August 28, 2021

Can a Dremel cut metal? Guide + Video

There are many types of Dremel tools. You can use them to do different things, like build stuff in your house or make art. A Dremel tool is a small machine where you can use a rotary tool (a type of drill) and a grinding wheel. The best ones are the ones that have cutting blades that don’t get damaged by metal shavings or chips.

Can a Dremel cut metal?

Yes, a Dremel cuts metal amongst other materials. The heavy-duty cut-off wheel makes it ideal for cutting, grooving, and trimming all types of metal. The cutting disc is made of a hard abrasive that slices and cuts metal. Amongst the types of metal is the hardened steel. Hardened steel is carbon steel that has undergone heat treatment, quenching, and further heating (Source). 

Hardened steel is wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and durable. It comprises a hard exterior casing and a robust core, which are the steel heat treatment results. If Dremel cuts hardened steel with ease, that shows it is a powerful cutting tool. 

The Dremel wheel cuts off bolts and screws with ease, making it an ideal metalwork tool that makes slots in rusted bolts and screws for removal with a screwdriver. The package includes twenty polishing wheels. The effective tool cuts metal like it is cutting wood, and it is quick and does not require more pressure from the user. 

The consistency in cutting metal is impressive. The Dremel metal cutting discs do not make sparks even when working on tight spaces and corners of a stainless sink, and tight spots are easy to cut off since the discs do not snap. 

Although the discs wear and tear, it takes time. If you twist the disc while cutting, they break. That is why you have to keep a lot of extras. The Dremel wheels are more durable than standard wheels, and the wheels do not break easily, which makes the cutting effect. 

The wheels withstand tough materials and harsh conditions such as rust. The cutting capabilities of Dremel require specific bits or attachments that match the material you are working on. There are no universal bits. However, that does not mean the bit will not work on some metals, but the results will not be the same. 

What Dremel bits are for metal

The 9901 Tungsten carbide carving bit is hard, fast, and effective. The only material that is harder than the carbide is the diamond. The Dremel Tungsten Carbide carving bit shapes, smoothens, cuts, and removes metal from hard substances. A 1/8inch bit is a versatile tool used by multiple tools. 

Amongst the metals, the bit grinds are hardened steel, cast iron, and stainless steel. The carbide operates at high speed, and that is how it cuts hard material with ease. Being a high-speed tool does not mean it cannot operate at slow speeds, and slow speeds are for materials such as hardwood. For effective cutting, use the sides of the bit rather than the tip. 

How to cut metal using Dremel

Materials and Tools

  • A Dremel rotary tool.
  • Dremel bit or attachment.
  • Pencil.
  • Wrench.
  • Tape measure.

Protective clothing

When you do not know the protective measures before operating the tool, refer to the manual or consult the manufacturer. As much as the Dremel tool gives an effective performance, a safety check is of utmost importance. 

Hand gloves protect your hands and skin from the friction produced. The material makes heat that is not safe for your skin. The use of chemicals during the process will not harm your hands. Safety glasses protect your eyes from flying particles and allow easy visibility when working. 

The sparks created have to be blocked from the eyes. A face mask protects you from flying debris, and the earplugs protect your ears from the noise that comes from the rotary tool when in use. Safety shoes made of steel toes protect you from falling debris that might burn or break your feet. However, any other closed shoe could work. 

Steps

Step 1

Gather your tools and clear the workspace. Expect sparks to fly around when cutting. A well-ventilated area is ideal for the task. Clamp the sheet metal, and that is why you need a workbench and a clamp. Use the wrench that came inside the package. Use the wrench to remove the drill head. Insert the wheel that matches the thickness of the metal.

Step 2

Mark the area for cutting using the pencil. The markings guide you since you should keep following to avoid damages to your material. You might have to buy new metal if you are not careful. Deemed tools perform better on small cuts, and marking brings precision on both straight and curved cuts. Low adhesive tape strips work as substitutes to the pencil. Choose what is easy to work with. 

Step 3

Positioning the tool has to be mastered before you start cutting. The cutting wheel has to be in a perpendicular position to the metal. Hold the Dremel using both hands. That brings stability over the marked area. You have balance as you operate the tool, and that ensures precision. 

Turn the rotary tool onto high or medium speed. Make sure you have the proper amount of power needed to cut through the metal. Dig into the metal using firm and low pressure. During the first cut, cut all the way through. 

Work on the cutting till you get the desired depth. Move along the line of the marked area. Install a smaller bit for a more accurate cut. Make sure the flying sparks do not cause burns to you or the next person. Please do not touch the work area since it is hot due to the heat produced. The metal may be sharp enough to cut your skin.

Step 4

For a smooth cut, install a grinding bit. Grind the cut area as you make it even. Use less pressure so that you do not damage the metal surface. Sanding the edge makes it smooth. When satisfied with the depth of your metal, smoothen the cut area as you finalize the project.

Features of the Dremel

Cut-off wheel

Choose between a cut-off wheel or a 1-1/2 inch cut-off wheel, depending on what you want to cut and its thickness. The cut-off wheel has to cut sheet, thin metal with ease. When choosing the Dremel tool, bear in mind that each kit comes with different attachments that you choose from.

Cutting bits

There are multiple cutting bits the Dremel uses. These cut shapes are like discs. However, the discs are not the same. Some have gaps between the teeth for precision when cutting, and some have large gaps for bulk cutting. Fiberglass cutting bit works on thin materials such as metal.

Discs

Attach discs to the end of your Dremel tool. Discs are for precision sanding, and a drum bit is ideal for large surfaces and more precision. A sanding disc is an ideal tool. See our post on How to cut plexiglass with Dremel.

David D. Hughes

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