In this article, I have reviewed 7 sets of Dremel branded and third-party Dremel compatible bits and burrs. I found that the Taita Tools 20 pc set offers the best Dremel wood carving bits.
I have tried almost all kinds of rotary tool bits that are out there in my years of wood carving. So I can tell you upfront that you will want to have a good variety of bits at your disposal. However, to get started, having a basic set like the one mentioned above will stand you in good stead.
Please note that Dremel uses ⅛” shaft rotary bits, and larger rotary tools like palm routers use ¼” rotary bits. So always buy ⅛” shaft bits for your Dremel and similar rotary tools.
If you want to know about the best Dremel bits for wood carving then keep reading.
Best Dremel Bits For Wood Carving:
1. Best Overall – Taita Tools 20pc Double Cut Burrs
Wood carving bits need to do two things very well — make precise cuts and maintain good balance. The first one is obvious. The second one is so that it doesn’t vibrate all over the place. Most cheap sets have a problem with the second point (apart from the fact that they tend to break very easily).
The Taita Tools set is well built and designed for precision work. These burrs are absolutely perfect for most general wood carving work.
Overall, this is an excellent set to work with, but you might have to supplement it with a few extra burrs for special situations. These are great for general-purpose wood carving. If you need to take off a lot of material regularly, you should look at some specialized burrs from Kutzall. I have covered them later in this list.
2. Best For Fine Detailing and Sculpting – Yurinwoo 5 Piece HSS Set
These might seem a little expensive at first for just five pieces, but they are worth it. This set is the same shape burr in 5 different, commonly used sizes. They are designed for extremely fine detailing work. Depending on your style of wood carving, you can even make these your first set of wood carving bits.
HSS stands for High Speed Steel. As the name suggests, this material is designed for high-speed use. This makes it perfect for use with your Dremel at top speeds if required.
Get these as your additional set for the times when you need to make very fine details and cuts. This set is meant for small projects or for making small details on a larger piece. These are great for creating figurines and other detailed pieces.
3. Best for Fine Engraving – Dremel 689-01
This is an affordable set of Dremel manufactured burrs that are ideal for engraving and finishing projects. Especially projects that have a lot of small shapes and areas that need a smooth and precise finish. Even though the description says it is meant for carving and engraving, it is not ideal for actual wood carving.
This is because it is not designed to take off a lot of material at once, which is necessary when creating the basic shape of your piece. You can use the previously mentioned set from Taita tools from a plain block of wood to a finished piece.
With this set, you can engrave delicate designs on a piece of wood but not shape it.
I recommend these to those who are creating small pieces that require engraving and not shaping/cutting. Great for engraving names and designs on things like coasters, wooden spoons, etc.
4. Best For General Purpose Use – Dremel Rotary Tool Accessory Kit- 710-08
This set is a little expensive because it comes with 160 pieces across several categories. These are great to have in your workshop for general purpose use. There are engraving bits, cutting wheels, sanding drums, grinding bits, etc. All woodcarvers will need to use these things at some point.
So this is more of a catch-all set that is good to have but not necessary. Once you have invested in the bits you need the most, only then should you invest in this set. You will thank yourself once you do. Unexpected situations often come up that call for something other than a specialized wood carving bit.
I recommend this set for those who are doing other projects along with wood carving. If you are only into wood carving, you can probably skip this without missing anything much. However, if you have a DIY bug like me or want to experiment a little (also me!), it’s an excellent set to have.
5. Best For Beginners – Lukcase Double Cut Carbide Rotary Burr Set – 10 Pcs
This is a great set that has shaped burrs in different styles. These are similar to the Taita tools set and have the same double-cut texture for fast cuts. They are not as precise, however, and are meant more for roughing out shapes.
Since they cut fast and smooth on most wood, they are an excellent choice for beginners. The various shapes are also my favorite feature. You can use these shapes to create various textures and cuts that are not easily doable with straight burrs.
I recommend this set for those who are just getting started or those looking for various shapes to help in roughing out their pieces. These will take out material fast and work well on most wood.
6. Best For Roughing Work – Kutzall Extreme Rotary Burrs
Kutzall makes specialized rotary burrs. They come in three main varieties — Extreme (very Coarse), Coarse and Fine. Each type comes in various shapes like Sphere, Cylinder, Taper, etc.
As you might have guessed from the name, the Extreme type is meant for taking off large amounts of material very quickly. It is by far the best burr out there for this job. The only caveat is that they are expensive. One Kutzall bit will buy you a whole set of other regular burrs with money to spare.
I am including just one type and shape for the sake of brevity, but I suggest you take a close look at all their offerings. All the ⅛” burrs will fit your Dremel. The fine ones are meant for creating a smoother finish, and the coarser you get, the rougher the finish.
These are meant for professional woodcarvers or serious enthusiasts/hobbyists. These last very long and are very high quality. Not even Dremel has such specialized bits in their lineup of official Dremel accessories. With the right shape and coarseness, you will need just a few of these to work on a large variety of projects.
You will be hard put to find anything better on the market when it comes to these kinds of specialized wood carving burrs. Invest in them wisely, and they will serve you well. I recommend them to all serious and professional wood carving artists without reserve.
7. Best For Routing Work – Dremel 692 6-Piece Router Bit Set
You may not immediately think of routing as part of wood carving, but it is undoubtedly a significant part of the industry. With precise routing, you can create beautiful designs and inlay work that is impossible with any other technique.
Dremel provides two different attachments for this purpose, and you should look at them if this style of wood carving interests you. These bits are meant for routing work, but you can use them for carving at a pinch. I don’t recommend that you use them for carving in general because they are designed to be used either perpendicular to the surface or horizontal.
