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View Full Version : Done with Dremel!



Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-03-2017, 02:14 PM
Love them or hate them every shop has to have at least one Dremel type tool. Foredoms certainly have their place but I have about 10 rotary toolsdedicated to separate tasks because i don't like changing bits or fixtures. Earlier this year I bought two Dremel 3000s to replace a couple that were dying. I think they were about $110 - $120 each. They both failed within days of each other in about 3 months time. (It's the switches that go out-I tried to repair them without luck.) Dremel repaired them for free which was cool. Now the replacements too have failed in about 3 months within a week of each other. Last year on a whim I bought a couple of real cheap WEN rotary tools for something like $20 (they even came with a flex shaft.) I use these often and they have held up at least as well or better than the Dremels have. (So far they have far outlasted the Dremels.) At $17 - $20 a pop they are truly disposable tools but I've been impressed so far. (I could buy 6 for the price on 1 Dremel.) They are powerful, the collet runs true and they run quieter. Only possible downside is that they are bigger than comparable Dremels. Also the chuck size is not the same as the Dremel but adjustable chucks (the only ones I use) are available for the WEN. Here's an Amazon link. Check out the reviews.

https://www.amazon.com/WEN-2305-Rotary-Tool-Shaft/dp/B003BYRFH8/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1509750798&sr=8-1&keywords=wen%2Brotary%2Btool+flex+shaft


https://www.amazon.com/WEN-2305-Rotary-Tool-Shaft/dp/B00A8DXKXS/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1509745942&sr=8-1&keywords=wen%2Brotary%2Btool&th=1

saltytri
11-03-2017, 02:30 PM
They certainly don't make them like they used to. This one runs like a top. It's been in regular use on all sorts of projects since I inherited it from my father. In 1967. That's fifty years and counting.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4516/38094479446_07d5bfb10e_c.jpg

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-03-2017, 02:33 PM
It's true, I haven't had any problem with the older ones. But of course they eventually die too. A quick Google search proves that the newer ones are junk. I don't expect more than a few years use from a rotary tool but to have 4 Dremels die within a few months of purchase is ridiculous.
What brand is that David?

saltytri
11-03-2017, 02:39 PM
It's a Dremel. I'd say that it has been a good value!

PhilUSAFRet
11-03-2017, 04:04 PM
They certainly don't make them like they used to. This one runs like a top. It's been in regular use on all sorts of projects since I inherited it from my father. In 1967. That's fifty years and counting.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4516/38094479446_07d5bfb10e_c.jpg

Yup, I have one of those, 40 or 50 years old, works like a champ but I only used it infrequently. I never really considered Dremel products "commercial grade."

kohanmike
11-03-2017, 04:15 PM
When I first started playing uke over four years ago, I decided to do my own install of preamps so I bought a Dremel 8220 battery version. Since then I've used it on all kinds of projects and it's held up very well. I have all kinds of accessories (yep DAS, Dremel acquisition syndrome).

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Dremel 8220.jpg

sequoia
11-03-2017, 06:22 PM
They certainly don't make them like they used to. This one runs like a top. It's been in regular use on all sorts of projects since I inherited it from my father. In 1967. That's fifty years and counting.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4516/38094479446_07d5bfb10e_c.jpg

That one really is a veteran. I've found that what goes on these tools are the "brushes" which are easy and simple to replace. A bad switch? That is a separate matter... By the way, I like the floating fretboard. Very cool.

Vespa Bob
11-03-2017, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the info, Chuck. By the look of the pics, it doesn't seem that they have the same thread that will fit on StewMac's auxillary tools. Is that right?

Bob

sequoia
11-03-2017, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the info, Chuck. By the look of the pics, it doesn't seem that they have the same thread that will fit on StewMac's auxillary tools. Is that right?

Bob

Correct. The older ones won't thread into some SMD tools like the router base. I don't know when Dremel changed, but I have an 1995' Dremel model that is incompatable with SMD threads. I use it for other things. All the more modern ones work. I think they changed shortly after that. ...

