Dremel Bits Guide: Rotary Tool Bits And Accessories Explained

Dremel bits guide

In this article, you will learn about all the different bits and burrs used with the Dremel or similar rotary tool. 

These bits are available from both Dremel and third-party manufacturers. There are bits of wood, stone, glass, plastic, and metal. So, no matter what material you are working with, there are bits out there for it. In most cases, the same bit will work on multiple materials. I will mention this as we go along.

Years ago, when I was a complete newbie to Dremel and other rotary tools, I purchased a complete set with many bits and burrs. As I explored materials beyond wood, I discovered the utility of bits that I had no clue about previously. This, in turn, opened up a whole new world of possibilities. This is the world that I am going to share in this article.

A Few Things To Keep in Mind

Please note that I use the terms bits and burrs interchangeably in some cases. A bit is anything that goes into a rotary tool. Some of these bits are also called burrs because they are very abrasive. Burrs are generally only used for carving soft materials like wood.

As far as I know, no one carves metal. It is much easier to sculpt it by cutting or melting it. However, you can always engrave it. Stone carving is very common but if you are carving something hard, make sure you are cooling your bit using water. Otherwise, it will overheat, degrade, and eventually fall apart mid-session.

Dremel has an excellent system of numbers and colors to segregate their various accessories. This is really helpful if you are trying to understand the 100+ piece accessory kit that you recently purchased. However, in this guide, I will be covering all kinds of bits. Many of these are available from other manufacturers. I will not be referring to the Dremel colors and numbers.

The bits I am talking about are 1/8” in thickness which is a standard size for Dremel, and other rotary tools that use Dremel standard sizes.

So if you are ready to learn about all the different rotary tool bits that are out there, keep reading.

FALLmuis Stone Carving Set (Amazon link)

Related: Best Dremel Rotary Tools To Buy in 2024

Dremel Bits For Wood

There is almost an endless variation of bits for wood carving. I know this because I have tried most of them, and my wish list is still extremely long! So I have divided them into 

Carving/Engraving

As far as Dremel the brand is concerned, carving and engraving bits for wood are the same thing. However, there is a difference when you look at third-party manufacturers.

Engraving bits are smoother and are designed for precision. This is what you would use to create fine details or do calligraphy-inspired designs.

Carving bits are far more abrasive. They are designed to take more material off. Dremel calls them ‘cutting’ bits.

Here’s a good example of a set of carving bits.

Rokrou Carbide Double Cut for Dremel carving bits,...

The thing to note here is that you cannot shape a lot of wood with the Dremel set. You can do so with the previous set from Rokrou, a third-party seller. The finer tips on this set are great for fine engraving work. The larger stone-tipped bits are meant for metal, glass, and stone. Not wood.

Here’s an example of what you should get for carving wood if you want to buy from Dremel only.

Dremel 114 Rotary Tool Accessory Carving Bit-...
  • Dremel's versatile and simple-to-use carving bits make it easy to express your creativity.
  • The ball shape of the carving bit head can be used to make concave cuts or hollow-out material. The tip makes round-bottom slots and grooves and can be used for rounded side cuts.
  • Carving bits work well for detailed material removal in applications like shaping, carving, engraving, hollowing, precision cutting, grooving, slotting, inlaying, making tapered holes or freehand...

Depending on where you are, this may be called a “cutter.” Don’t be confused. Once you know what you are looking for, the image will be enough. The names might and will vary.

For carving, just get a set of various shapes when you are just starting out and build from there. Something like the example below.

On Sale
Double Cut Carbide Rotary Burr Set - 10 Pcs 1/8'...
  • ✔【CARBIDE DIE GRINDER BITS】: These carbide rotary burr set, with 1/8'' shank is made from Tungsten Carbide. Total Length:45-50mm, Cutting Diameter 1/4'', Shank Length 35mm, Shank Diameter 1/8''.
  • ✔【DOUBLE CUT DESIGN】: The groove lines of these carbide rotary burr's head are crossed, which makes it more suitable for materials with relatively low density, such as wooden, plastic and...
  • ✔【ADAPTABILITY】: 1/8” shank fits dremel and most small rotary tools with three jaw chuck for accurate centering. An ideal choice for your DIY woodworking, carving, engraving, and polishing.

