Need advice on a tool purchase

Forums Other Parts, Accessories, & Equipment Need advice on a tool purchase

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    Bigragu
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    Hey, all. I need advice on buying a Dremel tool. I feel like an idiot, as I’ve never, ever owned a Dremel tool ever, and wouldn’t know how to use one or which one to buy. I was just gonna get one at my local Home Depot, but not sure which one. Also, the bit attachments- really lost there. Are Dremel bit attachments all gonna work on a Dremel labeled tool, regardless of who manufactures the bits?

    With all the construction type tools I own, I thought a Dremel is one tool I’d never ever need, so when they first came out I said those are stupid, why would anyone buy one of those? Well, ownership of these air rifles have made me realize I need to get one for any modifications I need to do. 

    Can someone give me a quick tutorial on what exactly I need to get, and as far as bits go, it would strictly be for this PCP hobby, so grinding, cutting, and trimming of plastic parts and light steel/aluminum is all I’d need it for. No wood work stuff or engraving. 

    Link to pics or model numbers would help awesomely! Thank you! I’d like to go get one today.

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    Brian10956
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    Save your money they have cheap copies at Harbor Freight  you can spend $10 to $30 before their 20% off coupon. I have the $10 one it uses the same attachments as a real Dremel tool.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/rotary-oscillating-tools.html

    if you get the attachment set at bottom of page for $29 less coupon you’ll have everything you’ll need and after you see what works best on eBay they have the same. Practice your sanding and polishing on scrap metal until you get the hang as it’s easy to do too much and cause damage

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by Brian10956.
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    bandg
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    I've had several over the years.  All have been corded but I did use one in an office that was battery powered-Lowes Dremel model 8220.  VERY NICE.  If I need another one it will be that battery powered model.  There are varying shaft diameters (1/8, 1/4, etc.) but most dremel models will have all necessary collets for any shaft size and they are easily changed.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dremel-8220-31-Piece-Variable-Speed-Cordless-12-Volt-Multipurpose-Rotary-Tool-with-Hard-Case/3824383

    There are cutting wheels, polishing kits, diamond burs, carbide burs, etc. in all sorts of shapes and grits.  

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by bandg.
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    bandg
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    One accessory type that isn't "dremel" but that I use a lot is a set of rubberized polishing points.  I have cylinder, cone, disc, and wheel shapes in 4 grits.  Coarse will pretty quickly cut metal and fine will put a mirror shine on parts.  Very handy.

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    JCD
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    I use a dremel like tool (dif brand) frequently, although my use is mostly with the cutting wheels and rasp type bits. An attachment like this flex shaft makes access to tight areas a lot easier.

    Also, skip anything that doesn't have variable speed (if single speed versions even still exist) . Finding the right/comfortable working speed for your project makes it easier to control rather than jump around and do unintended damage.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/dremel-rotary-flex-shaft/1114203?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-tol-_-bing-_-pla-_-129-_-rotaryandoscillatingtools-_-1114203-_-0&kpid&k_clickID=bi_272560521_1308419024782844_81776226623616_pla-4585375807518766_c_&msclkid=7f12730692171e86d8cb2e15183745ca

     

     

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    STO
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    So I've used, and burned through, a whole bunch of different rotary tools over the years. I've got a couple life lessons out of that which I hope are useful to you. 

     

    The worst possible value, in my opinion, are the Dremel branded rotary tools that are below their "professional" line. The professional ones last quite a while for me, but ultimately it is the speed controllers on them which go. You can usually get rebuilt ones on Ebay for significant discount. 
    https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/tools/4000-high-performance-variable-speed-rotary-tool

     

    If you want to go cheap, these actually have better build quality than the inexpensive Dremels and are pretty good. Lower top speed, less overall performance, but they are awfully cheap. This has given rise to the frequent phrase in the shop "give her a TungFull" when something isn't working and requires a rotary tool to fix. If you do buy one of these, be sure to specify the American plug type:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33002837217.html

    Here is the thing though, electrical rotary tools have high gyroidal force and are heavy, which makes them hard to handle. They also spin relatively slowly, and overheat relatively quickly. All that they do well is produce relatively good "low" RPM torque. If what you're looking to do is super fine work without the tool catching and driving, without huge hand fatigue, etc the tool you actually want is a pencil die grinder:
    https://www.amazon.com/Astro-218-8-Inch-Pencil-Grinder/dp/B000RH36WU/

    These things are MUCH faster, more reliable, easier to handle, and don't catch or jump. In short, they do what a rotary tool does, they just do it better. The real key is that rotary tools are too slow and so the bits have a tendency to catch and jump. These pencil die grinders are fast enough that doesn't happen. Be wary though, at max chooch they can also spin some rotary tool bits to destruction. There are some things they don't do, namely the whole low-RPM torque thing, and they are quite air hungry, so I do keep a fleet of rotary tools (and larger die ginders) on hand as well. That said for 90% of jobs the pencil die grinder is the tool I want. It is just that much more precise. 

