Are you looking to do metalwork at home or want to simplify the process of cutting metal? Either way, you need the best rotary tool for cutting metal. No tool kit is complete without one. After all, it’s a flexible device that can cut through any metal. And with the proper attachments, you should be able to perform metalwork like a pro even without experience!
To help you search for the best rotary tool on the market, I’ve performed hands-on testing with the following products. See which rotary device suits your needs the best!
Best Rotary Tool for Cutting Metal – Our Top Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
If you’re looking for a fast rotary tool that can keep up with your metalcraft needs, go for Dremel. It’s a trusted brand producing top-quality, flexible rotary tools. Aside from boasting a powerful performance, this product comes with over 25 accessories. As a result, you can do anything with this rotary tool—including cutting any metal!
The Dremel 3000 allows you to cut with variable speeds ranging from 5,000 to 32,000 RPM. Despite having a robust and fast output, this product is relatively quiet. It’s made with cool-running ball bearings, ensuring silent functionality.
But what stood out about this rotary tool is its use of an EZ twist nose cap. This feature makes inserting and removing attachments convenient—guaranteeing fast transitions. As a result, the Dremel 3000 is perfect for complex projects.
Also, as flexible as this rotary tool already is, the flex shaft addition only expands its capabilities. It gives you a new level of precision, perfect for delicate tasks like carving. So, this rotary tool is also viable for creative use besides cutting metal.
But the downside to this is that since it’s a cordless rotary tool, it’s not as powerful as other models. Still, it’s sufficient enough for cutting metal.
Overall, the Dremel 3000 is the best rotary tool for cutting metal as it’s incredibly flexible, robust, and can handle anything!
The Dremel 3000-1/25 Variable Speed Rotary Tool is ideal for cutting metal and creative use. And thanks to its many attachments and accessories, it can handle just about anything. So, if you’re looking for a rotary tool that can keep up with your everchanging metalcraft needs, pick Dremel.
The GOXAWEE Rotary Tool is one of the most flexible rotary tools, ideal for metalworking. Having more than 100 attachments and accessories, this kit can help you tackle anything. So, aside from cutting metal, you can also use this product to engrave metal, carve wood, etc.
Moreover, the product features a 1.3-amp motor generating speeds anywhere from 8,000 RPMs to over 30,000 RPMs. Best of all, the rotary tool comes with an easy-to-use variable speed dial. This knob lets you adjust the product in five-step speeds ranging from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. With this feature, you can cut metal and also tackle delicate tasks.
Another praiseworthy feature of the tool’s design is its handhold size and weight. It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy on the hands. As a result, you can use it for extensive metalwork projects. Plus, it doesn’t make much noise, which is impressive for a corded rotary tool.
But what stood out about this is its extensive attachments and accessories. This rotary tool comes in a kit with over 140 pieces, giving DIYers everything they need! From cut-off wheels for cutting metal to sanding discs to polish up—GOXAWEE has you covered.
The downside, however, is that this rotary tool is a bit underpowered compared to other corded models. Still, it’s powerful enough to cut through metal!
Are you searching for a reasonably priced yet reliable rotary tool for cutting metal? Look no further than the WEN 2305. Despite not having a memorable name or performance, its price tag is worth the attention! This model has become a popular pick among DIYers thanks to its low cost.
Surprisingly, the tool comes in a large kit with over 100 accessories and attachments. From polishing pads to drill bits, the WEN 2305 proves you don’t need to pay a premium fee for complete kits. Also, it comes with an onboard spindle lock for easy insertion and removal.
Meanwhile, the rotary tool itself isn’t the best. But it’s flexible and durable enough, perfect for cutting through metals. Plus, it comes with a variable speed ranging from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. Still, it’s painstakingly underpowered compared to other rotary tools.
Another downside to this rotary tool is that it has an unbalanced spin. And you can blame this for the low-quality accessories and attachments it comes with! You can swap out these with ones you already have for a better experience.
You have the option to get this kit with or without a flex shaft, but I suggest getting the set with one. After all, this addition helps you get more precise results.
Overall, the WEN 2305 is perfect for DIYers and metal crafters looking to save without sacrificing flexibility.
If cutting metal is your sole task and you want it done right, go for the DEWALT Rotary Tool. Accurate and easy cutting of metal is now possible with DEWALT. Whether metal, stone, or glass—this DEWALT product can cut it all.
It uses a powerful 5-amp motor offering more power than what a rotary tool needs. Still, you can now cut through thick metals thanks to this feature. Aside from being a powerhouse, this rotary tool is also one of the fastest, boasting 30,000 RPMs. Either way, no cutwork is impossible with this DEWALT rotary tool on hand.