Cutting

Cutting wood with a Dremel is only feasible if you are cutting small pieces of wood. Otherwise, you are much better off using a coping saw or a similar saw. Dremel and other brands make HSS (high-speed steel) rotary blades in various sizes for cutting wood and other soft materials like plastic. Here’s an example

Cutting Wheels for Rotary Tool, Diamond Metal Wood...
  • ★ SAVE MONEYT AND TIME: The cutting wheels set cuts down on the cost of operating on dremel rotary tool and is ideal for cutting, grooving and trimming wood, plastic, ceramics, metal and DIY...
  • ★ EFFICIENT AND SMOOTH CUTS: These rotary cutting wheels tool are made of high quality steels, diamond particles and fiberglass reinforced for strength and durability. The rotary cutting wheels tool...
  • ★ VERSATILE USE: 💕High speed steel mini saw blades and mandrel set is ideal for fine precision cuts in aluminium, brass, copper, wood and plastic and so on. 💕The diamond grit cutting wheel are...

A set like this will last you a long time if you use it well. Make sure never to put too much pressure and avoid overheating. They won’t break, but they warp, and then they will wobble and not cut smoothly.

Make sure you follow the arrow and attach it properly so that it spins in the right direction.

Sanding

You can get two kinds of sanding bits for Dremel. There’s the drum type and the disc type. The drum type comes in three different sizes, and the disc is usually one size only. See the examples below.

On Sale
Coceca 458pcs Sanding Drums for Drum Sander, Kit...
  • Package contains: 458 pieces of rotary sanding bands, 24 packs of rotary sanding drum mandrels and 2 packs of self-tightening drill chuck.
  • 6 grits accessories: Six types of sanding drum grits, 80 grit, 120 grit, 240 grit, 320 grit, 400 grit and 600 grit.
  • Size: Three sizes of sanding drum sleeves, 1/2 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/4 inch.

This is a good example of sanding drums in all their sizes.

AUTOTOOLHOME 110pcs 1 inch Sanding Discs with 2ps...
  • The particle has been implanted into the sand paper surface by electrostatics; the head of particle are outward to polish sharply.Use for polishing artificial stone, furniture, wood products, metal,...
  • Replace the sanding disc on your Sander / Grinder / Electric drill / Dremel Rotary tool Accessories,It is a very frequently used sander attachment.
  • The particles scatter evenly to perform strong polishing force, good durability and high cost-effective.water-proof and resistant to oil.

This is what you will get if you are looking for sanding discs. This is just the regular hook and loop (AKA Velcro) system scaled down to the Dremel size.

Polishing

Polishing for wood is done with felt-tipped bits. You will get them large collections of various sizes and shapes. A set like the one below will probably last you several years or several projects if used properly.

On Sale
Carving Expert 100pcs Multifunctional Wool Felt...
  • Material: high-quality wool head.
  • Application: works great for polishing,grinding. carving or gunsmithing, like
  • jewelry,gemstones,glass,watches,crystal,car,motorcycle,bike,feed ramps or trigger jobs etc.

You can also get smaller sets when you are just starting out. Most large accessory kits will come with at least a few polishing bits.

Routing

There are special bits that are meant to be used either perpendicular or parallel to the surface of the wood. These are routing bits, and they must always be used with the routing attachment. You can get a set with the attachment from third-party sellers, like the example below.

On Sale
Preamer 6pc HSS Routing Router Bit Engraving Burr...
  • Our high-speed steel rotary file, designed for use in woodworking and carving applications. With a 1/8" shank for compatibility with a variety of rotary tools, making it easy to find the perfect fit...
  • Made from durable high-speed steel material, this rotary file offers a long lifespan and superior performance when working with soft materials like wood and plastic.
  • Whether you're carving intricate designs, beveling edges, creating chamfers, or cutting slots and holes, our rotary file is the perfect tool for the job. Its high-speed steel construction ensures...

