March 23, 2022

Harbor Freight rotary tool vs Dremel

What is a Dremel?

Dremel is a rotary tool that cuts, sands, polishes, restores, engraves, and carves materials. What makes it versatile are the multiple applications it brings and the ability to work on several materials such as wood, metal, ceramic, and plastic. 

What makes it possible for the tool to complete the tasks are the features that accommodate several materials. Amongst the features is the speed variance that allows you to match speed with the material. 

A rotary tool is a valuable tool that makes you complete projects in a short space of time with ease and comfort. I am taking you through a thorough discussion on what you can do with a Dremel so that when you buy the tool, you know its value. 

When purchasing the rotary tool for removing excess material on your tabletop, that does not mean its use ends there. You can still use it for other purposes. The tool is appropriate for both homes and workshops. 

With the right accessories and the rotary tool, you have a lot of activities to complete. Put on your safety gear before you power on the rotary tool. The high-speed rotary tools are versatile and powerful accessories with endless uses, from sharpening, cutting, deburring, grinding, and polishing.

What is a Harbor Freight rotary tool?

Harbor Freight rotary tool is a handheld power tool that seeks to unleash your creativity with the variable speed precision feature. It is one of the lightest crafting rotary tools on the market, as it features an ergonomic grip design for maximum comfort and control on detail work. 

It matches the variable speed settings up to 20,000 RPM for engraving, polishing, sanding, buffing, and more applications. The quiet motor keeps noise at a minimum when working indoors, making this the perfect crafting and project tool.

The variable speed dial matches speed to application and the ergonomic soft-grip handle design for maximum operator comfort and control. A quiet motor operation keeps noise to a minimum, keeping you comfortable during your workpiece.

The lightweight, balanced design minimizes user fatigue during extended use, and it is a compact design, making it easy for maneuverability on delicate projects. The spindle lock secures 1/8 inch rotary tool accessories.



When it comes to speed, Dremel tools have a max speed of 35,000 rpm, which is ideal for drilling glass. That is except for the lower-end battery-operated version. These do not compromise on quality when making tools. The Harbor Freight Dremel is slower (22,00 rpm vs 35,000) and offers four stepped speeds instead of the real Dremel’s variable speed.


With a few repairs, you can have a Dremel for more than 15 years. That does not mean it will not be facing some heavy use, and the only thing you can do for it is to replace the brushes and clean and re-grease the bearings. These are on-demand when cutting holes in sheetrock since the dust gets in, causing them to screech. Sometimes you can even run until it is too hot to touch, and it still runs.


Do you recommend the Harbor freight rotary tool?

If you are using the rotary tool much or just for light-duty, go for the harbor freight. If you plan to use it a lot, go for a name brand. That is how you may decide if you should do harbor freight or not. If you are looking for multiple accessories, Dremel has more options available.

Can you use a Harbor Freight rotary tool instead of a Dremel?

If you have a little DIY project at home and you do not have a Dremel, you can still have an affordable one from Harbor Freight to do this job. You can still get one in the future.

Harbor freight vs Dremel?

Sometimes you have both a Dremel and one of the Harbor freight rotary tools. When comparing the two, note the HB tool has almost no torque and has a way harder time chomping through tougher materials. Working with craft and hobby materials such as softwoods or metals might be a bad idea. For cutting or shaping steel, go for the Dremel. The Harbor tool is not close to being up to the job of reworking ports or cutting and reshaping a fender or other part.

You can use your Dremel to cut chunks of moped frames before. It performs well and remains worth every penny. The Harbor freight tool bits that come with the tool cannot handle metal but works for soft stuff, but steel is just a no-go.

Which one is more affordable?

Dremel is a high-end tool, but it is worth it. Even if you use more than any other power tool, it remains stronger. It will last a long time if not abused. As much as Dremel is popular, Harbor freight is more affordable.  

Is Dremel better when cutting mopeds?

A Dremel performs better when working on mopeds, especially if you are into customizing. Try using one to cut a hole in the hood of your truck so the air filter can stick up through the hood. You could quickly cut a moped in half with a Dremel. 

It looks like a factory job after trimming around it with door edge molding. The reinforced cutoff wheel is a better attachment that can be used for precision cutting, filing, smoothing, grinding, and other things. Some tools can be quick but too big for working on mopeds with. 

If you have never had a Dremel, you need to get one since it comes with a million uses, many of which cannot be done with anything else.

What is the difference between a rotary tool and a Dremel?

Dremel makes rotary tools, but not all rotary tools are Dremels. Both refer to rotary tools that use rotary motion, spinning on a single axis like how a fan rotates. Rotary tools consist of a blade, piece of sandpaper, or other attachment on the end of a motor in housing about the size of an ear of corn. They are identical to Dremel rotary tools but without the brand name. 

Dremel makes rotary tools, but not all rotary tools are Dremels. Both are tools that use rotary motion, which refers to spinning on a single axis. Other companies that sell rotary tools include Milwaukee, Ryobi, Dewalt. Dremel is both a brand and a product. 

David D. Hughes

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