The Top Six Best Alternatives for a Dremel in Your Tool Kit
If you have spent any amount of time in the world of power tools, you know there are hundreds of options to choose from.
Between brands, sizes, voltages, even styles and hand grips, how do you know which tools to buy?
And better yet, how do you know which tools you actually need? Understanding the different functions of tools and how to use them for your needs is essential.
In this article, we’ll list our top six picks for dremel alternatives, and then we’ll discuss what a dremel is, and what kind of projects you might need one of these alternatives to complete.
Although Dremel is a brand name, it is so well known that most people do not know that the actual tool has a name of its own: a rotary tool.
These tools can be used for all sorts of projects, so if you are looking for other brands of rotary tools, this article is for you.
What’s more, all of these products can be found on Amazon, so there is no need to leave the comfort of your home (or your workbench!) as you determine what tool is best for you.
I recommend you check Dremel comparisons before we go next:
Voltage: 120 Volt
Speed: 10000-32000 RPM
Weight: 3,5 lbs (1,6 kg)
Collet: 0,9 & 1,3" (2,3 mm & 3,2 mm)
Voltage: 120 Volt
Speed: 30000 RPM
Weight: 3,4 lbs (1,5 kg)
Collet: 1/4 & 1/8" (6,35 mm & 3,1 mm)
|Black + Decker RTX-6
Voltage: 120 Volt
Speed: 12000-24000-32000 RPM
Weight: 2,5 lbs (1,2 kg)
Collet: 1/8" (3,1 mm)
Voltage: 110 Volt
Speed: 22000 RPM
Weight: 2,3 lbs (1 kg)
Collet: 5/32" (4 mm)
Voltage: 12 Volt
Speed: 5000-32000 RPM
Weight: 1,15 lbs (1,6 kg)
Collet: 1/32 & 1/8" (0,8 mm & 3,1 mm)
Voltage: 120 Volt
Speed: 8000-30000 RPM
Weight: 1,8 lbs (0,8 kg)
Collet: 1/8" (3,1 mm)
6 Best Dremel Alternatives (as of February, 2024):
1. Tacklife RTD35ACL Dremel Alternative Review – All Around Best Product Review
Right off the bat, this is our favorite alternative to a Dremel product.
Tacklife RTD35ACL is perfect for all sorts of projects, so no matter what you want to do, this tool kit has you covered.
If you are looking for an all-around all star to simplify how you approach DIY projects, this kit is not only excellent as a starter kit, but you will be hard pressed to find anything else you need.
It has a ton of benefits, but its versatility does not compromise its ease of use or its quality: this tool is here to stick around.
- This kit comes with over 80 accessories and four attachments, which means you are practically set for life
- This tool has variable speed, with a range of 3,200 to 10,000 rpm’s. The tacklife isn’t kidding around when it comes to speed
- Weighs a nifty 3.5lbs
- It also has an adjustable rotation speed and an onboard spindle lock, which means you can quickly and easily change your bit and set the speed that is perfect for your project
- This tool is easy to hold, easy to use, and comfortable in your hand, giving you stamina for the most intensive of projects
- There are two ways to hold this tool: either as a pen, or a hammer, which gives you precision or power, depending on the project
- This kit is also complete with a knit box and accessory case
- What more could you ask for? Not everyone can have their cake and eat it too, but you can with this product…. It might even bake you a cake, you know, if you ask nicely
Tacklife RTD35ACL Advanced Multi functional Rotary Tool Kit Unboxing:
2. DEWALT DW660 Dremel Alternative Review – For your most Rugged and Handsome Projects Review
This DEWALT DW660 tool is a great choice for projects that are a little more intense than your average DIY project.
If you are a contractor or a serial hobbyist, this may be the tool for you.
- This model has a 5.0 amp motor, which means it is going to be more powerful than your average rotary tool
- The motor makes it perfect to cut through plywood, drywall, and even fiberglass. This is a great tool for professionals look for a tool to hold up under the wear and tear of daily use, or for projects that are more intense from start to finish
- It is a little larger and more bulky than other models, so be aware of its size when considering use and practicality. If you need the size and power, than this tool may be perfect for you. But, if you aren’t looking for a tool for day to day use but just once and a while, you may want to consider some of the other options listed in this article
- Although it may be more bulky, it is one of the most durable options in this product review. So, weigh your priorities carefully!
- This model features a “bump off” switch, so you can power your device on or off very quickly, which is a helpful addition
- The DEWALT does not have variable speed, but does have a range of up to 30,000 rpm’s
- Weighs 3.4 lbs and comes with three accessories
- Changes bits without the use of a wrench
- The motor and switch are sealed in, which helps protect against dust getting in to the machinery. This is especially helpful when working with drywall
3. Black + Decker RTX-6 Dremel Alternative Review – For Universal Compatibility
Black + Decker is a brand name that has stood the test of time, and their Rotary Tool holds up to their reputation.