Power aside, I also liked the rotary tool’s tool-less blade changes. That means you can perform bit changing without using a wrench, making it more convenient. But despite this, it doesn’t come with a single bit, limiting the tool to cutting.
Still, many electricians, plumbers, and general tradespeople who cut through different things as part of their job choose DEWALT as their go-to rotary tool for cutting metal. After all, it’s powerful, compact, and precise!
Overall, as robust and heavy-duty as this product is, it isn’t the most flexible. Aside from its RPM being non-adjustable, it also doesn’t come with extra features. Anyway, if your sole task is to cut metal, this model should be enough.
The Milwaukee M12TM is the best rotary tool for cutting metal if you prioritize portability. It’s a cordless model using the company’s powerful M12 lithium-ion batteries. Not only do these ensure lasting performance, but they also guarantee speed! You can achieve speeds between 5,000 and 32,000 RPMs.
Despite being a cordless model, this rotary tool boasts ample power. Its lithium-ion battery powers its 12-volt motor, letting users cut metals without issue. Aside from that, this tool is also viable for grinding and sanding.
But the best part about this rotary tool is its incredibly light and compact design. It only weighs 1.3 pounds or less than a kilogram! And standing under 10 inches, carrying and handling this rotary tool has never been easier.
Although this rotary tool doesn’t have the most extensive kit, it comes with the essentials. It comes with cut-off wheels and a tool-less chuck for convenient bit changes.
Lightweight and portable, the Milwaukee M12TM is the best pick for people tired of dealing with cumbersome cords! So, consider Milwaukee if you’re always on the go and can’t deal with entangled wires. And it’s powerful enough to do just about anything more expensive rotary tools can—and it does it well!
Go for the Hi-Spec Corded Rotary Power Tool if you’re looking to do some crafting after cutting metal. Thanks to its intuitive design and outstanding performance, it’s become the go-to pick for many.
This rotary tool has a simple design that first-time users won’t have issues handling. For instance, if you want to change the bit, its onboard lock system lets you change it easily and quickly! If not, it comes with an accessory guide to let you know what each provided attachment is for.
Aside from use-friendliness, this rotary tool is also quite flexible. After all, it uses the universal collet system. As a result, the device allows you to fit in most accessories attachments to the rotary tool. And yes, it applies to all brands.
Also, despite its low price tag, this rotary tool boasts a 160-watt motor and a speedy performance! It comes with variable speeds anywhere between 8,000 and 35,000 RPM. Also, its engine has a unique design that lets it reduce vibration. As a result, it’s become more comfortable to handle.
The kit comes with 121 pieces of attachment and accessories, ranging from sanding pads to cut-off wheels. And thanks to this, this rotary tool has become a famous pic among crafters.
The only downside is its corded design, which many may find a hassle to handle.
My last pick for the best rotary tool for cutting metal is the Dremel Lite 7760 N/10. It’s the perfect product for those looking to do light metalwork at home. And even if it’s not as powerful as the other models, it’s strong enough to cut through thin metal.
The Dremel Lite 7760 has one of the most versatile designs a rotary tool can have. Aside from cutting thin metals, you can also use the device to smoothen rough edges on furniture. Besides that, it’s easy to use, making beginners in metalwork look like pros.
Moreover, the product comes in a kit with great accessories and attachments. These include an engraving cutter, grinding stone, and a sanding band. And if these aren’t enough for you, the rotary tool is compatible with most products from Dremel. So, you can always buy the attachments or accessories you need separately.
The tool itself has four variable speeds ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. And with its dial, you can change the RPM for your task at hand with ease.
Best of all, this product is 100% cordless! It runs on lithium-ion batteries that come with a USB charging cord. Therefore, you should be able to use this product anywhere.
But the downside is that it doesn’t have the best battery life. Luckily, you have plenty of charging options with this product!
How to Pick the Best Rotary Tool for Cutting Metal? (Buying Guide)
Because of the many variations of rotary tools available, picking one for cutting metal can be challenging. Check out the following factors to find the one that can keep up with your metalwork needs with ease.
✅ Power Source
If convenience is essential, consider the rotary tool’s power source. You’ll come across two variations for this tool: those that run on batteries and those with AC. Here’s a brief overview of each power source to help you better understand what would fit your needs best:
Corded Rotary Tools (AC Current)
These boast more power than cordless variations. And with this, you’ll never worry about running out of electrical power. But the obvious downside of this is you’ll need to have continual access to an electrical outlet. Still, it’s worth considering if you’re looking to use the rotary tool for extended periods. Or if you want to utilize it for heavy grinding, drilling, and cutting.
