Dremel/rotary tool?

Does the shop have a dremel anywhere? I looked around everywhere I could think of the other day, but I couldn’t find one. It seemed surprising that we wouldn’t have one somewhere.

I think we tossed a burned-out Dremel and pile of broken bits in the last great cleanout.

I’m not opposed to replacing it if it fills a need. What did you need it for? Are you thinking wood, metal, or electronics?

Personally, I’m interested in using it for grinding and polishing small metal parts that can’t be ground or polished on the wheel, especially part interiors that aren’t accessible otherwise. Things like small blind holes.

I think the decision was made at the time to just not have Dremels. They’re often repairable.

If we want them again, there’s a lot of options in rotary tools. Dremel is a good brand of course, for the one-piece tool. But another option is a two-piece like a Foredom that has a larger motor and a flex shaft. Foredom is the name brand, I have a “knockoff” Wecheer and it’s pretty good.

They have more power than you can get in a Dremel, and run much cooler. The handle is physically smaller and can sometimes fit where a Dremel couldn’t. Mine uses a proportional footpedal throttle, but I don’t like that feature so much. I found I mostly still wanted just one rpm and it was hard to hold my foot in just that one setting while moving around the work. There are other control options though. IMHO it’s be a million times better if you slapped an RPM sensor on it and made an Arduino speed controller that locked the rpm at whatever you want.

It does make it harder to move, but that can be a good thing if you want it to be associated with a work station and not walk around. Jewelers and lapidarists more often use these in fixed bench stations, I think the fact that they run continuously without overheating- especially at lower rpms- is their main selling point.

They’re a bit different to use, I recommend securing the motor against rotation otherwise it will make the torque kick when loaded and unloaded. The flex shaft will also chatter if radiused too tightly.

Oh hey, Amazon’s got a lot of cheap stuff- including a 780W- for $67(!!!) under several names at different prices. Reviews raise some questions, not sure what to make of it. I’m confused that it’s also labeled “1/4 HP”, which would be 187W. Sounds like the handpiece could be packed with better bearings and high speed lubricant. It’s a jacobs chuck handpiece which isn’t as good (centering of the bit isn’t perfect) as a “good” industrial collet system, but Dremel’s collets are a pretty poor design so it’s not all that much competition


Those are interesting! I’ve never seen anything like that before in the hand tools market.

We have a flexible stir shaft overhead stirrer at work that operates on a similar principle, but it’s cool to see it in a hand tool. Much more likely that it’s 1/4 HP (or less) in reality and someone just messed up a conversion. I’ve never seen a 1 HP motor that small.

Either way, if there’s anything I can do to help or facilitate, I’m happy to. For my purposes an ordinary one-piece tool would certainly get the job done, but those two-piece ones look nifty.

I would also find a Dremel or other brand tool useful. My use case is polishing the crystal on a watch face with a tiny buffing cloth and diamond paste.

Seems like something we can add for ~$100. What do you think of these?

I think that would be perfect. Thank you!

The Dremel 8250 is available now, it’s brushless (brushes won’t wear out), battery powered, and regulates its speed on the low end so you can run it slow without bogging down. That low end is often essential, you need to sand without burning or melting and need it to not overspeed a brush which will make it fly apart.

I don’t like and of Dremel’s stock bit kits. They have a lot of bits I’ve never found useful, don’t have the good stuff, and it’s so poorly packed. Also made of low quality breakable plastic. I’ll take a pic of my kit later.

China sells bulk sanding flap wheels and they’re SO useful for so many things.

The issue is a kit with hundreds of bits and consumable sanding drums/wheels etc is difficult to maintain.


I’m definitely open to other options, just threw those links out as a quick starter to the conversation.

I suggest adding the Flex Shaft attachment to the order.


I’ve been using my Dremel lately (love that thing!), and would love to reduce the vibration that gets transmitted to my hand - the other day I used it for a 15 min session, and I could feel numbness in my hand afterwards- the flex shaft can prevent that.


I’m thinking Danny’s on the right track. If we’d prefer a flex shaft, I’d rather get a dedicated motor than adapt a Dremel. I suspect foot pedal speed control would be a nice touch, too.

we could put it on the ‘dirty’ bench in the e-lab.


Actually the dedicated motor and flex shaft (Foredom, Wecheer) have fallen out of favor with me. Pedal control sucks, they have kickback in a lot of scenarios.

And, bottom line, Dremel has improved so much- like making it solidly regulate the low end (5k rpm)- there’s no real case for getting one of the others.

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I think whatever we get, the flex shaft is a no brainer

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I disagree. I’ve evolved the opinion that flex shafts are garbage and obsolete now. We used to have them but they all got thrown out, and that was others’ decision, not mine

There is one major benefit to the flexible solutions: size and weight. I spent hours using the basic Dremel flex shaft attachment to carve parts of a project earlier this year. Doing that with the Dremel’s main body in my hands would’ve been genuinely painful. I don’t know if I would’ve even started on the project.

So for purposes like that – although my project needs were admittedly specific – I think it’s absolutely worth having it as an option.


This is why I like the flex shaft, holding the dremel itself for a while isn’t fun


I have a dremel that I hardly use. I am happy to bring it to the workshop if you need to borrow it for a couple of projects. It’s not super powerful, but it does the job for small projects I need.

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Just wanted to add - the Dremel vibration issue making it tiring/painful/numbing to hold for extended periods seems to be limited to the original brush motor design. The brushless 8250 is really smooth. The only vibration is the bit on the material