Whether you like crafting, engraving, cutting, cleaning or just performing basic DIY hacks, you need a rotary tool.
The good thing about a rotary tool is that you can use it for an array of activities. All you need to do is pick the right accessory for the right function. For example, you can’t use a bristle brush to carve wood or metal.
For a lot of hobbyists, jewellers or DIY experts, rotary tool accessories are the baseline for their success. If you want to be like them, this article will guide you on how to use rotary tool accessories.
Take time and select your rotary tool
There are so many rotary tools out there. You need to take your time, research widely on the tools and accessories, weigh your options, check your budget and choose the right one.
I won’t dictate to you the brand you need to choose but there are a few considerations you need to have in mind.
You can choose a fixed or cordless brand, lightweight and portable or heavy and strong, does it use batteries or does it need to be plugged in. What is the speed like? Is it a steady speed tool or can you adjust depending on your needs? What type of projects will you be handling?
After you think extensively about these factors, you will know the rotary tool to pick.
Go through the manual and be safe
The best rotary tool comes in an array of unassembled bits, tools and attachments. You’ll need to go through the manual to know what tool goes where and how to insert a drill bit.
Reading through the manual gives you an idea of how the rotary tool and the accessories work. You’ll also be familiar with the tool and know what the different accessories do.
Before you start operating the rotary tool and its accessories, make sure you have safety gear on.
You need to wear rubber gloves to protect your hand since some of the accessories are really sharp. You also need to wear protective glasses to prevent shavings and dust from getting into your eye.
Learn how to insert and remove the accessories
After going through the manual, try to insert and remove the bits without looking at the manual. This will be helpful when you’re in the middle of cutting or brushing or polishing.
If unsure, keep referring to the manual. Always ensure that as you practice inserting and removing the rotary tool is switched off or unplugged.
It’s important to know how to insert or remove the accessories because a lot of rotary tool models have been designed with different easy to connect and release collets. Some collets are different sizes for different sized accessories.
Before you start cutting or any other function, ensure the bit you choose is for the right job. You can’t cut with a bit for sanding. Also, ensure that the rotary tool is switched off before you plug it in.
Start making basic little cuts on your object of choice. So you can start with a circle or a straight line.
It will be hard to get smooth curves until your hand gets used to the tool. It’s advisable to use a lightweight tool as you cut for easy manoeuvrability.
To avoid accidents or mistakes, it’s recommended that you secure what you’re cutting with a clamp. Do not hold the object with your hand to avoid bloody accidents.
As you cut, ensure you’re using the right speed. If you need a slow speed setting, don’t use a high-speed setting. It may damage your rotary tool and the accessory.
If you’re cutting a thick object, choose the right speed for it. You can keep referring to the manual to get the right speed setting.
Grind, sand and polish
After you’ve tried cutting on metal, wood or plastic, you can go the extra mile and grind, sand or polish. Compare to cutting, these three applications are quite simple.
Select the tool appropriate for grinding and insert it. Make sure it’s secure on the shaft. Once you turn the rotary tool, ensure the grind speed is on a low setting to avoid overheating.
There are so many grinding accessories that work on different materials. The same grinding bit that is used to grind ceramic isn’t the same as the one for metal.
To sand, choose a sanding bit ranging from fine to coarse and insert it securely into the rotary tool. Choose a lower setting for more fragile materials like plastic or wood. Choose a high setting for metal.
There are also a number of sanding accessories depending on the objects you’re using. Just ensure they’re in good shape. You can’t use sand flap wheels to sand a disc.
To polish, choose the right polishing bit from your accessories. Before you start polishing your materials, it’s advisable to rub a polishing solution/compound on the material. Not only will it make them easy to polish, the results will be exceptional.
There are many options for polishing so you need to choose the best one for your needs.
Ensure your rotary tool is clean before and after use
Since the rotary tool is used for a lot of functions with different materials, it’s a no-brainer that some of the shavings will remain in the tool.
Once you remove the bits and safely put them back, wipe the rotary tool down. You can use a soft cotton cloth. Cleaning the tool will contribute to its durability and the extended life.
It’s important to go through the manual again to guide you on how to clean your tool. Do not submerge it in water.
You can also use compressed air to clean the vents and the shaft to prevent electric accidents. After you’ve completed your projects and cleaned the tool, keep it and its accessories in a clean and dry place away from children or water/moisture.
So if you’re planning on nailing those DIY hacks, you need to have a rotary tool. The fact that they come with their own accessories just make them highly efficient.
If you’re a newbie this article on how to use rotary tool accessories will be a great guide for you. You should, however, do a lot of research before you buy or even use a rotary tool. Make the instruction manual your friend.
Safety comes first! Don’t be carefree with the rotary tool or any other tool for that matter. Wear safety gear.