Rotozip: goodgawd...

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Awl--
So my neighbor is cleaning out his garage, and ahm Mr. Popularity in my neighborhood now, with my long-bed pickup truck. So he's giving me all kinds of stuff, barbell weights (chrome plated!), beach chairs for my shop, tools, among them, a near-new Rotozip. By no means an RCM-type shop guy, even he dismissed it as junk, and indeed he was correct.
But what *inneresting junk it is*! Perhaps under the subtitle, Shoving it in so artfully you don't even feel it....
It comes in a big-assed injection-molded case, so poorly designed--despite its apparent sophistication--that after quite a time of tryna figger out just how to get all the parts to fit in this big-assed case, I found a more suitably sized and infinitely more practical and useful shoebox, dumped the 'zip and parts in, and was amazed at the shrinkage in sheer packaging volume.
To wit: The volume of the rotozip case calc'd out to 1,824 cubic inches. What makes that significant is that a full *cubic foot* is a mere 1,728 cu in. What makes this even more striking is that a 5 gal bucket of joint compound, paint, etc. is only 1,155 cubic inches.
So a cubic foot is no small volume.
The box I wound up putting the whole of the Rotozip kit in was 250 cu in, and could have easily fit in a better-proportioned 200 cu. in.
So lessee, 1800 divided by 200 is 9. Thus, the inflated the volume of this product by a factor of 9.
Which is about the same factor by which the infomercial peeple inflated its usefulness.
This inflated-volume technique is widespread in Costco, Sears, Sam'sClub, HD, etc, where "509 piece kits" of whatever super tool is at hand, when all dumped in a paper bag, fit into a very small paper bag indeed. Yet the display is enormous, for artfully good reason. And which, even for a perenially PV'd cynic and semi-experienced shop rat as myself, are enticing and at times near-intoxicating.
I was more struck by some of the brilliant engineering that goes into this stuff, and into many near-useless consumer products, spanning the spectrum of consumption. I'm amazed by some perfume bottles. I wish I had the skill, talent, insight, and training to be able to manufacture on this level.
And yet, not only is brilliant engineering thrown down the toilet on uselessness, it also shoots itself in the foot with fatal flaws.
Which is really sort of ingenious as well, because these flaws are essentially moot: The product is near-useless, and 1 in one million will be used to the extent where these flaws will actually manifest. And, under real/normal usage, they are *guarownteeed* to manifest. This thing, and various parts thereof, is *guarownteeed* to break, or break off.
I was also struck by the sheer complexity of this item and all its klugey attachments. I got a near-$80,000 near-8,000 lb VMC in my garage (cnc milling machine), with four *very* thick looseleaf binders jammed with documentation, which took considerable effort to sufficiently digest so's I could actually use this machine.
I can tell you right now, having toyed with all crap in the rotozip kit, and having thumbed through all the disconnected and discombobulated paperwork in this rotozip kit, that it would take a *significant fraction of the time/energy/effort* it took me to get that goddamm VMC going (not counting the ordeal of pert-near burning it down), to get this rotozip going. A extraordinarily disproportionate fraction.
For a product--an oversized Dremel--whose sole purpose in this universe was to thin out our wallets. Considerable CorPirate board-room discussion went into this hustle, as well as all the other Informercial Hustles out there.
The only use I see for this over-hyped crap is as a grinder heftier than a Dremel, but not as hefty as a true die grinder.
Yeah, I imagine some hobbyist might be able to do sumpn with it, altho I can't really imagine what.
But here's the fundamental problem with all this ill-designed over-hyped crap:
When all the infomercial-ed choreography and contrived scenarios are over and done with, you are left with a ""tool"" that pretty much dictates to YOU what you can do with it, and how you can do it. It in fact dictates your whole goddamm *strategy* of hobby-ing. You are, imo, hamstrung with all its fragile peculiarities. IOW, you must adapt to the oddities of a supposed do-it-all tool, which will maybe indeed do it all, if you are adept at standing on your ears.
Visavis a tool that can *realistically* adapt to what you want it do. Like a goddamm drill. Or router. Or sawzall. Or even the crappiest jig/sabre saw. Etc.
