DIYers need a jack of all trades from time to time. The best cordless rotary tool can handle lite sanding and even drilling to some extent.
Usually, these come with multiple bits to function as a multi-purpose gadget. Its diversity makes up for its size.
It’s the perfect gadget for many schools and college kids for their projects. Whatever it lacks in torque is greatly compensated in the array of purposes that it can serve.
Here are some of the top-notch tools available in the market. Be sure to look at their upsides as well as downsides in judging them.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
|Best cordless rotary tool||Image|
|Overall best and complete cordless rotary tool kit: Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max|
|Best budget cordless rotary tool complete kit: AVID POWER with 2.0 Ah 8V Li-ion Battery|
|Best mini USB charged cordless rotary tool: HERZO Mini Rotary Tool Kit 3.7 V|
|Most versatile cordless rotary tool: Dremel Lite 7760 N/10 4V Li-Ion|
|Best heavy-duty cordless rotary tool & best battery life: Dremel 8100-N/21 8 Volt Max|
|Best cordless rotary tool with LED light: WEN 23072 Variable Speed Lithium-Ion|
|Best bare tool cordless rotary tool: Milwaukee 12.0V|
In this post we'll cover:
- Top features of the best cordless rotary tool
- Best cordless rotary tools on the market
- Overall best and complete cordless rotary tool kit: Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max
- Best budget cordless rotary tool complete kit: AVID POWER with 2.0 Ah 8V Li-ion Battery
- Best mini USB charged cordless rotary tool: HERZO Mini Rotary Tool Kit 3.7 V
- Most versatile cordless rotary tool: Dremel Lite 7760 N/10 4V Li-Ion
- Best heavy-duty cordless rotary tool & best battery life: Dremel 8100-N/21 8 Volt Max
- Best cordless rotary tool with LED light: WEN 23072 Variable Speed Lithium-Ion
- Best bare tool cordless rotary tool: Milwaukee 12.0V
- Cordless rotary tool FAQ
Top features of the best cordless rotary tool
Before going around to look for the top cordless rotary tool, you need to get familiar with what aspects you should prioritize in choosing.
Whether you are a professional or an amateur, if you need to do all the basic DIY tasks such as grinding, polishing, sanding & small cutting, then an RPM level up to 25,000 would be an ideal limit.
But if you are a heavy user doing a lot of cutting work, then going for a higher RPM is better. Because cutting tasks require a lot of torque which is only possible for speeds as high as 30,000 RPM.
The dominant options as far as the battery are concerned are two – Li-ion and NiCad.
A tug of war regarding charging time, price, and a bunch of other facts marks the fine separation line between these two close alternatives.
If you are a heavy user, then Lithium-ion batteries are the best option for you. They are lighter than most batteries & are capable of storing more energy.
They have a lesser charging time too. On the other hand, Lithium-ion has virtually zero self-discharge allowing them to be stored for months without losing charge.
Though the performance of Li-ion & NiCad batteries is similar, the latter tend to have a “memory effect”.
This way it can drop voltage significantly to the point where it was discharged. But these batteries do cost less than Li-ion ones.
Ease of use
Your rotary tool needs to be user-friendly otherwise it would take up a lot of your time to function the tool properly.
Accessory change system
The bits & accessory change system of your cordless rotary tool should be simple & straightforward.
Don’t go for models that need a wrench to change the attachments. This will waste a lot of your time.
Instead, go for those tools that have a simple twist & lock feature to change the bits. This allows you to change your accessories in no time.
Battery life indications
Battery life depends on the level of work you are doing with the tool, so you can’t tell when exactly it’s going to run out.
But a battery indicator on the body will tell you when it is going to dry out. You can be prepared to finish your work by then.
Some modern rotary tools come with LED lights in the front. This is a very handy feature as it helps you to work in tight spots which are not easy to see. Having these lights on your tool will give you the upper hand.
Variable speed adjustor
Having a high maximum speed is great for cutting tasks. But you need to adjust this speed to perform other DIY tasks such as sanding, polishing & grinding.
So going for a tool that has a variable speed adjuster will allow you to increase or decrease the speed to a factor of 5,000 RPM.
8 to 10 inches should be the length you should be looking for. Usually, rotary tools providing more RPM weigh more too.
Try keeping the weight around 1 to 1.5 pounds unless the grip is bulkier. If you do not encounter sophisticated works, even such grips are discouraged.
Having a nice warranty period comes in handy in case the tool shows any lackings while you work with it.
So manufacturers should provide a 1 or 2-year warranty period on the rotary tools just in case of any problems.
