As seen in:
Dremel
120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool
WEN
Rotary Tool Kit
Dremel
MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit
Black & Decker
3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit
Milwaukee
12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit
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Good

Up to 30,000 RPM. High torque guaranteed via electronic feedback system. 50-item accessory set.

Variable speed (8,000 - 30,000 RPM). Comprehensive accessory kit. Highly affordable.

Light and easy to hold. Two available speeds. Pen grip is easy to master.

Plenty of power and torque. Rubberized grip enhances user control.

Powerful, 12-volt motor. 30-minute recharge time. Easy to hold and use.

Bad

No 1/8-inch collet included.

Occasional issues with component quality and durability.

Accessory selection is small. Battery recharge time can be lengthy.

Does not offer variable speed. Only five accessories included.

Only five accessories and one 1/8-inch collet included. Pen grip can be unwieldy. It's a bit more expensive as well.

Bottom Line

A dependable, pro-grade kit from a reputable manufacturer. The best rotary tool available.

An inexpensive, versatile rotary tool designed for occasional use. This complete kit is the best budget deal on the market.

A light-duty, high-quality tool designed for those who plan to use it only occasionally.

From a reputable company, this tool is great for straightforward jobs but not ideal for delicate work.

Pricey and powerful, this cordless tool is on par with many of its corded counterparts.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
47
Hours Spent
1
Experts Interviewed
194
Consumers Consulted

Best Rotary Tools

There are some extremely cheap rotary power tools out there, but their quality and durability often come into question. Having said that, you don't have to spend a fortune to get a quality rotary power tool. Everyone has different needs, and the rotary power tool that's right for you may not be our favorite. Nevertheless, we're confident that you'll find the perfect choice among our five finalists.

Products in Consideration

Dremel
120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool
WEN
Rotary Tool Kit
Dremel
MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit
Black & Decker
3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit
Milwaukee
12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit

Consideration

Power & Speeds

How important is power output to you? That depends on what you plan to do with your rotary tool. With both cordless and corded models available, it's important to be aware of the differences between products. Our review covers these differences, as well as each tool's flexibility of speed – a factor that affects how well different tools work on different materials.

Weight, Handling & Extras

In this review, we address the issues of weight and handling. None of our contestants are particularly bulky, but small differences can have a big impact on comfort. We also discuss any accessories and other "extras" that are included with each package.

Features & Performance

Rotary power tools are basic in concept, but some manufacturers offer additional features that make their product stand out. You can read about those features here. We also talk about how well each contender performs in real-world situations. To give you an unbiased view, we take into account the feedback of actual owners.

Price

With such a wide range of specifications and kit contents available, cost is a significant factor. In the final part of our rotary tool review, we sum up the benefits and overall worth of each package.

Considerations

Power & Speed

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

The WEN 2305 rotary tool sports a one-amp motor. While that is quite small, it should be remembered that rotary tools are typically designed for light-duty work. More power (and more torque) would be nice, but for the majority of tasks, an overload of power isn't necessary. The WEN does offer variable speed from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. This valuable benefit allows you to adjust the rate to suit particular tools or tasks. It's a feature often found on high-end rotary tools.

Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit

It may come as no surprise that two Dremels made our final list. After all, this company has a top-notch reputation in the field of power tools. The first Dremel on our list, the 7700-1/15 MultiPro, is a cordless model with a rating of 7.2 volts. That might not seem very high, but plenty of manufacturers produce full-sized power drills with 7.2 volt batteries, so it's not really under-powered. There are two speeds available: 10,000 and 20,000 RPM. It's not as fast or as flexible as some, but Dremel rotary tools tend to be more accurate with their positioning than many other brands. The manufacturer calls this a "light duty" tool, which is perfectly true.

Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit

When it comes to electric tools, few companies are known better than Black & Decker. The RTX-B rotary tool is powered by a two-amp motor. The manufacturer is keen to point out that it delivers up to twice as much torque as some competitors. On paper, the Black & Decker certainly gives a higher performance than the WEN. Rather than offering variable speed, however, the Black & Decker makes do with three set speeds: 12,000, 24,000 and 30,000 RPM. Some say that's all the flexibility you need, but others say they would like more control.

Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories

At first glance, the Dremel 4000-6/50, with its 1.6-amp motor, would seem to sit almost exactly between the WEN and Black & Decker in terms of power. Plain statistics only tell part of the story, though. Like the Black & Decker, the Dremel 4000 is claimed to have a high torque output. However, the Dremel proves its strength with a clever electronic feedback system that measures load and increases the power accordingly. It boasts an impressive speed range, too, running from a low of 5,000 RPM to a high of 30,000 RPM.

Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit

Milwaukee's 2460-21 M12 rotary tool is a cordless model with a 12-volt motor. That would be quite powerful on a full-sized tool, let alone a relatively small device like this! Its variable speed ranges from 5,000 to 32,000 RPM; only the high-end Dremel offers more. (At the upper end of the scale, the 3,000 RPM difference is negligible.) For many, the main drawbacks of a cordless tool are run time and the fact that the tool must be recharged. How long it runs will vary with the task, but recharge for the Milwaukee rotary tool takes only around 30 minutes, whereas the Dremel 7700 requires three hours.

The Dremel 4000 features a clever electronic feedback system that measures load and increases power accordingly.
Considerations

Weight, Handling & Extras

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

A quick look at the WEN 2305's specs might suggest that this rotary tool is rather heavy. The weight often quoted (3.5 pounds) is for the full kit, including all accessories and the case. However, at 1.8 pounds, the tool itself is not particularly light. Many would agree that the WEN's design is "purposeful" rather than "ergonomic." Like all of these devices, if you can hold the main barrel, it's relatively easy to achieve balance and a good grip. If you're looking for a rotary tool you can hold with a pen, it's important to realize that some rotary tools are better than others – but none are great. The way around this slight drawback is with a flexible shaft. You wouldn't expect to find one included on a cheap rotary tool like the WEN 2305, but a flexible shaft is indeed included in its huge selection of accessories. There are more than 80 attachments in all, and while some of them are sanding disks that cost just a few cents, there are all kinds of valuable drills, burrs, and other attachments as well. Indeed, it's a complete kit.

Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit

At less than 1.5 pounds, the Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro is lighter than the WEN. It's more compact than its competitor, and thanks to the casing's easy-grip material, it's a pleasure to hold. The difficult "pen grip" is easier to master with the Dremel 7700 than the WEN due to its overall balance and a series of molded ridges on the front end. Not having a cord is also an advantage, at least in the eyes of some. The Dremel 7700 comes with 15 accessories. This is not a huge number, but the selection is of excellent quality. The cutting, sanding, carving, and sharpening attachments included in the accessory set will cover most people's day-to-day needs.

Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit

The Black & Decker RTX-B weighs 1.5 pounds. It's a bit larger than the cordless Dremel 7700 and slightly smaller than the WEN. According to the manufacturer, the RTX-B's areas of rubberized grip make for better control. This may be true, but the RTX-B is still not up to the standard of the little Dremel 7700, particularly when it comes to pen grip. To be fair, the Black & Decker is designed for robust work in which a good, firm hold of the main body is a primary concern. The RTX-B comes with just five accessories. There's nothing wrong with them, but we would expect more, and owners could soon find themselves having to buy extras.

Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories

The entire Dremel 4000-6/50 kit, case and all, weighs five pounds, but the basic hand-held unit weighs just 1.6 pounds. The body is ergonomically contoured. Like most of its rivals, it's not so good at the pen grip, but like the WEN, it overcomes this by offering an excellent flexible shaft. (This accessory is indispensable for anyone who wants to do detailed work.) The complete accessory set includes 50 items, and although some are cheap cutting disks, there are items like a vertical drilling stand and a parallel guide that make it an exceptional set.

Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit

"Compact and lightweight" is the description Milwaukee uses for their 2460-21 M12. However, at almost 10 inches long, it's not small when compared to its rivals. Despite that size, it is the lightest model in our rotary tool review at just 1.3 pounds. (This is all the more remarkable when you consider that the tool includes a 12-volt battery pack.) The body is quite slender, making it easy to hold securely, but in spite of the lack of a cord, the length makes it feel a bit unwieldy in a pen grip. As with the Black & Decker, accessories are not a strong point. You get five cutting disks and nothing more.

If you want a professional-grade rotary tool kit that you can depend on, the Dremel 4000 is the top choice.
Scott
Scott
Do-It-Yourself Guru And Carpenter

Scott completed his first woodworking project in the 5th grade, and he’s been an avid woodworker ever since. For the past 46 years, Scott has enjoyed remodeling homes, building custom cabinets and mantels, installing hardwood floors/trim work, and many other unique projects.

Considerations

Features & Performance

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

You get more accessories than you might expect with the inexpensive WEN 2305, but it is basic in terms of features. You get two collets (2.3 mm and 3.2 mm; the equivalent of 3/32 and 1/8 of an inch) and a carrying case. Notably, some owners find this case to be a bit fragile. The WEN necessitates a straightforward approach that many users are perfectly happy with: choose the appropriate collet, tighten with the small wrench provided, and away you go. In general, people are pleased with the performance they get for the price, but there have been a few durability issues. Component quality is not of the same standard as, for example, a Dremel rotary tool. The WEN's warranty lasts for one year.

Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit

While not as cheap as the WEN, the Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro is still a relatively low-cost rotary tool. It's made very well, so you might wonder where the manufacturer cut back to keep the price down. As we've seen, the kit of accessories isn't extensive, and there are no additional features to speak of. You get a single 1/8-inch collet, so if you wanted to use drills or burrs of other sizes, you would have to make an additional purchase. Tightening is the usual method: a lock button and simple wrench. If any of these "cost-cutting" omissions sound negative, they're not meant to. This is one of the best small cordless rotary tools around, but it focuses on light-duty work. A lot of people buy the Dremel 7700 for the purpose of trimming their dog's claws. (It does the job well and is completely reliable.) There aren't many who criticize it, but there are those who would like increased torque and battery life. Buying a second pack is always an option. The Dremel 7700 has a two-year warranty.

Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit

Black & Decker glorifies the "Flip Lock" spindle system on the RTX-B, saying that it makes changing bits much easier. In truth, it is marginally quicker than the usual lock button and a little simpler, but you still need to tighten the collet with a wrench – so it's hardly revolutionary. The majority of owners give positive feedback regarding the RTX-B's power and build quality, but several say it's not really a machine for delicate work. A few people have experienced problems with the motor overheating. This is something that ought to be covered under the two-year warranty, but it's frustrating nonetheless.

Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories

According to the manufacturer, the Dremel 4000-6/50 boasts a "360-degree grip zone." This basically means that you can hold it all the way around. It has a "deluxe" carrying case and is "compatible with all Dremel accessories." Marketing speak aside, there are two features we find particularly worthy of note. First is the handy "EZ-Twist" collet nose cap that really does allow for fast bit changing; second is the fact that it only comes with a 3/32-inch collet. Other sizes are readily available, and all 50 accessories fit fine with the one supplied, but given the overall package, we're surprised that a 1/8-inch collet wasn't included. Still, that is about the only negative we can find about this product. In use, the Dremel 4000 is extremely versatile. It's powerful, yet it's capable of completing accurate, intricate work. You would struggle to find an owner who has a bad thing to say about it. Like the Dremel 7700, the warranty lasts for two years.

Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit

Milwaukee has a reputation for tough equipment, and while their 2460-21 M12 rotary tool doesn't quite fall into that category, some concepts from their larger devices have been applied to this tool. For instance, the shaft bearings have additional protection for extended life. There are engine-cooling exhaust ports like you find on grinding machines. We're slightly disappointed to find only a 1/8-inch collet on a machine that is otherwise so cleverly engineered. However, most competitors are similarly restrictive. In use, this is a cordless rotary tool that tries to compete with its corded rivals – and it comes close to doing so. Powerful and smooth, the Milwaukee 2460-21 is an impressive tool. Yes, it's battery-powered, and once the edge goes off, performance drops considerably. For many owners, however, the cordless advantage is worth it. Like the vast majority of users, we can't find any faults worth mentioning. The Milwaukee's reliability is underlined by a two-year warranty on the battery and five years on the tool itself.

The Dremel 4000's "EZ Twist" collet nose cap allows for fast bit changing.
Considerations

Price

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit with Flex Shaft

Right now, the complete WEN 2305 rotary tool kit costs just $20. You can get it without the flex shaft for a little less money, but we strongly recommend that you pay the extra cash for this versatile addition, particularly if you're doing any detailed work. Critics question the WEN's build quality and durability, but the other side of this argument is the fact that many people don't need a "big brand" model. All they need is right here.

Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro 7.2-Volt Cordless Rotary Tool Kit

If you want a small, cordless rotary tool for odd jobs around the home and garden, the $41 Dremel 7700-1/15 MultiPro is just about ideal. It's light and easy to hold, and while it doesn't come with a vast array of accessories, it's cheap enough that you could add new accessories without burning a massive hole in your pocket. It doesn't have the power of other rotary tools in our ratings, and waiting for it to charge can be frustrating. However, if you're looking for the convenience of a cordless rotary tool – one that you plan to only use occasionally – the Dremel 7700 is a neat solution.

