Dremel tools

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I've been thinking about getting a small rotary tool for sanding small parts. Are the Dremels worth the extra money over something I can get at Harbor Freight? It would not see that much usage and I could buy 3 or 4 of the cheaper ones for the price of one Dremel but I do dislike poor quality tools.
Neal
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Neal wrote:

Dunno. I don't have one of the cheapos, and I haven't really looked at them. Having said that, if I had it to do over again, I would probably buy a cheapo.
My Dremel really hasn't been all that useful. I'm glad I have it, and it's a well-made little tool, but I don't turn to it very often. I left it loaned out for three months, and never missed it once.
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The problem with the Dremel is I forget I have it ... and I've the current one for 10+ years. It's used so little that it rarely enters the equation as a problem solver. About a week later I'll think, damn, I could have used the Dremel and one of those little barrel sanders for that.
I can, however, guarantee that if I didn't have it, I'd feel the need almost immediately. It's also does double duty for signing your work without the expense of branding irons and stamps.
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Swingman wrote:

I'm about the same way. Or I have a problem I can't solve with it, and the next time I'm at Lowe's I see just the magic bit that would have worked.
Those bits are sooooo expensive though.
The largest use I've put it to is cutting with those brittle little cutoff wheels. Whirrrrrrrr, slip, crack. Unscrew. Break off remaining bit. Fit new disc. Break new disc. Fit new disc. Screw. Whirrrrrrrrr, slip, crack. Repeat. There's a reason they put 100 of those things in every jar. (Or maybe it's 50. You get the idea.)
Very useful when it's useful though. Cutting off rusted nuts, cutting slots into mangled screws, cutting through car exhaust too hard to reach with a hacksaw...
I've found plenty of other uses for it too, mind you. Just none of them earth-shattering. It's not a tool I'm really jazzed about owning the way some others are. It ain't no drill press.
(Heh... Speaking of drilling. A lesson in using the right tool for the job. Once upon a time, at a previous job, I had to drill a hole in concrete, and the only tool I was given to do this was a Dremel with a 1/8" mild steel bit. I forget why I was trying to do this. Anyway, it was fun. I actually melted the bit and it started throwing off little blobs of red-hot metal. :)
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Hey, I know how to do that! The guy on the TV commercial never breaks his though.
I also find the engraving bit helpful also. I marked a lot of my tools with it. The drum sander can be handy for tight spaces. I don't use if often, but once in a while it can be a real time saver. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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I have been doing Intarsia and Fretwork for 6 years and couldn't live without my 2 Dremels. I have one set up as a mini router and one at my sitting bench with the flex shaft and use it all the time. I am one that prefers not to learn the hard way that I should have known to buy better! However it all boils down to usage. Minimal usage go less expensive, heavy use like mine, go Dremel. Hope this helps
Bob Hebert The Shape of Things Carson City NV
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snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net says...

some time back. I haven't broken one since. You can even put a load on the face, not just the edge. Until I got these, I had the same problem you describe.
--
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2003 01:38:04 -0500, Silvan

Have you tried the fiber reinforced cutoff wheels? They last about 20zx longer. They generally won't break, they just start getting smaller rapidly after you've cut off several screws or nails with them.
Tim Carver snipped-for-privacy@twocarvers.com
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I "killed" my dremel cutting metal corner bead in drywall with a cutoff wheel. About a buck and a half worth of a coupler and I was back cutting metal. It cost me less than $2 to surgically remove a big chunk of drywall at a corner and save the other side. It got my vote as handiest tool that day.
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Tim Carver wrote:

I have indeed, and they *are* much better. The "heavy duty" version of the brittle little wheels is much better too. Of course, I don't have any of those left, so I'm stuck trying to use up the big stack of the flimsy ones.
Yes, I know I can go buy these anywhere, and I suppose I have no good excuse for not doing so, other than it just hasn't made my shopping list. I really don't have any but the most occasional use for these things.
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Proving once again JR's theory of tool use:
Any tool can be substituted for any other tool as long as you're not too fussy about the results. ;-)
MC & HNY to one and all
--
-JR
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I have never seen a mild steel cutting bit. Must have been a poor copy of a Chinese tool.

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CW wrote:

Wasn't a Dremel bit. Just something I scrounged up.
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The good thing about a Dremel is you can always get parts.
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Neal, I bought one of the off brands for $20 at one of those traveling tool shows. It is perfect for the amount of work that I find use. Plastic case with a slew of bits and sanding discs.
-- Ed. O. My woodworking projects at: http://www.amiigas.com Remove the NAIL from e-mail to reply
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I love my little Dremel. I have had die grinders for many years and would be lost without them. I have a larger Makita die grinder I use for the big jobs, but it is the Dremel that gets used the most.
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Had a dremel for years, it broke down, sent it back and for minimal $$ they replaced with a newer model, great service for a great tool and worth the extra $$
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Thanks for all the input on the Dremel. Since Home Depot is having the 20% off sale, I went ahead and bought a Dremel. I probably will not use it enough to justify the additional cost but it does seem to be well made and I do like a company that stands behind their products as appears to be the case with Dremel.
Neal
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Neal wrote:

It might even be made in the USA. Maybe. I think mine was, but I got it close to 10 years ago.
Haven't had to replace the brushes yet, incidentally.
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Picked one up this week at daBorg and, yes, still USA made.
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