One essential feature of this product is the collet system.
In case you need a reminder, a collet is a type of chuck that holds bits and accessories in place.
Think of clamping down on something – this is what a collet does to your tool bits. Black + Decker RTX-6 boasts universal compatibility, meaning that the collet will take any kind of standard rotary tool accessory currently on the market.
So if you have already had a rotary tool and you need to replace what you already have, but don’t want to completely start over with your accessories and bits, this may be the perfect option for you.
- This product comes with a storage case, 27 accessories, a wrench, and a user’s guide
- This tool has three separate fixed speeds: 12,000, 24,000, and 30,000 rpm, respectively
- This model features a patented flip-lock spindle lock system, which will simplify the time it takes to change accessories and make it easier to do quickly
- The tool has rubber grips to help you keep a tight grasp – and a comfortable one, too!
- The powerful torque ups the ante by providing more power than the average rotary tool, and therefore it is better suited to work on more difficult materials for longer lengths of time
- This product is more suited for DIY projects than hardcore day-to-day professional use, so be aware of what your needs are as you consider your options
- This is one of the lighter options, weighing in at 2.05 pounds
4. SE 979FSG Review – For The Best Hand/Eye/Foot Coordination
Talk about a game-changer! This product option features a completely different set of benefits than several of the other alternatives listed here.
First and foremost, SE 979FSG comes with a foot pedal, which gives you a whole new way to manage speed and ensure even more precision.
In addition to the pedal, it has a switch and a flexible shaft grinder, which expands the range of possibilities when it comes to the type of projects you can tackle and complete.
- This tool is ideal for buffing and carving soft metals, and can be used for projects like jewelry creation. Who would have guessed?
- Even though it is structured differently, this tool holds its own with a maximum 22,000 RPM and a powerful motor, which means it should be able to keep up with all of your rotary tool needs
- This tool does not have variable speed, but keeps up with the competition when it comes to the rpm’s
- Weighs a mere 2.32 lbs – this is a great choice for lighter but longer use
- Easy to work with, this kit also comes with 40 accessories, so you won’t need much in addition
- The lack of noise is worth mentioning – it is a lot quieter of a tool than some of the other counterparts mentioned here
- This kit comes with a blow mold case, which increases its durability and portability for day to day use
- Some users have mentioned frustration with the short power cord, so you may want to keep an extension cord handy if possible
5. Milwaukee 2460-20Review – For Best Battery Technology
Milwaukee tools are well known for their REDLITHIUM battery technology.
They use this type of battery in most of their products and therefore can claim superiority when it comes to run time.
This is a great option if you need a tool with extensive run time capacity.
Milwaukee 2460-20 boasts their “exclusive integration of chemistry, pack design, and circuitry coming together for superior output in the harshest environments.” In layman’s terms, these batteries are expertly designed to work for you, not against you.
Other batteries may have a great run time, but get hot and shut down the tool. Or, maybe they stay cool but run too slow, or just do not hold a charge.
The combination of the REDLITHIUM batteries means you can work harder and longer without having to worry about your battery keeping up with you, claiming up to 50% more power, and 50% cooler than other competitors in the market.
- This tool has a variable speed dial, and can run from 5,000-32,000 rpm based on your project’s needs. This is up to 10% faster than other competitors
- This is one of the more powerful rotary tools on the market: prepare to be amazed!
- This product also offers compatibility, featuring a 1/8th inch Collet, meaning that it is compatible with all current rotary tool accessories
- Some customer reviews mention that this tool may be prone to overheating, or may vibrate in hand when used at full power, so keep an eye on your tools as you use them and make sure to take any safety precautions as necessary
6. Genesis GRT2103-40 – Best Speed Variables Review
The speed ranges between 8,000 and 30,000 rpm’s, which mean you can move as quickly or as slowly as you need and give as much attention to your project as necessary.
But the speed isn’t the only thing going for this product. Several reviews mention how sturdy this tool is – it is durable and doesn’t wear out after heavy usage.
Many rotary tools will be expected to falter and wear out after a few particularly heavy uses, but that isn’t the case with the Genesis.
It can drill holes, grind surfaces, or even create holes in gemstones, in addition to doing other tasks you’d expect any rotary tool to take care of.
- Listed as a great option for hobbyists with over 1,001 household, hobby, and project uses. Quite the claim if you ask us!