Vespa Bob
11-03-2017, 06:40 PM
Thanks, sequoia, but I was referring to the WEN ones Chuck mentioned!

BOb

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-03-2017, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the info, Chuck. By the look of the pics, it doesn't seem that they have the same thread that will fit on StewMac's auxillary tools. Is that right?

Bob

Yes, I just bought the new Stew mac base and it fits just fine, as it does the old SM base.

Vespa Bob
11-03-2017, 07:04 PM
Thanks!

Bob

Pete Howlett
11-03-2017, 10:50 PM
Ahh - the Dremmel nightmare. I have two that get used occassionally and for about 2 minutes at a time - one does my brace notches and the other is in a fixture for making thumbnail cuts in my pencil boxes....

104142

I'm just glad I am not clever enough to do inlay work :)

Timbuck
11-04-2017, 02:29 AM
I tried Dremels some years ago on my first CNC machine ..I soon found out that they were not up to the job..I burned out 4 within 12 months....But over 50 years ago I bought a mini Drilling kit from Como in the UK...and they still are making them today so they must be doing something right..Mine is still running fine and I use it mainly on inlaying marker dots. https://www.mfacomodrills.com/mini_drills/drills_accessories.html

Inksplosive AL
11-04-2017, 05:05 PM
Maybe? https://www.harborfreight.com/momentary-power-foot-switch-96619.html

First thing came to mind. As a tattoo artist I'm used to my machine using a foot switch to activate.

:D

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-04-2017, 08:04 PM
Ahh - the Dremmel nightmare. I have two that get used occassionally and for about 2 minutes at a time - one does my brace notches and the other is in a fixture for making thumbnail cuts in my pencil boxes....

104142

I'm just glad I am not clever enough to do inlay work :)

I've had four Dremel 3000s fail on me within a year. It could very well be just this model but I'll try the cheaper WENs for a while.

Michael Smith
11-04-2017, 08:37 PM
I have been buing dremels at garage sales and our local flea market when I see them for $5 to $10. I think I have about 12 at this point. When they crap out I throw them in a box to rob parts off of and grab another one. I have had pretty good luck with the older ones. I don't thik I would ever buy a new one. If I was buying new I think I would go with the Proxxon. I have had pretty good luck with their small tools. I love their little router for rosette work.

saltytri
11-05-2017, 03:57 AM
If I was buying new I think I would go with the Proxxon.

It's all a crap shoot with these things. Proxxon is generally seen as being somewhere near the high end but I had a "Professional Rotary Tool IBS/E" that ground up its bearings within a year of very intermittent service.

dofthesea
11-05-2017, 07:47 AM
I've had good luck with the craftsman model. It has a better bearing and seems to hold up longer. But then Im also only using them for light duty, or inlay. Are you using them for heavy duty use like bridge slots?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-05-2017, 03:34 PM
I've had good luck with the craftsman model. It has a better bearing and seems to hold up longer. But then Im also only using them for light duty, or inlay. Are you using them for heavy duty use like bridge slots?

No, just occasional light sanding and routing. Because I have so many of them, no one tool is used that much. Each one is dedicated to a separate task because I'm lazy. I have one to cut the recess of my end graft, one to cut the 2 1/2" binding channel in the heel area of a cutaway, a few are mounted in rosette cutters, two are mounted in router bases for inlay work, and so on. I have three on my bench now; rechargeable "Stylus" Dremel. They've been great though I've lost a couple of chargers due to failure in the 5 years I've had them. I have a handful of laminate trimmers for heavier work like cutting binding channels and sound holes. I use a full sized router for router saddle slots. I think the problem is with specific, newer (and perhaps cheaper) Dremel tools, such as the 3000 series. My go-to rotary tool right now, one that I've used almost daily for a year, is the WEN I mentioned at the beginning of this thread. I have the body fixed to my bench and use it with the flex shaft. So far so good.