The more the accessories the more the value of the tool kit.
There should be extra accessories for cutting, grinding, sanding, carving & polishing purposes. The more accessories you get; the better options you have for doing your work precisely.
An additional carry case with the total tool kit comes in very handy to organize & carry your tool wherever you want.
Though additional batteries usually don’t come with cordless rotary kits, if any manufacturer provides you this, then they are giving you a heck of an offer.
This way you don’t have to wait around while your battery runs out.
Best cordless rotary tools on the market
Now you know what makes a good rotary tool, let’s take a closer look at my top 7 picks.
Overall best and complete cordless rotary tool kit: Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max
If you are looking for a cordless rotary tool, Dremel 8220-1/28 would be one of the more compact models available.
A 12V battery powers up the motor of the tool providing quality performance just like a corded tool. The speed of the tool can be varied between 5,000 – 30,000 RPM & the collet size is a standard 1/8″.
The body of the tool has a 360-degree grip zone & a lightweight design makes it easy to work with. You can easily work on those tight spots that are hard to reach (here some more tools for that!).
There is a patented Nose cap allowing users a quick change without needing a wrench. This saves a lot of time for you.
The removable Li-ion battery takes only one hour to fully charge. Based on your application, speed & technique the runtime of a fully charged battery will vary a lot.
But if you don’t want to wait until full charge, you can go for an extra battery with the package.
Three flashing lights indicate that the tool is too hot for use.
The tool comes with 28 accessories that give you a wide range of applications for engraving, cutting, polishing, grinding & sanding.
The manufacturer gives a 2-year warranty on the tool & also a convenient customer service too.
- Some batteries hold the charge well, but some don’t.
- Increasing speed tends to drain the battery more.
Best budget cordless rotary tool complete kit: AVID POWER with 2.0 Ah 8V Li-ion Battery
With a compact feature & robust motor, Avid Power has presented its versatile cordless rotary tool.
An 8 volt, 2.0 Ah Lithium-ion battery powers the motor to deliver a steady performance. The variable speed can be adjusted between 5,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM.
If you are working in dark corners, then there are 4 LED lights in the front to illuminate the workspace and will get you rid of any hard hat light.
The spindle lock feature allows users to quickly change accessories saving you a lot of time. The collet size is 3/32″ and 1/8″.
The rubber-covered handle will give you a fine grip. You won’t need to worry about any slipping while working. But make sure your hands aren’t sweaty.
The battery life of the tool will give you adequate power to work with. The indicators will tell you when to charge it.
You will be getting 60 accessories along with the tool itself for expanding your work application from polishing, sanding & even grinding.
The company gives a 1-year long warranty on the tool for customer convenience.
- It eventually gets hot after using it for some time.
- Some have reported that it stops midways of work.
Best mini USB charged cordless rotary tool: HERZO Mini Rotary Tool Kit 3.7 V
HERZO Mini Rotary Tool Kit is a highly recommended tool kit as a cordless rotary tool. The operation of the tool is performed by a 3.7 Volt rechargeable lithium battery.
The best part is that it has a USB connector for convenient charging.
With a 0.4 lbs. weight, it will feel like holding a pen while you do your work. There are 3 variable speeds for the HERZO rotary tool. 5000 RPM, 10000 RPM & 15000 RPM to perform all the DIY tasks.
With just 2 hours of charging, you can work for a continuous 80 minutes.
The collet size of the tool is 2.4 & 3.2 mm. 12 extra accessories come with the cordless rotary tool to meet all the applications such as drilling, sanding, engraving & grinding.
You will be able to steady work with this incredible rotary tool.
- It is not suitable for high-performance jobs due to speed limits.
- Will not generate enough torque to do cutting jobs.
For the heavy drilling jobs, look for the best 12v impact driver
Most versatile cordless rotary tool: Dremel Lite 7760 N/10 4V Li-Ion
Here we have come with another Dremel cordless rotary tool model 7760 N/10. But is different from its kin mentioned earlier.
This one has a 7.2 Volts Nickle-Cadmium battery to handle your everyday work. You can go for an additional battery pack so that the tool will be always charged up & ready for action.
It can be charged with USB as well as on the mains, and an LED lights up when the battery needs to be charged.
There are two speeds to better control between low & high speed. You can choose 8,000 RPM for low-speed work and up to 25,000 RPM for high-speed work.
The kit includes 10 genuine Dremel accessories, an accessory case, and a USB charging cable & power adaptor.
