Dremel-type Rotary Tools?

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penicillin

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We would like to buy a Dremel-type rotary tool as a gift. The recipient is mid-20s and not a penturner or woodworker. They are more of a "maker" or "crafter". The initial use would be to clean up plastic objects made on a 3D printer. They also like to build small electronic projects. The recipient is tech savvy. Rotary tools have many uses.

My spouse and I went to Home Depot and Lowes. Both carry Dremel brand tools but not third-party products. We found large "fat" Dremel 3000 and 4000 series tools with cords. There were similar-size cordless versions. We also saw a few "mini" tools like the Dremel Stylo. All of them were priced much higher than we expected.

What would you recommend? What works and what does not?
 
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jttheclockman

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My thoughts. I believe those small dremel type tools are made more the model builder where they do not need many tools and much pressure to clean parts or cut parts. The larger ones are more industrial and home hobby use rolled into one. You want one with VS for sure. You want one with no wrench tools but they also give you one for an option. I have several Dremels. They all are just about interchangeable in that all attachment tools fit them all being they have the threaded neck. All mine have chords. I think it is no big deal. I have the 4000 series one as the latest one I bought. I bought mine with a kit that has a few tools with it and some accessories. Many I already had but so be it. Just bought some bits for it last week to grind some metal and shape it for small parts for my watch part pens. I find them very handy and when a tool functions as suppose to and is easy to use the money factor does not play into it for me. I believe Harbor freight has their version as well as wen. How they hold up I have no idea but you could read reviews on them. Probably all basically the same and who knows may come off same line. Dremel has been round for so long and I am satisfied with them. Those others are probably alot cheaper.
 

egnald

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There are a lot of options when it comes to Dremel brand tools. I have their corded 4000 model that I use frequently - primarily with plastic and metal cutoff wheels. They also have a lite duty, 4 volt cordless model that uses USB for charging and also a more powerful 12 volt cordless. There are benefits of both - for example, the lite one is less expensive and suited for hobbyist use polishing, deburring, etc., but it is not recommended for cutting, drilling, or routing where the 12 volt is heavier duty and more powerful. You might want to take a look at Amazon for all of the options and prices. - Dave
 

dogcatcher

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I use the Harbor Freight version, it is non variable speed. But I added a router speed controller for variable speed.

But my suggestion would be to buy the Foredom style machine. I have a Wecheer and Foredom and a $50 version off of eBay. The latter uses all the same accessories from the others.

I would recommend reading this link for some good info.
https://forum.woodcarvingillustrate...arving/54216-review-of-cheap-flex-shaft-tools
 

greenacres2

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Maybe not for the "techno-savvy", but when my dentist retired (he was a woodworker as well, and moving south to a community with a couple of full shops)--one of the things i bought from his shop was his old-style dental drill & foot pedal. Best $50 i've ever spent, though it didn't improve my penmanship. Looking forward to practicing in retirement. If the Dremel looks expensive...take a look at Foredom carvers!!
earl
 

PatrickR

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I had to replace a dremel because it had too much run out for my use (could have been age).
I got a 115 v Proxxon. It is far better than the dremel.
 

Woodchipper

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I started with the Dremel brand and it died after a few years. Got a rechargeable and it had no power. It died an early death. I got the General Machinery corded tool from Harbor Freight several years ago. I find it to be a good tool with variable speed and plenty of power at all speeds. Only thing about buying these tools...you wind up with a collection of duplicate accessories!
Hope this helps.
 

BULLWINKLE

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My thoughts. I believe those small dremel type tools are made more the model builder where they do not need many tools and much pressure to clean parts or cut parts. The larger ones are more industrial and home hobby use rolled into one. You want one with VS for sure. You want one with no wrench tools but they also give you one for an option. I have several Dremels. They all are just about interchangeable in that all attachment tools fit them all being they have the threaded neck. All mine have chords. I think it is no big deal. I have the 4000 series one as the latest one I bought. I bought mine with a kit that has a few tools with it and some accessories. Many I already had but so be it. Just bought some bits for it last week to grind some metal and shape it for small parts for my watch part pens. I find them very handy and when a tool functions as suppose to and is easy to use the money factor does not play into it for me. I believe Harbor freight has their version as well as wen. How they hold up I have no idea but you could read reviews on them. Probably all basically the same and who knows may come off same line. Dremel has been round for so long and I am satisfied with them. Those others are probably alot cheaper.
I bought a Harbor Freight a few years ago. Variable speed, and uses the same size bits (which they also sell cheaper than Dremel).
So far it’s worked just fine. I use it fairly frequently. I have a corded model as their cordless isn’t nearly as good. . For about 1/3 the price of Dremel it’s a great value. And who knows. It may be made on the same assembly line.
 

penicillin

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I would like to extend a grateful thank you to everyone here who responded to the thread. We learned a lot from your input and looked at every one of your suggestions, whether by direct link or web search. We have a much better idea of the different types and styles of rotary tools on the market.

-> We bought a Dremel 4000-2/30 model for $74.50. Here are some of the choices we made:
  • Corded over cordless - We want the rotary tool to last. We also want it to be ready to use when needed.
  • Not a "mini" - We liked the size of the smaller rotary tools like the Dremel Stylo+ and the many cordless knockoffs, for small projects and crafting. We felt that they were underpowered, and many accessories do not fit on them. Most were cordless, which we did not want. They looked like tools that the recipient would grow out of, rather than a tool that would find new uses for a long time.
  • Dremel brand over other brands - We looked at "GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit", which looks like a knock-off of an older Dremel model (the Dremel we have at our home). They give you everything for a low price, but we felt that the tool and parts would not last. We read the negative reviews, and found poor fit and low quality issues as well as the usual failures and a few malcontents.
  • Must have: Case - Some models did not have a case pictured (but may have had a case anyway). The recipient lives in an apartment at present, so including a good container with the tool was important.
  • Dremel 4000 over Dremel 3000 or 4300 or other models - All Dremel tools seem overpriced for what you get, but this one seemed like the best overall value for the price. It was $12 more than a comparable 3000 and way lower than most of the other full-size corded Dremel offerings.
By the way, the "2/30" stands for 2 attachments and 30 accessories (bits, etc.)
 
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