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What is the best Rotary Saw in 2020?

Dewalt original rotary saw

If you are looking for a new addition to your toolbox or workshop, a rotary saw is an essential piece of kit.

Cutting through wood, or even harder materials, is a fundamental part of any home repairs, and more challenging tasks such as woodwork or metalwork may demand additional precision and reliability. You’ll find in this article how a rotary saw is a fantastic complementary tool for woodworking. However, be careful, rotary saw are usually confused with circular saw or oscillating tools, which are very different types of saws (both from a conception and usage standpoint).

Note that most of the article will focus on the Dewalt original Rotary saw model (see after for some explanations).

Our top pick – The original DEWALT (DW660) Rotary Saw

Top pick
$59
Dewalt (DW660)

Original patented Rotary saw

Dewalt brand, the leader in this area

Anti-dust system

Buy now

This particular dewalt rotary saw is powered by a 5-ampere motor with 30,000 rotations per minute that make the tool efficient in operating its drywall bits and collets. The dw660 is a good option if you are looking to perform a range of cuts in a range of building materials.

It comes with 1/8 and 1/4 inch collets. It allows some versatility in different sized bits.

After prolonged use, the Dewalt user will not experience discomfort as the tool body is slim. The dust-sealed switch will not ingest dirt while working efficiently. The seal enhances the life of the tool. At 3.2 lbs, this rotary tool is lightweight which, along with the slim body design (it is actually quite a small rotary saw), helps reduce fatigue during prolonged use. Speaking of prolonged use, this can cause problems to some power tools as dust and the like enters the switches. Thankfully this isn’t a problem with the DeWalt DW660 due to the dust-sealed switches. Changing bits is designed to be fast with the tool-free bit change meaning no wrench is necessary.

One of the DW660’s most notable characteristics is it offers a tool-free bit changing system. You dont need a wrench to switch bits in as well as out. Primarily it may not seem much different. However, when you are busy with cutting large, drywall, thick pieces out such option will help you to change bits without having to move from your standing position which is really a big relief.

Primarily a cutting tool, this unit is particularly effective at cutting through drywall, tile and the like. For the price at which it’s listed, the DW660 is the best rotary tool for the money. This is thanks to its excellent cutting ability, durable build, and very powerful motor. Perhaps one disadvantage of this model is that the motor is a little too powerful and can make it harder to control but this will be a little problem to more experienced rotary tool users.

Note that Dewalt has set an international standards when creating this original rotary tool. As a consequence, accessories from other brands are compliant with it thanks to their standardized size.

The advanced version – DEWALT DCS551B 20V Max Drywall 

Top quality
$139
DEWALT DCS551B

Led light system

Proprietary grip system

Stronger motor than the original DW660

Buy now

This model takes most of its inspiration from the original DW660 model. Nevertheless, it comes at a cost, therefore you should only consider it in case you plan to have an extensive use, cut some very strong materials or work into very difficult conditions (you’ll see after that this model comes with a few comfortable extra features).

The DEWALT DCS551B features a 26,000 RPM motor that delivers fast cutting in drywall, acoustical ceiling tiles, plywood, etc. A tool-free bit change allows for fast & easy bit changing – without a wrench, and the dust-sealed switch protects against dust ingestion for longer tool life.

It also offers a bright LED light that illuminates dark work surfaces for accurate cutting. In addition, it is equipped with a dust-sealed switch protects against dust ingestion for longer tool life. Finally, it design and conception makes it super light and maneuverable.

Any alternative to the Dewalt Original Saw?

Dremel 4300

The electric hand saw market has experienced massive growth in recent years. In addition to the traditional American and European brands, cut out tools of Chinese origin took an important share of the market, satisfying the need for cheaper products of the average consumer. However, when choosing the right professional tool for your workshop, versatility and size should be at the top of your considerations. A Dremel rotary tool is a decent alternative to the Dewalt original model as it provides not only reliability due to its manufacturing quality, but it is also small and portable, so it can be stored anywhere around the house, your garage or the trunk of your car. It comes with a variety of accessories, usually between 20 and 25, which let you accomplish the most diverse tasks, from cutting holes in drywall to detailed metalwork.