You can perform a wide range of work including cutting, polishing, engraving, grinding, DIY, crafting, and yes, even pet grooming!
With a 1.4-pound weight, the tool is ergonomically designed to give maximum comfort while you are working. The EZ twist nose cap allows you to change accessories easily without the need of an adjustable wrench.
It easily fits inside your palm to give you ease while doing delicate work. The collet is designed for standard 1/8″.
- It has lower torque for you to work with.
Best heavy-duty cordless rotary tool & best battery life: Dremel 8100-N/21 8 Volt Max
Here is one of the stronger cordless rotary tools from Dremel. The 8100-N/21 has an 8-volt lithium-ion battery that can operate the tool for up to 2 years with no memory effects.
The battery life & performance is capable of holding charge 6 times longer than the standard Nickle-Cadmium batteries.
It takes 1 hour to fully charge the battery. You can vary the speed of the tool in a range of 5,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM.
There is a button that enables you to operate. This way you can do a lot of DIY tasks.
This tool weighs almost 3.2 pounds & has a larger dimension than other Dremel tools. But the grip of the tool is extremely good.
Integrated EZ twist technology allows users a faster change of accessories while working. This saves you a lot of time.
There are additional 21 accessories with the cordless rotary tool including grinding stones, sanding bands & polishing compound. It comes with a hard case along with all the accessories organized.
- The switch clogs aren’t sealed so they dust up easily.
- It is not so compact as others.
Best cordless rotary tool with LED light: WEN 23072 Variable Speed Lithium-Ion
WEN 23072 cordless rotary tool is a versatile DIY tool suitable for multiple purposes. The 7.2V battery enables it to work seamlessly for your tasks.
The Li-ion battery recharges in good time and does it within minutes.
With the integrated LED lights, you can work in tight corners and low lighting which gives you the ability to work any time of the day.
It comes with a compact carrying case that makes it easier to carry around without losing the accessories.
There is variable speed control that allows you to adjust the speed at 5000 intervals ranging from 5000RPM to 25000 RPM so as to adapt to any task.
With its 9.3 ounces, the tool is lightweight and a pleasure to work with, like holding a pen.
- The tool has very little torque
Best bare tool cordless rotary tool: Milwaukee 12.0V
If you are not looking for cordless rotary tools with not so many accessories, then the Milwaukee 2460-20 M12 is something you can consider.
This is a powerful tool with a varying speed of up to 32,000 RPM. With a simple button operation, you can adjust the speed easily.
The tool has a total length of 9.5 inches & weighs 1.3 pounds. The tool operates on a 12 Volt motor & Milwaukee’s very own REDLITHIUM Battery technology for improved runtime & performance.
It has a standard 1/8-inch collet, which means you can use accessories from other brands using that size.
Since the tool doesn’t come with any accessories this is a plus point if you have existing accessories with that particular size.
This powerful tool is manufactured in china & has an unmatched performance under load. With this much power, you can easily perform all sorts of cutting.
- The only downside of the tool is that it doesn’t have any accessories with it.
Cordless rotary tool FAQ
Why should I go for a cordless rotary over a corded one?
The answer to this question depends solely on the project you are working on.
If you are working from home on small projects, then you can go for a corded one.
But with technology moving further ahead, cordless rotary tools give you full authority to work wherever you want. Portability is the main advantage here.
Is it okay to go for a rotary tool with fixed speed?
Yes, if you intend to do cutting more often, then you can go for rotary tools with constant speeds.
These tools will have a fixed speed of around 30,000 to 35,000 RPM. They can pierce through fiberglass too.
What are some common accessories I should have to work with?
- For polishing purposes, you should have polishing bits.
- Sanding drums are used to sand surfaces & sharpening wheels are effective to sharpen a tool.
- Carbide bits are for engraving purposes.
- You should also possess metal cutting wheels & wire wheels too.
Cordless rotary tools are one of the most sought out tools for any DIY task imaginable.
From polishing, grinding, cutting, sanding, carving, crafting, and even pet grooming, you can do a wide range of tasks with the accessories.
But you need to be cautious while looking for the best cordless rotary tool as it can get confusing with so many choices.
But among so many options we have, the Dremel 8220-1/28 stands out tall from others. With various speed adjustments to an assuring warranty, it is quite fantastic with what it does.
If you are looking for a small work tool, then the HERZO Mini Rotary Tool Kit would be a nice option.
Looking at the main aspects such as speed, battery life, size & accessories is the key to finding the perfect cordless rotary tool. So make sure you give a close look at all these aspects first in choosing the best one.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.