Another piece of Merkin Sleight-of-Hand Marketing, but another reason to love this country.
All epitomized by the 9:1 inflation of its packaging volume.
The absolute apex of the Fleecing of Merka (short of the 100's of $$Billions that Bush/Cheney's Halliburton is raking in from Iraq) is Tony Little's fantasy fitness products, and Michael Thurmond's BluePrinting Yer body shit. Goodgawd.... but another post.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Proctologically Violated©® wrote:

As far as I can see, the sole useful purpose of a rotozip is cutting out the openings for electrical boxes in drywall. With a suitable bit its pretty quick and does a good job.
Chris
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if you really want to save money, you can buy the RZ style bits from Dremel for your dremel. work just as well and only cost 5-6 bucks. Maybe a little bit slower since it doesn't have the power.
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We had to access the back of a faucet that was on a pony wall that had been tiled over. We put a side cutting rotozip blade on there, cut through the grout, the wonderboard, and cut one tile out very nicely, thank you. The repair was almost invisible. Didn't break the tile. Regrouted. They ain't for everything, but they work good for some things. I've used them during remodeling, and they DO have their bright spots.
As for wasted space in the cases, I took a Makita drill case, cut out the guts, and use it to carry my chain saw sharpening components. Took about half an hour to cut all the crap out, though.
STeve
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you never hung drywall
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Having worked a number of years at Sears, I suspect the oversize packaging is aimed more at deterring shop lifters than enticing buyers to buy. Chase a shop lifter running with one of these gigantic boxes and he/she will likely drop it to run faster. Also easier to see them walking out the door with the merchandise and easier to cable a bunch of them together to prevent the snatch and run in the first place. Of course this still won't the stop the dedicated shop lifter.
Tom G.
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On Mon, 9 Apr 2007 23:45:03 -0400, "Proctologically Violated©®"

It does jobs it was designed to do better than anything else available. If it doesn't do what you need to do then you are free to walk away from it and leave it alone. Your inability to understand its value does not make it an abomination or a fleecing because you are quite free not to buy one -- and in fact you did not buy it so your ox has not been gored by your foolishly having purchased a tool for which you have no use nor ability to use productively.
You seem to persistently proclaim proctological violation enough to suggest that perhaps you invite it and enjoy it or at least enjoy bleating about it. If you don't enjoy and invite you might consider presenting less of a vertical smile with spread-cheeks invitation -- and less bleating about eager and vigorous responses to your invitations might be appreciated.
Ask any Highlander. Screwing a sheep serves a need though the bloody bleating can be distracting and a bit tedious...
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As Party Nominee of the IPPVM (Independent Party of the Proctologically Violated (M)asses), I guess I won't be counting on your vote in '08, eh? <sigh>
And, gee, *I* was tryna keep it clean, mostly fer Harold.....
Sheep?????? Goodgawd....
But are you suggesting I stfu so's whatever Highlander is furiously thrusting away on me can concentrate a little better, with less said distraction??? Man, I should be carrying a goddamm whistle and Mace!
And, you missed much of the point.
OK, I omitted the sheetrock utility, which is a very valid point. And by consensus here, apparently the only valid point. And, I suspect, where that rotozip came from to begin with.
And I didn't make the shoplifter connection, altho I think this is is quite secondary to the primary mission of fleecing the Great American Pubic.
All of which doesn't change the, uh, thrust of the above, said fleecing. God forbid the rotozip should be honestly marketed as a functional drywall tool. God forbid.
But, sheeeiit, there are 300,000,000 all-consuming drunkards weaving thru the shopping malls of Merka, and frenetically clicking between HSM and QVC, all of whom have $100 bills flapping out of their back pockets.
Might as well pluck'em, eh?
ALSO:
Most who protesteth loudest over my PV shtick are perhaps the most unwitting Members of the IPPVM.
To wit, the Law of the PV'd:
EVERY working stiff is an unwitting member of IPPVM.
The only escapees are 1. Those who are actually doing the PV'ing. And they pay me absolutely no mind, mostly because they are too busy laughing hysterically in their board meetings, whilst strategizing the details of Global PV, laughing to and fro the bank, and washing themselves off at the sink--or even better, making US wash them off when they're done--orally, if possible. 2. Those who are not PV'ing anyone explicitly, by being able to live strictly off the interest of their investments. Which, btw, from grand PV pov, is still an indirect PV, but dats another story.... 3. Retirees, with enough to live on--for now.
