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It can be hard to keep track of all the things you can do with a Dremel or rotary tool. The tools are so versatile and can cut such a wide range of materials, so I’ve decided to make this overview of materials you can cut with a Dremel/rotary tool.
I will leave a quick list of what a Dremel can cut below, but throughout this article, I will write about what bits to use for cutting the different materials and give some tips for cutting with a Dremel.
What Materials Can A Dremel Cut?
- Carbon Fiber
It may seem a little bit strange that the Dremel can cut through all these materials, so let’s go through them one by one.
Cutting Wood With A Dremel
A Dremel can cut through most types of wood fairly easily, as long as the wood is not too thick. A Dremel can cut through Plywood, hardwood, softwood, OSB, chipboard, laminates, MDF, and more. The best bits for cutting through wood with a Dremel are the Dremel EZ-lock Wood Cutting Wheel #544 and the Dremel Tile Cutting Bit #562.
The multi-purpose cutting bit #561 is also great for cutting through wood.
Dremel tools are great tools for working with wood in smaller dimensions. They are great for doing those small awkward cuts that do not require much accuracy. Like cutting laminate flooring to fit in an uneven corner. Or cleaning up tearout from bad cuts.
The woodcarving community also uses the Dremel for making a lot of their creations. They use the Dremel with different bits to shape the wood into different figures, animals, and all kinds of objects. One of the best bits for woodcarving with a Dremel is Kutzall bits.
The thickest piece of wood I have been able to cut through with a Dremel was a 2×4 construction lumber.
Cutting Metal With A Dremel
A Dremel can also be a great tool for cutting thin metal pieces. You can use the same type of cutting discs that you would use with an angle grinder for the Dremel, just in a smaller size. The cutting discs are used to cut through stainless steel, screws, bolts, sheet metal, copper, brass, metal pipes, and more.
These are the best cutting discs for the Dremel In my experience: Dremel EZ 456 Cutting Discs
The Dremel is not really that powerful compared to most power tools. This makes it less useful for cutting thick pieces of metal, like solid rebar for structuring concrete or thick stainless steel sheets. But a Dremel really comes in handy when you want to cut off a broken screw or a bolt in a tight space.
TIP! Don’t use too much pressure when cutting metal with a Dremel. The cutting disc will overheat and wear out very quickly. Use light pressure and let the bit/tool do the cutting.
Want to read more about cutting metal with a Dremel? Here is my Guide To Cutting Metal With A Dremel
Cutting Aluminum With A Dremel
A Dremel can cut through aluminum with ease. Aluminum is a type of metal, so it could be included in the above section, but I wanted to give it its own section to explain some differences between cutting harder metals and aluminum.
Cutting metals will usually produce sparks that you have to pay attention to when cutting them.
Aluminum does not produce sparks when being cut and it is also way less dense than other metals which makes it easier and quicker to cut. This also means that you can cut thicker sheets of aluminum compared to harder metals with a Dremel.
Cutting Plastic With A Dremel
A Dremel can work fine for cutting plastic. But due to the high RPMs of the tool and the friction the cutting discs produces, the plastic has a tendency to melt when being cut with I Dremel. The Dremel is best used for cutting plastics that can handle some heat and has a high melting point.
The plastic also has a tendency to clog up the bits when being cut. Cut smaller sections to avoid the buildup of plastic residue on the bit
The best bits for cutting plastic with a Dremel are the Plastic Cutting Discs #476
Cutting Glass With A Dremel
Glass is a very hard material that requires a very durable bit to cut it. When cutting glass with a Dremel we use diamond bits in different shapes and sizes depending on the cut you want to make. The diamond bits are bits that are coated with a fine and durable diamond powder.
The high RPMs of the Dremel tool make it suitable for cutting glass. A Dremel 4000 has a max rpm of 35000, which is more than enough for cutting glass. My RPM setting is set anywhere from 20 000 to 30 000 when cutting glass with a Dremel. It
The most suitable RPMs depend on what the user prefers and also the thickness/type of glass. So don’t be afraid to switch it up and try different RPM ranges.
