What Are Dremel Tools, & What Are They Used For?

Below, we explain what Dremel tools are, and what they are used for.

We also provide specific examples of what individual Dremel models might be used for, and the role of Dremel accessories/bits and attachments.


What Are Dremel Tools, & What Are They Used For?


What Are Dremel Tools?

Dremel tools are powered tools made by the Dremel company.

The main type of tool that Dremel might be known for might be the rotary tool.

But, in addition to rotary tools, Dremel also makes a range of other types of tools, such as engravers, glue guns, butane tools, and Versatips.


So, Is A Dremel The Same As A Rotary Tool?

Dremel has become such an established brand in the rotary tool market, that many people call a rotary tool a Dremel.

So, sometimes a Dremel is the same as a rotary tool, even though rotary tool is technically a tool with a rotating/spinning end.

Dremel’s rotary tools in particular tend to be for lighter duty DIY type activities, and arts and craft type activities.


What Are Dremel Rotary Tools?

A Dremel rotary tool is a powered, handheld tool, that has a rotary tip.

Rotary tools involve spinning the bit shank secured in the collet or chuck of the tool, to perform different tasks.

Dremels might be generally classified as more of a finishing rotary tool, or, a rotary tool for lighter activities, detail orientated activities, and smaller projects.

There’s a range of Dremel rotary tools, with the two main categories being electric Dremel rotary tools and also cordless Dremel rotary tools.

Some of the more popular electric Dremel rotary tool models might be the Dremel 4300, 4000 and 3000 models.

Some of the more popular cordless Dremel rotary tool models might be found across the different 7000 and 8000 ranges (like the 8220, 7760, 7300, and others)


A selection of some common Dremel models on the market right now are the:


Corded/Electric Dremels

Dremel 4300 (variable speed high performance 1.8 Amp tool)

Dremel 4200 (variable speed 1.6 Amp tool)

Dremel 4000 (variable speed 1.6 Amp tool)

Dremel 3000 (variable speed 1.2 Amp tool)

Dremel 200 (2 speed tool for precise activities)

Dremel 100 (1 speed tool for precise activities)


Cordless Dremels

Dremel 8220 (high performance, 12 volt lithium ion battery, variable speed tool)

Dremel 8100 (8 volt lithium ion battery, variable speed tool)

Dremel 8050 (micro, 8 volt lithium ion battery, variable speed tool)

Dremel 7700 (mini, 7.2 volt nickel cadmium battery, two speed tool)

Dremel 7300 (mini, 4.8 volt, nickel cadmium, two speed tool)

Dremel 7300 PT (mini, popular dog nail grooming tool)

Dremel 7000 (6 volt AA battery, two speed tool)


What Are Dremel Flex Shaft Rotary Tools?

Regular Dremel rotary tools can be used with a ‘flex shaft’ attachment, which allows for more precision type work.

But, Dremel also makes a specialised flex shaft tool – the Dremel 9100 Forti-Flex.

This tool has a flex shaft for precise and detailed activities such as wood carving.


What Can Dremel Rotary Tools Be Used For?

What Dremels Might Generally Be Used For

As we mentioned above – in general, Dremel rotary tools might be more for lighter activities and finishing type works compared to other higher powered rotary tools on the market.

They can be used for a range of activities like cutting, engraving, carving, cutting, grinding, sanding, cleaning/polishing, drilling, or even grooming dog nails.

We put together a separate guide about what different Dremel bits can be used for, and the materials they can be used on.

So, rotary tools are quite versatile.

In terms of the individual Dremel rotary tool models, what they can be used for might depend on two main factors:

– The Dremel rotary tool model itself

Each Dremel tool has different capabilities in terms of what it can be used for, and there’s different reasons for this

One reason is that some tools are designed for a range of activities, such as the Dremel 4000

Other tools are made for more specific activities, such as the Dremel 100, which is a single speed tool made for a narrower range of activities, such as precision tasks.

The Dremel 9100 Forti Flex is a high torque, lower speed electric Dremel model with a flex shaft and hand piece. It might also be good for detail tasks – in particular carving, and engraving.

Another reason is that some tools are made with higher performance in mind, and might have more power for some activities than other tools.

The Dremel 4300 for example is one of the higher performance Dremel rotary tools


– The accessories/bits and/or attachments used with the tool

Different Dremel accessories/bits and attachments can be used on Dremel rotary tools for different activities and uses.

These bits and accessories fit into the the Dremel rotary tool via either a collet or chuck system.

For example, there’s these common accessories/bits:

– Cut off wheels, and cutter bits/points (the bits/points can also be used for carving and engraving)

– Grinding stones (can also be used for sharpening)

– Drilling bits

– Sanding bands

– Polishing and cleaning wheels and bits

The accessories and bits are small – discs are only around 1.5 inches in diameter, and the bit shanks are usually only around 1/8 or 1/16 inches


There’s also attachments such as the drilling workstation, a flex shaft attachment, and other attachments that can be attached to Dremel rotary tools for specific uses and activities.

The Dremel plunge router attachment for example can be used for routing the surface and edges of wood and plastic.

Read more about Dremel accessories/bits and Dremel attachments in these guides


Dremel bits/accessories and attachments might be used on a range of materials like wood, plastic, metal, glass, hobby stone and even dog nails (see the 7300, or 7300 PT Dremel tool).

Carbide and steel bits are good for the softer materials, whilst tungsten-carbide, and diamond bits, are good for the harder materials.


Using Dremels For Lighter vs Heavier Activities

If you are cutting anything thicker than standard bolts and screws in terms of thickness and hardness, you risk:

Burning out the motor (and the sound of Dremel at full speed can be very high pitch)

Wearing out the discs and bits

Taking much longer to do the work than other more high powered and heavy duty tools


As an example, look how quickly two different Dremel rotary tool cut through a standard metal bolt, compared to the thicker metal padlock.

With softer materials like wood and plastic, you should be able to cut thicker and deeper, but you’re still limited by the power of the tools and the small sizes.


You might refer to the bit descriptions from Dremel for the thickness of material that they can cut, or be used on.

As one example, if you’re cutting 20mm thick metal bars, you may want to use a die grinder or circular saw for that.

Similarly, you would want to use an angle grinder on hard and demanding surfaces like concrete, bricks, stucco and floor tiles.



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