Dremel tools are little rotary tools. They fit nicely in your hand and have a little spinning blade or a cutting tool known as Dremel bit at the end. Much like its big brothers, the die grinder and angle grinder, the Dremel tool is an extremely versatile tool. The sheer amount of jobs that it can do is staggering. However, to take advantage of this versatility, you have to find the right accessory or tool bit for your Dremel tool.
I’m pretty familiar with the various tool bits that you can get for your Dremel tool, and so I figured that I would share that knowledge with you. But first, let me explain what exactly a Dremel bit is.
What is a Dremel tool bit?
A Dremel bit is a tool bit that can change the function of the Dremel rotary tool and allow it to do a variety of different jobs. You just simply attach it to the front of your Dremel rotary tool and you are ready to go.
In this guide, I plan to show you a large selection of the various Dremel tool bits out there. There are quite a few, so I could never cover them all. However, I plan to cover a bunch of the more useful ones so that you can see just how handy a Dremel tool can end up being.
Different Types of Dremel Bits
Here is the list of the most commonly used Dremel bits and their uses.
1. Sanding Bits
One of the main things that you can use your Dremel tool for is sanding down various surfaces. Whenever you hear the term “sanding,” your mind immediately jumps to wood sanding, and for good reason. With the right bit, you can definitely use your Dremel tool for sanding and smoothing out wood. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are limited to just that, because you aren’t. With the right sanding disc or band, you can sand materials like fiberglass, clay, plexiglass, and more.
Sanding bits for Dremel tools come in two different kinds.
The first kind is known as “drums.” Basically, they look like little round cylinders. You attach the cylinder to the end of your Dremel tool and then you slip what is called a “band” over the cylinder. The band has abrasive particles on it and the drum holds the band. The band is what does the work.
So, in the case of sanding, the band will be covered with the abrasive material that you use to sand down the wood, plexiglass, aluminum or whatever else it is that you happen to be sanding.
The second kind is known as “discs.” If you have ever used a sander before, then this is going to be a bit more familiar to you. How it works is you have these little discs that you attach to the end of your Dremel tool and you use the disc for precision sanding.
Generally, if you have to sand a larger surface, then you want to go for a drum bit. If you want more precision, then go for a sanding disc for your Dremel tool instead.
2. Cutting Bits
While most people, when they need to cut things like wood or tile, will go for something like an angle grinder or a circular saw, the Dremel tool functions perfectly well as a cutting tool if you know what bits to use. There are plenty of different kinds of cutting bits that you can use. Pretty much all Dremel tool bits that are meant for cutting are shaped like discs.
However, that doesn’t mean that all cutting discs are built the same way. Some of the cutting discs are made with minimal gaps between the teeth (more number of teeth) for very precise cutting. Others have very large gaps between the teeth, which helps for bulk cutting, where you don’t really care too much what the final product looks like.
Much like with the sanding bits, you might be tempted to think that cutting bits for your Dremel tool is only able to be used with wood, but again, you would be mistaken. Regular cutting bits can be used for wood, but if you need to cut things like thin metal, aluminum, or tile, then you can use a fiberglass cutting bit instead.
3. Etching and Engraving Bits
Dremel tools are perfect for doing etching, engraving, carving, or general decorative work. This is because Dremel tools are extremely small and allow for very precise engraving and decorating.
Using etching and engraving bits is easy. You just pick the specific bit that you want and pop it onto the end of your Dremel tool. They come in different patterns, sizes, and styles, so all of the difficulty comes from finding the one that works best for you.
Tip: Use diamond-tipped Dremel bits for engraving glass-work.
4. Routing and Drilling Bits
If you needed more proof that the Dremel tool is one of the most versatile power tools out there, how about the fact that in addition to cutting, engraving, sanding, polishing, and everything else that it can do, it can also act like a drill. That’s right, with the right routing or drill bit, your Dremel tool can become a great option for routing wood or drilling into soft material like wood, plastic, or thin metal.
As with all of the other bits that I have talked about so far, there are a wide variety of different routing and drilling bits for you to choose from. So, regardless of what sort of drilling and routing work that, you need to do, you should be able to find the perfect bit to use.
5. Grinding and Sharpening Bits
Do you have an old blade or axe that could use a bit of upkeep? Do you have some metal that has a bit of rust that needs to be ground away? If so, then there is no reason why you can’t be using your Dremel tool for that. There are a bunch of very useful grinding and sharpening bits that you can pick from.
There are two different kinds of bits that fall into this category.
First off, there grinding wheels. These are generally made from abrasive material such as Aluminum oxide. They are usually in disc shape with a thin cross-section compared to the diameter.
The thin grinding wheels can be used for parting-off and cutting while the thicker wheels are good for general purpose. The edge wheels and Paint & Rust Surface Prep wheels are great for grinding off stuck-on rust from metal surfaces.
Secondly, there are grinding or sharpening stones. As you might have guessed, these stones are what you use for sharpening knife blades, ax blades, and much more.
These sharpening stones are often made of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. They are cylindrical in shape and work well for grinding profiles and holes.
What Dremel Bit for Each Job
In this next part of this article, I want to quickly talk about what the Dremel tool bit is good for each job. Obviously, I can’t cover every job, but I can go through a few of the more common and more popular ones.
What Dremel Bit for Wood Cutting?
If you want to use your Dremel tool for cutting wood, then the best option for you is to invest in a carbide cutting wheel. These bits are great at quickly cutting through even the toughest pieces of wood.
For wood carving, you can get hardened high-speed steel bits or carbide bits. The carbide bits are more durable and will last you for a while. Likewise, the carbide is so good at cutting, that it allows you to do both bulk cutting and more precise cutting as well.
Dremel Bits for Metal Work
If you need to cut something tough like metal or if you just need to work with it, then you are going to need to invest in a Dremel metal cutting wheel tool bit. To be more specific, look for an abrasive cutting wheel that is made out of a material like fiberglass or even better, aluminum oxide. These are great for metalwork.
For metal engraving work I recommend carbide bits. They are good for carving soft metals like aluminum, brass, etc. For hard metals like steel, you can use carbide burrs for deburring and chamfering. However keep in mind that while carbide bits are very hard, they are also brittle.
What Dremel Bit for Glass Cutting?
If you need to cut glass, then you need a Dremel tool bit that is made out of the diamond. This is something that is true for basically every power tool. If you need to work with glass, then you need diamond-tipped equipment, it is basically non-negotiable. This is because glass is very hard and brittle.
Best Dremel Bit for Stone Carving
Again diamond-tipped bit is the best choice. However before you go and buy a diamond-tipped burr, you should know that the selection of tools also depends on the type of stone or rock that you are going to work.
Soft stones like sandstone and soapstone are easy to carve. You can also carve soft marble, but it takes time. If you want to remove a lot of material, then consider using a chisel and hammer to get the rough shape and finish it with Dremel.
Hard stones like granite, jade, etc. are very tough to work with. My suggestion is to start with soft stones first and then work your way up.
Diamond bits are available in different grit sizes from 40 grits (coarse) to 600 grit (fine). The standard 150 grit diamond-tipped bit can work very as an all-purpose Dremel bit for stone, glass and other such hard materials.