What can you do with a rotary tool? Rotary was a tough one for me to fall in love with, without imagination, you may not see the value right away. I am guilty in that regard, so it took a long time doing some research to gain interest in a rotary tool. I won a massive kit in a build contest back in 2018, and until a few months ago it was still in the case, unopened. While I may not win you over, I am going to show two available options along with many ways to use them. I know Dremel users are like “what? You are missing out;” they may have a point!
What’s a rotary tool?
A rotary tool is a small handheld power tool that rotates like a router, but this one is geared for a hobbyist. You can typically adjust the speed, the Dremel models I have max out around 30,000 to 35,000rpm. There are available attachments you can add to your tool. So, either you are looking to add a guard or extend the shaft, it’s possible. This is a very popular hubby, so there is no shortage of accessories. Let’s Take a closer look at some those later on. Most hobbyist is carving, engraving or polishing, but other users may use this for sanding, cutting, grinding and so on. You can choose a bit size from 1/32 to 1/8in. Depending on how you want to use a Dremel I have two options that could choose from. Just remember when you are dealing with a rotary tool everything is mini. It’s not meant to replace a router, grinder, sander or any other tool you may want to substitute. This is a class of its own.
Introducing the Dremel 4300 rotary tool kit. This tool is crazy fast; I am also glad that it has a variable speed motor because it will take some time to get used to. It has a three-jaw chuck that accepts all the Dremel accessories. There is a lot to choose from mind I tell you. With Dremel 4300 it comes with a lot to get you rolling. A 40-piece accessories kit ideal for sanding, grinding, drilling, carving, sharping and more. There is also 5 attachment which includes a new Pivot light, a shield, cutting kit, sanding guide, and a blade sharpener. The slim body allows for comfort and ease of use. Within fingers reach you have the on and off switch and the speed control dial. Depending on you the material you are working on you can easily adjust the speed.
Let’s look at the 8220, like the 4300 series you can use this for sanding, polishing, cutting, finishing and grinding. The most significant difference is this one is cordless. There a lot in common, It’s compatible with all the Dremel attachments and accessories. This device comes with 30 accessories and a carrying case. The Dremel 8220 has a slider to control the speed ranging from 5000 to 30000rpm. When the battery is charged to the tool is just awesome, but I do think the battery performance could use some work. I didn’t time it, so it was hard to tell how long the battery last on a full charge. Although the battery can be recharged within an hour, you run the risk of running out of juice in mid-action. Let’s not discounted the fact that portability is a huge plus.
Dremel 4300 vs. the Dremel 8220
I think picking a tool comes down to what you plan on doing with it. They are two great tools, and each has its advantage. Maybe, just maybe I can help you find the right one for you. If you want to carve long periods, go with the Dremel 4300 series. With this option, you will get a long uninterrupted work time unless the powers go out which means no lights either. The motor is faster by 5000rpm and it’s more suitable for some of the attachments.
The Dremel 8220 allows you to cut the cord and work freely. If you are not a hard-core user, then this one is more than likely the option you will want to go with. You get about 20 minutes of run time is what I experienced; I could off be a few minutes, but you get the point. The battery life may be the only complaint, so I would recommend picking up an extra one or two.
The Dremel 4300 kit comes with a few attachments listed up above. The Dremel 32in. Flex-Shaft attachment is saying don’t forget about me. The Dremel themselves are comfortable handheld tools, but your hand can get fatigued after long uses. The Flex-Shaft attachment is excellent for polishing, glass etching, engraving, and wood carving. You merely attached this to your rotary tool and instantly got a suitable bend radius and more flexibility. The Flex-Shaft allows you to work further away from the motor which means fewer vibrations, easier access to tighter spots, better maneuverability and easier to control. I cannot confirm this one 100%, but I could not see any loss in rpm, if there is any it’s not noticeable.
If you are going to use a Dremel rotary tool you may need to see some of the available accessories. Most of these are great for grinding and polishing. There are undoubtedly many more options available; these are just what I have on hand.
EZ Lock and Drum Sanding/Grinding Rotary Tool Accessory Kit
This EZ Lock kit comes with a totally 18 pieces. Which is geared for, sanding and grinding applications. You also get a cast to keep track a store them.
EZ Lock Sanding and Polishing Mini Kit
For much of your sanding and polishing for Metal, Steel, Wood, Brass, Aluminum, Plastics, and Vinyl the 7-piece kit is a good starting point. These can work with any rotary tool corded or cordless. The EZ Lock rotary tool mandrel allows for quick accessories changing.
EZ Lock Cut-Off Wheel Set for Metal and Plastic
This 11-Piece kit includes 10 wheels and 1 mandrel and a storage box. The wheels are labeled for easy identification. These are easy to use; I did notice that you have you take your time when cutting into metal. These discs can easily break.
What can you do with a Rotary tool?
Now that you are a bit more familiar with rotary tools let’s look at some common uses. Keep in mind that this is just scratching the surface with the possibilities.
Sanding with a Dremel
I took a Dremel as a detailing tool. Meaning if the job is too big to consider using a tool suitable for that application. One way I have used a Dremel as sander is for getting into tight spots or shave down a profile that a more substantial sander cannot get to.
Cutting with a Dremel
Using a cut off wheel, you can easily cut through soft metal. Using a grinder on a small job can sometimes be overkill, plus you lose that touch unless you are a grinder pro. A Dremel brings you closer to the subject allowing you to make precise cuts and keep the attention to detail rolling.
Polishing with a Dremel
It could be jewelry, utensil, crafts, epoxy resin you name it; the Dremel can polish it. Some of the accessories kits come with polishing compounds but these can also be picked up separately for different materials.
Restore with a Dremel
If you look around in a shed, a garage, at a thrift store or pawn shop you may find something with a bit of rust on it. For instance, the coating on my gardening tool has worn off which led to rust. There are several accessories you can use to clean this up and give it a fresh start.
Carving wood with a Dremel
This is my new favorite way to use a Dremel, you can freehand a design, or you can trace a design. You can use a Cutting kit to adjust the cut depth and use it to create fresh designs and even make signs. The possibility is truly endless.
As I get more hands-on experience, I may add to this post. For now, I am excited about the possibilities with these tools. I would like to know if ever used a Dremel before. If so, what have you created or done with it? Is it collecting dust like mine was? If you are researching rotary tools what are your plans?
I hope this post brings you some understanding. Thanks for stopping!
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