If you ask me what has made me a fan of wood carving, my answer would be:
The elimination of the need to use traditional tools to carve.
This might seem like a lazy thing to say but when you consider the amount of work it takes to carve a design into a piece of wood using traditional tools, Dremel looks like a savior. Well to me it is, and this is what has made me research and collect the best Dremel bits for wood carving.
The best Dremel bits aren’t the ones that are the most expensive or are made with the strongest materials. The best bits are the ones that are tailored to your needs.
There are countless Dremel bits on the market. And this results in a dilemma:
Even if there are countless quality bits on the market, how would you decide which ones to choose?
This is where I come in.
I have been collecting Dremel burs and bits for many years now. This is my guide to the best Dremel bits on the market.
Top 10 Best Dremel Bits For Wood Carving 2021
The first and the most versatile of the Dremel bits is the 20pcs Dremel bit set from Tonsiki. Tonsiki has, in my opinion, created a bit set that is all you need if you are looking to do wood carving.
So what makes this set stand out from the rest? Actually quite a few things.
First up is the size of the bits in the collection. The set contains bits of 1/8’’ shank size. As a result, they will fit in most small rotary tools like a Dremel.
Next up are the materials. I can’t emphasize enough how relieved I was when I found that there are bits of different materials included in the set. This is relieving because there are times when you need a bit of a particular material and you can’t find it.
The materials include Tungsten Carbide and High-Speed Steel. Both of these materials are well suited for wood carving as they are exceptionally hard and extremely durable.
Similarly, there are different bits and burs. You can chamfer, grind, cut, ream and hollow out wood among other things.
All in all, it is a complete set and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Sure there are a few problems but for what it’s worth, this set is well worth your money.
- 20Pcs of bits of different shapes provide versatility
- The bits are long-lasting thanks to Tungsten Carbide and High-Speed Steel
- Compatible with most small rotary tools like Dremel
- Affordable as compared to similarly spec’d competition
- Useful for all sorts of tasks like grinding, chamfering, hollowing, and such
- The packaging is poorly done as the bits are packed in a single bag which is pretty detrimental to their overall shape
- There are complaints about their sharpness as they are not as sharp as they should be
Most of the time the company making the tools also make the perfect accessories for it. This is exactly the case with Dremel Tool Carving and Engraving Kit.
When I first opened the kit I was surprised at how fully thought out the kit was. The kit contains almost every carving and engraving bit you need.
Talking about the bits and the Dremel Carving and Engraving Kit packs in a total of 11 accessories. These are less than the Tonasiki Kit which comes with 20pcs. But as you know quantity isn’t everything.
The bits in question are of high quality. There are 4 engraving cutters, 4 grinding stones, a diamond wheel for working on hard surfaces, and a diamond carving bit.
Aside from the bits, there is also a 481 collet included in the box. As I’ve mentioned in the start this kit caught me off guard by how fully functioning it was and the inclusion of the 481 collets is proof of that.
In addition to this assortment, the kit also ships with a reusable box. This is a nice touch on Dremel’s part.
Long story short, it is a pretty great set. It includes all the engraving and carving bits you will ever need.
- All of the engraving and cutting bits are well made and are pretty durable
- The included diamond bits are great for working on hard surfaces
- The bits perform exceptionally well owing to their build quality and sharpness
- The included box is reusable which is a nice touch
- Quite well priced
- Sanding and grinding stones leave something to be desired since they have a tendency to come apart
- The bits are really small so it would take a long time to engrave or cut wood
Upon receiving my package I immediately noticed a couple of things. First, they do not look cheap by any means. They look well built and well designed. Secondly, they are sharp. I mean really sharp.
Similarly, I was really impressed with their performance. The bits can cut through wood effortlessly. The same can be said for working with metals.
Talking about metals, the bits are made from Tungsten Steel. If you don’t already know, Tungsten Steel is harder than even stainless steel. So it is perfect for working with hard metals.
In addition to working with other metals, Tungsten Steel also affords another advantage. It is crazy durable. Tungsten Bits last a long time and stay sharp even when used extensively.
With 10pcs of engraving bits, the Ventercess Rotary Burr Set Carving Too is an incredibly versatile tool for wood carving. Go ahead and buy it. You won’t regret your purchase.
- Bits included in the package are made from Tungsten Steel which provides exceptional hardness and longevity
- The bits perform really well as they cut through wood without any problem
- Leaves a smooth surface after carving which is rare since Tungsten bits are known for roughing out a surface
- Various shapes including Ball, Diamond, Cylinder among others
- Comes in a small case which is perfect for storing the bits
- Some bits wear out quickly when used with hard materials
Next up is another kit of carbide bits. The HOMEIDOL 10pcs Double Cut Tungsten Carbide Files are well suited for wood carving and most metalwork.