The rest of us, esp. the young (most of whom will likely *never* be able to leave their parents' homes), better get skilled in dumpster diving. Buy yer pickup truck *now*. And a shotgun. Practice DD'g fer tools, wood, n' metal'shit, so's when it comes time to DD fer FOOD, yer all well-practiced.
Hey, but the volume calculation ditty was pretty neat shtick, eh?
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Oh, another quick thought, on the mentality of the marketers:
They don't even understand the basic utility of their own effing tool, for drywall--or don't effing care.
If they did, instead of all the crap they stick in that suitcase-sized carrying case--about the same size as Bosch's top of the line SDS-max rotary hammer, at $549, a killer of a tool, bruh's--
Instead of all that crap, how bout a *usable* circle cutter, and router-like TEMPLATES, dudes, for typical drywall cutouts--4,6" lighting cutouts, 2x4, 4x4 boxes, octagonals, etc. In fact, a templete for lighting cutouts would obviate the circle cutter, in large measure--uh oh.... Nowhere, in the morass of of disjointed (and imo insulting) papers is there even a mention of templates, that I could readily find.
Which says that the Marketers, in their boardroom meetings, *NEVER had any intention for the rotozip to be used/taken seriously*.
As long as you bought the goddamm suitcase, and held on to it *just long enough* so that it was no longer returnable.
I believe they dumped their inventory about a year ago, and you won't be seeing dat shit until the next plucking.
Sheeit, iffin you can time the lemmings' march to the sea, you can eat good, with minimal effort, for the next year. xmas, in this case, I spose.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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See, now, PV? You've attacked the tool (for the purpose for which it was intended) because you don't understand the job.
You don't need any templates in the kit. You _have_ templates of every box you'll ever cut out _IN_the_house_ at the time of the job. A new set of templates comes with every drywall job; they're called "outlet boxes".
The purpose of the RZ is to follow the exact shape of whatever's hiding behind the rock, and cut a perfect hole exactly the right shape and size for proper finishing of the wall. And it does that faster than you can think, and it does it well.
Their circle cutter IS very usable -- in fact a pure joy to use. At least the version that comes with the bottom-of-the-line kit is. I hung a few dozen recessed fixtures for which there were no outlet boxes flush with the ceiling. It took about an hour to mark out all the centers, and about an hour to cut all the 5-1/4" holes.
LLoyd
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I shoulda quit while I was ahead.... :)
Yeah, but still the templates that are provided with the boxes themselves are *not* router-type templates, cuz you need some sort of offset for whatever the dimensional particulars of the tool at are. And I'm talking a hard masonite-type template, not a paper template.
I've already conceded the utility of the zip for sheetrock, and a few other specific tasks mentioned. It is, essentially, a Dremel with muscle. Which can indeed be useful.
But not as infomercialed, with that 10:1 inflation ratio, volume and otherwise.
And, try keeping track of all those bitty parts/pieces. I'm already missing a bunch.
Inyone got a spare 1/4" collet--and the wrench? :)
Also, think of the original Circle marker: center nail, string, and chalk. Butta-Bing, perfect circle. You can use the same technique with the zip, with very accurate results. And likely more conveniently. The only downside with the string is that the zip will not be automatically perpendicular to the 'rock, you must do that by eye/hand. But given the non-critical nature of this aspect of the cut--roundness of the circle is much more important--a string'n'nail ditty might be more useful, overall. But true, the circle cutting is useful, regardless of how you execute it.
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Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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Proctologically Violated©® wrote:

You still aren't getting it.
1) Hang the sheet of drywall up on the wall with a few screws. 2) Punch the rotozip through the drywall anywhere inside the outlet box. 3) Cut to the edge of the box, then lift the bit out just enough to "hop" over the wall of the outlet box (so the bit is on the outside of the box). 4) Cut around the outside of the box with pressure inward towards the box. The smooth portion at the tip of the bit follows the outlet box without chewing it up, while the toothed portion cuts the drywall. 5) Put in the rest of the screws.