Black & Decker RTX-B 3-Speed RTX Rotary Tool Kit

In our opinion, paying just $31 for the Black & Decker RTX-B makes it a great deal. It's got lots of power and torque. It's comfortable in the hand, which is a plus because this is the kind of rotary tool you would use for tough jobs when grip is important. It would be nice if it offered variable speed, but we suspect that cost is a factor in this omission. That's probably also the case with the lack of accessories. Buying a Black & Decker is seldom a bad decision, and if you're doing a lot of uncomplicated jobs (grinding, cutting drywall, etc.), this tool is worth considering.

Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories

The Dremel 4000-6/50 is a superbly engineered tool with an excellent set of quality accessories. It will cost you $124. Whether that's expensive or not depends on your needs, but this is a perfect example of why, when you say "rotary tool," most people will probably answer "Oh, you mean a Dremel." You don't get that kind of stellar reputation overnight, and you don't get it without consistently delivering exceptional design and construction. If you want a professional-grade kit that you can depend on, this is it.

Milwaukee 2460-21 M12 12-Volt Rotary Tool Kit

Two things surprise us about the Milwaukee 2460-21 M12. First, it's a cordless rotary tool that can compete with corded rivals head on. Second, the build quality is up there with that of a Dremel. On the down side, you'll pay $[B004WBBM82 for it, and you don't get much more than a bare tool for your investment. You'd think that this fact might generate some complaints, but the opposite is true. Owners, almost without exception, love the Milwaukee 2460-21. It's a powerful, convenient tool with decent battery life and a short charging period. Buy a flex shaft and a few accessories to go with it, and you've got an excellent package that will handle just about anything.

The WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit is a complete package that includes more than 80 attachments.

Best of the Best

All of our finalists have something to offer, but the most outstanding package on our shortlist is the Dremel 4000-6/50.

The Milwaukee is an excellent tool, but it comes with few accessories, and it's not cheap. Undoubtedly, it's the best cordless rotary tool around. However, when you consider the tremendous set of accessories included with the Dremel 4000, it's clear that this rotary tool is the Best of the Best.

The Dremel 4000's 1.6-amp motor delivers plenty of power. What's more, it includes a special feedback system that measures torque and increases it according to load, thereby reducing stalling incidents. The tool's speed is variable, and it boasts a range from 5,000 to 35,000 RPM – the greatest in our ratings. No rotary tool here gives you more flexibility. If you're working it hard, you can easily get a good grip on the contoured body. If you need delicacy, you can use the flex shaft. The accessory set (disks, cutters, burrs, drilling and parallel guides) is another outstanding aspect of this product. You would struggle to find a better collection, and like all things Dremel, they're made very well.

Anyone looking at a rotary tool review might expect a Dremel to come out on top. There's a good reason for that. These devices are superbly designed and built to exceptional standards. Even the Dremel 4000's case is a high-quality item. Any lingering doubts are brushed aside when you get feedback from people who own and use this tool regularly. Problems are almost unheard of, and we've yet to find anyone who would rather have bought a competitor's product. Any Dremel is tough to beat. With its comprehensive accessory set, the Dremel 4000 is the best rotary tool package available.

Best of the Best
Check Price
The Dremel 4000-6/50 is a perfect illustration of why Dremel World Wide is an unrivaled market leader.

Best Bang For Your Buck

The WEN 2305 is a full kit with around 80 accessories, and it costs just $20. Without doubt, it's the Best Bang for Your Buck.

The hand-held unit itself is quite basic. It does not offer the soft-grip or sculpted areas that some of its competitors do, but getting your hand around it for heavy-duty tasks is no problem. If you're doing precision work, the WEN's flexible shaft comes in quite handy. Power comes by way of a one-amp motor that is adequate for the job expected of it. In addition, it is a pleasant surprise to find a variable speed range of 8,000 - 30,000 RPM on such a cheap rotary tool.

The selection of extras included in this set is extraordinary. Sure, some of the accessories cost just a couple of pennies, but there are drills, grinding burrs, etc., that make this a kit that will satisfy almost anybody's needs. There are even two collets, so in the unlikely event you need an extra attachment, an item from another manufacturer could be used.

To be fair, the WEN 2305 is not a Dremel. The kits might look similar in photos, but there's a notable difference in use. That being said, the WEN is not poorly made – just ask any of its thousands of happy owners. Some have had issues with component quality and durability; that's always a possibility with such a cheap rotary tool. However, it must be remembered that the WEN 2305 is far cheaper than the Dremel 4000. If you use a rotary tool every day, choose the Dremel. If you want a rotary tool kit for occasional use – one that has an accessory for just about every job you can think of – the WEN 2305 is a bit of a no-brainer!

Best Bang For Your Buck
Check Price
The WEN 2305 offers a complete rotary tool kit solution at a bargain basement price.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Kriti
    Data Scientist