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-   -   Which dremel/rotary tool do you use? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1198067)

tkamd73 04-13-20 09:29 AM


Originally Posted by thinktubes (Post 21415608)
While I use the cutting wheel for cables, I've found that it melts the plastic liner, so I need to immediately chase it with an awl, before the plastic cools.

Yup, it does tend to melt the plastic liner a bit, but still works better then any mechanical cutter Iíve tried.
Tim

crank_addict 04-13-20 09:35 AM

For home hobbyist and minimal duty use, a tool that doesn't take up space, a Dremel rotary is well worth it. They've been offering the portable jobbie for decades, regardless where made, do have pretty good reliability even on their cheapest units.

The Harbor Freight units might get you by but don't expected longevity and have really poor armature shafts and bearings. Discounts, for under $10 it might do for rarely using.

Last Christmas, Aldi foods had a nice kit with flex shaft, variable speed, assortment of arbors - wheels of all type. $20 or something near that. By far the best package for the money. Armature tolerance is on par with Dremel though not sure of longevity.

Though at the shop have commercial grade setups, and pneumatic with variable. Really a luxury. Needed for carbon fiber work.

Btw: Caveat using your electric tool working on carbon fiber.

squirtdad 04-13-20 09:56 AM

old monkey ward (montgomery ward) with a cord. mostly cut off wheels (get the dremels shaft that allows easy on off of the wheels) not used much, but invaluable when needed (bikes and general use)

2cam16 04-13-20 03:09 PM

My corded Dremel of about 3 years has done a lot and never fails. I even used it to cut a stripped and stuck crank arm. Used about 2-3 cutting wheels but it did it.

canklecat 04-13-20 06:07 PM

For cutting cables/housings, the Jagwire cutter includes an awl in the end of one handle for rounding out a slightly ovalized cut. But it usually cuts housings cleanly enough it isn't a problem.

I do occasionally file the end of a cable housing after cutting, but I don't drag out the moto-tool for that. I just use a file. A little utility case drawer of small metal files and diamond hones takes up a fraction of the space of a moto-tool.

Salamandrine 04-13-20 06:08 PM

There are currently two Dremels in my tool bin. I don't even know which ones I have. They are both variable speed and corded.


IMO they have pretty limited use for bike stuff. They definitely work pretty well for cutting stranded modern housing. That's the main thing. They can be pretty effective for polishing in tight spaces and complex parts. For instance I last used mine to polish up some Lyotard pedals. Generally though, it's faster and easier to polish aluminum bike parts by hand. (not counting a commercial type bench polisher with a big buff)


The main bit/accessory that is useful for bikes is the EZ Lock mandrel. Those work very well with the new style reinforced cutting wheels.The little micro EZ lock cotton buffs work great too. Occasionally you may find the sanding drums or the various grinding bits useful.


The older style cutting wheels and buffs were really not very good.

mechanicmatt 04-13-20 06:26 PM

I have a Kawasaki version that was from Sam's or Costco like 10 years ago, used it a lot to remodel a house. Not much in way of use for bicycle. But it is handy for cutting small metal things at times. It's corded and variable speed which is nice but I don't know if it's a tool to spend lots of money on or not.

satbuilder 04-13-20 06:59 PM

I have a couple different rotary tools which have served me well over the years for different applications.

Dremel 332 Moto Flex which has the built- in flex shaft and a foot pedal speed control.

Foredom Model S. Another flex shaft tool but heavier duty.

Wells Dental Engine. These have limited bit sizes, but if you look around you can find adapters and collets for the hand piece. If you watch the auction block you can find these reasonably priced. They are belt driven with a foot pedal speed control, but the hand piece is very comfortable.

JaccoW 04-14-20 06:53 AM

I have a dremel with all kinds of attachments that I bought a couple of years ago. I mostly use it for cutting cables and sawing off bolts in places that are hard/impossible to reach otherwise such as on the inside of fenders.

