I have an old Dremel tool. The darn chuck has never worked right, maybe there’s a piece missing, I’m not sure. Had a bit come loose for the last time today - I’m going to buy a new machine. Started checking around; many models, now a cordless (can it get the revs?) one too.
Would like a little help… what model is best for hobbists (yachties)?
I started with one that had a huge transformer, and had two little wires running out to the power head. It was variable speed, but lacked any kind of grunt or RPM’s. I still have it on my garage bench - ummm - “under a few things” - and I purchased a “corded” AC powered one to replace the old one. It has the power and RPM speed, but like many - it overheats when used heavy or for any length of time. Sanding, and cutting carbon tubes or trimming fiberglass hulls or parts are what I use it for primarily. I also have a very high speed rotary tool for art work, engraving and carving. That one I got second hand (Called Para-Grave) and have used it extensively for lot’s of engraved artwork and wooden plaques.
Actually, I use the Roto Zip tool the most, since it can handle anything from 1/8 inch shank on up to 1/4 inch router bits. It has all the power I want and decent RPM (not 400,000 like the Para-Grave) but fast enough to keep bits and tools from “burning” the wood.
I guess it all depends on what you want to use it for. Actually for building, I find I use my band saw with 1/8 inch blade more than anything - then table saw, then stationary scroll-saw. That pretty much takes care of all the “wood-butcher” stuff I do, and belt and disk sander handle much of the foam work - although a portable hand planer also does a quick job of foam shaping.
Not sure this will help, but gives you an idea of my primary power tools. Others can weigh in on what they use most.
One is a battery-powered unit. It has no cord, so it’s very light and easy to maneuver. The other one is an AC-powered model. It has no batteries to run down, an has much more rorque and RPMs. I usually use the battery one to drill holes, and other small jobs, and the AC one for bigger jobs like using the saw blade, big grinding jobs, etc.
Last summer I picked up a right-angle attachment for certain things. If you get an AC-powered one, you might even be interested in the long extension cable or the foot-pedal speed control.
Dick- You wouldn’t know where to get the disk sander heads?
Thanks Dick, that helps a lot. You know, I rarely use the Dremel, but I had to elongate a hole, in my Kevlar hull, in close quarters. I like your idea of the Rotozip (hadn’t thought of that) yet I want a smaller sized tool (checked their web site, and the tools seem to be “cordless drill” size) that I can hold/brace like a BIG pen.
Corded is fine. Important is varible speed w/high revs to hold small bits (smaller than 1/8"). I seem to mostly use the burrs, next would be grinding stones, so hopefully someone can recommend a set and/or vendor.
If you are talking about a flat, one-sided sanding disk, fine grade, I get thouse (and the fiberglass reinforced cutoff wheels) from Wal-Mart. If you watch closely, they ofter will do a clearance and you can buy a plastic tube of 25 or 50 disks for under $3.00 Also try “Widget Supply” and you can get 100 for under $5.00 http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/PROD/dremel-sanding-disk/BCU73
In fact WIDGET SUPPLY is pretty much a one-stop shoping location. Visit their web and do a product searrch.
The fiberglass cutoff wheels also come in a packaged tube and they run about $8.00 when not on sale.
Finally, I buy diamond surfaced cut-off wheels through Harbor Freight - again, watch for sales. A dozen will run less than $15 and I use strictly for carbon cross beams and masts. These aren’t a normal item, so you have to watch for them - subscribe to their free catalog as they come up now and then - I usually buy a pack when I find them. They will load up very fast in glass or wood. I use strictly for carbon, and use the fiberglass disks for fiberglass, plastic and even cutting brass rudder tubes, etc.
Yar - look for Para-Grave, and similar. They are very high speed, usually oilless, and can take burrs as small as adental burrs. Visit your local dentisit and ask for discards, they are usually “diamond surface” but if you use for wood and they load up, just throw away if you get them free. These can be a tiny as 1/16 inch shafts with straight or ball type ends.