How to Use Dremel Rotary Tool Accessories

I once had a buddy that owned a cheap Chinese rotary tool and was always doing things with his "Dremel." The guy seemed to have every attachment ever made and used the tool for absolutely everything. I was pretty impressed at the time but I just figured that he was talented and perhaps a little prone to bragging. I'd always thought of a rotary tool as nothing more than a fancy toy for people with a hobby of some description.

One day I was working on an old car and needed a metal part that had fallen apart in my hands. My buddy came over for a beer and assessed my problem with a knowing nod. We went back to his place where he had a little shop and out came his rotary tool. After some digging through a drawer, he found some scrap metal and went to work. That little thing started cutting, grinding and shaping until he had fabricated a piece that was perfect for the job. I was sold and wanted one for myself.

Dremel rotary tool accessories and bits are probably the most misunderstood of all tools. Whether it’s a genuine Dremel piece or one of the many off brands out there, none of them come with instructions and tracking down information online seems to be like finding teeth on hens.

If you’ve recently opened up a huge accessory kit like the above and felt like a dummy then you’re not alone. Each piece has a very specific use and will only work properly if used on the materials that it was designed for. This article will show you what each bit does and transform that rotary tool from a glorified sander into one of the most useful things that you could ever own.

This set has everything you could possibly need. It includes sanding bands, flap wheels, felt wheels, felt tips, polishing compounds, polishing cloth, polishing wheel, mandrels, rubber mandrels, sanding stones, collet wrench, collets, cutoff wheels, fiberglass reinforced cutting discs, aluminum oxide grinding stones, grinding wheels, diamond burrs, cutter burrs, drill bits, wheel brushes and sanding wheels plus all sorts of other stuff. It's a huge collection of just about everything you could ever want!

Drill bits and sanding wheels are probably self-explanatory so let’s open the box and get straight to the fancy stuff.

The sanding band is slipped over the rubber mandrel (drum) and the screw is tightened to hold it in place. This bit is perfect for rough shaping and then the smoothing of wood, fiberglass and softer materials.

Flap wheels are designed to grind and polish either flat or contoured surfaces and as the wheel wears down, new grit is constantly exposed. This bit is very effective as a finishing sander after heavy surface sanding & material removal is complete.

Felt wheels and tips are used in conjunction with the polishing compound. Use it in a similar way to how you would use polishing cream and a buffer on your car. It is a light cutting compound so beware of getting too carried away.

Cutting wheels are for slicing through whatever material you have on the bench at the time. They're versatile and cheap so make them the first choice before reaching for the more expensive fiberglass reinforced cutting discs. Always wear a pair of decent quality safety glasses because when one of those little wheels start to disintegrate (and they will), the pieces will fly everywhere and there's better ways of leaving town than in the back of an ambulance!

Grinding stones can be used on practically any surface from stainless steel to glass. They come in different shapes and sizes to suit the job at hand and as they wear, the stones can be re-shaped and bought back to life with the small rectangular dressing stone. To do that, clamp the stone in a vise and use the rotary tool to work it back and forth until you have the shape you need.

Wire wheels are used in the same way as you would use a wire brush just faster and more efficient.

Diamond burrs can be used on ceramic, glass, hardened steel, semi-precious stones and other hard materials. The bits are covered with diamond particles and can also be used for engraving.

Cutting burrs are used at high speed for wood, plastic and soft metals. They are great for making tapered holes, slotting and working with curved surfaces. The tips can be a little fragile sometimes so use the sides wherever possible and as always, let the tool do all the work.

Well, that's about it and I hope you learned something. A kit like the one from Storehouse should have you well-stocked enough to take on just about any job around the house, RV or car. You'll find the more that you explore the world of rotary tools the more useful they become so don't be afraid to try out that funny looking accessory that you see in the hardware store.