Last month I used it to cut a heavy duty lock off a neighbour's bike who lost the key to it. :)

Glennfordx4 04-14-20 08:19 AM

I have two that I use, a vintage model 380 Ver speed that my Grandfather bought new either in the late 50's or early 60's, I have everything that it came with when new. I wish I could show you guys the things he has made with it but don't have any pics like a complete Chess set that looks store bought, a 10" Adjustable Wrench that looks and works like the real thing along with a copy of his Stanly Claw Hammer and the last thing he was working on was a Clock, all the gears and moving parts are made out of wood. I also use a older model 395 most of the time, I have tons of attachments for both that I have picked up used here and there plus tons of bits, grinding, cutoff, drilling, carving, polishing. I picked up the 395 in a huge Dremel case that holds both tools and most attachments from a thrift store for $15 yrs ago, I have the modern and vintage Stands for both units for use with the Flex cables. The one attachment I don't see often is the generated light kit that I use all the time when drilling with it. I use my Dremel tools for a ton of things but not a ton with bikes.

Glenn

Glennfordx4 04-14-20 08:25 AM


Originally Posted by Salamandrine (Post 21416650)
There are currently two Dremels in my tool bin. I don't even know which ones I have. They are both variable speed and corded.


IMO they have pretty limited use for bike stuff. They definitely work pretty well for cutting stranded modern housing. That's the main thing. They can be pretty effective for polishing in tight spaces and complex parts. For instance I last used mine to polish up some Lyotard pedals. Generally though, it's faster and easier to polish aluminum bike parts by hand. (not counting a commercial type bench polisher with a big buff)


The main bit/accessory that is useful for bikes is the EZ Lock mandrel. Those work very well with the new style reinforced cutting wheels.The little micro EZ lock cotton buffs work great too. Occasionally you may find the sanding drums or the various grinding bits useful.


The older style cutting wheels and buffs were really not very good.

My Cousin got me the EZ Lock cutoff wheel kit for Xmas and it really works great.

Last ride 76 04-14-20 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by Doug Fattic (Post 21415033)
How much money are you willing to spend and what are you wanting to do? I use a jeweler's saw and hand files, a battery powered Dremel as well as a much more powerful one with a power cord. And I also have a Foredom with a separate hand piece connected to a powerful motor with a rotary cord. The foot pedal controls its RPMs. If one can afford it that is the best tool. I use mine to cut blank lugs into shapes. So again the question comes back to you, what do you want to do with it?



I have never blamed my tools for poor execution.:innocent:

I have the same, minus the corded dremel, plus a 6" bench grinder/polisher. I do want to invest in a broader selection of jeweler's files.

I have not used the Foredom, (bought 1/2 price at Lowes), as much as I expected. The battery Dremel combined with file work is surprisingly effective, if a bit slower. I find (like with wood) it's difficult to replace aluminum, once too much has been ground or cut away...) ;)


I have found the stability of the bench grinder very helpful. I am sure I would use the Foredom more if I had a proper vise again. (Sounds like a plan).
I have never used the Dremel with a cutoff wheel for cables, doh!

Salamandrine 04-14-20 01:45 PM

A little reminder: when cutting things with a Dremel and a cutting wheel, please use eye protection folks. The new wheels don't shatter when you look at them funny like the old ones did, but they still can shatter some times.

merziac 04-14-20 06:34 PM

HF air 1/8 in. Micro Die Grinder, more power, way more maneuverability, very controllable. ;)

