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Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

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Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

Old 04-12-20, 07:27 PM
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Which dremel/rotary tool do you use?

I have been considering a dremel or rotary tool for years. Which dremel do you use and which bits for our hobby?
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Old 04-12-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I have been considering a dremel or rotary tool for years. Which dremel do you use and which bits for our hobby?
How much money are you willing to spend and what are you wanting to do? I use a jeweler's saw and hand files, a battery powered Dremel as well as a much more powerful one with a power cord. And I also have a Foredom with a separate hand piece connected to a powerful motor with a rotary cord. The foot pedal controls its RPMs. If one can afford it that is the best tool. I use mine to cut blank lugs into shapes. So again the question comes back to you, what do you want to do with it?
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Old 04-12-20, 08:11 PM
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+1 Foredom
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Old 04-12-20, 08:14 PM
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A cheap imitator from Aldi.


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Old 04-12-20, 08:16 PM
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We have a Foredom at work. I like it a lot.
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Old 04-12-20, 08:17 PM
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I've had a Dremel buried in the tool box for years that I never use. I always come up with something else that's closer to the surface of the bin
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Old 04-12-20, 08:22 PM
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Mine is a corded model 395 with 5 speeds. I've had it for 20+ years, although I don't use it a lot on bikes. It is nice for cutting cables, especially compression-less shift cables with the length-wise strands. You can occasionally find similar models at garage or estate sales.
With the improvement in batteries lately, the new cordless models look interesting. Ryobi has one with a flexible shaft that uses my cordless drill battery.
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Old 04-12-20, 08:43 PM
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My Grandfather left me an old Craftsman- made by Dremel. I also had a Dremel, made by Dremel, but that burned out on me- so I combined all the parts into the Craftsman case.
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Old 04-12-20, 08:48 PM
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I have some $30 Aldi one that came with a junk ton of bits n bobs.

I don't use it for cycling...at all. Curious what a dremel is used for. I could see cutting housing, I guess?...I just have housing clips for that and cables though. The dremel seems like a hassle for a quick snip at the workbench.

Maybe I'm missing other uses?
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Old 04-12-20, 09:20 PM
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Being a goldsmith, I use Foredom and Pfingst (often disguised as a “House Brand”) rotary tools because they are the standard in the trade. But the basic unit now costs around $200, it is a bit high for most to start with. I have used a Dremel and a Ryobi to good effects, though. Were I starting with a limited budget,I might look at the Harbor Freight version. This would be for limited use trimming cables and their housings and some light rubber wheel abrasive grinding/ polishing.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:51 PM
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I have a Dremel with a ton of wheels and several attachments. I also have a B&D that my neighbor gave me. Both are corded. I have cut-off wheels, polishing pads, grinding attachments of every grit, size and shape. I've had them for at least 10 years. And I never use them.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:56 PM
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I picked up a corded two speed in a grey box with bits 30 years ago at a pawn shop. Get a cylinder full of cut off wheels and use them on cable housing, slicing off bolts, and notching fenders. I used it once to put a super shine on a stem for my daughters fixie after I had removed the black anodizing. No more battery tools for me.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:32 PM
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I own 2 corded Dremels (the older is model 200, newer is I think a model 3000), and they both perform about the same. I was using the old one today, matter of fact, and yes on a bike. I have lots of bits from various sources. Some like the thin cut-off wheels are so quick to break they are virually disposable. I will someday inherit my Mother's Foredom (will be my saddest day but they are impressive tools!) which she has used, and my late Father too, for decades!
Dremel parts are easy to find and repairs not much trouble (I have made repairs on the old one). It/they may sit unused for weeks/months but when I need it I'm glad it's there!
One optional part I was glad to have spent for is the hand-tightened 3-jaw chuck, no need for the little stamped spanner or swapping out different collets for the different shaft diameters you will find, it's worth ever penny I think!

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Old 04-12-20, 10:37 PM
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Foredom +

I bought my Foredom Flex Shaft Tool back in 1972, WOW 48 years ago!

It cost me a fortune. I've replaced the drive cable a number of times.

I don't use it that much any more but it's great with carbide burrs and mounted abrasive points.

Hanging on the wall by the door.

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Old 04-13-20, 01:35 AM
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I mostly eschew use of a Dremel for jobs where simpler tools like cable/housing cutters, saws and files are quicker and need no expensive consumable bits.
In this regard I especially avoid getting Dremel grinding dust anywhere near open ends of my new cable housing's perfectly clean liners.

But there are exceptions that arise, such as the cut-off wheel that allowed me to cut a certain car repair job's (Town Car power windows) labor hours in half.
I was able to just enter access ports in the door panels with the Dremel and shorten some M6 threaded studs, which meant not having to remove the window glass while replacing the window regulators. The fragile cut-off wheels were the unlikely best tool for the job. Also good for slotting a stripped screw head if you can access it.

Mostly I use the stone wheels, 1/8" wide and about an inch in diameter, part number 8215. This wheel cuts things like steel sprocket teeth tips, beveling for enhanced shifting or cutting the sharp corner off the driven side of a well-used freewheel's teeth allowing use of brand-new chain without skipping. Better yet it allows doing this without even removing the rear wheel from the bike, as long as the diameter of the wheel is worn down to a slightly smaller diameter that is.
The 8215 stone wheel is the one tool that I usually leave in my Moto Tool's collet.

