Drill VS Dremel: What is the Difference

Published on: June 11, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

When it comes to grinding metal or shaped wood, a mechanical tool like a handheld saw or a rotary tool is required. A rotary tool is the one to choose if you want to complete your job faster. So what is the difference between a Drill VS Dremel?

drill vs dremel

The most popular rotary tools are Drill and Dremel. Many people may assume that these tools are entirely distinguishable, but they may not be wrong. Here, we will make sure you can make a decision on both of these tools regarding versatility, durability, portability, and more.

What is Dremel

Dremel is a brand of power tools, most commonly rotary tools, that are used for a variety of applications including cutting, grinding, sanding, routing, carving, and polishing. Dremel tools are popular for use in hobbies, home improvement projects, and professional jobs.

A Drill is designed to drive screws into different materials, and a Dremel has more pace, so it is utilized for various things like cutting, grinding, polishing, and a lot more. 

What Does Each of Them Do?

A basic cordless drill is designed for two things, drilling holes, and driving screws. Dremels have multiple purposes like cutting, sanding, polishing, engraving, and a lot more. But it comes short in two things that a Drill does really well, drilling and driving screws. 

What Makes Them Different? 


The torque and RPM make these two tools different from each other. A standard cordless Drill has a much lower RPM of 1500 than Dremels, which are around 30,000. But Dremels have less torque than a standard cordless Drill. 

This performance difference summarizes that if you want to drill various materials to drive screws, Dremel is definitely not the tool you want. Driving screws requires a lot of power which a Dremel cannot provide.

Even though a Dremel has less power, it has more speed. That is why Dremels are great tools for sanding, polishing, cutting, and more, things that require high RPM. 

Direction of Force

The direction of force both of these tools outputs is not the same. It’s just the way they’re made.

Dremels are made in such a way that the output forces are perpendicular to the driveshaft, on the other hand, the Drill output force is parallel to the drive shaft. 

It may take time to get used to Dremels as most other tools work in a parallel direction.

Dimension and Weight

The dimension and weight are crucial factors that affect the comfort and convenience of using the tool. If a tool is large and heavy, then it will be difficult to use for a longer period. 

A Drill is usually larger and heavier than a Dremel as it is built for heavy-duty work. Talking about weight, a Drill can weigh up to 10 pounds or more while a Dremel weighs around 5 pounds. The smaller size of the Dremel also means it cannot accommodate Drill bits.


Dremels are very flexible tools, as they can be used easily with various accessories like Drill bits that are designed for Drills originally. Dremels are more versatile than a Drill, as Dremels can be utilized for so many tasks mentioned above. And Drills are only for drilling holes and fastening screws into different materials. 


Drills come in numerous options with different sizes, shapes, and power. There are a large number of companies in the world that make Drills, so the quality varies a lot from company to company. 

Dremels are manufactured by one or two companies only, therefore, the quality does not vary much. You will face more difficulties when choosing a quality Drill, whereas in terms of Dremel it is much easier to choose one. 

Should You Buy a Drill or a Dremel?

There are a few things to consider when deciding which of these tools you should buy. Both of the power tools are very durable, and both have their own purpose. Overstretching their capabilities may cause damage to the devices. 

Dremels are designed to work with materials that do not require excessive force. So using a Dremel on a material that is too hard, then you may go for a Drill. Remember, a Drill has more power than Dremel. 

If you are working with heavy-duty tasks like construction, then go for Drills. A drill can help you get that job done as you desire.


It is necessary to know what you intend to do with your tool. Know your intention before making a purchasing decision. Some people buy one because of its popularity, but that’s the incorrect way. If you are working on DIY projects, Dremel would be an excellent choice for you. 

If you intend to work on heavy-duty projects like a construction worker, then get the Drill. These are designed for heavy-duty tasks, and their powerful motor can help you fasten those screws with ease. If you are a homeowner, and you need to hang that beautiful picture of your family on the wall, a Drill can come in handy.


None of these tools are expensive, prices may vary depending on your country. But if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then you should go for Dremel. As mentioned above, Dremels offer many uses and are more versatile than a Drill, hence you will have a good time with them. 

Dremels can be used to get a lot of basic tasks done without having to purchase multiple tools. But you may require patience if you are drilling with hard materials. 


Before investing in one of these tools, you should know how long these tools can serve you. A good quality Drill or Dremel may cost more, but it will last longer than a cheaper one.

If you have never tried any of these tools before, but you want to check if they are suitable for you, then you can buy a cheaper one for testing purposes.  

But a Dremel will serve you longer, and you will face fewer issues with it if you don’t use it often. But Drills are made for heavy-duty tasks, which translates to they will last longer even after heavy use.


If you are a beginner and your knowledge of using these power tools is weak, you should know that Dremels are more beginner-friendly than Drills. The compact size and lighter design make them easy to handle. 

On the other hand, a Drill is heavier and bigger. It is preferable for professionals.


Reparability should be taken into account when buying any tools. Electronics do malfunction, it is usual. So you should be aware of how much it costs to repair these tools and if they are repairable. Dremels are put together in an easier way than Drills. 

Anyone with basic ideas about electronic tools can figure out what has malfunctioned. The plainer build means it should cost less to repair. It can be a plus point for Dremels. 

The drills mechanism is way more complex and requires skilled workers to fix it. Beginners should try to fix it as they may end up hurting themselves.

Is a Rotary Tool the Same as a Drill?

The dimension of rotary tools is way smaller than a regular drill. Not only that, a rotary tool spins at a much faster rate than a top-quality drill. But the drill is way more powerful, which explains why it is so reliable when drilling holes and fastening screws in tough materials. 

Whereas, a rotary tool is for lighter material work like engraving, sanding, and other precision work. 

Can You Use a Drill as a Dremel?

You can get some little job done with a Drill as a Dremel, but you cannot do the job as effectively or accurately as a Dremel would do. The drill’s weight, power, and size will give you an erratic result. Bits for rotary tools are also made with greater RPMs in mind.

Is it Worth Buying a Dremel?

Absolutely, you are getting so many uses out of a Dremel at a reasonable price. Its higher rate of speed and versatility makes it preferable for both beginners and professionals, even though these are not very durable.

Can I use My Drill as a Rotary Tool?

Yes, but it can be challenging. You can get some basic things done with a drill as a rotary tool, but not very reliable and accurate for carving. 


Is it Possible to Cut Metal With a Drill?

Yes, but you should do it with a lower speed level. It is preferable to drill as slowly as possible for metals. You will be able to drill through most types of metals using small twist bits. 

Can I Drill a Hole With a Dremel?

Dremel is not for drilling holes, but you can drill some small holes with it. When drilling into concrete, you should make sure to keep the speed low, cause the bits will heat up and can break.

What Is the Reason For a Pilot Hole When Drilling?

The pilot hole makes it easier to use a screw or nail to join parts together. It also prevents the wood or any similar material from splitting apart.


We hope you have gained enough knowledge about the differences between a Drill and Dremel. We have tried to provide all the necessary information regarding these two tools. We hope now it will be way less complicated for you to choose which of these tools you should get. 

After you have finally purchased the desired tool, be aware of the kickback when using any of them. And read the manuals and safety guides before using. Lastly, keep these tools away from kids.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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