A rotary tool has a number of different uses such as sanding, buffing, and cutting. Professional electricians, plumbers, home renovators, and even DIY-ers can find a rotary tool to serve some purpose one way or another.
One company that makes some of the most well-known rotary tools is Dremel; In fact, the company is so popular in the rotary tool industry that Dremel is used as shorthand when referring to any rotary tool. Dremel has been in the power tools industry for about 90 years now, and if their line of high-quality rotary tools has anything to say, it’d be that the company is dominating the small power tool’s market.
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What is a Dremel Rotary Tool?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what Dremel does, the company makes some handy small sized rotary tools for cutting, grinding, sanding, and polishing. These tools are rather small and can be operated using a single hand. Their small size allows them to reach places that large cutting tools like angle grinders and even some die grinders couldn’t access.
Something that makes Dremel rotary tools stand out, especially among beginner woodworkers or metal workers, is their simplicity. The body of a Dremel tool consists of an ON/OFF button and hardly anything else, though each model differs slightly.
Cordless vs. Corded Dremel Tools – Why the Dilemma?
In all honesty, the debate of whether you should get a cordless or a corded Dremel tool is one that will probably go on until the end of time. There are those who are fans of updated cordless power tools for their portability, and there are also those who prefer the uninterrupted power that power cords provide. When it comes to Dremel tools, both cordless and corded options exist, hence the dilemma.
In the following section, we’ll talk about the main features of both cordless and corded Dremel rotary tools and what you should consider before picking one up. Keep in mind that these are only suggestions and your situation may experience may differ from what we’ve experienced.
Cordless Dremel Rotary Tools
In this section, we’ll discuss both the good and bad about using a cordless Dremel.
The main attraction of cordless power tools is their supreme portability, and the same can be said for Dremel tools. There aren’t any power cords to tie you down, so as long as the battery has some juice in it, you can use the tool anywhere on the planet.
This is especially handy if you plan on doing overhead work or work on top of a ladder. You don’t want cables getting in your face and obstructing your vision, and you don’t want to juggle around with long power cords while keeping balance in high places.
The only way a cordless Dremel tool can run is if the battery has a charge. Most cordless Dremel tools come with batteries that can supply more than 30 minutes of use. Considering the size of the tool and power of the motor, this isn’t that great, but for most light-duty sanding/buffing/cutting jobs, this should be more than enough.
A good thing about Dremel’s cordless rotary tools is that their batteries require only about an hour of charging before reaching maximum capacity. This means reduced downtime and increased productivity. If possible, we recommend you avoid purchasing Dremel tools that use AA batteries instead of rechargeable Li-Ions since they drain the batteries much quicker.
The main downside of cordless Dremel tools is that they come with weak motors, typically ranging between 6 and 12 volts. A 12-volt Dremel is the most versatile tool which can cut and grind through all sorts of materials, including metals. A 6-volt model would probably be best to trim your pet dog’s nails or other light-duty grinding jobs.
Corded Dremel Rotary Tools
Now, let’s take a look at what a corded-electric Dremel tool has in store. We’ll talk about the benefits of getting a corded model as well as any drawbacks.
As long as your home or workshop is supplied with a constant flow of electricity, a corded-electric Dremel will never give up. This means absolutely no downtime, but you do need to give the tool some time to rest to prevent the motor from overheating.
Drawing energy directly from a power outlet allows the Dremel tool to come equipped with larger motors for better performance. More powerful motors let the rotary tool cut through both hard and soft materials with a reduced risk of burning the motor. If you find yourself cutting metal regularly, you may want a corded Dremel tool on hand.
It would be best if you could find a powerful corded tool with variable speed. This increases the versatility of the Dremel tool by a lot – lower speeds for grinding metal and higher speeds for removing material from wood boards. A single-speed tool could only be helpful in only one of these scenarios.
Your range of movement is limited by how long the power cord is. You could ultimately increase how far away from an outlet to use the tool by making use of long, durable extension cords, but now you’re stuck juggling two different cords at once. A simple tug might unplug the machine, causing the blade to slowly lose power and get stuck in your metal or wooden workpiece.
Verdict – Cordless or Corded?
So after reading our brief comparison of cordless and corded Dremel rotary tools, you should now have a better idea on which of the two would benefit you more. Essentially, a cordless Dremel tool lets you use it anywhere and everywhere, whereas a corded tool keeps you grounded.
In our humble opinion, if you can finish grinding/sanding/cutting jobs in less than 30 minutes, a cordless Dremel tool would be the better option. Light-duty projects don’t require you to spend hours hovering over your workpiece, so a cordless tool with a 30-minute battery would suffice.
On the other hand, if you’re into heavy-duty grinding through metal, a corded-electric Dremel tool with its never-ending supply of power and amazing cutting strength would suit you better. A variable speed feature on your Dremel would make the tool so much more versatile.