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A-Check Rotary Tools

Best Rotary Tool for Wood/Stone/Metal Carving

Rotary tools are extremely versatile hand-held power tools that let you perform a number of different tasks. They’re mostly used for making intricate cuts in all sorts of materials, so if you’d like to give your art that “wow” factor, then you should definitely consider getting a rotary tool.

However, even though rotary tools can be used for all sorts of jobs, they’re not all built the same. Some excel at engraving wood and stone while others are better suited for carving metal. So join us as we dive into the world of rotary tools and learn about the different features that make them suited for certain tasks. But before we go too far, let’s talk about the basics.

What is a Rotary Tool?

Rotary tools are compact tools that use a variety of attachments to perform a wide range of different jobs. Even though rotary tools are mainly used to grind way thin layers of metal, they’re also handy and engraving, buffing, sanding, and much, much more.

Even though the type of work you can do with a rotary tool is dependent on the type of attachments mounted to the tool, the real magic sauce behind its versatility is its high-speed motor. The maximum speed of the tool varies from model to model, but it’s not uncommon to find rotary tools that can go beyond 30,000 RPM. Admittedly, the diameter of the tool is quite small and thus easy to reach high speeds.



Corded vs. Cordless Rotary Tools

Unlike so many other power tools, the decision to choose corded or cordless rotary tools isn’t all that difficult. Since the tool is naturally lightweight and compact, the only thing you need to consider is whether you can live being tied down by a power cord or not.

The obvious benefit of corded tools is that the only limitation of the runtime is the heat produced by the motor. As long as the motor is cool to the touch, you’re free to grind away to your heart’s desire. Of course, your range of movement is limited by the power cord, but an easy solution would be to use an extension cord.

As for cordless rotary tools, you get to use the tool wherever you are on the planet as long as the battery still has some juice. This comes in handy when doing extremely intricate engraving in where the power cord might obstruct your view or simply be too short to allow maximum freedom of movement. You’re also limited to the amount of work you can do per charge, but modern cordless rotary tools come with beefy batteries that last for more than 30 minutes of continuous usage.

Rotary Tool Buying Guide

In this section, we’ll talk about the various specs and features that you should be on the lookout for when shopping for a rotary tool. However, it’s crucial that you know what materials you’re going to work with since certain rotary tools are best used for certain projects. To assist you in finding the appropriate model, we’ll divide this section into three parts based on the materials you’re engraving. The three sections are rotary tools for wood, rotary tools for stone, and rotary tools for metal.

Rotary Tool for Wood Engraving Buying Guide

When choosing the right rotary tool for engraving wood, there are certain features and specs you need to be aware of. This guide will describe what things make for a good rotary tool for wood carving.

Motor Power

The size of the motor determines how well the rotary tool will cut through your workpiece. For obvious reasons, a stronger motor is ideal since it’ll allow you to carve any material, including wood. The minimum motor rating we’d recommend for wood engraving would be 1 amp, though it’s not going to be too difficult to find a much powerful motor than that.

High Speed

Carving through wood is a bit different from carving through other materials. A higher speed is actually ideal since it has a lesser likelihood of leaving unsightly burn marks. All rotary tools are built to deliver thousands and even tens of thousands of rotational spin per minute, so speed is also not too much of an issue.

However, a truly versatile rotary tool should have a variable speed dial or pre-settings. Some models let you change the speed of the bit on the fly while others require you shut it off when switching between gears. The mechanism used to change speeds is up to you based on personal preference; what’s important is that it can deliver between 5,000 RPM and upwards of 30,000 RPM.

Bit Material

The two most commonly used materials to make rotary engraving bits are carbide tungsten and high-speed steel. Carbide bits are considerably more expensive but last longer and do not dull as easily. HSS bits are cheaper and dull much more easily than carbide, but if you don’t use your rotary tool regularly, then HSS bits can actually be more cost-effective.

Bit Diameter

The size of the bit indicates how much material it’ll remove per rotation. The diameter of a bit can be as tiny as ¼ of an inch to as large as ¾. Larger bits remove more material but also do not offer the same control as smaller bits for producing more precise, intricate details.

Cylindrical Bit and Pointed Bits

For engraving in wood, the two most suitable types of bits are cylindrical bits and pointed bits.

Cylindrical bits have more surface area than pointed bits, making them more adequate at removing a ton of material per sweep. This comes in handy when you need to dig deep into the wood before etching finer details with a pointed bit.

Pointed bits are used to etch intricate details in wood. With a steady hand and a keen eye, you can produce beautiful trim and carvings on your wood-based art.

Rotary Tool for Stone Engraving Buying Guide

Seeing as how the stone is considerably denser than even the toughest wood, the right rotary tool for the job will need to be significantly more powerful. In this section, we’ll go over the various specs of a stone engraving rotary tool and the appropriate bits.

Variable Speed Dial

A multi-speed or rotary tool is infinitely better than a single-speed model since it lets you carve all sorts of materials, provided you use the right bit. For engraving stone and concrete, we’d recommend getting a rotary tool with a speed dial rather than preset gears. The minimum speed you’d need would be roughly 4,000 RPM, and the maximum speed can be as high as you’d like.

Motor Power

Concrete is much tougher than wood. Therefore, in order for a rotary tool to engrave effectively in stone, it needs a more powerful motor. We recommend finding a tool that comes with a motor that’s at least 2 amps, but a higher amperage rating would be ideal.

Cordless

Since most stone carving is going to be done outdoors, we recommend that you look for a high-quality cordless rotary tool. You can make do with a corded model and an outdoor-safe extension cord, but to truly eliminate any hassle, cordless is the way to go. Keep in mind that cordless 2-plus-amp rotary tools may be a bit difficult to come by.

Diamond-Tipped Bits

In order to engrave concrete effectively, you need to mount diamond-tipped bits into the rotary tool’s chuck. Diamond-tipped bits offer enough strength and durability in engraving hard materials like concrete and stone without dulling the bit. These do have a high investment cost, but they’re much more effective than regular carbide. Plus, they won’t dull nearly as quickly when used for grinding stone.

Flex Shaft Attachment

Even though a flex shaft attachment would be useful in any situation, it’s extremely handy when engraving stone. The odd shape of stone would make even the thinnest, most compact rotary tool a bit of a hassle to maneuver. The flex shaft allows you to really get the diamond-tipped bit in the tiniest crevices without having to hold the rotary tool’s body at an awkward angle.

All-Size Chuck

Bits for carving stone come in all sizes. For this reason, we highly recommend finding a model that comes with an all-size chuck, or a chuck that can mount up to ¾-inch bits. You may also want to consider the bits themselves since, like wood-carving bits, larger bits remove more material but aren’t as precise as smaller, pointed bits.

Rotary Tool for Metal Engraving Buying Guide

Engraving metal with a rotary tool is more similar to engraving wood than stone. This section will discuss the various things you look out for when searching for a rotary tool to cut/grind/sand/engrave metal.

Motor Power

It’s extremely important that the rotary tool comes with a sufficiently powerful motor in order to engrave or cut through metal. However, the strength of the motor ultimately depends on what sort of metal you’re working with.

If your project calls for engraving soft aluminum or pewter, a smallish 2-amp motor would be adequate. Harder metals like stainless steel would require something beefier – around 5 amps – in order to make clean cuts and grooves.

You’ll also need to consider the thickness of your material. Thicker pieces like pipes or conduits would require a stronger motor to cut through. As for thin sheets or bars, a 2- or 3-amp motor would suffice.

Battery Voltage

Even though corded tools are almost always more powerful than cordless, both corded and cordless rotary tools produce enough power to engrave, cut, and grind metal.

If you decide to get a cordless rotary tool for its supreme portability and maneuverability, take a look at the size of the battery. The battery doesn’t necessarily indicate motor power, but it does play a role in how long the tool will run. Metal, which is denser than wood, will deplete the battery quicker, so to work comfortably without having to swap batteries or wait for them to fully charge, consider getting a cordless rotary tool that uses a 20V battery.