Cordless Rotary Tools (Battery-powered)
As convenient as these tools are, they don’t have the same power as their corded counterparts. Moreover, cordless rotary tools are usually slower due to their limited power source. Still, if you’re looking for a convenient option, this is your best bet. After all, it lets you work whenever and wherever you want.
✅ Ease of Use
Since you’ll be working on metal, the rotary tool you pick should be easy to use. After all, this material can be dangerous when mishandled. You shouldn’t have problems using the device or changing its attachments or accessories.
I recommend looking at how easy you can use the rotary tool when narrowing down your choices. And if the product requires a wrench in the process, skip it. Aside from that, make sure the model comes with an instruction manual to make things easier for you.
✅ Power Output
If you’re looking to use the rotary tool for heavy metalwork, it’s best to pay more for a powerful motor. And these range from 2 amps to 5 amps of power. Meanwhile, if you’re only going to perform lightweight tasks, 1.8 amps of power should be enough.
Generally, light-duty corded rotary tools come with a 1.8 amp motor. But there are more substantial variations available that can have anywhere between 2 and 5 amps of power.
Meanwhile, cordless rotary tools run on lithium-ion batteries. And models designed for lightweight metalwork typically come with 4-volt batteries. But if you’re looking for more power, some cordless rotary tools run on 8- to 12-volts.
✅ RPM (Rotations-per-Minute) Speed
RPM is an excellent measure to reference when picking a rotary tool for cutting metal. Generally, rotary tools with high RPMs (those with over 35,000 RPMs) are ideal for tasks requiring a lot of force. And these include grinding, carving, sanding, and cutting metal. But these are more expensive and not best for soft materials.
Meanwhile, if you want to do delicate metalwork, pick rotary tools with lower RPMs. They’re perfect for polishing and buffing!
Nowadays, most rotary tools come with variable speed settings. You can select the best RPM for your current projects or tasks. But lighter rotary tools will have difficulty reaching anything over 28,000 RPM. Plus, weaker variations aren’t as effective at working with metals.
So, before deciding, ensure the rotary tool can handle the RPMs that likely job needs!
Since rotary tools are flexible devices, they come with various accessories for different purposes and designs. Polishing or buffing bits require a tiny amount of polish or wax to make metal surfaces shine. Meanwhile, carbide bits and cutting wheels boost the tool’s performance to cut straight through any metal.
Aside from that, rotary tools come with standard accessories like drill bits. These are often present in ordinary projects around the house. Meanwhile, diamond point wheels are best for carving metal or glass. As a result, many artistic hobbyists search for this accessory first! But even if it’s best for creative purposes, diamond point wheels are also viable for sharpening metal or removing rust.
Generally, when shopping for rotary tools, it’s best to get ones in kits with accessories. It’s more convenient and saves money!
✅ Extra Features
While many rotary tools come with accessories, some add extra features. Although it varies from one rotary tool to the other, common additions include:
- Ergonomic grip. This addition makes it more the rotary tool more comfortable to use.
- USB charger. It replaces the standard charger, making it more flexible. With this, you can use your rotary tool virtually anywhere!
Those are some of the few features some rotary tools come with aside from accessories. But this is subjective, and more features aren’t always the best. So, I recommend choosing rotary tools with functions suitable for your specific needs.
How to Cut Metal with a Rotary Tool?
Now that you’re aware of rotary tools and their impressive power to cut metal, it pays to know how to use them. Below I’ve listed a step-by-step guide to cutting metal with a rotary tool for a more seamless process:
1️⃣ Gather the Materials
Gather all the things you need to cut metal with a rotary tool. Aside from the device itself, here are some things you may consider using:
- Cut-off wheel
- Work gloves
- Safety goggles or face mask
- Steel toe footwear
Although the safety items may seem unnecessary, I recommend getting them all. After all, you’ll be cutting metal, which is dangerous due to the sparks, debris, and smoke. So, it pays to be more cautious, especially if you have no experience in metalwork.
But if you aren’t keen on using too much safety equipment, you can skip the rest except for the safety goggles. After all, those sparks severely damage your eyes!
2️⃣ Prepare Your Workspace Before Cutting Metal
It’s best to prepare your workspace outdoors. After all, cutting metal involves lots of sparks and fumes. Doing so ensures you and your home’s safety. But if not possible, you may also cut metal with a rotary tool indoors. Just make sure the place is well-ventilated.
After preparing your workspace, prepare the rotary tool. Use a wrench to take out the affixed bit, and insert a cut-off wheel for cutting metal. When secured, clamp the wheel down to a workhorse to keep it in place once you begin cutting.
