How To Frag Corals With A Dremel

There are many reasons why a reefer may want to frag a coral, such as wanting a piece to trade with a fellow hobbyist or simply because the coral has grown too large. While a bandsaw is generally considered the gold standard tool for fragging corals, many hobbyists don’t have the space to set one up or don’t want to pay upwards of $500 for a tool they may only use a handful of times each year. For reefers looking for an inexpensive, effective tool for cutting coral frags, a dremel makes a great choice.


Fragging with a dremel is relatively straightforward. However, since the tool will be exposed to salt water it might be a good idea to buy one specifically for coral fragging. If you are going to be fragging a member of the euphyillia family, such as a hammer coral, it is a good idea to try and encourage the polyps to retract before removing it from the water. This is because their long polyps may tear if the coral is removed while they are extended. Since corals should be out of the water for as short a period of time as possible it is important to first prepare and set up the frag plugs before removing the coral from the tank. In order to cut a frag the first step is to find a spot on the coral where there is a clear separation between the heads or branches. Once the location for the cut has been decided, it is simply a matter of using gentle pressure to make as straight a cut as possible. After cutting, some reefers will choose to wash the newly cut frag in a solution such as Coral Revive Coral Cleaner, but this is entirely optional. The newly cut frag can now be placed on the prepared frag plug. Since coral glues set much more quickly when wet, a dropper can be used to add saltwater to the glue in order to speed up the drying time. Alternatively, an accelerant can be used to cure the glue instantly. Once the glue has sufficiently set, the new frag can be placed either on a frag rack or on the sandbed to allow it to acclimatize.

Fragging with a dremel doesn’t have to be intimidating and is far less likely to shatter the coral’s skeleton than methods such as using bonecutters. For reefers without access to a bandsaw a dremel makes a great alternative for fragging corals.