- Comes with 40 accessory and attachment pieces
- Speed control and on/off switch are different, so you can be sure that you won’t mix up the two while you’re in use
- Weighs a whopping 1.5lbs, winning the lightweight award of this bunch
- Features variable speed
- 1/8th inch collet accepts all standard rotary tool bits
- The motor is durable, but changing the bit is a little more involved than with some of the other products
- A 220V power adapter must be purchased separately – as long as you are prepared, you should be fine! But this could leave you in a pinch if you aren’t careful
Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: What you Need to Know
Let’s start with the basics: what is a dremel, anyway, and what is it used for? Great question!
As we’ve mentioned, Dremel is the name of a product line, but when most people say dremel, they are referring to a small, handheld rotary tool that is most often compared to a powered drill or a router.
However, although they may function similarly, they do not accomplish the same tasks.
Drill vs. Rotary Tool
A drill does just what it sounds like it does: it drills holes, and drives screws. That is about as complicated as it gets. A rotary tool, on the other hand, can be used for all sorts of tasks: polishing, sanding, cutting, engraving, et cetera.
Although they are often compared, a rotary tool does not do a great job drilling or driving (and in case you are imagining it now, a drill isn’t great at engraving or polishing either.)
Although it is small, it can be used for a variety of tasks around the construction site, or around the house. The combination of its small size, with its variety of uses and efficiency make it an excellent option when comparing it against heavier power tools.
“But,” you may say, “they both spin around, right? How are drills and rotary tools different?” Drills have power to their advantage, while rotary tools have speed on their side.
Drills, just based on their size and build, pack a punch when it comes to overall power and force (quantified as torque.)
However, rotary tools are much, much faster than drills. This is calculated in rpm, or, rotations per minute. Drills may have 1,500 rpm, but rotary tools will boast upwards of 30,000 rpm.
So really, there’s no comparison, because these different tools can accomplish different tasks. Trying to use these tools interchangeably may get you into more trouble than is worth it.
Rotary Tool vs. Router
Another frequent comparison is the difference between a rotary tool and a router.
They are both spinning tools, and can be used for a lot of the same tasks – which may have you asking: can I just get a router bit attachment for my rotary tool and call it a day? Well, yes, and no.
Just because a rotary tool can do some of the work of a router with a router bit, doesn’t mean that that is the best option.
Simply put, routers are much bigger, and based on size and power alone, are significantly more versatile and helpful. Having a “mini version” by putting a router bit on your rotary tool doesn’t actually make up for the kind of work a router can do.
So although they may be able to do the same tasks, they are completely different when it comes to scale and range of products.
If you’re considering a router, it will be more helpful for bigger projects, whereas a smaller rotary tool is better for detailed work that may be more technical or intricate work.
Just because they have similar functions does not make them similar in output, result, or endurance.
Router, saw, or otherwise, rotary tools only become more versatile the more attachments you have. You can buy kits with over 160 attachment pieces for your tool – seriously, your options are endless.
Just to give you an example, you can use your rotary tool for sanding, for buffing or polishing, for carving, to remove rust from metal, to sharpen knives or scissors, or even your chainsaw. The list goes on and on.
So now that you know what rotary tools are used for, what if you don’t have one? What can you use instead?
When looking for alternatives to rotary tools, it is important to understand what you are looking for. For example, you don’t need to buy something that also has 160 attachments just because a rotary tool comes with that many options.
Knowing what function you’re looking for can be really key to coming to the best decision for you. So, first, understand what type of project you are beginning and what tool you actually need.
The most common types of alternative tools include other multipurpose tools, or even saws. What’s more, if you have a rotary tool already, you may just need a different bit or accessory, like a diamond bit, flex shaft attachment, or cutting wheel for metal.
The addition of any of these accessories can completely reinvent work that one of your other tools may be able to do.
Second, consider how much you are going to use that tool – do you need a tool that you will use every day, or just once every few months?
The answer to this question may change how important your rotary tool alternative is to you, and will impact your willingness to compromise quality, function, or style.
Third, if you are just in a pinch for one project and not looking to buy a bunch of new tools, try a different strategy all together. Can you change the project, or use something else to get the job done?
If you need to sand something down, can you get a few pieces of sandpaper and do it by hand? (Sure, it may take you a while, but, there are three seasons of Stranger Things by now. Pop on your favorite show and get it done.)
In all seriousness, though, consider the task you are doing and whether or not you can change the end result (maybe you burn your design into wood instead of carving it) in order to complete the task without the use of this tool.
No matter what projects you have in mind, a rotary tool can be an excellent addition to your toolbox.
Not only is it incredibly versatile, but it can offer many practical benefits to your daily life, whether you are a contractor, renaissance man, or committed DIY-or-DIE kind of guy.
Rotary Tools aren’t the only option – in fact, there are a ton of products that make great alternatives, and these are just the beginning.
Ultimately, we hope these reviews help you pick the right product for you, and that the buyer’s guide turns you in the right direction to know what options are out there.