How to Use a Dremel to Cut Nails

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Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses

  • Collet wrench

  • Abrasive cut off wheel

  • Pliers


Do not cut all the way through the nail. Doing so can cause the cut off part of the nail to fly through the air at a high speed, creating a safety hazard.

Never cut nails with a Dremel, or any other tool, without wearing safety glasses.

Using a Dremel to cut nails is a quick and easy process that makes light work of cutting nails. Insert an abrasive cut off wheel into the collet, the part of the Dremel that holds the bit in place, and cutting nails takes only seconds per nail. Add to that speed the compact size of the Dremel and you have a capable cutting machine that fits into almost any space making it better and faster for cutting nails than using a reciprocating or hack saw.


Step 1

Put on a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from sparks and flying debris.

Step 2

Use the thumb of one finger to depress the collet lock button and use your other hand to loosen the collet nut with the collet wrench by turning it clockwise.

Step 3

Insert the abrasive cut off disk bit into the collet of the Dremel.

Step 4

Tighten the collet nut securely using the wrench and collet lock, turning the collet nut counter-clockwise.


Step 5

Grasp the Dremel firmly in your palm with your thumb and forefinger even with the collet lock button. This will allow you maximum ability to control the Dremel while cutting the nail.

Step 6

Cut into the nail with the side of the disc with the Dremel at full speed, cutting roughly three-quarters of the way through the nail.

Step 7

Use pliers or your fingers to snap the nail off at the cut.

Step 8

Grind the snapped off part of the nail smooth with the flat part of the abrasive disk, if desired.



Vance Holloman

Vance Holloman is a residential contractor and freelance writer living in Atlanta. Much of his writing centers on the expertise he has gained from two decades in the construction industry. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and numerous online sites, including and "Auburn Plainsman." Holloman has a Master's degree in business from the University of Maryland.