When cutting glass we want to include some water or oil in the cut to avoid heat buildup from the friction between the bit and the glass. Cutting glass with a Dremel will require some patience as you should not use too much force to reduce the time it takes to cut, that will just break or overheat the glass.
Cutting Stone With A Dremel
Cutting stone with a Dremel is very similar to cutting glass. We use diamond-coated bits in different shapes and sizes depending on what type of cut we want to make. We also use water when cutting stone with a Dremel to reduce dust build-up.
But make sure to not get water on the electrical parts of the Dremel. Preferably use a flex shaft to place the motor far away from water.
A popular way to carve stone with a Dremel is to engrave it and make beautiful patterns in the stone.
Here are some of the most common stone carving bits (Amazon) for the Dremel
Cutting Tile With A Dremel
Cutting tile with a Dremel is slow and tedious. But it can be useful in certain cases. If you need to cut the tile into an uneven shape, you might need a small tool like the Dremel to be able to do it.
The Dremel works best for cutting through thinner pieces of tile.
The best bits to use for cutting tile are the Diamond Cutting Wheel #545 and Tile Cutting Bit #562. You might also want to include some water directly in the cut when cutting tile to reduce dust buildup and overheating. (Keep water away from Dremel Motor)
The Dremel will also be able to make circles and odd shapes in the tile, for example, to make room for pipes going through.
Cutting Epoxy With A Dremel
It is easy to work cured epoxy with a Dremel. Cured epoxy acts very similar to wood after being fully cured. So a Dremel can cut, drill, shape, route, and engrave epoxy to the limits of the tool and bits.
Epoxy is often more pleasurable to work with than wood because of the lack of grain. Which makes you able to control the bits more accurately.
Cutting Leather With A Dremel
I have personally not used a Dremel for cutting leather, but apparently many people use the Dremel to engrave different designs into leather. Fine diamond bits are usually used to scrape away the top layer of the leather to make the designs.
I don’t have anything more to add to cutting leather, at least now you know that it is possible to use it for that.
Cutting Foam With A Dremel
EVA Foam is another material that the Dremel can be used to cut. EVA Foam is a foam type that is used for Arts And Crafts, and the foam is used a lot to make cosplay costumes.
The most common bit to use is a sanding bit that is used to smooth the edges and shape the foam into a desirable shape.
I have made a guide about the Best Dremel Tool for Arts And Crafts: Check Out The Guide Here!!
Cutting Brick With A Dremel
So apparently, you can cut brick with a Dremel. I’m not quite sure when you would practically use a Dremel to cut brick, to be honest. But the Dremel brand states it on their chart over things you can cut with a Dremel.
But there might be a very specific use case for it, so it is good to know about it if the need should come.
For cutting brick with a Dremel we would use the Diamond Cutting Wheel #545 or the Tile Cutting Bit #562
Cutting Carbon Fiber With A Dremel
Carbon fiber can be a quite tough material to cut through. But the Dremel can actually cut through carbon fiber quite well.
The standard metal cutting wheels #456 cutting will work fine for cutting carbon fiber but will deteriorate fairly quickly and it can get quite expensive if you need to switch them out all the time.
The best option is to get a diamond cutting wheel that is meant for cutting dense materials like stone, tile, and glass. The Diamond wheel will last way longer than the metal cutting discs.
Cutting Drywall With A Dremel
Almost any tool can cut through drywall, and the Dremel is no exception. The Dremel is versatile, small, and maneuverable when cutting tile. This makes the Dremel a great tool for cutting uneven shapes in drywall, holes for electrical sockets, and accessing the drywall from hard-to-reach spots.
The best bit for cutting drywall with a Dremel is the Dremel #560 Drywall Cutting Bit. But the Dremel #562 tile cutting bit and the Wood cutting wheel #544 will also work just fine.
A great attachment for cutting drywall with a Dremel is the Cutting Guide #565 which makes the bit stay at a 90 degrees angle to the workpiece at all times.