You can also get Dremel branded attachments. If you are using a Dremel tool, it is better to get Dremel-made attachments. If you are using any other rotary tools, you can get one or the other. Most brands don’t last as long as a Dremel, with the only exceptions being Milwaukee and Proxxon. So you can base your decision on that fact.

Related: Best Dremel Bits for Wood

Dremel Bits for Plastic

You can easily use all the bits of wood on materials like plastic and fiberglass. This is because they are equally effective when used on non-wood soft materials. However, for really soft materials, you should slow down the rotation speed. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning your material, which might produce toxic fumes. Too much speed will also ruin wood and produce burn marks.

So, all the bits mentioned above will work for materials as hard as wood or softer. You can carve, engrave, sand, and polish just like you would for wood. A few exceptions will remain, though. Make sure to do test runs before starting or committing to a project.

Dremel Bits For Metal

Grinding

Dremel makes specialized stone-tipped grinding bits for grinding metal. These are useful for taking our burrs in your metal works, smoothening sharp or rough edges. They can also be used for sharpening edges on blades and things like chainsaws.

Dremel actually makes a special chainsaw grinding attachment and special bits for that purpose.

Dremel A679-02 Garden Tool Sharpening Kit

This kit is meant for all kinds of tools and not just chainsaws. Whether you are using a Dremel branded rotary tool or not, it is a good idea to buy a Dremel branded kit in this case because it is built to last. Garden tools can be rough on your rotary tool!

Related: Best Rotary Tools To Buy (2024 Review)

For starting out, you can get a third-party set like this one right here – 

KSEIBI 689050 Grinding Stone Set of 5 Pc Stone...
  • A great little set for those small grinding jobs.
  • Made from Aluminium Oxide (80G)
  • Set contains tree, cone, ball, cylinder and wheel

The different shapes are helpful in different scenarios. The colors are indicative of use, and these vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So you should read the user notes when you buy these bits.

Make sure to read up on the recommended speeds and stone types for different materials. These stones will eventually wear out with use, but they can wear out really fast if used inappropriately.

Cutting

Dremel makes some of the best reinforced cutting discs for metal cutting. With these cutting wheels, you can cut, trim, and groove various kinds of metal.

On Sale
Dremel EZ456, 1 1/2-Inch (38.1 mm) Wheel Diameter,...
  • Cut-off Wheels are reinforced with fiberglass for increased durability to cut, trim and groove into a variety of metals including hardened steel
  • Ideal for easily cutting or slotting bolts, screws or sheet metal, thin wood, ceramic and plastic
  • The EZ456 Cut-off wheels last 2X longer than current fiberglass-reinforced cut-off discs

They might seem a little expensive upfront, but they are well worth the investment if you are working with metal frequently. The EZ lock system is a huge convenience for any rotary tool user, making it an additional benefit when buying a Dremel.

You can also choose from resin-based cutoff wheels other than these fiberglass-reinforced cutoff wheels. These tend to be a lot cheaper, but they also break easily. So they tend to come in large packs.

Winzwon Cutting Wheels Set 44 Pcs for Dremel...
  • Diamond Cutting Wheels 15 Pcs----- Match with 2pcs 1/8'' shank mandrels. The diamond cutting wheels are designed for rotary tools like dremel and replacement EZ545/544 lock cut off wheel. Great for...
  • Resin Cut Off Discs 15 Pcs-----Match with 2pcs mandrels. These cut off discs are compatible with most rotary tools, electric drills, hanging grinders, electric grinders as good as original dremel...
  • HSS Circular Saw Blades 6 Pcs-----Match with 1pcs 1/4'' shaft and 1pcs 1/8'' shaft. There are 5 kinds of outer diameters 22/25/32/35/44/50mm. Ideal for cuting aluminium, brass, copper, wood and...

