Can anyone recommend a Dremel alternative?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by RunningOnMT, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    I'm looking for a good quality rotary tool like a Dremel. What I'm reading in customer reviews at various retail sites is that Dremel is not what it used to be and leaves a lot to be desired for precision work. Wondering if anyone can recommend an alternative?
  2. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    Being a tool and die/mold maker for over 18 years, I made use of these products and was very pleased with them. They are commercial tools, and will exceed the price points of Dremel tools. If you have a decent air compressor available, I'll send you a rotary tool to try. It develops no-load of 60,000 rpm. You gotta send it back, though.... :)


    http://www.foredom.net/

    http://www.coopertools.com/catalog/pdffiles/SP-170_EN.pdf

    Page 42 of this pdf file... http://www.dme.net/wwwdme/DME_D_catalog_2008 copy/Equipment & Supplies/ES 19-56.pdf
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    I can't think of any. I had a Ryobi and a Black and Decker and both of them sucked. The Ryobi was under powered and the BD variable speed was so flaky I didn't trust it. Also Dremel tools are way easier to get. Some of the other makers only take certain bits made specifically for them. Everyone make bits for dremel. Don't go cordless if thats what your thinking. No one makes one worth a darn.
    Jay's idea is great. Foredom's rock.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i have a dremel that is about 5 or 8 years old and it's been aight. it dont see much use though.
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I gave up on Dremel years ago after I blew the "bearings" in my third one.
    The main problem is they just aren't sturdy enough for much more than aluminum. (If even that.)
    Air tool or Fordom are the way to go. (Be prepared for sticker shock with Fordom, but you get what you pay for.)
  6. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Thanks Jay. That Foredom jewelers kit looks like it might suit my purposes, although a bit more money than I wanted to pay. I saved the link and just may spring for one after the first of the year.

    Unfortunately I don't have a compressor...no room in rental unit. Have you ever heard of Proxxon? It's a German made tool someone was raving about in a negative review he made about Dremel.
  7. Rneck

    Rneck New Member

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    craftsman, when it wears out take it back and get a new one, however I've been using the same one for 10 years and it is still going after heavy use
  8. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    craftsmans warranty does not cover electric tools or air tools. only tools like screw drivers ratchets hand saws sockets and wrenches
  9. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    I have a Dremel but I am considered dangerous if around guns with it.
  10. Rocketman1

    Rocketman1 Well-Known Member

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  11. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    No sir, I've not heard of Proxxon. If you're gonna do serious work with pencil-type handpieces, Foredom is among the toughest out there. The price reflects that, but I'd bet against you wearing it out.

    Regards, Jay
  12. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    Chinese made flexible shaft machines very similar to Foredoms are available from Harbor Freight for $45.00. I use them in my shop.
    Dremels are still good tools. People simply don't know how to use them. They force the tool into the work. You should let the tool DO the work. Some people can't seem to grasp this fact, and they ruin delicate tools.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  13. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Active Member

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    Roto-Zip is larger than a Dremel but it has many accessories and will last. I've had mine for 20+ yrs. and it's still going strong.
  14. 308 at my gate

    308 at my gate New Member

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    I use a foredom flex shaft and at the end of the shaft is a small drill chuck. They are not cheap but last forever.
  15. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Thank you all. It sounds like Foredom is the way to go. I just don't know that I want to spend that much money. Definately something to think about.
  16. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    Proxxen's are excellent tools. They take the same type of bit as a Dremel so you can use Dremel Attachments with it, I like the Proxxens cuz they dont seem to bog down unless you really get it in a bind. I dont think the Price on em is too god aweful. Here is a link for their website

    http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/home.asp
  17. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i got me one of these , not as fast as the dremel but nothing stops it

    sorry for the catalogue pic but its in a box until the sheds up

    its a 3" grinder with die grinder attachment

    i still use the dremmel though too

    Attached Files:

  18. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    The Chinese flex-shafts are nearly as good as a Foredom, at 1/4 the price.
  19. Gamemaster 760

    Gamemaster 760 New Member

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    My opinion, and this is just my opinion.
    Most peoples purchases are driven by price rather then quality.
    You are not going to go out and spend $1000 on the right tool and set up.
    You will spend $45 on a piece of junk because it is cheap and you are only going to use it once or twice.

    I have a dremel tool and I do not know what happened to it, but it has slowed down since it was new and the extra's - you pay through the nose for the 1/8 inch shank tools and they are crap.

    My Dremel sits in the drawer 364 days a year.
    The only time you need it - you end up spending $20 on tools to do a $10 job.

    There is only two ways to do it in a machine shop type atmosphere.
    Either you upgrade to air tools or you buy electric tools of a known quality and size.

    I had friends that worked at Niagra Cutter and I can tell you that some of the rotary rasps that are in my Kennedy Machinists Chest - is over 20 years old and still performs better then the best Dremel tools.
    But you are not going to spend $40 - $80 for one carbide tool to do one job - so I don't know what to say to you.
  20. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    plus one on Niagara stuff

    it's excellent gear , i buy mine via Travers tools online as they ship international
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