Router vs. Dremel – What is the Difference Between Them?

There is a common misconception among people that a Router and Dremel are basically the same. While it is true that they both work in a similar rotary motion, they don’t actually serve the same purpose. There are, in fact, some core differences that set these two power tools very widely apart.

Dremel vs Router

Especially due to the rise of DIYers and home-construction hobbyists, power tools are becoming immensely popular. So, it’s quite natural to be unable to tell apart two seemingly identical pieces of equipment.

However, fret not as we bring you an in-depth consultation about Router vs. Dremel in this article. Jump right in and know the differences now!

Router Basics

A router is one of the most pivotal tools in woodworking. The fast-spinning rotary equipment will help you hollow out a specific section of any piece of wood.

The equipment usually stands upright on the surface, where you can slide it by hand for rounding edges, engraving, sanding, inlaying, or etching.

There are numerous variants of wood routers. But the most popular ones are fixed-base routers and plunge routers.

Pros: Simple, versatile, quick, and accurate.

Cons: expensive with limited applications.

Dremel Basics

Although the technical term for the Dremel equipment is moto-tool, it’s more widely popular by the brand-name offered by its manufacturers.

The rotary power tool is, more or less, like a customizable mechanical drill machine. You simply insert specific drill bits or other attachments into the machine and start working with its intended purpose.

There are not too many variants of the Dremel anyway. Most variations are based on the subtle functional differences offered by different manufacturers.

Pros: Versatile and economic. Suitable for DIY projects.

Cons: Prone to frequent damage and can’t be used for professional projects.

Key Similarities

Both the router and Dremel are used for engraving, rounding, sanding, and polishing wood. They are also both rotary tools and deploy a fast-spinning collet.

Professionals and DIYers prefer both instruments for their intended purposes.

Key Differences

From a layman’s perspective, both a Dremel and router may seem quite the same. They are both used for quite similar types of woodworking tasks and can be alternatively used as well. But there are still some core issues that set them apart.

1. Size of Collet

Routers usually have a collet size of 0.25-inch or larger. You can use the outer for thicker pieces of wood with a larger diameter.

Dremels are designed to handle only 0.125-inch collets for more small-scale tasks.

2. Power & Speed

Routers are rather monstrous when it comes to power. Heavy-duty routers can spin a motor using power all the way up to 15 amperes. Even the low-end routers on the market usually consume around 5-6 amperes of electricity. Most routers have an RPM rating between 15000 and 35000.

Dremels are much gentler in terms of power consumption. The most potent variant can consume up to 1.6 amperes of electricity and deliver an RPM of 13000 at maximum levels.

3. Build Quality & Durability

A router is quite sturdy when it comes to the build. The machine is larger in comparison as well. This means it will also last longer due to using rigid and robust materials in its construction.

On the other hand, a Dremel is much smaller and uses relatively tiny collets. So, they are subject to frequent damage and breaking off. Dremels are also turned on and off more frequently than a router. So, the machine does not last as long as a router either.

4. Materials & Versatility

Routers can definitely work on an extensive range of materials, including wood. The instrument is highly efficient in performing heavy-duty woodworking tasks as well as other DIY home building projects.

On the other hand, Dremels are a goldmine when it comes to versatility. Since the power tool allows the attachment of numerous drill bits, you can perform all types of techniques with it. Starting from carving, grinding, sharpening engraving to even sanding, polishing, and drilling – dremels can do it all!

Router vs Dremel in a Chart

Power (maximum)15 amp1.6 amp
Rotary Action (maximum)35000 RPM13000 RPM
Collet Size0.25-inch0.125-inch
DurabilityLasts longerBreaks easily
ApplicationsProfessional woodworkDIY projects and home repair
MaterialsWood, timber, plywoodWood, metal, plastic, glass, etc.

Choosing Between Dremel vs Router

Choosing Between Router vs Dremel

Routers and dremels both have their designated uses and serve distinct purposes. Although there is quite an overlap between the types of the task they can do, there are still many factors to set them apart. This begs the question– which one should you choose?

Well, as a professional in the maintenance and repair industry, a router is your best shot. You’ll have to deal with a lot of hard materials and require more significant amounts of power.

Also, routers are less prone to break, get damaged, or malfunction since they use larger collets. So, you’ll be safe from unwanted mishaps and can use the tool for an extended period of time without any issues. Routers will help you save time as well on the same job.

On the other hand, dremels are more suited towards hobbyists and delicate DIYers who enjoy casual woodworking. The sheer level of versatility that dremels offer using a wide range of drill bits is enough to satisfy any user.

It’s also cheaper in terms of fixed costs. DIYers don’t usually work on super-rigid materials but prefer softer wood instead. So, the collets are not likely to break even though they are significantly smaller.

All in all, we suggest that you get both the instruments so that you can use them appropriately when needed. Use a router for expensive heavy-duty tasks and a Dremel for less intensive cheaper projects.


While both router and Dremel share some similarities, there are core factors that set them apart. We hope this article was informative enough in letting you finally decide on a winner in the debate of Router vs Dremel.

Make sure to choose the appropriate tool based on the type of project or application you have in mind. Other than that, you are good to go with choosing either if you just want to wing it. Happy woodworking!

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