I can recommend a set like this one for beginners. It has cutting wheels for wood, glass, and metal. That makes it really affordable. You will be breaking a few of these, and you don’t have to feel bad about it. 

Learning can be a destructive process. Ask me; I have destroyed entire packs of these, and I am not sorry at all! I learned a lot in the process. Not I don’t break as many. I am still learning, you see!

Polishing

Metal needs special abrasive wheels for polishing. These are designed to give a similar effect as sanding drums on wood. The only difference is the material. These are usually made of fine strands of metal, resulting in a fuzzy metal pompom of sorts!

The only thing to keep in mind when using these is to not apply pressure and turn the speed down all the way. Otherwise, they tend to explode all over the place. I am still finding strands of metal from one such incident months back!

These are cheap to buy in bulk, just like the sanding drums and polishing bits. You can get a pack of them like in the example below.

On Sale
Rocaris 40 Pack 1 inch Abrasive Wheel Buffing...
  • SIZE - Shanks are 1/8 inch (3mm), buffing wheels are 1" in diameter, 25 mm abrasive wheel
  • ABRASIVE BUFFING WHEEL SET - Each grit 10pieces, total 40pieces, Brown 120Grit,Green 180Grit,Red 320Grit,Black 400Grit
  • REPAIR THE DENTS - Buff wheels enable you to achieve a smooth, uniform finish and conformability to irregular surfaces with minimal smearing

The colors are used to distinguish the abrasiveness of each type. That makes us rotary tool users a really colorful bunch! But then you already knew that because you are one of us!

You can also use felt-tipped polishing bits to buff your metal pieces. The same thing is done on a larger scale for buffing car bodies with large felt discs and polishing wax.

Engraving

Metal engraving works the same way as metal grinding does. You get specially coated bits that will eat away at the metal as it turns. As long as you don’t overheat them through extreme pressure and/or speeds, they will produce good results.

Dremel 689-01 Carving and Engraving Rotary Tool...
  • This 11-piece accessory kit is specially curated to perform all carving and engraving applications making it easy to express your creativity.
  • Rotary tool accessory set comes in a compact reusable storage box with 11 rotary accessories ideal for etching, engraving, grinding, and sharpening.
  • Engraving/Carving accessories: 105 1/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 106 1/16" Engraving Bit (x1), 107 3/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 108 1/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 7103 5/64" Diamond Wheel Point (x1), 7134 5/64"...

This engraving and carving set from Dremel, which I mentioned in the wood section, is also rated for metal use. Read the instructions carefully, though, because they are usually meant for soft metals. Trying to engrave reinforced steel might call for some special grinding stones.

Fine-tipped grinding stone bits are also excellent options for engraving metal. Just make sure that you can run them as cool as possible by using running water or dipping your piece in a pool of water while working.

If you are worried about decaying the metal, run it slow to keep it cool.

Dremel Bits For Glass and Ceramics

The keyword for glass cutting is “Diamond.” That’s right; these bits are all bling and fancy because they are coated with a fine layer of diamond dust. This is because glass and ceramic have hard physical attributes that resist cuts and scratches.

Diamond-tipped tools are the only things that can cut or scratch them. They come in different grits, just like sandpaper and whetstones. The range is between 40 and 600, where the higher the number, the finer the grit.

Engraving

Any diamond-tipped engraving tool will work just fine for glass. Anything that works on glass usually works well on ceramics, as well.

Just like the carving bits for wood, the diamond-coated bits come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose a large but cheap set for experimentation and then buy more expensive bits once you know which size you will be using the most.

Dremel 689-01 Carving and Engraving Rotary Tool...
  • This 11-piece accessory kit is specially curated to perform all carving and engraving applications making it easy to express your creativity.
  • Rotary tool accessory set comes in a compact reusable storage box with 11 rotary accessories ideal for etching, engraving, grinding, and sharpening.
  • Engraving/Carving accessories: 105 1/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 106 1/16" Engraving Bit (x1), 107 3/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 108 1/32" Engraving Bit (x1), 7103 5/64" Diamond Wheel Point (x1), 7134 5/64"...

