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Are Dremel's worth the money

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Baldric09/05/2013 13:15:43
149 forum posts
11 photos

To clean up castings I have previously used a mini drill, mine was a cheep one from Woolworths, it has now given up the ghost, do peope think that Dremels are worth the money? I was considering getting a flexible drive to allow for finner work where the main tool may be to heavy. I have read that some people don't like the flexible drive from other hceaper suppliers, but I have not seen much about the Dremel one.What do others think of Dremels? For info I was looking at the 4000 series as it has a powerful motor.

David Colwill09/05/2013 14:14:03
609 forum posts
33 photos

I never liked them as they use collets which I always seem to lose. I now have proxxon **LINK** Which I use all the time and apart from a speed controller board going after two years (about £20.00) I have had no trouble with them.


Grizzly bear09/05/2013 14:29:06
216 forum posts
6 photos

Hi Baldric, I have the Dremel 300 and have found to be fine, not got a flexi-drive. Regards, Bear.

michael m09/05/2013 14:32:00
60 forum posts
3 photos

My own view is that they're probably not, at least anymore. They were originally made in the US but now, as with so many other well known products the manufacture is "out sourced", in this case I believe to Mexico and from what I've read there have been quality issues. Mine died after two years despite not being used a great deal. I was never very happy with the flexible drive. After some research I subsequently bought a Proxxon, five years later it's still working fine and I'd fully recommend it, though I do not have a flexible drive for it so cannot comment on that aspect. They're not the cheapest but as has been discussed on this forum many times there is a tendency to get what you pay for, mine was made in Germany and my understanding is that they they still are. It's worth remembering that these tools have a fairly arduous life with the high speeds involved and the dust generated and I think you've got more chance with something that's been designed and manufactured to a standard rather than down to a price. If the flexible drive is an important issue to you then you could consider the rotary tools sold for use in the clock, watch and jewellery trades. These are designed for professional use and are accordingly expensive. Google "Foredom handpiece and micromotor" for info.


Baldric09/05/2013 16:15:07
149 forum posts
11 photos

Thanks for the responses. I had forgotten about Proxxon, despite the number of flyers I have had for them! I will look at them. I thought the flexible drive would be good as the bearings on my only one got very hot, but I guess that may be because it was cheap rather than a quality item.

Old School09/05/2013 16:28:00
301 forum posts
19 photos

I have a cheapo Aldi one its had a hard life and its still going strong bought another one as a spare. I have bought quite a few Aldi tools and have found them all to be very good quality for the money and a 3 year guarantee.


Ray Lyons09/05/2013 16:32:57
160 forum posts
1 photos

I have 3 (greedy so and so). The first one is a present from my son about 5 years ago purchased from Woolworths. The inner flex drive gave up on that some time ago. I have some ex aircraft inner flexes which need to be cut to length but don't know how to reshape the end square to fit the drive. The tool itself hangs on a clip in the shed roof where it is connected to the mains and is used quite often.

The other two were purchased, one from Woolworths at their closing down sale and the other from Aldi both still in their boxes unused. Could be I was just lucky. All 3 have cost much less that a new Dremel.

magpie09/05/2013 16:49:48
431 forum posts
80 photos

I have one of the old Dremel drills made in the USA. I bought it in 1980 and it is still going fine. I also have a Proxxon right angle drill bought in 2005 which is great for getting in awkward places, also still going fine,and an Aldi one with flexi drive bought in 2010 but i don't use that one too offten. If i were buying a new one now it would have to be a Proxxon.

Cheers Derek.

Clive Hartland09/05/2013 17:01:27
2515 forum posts
40 photos

I have found that the attachments like brass brushes shed their wires and they are dangerous!

Other than that it seems to take ages to get anything done with one. The collets are worse than useless and regularly come loose and the main shaft of the tool always has a wobble. The formed abrasive tubes never stay on the mandrel and shred very easily.

It all sits in two boxes that maybe worth more that the tools.


Nicholas Farr09/05/2013 17:39:10
2113 forum posts
1025 photos

Hi, like Derek I have one of the older generation of Dremel's, Mod 395 type 5 10,000 - 37,000 rpm made in USA. I've had it since the eary part of the 90's and have still got all the collets and the spanner/screwdriver that came with it, and it has certainly earnt it's keep.

I've never experience the collets comming loose or any wobble in the main shaft and my abrasive tubes stay put. Don't know about brass brushes as I haven't used any of them.

Regards Nick.

Stub Mandrel09/05/2013 17:48:03
4307 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

My woolies one gave up the ghost after 10-12 years, just a few days ago. As the saying goes, it doesn't owe me anything.

Not sure what the problem was yet, it wasn't working hard (sanding drum taking glalvanising of a small piece of sheet steel).

The problem since ages ago has been the spindle lock barely working, which makes tightening the post-fitted dremel chuck difficult. I fitted a short dummy collet to operate the chuck. The dremel chuck is not what I would call 'accurate'.