vcs700s
11-05-2017, 03:56 PM
I tried Dremels some years ago on my first CNC machine ..I soon found out that they were not up to the job..I burned out 4 within 12 months....But over 50 years ago I bought a mini Drilling kit from Como in the UK...and they still are making them today so they must be doing something right..Mine is still running fine and I use it mainly on inlaying marker dots. https://www.mfacomodrills.com/mini_drills/drills_accessories.html

Tim,

Do you ever do side dots on the fingerboard? I don't use the dots on the fingerboard but need them on the side.

sequoia
11-05-2017, 08:57 PM
To do side dots on the finger board I don't use a dremel. I just drill the the 1/16 inch holes with a handheld drill. I also used to measure it out but now just do it by eye which works better. Not really a big deal. This is one area not to over think things I think. I used to measure things obsessively and then I just did it by eye and things worked out better. Below picture. Black dots on koa. White might have worked better? Sometimes trusting the eye is best.

104192

Timbuck
11-05-2017, 09:54 PM
Tim,

Do you ever do side dots on the fingerboard? I don't use the dots on the fingerboard but need them on the side.

I do em like Martin Style O "No side dots"...Come on now! it aint difficult to play without looking at the instrument (try it) ..There are only 12 frets :D some of the early Martins had no marker dots at all... Same with the classical guitar...Ken

robedney
11-06-2017, 12:27 PM
I gave up on Dremel a couple of years ago (at least the plug in variety). Brushes are one thing, but switches that regularly die are sort of unforgivable in my book. I decided to buy a Proxxon and give it a try -- with mixed results. The Proxxon has now had nearly daily use for a couple of years and it is a decent tool. However, about a week after purchase it refused to turn on. Yes, I could have returned it, but I instead took it apart for a quick look. I found a bad connection where the AC power connects the the circuit board. Fixed that and it's been a champ ever since. I love the fact that it has an adjustable chuck and truly minimal side to side play at the front bearing. This thing now has hours upon hours of use, has been dropped several times, etc.

I also have a Dremel 8100 that I bought for pretty much one operation at a separate bench. It's of the rechargeable variety, and therefor handy to have around for non-shop related projects. From day one it's had the sloppiest front bearing one might imaged. Unless this one -- from new -- has been an exception to the rule it would be useless for something like inlay work.

So, thumbs up for Proxxon with some quality control reservations. I would buy another Proxxon.

Thumbs down on anything Dremel makes these days. This is sort of sad. If you've taken a Dremel apart as many times as I have it become obvious that a far better tool could be made for probably the same amount of money if anyone actually cared.

And, our CNC machine sports a full-size 1/2" Porter Cable router motor. It's now far outlasted the Rigid motor it replaced (which ultimately melted its plastic brush holders). The smallest thing I'd recommend for any CNC work would be a laminate-trimmer sized motor, and I'd only use one made by Porter Cable. Porter Cable still makes their stuff in the US. It's not the prettiest nor does it come with all sorts of useless bells and whistles, but it's well made and tough in my own, humble experience.

I really hate to say this, but: I frequent Harbor Freight these days. I have discovered that the cheap stuff they sell is not just a whole lot cheaper than the main name brands, but in most cases (not all) is just about as well made and lasts just about as long. I would love -- and I mean really love -- to be able to buy a well made, reliable tool from an American-based company (even though it's made in China) -- but in my own experience they don't exist anymore (with the exception of folks like Porter Cable). I would definitely pay more, and for some tools a lot more. I just don't represent the market they cater to.

dave g
11-06-2017, 01:31 PM
I've got an older Dremel & a newer WEN - I like the WEN better.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-07-2017, 05:23 AM
I buy the 100 Dremel for $25 at walmart- i have 7.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dremel-100-N-6-Single-Speed-Rotary-Tool/15173789