Dremel clone on sale for $15

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/19/dremel-clone-on-sale-for-15.html

Let me drop this timely safety advice from BoingBoing (https://boingboing.net/2014/10/13/safe.html) :

Safety glasses are really all you need for most projects, they offer good protection from flying debris and light to moderate dust. Wear them when there’s any chance that something unpleasant could hit you in the eye. Even a tiny grinding disk on a low power rotary tool can shatter and send shards on a high-velocity mission to cause harm. (Ask me how I know.) Your blink reflex is not nearly fast enough to protect you.

That could go double for cheap knock of rotary tools:


This thing is GREAT!

Please everyone buy safety glasses and wear good clothing when using it. Those little cutting wheels snap pretty easily and fly away VERY fast. Cover yourself, especially eyes, but face too if you value the way you look hahaha.

I would never recommend anything by Wen. I bought one of their rotary tools some years ago for drilling holes in a printed circuit board with a #60 drill bit. The cheap price was the draw. I could only drill about eight holes in a session before the vibration numbed my hand and I got clumsy. Then the shaft drifted off axis to make small circular motions useless for precise drilling. I should have spent more for a Dremel.


the only reason to buy any of the previous recommendations of purchase of this tool was the rotary shaft… which this kit apparently does not have. when I bought one three or four offerings ago the entire kit was cheaper than the dremel shaft and i don’t dremel enough to warrant the extra cost. the handful of times i’ve needed one it’s been great and i have a garbage rotary tool for emergency backup.

They are crap.
Doesn’t matter how cheap it is if it can’t actually do the job!


Wait, you’re telling me that knockoff crap is crap? Ah well, gotta get that referral money!

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Thankfully I was wearing safety glasses! Still though, always scary when they’re needed, especially for a process that I’ve done a hundred times before without incident.

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If you want a rotary shaft, your best bet is a Foredom HP rotary tool which can take a rotary shaft and foot speed control. We used them in my jewelry making class, and they were excellent; secondhand ones are usually available inexpensively.

I bought one of the Dremel multitools several years ago, and it was sadly underpowered for anything but light work like drilling wax for casting. It also had no precision speed control, and was prone to overheating. In retrospect, I wonder if I was taken in by a counterfeit.

Foredom all the way. I have a box full of old dremel tools, which are never used now that I have a foredom. There is really no comparison, for people who use their tools frequently.
I have had mine set up at the same table for a decade or so, use it all the time, and have had zero problems.
Using the rotary tool and one of these- https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Inlay_and_Pearl_Cutting/Precision_Router_Base_Complete_Set.html
I quickly became a wizard at mother of pearl and silver inlay.

On the other hand, if you are going to use it twice a year, buy a cheap one.

I bought one of these for about the same price, backup for the main one, but a cheap way to get accessory pieces, and yes, the extension shaft.

I doubt the brand matters much, probably someone makes the low end models and supplies many.

My main one is from Sears, but it seems like an actual Dremel with a Sears badge. At one point I bought a chuck for it, just hand tighten, no wrench. Convenient, though maybe not the best thing. But it doesn’t fit the knockoff, they are built differently. Maybe the rotary shaft doesn’t fit the Sears, I have some vague memory. I know I’ve never used the knockoff other than to try it.

But my Sears has died. The motor runs, the shaft doesn’t move (but can rotate by hand). Apparently a piece of plastic which couples the external bit to the motor. Almost thirty years of use, apparently easy to change.

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I have the basic dremel, but never really use it because I simply don’t feel safe without some sort of trigger button; if I slip with the tool, there is no way I’m gonna get to that switch with my other hand before the spinning blade does damage to my project, or me.

I had the exact same issue with my branded Dremel. But I didn’t get 30 years out of it :frowning:

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I have the Sears Craftsman tool, and you’re right, it’s a rebranded Dremel. I had the same problem a few years ago, and when I opened it up I found that there is a piece of plastic tubing about 1" long with internal splines that connects the motor to the shaft, presumably for shock absorption. This piece had perished and crumbled away.

Sears sent me a couple of replacements for, as I recall, about $3.00, and the tool has worked fine since (in fact, it has outlasted Sears). I’m pretty sure the equivalent Dremel part would fit.

YES! The fiber cutoff wheels fly apart if overheated or flexed, and the shards are sharp. I’m told they are especially bad if they get in your eyes, because the emergency room doctors can’t use a magnet to remove them, unlike steel fragments.

Whenever I use the little wire wheels, I can feel a steady patter of broken-off bristles on my face.

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I understand your take and would agree with your take if my amount of work with this tool even remotely warranted the cost of a foredom. in my case it’s the work gets done with garbage or it doesn’t get done at all.

Open a new credit card and pay $15/mo for a real dremel. Once you pay it off it will still be working, I can’t say with any certainty that the cheaper clone will still work.

I really don’t see the purpose to getting a disposable tool.

Lame to flog a flimsy knockoff here on BB.


I paid $50 for my used Foredom, $15 for a foot pedal and $21 for a flexible shaft. My ‘Dremel’ Cost $77 from Amazon, and packed it in after 3 years. The Dremel had mostly plastic parts, and the Foredom was steel. I wonder why the Dremel gave up so fast compared to the Foredom :roll_eyes:

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There’s a lot of things that you should buy cheap, and power tools are not among them.