Speaking from my experiences, carbide bits last quite a while if you take a couple of things into consideration. First whenever you use a bit be sure to clean it before storing it. Secondly, don’t push it too hard.
Moving on to the subject on hand, the bits have a shaft diameter of 1/8 inches. This is perfect as it will make the bits fit any small rotary tools.
The other thing that I noticed and you should too is the kind of work the manufacturer rates this set for. HOMEIDOL rates it for drilling, engraving, and carving. While it is well suited for engraving and carving, I am a little concerned when it comes to drilling.
Other than that, the bits are incredibly efficient when it comes to processing wood. The credit here goes to the material used and the shapes available.
Here remember this:
Different head-shaped bits have different characteristics.
Oval cuts the wood differently than Cylinder. In the same way, the Ball shape makes a different cut than the Pear shape. So it helps when the toolset contains as many different shaped bits as possible.
In this regard, I am happy to report that the carbide bits come in shapes ranging from Oval to Cylinder. Almost all the most used shapes are present in the package.
To sum it all up, the HOMEIDOL 10pcs 1/8 inches Double Cut Tungsten Carbide Rotary Files is quite a good product when you consider what it offers at the price it charges.
- The package is versatile as it contains bits of various shapes
- Shank size of 1/8 inches is ideal as it fits most small rotary tools
- Work really well for wood carving
- Carbide bits are long-lasting and are hard enough to work on metals
- Comes bundled in with a small plastic case for easily carrying the bits around
- While technically it can work on metals, don’t use it on hard ones as the shank is not durable enough to withstand the stress
- Make sure to insert the bit all the way down the shaft. Do it in such a way that only the head is showing as some people have noticed the shank bending if not properly inserted into the shaft
Next up on our list of best Dremel bits for wood carving is the YXGOOD 10 Pieces Tungsten Carbide Double Cut Rotary Burr Set. While the name may be a mouthful, the product it represents is awesome.
First up are the contents of the set. The bur set contains 10pcs of Tungsten Carbide bits. The shank size of these bits is 1/8 inches which are suitable for most small rotary tools and the length is 50mm.
While we are on the subject of bits, the quality of the bits is phenomenal. The bits themselves have Tungsten Carbide points on a steel shank.
Here you might ask me:
Doesn’t every bit that says Tungsten Carbide is Tungsten Carbide?
Well, the reality is complicated. More and more manufacturers nowadays sell bits claiming they are Tungsten Carbide but in actuality, they are just HSS. But the bur set from YXGOOD is actually Tungsten carbide.
Having Carbide points makes these bits really well suited for hard materials. Carving is wood is absolutely no problem for these bits. What’s more interesting is that these actually quite well for metals as well.
So where does that leave us? The set contains actual Tungsten carbide bits that are sharp, hard, and plenty durable. Moreover, the bits come in a variety of shapes and sizes including Oval, Cylinder, Tapered, and so on.
- Bits perform really for tasks such as chamfering, cleaning, beveling, and veining
- The bits are hard enough for use with metals such as steel
- Absolutely no complaints about the sharpness
- Really good value for money
- Be careful when using these on hard metals. If you push the bits too hard, they can end up unusable
Don’t be confused by the Diamond in the name as this burr set doesn’t contain diamond bits. The bits in the Atoplee’s offering are made from Tungsten Carbide.
Moving on to the set itself, the set, as the name suggests, comes equipped with 10pcs of Tungsten Carbide burrs. In addition to the burrs, there is also a handy case where you can store the bits once your work is done.
The bits themselves are great to use. Being carbide bits these are hard enough so that wood carving is no problem for them. These can easily cut wood and remove considerable amounts of material.
Moving on to the exact dimensions of the bits and we have a shank size of 1/8 inches, with lengths coming in close to 6mm. This is a pretty standard size for wood carving burrs and as such these will fit almost all the small rotary tools.
All in all, these are no-nonsense bits that do what they promise. They perform great, come in a variety of shapes, and are quite affordable.
- Sharp, hard, and beautifully designed
- Tungsten carbide holds up pretty well against the wood and soft metals
- These carbide bits perform great and are a treat to work with
- Provide good bang for your buck
- The burs are kind of large compared to other bits on the market. So you need to be extra careful when using these
- As mentioned above, these work great for wood carving. But the shafts are a little soft when putting the bits against a hard metal such as steel
This set is perhaps the most unique on this list. Not because it packs something crazy but because of the sheer number of bits that it offers.
I was surprised when I got my hands on this set. 50 bits and that too at the same price as other rotary toolsets on the market. While I agree that this sounds sketchy, these bits are not.
Starting our discussion off with the bits and we see 50 bits of different shapes. There are Cylindrical bits, Oval ones, Tapered among many others.
