How to Use a Rotary Tool?

This article will give you advice on how to use a rotary tool effectively and pick the right tool for the job.

What is a Rotary Tool?

With its ultra-fast motor tip spinning, rotary tools are versatile, handheld power tools that can grind, sand, hone and polish a wide range of materials. They are a staple in many toolboxes thanks to their many different attachments designed for different jobs. When you choose the right tool bits, a rotary tool can replace the heavier power tools with a lightweight alternative.

What does a rotary tool do?

Rotary tools are versatile tools that can be used for fine detail work on a wide range of materials and applications. For example, they can cut, sand, polish, engrave, and remove rust with interchangeable heads and blades. A flex-arm makes it easy to hold a rotary tool, much like a writing instrument, especially for engraving.

What uses are there for a rotary tool?

To sand and carve bevels, sanding drums can be attached. Sanding drums should be set at medium speed when using a rotary tool.

A rotary tool is used to polish metal surfaces by attaching buffing or polishing bits. The bit should be polished or waxed before turning on the tool at medium speed.

Either etching or carving is done with carbide bits.

Rotating tools are equipped with wire wheels for removing rust from metal. The wheel should be set at high speed when using a wire wheel.

Sharpen knives, scissors, shears, and more with a small sharpening wheel attached to a rotary tool. Use a high-speed setting when sharpening the wheel. Please keep your hands away from the tool when sharpening it.

Small pieces of metal may be cut with a carbide-metal cutting wheel at medium speed. Reduce the amount of heat generated by applying cutting oil to the metal surface.

How to use a rotary tool kit

It is essential to use the appropriate rotary tool bits for a specific task and material to use a rotary tool successfully. So long as the shanks are the same size, bits can be interchanged. Listed below are some everyday tasks and the types of bits that coordinate with them.

  • High-speed cutters, carbide cutters, engraving cutters, drum sanders and diamond wheel tips are tools we use for carving and engraving
  • Router bits, which include straight, keyhole, corner, and groove bits
  • Drill bits are used for drilling
  • For polishing, use cones or points, wheels, and drums

How to Use a Rotary Tool

Tip: Rotary tool bits are available in a wide variety of specialties. Consult an expert at your local Home Depot if you are not too sure of which rotary bit you may need for your next DIY project.

How to carve stone with a rotary tool

  • A hammer and chisel have traditionally been used to carve stone. With artists increasingly using technology to streamline their process, the rotary tool is becoming a popular option for carving stone, often replacing the hammer and chisel. You can cut hours of carving time with a rotary tool if you learn to use it carefully while producing a result that rivals some of the best stonework ever created.
  • Organize your workbench to be comfortable and allow you to move about the stone piece quickly and easily. Prepare your workspace by arranging your materials in a way so that they are easily accessible. If your workspace is cramped, it will be hard to concentrate and reach certain spots in the stone; the more open your workspace, the better.
  • Wear your safety glasses. It is not safe to attempt to carve stone with a rotary tool without wearing proper safety gear.
  • Feel the stone with your fingers to determine the grain. As a rule, the grain should run lengthwise with the piece, as carving across the grain may result in cracks and splits.
  • Prepare your carving by sketching a rough outline in pencil. If you will be carving a relief, this is particularly important.
  • You should use your rotary tool slowly and carefully to carve the stone. It’s best to begin at the center and work outward throughout the entire stone rather than at either end, as this will prevent cracking. Do not rush this process, as overzealousness will almost always result in chipped or cracked stones.
  • Use silicon carbide sandpaper to smooth out your carving. Begin sanding the roughest spots first, and eventually work your way through the whole piece. When the stone is finished, the coarser the grit of the sandpaper, the smoother and more polished it will look.
  • Trying different bits may be necessary, depending on the hardness of the stone.
  • Safety First: It is dangerous to carve stone. Always wear safety equipment and position the piece so that it is sturdy when working on it.


It doesn’t matter whether you do it for a living or just for fun; a rotary tool is essential for anyone interested in DIY and repairs. Doing any repairs will undoubtedly be much more difficult (or impossible) without a rotary tool.

Many people refer to a rotary tool as a Tilswall, which may sound strange to a novice. However, this is because it derives from the name of Tilswall, which manufactures rotary tools. There are currently several Tilswall rotary tools available on the market made by different manufacturers.


Are all Rotary Tools Tilswalls?

The Tilswall company makes rotary tools, but not all rotary tools are Tilswalls. They are likely referring to a rotary tool when they ask you for a Tilswall. There are TONS of accessories for every type of Tilswall product (along with rotary tools), but they also make oscillating tools and saws.

Is a Router the same as a Tilswall?

Routers and Tilswalls serve different purposes, whereas Routers are powerful tools used for challenging tasks on hard materials, while Tilswalls are brand tools used on light tasks and soft materials.

Should I wear any Safety gear when using a rotary tool?

Material is removed at high speeds using rotary tools, whether metal, wood, or ceramic. Wear safety glasses to avoid getting shards in your eyes. In the event of excessive sparks, a face shield may be necessary.


Thank you for reading!

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