Rotary-Tool Basics

Rotary tools accept a variety of attachments, which enable the handheld tool to be used for sanding, polishing, carving and more. Find out which attachment you need to help get the job done.
Related To:
rotary tool is handheld power tool with rotary tip

rotary tool is handheld power tool with rotary tip

The rotary tools speed can be adjusted from 5,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm, depending on what kind of bit is attached.

A rotary tool is a handheld power tool with a rotary tip that accepts a variety of attachments for different tasks. Its compact size, versatility and high speed make it an appealing alternative to large, bulky power tools.

Sanding drums can be attached for sanding and carving bevels. Set the rotary tool's speed at medium when using a sanding drum.

Buffing/polishing bits are attached to a rotary tool to add shine to metal surfaces. Apply a small amount of wax or polish to the bit before turning the tool on at medium speed.

Carbide bits are used for etching or carving.

Wire wheels are attached to a rotary tool for removing rust from metal. When using a wire wheel, set the tool at high speed.

A small sharpening wheel may be attached to a rotary tool for sharpening knives, scissors, shears and more. Set the tool at high speed when using a sharpening wheel. Sharpen tools away from yourself, as sparks tend to fly.

A carbide-metal cutting wheel may be used at medium speed to cut through small pieces of metal. Use cutting oil on the metal's surface to reduce heat.

Next Up

Scroll-Saw Basics

A scroll-saw can be used for everything from making intricate puzzle pieces to cutting through metal pipe.

The Essential Power Tools

There are few things that feel more empowering for the do-it-yourselfer than power tools. Following is a list of useful power tools to consider when outfitting a workshop.

Pneumatic Nailers

Host David Thiel explains what to look for when buying a pneumatic nailer.

Buying Guide For Secondhand Tools

Secondhand tools can save you money without sacrificing quality. Learn how to find bargains on used, but useful tools.

Stationary Power Tool Tips

There are three crucial pieces of equipment in a woodshop: the jointer, table saw and the band saw. Check out tips and advice on using and placing these core power tools.

Sandpaper Basics

Power sanders are great for smoothing large surfaces, but for sanding tough areas, a sheet of sandpaper is best. Here's a guide on how to choose the best sandpaper for any project.

Air-Nailer Basics

For those tired of swinging a hammer, a pneumatic air nailer may be the answer. Here are a few air nailers that make driving nails faster and more effective.

TIG Welder Basics

The Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welder generates heat from an electric arc between the electrode at the tip of the torch, the filler rod, and the metal part that's being welded.

Circular Saw Basics

From household to heavy-duty models, there are several types of circular saws available to help get the job done.

Handyman Tool: QuickDriver

A QuickDriver makes simpler work of big flooring and drywall projects.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.