    As far as bits go, you'll just have to experiment and see what you like and what does what you need it to do. Generally all the bits are short lived, so my best advice is to get a MASSIVE kit and just see what you like. Whatever you start burning through, just go back and buy a bunch of that specific item. If you don't have a big kit, the problem is you'll always need precisely the part you don't have. So something like this:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32688183307.html

    There are two types of tool though which are used so much you ought just buy a bunch straight off. The first are the abrasive cutoff wheels. Something like this:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32839322694.html

     

    And the second are the carbide burrs. Also invaluable. If you use a rotary tool proper (electric) you'll probably want these:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33003379821.html

    However the die grinder tends to prefer these for most cases:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32805004892.html

    I hope that helps. Again just my meandering experience having countless hours on these tools now. Take it as worth what you paid for it, which is to say even less than a cheap Chinese rotary tool. ;) Also I don't mean to endorse any particular store or vendor for any of these purchases, buy from who you like where you feel comfortable. These are just single examples in a massive industry full of stuff all of which was made in China. ;) 

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by STO.
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    bubblerboy64
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    I never have much luck with Harbor Freight tools.  Dremel brand. I myself prefer the corded tool and like most anything the more you spend the more you get. 

    The biggest problem with a dremel is we (well I do anyways) is try to take on too large of a job with the tool.  LIKE they are not what you want to use to sharpen mower blades.  Scissors maybe .   If you have to run the tool for extended periods of time you are probably using the wrong tool 

    They are handy.  Hard to believe a grown man is just getting one. 😀

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    T3PRanch
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    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough-AQ25000S-A-1-5-Amp-106-Piece-Rotary-Tool-Kit/155323609

    All these rotary tools are brushed which I don't particularly care for although I own several.

    Some company should build these with a 3 phase brushless motor like used in the RC Industry if they don't already.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by T3PRanch.
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    shoot44
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    There are a couple kinds of tools. One type will slow down as more pressure is applied to the cutter. The other type will automatically adjust its self to keep the speed constant as more torque is required. Actually there is another type that you hang from a pole and the tool head is attached to a flexiable shaft. They are very powerful, turn some very high rpm and don't get hot in your hand like the hand held models do. They are the best for big jobs at a fixed location, say making a gun stock. They cost a whole lot more.  I have a hand held Dremal Professional model 398, 5-30rpm model that is the constant rpm type. Complete with digital readout. Its kinda OLD says MADE IN USA, Racine, WI. Still runs smooth as snot. Had to replace the brushes which need to be checked from time to time. Have had several over the years, constructed a LOT of scratch built and kit built model airplanes for the guys and really when thru them. Brushes first, then bearings are the first to go.  Mine has 3 different size collets, 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8 with the 1/8 being used most. WalMart sells a accessory kit for around $14 and their brand of rotary tool for $17 both complete with nice storage cases. They work and I think you get more than what you pay for. Actually have both so my tool can be in two places at the same time. Don't forget about that case, it is important. If you don't have one those tiny bits will be all over the place. There are a couple kinds of fiber cut off wheels. Regular and reinforced. Get the reinforced ones by all means. They work better, last longer and of course cost more. If you get the regular ones in the slightest bind they will shatter. Not a good thing at 30K rpm. ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. The good (expensive) steel/carbide tips come in various sizes and work great on aluminum or brass but will very quickly dull if used on steel. Use the abrasive tipped bits for that. One other cutter I use a lot is the 1/2 sanding drum. They come in different grits, are cheap and can be used on about any kind of material. Get a couple extra mandrels for them. Speaking of mandrels they now have the regular kind and quick change ones that cost a whole lot more.

    Did I hear someone say "Hard to believe a grown man is just getting one?" I second that!

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    Bigragu
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    Ha! Yes, at 56 years old I’m just looking into these, lol! I appreciate all the input and links. Wish me luck, as I’m on my venture out now to go and either buy one or window shop for one to compare prices wether I should buy on line or not. Thanks a bunch, all! 

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    marflow
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    I've owned a flexible shaft dremel with the Craftsman  name for 20 year and I find the flexible shaft style is  a must

    individual  ends can be bought almost anywhere but they are cheapest on Ebay from China, just cut the middle man

    now for instance I use the long shaft to clean the tubes of air pistols with cup brushes and if you don't have a shaft you could do that but that can be added down the road

    all bits will be 1/8 inch and some will be tighter then other

    also if you can get one that you can hang that help and or has a stand for the motor

    good luck

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    bandg
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    I had never seen the pencil die grinder before.  Very interesting but could it be a little too fast for most air gun uses?  For the price noted I guess I'll have to try one.  

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    marflow
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    Metalmaniac
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    I have several Dremel tools. I buy them at pawn shops for $10 to $20 a piece according to condition and attachments with them.  The Foredom tool is the one I want, The American made one not Chinajunk..

    With Dremmel tools you can get an accessory chuck  (like a drill chuck) that accepts all size rotary tool shank diameters so you don’t have to change collets for different diameter tools. Comes in handy for small drill bits too.

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    shoot44
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    marflow:  We had a WEN soldering gun back in the late 50's. Still remember it well cause the family joke was wen will it work.

     

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    kayaker
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    For some use's you might be better off with a straight shaft air die grinder or one with a 90 degree head if you have a compressor . For your aluminum use the wider flute bits & a little wd40 . Just some food for thought .

     

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    Bigragu
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    Thanks for all the replies, folks. I went ahead and invested in a craftsman rotary tool. It like a mini router with all the router attachments, and also got the remote wand for intricate work. Did some quick schooling with another customer at Home Depot(I was the student, and he seemed well versed on Dremel type rotary tools) on bits and ended up buying the variety pack with an assortment of polishing discs, sanders, cutting wheels, grinding bits, etc. That should be all I need for a while.

    Practiced a bit on some scrap material, and I have to say, that wand is the coolest thing. Works like having a pencil in your hand. This craftsman set up is not variable, but has two speeds. Really a nice set up. Thank you for all the advice.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by Bigragu.
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