Here are basically all of the items I use for rotary carving.
1. Rough carbide burs – My brand choice is Kutzall as their teeth are random. The green and orange ones at the top, if you can tell, have parallel teeth and I’ve found that they groove more than grind. Expensive.
2. Steel carbide cutters – I love these and they cut accurately and leave the surface smooth as well. They don’t work well on tupelo. Fairly expensive.
3. Stones – while I know these are not designed for wood – more or less your scissor sharpening, they are great at smoothing out basswood and the little black thing is a sharpening block. They come in a variety of grit sizes although I don’t have a very smooth one at this time. Cheap.
4. Cutoff wheels – some of these have diamond edges, some have wire reinforcement, some even have little saw teeth but they can get away from you if you’re not careful. One is a sanding wheel and it really works well. I prefer to bend and soften it before attaching. Cheap to expensive.
5. Diamonds and rubys – I have a variety of them separated by grit sizes. They come in a variety of tips, something for everything. Unfortunately, the most pointed ones break very easily if you force them. These ones were cheap but they can be up to $20 each.
6. Brushes and polishing pads – of you’ve ever worked with basswood, you’ll know there is always a fuzzy spot somewhere. Between my stones and polishing pads, I seem to tackle them. The wire brush, at the right speed, with also give you a nice satin finish.
I use all of my different styled bits on all of my carvings. The three stem sizes I have are 1/4”, 1/8” and 1/16” thus I have three different collet sizes in my rotary tools and have each tool on a separate foot pedal so I don’t have to bend down each time I need to change a tool. I have my foot pedals mounted almost like piano pedals in front but not right under me as if you accidentally step on one while you’re changing a bit, your tool cable will snap immediately.