Do you use a Dremel (or any other rotory tool)?

I have to admit I’ve always liked the idea of owning a Dremel tool. But when it comes to actually buying it, I never follow through.

The reason is, that I don’t know what I’d specifically use it for. I know things I COULD use it for; but I don’t know if I really WOULD use it for those things.

So, I’m curious. Who owns a Dremel? Do you get good use out of it? What do you ACTUALLY use it for?

Iuse a small dremel all the time, sharpening my bandsaw blades is the most common thing I use it for. It always comes in handy for modifying small parts you might be working on as well. It will get into real small places and you can push it any direction. I would say at least buy one of the little models, they are cheap and very handy.

I use my Dremels from time to time. A small, underpowered cordless model gets used to file the dogs’ nails. My “real” corded model’s cutting disc has saved a few projects where nothing else would work. It seems like I never plan to use the Dremel, but other tools aren’t working and then I remember the Dremel.

I have a dremel tool. I almost never use it. When it was new, I sometimes used it as an engraving tool, and as an un-engraving tool (rubbing out some words stamped into a metal tag.) It works well for what it does.

The cutoff wheel is my go-to tool for corroded nuts and bolts. Works pretty well for sharpening chain saws. I occasionally use it for engraving my name on tools and the like. Certainly useful enough to spend $60.00 or so on a kit.

I’ve found it useful in many unexpected ways. It’s not a tool you know you need, it is a tool that you are inspired to use for a task you didn’t know you had*.

  • Not suggested as a dental instrument.

I need to learn how to do that. When my saw stops cutting I buy a new chain.

Kayaker, I don’t know if you have a bandsaw or not but I use the chainsaw stone on my bevel ( 1/8") for sharpening the bandsaw blades and they work better than new when done. It takes about 10 min and only a touch on the inside of each hook is all it takes.

I use one to make various and sundry things fit.
My late MIL used it on her heels.

We have one, but hardly ever use it. Occasionally it comes in handy. I think the last thing we used it for was cutting pockets for door hinges.
Kayaker, you should really be sharpening your chainsaw blade after every use. We got a cheap electric chainsaw blade sharpener on Amazon a while back, I think it cost about the same as a new blade. Makes the whole thing super easy.

Cutoff wheel for stripped screws to make a slot, very light routing for guitar pickups, polishing silver and metal with the buffing wheels, sanding picture frame edges, drilling into bumpers for fog light installs…
Mine gets pretty regular use. I use the cutoff wheels more than anything else.

Since I build scale models (and have mentioned this before on this board), the answer is a definite yes - one of the old school wired models (molded in black), owned and used it for at least a decade, needed to replace the brushes and a few other parts a year or two back.
As you can image it is very useful in cutting metal and styrene, grinding, sanding, drilling (out rivets, for example) in the hobby, and I have also used it for grinding and cutting in small home repair projects too, and fine woodworking projects too. You won’t be using it for big projects, but for things like polishing corrosion off a battery terminal for instance it works fine.

When cutting using those ultra thin cutoff wheels, wear eye and hand protection as they snap pretty readily if you misapply the slightest pressure.

I use one on my dogs’ nails.


I got one for Xmas years ago and used it initially to build a dollhouse. It also came in handy when doing scenery for my SO’s model train set up. These days, I mostly use a couple of the sanding attachments to distress paper, paintings and small wooden art projects. I also use it to sand down a couple of very thick toenails and to buff all of them. :smiley:

I have one, and I use it now and then, just as a drill. It’s smaller than my regular electric drill, so I use it for fine detail work. Just…not at all often.

(Favorite obscure use: drilling holes through stacks of paper for amateur/home bookbinding. Gotta be VERY careful not to start a fire!)

If I round a hex bolt, I’ll cut flats on the side to remove it. A rotary tool comes in handy for very small drill work. If I’m epoxying hard metal, I’ll roughen it with a rotary tool.

I had an sheet of expanded stainless steel that was a web of finger-slicing burrs – files proved useless, and eventually I smoothed all the edges with a carbide grinding bit.

I really like the optional keyless chucks you can buy – otherwise, changing the attachments (and switching among chuck sizes) seriously slows down projects.

I am mocked because of my love of Dremel. I use the rotary tool for cutting small pieces of wood. I’ve carefully cut a hole in ceramic tile, sharpened knives and scissors. Tried it on the dog. Nope. I use it for some crafty things and also to drill small holes when I don’t feel like dragging out the big drill. It also polishes well, and I’ve used the old sanding attachment in a recalcitrant callous or two. (Not the same one for the knives, obviously). I also have the multi tool saw blade thingy and used it to trim doors after installing flooring, small cuts (kinda scared of the circular, truth be told).

I use mine (knockoff Dremel) all the time. There are a zillion uses but oddly, the single biggest use is probably cutting screws down to a proper size. I need screws all the time for my various projects and have lots of jars of them, but they’re almost never the right length. The cutoff wheels make short work of them, even for fat bolts.

Beyond that it’s mostly for grinding away small bits of plastic. Now that I think about it, almost all of my uses come down to “this thing that I’m repurposing doesn’t quite fit, so grind/saw/drill/etc. to make it fit”.

+1 for the cutoff wheel.

Last jam it got me out of was when I was trying to remove the old kitchen sink drain. There was a wide threaded ring on the underside holding the drain in, and that was corroded and frozen in place. Five minutes with the cutoff wheel and it was off.

I also use the buffing wheels for shining things up. Sometimes it’s sufficient to rub Brasso on the part and then buff it, other times I use some buffing compound (those white and black sticks that look like giant crayons) with the Dremel.

I have some very teeny tiny drill bits that I sometimes use, for drilling very teeny holes while doing scroll saw work. If you use the drill chuck with small bits, make sure you have a variable speed model: standard Dremel speeds are too high for a drill.

Never used a Dremel, but I do have a rotozip, like a Dremel on steroids. It really doesn’t compare. I also have an angle grinder, but that’s not even in the same league, it’s like comparing a cold chisel to a jackhammer.

However, Woot is selling knockoff Wen rotary tools right now (might be today only), for about half (plus shipping, plus probably waiting three weeks) if you want to pick one up cheap.

Looks like if you’re want a reason to pull the trigger, don’t get a dremel, get a Wen (Woot or Amazon) and you’ll end up spending about $25 instead of $70. That’ll make it a lot cheaper for the 360 days a year it doesn’t get any use.