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Top 10 Household Uses for a Rotary Tool

Many people overlook the mighty Rotary tool as a "craft & hobby" tool, but did you know that it's one of the MOST versatile tools you can own for everyday tasks, home improvements & repairs?

Before we start discussing the everyday uses of a rotary tool, we should touch on the basics. Especially for those who only know a “rotary tool” as a “Dremel.”

A rotary tool is a handheld power tool that uses a rotating tip or bit (accessory) to perform a variety of tasks such as cutting, drilling, grinding, sanding, engraving, polishing, and routing on materials, including wood, metal, plastic, ceramics, and glass.

A typical rotary tool consists of a motor and a handle with a collet that holds the bit. The MAKERX Rotary Tool has a brushless motor (for a longer life) and is powered by the same 20V POWERSHARE battery that connects to 70+ other WORX Australia tools.

A pro-grade rotary tool will have a variable speed adjustment of between 5,000 and 35,000 RPM’s so you can control the speed to suit the specific job at hand. The compact size and versatility, makes it popular amongst DIY enthusiasts, woodworkers, metalworkers and jewelry makers, but it has so much potential to help with the nitty-gritty daily grind. 

When it comes to the MAKERX Rotary Tool, you really are only limited by your imagination, and safety of course. I feel a competition brewing in the near future, but in the interim, we asked some of our WORX-mates how they use their cordless rotary tools, and they provided the answers below.

1. Engraving into Wood & Metal: A rotary tool is ideal for making precision cuts and engraving designs into pieces of wood or metal. The MAKERX rotary tool is perfect for this type of project as it’s been designed to be held comfortably like a pen to achieve better accuracy and precision. Carbide-tipped (for metal) and High-speed steel (for wood) engraving bits are best for these surfaces. It’s important to note that engraving and carving with a rotary tool requires precision and patience. Always start with a light touch and gradually increase pressure as you become more comfortable with the tool. 

2. Sharpening Knives & Blades: The Rotary tool is perfect for sharpening a variety of knives and blades both indoors and out. Aluminum oxide or silicon carbide grinding bits are designed to sharpen and reshape the edge of the blade. Remember to wear eye protection and a dust mask to prevent inhaling dust and debris when shaping heavy-duty blades.

3. Polishing Silver & Metal: Silver and other metals around the home can be susceptible to dirt, grime, and dullness. The MAKERX Rotary tool is designed to fit standard bits from most brands, so simply fit a polishing wheel or buffer wheel bit to your MAKERX rotary tool and you’ll be done in no time. The 201piece MAKERX Rotary Tool Accessory Kit also contains a polishing compound, but you can try a little toothpaste or bi-carb mixed with water for a homemade fix.

 

4. Removing Rust: Many items around the house can begin to rust over time. From the kitchen sink to the bathtub tap, it’s not uncommon to find rust in these places. Proper rust removal can be time-consuming and difficult. The MAKERX Rotary Tool comes with a silicon carbide grinding wheel to assist with rust removal, but you can also use grinding stones, wire brushes and sanding discs.

5. Detail Sanding: One of the problems with intricate woodwork is the need to sand in tight corners and curves. With a trusty rotary tool and the right sanding drum or disc, you can do this type of detail sanding rather effortlessly. When using sanding drums with a rotary tool, it’s important to start with a coarser grit (60-80) and gradually work your way up to a finer grit (220-240) to achieve the desired level of smoothness.

6. Cutting Copper: Copper is a versatile material you might choose to use for any number of home improvement ideas. With that said, cutting it can be a bit of a chore. If you are looking to take the work out of copper, you should use a rotary tool for the job. A cut-off wheel can cut through copper with ease, but it is important to work slowly and carefully to avoid overheating the copper and damaging the wheel. You should also wear safety glasses and a dust mask to prevent inhaling dust and debris and periodically clean the wheel to ensure that it is working effectively. 

7. Drilling: There are several different types of drill bits that can be used with a rotary tool. High-speed steel (HSS) drill bits are designed to drill through soft metals like aluminum and brass, as well as wood and plastic. Carbide drill bits drill through harder metals like steel and stainless steel. Diamond-coated drill bits drill through very hard materials like glass, ceramics, and stone.

8. Cutting into Plasterboard: Whether you are putting up new wall or just adding a switch to a room, a rotary tool is one of the handiest tools for cutting into your plasterboard. A spiral cutting bit or carbide-tipped cutting bit will assist with cutting through plasterboard without causing excessive dust. it’s important to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the surrounding drywall. It’s also important to wear eye protection and a dust mask to prevent inhaling dust and debris.

9. Grout Removal: If you need to remove grout from between tiles, a rotary tool with a grout removal attachment can make the job easier. Carbide-tipped grout removal bits have a pointed tip and are designed to cut through the grout without damaging the surrounding tiles. They are typically used for grout lines that are wider than 3mm.

10. Electrical Repair: Repairing a damaged electrical cord, or replacing it with a new one, can be a tedious and hazardous task. With a cutting wheel and a wire brush or sanding drum bit (and some prior experience) you can perform this task easily, but I would not recommend attempting without proper training and knowledge. It’s important to remember to use caution when working with electrical wiring and components, and to always turn off the power supply before beginning any electrical work. If you are unsure about how to perform a specific task, it is best to seek the help of a professional electrician.

Now you have your rotary tool uses sorted, we wanted to share a few helpful tips for anyone who is starting out.

  1. Wear protective gear to help to keep you safe from flying debris and dust.

  2. Practice on scrap materials before you start working on your actual project.
  3. Start with a low speed and light pressure to get used avoid causing the bit to break or damage the material you’re working with.

  4. Clean the bits thoroughly to help extend their lifespan and prevent them from becoming dull.

  5. Experiment with different techniques and attachments to see what works best for you.

  6.  Have fun and let us know what you use your Rotary Tool for.

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