Power Tool Buying Guide for Cut Out Tools and Rotary Tools


A rotary tool or cut out tool is very versatile and can be used for an array of projects.  While these two tools look different, they operate under the same principle.  The difference between the two is the size of their motor and the applications they are used for.  A cutout tool is bigger, heavier and designed for tougher jobs such as removing grout or cutting drywall.  A rotary tool is small, lighter and can be held like a pencil.  A rotary tool is used for finer projects such as stenciling, sanding in light places or polishing.

Rotary tools are usually only corded because they are small and light.  There are cordless rotary tools, but a majority of them are corded.  On the other hand, cut out tools come in both corded and cordless.  

Rotary tools and cut out tools are known for the array of applications they can be used on, such as:

  • Cutting Wood
  • Sharpening Tools
  • Cutting Pipe
  • Cutting Nails
  • Cutting Ceramic Tile
  • Cutting Marble
  • Etching
  • Engraving
  • Polishing
  • Cutting Drywall
  • Removing Grout
  • Cutting Fiber Glass
  • Shaping Metal
  • Stripping Paint
  • Removing Glaze from an old window
  • Grinding
  • Sharpening Items such as chainsaws

Cut Out Tool Attachments

The tools by themselves are great, but the attachments are what makes these tools so useful. 


Cutout Tools have many attachments. There are three primary attachments.

Circular Cutter – Allows the user to cut perfect circles on the material they are using

Grinding, Polishing and Sanding – Obviously an attachment to grind or sand

Guided Bits – Looks like a drill bit and used for cutting into drywall.


Rotary Tool Attachments and Bits

Rotary tools have much more attachments than cut out tools.  Rotary tools also have router tables and drill presses available.

Flex Shaft
A long shaft that attaches to the rotary tool that lets the user get in very tight spots. The bit attaches to the end of the flex shaft.


Sanding Disks
Sanding disks or sanding pads are used primarily for wood and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and grits.

Polishing Pads
Used for polishing metals



Metal Blades
Blades come in different sizes and are used for primarily cutting wood and light metal.



Wire Brushes
Used for stripping paint




Abrasive Brushes
Abrasive disks are also used for stripping paint