The same stone wheel is also good for massaging any areas of chain interference such as protruding axle-locating hardware or claw-hanger retaining nuts and bolts, the better to be able to shorten the axle's drive-side overhang for a stronger axle and a stronger wheel.
And when I've needed to remove a chain connecting link having one of those Shimano special pins, this stone wheel also makes short work of taking the end of the pin completely off below the surface of the sideplate (the whole link gets discarded).

Where shaping of aluminum is needed, such as increasing the adjustment range of a Suntour rear derailer's B-tension lug, I use a 1/4" oblong or 1/8" cylindrical carbide cutter bit that gets into tight radius spaces and won't clog with soft metal like a stone always will. This also works great for re-shaping a modern aluminum derailer hanger bracket for use on another modern frame that it wasn't intended for, (assuming you can find an appropriate candidate for surgery).

But there's so many jobs where simpler files and saws or a bench grinder are better and safer, sometimes faster and usually less expensive than the Dremel.
I've seen a literal shower of needle-sharp steel shards produced by a Dremel carbide bit's cutting edges, any one or one hundred of which could end up in someone's skin or in their eye.
And I had my baby finger sliced by a Dremel steel cutoff wheel that grabbed the piece of plastic I was cutting (which I still remember from 32 years ago).
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Old 04-13-20, 02:32 AM
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Dremel cordless (although I need a new battery) and Wen corded. I hardly use them so I don't like to pay much. The Wen corded was a bargain.

Maybe once or twice a year I do use the various grinding heads and polishing doodads. But I've never been able to make the cutoff wheels work. I end up shattering two or three of 'em trying to make a cut I could have done quicker with my Jagwire cable/housing cutter, which usually cuts so cleanly the cable housing doesn't need any touch up, or not much. I've had good luck with cutoff wheels on bar stock, but not on cables and cable housing. I know I'm doing something wrong but I'm not motivated to try again. It's just aggravating. The snips work fine.

Ditto, manual files and saws for most jobs a moto-tool tries to do.

Only cordless tool I've ever had that was a must is my 20-year-old Bosch drill. The handset has outlived two batteries, and I need to order replacements. I've used the heck out of that thing, including as a cutoff tool in a pinch when I didn't have a hacksaw.
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Old 04-13-20, 02:38 AM
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Bought at a yard sale for $2.00 CND and, believe it or not, another one came along the same day, a bit larger and not Dremel but, sadly, the seller insisted on five bucks. Still got the Dremel and gave to other one to B4H, as I recall...
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Old 04-13-20, 02:42 AM
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I use a Ryobi, seems to do the job. Got a big box from Aldi of accessories, of somewhat variable quality. But for cut off work I use the Dremel branded EZ-Lock discs and adaptor, nice quality discs that don't fly apart, well worth the money.
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Old 04-13-20, 04:29 AM
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A few weeks ago I accidentally pulled my old Dremel off the bench. It missed the floor mat by an inch or so. Broke the Bakelite housing. It's a Dremel 100 that my father bought in the '60s. Sad day. I ended up buying a Dremel 4000 and I really like it. Good balance, much more powerful than the 100 and I like the variable speed much more than I expected. I'm still learning about what speeds to use where. Oh, all the bits and bobs from the 100 fit in the 4000 so I'm well set.

BTW Package deal at HomeDepot was better than the one on Amazon, counting content, shipping and taxes. And HD is on the way home from a trail I use a lot. Toofer.
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Old 04-13-20, 05:19 AM
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I've burnt out 3 of them over the years doing boatwork. Their kind of on the consumable side of things. I have 2 at the moment because I couldn't find #1 , and there was some little job that only a Dremil would do. I've used the cutoff wheels to do cable housings and trim the ends off of fender stays on the bike.
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Old 04-13-20, 06:18 AM
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Old single speed, cut off wheel mostly.
If your dremel ever runs but bit doesn't spin it is
likely just the shaft coupling.
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Old 04-13-20, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by danders View Post
Old single speed, cut off wheel mostly.
If your dremel ever runs but bit doesn't spin it is
likely just the shaft coupling.
Which are:
a) too fragile
b) too expensive
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Old 04-13-20, 07:39 AM
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I have an (I think) 8200 that I got a good deal on. With respect to bikes, I mainly use the stone for shaping things that need a little shaping and use the metal cutoff wheel for cable housing. My park cutters always smash the ends a little bit and then I have to hunt out the ice pick to open them up (and occasionally the file to clean the ends up). The cutting wheel goes through them like butter in little/no time. Not something I need often, but it makes life easier when it's there. I'm about to build another bike that'll have fenders. Last time I did that, I spend a couple hours with a hacksaw cutting down the struts once I was done. Looking forward to that being a much quicker job this time. My wife is trying to take up stained glass, so I got some disks for cutting glass and the flex neck so that she can try using it to cut under water. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 04-13-20, 07:50 AM
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The OP also asked about attachments/bits. For bike use, here's my list of rotary tool bits most frequently used:

- cut off wheel for cable housing - makes incredibly square and clean cuts
- large wire wheel - for removing surface rust or contamination
- buffing wheel - once in a while to buff something a little - usually I do this by hand

Now, I have two Dremels that are always plugged in and hanging beside my work bench. My oldest is a model 395 that I bought 25 years ago. It has served me well for so many projects - wood, metals, fabrication, grinding, etc. I've replaced the brushes and springs on that one.

My other is a newer model 395 Type 5 that I bought from a local Craigslist seller for $15. It's not as nicely made, and feels and sounds cheaper. It works, though.
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Old 04-13-20, 08:54 AM
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While I use the cutting wheel for cables, I've found that it melts the plastic liner, so I need to immediately chase it with an awl, before the plastic cools.
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