No predrawing, no separate template. At most you might need to mark the rough position of the box to within an inch or so.
Chris
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Just imagine how long it took me to learn the Fadal. :)
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Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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No, NO! NO! NNNNOOOOOOO!
You don't get it. You've never used the tool. I daresay you've never done any drywalling.
I didn't say "templates provided _with_ the boxes". I said, "The templates ARE the boxes."
The RZ tool was designed to easily: First, FIND the edge of a box from its inside, then Second, JUMP the edge to the outside surface of the box, then Third, ROUTE around the box, using the box itself as the "template".
The "offset" is provided by the tool automatically to be 1/8", which is perfect for drywall work.
It takes roughly ten seconds (for me) to plunge the bit into the box, zip to the edge, jump the edge, zip around the whole box. And I'm sloooowwwwww...
LLoyd
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Personally, I don't think the hurricane of sheetrock dust is worth it. Most drywall contractors I've seen still use a keyhole saw.
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Rotozips kick ass. One guy with an RZ can do a whole house in the time it takes a guy with a keyhole saw to do a big room. If the dust bugs you that much spray a little water on the wall. Either way you are gonna clean up some dust.
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Today, I used a RotoZip. I had to tee into a water line, and run a stub through the wall to make an outside hose bibb. Zip zap. Located the studs, cut a hole, sweated in a tee, put the piece back with a little mud, done. I set the depth so that I wouldn't have to worry about cutting anything, and I didn't even come CLOSE to anything.
I think that only a union man working by the hour would have anything against a RotoZip.
A hand drywall saw definitely has places where it's the weapon of choice. Not many, though.
Steve
Steve
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Ah! Another contender for the "I've never used the tool, and don't know how to drywall, but I know it's junk" crowd!
The "secret" to the RZ type tools is that they shove the dust INTO the wall. You don't get a "hurricane of sheetrock dust". In fact, it's much cleaner than sawing.
LLoyd
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"Junk" has different contexts.
A tool can be crappily built, mis-advertised and mis-represented, and still be narrowly useful, as many posters have shown.
There is no way the Zip I now have could withstand prolonged industrial/trade use--proly not even much home use, for a variety of reasons, just one of which is that half the goddamm parts are already missing--and likely inevitably so.
No way you could re-tile a g-d bathroom with it, or peel up a kitchen floor's worth of linoleum, or usefully sand anything but the edge of a 2x4. iirc, the mis-infomercial spent mebbe 5%, if that, on valid shitrock applications.
Perhaps "hustle" is a better word than "junk". Like the drill doctor, where they claim a 1/2" bit costs $20, or a fractional drill set $100, when decent 115 pc drill sets can be had for $29. Or the instant sharpening of a carbide masonry bit--give me a break. You couldn't sharpen a masonry bit that fast even on a green wheel on a 8" pedestal grinder.
A pedagogic note: God Forbid that the Pubic be TAUGHT how to sharpen drill bits by hand. Not saying the DD is bad or junk--it may or may not be--proly is--but it is F'SURE a hustle.
Or the ""7,000 lb truck" running over an Oreck. Please..... The back wheel of that goddamm pickup coulda run over my slippered foot without doing much damage. Not saying the Oreck is bad or junk--it may or may not be--proly is--but is is F'SURE a hustle.
Sleight-of-hand is *necessarily* employed by junk vendors, vending largely junk.
Even if said junk can be useful.
Better, as NotEnoughBrains suggested, to buy the Porter Cable, if for no other reason, to spite the Junk Peeple.
So, the "I don't know shit, but I know it's junk" crowd can indeed not know shit, but still be right, just on Marketing GP.
Would be interesting, tho, to survey drywall contractors, to see what they think, and why. Would be a hoot if ATP were correct!!
Oh, this is funnier'n'shit.... I was a supervisor for a drywall construction firm in Manhattan. :O Didn't know shit about shitrock then, either. :) Except that it was goddamm heavy..... :) :) Thank god my house is plaster & lathe... :) :) :)
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Mr. P.V.\'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY
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So, DO you have any recommendations for products based on your own personal experiences and vast intellect? Or just criticism?
Steve
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