This set from Dremel is a good example of a versatile kit at an affordable price. This is the third time it has appeared on this list. These tips are diamond-coated and work well on all kinds of glass surfaces.

The larger ones are special abrasive stones that work well on glass, ceramic, metal, and a host of other materials. But they are not great for wood.

Polishing

The same felt bits can be used for polishing glass because, usually, you are just looking for some shine, not sanding.

Cutting

Dremel and other manufacturers make diamond-coated cutting wheels, such as those shown below. These will slice through the glass at moderate speeds. Always read the user notes for the recommended rotation speed for every accessory that you buy. This way, your accessories will last a really long time.

ALLmuis c i y 545 Diamond Cutting Wheel (22mm)...
  • SIZE: The cutting discs diameter: 22mm; Thickness: 0.6mm; Mandrel Diameter: 3.0mm; Screwdriver: 98mm.
  • APPLICATION: Designed for rotary tools and replacement EZ545/544 lock cut off wheel.
  • HIGH QUALITY AND DURABLE: The alumi/num oxide cut off discs are thin and sharp. It is completely coated with fine diamond particles.

You can also get core cutting sets to cut precise holes into glass and ceramic. Like the example below:

DrillGlass Diamond Core Bit Set for Glass and Tile...
  • Free Beginner’s Drilling Instructions. Easy to use. Fits your Dremel tool, hand drill or drillpress
  • This set contains 6 new diamond core bits for drilling glass and tile. 100% Mony back garantee
  • Easy to use - Premium Quality diamond core drill bits.

Dremel Bits For Stone

Shaping and engraving stone is slow, especially for harder stones like granite and jade. For this reason, you will want to start with softer stones like sandstone and perhaps marble.

Stones are pretty much like glass in this regard, and so you will need diamond-coated bits to make any headway into carving or engraving them. It is a slow process and requires patience and proper cooling, but it is gratifying to see what you have created out of a simple stone.

Thus, everything I have mentioned in the glass segment holds for stone carving, grinding, and engraving.

One word of advice – for larger pieces, you are better off roughing it out with a hammer and chisel and then using the Dremel for the details, etc. Make sure you have running water or a basin to work with. This will help you keep the bit cool and prevent damage from overheating.


This part is not mandatory, but removing debris constantly within something like rubbing alcohol is important for greater accuracy and a smoother experience.

Also, resist the urge to increase the rotation speed. It will degrade your precision and damage the bit and possibly the design you are working on. It took thousands of years to form the stone you are holding. So, a few extra hours to make art out of it is worth it.

Here’s a good diamond-coated bits starter kit with lots of variety.

Stone Carving Set Polishing Rotary Tools Diamond...
  • With a approx. 1/8" shank - compatible with most Dremel universal power rotary tools.
  • Assortment of shapes and sizes include: impeller, rounded cylinder, cylinder, tapered & needle.
  • Highly recommended for carving and cutting stones, rocks and mortar, DIY engraving hobbies, craft modeling, home repair (wood, some plastic and dogs’ nails) etc.

As you can see, it is rated for stone as well as glass, ceramic, and wood.

Conclusion

This list is far from exhaustive. It is meant to give you a broad overview of how Dremel bits work and what kind of bits to use for different materials and projects. Once you know which way your project is headed, you can start to dig deeper and find more specialized bits. I have covered such bits in previous articles for woodcarving projects.

I hope this article has given you enough inspiration to jumpstart your rotary tool-based journey. The possibilities are truly endless here!

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About the author

Shailpik Biswas

Shailpik Biswas

I have been into woodworking and wood carving since around mid-2017. Creating new art pieces and functional projects for use around the house gives me immense pleasure. Wood carving is my go-to way to escape the hectic pace of everyday life.

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