Moving on to the shank size and it is the standard 1/8 inches which will fit most rotary tools.
Unlike other burrs on this list, and this is where it gets interesting, these bits are not Tungsten Carbide. These are Diamond coated steel bits.
Being a Diamond coated bit has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The chief advantage of Diamond coated bits is the durability. These can last as long as carbide bits.
Similarly, aside from metal, diamond coated burrs can handle almost anything you throw at them. Ceramic, Glass, Wood, Stone, you name it and I am sure these can handle it.
However, there are also a couple of disadvantages to using a Diamond coating. You can’t use these on metals.
All in all, this is a solid set of burrs and you should definitely check it out.
- Solid performance when used with glass, ceramic, and wood
- Pretty durable if used with care
- 50pcs is a boatload of bits which is pretty good
- Exceptional value for money
- If you decide to use these with stone, be aware as the shafts can bend
- You can’t use them with metal
- The packaging could be improved
If I ever have to choose a set of engraving bits that offers versatility, I would definitely take a look at this. The SPTA 10Pc HSS Router Carbide Engraving Bits is a fine set of bits for folks who need plenty of different shapes.
The set contains 20pcs of HSS bits. Being HSS bits, these are long-lasting and can be used on a number of materials.
Moreover, the bits are the standard 1/8 inches shank size. This means you should have no trouble connecting them with your Dremel or any other small rotary tool.
Moving on to the performance, and for the most part, I didn’t notice any major issues. During my time with the bits, I was pretty happy with the performance I got from these.
Finally, the different shapes this burr set offers is the thing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Shapes like straight, trim, V groove, beading, cove, slot cutter and more are on offer here.
The crux of the matter is:
The SPTA 10Pc HSS Router Carbide Engraving Bits is a good assortment of bits especially when it comes to woodworking.
- Quite durable
- Performs really well when used with materials such as wood, ceramics, plastics, and so on
- Good value for money
- Not as durable as carbide bits
- The bits can become dull fairly quickly
So what is actually up with these bits? Well, this a good set of bits. But they are just titanium coated. Now because they are just titanium coated, they can’t be used for anything other than soft materials.
Keeping this in mind, wood, ceramic, PVC, and such are fine. But stay away from metals or glass.
Aside from this, everything else about this is quite good. The set has 30pcs which is more than enough. And the bits come in a variety of shapes as well. Shapes such as Ball, Cone, Rounded Cylinder, Flat Top Cylinder, Tapered, and Needle Point.
All in all, this a good set when you factor in the number and size of the bits included and the price you are paying for it.
- Good quality titanium coated bits are well suited for working with wood, ceramic, and PVC
- The bits come in a variety of shapes
- Good value for money
- As these are not Tungsten Carbide, they won’t last a long time
- Not usable when it comes to hard surfaces
If you are just starting out on your journey of DIY woodwork, you should consider this burr set. It is inexpensive and gets the job when it comes to wood.
First up is the build quality of and I have to say it is good but nothing exceptional. These are not Tungsten Carbide or any other material aimed at working with hard materials. These are just HSS bits that are rated for woodwork.
The 20pcs that comprise this set comes in a variety of shapes so you can get that look you are after. Plus they also have the standard 1/8 inch shank. This makes them compatible with most rotary tools like Dremel.
Couple the inexpensive nature of the bits with the fact that they are not too sharp and you can see why they are a good bet for beginners.
- Good for beginners as this set is inexpensive
- The bits come in different shapes with a standard shank size of 1/8 inches
- Pretty good for soft woodwork
- Won’t last a long time
- Not usable for hard substances
- Too dull for most use cases
Buying Guide: Choosing the right Dremel bits for you
Before we move on, let’s recap:
A Dremel bit also called a bur, is the part that is responsible for carving out wood.
Now, because it is responsible for carving one can’t choose any bit one happens to find. Not all bits are created equal.
As it goes, some bits are suitable for roughing out the surface while others are meant to smooth out the rough areas. What bit you need depends on your particular use case.
This doesn’t mean everything related to Dremel bits is subjective. Far from it.
Things like shank size, material, and head size are all important. Choosing the best bit for you requires thorough consideration.
I have done all of this in the past. So let’s see what you need to know to get the best Dremel bits for wood carving.
Shank Diameter matters a lot
The first thing you need to keep in mind is the diameter of the shank.
Shank is the part of the bit that goes in the Dremel. The Dremel holds on to the shank, rotates it which rotates the bit.
Now, ask yourself this:
But why does the diameter matter?
Isn’t it clear? The shank goes into the machine. If it’s too small, it won’t work. If it’s too large, it won’t fit.
So make sure you choose the correct shank size for your Dremel. Common shank sizes are 1/4”, 1/8″, 3/32″, and 1/16″.
