Skip to Content

Harbor Freight Rotary Tool vs Dremel: Understanding the Differences

A rotary tool( Harbor Freight Rotary Tool vs  Dremel) is one of the best instruments you should own, whether you work in the woodworking and fabrication industry or like to do things around the house by yourself. It is a flexible and multipurpose tool that only requires the attachments to be changed to be utilized for various DIY projects.

One rotary tool may do multiple tasks, including sanding, engraving, cutting, beveling, polishing, and more. Two common rotary tool brands available in the market are Harbor Freight and Dremel. Due to their popularity, many people wonder what the difference is between the rotary tools they offer.

Harbor Freight Rotary Tool vs  Dremel: The Differences

Well, the two brands have been in the market for many years. They are also known to provide high-quality rotary tools that are either cordless or with cords. 

The main difference between the two brands is in the pricing of their rotary tools. Harbor Freight products are always priced low, and their rotary tools are no exemption from this.

On the other hand, though Dremel rotary tools cannot be termed expensive, they cost a few more dollars when compared to Harbor Freight Rotary tools.

Another difference you will likely notice when comparing the rotary tools from both brands is their noise level. Dremel rotary tools tend to be a little noisier when compared to the Harbor Freight rotary tools.

To help you understand the differences between the two brands in detail, we will compare two rotary tools from both brands, Harbor Freight Chicago Electric Cordless Rotary Tool and Dremel Lite Cordless Rotary Tool.

About Harbor Freight Chicago Electric Cordless Rotary Tool

Chicago Electric Cordless Rotary tool from Harbor Freight is a reliable handheld machine that you can utilize for fabrication, woodworking, plumbing, and many other tasks. It features a powerful mortar that offers variable speeds between 500 to 25,000 revolutions per mile and a 9.6 volts battery that keeps it running.

This rotary tool has a small body and a soft finish, making handling it simpler and more secure. The majority of the attachments and accessories from Harbor Freight are also compatible with it.

Below are some pros and cons of the Chicago electric cordless rotary tool from Harbor Freight:


  • It is cheap
  • It is lightweight
  • It features a solid construction allowing it to take some abuse
  • It has a reliable motor with variable speeds of 500 to 25,000 RPM
  • It features ten different speed settings
  • Comes with the hard case and flex shaft


About Dremel Lite Cordless Rotary Tool

This rotary tool from Dremel is a small handheld machine that can be utilized for plumbing, woodworking, fabrication, and many other tasks. Its motor is powerful and has variable speeds between 8,000 to 25,00 RPM. It also has a 4 volts Li-ion battery that keeps it working smoothly and an LED battery indicator that alerts the user when the battery level is low.

Additionally, this rotary tool comes with ten accessories that are easy to replace, thanks to the patented EZ twist nose cap.

The body of this rotary tool is compact, and it features a soft coating that allows for a firm grip and easy handling. It is also compatible with Dremel accessories.

Below are some pros and cons of the Dremel Lite Cordless Rotary Tool:


  • It has a powerful motor with variable speeds of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM.
  • It features a powerful Li-ion battery that offers a smooth performance.
  • It has a battery indicator that alerts the user when the battery is low.


  • It is a little bit expensive
  • It may overheat after some time
  • Its motor is loud

Harbor Freight Rotary Tool vs Dremel: Which One is Better?

Harbor Freight Rotary Tool seems superior to Dremel. Their rotary tools are cheap, have silent and powerful motors, and come with ten different accessories. 

How to Use Rotary Tools

You won’t want to use any other tool for your work or projects after purchasing a rotary tool kit. The rotary tool can be used on a variety of hard substances, including metal, wood, glass, plastic, etc. It depends on the kind of tool attachment you have attached. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you won’t have trouble utilizing the rotary tool.

Read the owner’s manual included with the rotary tool you just purchased as your first step. It will assist you in becoming familiar with the many parts and capabilities of your tool and the accessories and extras you have acquired for it. Once you’ve done that, put on your safety gear to prevent unintentional injuries.

As you read the manual, pay attention to the directions for taking out and placing in the various attachments. Try to do this using your rotary tool. This will help you get the hang of it and save you from wasting too much time changing attachments when working on a project.

You must familiarize yourself with each attachment’s function in addition to replacing them to avoid using them mistakenly. For instance, before you start using them, be sure you know the difference between a drill bit and a routing bit. 

Next, turn off the power switch and insert the rotary tool into the socket. Turn the switch on while holding the rotary tool firmly and keeping your hands away from the bit; you will then notice the bit begin to turn very swiftly and hear the motor whir.

You can now acquire some worthless plastic, metal, and wood scraps to practice your cutting skills. After doing this, you can switch out the attachments and test out each individual function, including polishing, sanding, and engraving. 

In this manner, it won’t take you long to become an expert at using the rotary tool.

Final Take

We hope this comparison helped you understand the differences between Harbor Freight Rotary Tool and Dremel. Whichever rotary tool you choose to buy, remember to wear some protective clothing before using it to prevent unintentional injury.