Instructions for Using a Rotary Tool

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Rotary tools can be used for many tasks, from cutting holes in wood or plaster to delicate grinding and sanding jobs. Pet owners even use rotary tools to grind down their dog's nails with precision. Accessories are available for blade sharpening, drilling, shaping and polishing metal, as well as for many other jobs, making rotary tools a versatile addition to any workshop or toolbox.

Choosing a Rotary Tool

  • A wide variety of rotary tools exists, ranging in power and portability. Choose the rotary tool that is best suited for the job at hand. If you are working on a craft project and need to cut or sand wood, tile or metal, a handheld cordless model will give you the greatest flexibility. Cordless models are ideal for grinding pet's nails or working at a distance from power outlets, but corded rotary tools offer higher speeds and allow you to work for longer periods of time.

    Choose accessories--discs, drill bits and sanding attachments--that are intended for the job you plan to do, whether you'll be cutting glass or deburring metal. Look for a flexible shaft to help you with delicate crafts and finishing work. These shafts are handled like a pen and are plugged into the rotary tool. You can buy any brand of attachments to use with your rotary tool as long as the shaft size is the same. Heavy-duty rotary tools that are job-specific, such as those for cutting drywall, have fewer attachments available.

Using a Rotary Tool

  • If using a cordless rotary tool, fully charge the battery. You might want to purchase a second battery if you plan to work for long periods of time. Gather all the material you will need for your job before you start to work. When using a variety of attachments, place them on the workbench in the order you will be using them.

    Use safety glasses to help protect your eyes from the fine dust that is created as you work. Leather gloves will protect your hands from small shards if you are cutting glass or tile. If the rotary tool becomes uncomfortably warm as you work, turn it off and let it cool down before continuing.

    Make sure that the power cord is well away from the head of the rotary tool to avoid accidentally cutting or damaging it, and regularly replace bits as soon as they show signs of wear. Clean your rotary tool with a soft rag before you put it away. This will help eliminate any dust or particles that may have become lodged in the machine while you were working.

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