Alternative pick
$120
Dremel 4300

Comes with 5 attachments and 40 head accessories

Decent motor system (>35k RPM)

Provided with a suitcase

Buy now

Changing accessories is quick and easy thanks to the integrated nose cap wrench which simply twists. A useful feature of the Dremel 4300 is that it’s compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories and attachments, of which there are a lot! This tool has a slim and ergonomic body with an excellent grip, allowing you to always maintain control.

This particular unit comes with some 50 accessories as well as 6 attachments. Needless to say, this provides tremendous versatility for any project. There’s not much in the way of negatives with this unit. Some users have complained about motors burning out and switches failing but these comments are few and far between. This is a high-quality product that should prove to be very reliable in a wide range of DIY and home improvement projects

Let’s be franck, appart from this Dremel model, we have not seen any other rotary saw that deserves to be presented. Most of other brands such as Populo, Ryobi, Rotozip, etc. are usually less accurate and definitely less long lasting. One piece of advice, don’t take any risk, the Dewalt & Dremel models are quite cheap, no need to look for alternatives!

WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

$20
WEN 2305 Rotary Tool Kit

Durability is strong

Efficient speed variation system

Engine heat management is not optimal

Super cheap tool

Buy now

Packed with over 100 accessories, this is the perfect rotary drill kit for those just starting out. An onboard spindle lock makes bit changes a breeze, while the variable speed motor provides 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. A useful flex shaft is included to aid in precision and detailing work.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another rotary tool this quiet and inexpensive. The overall quality is great for the price, and users love the combination of flex shaft and variable speed control. As an added bonus, the tool is compatible with Dremel bits and accessories.

This isn’t a Dremel and while good for short jobs, it lacks the staying power and a few have reported it can overheat quickly on tougher tasks. Some users have also reported receiving their’s with a bent shaft. Neither issue is very common and may have been from defective batches.


Rotary saw & tools complete guide

Types of Rotary Tools

Before we get into the various uses of a rotary tool, let’s take a look at the two main types available on the market which are electric and cordless.

Electric Rotary Tools

The obvious advantage of choosing an electric rotary tool is that you don’t need to worry about power running out! Most good rotary tools have a nice long cord, so connecting to a power source shouldn’t be an issue. So you can work as long as you want. Other advantages of electric rotary tools are that you can work on heavier projects since you’re not draining the battery. Also, they tend to be lighter which reduces hand and arm fatigue as you use them.

Cordless Rotary Tools

Choosing a cordless rotary tool has several advantages. The main one is that they’re very convenient to use. Having a long cord can be annoying at times so a cordless rotary tool is great for its portability. If you’re looking to do small, quick jobs then this type will get the job done quicker. However they do tend to be heavier and you have to charge them fairly regularly, unlike electric rotary tools.

5 Things you can do with a rotary tool

Woodwork with a rotary saw
Woodwork with a rotary saw

As you likely know by now, there is a whole host of attachments and accessories that you can use with your rotary tool. These can allow you to do so many different jobs from cutting to sanding to cleaning. Let’s take a look at some of the accessories that you can use to get the most out your purchase:

  1. Cutting
    Probably one of the most popular uses for a rotary tool, it makes cutting anything from drywall to tiles easy. With a rotary tool, you can cut using either a wheel or a straight bit. Cut-off wheels make light work of metal, wood, and plastics. The best are reinforced with fiberglass for increased durability.
  2. Carving
    Both carving and engraving can be made much easier with a good rotary tool. It could be a decorative design on a table, for example. Some rotary tools will come with carving and engraving kits and others might be sold separately. They typically include engraving cutters and grinding stones.
  3. Sanding
    While you wouldn’t use a rotary tool to sand a large surface, it’s ideal for small details on wood and metal. Some people even use the sanding feature to trim down their dog’s nails but this should obviously be done with caution! Sanding and grinding kits typically come with accessories for sharpening tools and removing rust.
  4. Cleaning
    When people think of a rotary tool they think of mess. But rotary tools can do more than just create piles of wood shavings! With the tiny wire brush bits, you can clean and polish your tools and even things like jewelry. They’re particularly useful for cleaning hard-to-reach areas that larger cleaning items can’t.
  5. Grout removal
    With a grout removal kit, you can easily remove wall and floor grout using your rotary tool. It’s worth keeping in mind that to do this, you really need a top-quality, powerful rotary tool. Just as important is having a strong, durable attachment. The best rotary tools have an adjustable design for controlled cutting.

