also non-metals like wood. They have cutting edges, and their finishes are smoother than single cut burrs since they generate less debris.


Rotary tools are supremely suited for cutting due to their flexible shaft that gives you versatility and the ability to make intricate, detailed cuts on any type of material. You can attach a straight bit or a cut-off wheel to the end of your rotary tool. Make sure that the attachment is tightly screwed on to avoid accidents.

The cut-off wheel attachments are smaller that straight bits, and these are suitable for making detailed cuts especially on wood that is half an inch or less in thickness. The straight bits have a wide range of use, including cutting holes in woods and plastic, and in smoothening the edges of a piece.

When working with wood it is important to note that a fast speed provides a smoother cut compared to lower speeds. It is also necessary to remove sawdust from the piece frequently in order to reduce the chances of making inaccurate cuts.

Final Words

A rotary tool is mandatory for any serious person who carries out a variety of tasks in the home space. In addition to the various ways of using the tool mentioned above, rotary tools are handy to have around in case of any home repairs, like fixing leaking faucets and taps, and repairing dry walls.

They are simple to use and the fact that they are battery powered means you will not be tethered to one spot when working. Whether it is for home repairs or creative DIY projects, and whether you are an expert or a novice, you simply cannot go wrong with a rotary tool.

About the Author James Robert

James Robert is a 27 year old Blogger from the USA. He Started Beasts Tools to provide unbiased reviews in the form of Top 10 Lists.

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