I have lots of collets from one of those '200 piece' sets, but sadly they don't fit the woollies wonder, so I have many accesories I can't use

In its time it has done many jobs, now I have to think about a replacement, I was thinking of biting eh bullet and going for Dremel, but if an Aldi one comes up I may take the chance. If either can manage at least a decade of abuse, I won't complain.


Ian Abbott09/05/2013 18:15:16
279 forum posts
21 photos

I've got a couple of North American 110v Dremels from years ago, one type 4 one type 5 and a two year old 240v type 300. They all work fine, good quality. The flex shaft seems to be happier at slower speeds, but the attachments like the router and pillar drill are good quality.

I also have a Canadian cheapy 110v and a Lidl cordless. They are useful for stuff where the tool is likely to suffer. They aren't as smooth and the collets visibly wobble. My only real gripe with them though is that they don't fit all of my Dremel attachments, 'cos the body thread is different. That's understandable though.

Bottom line is, I suppose, that you get what you pay for.


Metalhacker09/05/2013 19:34:28
71 forum posts

I, like Derek, have a US one, a 396, bought in Perth Aus. In 1989. Only repair I've had to do was replace the clutch last week. A plastic tube which had perished over the years.. I also bought some new brushes as a precaution but it didn't need them. It's had a hard ish life over the years and is still going strong, but the chuck doesn't grip well, collets are much better. Dunno about newer ones though!


Stovepipe09/05/2013 19:42:23
196 forum posts

I'm happy with my 2 Dremels, one is a mains and the other is a battery operated one. not had any problem with the collets, but some of the accessories are a different kettle of fish. The battery operated Dremel can start at very low revs, and is jolly useful when modelling - doesn't run away with you. Dennis

Jeff Dayman09/05/2013 19:56:36
1758 forum posts
45 photos

I have a genuine Dremel (my second genuine Dremel one) and a couple of China Cheapies. For rough jobs like model castings or auto casting part cleanup work or shortening screws, I use the Chinese ones and don't feel bad about beating the heck out of them. They cost $20 here on sale and at that price if I get a year of the roughest sort of work from them I'm happy. I keep the more expensive genuine Dremel for finer work like precision grinding and fitting or engraving. It is better to use for that purpose than the cheapies, because the bearings and speed control are so much better. I've had mine for 5 yr now. It has given no trouble except the spead control needed disassembly and cleaning once when it stopped working. I still do have my original Dremel model 260 given to me about 1972 as a birthday present. I was making a lot of plastic and wood/card models then and it was like getting a solid gold bar. Still works but very worn, and no speed control.

Just my $0.02, your mileage may vary. JD

Baldric10/05/2013 09:19:56
149 forum posts
11 photos

Thanks for the comments and reminding me of Proxxon's existance, I have decided on a Proxxon as I want a product that should last even though there are cheaper options. I will try it without the flexible drive fo now and see how I get on.

Gordon W10/05/2013 09:23:09
2011 forum posts

Well, not a Dremel, but I bought an old tool complete with variable speed power supply, called Como, has a small chuck, must be pretty ancient by now but works well. Cost a fiver at a car-boot sale. I don't use it much except to sharpen chainsaw with a diamond file. Yes I know I shouldn't. This has no bearings, just a couple of brass bushes, but doesn't have much wear.

XD 35110/05/2013 09:33:47
1409 forum posts
1 photos

I modified a cheap router to accept a flexi drive and found this does all i need and with more grunt than i will ever need but not the same rpm as a dremel .

Cost about the same a dremel and you get a router as well !


Robbo10/05/2013 09:47:23
1504 forum posts
142 photos

Forget the Dremel. For a flexible drive I have made an adaptor for the spindle end of the off-hand grinder, this takes a power drill type chuck, keyed or keyless, a cheap flexible drive from Axminster has a plain shank that fits in the chuck, and the other end, which comes with a hand-tightened chuck will also accept the same type of drill chuck., up to 3/8" capacity..

Plenty of power, but obviously limited to the fixed speed of the grinder.

My scrollsaw, a Delta of ancient lineage, has a thread in the end of the motor spindle specifically for a flexible, giving the advantage of two speeds, and the Axminster flexible end can be threaded down to fit this.

But I do also have two versions of a Dremel type, plus a small dental drill which is just like the device the nail bars use (and have one of those as well). These are only used on light delicate jobs. Variety is the spice etc.


Ian S C10/05/2013 13:09:10
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Origionally bought a Black & Decker mini drill, after a year it died, got another under guarantee, that lasted 6 months, got another one, that lasted a year, so I decided to have a look inside, the drive is via a small spring about 10 mm long, 5 mm od wound with about 1 mm wire, with a loop at each end to take the drive, one of the loops had broken, 5 minuites in my spring collection, and back in action, it worked ok for about 5 years until the motor gave up. In the mean time I bought a second hand Dremel that had been well used, its still going after more than 10 years.

I think that you can get a little chuck for the Dremel, but I'v never bothered. Ian S C

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