5 Features to consider

So you know about the types of rotary tool as well as their main uses. So what type of rotary tool is best for you? In order to answer this, we should take a look at portability, type of work, ease of use, attachments and price to get a good overall impression.

Oscillating tool parts
Oscillating tool parts
  1. Portability
    If portability is the most important factor for you then you should really consider getting a cordless rotary tool. This means that you can move around freely without having to worry about a long cord that always has to be connected to a power outlet. However, it’s worth remembering that cordless rotary tools tend to be heavier (due to the battery). You need to be prepared to charge a cordless rotary tool on occasion. Also, you sometimes sacrifice power when you choose to go cordless so it’s really down to how often you will use it and whether it will be on heavy projects or just smaller-scale things. If portability is not essential to you, you should opt for a lighter, more powerful electric rotary tool.
  2. Type of work
    For the professional who needs a rotary tool daily, an electric rotary tool is the best way to go. After all, you’ll need something with unlimited power, as well as being as powerful as possible for a wide range of applications such as cutting, sanding and cleaning. Those who only want a rotary tool for the odd DIY jobs around the house, a cordless rotary tool is worth considering. The type of work you do should lead you to consider the power on offer. Cordless rotary tools tend to be less powerful so make sure you check out all of the specifications before making your choice.
  3. Ease of use
    The best rotary tools should be relatively easy to use. This includes when you’re changing the accessories and attachments. Some rotary tools are difficult to change up so keep an eye on this when you’re narrowing down your options. Both the cordless and electric rotary tools are easy to use in different ways. For example, while the cordless rotary tool isn’t hindered by a long cable, the electric rotary tool tends to be lighter. Another thing to consider is whether your chosen tool has an ergonomic design for comfortable grip – this can make a lot of difference when you’re working over several hours at a time. Finally, try to find out how much the tool vibrates as the constant vibration can cause hand fatigue.
  4. Attachments
    Most rotary tools come with a variety of attachments included, some as many as 100! However, it’s still worth considering what you will use your rotary tool for and ensure that you’ll have everything you need. It is possible to buy separate kits of attachments so even if you don’t have everything, there’s always a solution. Most good kits should include cutting wheels, sanding pads, saw attachments and more. When you’re looking at products, check out comments regarding the quality of attachments. The last thing you want is to find out that they’re flimsy and unreliable so keep this in mind when browsing.
  5. Price
    As with anything, how much you’re willing to pay will determine the quality of product you receive. Thankfully, there is a range of quality rotary tools to suit all budgets. One of the leading factors in price is actually down to the brand name. If you’re willing to forego a bigger brand for a lesser-known international name, you might just get yourself a great deal. Of course, there’s more to it than if your rotary tool has DeWalt or Dremel written on it. For example, whether the rotary tool is electric or cordless or indeed how powerful it is. Some tools may look more expensive but come with a whole bunch of accessories and attachments. Try to find out how much these would cost to buy separately and whether it’s a bargain or not.

Focus on the Rotary Saw

A rotary saw is a hand cutting tool consisting of a toothed circular saw, mounted on a rotating axis or a sliding arm. First patented by DeWalt in the 1920s, it has become one of the essential tools in any professional workshop.

The main difference between a rotary saw and other hand saw types, is that the former can be applied directly to the surface. The rotary saw lowes blade cuts the material with its spinning movement, and there is no need to make an initial hole with a different tool. This is for instance an ideal tool for drilling drywalls. It also uses spiral cut-out bits and it works well for deep and precise cuts in thicker material. It can do pluging as well as lateral cuts that are functional on tile, plywood or dry wood.

In some cases, a rotary saw can be used to cut different kinds of materials, such as ceramic tiles and metals. Some really powerful spiral saws even get through concrete, steel and other tough materials, as is the case of tools which are used in firefighter and rescue work. Rotary saws provide the durability and high cutting-blade speeds needed for the job.

Example of rotary saw use for Drywall cutting

Most (if not all) rotary saws currently in the market, both for home and industrial use, are power saws. An electric motor rotates the saw blades at more than 10000 rpm, to guarantee a smooth and continuous cut in any kind of material. This preserves the integrity of the saw blades and prevents frequent sharpening or costly blade replacements. Accessories are an integral part of rotary saws and help you accomplish your projects with a better surface finish. Trimming, polishing and engraving heads are some of the most common elements you can find in a rotary cutting toolset.

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