Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Buddy - The Dremel (A Tool Review)

Photo compliments of Dremel website

The Dremel or as I like to call it, “My Buddy.” If you are old enough to remember there was once a toy called My Buddy. The tag line in the ad was: “where ever I go, he’s gonna go.” Well, my Dremel tool follows me on every project. The two things that stand out most about this tool are: 1. its versatility and 2. how did I ever get along without it?

When looking at the Dremels, I wanted a cordless model, so I opted for the 10.8v 8000 model. There are two other cordless models that are smaller and less powerful. Tim Taylor would not approve of those. But to be honest, for me, the big draw on the more expensive 10.8v over the 7.2v 7700 model was the variable speed. The 7.2v comes with only two speed settings. My 10.8v comes with a speed dial that allows for about 200 speed settings anywhere from 5,000-35,000 rpm. It is small and easy to control at about 10 inches long and less than 12 ounces. This made the 10.8v the easy choice for me. The catalog says this tool has over 150 different attachments. A quick trip to the hardware store will show you that it actually has more than that. The manual has a very handy guide to show you approximate speed settings for the various attachments on different types of material. This gets you started in the right ball park and then just spin the speed wheel with your thumb for more or less speed to get just the right effect.

All the attachments connect to the Dremel tool just like drill bits to a drill. There is a handy lock button near the chuck and the kit comes with a little chuck wrench as well. If you lose it an open end or small adjustable wrench will work just fine too. The case it comes in is a great place to keep the tool, charger and manual. I suggest getting a tackle box or something similar to keep all the little bits and wheels in. The case doesn’t keep them secure and just walking around the house with it can break some of the grinding discs, plus when the small sanding wheels get in the pocket for the manual it can be difficult to get them out. The battery has a pretty good life when used on slower speed settings and it recharges in less than an hour. There is a battery life meter on the tool itself so you know before you start a project if the battery is low.

I have used my Dremel on all kinds of stuff around the house. Sanding, cutting, polishing and more, on many different materials, including wood, metal, plastic, even grout and concrete. I am constantly amazed at how well it works. For example: I have used a copper wheel to remove black baked on crud from my enamel painted cook top grates; the sanding wheels to help my wood flooring fit just right; cutting discs because various bolts were too long. The tungsten cutting tip rips through plastic and grout with ease. The drywall bit works almost too well. I would recommend using a guide with the drywall bit if you want a straight cut as the slightest side pressure will put send you off course.

All in all, this tool has been a great help to my various projects around the house. We have only scratched the surface on what the Dremel is capable of but the most common use is when something almost fits. I just grab my Dremel, pop in the right bit and a few moments later whatever I am working on fits like a glove. I love the having the confidence to take on projects that I might not get quite right with the first try because I know if I am a little off the Dremel can get me back on target. This amazing little tool helps any amateur, like me, have results like a pro. There are many more attachments and uses for “My Buddy” and I am confident when we get into the bathroom remodel this guy will get a work out. In my opinion this tool is worth at least twice the price. (shh, don’t tell Dremel)

One final note, the wife was unfamiliar with most power tools, except for the battery powered screwdriver used to put together various pieces of furniture. The Dremel is the perfect gateway tool. Once she became familiar with its use and realized how versatile it was, she started using it as much as I did. And she has since moved onto the jig saw, the reciprocating saw and the table saw with her sights set on learning how to use the circular saw. [I have a wife that uses power tools…I am so excited.]

1 comment:

  1. This was really helpful! I've been hearing all sorts of good things about dremels but never really knew how many different things one could use them for. I'm sold!


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