Best rotary multitools 2024
We round up eight cordless rotary multitools to see which one should be in your garage
Cordless models are not as powerful or torquey as mains-powered versions, but they are generally lighter and can be used where there is no power supply. We compared the specifications of eight rivals, looking at the speeds available, noise, attachments, comfort and whether they come with a protective case or bag. A selection of accessories, such as sanding discs, is handy but less important than the machine’s spec.
How we tested them
Each multitool was run for five minutes with no load, before we drilled holes in mild steel, wire brushed an aluminium sheet and finally cut through a 6mm steel bolt using a 38mm x .75mm disc. The prices quoted are the best we could find at the time of the test.
Draper Storm Force 10.8V Power Interchange Rotary Multi-Tool Kit 02343
- Price: Around £42.25
- Speeds rpm (x1000)/voltage/Ah: 5-25/10.8/1.5
- Rating: 5 stars
- Website: drapertools.com
This new unit from Draper comes in a neat case with a hinged lid and enough space for the multitool, charger, cable and the very useful 50 accessories. Having five collets means that it can take a wide range of spindle sizes.
The powerful 10.8V motor with separate 1.5Ah battery worked well on the test, although as with many tools of this type, it snagged a few times when cutting the bolt (and had to be turned off and on again), which stretched the time to 89 seconds. With a good price, efficient performance and impressive specification, it’s a worthy winner.
Sealey Cordless Multipurpose Mini Grinder Kit CP108VMG
- Price: Around £42
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 5-25/10.8/2Ah
- Rating: 4.5 stars
- Website: sealey.co.uk
Sealey’s 10.8V offering is similar in some respects to the Draper, although the battery should last longer because it’s a 2Ah pack. We like the design that has grippy sections along its length, and the tough textile bag, which has useful pockets. But we’d appreciate having a separate box for the 50 supplied accessories.
The speed is controlled by a top-mounted, seven-position rotary dial, with an on/off rocker switch underneath. Performance was good on test, although the thermal cut-out kicked in half a dozen times during the 86-second bolt cutting.
Black & Decker BCRT81 7.2V Cordless Rotary Tool With Kit Box 34236
- Price: Around £60
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 3.5-29.5/7.2/1.5
- Rating: 4 stars
- Website: toolstation.com
The B&D comes in a tough blow-moulded case, which also holds the plastic box of 52 accessories (the most here), including four handy collets. Unlike some rivals, the battery is integral and is charged via a USB-C lead.
We found the circular LED light around the nose very useful, shining exactly where it was required. But the motor vibrated a little and was the loudest here, at a maximum of 76dB. Despite its meagre 7.2V motor, a bolt cutting time of 94 seconds was good. The two-year warranty is also impressive.
Sealey 12V Cordless Rotary Tool & Engraver Kit CP1207KIT
- Price: Around £83
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 5–25/12/1.5Ah
- Rating: 4 stars
- Website: sealey.co.uk
A previous test winner, the 12V Sealey performed well and despite appearing quite expensive, it’s the only tool here to come with a second, 1.5Ah battery (retailing at around £19), adding to its versatility.
As with Sealey’s 10.8V model, the device, twin batteries, charger and 50 accessories come in a strong, textile case with exterior pockets. We liked the red/amber/green LEDs for battery state, six-speed infinitely variable rotary control and grippy, comfortable design. The bolt-cutting time of 90 seconds was hampered by occasional snagging.
- Price: Around £125
- Speeds rpm (x,1000)/voltage/Ah: 5-35/12/2
- Rating: 3.5 stars
- Website: dremeleurope.com
This is our favourite tool, with the usual Dremel quality shining through and with a very powerful 12V motor. The 2Ah battery will be enough for most jobs and although the 8220-2/45 is the heaviest unit here (at 620g), it is still comfortable in use, while having the highest speed with the widest spread.
Its performance cutting through the bolt was peerless; it carved it away in just 26 seconds, with no snagging. That’s a time that would be good for a mains unit. The price pushed the Dremel down the order (although it includes attachments worth £30), but it would be a good investment for a heavy user.
Ryobi 4v Cordless Rotary Tool RRT4-120GA15
- Price: Around £71
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 5-25/4/2A
- Rating: 3 stars
- Website: uk.ryobitools.eu
Part of Ryobi’s new 4V range, this tool has a removable battery that’s chargeable via a USB-C cable. There is lots of power in reserve, due to the 2Ah capacity, and we really like the keyless chuck. As with most rivals, the battery can be used with other devices in the range.
We like the smooth motor, with its infinitely variable rotary-speed control, and the three-year warranty. The negative is having just one collet supplied, while a case or bag would have been handy. Cutting performance of almost two minutes was restricted by its regular snagging.
Dremel Lite 7760-15
- Price: Around £65
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 8-25/3.6/2
- Rating: 3 stars
- Website: dremeleurope.com/gb/en/
Compared with its 12V sibling, this model is lighter in terms of price – around 50 per cent cheaper – and power, at just 3.6V. The weight difference (272g vs 620g) makes the 7760-15 more wieldy for longer working sessions. It has the usual Dremel build quality, but it’s a shame there’s no protective case, although the 15 accessories come in a plastic box.
The four-speed device has an integral 2Ah battery, with a USB cable and mains adaptor supplied. The 7760-15 performed well when wire brushing, but as with some of its competitors here, often snagged on the bolt-cutting test.
Rolson 3.6V 33pc Cordless Rotary Tool Set
- Price: Around £17
- Speeds rpm (x1,000)/voltage/Ah: 5-15/3.6/0.6
- Rating: 1 star
- Website: halfords.com
Weighing just 107g, the Rolson required little effort to use after charging its integral battery via the USB cable. The motor toggled through its three speeds okay, but the on/off button was a bit too easy to operate accidentally.
We like the keyless chuck and the 32 supplied accessories that are neatly packed in a separate box. But the unit has much less performance than the others; the maximum speed is just 15,000rpm and it struggled even with the wire-brushing test. When it came to bolt-cutting, it just couldn’t make any inroads at all. Overall, it’s very limited for car tasks.
The Dremel 8220-2/45 was the best all-round performer, but the price hobbled its score. That left the 10.8V Draper kit to just sneak ahead of the similarly powered Sealey, with the Black + Decker taking third spot.
- Draper Storm Force 10.8V Power Interchange Rotary Multi-Tool Kit 02343
- Sealey Cordless Multipurpose Mini Grinder Kit CP108VMG
- Black + Decker BCRT81 7.2V Cordless Rotary Tool With Kit Box 34236
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