Dremel tools are rotary tools that can be used for making crafts which involve cutting, sanding, polishing, and engraving on materials like seashells, stones, beach glass, jade, wood, metal and many other materials.
The best Dremel tool for you is the one that best suits the requirements of your projects.
Unfortunately, there are so many Dremel tools available that picking the right tool may be difficult for an average user. So, I wrote this post to outline the purchasing criteria for the tool before listing out the features of some of the best Dremel tools.
Two Major Types
There are 2 major types of Dremel tools and they are the Cordless Dremel tool and the Electric Dremel tool. Each of them has its pros and cons.
The electric tool is powered by electricity and it has to be plugged to an outlet while in use. You can use it for as long as possible but the problem is that it has limited mobility. Once plugged, there is a limit to how you can move around.
Secondly, it can only be used where there is an outlet. It can’t be used while in camp. Its third advantage is that it is lighter than the cordless tool because it does not have a rechargeable battery in it.
The cordless tool is powered by a rechargeable battery so it can be used anywhere. It is very portable. However, it is heavier than the electric tool because of its rechargeable battery. Its major con is that it gives users limited time to work as the battery will get weaker with use.
You may need to purchase an additional battery and get it fully charged before you begin your project.
Your choice should be based on the length of the project and where you intend to execute it.
It is important to bear in mind that different tools are meant for specific projects. Some of them are suited for woodwork while some are best suited for glass and others are best suited for metal work. So, your projects should determine your choice of Dremel tool.
Dremel tools have a wide variety of accessories and you may get tempted to buy as many accessories as possible. But it really does not make a lot of sense to buy accessories that you won’t use. Purchasing of accessories should be based on the kind of projects you do and the accessories useful for the project.
Dremel tools usually have about 50 to 100 accessories and beginners are often tempted to buy all of them. It is better to make do with the accessories that come with the Dremel tool, you can buy more later when you need them.
Without further ado, here are some great Dremel tools and their features.
1. Dremel 100
This tool is about the best Dremel tool for beginners. You only need to remember that when your level of proficiency increases, you may need to upgrade this tool to another one. It has a small gear and can handle a bit of different crafts but it is a master of none so, don’t expect it to deliver any super-fine engraving work. If lower cost is your major determinant, this should be your best bet since it is one of the cheapest models.
Its pros are its compactness and simplicity. Being easy to understand are some of the reasons it is the best for beginners. In addition, it comes with all the basic accessories.
It has a few cons too. Its low power makes it a bad option for carving and cutting because these crafts require high power. Secondly, it has a single speed that is too high for super-fine work. Nevertheless, it is still a good buy in spite of its drawbacks.
2. Black & Decker RTX
This is an improvement on Dremel 100. It has better speed controls and better grip. It is also supports virtually all Dremel accessories. For several reasons, this tool is adjudged to be the best entry level Dremel tool.
Its major pro is that it offers an excellent power/weight ratio and it is better than both Dremel 100 and Dremel 200. Its compactness makes it a good option for pen-style use. While it is durable when used as a hobby, it may breakdown when subjected to serious usage. So, it is recommended for only learners. In addition, it is not great for rough work.
3. Dremel 3000
This is superior to both Dremel 100 and 200 but you can’t say it is better because it begins the series of tools that are fantastic at cutting and carving but poor at engraving. This is why the project at hand should always determine your choice of Dremel tool. Even though Dremel 3000 is more expensive and more superior than/to Dremel 100, any user who buys it for engraving will blame himself badly.
With its larger motor, this tool produces more power but it is also much larger and heavier. It may also not be a good choice for you if you will be moving it around often. Its variable speed control works just fine. Overall, it is still a good performer. Although it is not so good for engraving, you can get its best engraving output at medium speed. On the other hand, all its speeds are great for carving but its topmost speed is the best for carving.
Its major pros are its high power and high speed. Although it is best for cutting and carving, you can use it for engraving too if you are not looking for a perfect output. It also has a big drawback. It is not powerful enough for long-duration rough work.
4. Dremel 4000
This Dremel tool is not only larger, it is also more powerful than the other models outlined above. As fantastic as it is, due to its large size, it can’t be used for pen-style operation. While it does a good carving job, it is actually made for cutting. It is virtually the best Dremel tool for cutting. This tool is a great option for rough work but a bad one for perfect output.
It is also useful for removing the grout between tiles in construction. It is good at slow speed and very powerful at top speed. It does a great job for drilling, carving, and of course, cutting. Its cons are its poor engraving job and its large size that makes it cumbersome to carry around. It also makes so much noise while in use. You may have to use earplugs when using it.
5. Dremel 4200
This tool is very similar to Dremel 4000. The only difference between the two of them is that Dremel 4200 comes with a toolless chuck. The chuck is a lever that opens and closes and makes the use of wrench unnecessary. This improvement is a real big one. Its major pro apart from what Dremel 4000 offers is the toolless chuck.
It is still as large and heavy as Dremel 4000 so it is also difficult to carry around. It is no longer in production as the newer Dremel 4300 is a better product in all terms.
6. Dremel 4300
This is more powerful and better than Dremels 4000 and 4200 and it is smaller in size and lighter in weight. It has a three-jaw chuck which is better than Dremel 4200’s toolless chuck. It also has a LED work light. It is adjudged to be the best among the 4000 series. Amazon offers low prices on all dremel tools – check their current price of the Dremel 4300 here. It is great at engraving, carving, and grinding and it works even faster. Well, if you may not need all the additional features of this tool, you can still go for Dremel 4000 whose price is lower.
Its major pro is that it is smaller than other tools in the 4000 series but it is more powerful than the rest. It is also the only one with a 3-jaw chuck and LED work light. Even though it is smaller than others in the 4000 series, it is still large and heavy when compared to lower models like Dremel 100 and 200.
In conclusion, for commercial use, it is important that you have a Dremel 100 and Dremel 4000/4300. If you are a DIY user, you need to start with Dremel 100 and then upgrade to Dremel 4000 or higher when you become good enough for tougher craft making projects.