Toolsday: Dremel

How about a power tool?

Technically, because this one is badged with the Craftsman name, I should refer to this tool as a "high speed rotary tool", but just about everybody I know refers to this kind of tool with the name of the market leader, "Dremel".


"Rotary Tool"

The tool itself is basically just an adjustable speed motor, with a fitting at one end for inserting accessories. The key to this kind of tool is the accessories. At the simplest, you can use it as a drill, but there are grinding wheels, polishing wheels, saw blades, wire brushes, router bits, engraving tips, carving tips, and dozens more. Retailers love this kind of thing because even though the acessories are normally only a few bucks apiece, you'll probably wind up buying at least a dozen different ones once you find out how useful they can be. You can also buy more expensive acessories, like the stand that turns this tool into a mini drill press, or the attachment that turns it into a circular saw.

I use it mostly for drilling, especially when drilling holes 1/8th inch in diameter or smaller. Most of the projects I've made that are fastened with 1/8th inch pegs had pilot holes drilled with this tool. I have the mini drill press acessory, and it did very well for me for years before I needed to get a full-size press. I've also used the sanding drums and polishing acessories quite a bit.

Some of the accessories can be quite difficult to find. Most retailers carry what looks like a large selection, but if you can find a retailer who carries the full line (Rolliers), you'll truly learn how capable this tool is.

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2010.09.28 at 12:00am EDT