There is no “one size fits all” shank on the market. However, you can use different shanks with the same machine.
To use different shanks with your Dremel, you need a collet. Flexible shaft machines equipped with the appropriate collet are perfect for people who want to use one power tool for multiple purposes.
Similarly, you can get multiple collets to work with multiple bits on a single Dremel.
When choosing a bit, choose the largest bit you can comfortably use. Large bits make it much easier to carve out wood
The material determines what you can carve and for how long?
Dremel bits are made from a variety of materials. Each material has its own set of use cases.
When it comes to choosing the right material, you need to answer a couple of questions first:
- What are you planning to carve? Wood? Iron? Concrete?
- What kind of a look do you have in mind?
- How long are you planning to one particular bit?
The answers to these questions will determine the material that is the most suitable for you.
Common materials and their characteristics
These are only a handful of bit types. There are dozens of materials that are used to make Dremel bits.
Each of the above-mentioned bits serves a particular role in the whole carving process. Some bits are used to quickly remove stock. While other bits are used in detailing the piece.
For instance, carbide bits are used to remove wood quickly. While it removes the wood quickly, it also leaves a rough surface. So after using a carbide bit, you need to use a sanding bit or a bit more suited to smoothening out the surface.
In the same way, Diamond bits, being the hardest bits on the market, are used for a final touch up. These are used to add fine detail to a finished piece.
As you can see every bit has its own particular use case. A set of conditions under which these bits shine.
This is where the questions I asked you to answer come into play. When you know which bits are perfect for what, only then you can make an informed decision.
Head shapes are as varied as the materials
The next step in choosing a Dremel bit is to know about the head shapes.
Just like the materials, different head shapes cut the wood in different ways. In addition to this, head shapes also give the wood a certain texture.
Common Head Shapes
- Oval shaped bits are used to make concave cuts. These bits are primarily used in rounding up edges
- Ball Nose bits are used to get flat sides and round edges. The trick to using this head shape is to use the sides to get a flat cut and the head to get a U-shaped cut
- The cylinder is among the most useful head shapes. Similar to Ball Nose it can be used to cut flat sides and round edges. But unlike Ball Nose, it gives a V-shaped cut instead of a U-shapes one
- The ball is pretty similar to Ball Nose. Concave cuts, and hollowing out areas are its main use cases
- The flame is a combination of Cylinder and Ball. It makes U-shaped cuts when using the sides and a V-shaped when we use the tip
These are the most commonly used head shapes. There are other shapes like the Inverted cone, the Large Taper, The small taper among others.
As you already know, the main purpose of the bits is to remove wood. Different head shapes remove woods in different ways and different quantities.
Choosing a bit on the basis of the head shape requires you to pay close attention to the head shape. Do you want to rough out the surface or do you want to add details? What kind of a cut do you want?
These questions are important. Don’t go blindly to a website and start ordering bits. First, think about the way you want to use them and then look out for ones you are interested in.
What does the Dremel do?
Dremel is what we call a power tool. It provides extreme amounts of torque to tools called the bits. The bits or burs are the tools that go in a Dremel shaft. Dremel rotates these bits which in turn carves out the material it is being used on.
A Dremel is used to work on materials like wood, plaster, metals among many more. The bits required to differ by the material and the nature of the craft.
Can you use a Dremel as a drill?
You can’t use a Dremel as a drill. There are a couple of reasons for that.
Firstly, drill bits can’t be used with a Dremel. The hex shaft of drill bits is too wide to fit in a Dremel.
Secondly, due to the difference in the respective performances of a drill and a Dremel. Conventional drills have performance in the ballpark of 1000-1500 rpm. The bits that fit in a drill are designed keeping this performance in mind.
On the other hand, rotary tools like a Dremel has a much higher RPM. Dremel starts from 5000 RPM and can go all the way up to 30,000 RPM. Drill bits can’t handle this kind of torque.
These are the two reasons why a Dremel can’t be used as a drill.
Can a Dremel cut metal?
Yes, a Dremel can cut metal provided that you use a proper bit. Different Dremel bits have different qualities. Some bits are meant for wood, some for ceramics, and others for metals.
So you can cut metal but you will need a bit such as Carbide or Diamond.
The bits in the Tonsiki 20pcs Tungsten Carbide Rotary Burr Set are the best Dremel bits for wood carving. These bits are well made, come in a variety of shapes, are durable and above all, don’t cost a lot.
Whenever you are on the hunt for Dremel bits keep a few things in mind. First of all, don’t rush in. Take your time doing research. This includes finding out what materials and shapes you need.
In addition to this, always choose the largest bits that you can comfortably work with. Large bits offer several advantages over smaller ones.
In the end, remember that not all bits are created equal. Always go with the ones that are the most useful for your particular use case.