When used with the correct routing accessory, these tips will deliver excellent results.
If you are interested in trying out routing or often need to finish edges, this is the set I recommend. Just make sure that you have the proper attachment for the job you are trying to do.
So there you have it, my handpicked recommendations for the best Dremel bits for wood carving. However, before you jump in with your credit card, it is a good idea to learn about what bits and burrs are and how to use them best.
Read on to learn what you should look for in bits for Dremel rotary tools.
Dremel Bit Buying Guide
This section will cover all the basics and some advanced points that you need to know to choose the best Dremel bits for wood carving.
The most common materials are high-speed steel (HSS) and tungsten carbide. Usually, there is a layer of tungsten carbide on top of HSS. These are abrasive burrs. Cutting bits will often have a coating of tungsten steel on top of HSS.
Bits or Burrs?
The terms bits and burrs are often used interchangeably, but they are not always the same thing. The easiest way to remember is this — all burrs are bits, but not all bits are burrs. Burrs are abrasive bits that are used to rough out, engrave or polish. A bit can be a drilling bit, a routing bit, a CNC bit; you get the idea.
Generally speaking, a project starts with an aggressive burr that is very abrasive. Not in the way where it uses four-letter expletives all the time, though! A very abrasive burr is designed to take off a lot of material at once. This is useful when you are roughing out the basic shape of the piece from a block of wood.
After that, you move to progressively finer burrs and bits, going from the roughing stage to shaping, detailing, and finishing.
You will need very precise bits for making details on small pieces or smaller details on larger pieces. The average size of your pieces will also determine the average size of the bits you will require. For beginners, this may be a process of trial and error. So it is best to buy cheaper sets that have a lot of variety. Once you know the sizes, abrasion levels, and shapes you want, you can start to invest in more expensive bits.
Detailing bits are the bread and butter of fine wood carving. So take your time figuring this out.
The various shapes are there for creating different cuts and hence different textures. Think of them as the equivalent of the various brushes and palette knives that painters use. They are like the various wood carving chisels and gouges I have talked about in my wood whittling articles. Each one creates its unique look. Use them all, and you will soon understand which ones work for your style. Make sure you experiment with each piece in various ways to get a feel for it.
That said, the sphere and the cone are my favorite shapes to work with because I can create smooth lines and curves in various designs. Tiny sphere-shaped bits or micro bits are ideal for extremely fine detailing.
This is a very important aspect of a good wood carving bit. If the bit is off-center even a little, it will vibrate when it spins. This will become worse as the speed increases. Not only will it ruin the precision of your work, but it will also be very uncomfortable to use. The jittery movement will create unwanted cuts and will also be difficult to control.
For these reasons, you want to buy the best quality you can. Even then, you need to get used to having a light touch and adjusting pressure and speed according to the wood and the work you are doing. Always let the tool do the work. Your hands are mainly for guiding the tool, not forcing it.
Most beginners tend to overdo the pressure and bend their bits or even break them. Cheap bits will break or bend easily, but often they will last longer when used properly. Experienced artists can get a lot of use out of the cheapest bits because they use a light touch. Apply gentle pressure only when necessary. Always move the bit as you carve, especially on hardwood. Otherwise, the wood will smoke and will also dull your bit faster.
High-quality bits should last you a long time, but the exact duration will vary from artist to artist. It is safe to say that the more careful you are, the longer your bits will last. Don’t drop them on the floor or keep them with other tools. This will make them run against one another and dull them quicker. This is especially true if you are moving around a lot.
Double Cut Or Regular
Double bits are designed to cut faster, while regular bits are designed to cut slower and smoother. It is good to have both and use each as necessary. They excel in their own way, but you need to use each to understand their unique pros and cons fully.
Sanding and Polishing
These are part of your finishing stage, and there are sanding drums and polishing wheels designed specifically for these purposes. These are technically not burrs or bits. Just purpose-built accessories designed to do one job. Sanding drums come in two sizes, and polishing wheels come in a wide range of sizes and a few different shapes.
You can buy large sets of these individually because they wear out quickly.
Diamond Coated Bits
These are also part of finishing, usually. You can also use them for engraving, and Dremel sells them as engraving tools. I prefer to use them as tiny sanding tools for finishing areas where sanding drums and polishing disks simply won’t reach. These can also engrave on glass and drill through ceramic, in case you like to experiment.
Things to Avoid
Always avoid sets that promise a huge number and variety of pieces at a very low price. These are not usually worth it. If it is a reputed company like Dremel, then it is worth a look. Spend your budget on a small set with decent variety and then move on from there.
Most wood carving artists will never need silicon carbide sharpening stones or metal cut-off disks. So there is no need to buy large sets that include these unless you need them for other projects.
Read More: Best Rotary Tools To Buy in 2022
Start small with an affordable set of Dremel bits. I personally recommend the Taita Tools 20PC Double Cut Carbide Burr Set. If you are experienced, go for a specialized set if you already know exactly what you want.
Resist the temptation to buy everything on this list! I know how it can be, but most artists ultimately end up using the same few bits over and over again. Once that stage comes in your wood carving career, you can just go ahead and buy a factory full of them if you like! Till then, try to exhaust all possibilities with a basic set.
I hope this list has helped you understand your choices better when it comes to buying the best Dremel bits for wood carving. Just remember that it is always the artist and not the tool that makes the art. Also, everyone’s journey is different, so you might not need to do it exactly how your favorite artist does it. Explore your options and develop your signature. That is how we grow as artists and contribute exciting new art to the world.
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