Rotary tools can come in many different forms. There are plenty of manufacturers on the market who have one or more variations in their line and last years many new appeared too. Rotary Tools can be of various sizes, but the basis for all of them comes from Dremel with their legendary tool. The latter one has numerous advantages over the competition, but for the purposes of scale modeling it is not something that would help you make a decision per se.
Scale Modeling rarely involves power tools besides the compressor. The compressor itself is not a power tool exactly, but a supporting machinery. So there are few such tools that one can implement into the hobby, however the definite leader among them as practicality and usefulness is the rotary tool.
Plenty can be achieved with such a tool and you can see that in the video attached below. Those are only few demo sessions that show various solutions that can be tedious if not using a rotary tool. And the one seen in that video is a very cheap option. However, speaking of price one must know that rotary tool that you will use for scale models won’t suffer much and in general there is no need for super-rugged and pricy item which can sustain all that abuse from constant work.
That is simply because it won’t be doing much of that.
The most important thing to look for are the various speeds option as well as a good fat set of bits included. As seen from the Demo Sessions below, there are practical use for almost ever bit, plus the fact that this is only a small fraction of the things that can be done with it. For example – armor modeling present a whole different universe of usage, starting from Metal Track polishing and cleaning up to and including shell holes. Latter ones are very slow process when done by hand.
Whatever the main purpose you are getting your rotary tool is, there going to be many more options revealing once you get the tool in hand. There are extensions with more flexible attachments to go into tricky places with those rotary tools, which will come handy. There are engraving tools that can cover that part of the modeling, but you can get all in one if you find a good set. Or get the stand to hold your rotary tool on your bench and use only the flexi-extension.
Much can be said about rotary tools and many various brands can be shown as example. Dremel are the best, that is certain, but there are many more. From Ryobi, through DeWalt and Black&Decker up to many no- or odd-brand ed Chinese options, they will all do the job for the regular scale modeler.
Check out the video below and see what a basic cheap tool can do. This one costs half the price of a 48th scale model, even less, and it can cope with almost anything: