How to Use a Rotary Tool Kit
There isn’t anything a rotary tool kit can’t help you do. Okay, that’s kind of an exaggeration, but when it comes to smoothing out the rough edges of a new table or hollowing out a small hole in a door or wall, nothing comes close to the versatility and ease of use of a rotary tool kit.
The sheer number of attachments alone is enough to make any project seem effortless. No more sanding blocks or buff pads; you can even cut with a rotary tool kit.
Open your rotary tool kit. Depending on how many pieces your kit has (some have as many as 70 pieces), you will notice the bits are grouped by purpose: the cutting wheels are all in one section, the buffer wheels in another, the burrs in yet another.
To use any of the bits, pull the collet (the collar that holds the bits in place) away from the rotary tool body and slide the chosen bit into the exposed slot.
Sand and smooth rough surfaces using the buffer wheels. These are the larger knob-shaped bits and can be used in the same way you would a block sander. A few passes with a buffer wheel will make any surface smoother. In a typical kit, you should have two or three grades of buffer wheels, from coarse to ultrasmooth.
Make cuts with the rotary tool. The rotary tool makes it very easy to make cuts into unconventional areas, like a tight corner or a hole in drywall for a fixture. There are two kinds of cutting wheels: gritty and steel. The gritty wheels look like hardened asphalt discs and are typically used to cut metal. The steel wheels are ideally suited for cutting and shaping concrete.
Use the burrs, which are pin-shaped bits, for cutting drywall and wood. Burr bits are very popular with carpenters and electricians since they can be used to cut out unconventional shapes and cut in hard-to-reach areas. Electricians especially like burr bits because they are superb for cutting in fixtures, especially in drywall.
Always wear eye protection when using a rotary tool and bit kit.
Analise DeCuba is an artist and writer living in Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts. DeCuba has also taught studio art and art history at the college level.