3️⃣ Mark the Cut on the Metal Surface
I suggest marking the cut on the metal surface before cutting to ensure clean results. Ensure to measure twice and then add the appropriate markings. You can use a marker or pencil. Either way, ensure to cover the marks with some tape. Placing adhesive tape over the lines protects the rest of the metal’s surface from damage.
4️⃣ Make the Cut Using Your Rotary Tool
Once you’ve prepped the rotary tool and marked your metal, it’s time to start cutting. Position the device to ensure the cut-off wheel is at 90 degrees to the marked lines. When cutting, ensure you hold the rotary tool with both hands for max stability. After, turn the device on and set it at high speed.
You’ll need to ensure the rotary tool is moving at a fast pace to cut through metals with ease. Also, don’t forget to apply a bit of pressure for smoother cutting. Remember never to use too much pressure when cutting metal and let the tool do most of the job.
I recommend doing this in two passes, from digging into the metal to the actual cutting. Doing so guarantees clean cuts.
5️⃣ Grind the Metal with Your Rotary Tool
If the metal surface has burrs after cutting it, switch the cut-off wheel with a grinding bit. It’s crucial to smoothen the surface for cleaner results. Alternatively, you may use sanding paper.
Additional Safety Measures When Cutting Metal with a Rotary Tool
Since you’re working on metal, it pays to be more cautious than usual. Here are extra safety measures to consider when using the best rotary tool for cutting metal:
👷 Prep the Rotary Tool Before Cutting Metal
Ensure your rotary tool is turned off before plugging it in to prevent accidents. Once turned on, try it on the lowest speed setting before cranking it up. Also, I recommend checking its cutting guide or user manual before using the attachments. It lets you find the correct speed to use for your task.
👷 Always Read the Rotary Tool’s Manual
As obvious as this may be, many overlook this part. Familiarize yourself with the product’s user manual to gain all the necessary info to set up the tool safely. Plus, it can help you maintain the device’s performance long-term.
👷 Practice Adding and Removing Different Attachments
Since most rotary tools come in kits, it pays to practice adding and removing attachments. I suggest using a twist nose cap to insert and remove the various extensions provided. These make the process easier and more convenient. But if not available, nothing beats using the classic wrench!
👷 Familiarize Yourself with the Attachments
Once you know how to insert and remove the attachments on the rotary tool, it pays to learn more about each one. You can use the user manual as a guide to see the differences between them. Here are some of the most common attachments to remember:
- High-speed cutter
- Engraving cutter
- Polishing attachment
- Drilling attachment
Familiarizing yourself with these helps you become more comfortable with each one. And it makes it easier to learn how to cut metal with a rotary tool.
👷 Always Use Safety Goggles when Cutting metal with a Rotary Tool
If you’re not used to using safety equipment, you can skip the rest but never the safety goggles! These protect your eyes from debris and dust as you work.
👷 Regularly Check Your Grip
Although most modern rotary tools are compact and comfortable to handle, you still need to check your grip. After all, the safest grip depends on the task at hand. For instance, it’s best to grip the device like a pen if working on delicate engraving work. It gives you more control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is a rotary tool the same as drills?
A: Although both tools have similar functions, they significantly differ in speed. Generally, rotary tools have an rpm anywhere between 5,000 and 35,000. Meanwhile, drills are slower but usually have better torque than rotary tools.
Q: What is a rotary tool used for besides cutting metal?
A: Aside from cutting metal, you may also use it when working on plastic, glass, stone, wood, and drywall. Rotary tools are versatile tools, so it pays to get one for your tool kit. With this, you should be able to handle even the most detailed tasks with ease.
Q: Can rotary tools cut through metal?
A: Rotary tools with cutting discs or grinding stones can easily cut through metal. Aside from that, you can also use them for grinding rigid plastic, composite, and wood. These are powerful enough to go through thick slabs of metal, though they can take longer.
Q: Are rotary tools ideal for cutting metal?
A: A rotary tool can cut all metals, whether aluminum or sheet metal, with the proper attachments. It’s a flexible handheld tool that creates power using a spinning rotary shaft. And it uses a cutting or grinding tool affixed on its tip, helping you go through different metals with ease.
Q: What’s the best rotary tool for cutting metal?
A: Rotary tools with heavy-duty cut-off wheels are ideal for cutting any metal. You may also use them to groove or trim them. Keep in mind that it should be at least 15 to 16 inches thick to be able to slice hardened steel. Either way, if its cutting disc consists of a hard abrasive, it should be good enough for metal cutting.
Thanks to this guide, finding the best rotary tool for cutting metal shouldn’t be a chore. Besides that, you should now know what features to look for to see what works best for you. Either way, by picking any of the listed tools, you’ll be able to do metal work like a pro in no time!