On this page we will be having a look at what types of wire brushes that are available that you can attach to a drill. We will also be having a look at what different uses there are for these, types of brush attachments.
There are a few different types available, and we will go through each type in detail.
Cost of Wire Brush Drill Attachments
A typical average price for an attachment like this is about $10 but they go as low as $3 and all the way up to $15 depending on the quality, and the particular type that you want.
Essentially there are two types available on the market. One is an attachment where the wire comes out of the bottom. This is known as a cup type. Then there is another where the wires come out of the circumference of the brush attachment, and this is known as a radial attachment.
Have a look at the images below as that will explain it easier.
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Purpose of Wire Brushes
Generally speaking wire brushes are used to remove rust from metal. Please never use one of these without wearing safety glasses or goggles. Trust me, the last thing you want is a piece of rough and hot metal lodged in your eye.
I would also strongly recommend wearing gloves and also a face mask as that will stop you having to breathe in any dust. Many users also wear some type of either a dust apron or overalls. The sparks from metal can very easily burn through your clothes, and it is worthwhile covering up when using this type of drill attachment.
The Uses of Wire Wheels
The radial type have several different uses and in the main they are used to loosen up the rust on a surface of all types of metal. Mainly they are used on older cars and vehicles but can also be used on gates, hinges and anything metallic.
The short video below gives you one idea of what these can be used for.
Using Cup Brushes
Here is a video of someone cleaning up old cast iron pots and pans with a brush. In truth she would have needed both types of wire brush to get easier and more effective results.
The important thing is though that they do work, but they are also hard work. You will get bumped about quite a lot in your arms as they deal with uneven surfaces.
So as you can see there are quite a few uses for these. Clearly it is not something that you will do everyday, and in fact may never do at all. That said I think it is handy to have one of each of these as part of your tool kit.
For around $10 you can pick up one of each type, and they are useful to have when you need them. I recently took off some old gates which were pretty bad with rust. I removed the rust from them using a radial, and then did the more awkward welding joints with a cup brush.
They did some up like new and I was then able to give them a good primer and painting. I have also used them on old cars for cleaning up rust spots in the trunk. It also did a really good job there as well.
Different Levels of Quality
If you are going to buy these then just avoid what may initially look like good value. Some manufacturers sell these in sets for around $10 and the quality is pretty awful. To get good quality in one of these is not difficult and does not cost the earth.
This particular cup wire brush from Century Drills, (shown in the image) costs around $10 and is very good quality and fit will any drill. You simply put the shank into the chuck and you are good to go.
It is great for removing rust, paint, scale and for even de-burring. By using your drill it makes the process a whole lot easier.
In days gone past people would have used a standard wire brush which as you can imagine took an awful lot of elbow grease.
Having the speed of your drill to power one of these wire just attachments just makes your life a whole lot simpler. These come in different sizes from fine to coarse.
The more coarse they are, the quicker they can remove rust, but they also remove metal. Most people will do an initial coarse run, and then swap over to a fine wire to finish the job off.
Radial Style Wire Brush Attachment
As I mentioned earlier, the other style is the radial style. Like the cup style these also come in a range from coarse to fine.
Again these cost around $10, and they do an excellent job. These are better suited for cleaning the inside of pipes or metal tubes. They are also used commonly on cleaning engine heads.
They are also used for a task called deburring, or removing the rough edges from metal, and metallic objects.
Some people use these for cleaning things like pots and pans, and other hardware used for cooking.
Summary of Wire Brush Attachments for Drills
These are the two main types of wire brush attachments for drills. They are useful for a variety of metal cleaning tasks, and also good for the removal of rough metal work, and rust.
Anyone who works on cars will probably have any number of these sitting around their workshop. I am not one of those people and I have used these for doing gates and railings. They do work really well and they certainly take all the manual work out of the process.
They can be difficult to use. My advice is that if you have never used these before, then practise on an old piece of metal first. They do tend to skid off surfaces and they can be hard to control. You do get used to it though and I think it is useful to have a couple of these as and when you need them.