Variable Speed Dial

Engraving, cutting, and grinding metal are three jobs that have different speed requirements to do effectively without producing sharp edges. Engraving and grinding metal need to be done at high speed – more than 10,000 RPM – whereas cutting metal should be done at a lower speed of around 3,000 to 5,000 RPM. Once again, we recommend finding a model that has a variable speed dial that lets you choose how much speed to deliver. Preset speeds might be either too slow or too fast for engraving and cutting jobs.

Chuck

The bits used to engrave metal can be anywhere from ¼ of an inch to ¾ of an inch in diameter. It’s a good idea to get the largest chuck available that can clamp onto bits of all sizes, especially if you plan on using your rotary tool for creating intricate designs as well as grinding away rust.

Final Remarks

Rotary tools are handheld power tools that have a million and one different uses. They’re mainly used to grind away rust, remove fine layers off your workpieces, and cut through metal and stone. However, if you’d like to up your woodworking/metalworking/stone-engraving game, then a rotary tool can help you. Using a carving or engraving bit, you can add super-fine details to your work with ease.

There are both corded and cordless rotary tools to choose from, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. If your work keeps you outdoors and away from power outlets, a cordless rotary tool can be your best friend, especially if it comes with a large battery that supplies 20 to 30 minutes of continuous runtime. A cordless rotary tool can also come in handy when working in tight, cramped spaces – e.g. under your car or in corners – without the fuss of tangled power cords and extension cords.

If you’ve read our article from start to finish, you should find that the “right” rotary tool depends on what sort of material you plan on working with. In this article, we’ve discussed how rotary tools differ based on whether they’re designed for wood, stone, or metal.

However, you could get the most out of your rotary tool by getting a powerful, high-speed tool and swap out attachments based on your needs. It’s extremely important that you have the right bit for the job since not every bit is made with the same material (carbide, high-speed steel, diamond-tipped) work the same on different materials.




Categories
Rotary Tools

Tacklife RTD35ACL Rotary Tool Kit Review

A rotary tool is a handy power tool that can be used for grinding, sanding, polishing, and several other tasks. The attachments of a rotary tool give it the ability to perform various tasks. Rotary tools are handheld, compact, versatile, and spin at high speeds, making it an attractive alternative to bulky power tools for single or limited functions.

Tacklife RTD35ACL Advanced Multi-functional Rotary Tool Review

The Tacklife RTD35ACL rotary toolkit can be the perfect option for professional and amateur craftsmen. This tool has several applications and can be used at the job site or personal household projects. The manufacturer prides itself on being a high-quality power tool producer that focuses on making them as affordable as possible. To get an understanding of what makes this handheld power tool such a great option, let’s look at the specifics of the RTD35ACL kit.

Tacklife RTD35ACL Rotary Tool Review

Rotary Performance

The rotary tool that comes with the RTD35ACL kit features a 1.0 amp motor. This may sound unimpressive, but when it comes to rotary tools for household and professional applications, the motor works wonders. The tool spins at between 10,000 and 32,000 RPM, and the speed can be adjusted by using a switch. It comes with six preconfigured speeds to help users work on any type of surface. The spindle lock allows for quick and effortless accessory changes.

One of the most notable features of this rotary toolkit is that it comes with 80 amazing rotary accessories. Having so many accessories will make this an extremely versatile power tool for tackling almost every type of job you can imagine. The attachments include cutting, sanding, grinding, carving, polishing, engraving, sharpening, drilling, and smoothing accessories. These are definitely more accessories than you will need when working on DIY projects or even during professional work.

However, although it comes with so many attachable accessories, some of them can hardly fit on the grinder. In addition, not all accessories are that durable, some (sanding) broke after limited use.

Tacklife RTD35ACL Rotary Tool

Ventilation

When using power tools, it’s imperative that we pay attention to its ventilation system. We don’t want the power tools to overheat in our hands since it can cause discomfort when using, and it can significantly reduce the tool’s lifespan. Luckily, the rotary tool in the RTD35ACL kit has perfect ventilation, allowing users to operate the tool for long periods of time, within reason. This is mainly due to the copper core of the unit, which is a great heat conductor and maintains a good working temperature. This effectively extends the life of the motor.

Tacklife RTD35ACL

Design

This is not a cordless rotary tool so you will need to be within the cord’s distance of an electrical outlet to operate this. This isn’t exactly a problem since cordless options tend to be energy-inefficient and require multiple visits to the charging station to finish up work.

The tool, accessories, and the handy toolbox weigh a total of 3.5 pounds! If you aren’t sure, this means this rotary tool is an extremely neat and lightweight device for getting stuff done in DIY home projects. The rubber grips offer comfort and control so you won’t experience serious finger or palm cramping when using the tool for long periods of time. In addition, the grip allows the rotary tool to be held like a pen for precision work and even like a hammer for the rough tasks. Both ways it is still comfortable to use.

Tacklife Rotary Tool

Tacklife RTD35ACL: Bottom Line

For a budget-friendly rotary tool kit, you sure get everything you will ever need for home and professional work. The 80 accessories, although some are flimsy and can break easily, make this Tacklife RTD35ACL handheld tool a versatile device for tackling most types of tasks. The adjustable speed dial with 6 preconfigured speed settings between 10,000 and 32,000 RPM means that users have complete control when handling soft and rough materials. All in all, this is definitely a high-quality, cost-efficient rotary tool kit.

Tacklife RTD35ACL Advanced Multi-functional Rotary Tool Review

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Categories
Rotary Tools

Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit Review

Dremel is a leader in the rotary tools market, and for good reason. Did you know that they invented the first high-speed rotary tool back in 1943Now that you know, you probably think that there is no chance of being even more creative so many years later, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit Review



In February of 2016, Dremel released an innovative model onto the market – the Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool. This unit brings you a host of excellent features including variable speed, tool-less accessories changing, and great guide and nose attachments. This rotary tool also offers an extensive accessory pack that will make you sing as you work. Read on to find out more.

Variable Speed

This Dremel 4300 model packs a powerful 1.8 amp motor capable of achieving maximum speeds of up to 35,000 Revolutions per Minute for consistent performance across all applications. As you probably know, higher speeds do not always mean better results. In fact, just a fraction of the higher speeds is likely to damage certain materials like precious metals or plastics.

Thankfully, this rotary tool has a variable speed dial that allows you to set the appropriate speed for your work piece and task. If unsure of the optimal speeds to use in your application, you can always refer to the useful speed-setting chart in the Dremel manual and test the speeds on scrap material.

Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit

3-Jaw Chuck

This unit features a three-jaw chuck system that allows you to have a tool-less and collet-less accessory changing experience. The chuck system is compatible with virtually any Dremel accessory shank size you want to work with, and it’s also fast and convenient to replace accessories without touching a wrench. You’ll never have to hunt around for a specialty wrench, which is a big time-saver.

Attachments and Accessories

This rotary tool is the perfect addition to your shop, and you’ll love having it around! This is because the kit includes 5 attachments and 40 bits or accessories – the reason behind the 5/40 notation. The rotary tool attachments allow you to change your tool’s function for more optimization in your application.

The attachments included are a lawn mower and garden tool sharpener, a multipurpose cutting kit, a pivot light, a shield rotary attachment, and a sanding and grinding guide. Accessories include engraving and carving bits, cutting bits, sharpening and grinding bits, polishing and cleaning bits, and sanding bits. Also included are the EZ-Lock Mandrel and a 1/8-inch drill bit.

The fact that this Dremel unit has over 40 pieces and attachments is enough to make any one excited considering the number of applications one can accomplish. Before you are finished with one project, you’ll probably be thinking of five other things you will complete using this baby. In addition, the tool comes with a carrying case for keeping all your pieces safe.

Dremel 4300-5/40

Dremel 4300-5/40 : Final Recommendation

Before you are caught up in all the attachments in the Dremel 4300-5/40 High Performance Rotary Tool, and having too much fun, it’s important to mention that the tool is easy to use, straightforward and comfortable to hold.

The unit features an ergonomically, slim body design that offers you a comfortable 360-degree grip, no matter how you choose to hold it for extended use. The noise level of this Dremel 4300-5/40 Rotary Tool is not that bad either. Overall, you will be pleased once you get this tool.