How to Use Drill to Cut Horizontally (as a Dremel Replacement)




This is a quick hack to help you cut horizontally when you don’t have any horizontal cutting tool or dremel with you.

This project is a result of our sheer resourcefulness when we were in dire need of cutting some acrylic sheets and wood blocks, and didn’t have access to Dremel or wood cutters.

Tools Required:

1. A Drill Machine

2. One Nut

3. One Bolt

4. One Rotary Blade

5. One Metallic Washer

6. Two - Four plastic Washers

7. A wrench

You would be able to source these materials very easily from local hardware shops or may find them in your garage only.

So, let’s get started.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Nut & Bolt

Step 1 : Take the bolt and insert the nut.
Use a wrench to tighten it completely to the Bolt’s Head. The purpose of adding a nut here is to ensure the sturdiness of the arrangement as it would offer a larger area as compared to bolt’s head.

Step 2: Getting Together the Washers

Step 2 : Now insert a metallic washer, followed by a plastic washer. The metallic washer acts as a locking washer here. The plastic washer is used to reduce vibrations.

Step 3: Insert the Blade

Step 3 : Now, insert the blade into it.
Make sure that all the components are secured properly.

Step 4: Almost Done !!

Step 4 : Now put another plastic washer, followed by the second nut. Use wrench to tighten the nut.

Step 5: Time to Cut

Step 5 : Use this assembly as a modified ‘(drill) bit’ and put it as usual in the chuck.

Step 6 :Get on your safety glasses, power on the drill and start cutting.

A word of caution, due to repeated operation the assembly may get loose.Keep a wrench handy to fix it by tightening the bolts.

Step 6: Further Improvements

Couple of things can be further improved :

1. The metallic washer can also be added before second nut. That should make the arrangement more stable and balanced.

2. The half threaded bolt can be used which would give a better grip when inserted in Drill's chuck.



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Metal Contest

      Metal Contest
    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge

    11 Discussions


    4 years ago

    nice little hack... but please keep in mind, that this will damage most drills, no matter if handheld or tablemounted. those are definitely built for forces against the drillaxis, unlike a dremel!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    nothing to do with the drill axis, and everything to do with support being insufficient In a Jacobs chuck (drill chuck). The earlier comment above about the 3 point support is correct.

    The solution is to replace the Jacobs chuck with a threaded rod. That is the easiest way to provide the correct support.


    3 years ago

    Jacobs chucks are not designed for this. it will damage your drill, and could throw the tool, the problem being that you only have lateral support at three points of the rotation meaning that at least 66% of the cut time is spent actively forcing the tool out. I have seen it happen, it is not pretty. try removing the chuck, and arbor then replacing them with threaded rod, minor surgery more hassle less emergency room visits.


    3 years ago

    Would red thread locker work for securing it?


    3 years ago on Step 5

    You can stop it loosening by making sure the teeth are pointing in the right direction. Normally a drill is going to turn the bolt clockwise. If the teeth are aligned so that it cuts when your drill is turning the bolt clockwise, then any slippage of the cutting disc is in the anticlockwise direction which is going to loosen the bottom nut.

    Therefore, if you have a drill that has a reverse switch, flip the blade so it cuts in that direction. Now the drill is going anticlockwise - any slippage of the blade should be in a clockwise direction which will further tighten the bottom nut.


    Woops. I told you wrong about the second nut jam nut. That procedure with the jamming by loosening would be for a cone nut like on a bicycle. For this just torque down another nut after the last one so there's two on that side jammed together. Should help with the loosening.


    To keep the assembly from loosening use 2 final nuts to lock it in place instead of one. Make it ecatly as you did but then add an extra nut and tighten that one down too. Then hold the last nut with a wrench so it cant turn and using another wrench turn the second to last nut like you were loosening it, except that it cant loosen because the nut you are holding in place with the other wrench is blocking it, so what ends up happening is those two nuts jam together tightly, locking the threads. You'll be able to put the blade under many times more load before it will loosen if lovked in that way. I call it a jam nut. I believe that is also the name for thin nuts, so a bit confusing there. Other than that a reverse threaded (left hand thread as opposed to normal right thread) would cause the assembly to tighten rather than loosen when spun in the forward direction in a drill. Since the saw blade teeth are simple triagular teeth, meant to cut in either direction, I imagine another solution to the loosening problem would be to use just one nut as you did but run the drill in the reverse direction when making cuts. Also, instead of using a regular hex head bolt, use a carriage bolt. theyre even cheaper than regular bolts. Find a pack of 10 or so with matching thread to the nuts that you have in the bolt aisle of the hardware store for just a couple dollars for the short ones. They have shallow rounded heads so should give you better cutting angles. Well thats my thoughts but take it all with a grain of salt because that all just comes to mind, it's not from experience of actually doing it. lol. I need to make something like this though. Would be much more convenient to pop into a drill chuck for a quick small cut than changing out a dremel attachment. You can get those rotary saw wheels on ebay a whole set real cheap from china. The smallest wheels cut the best. The big ones work two you just have to cut really slow because the dremel isnt very powerful. Yes a drill probably would work much better for a wheel of that size. It would be nice to have a whole set of these of different sizes. Nice ible.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a quick way to the accident and emergency dept of the local hospital!

    NOT recommended - its an accident waiting to happen.

    No Guards, No shielding.It's totally against all workshop practice - and for very good reasons

    Im NOT being negative, and the warning SHOULD be published for everyone's sake if only to mke persons aware of the risks.


    3 replies

    I should have mentioned that comment was directed at douggie not the author. I have tried to do something similar but wasnt happy with the speed of the cut and power, maybe because I was using a battery drill to try to cut metal. even a battery grinder will go dead in under minute and barely make a cut depending on what you're cutting. I'll have to try this for wood.


    Youve got to be kidding me. Anytime somebody makes a power tool instructable people feel the need to throw a safety fit. That is the exact blade made to fit to a rotary tool that would spin tens of thousands of rpms faster than a drill does. Go ahead and follow every safety precaution out there until you're unable to do anything at all due to safety concerns. Others of us will use logic.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Honestly dude, dremels dont have guards either, yeah if you stick your hand right near the blade you could mess up quite a bit. As long as your not sticking your hand right up in there you should be fine.