https://www.harborfreight.com/18-in-...kit-60244.html

Chombi1 04-14-20 08:59 PM

For many years I used a Dremel model 380-5 with variable speed, that I inherited from my eldest brother, back in 1992 ish.....
It was a very basic tool, as far as rotary tools go these days, but it is rugged and never failed to do the job for me, with the few bits that came with it. Till about two years ago when it started to seem to have problems with its power chord where it goes into the tool and I was getting intermittent pulsing when I used the tool.
So it gave me enough excuse to upgrade to a new Dremel..... a top of the line model 4300 Dremel (Now a subsidiary of Bosch) with all sorts of bits and bobs and even an LED light attachment......
https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...4d26327f9d.jpg
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...531b99a041.jpg
So there it is, in the big two tiered tool box I got specially tor it, to replace the chintzy blow mold case the 4300 came with.......
But then.......
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...9abceaf6c7.jpg
Like many Dremel owners, I kinda got carried away and bought all sorts of Dremel accessories, like a mini drill press, a flex attachment, and even a Dremel ball vise.......
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...68b6483947.jpg
I did eventually get to use most of the accessories with the new Dremel rotary tool on some projects. They work pretty good as long as the projects don't get too heavy, but I'm now always looking for projects I can justify the things with.
I still have the old model 380-5 which sits at the bottom tier of the tool box (can be seen to the right of the third pic). Turns out that there was just a lot of debris caught in one of the electric motor brush holders that was not letting it contact the armature properly. Cleaned it up and it works perfectly again. It's been relegated to the more messy projects though, Like grinding off old glue from tubular rims. But the old Dremel feels like it would just keep going on and on forever. Frankly, I don't think my new, fancier 4300 would last as long as the old 380-5......
Forgot to note.... I also bought one of these to use when I'm using my Dremel....
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...eaf8d45484.jpg
I don't know how I managed to not blind myself all these years using my Dremel, despite having glasses. A lot of things from the tool like wire filaments from the rotary brush tips flying off (always felt them hitting my face) could have killed my eyes, but I guess I was just lucky. Decided that I cannot tempt my luck any longer, so I got the face shield late last year. Works really well!

BFisher 04-15-20 07:09 AM

This thread reminded me of a site I recently visited. Guy built himself a Dremel 3D pantograh.

https://woodgears.ca/pantograph/dremel.html

Kabuki12 04-15-20 07:29 AM

One of the only times I used the Dremmel on my bikes was to grind the spokes that were protruding from the spoke ends on the rim before putting down the rim tape. The rear wheels that I have laced have this situation due to me using the same length spokes for both the drive side and non drive side. I used a ball shaped cutter that was in the kit. It worked great without any damage to the rim or spoke end. Just a steady hand and that comes from 45+ years of tool grinding! Joe

easyupbug 04-16-20 07:38 AM

Just yesterday I again grabbed the cordless Dremel and recalled this thread. I have a Dremel handing near the bench with the flex shaft extension permanently mounted and a full Dremel kit in it's own tool box but even with the reduced power of the cordless I grab it more often than the others, just more convenient w/o a power cord and the tiny battery holds up well.

clubman 04-16-20 09:49 AM

I've got this smallish rotary tool that reminds me of something made in the 60's. Full metal alu casing and light. One speed, seems to be around a 3 or 4 on a Dremel tool but not a lot of torque. The collet is over sized and takes threaded bit's while the top of the tool shaft looks like it would accept a flexible shaft.
It's also remarkably quiet. Wish I had some some accessories to fit but the collet is about 3/8". The lock ring is a friction fit.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...62968e4fb4.jpg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5be60a38b2.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6af011845f.jpg

Velo Mule 04-16-20 09:55 AM

So far, I haven't used the Dremel on a bike. But it does get plenty of use around the house and on other projects. For the cable housings, I cut them with a cable cutter and square them up on a bench grinder.

It would be the perfect tool for a wheel with all spoke that are too long. If it were only one or two replacement spokes, I'd use a file.

Oh, so to answer the question, I have a Dremel branded one that is multi speed and plugs into the wall outlet.

Velo Mule 04-16-20 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 21421476)
I've got this smallish rotary tool that reminds me of something made in the 60's. Full metal alu casing and light. One speed, seems to be around a 3 or 4 on a Dremel tool but not a lot of torque. The collet is over sized and takes threaded bit's while the top of the tool shaft looks like it would accept a flexible shaft.
It's also remarkably quiet. Wish I had some some accessories to fit but the collet is about 3/8". The lock ring is a friction fit.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...62968e4fb4.jpg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5be60a38b2.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6af011845f.jpg

Thanks for posting this. That is an electric eraser. From back in the days when the designs were tuned out with pencil and velum. And companies hired Draftsmen.

A rubber eraser, typically the white colored one would go in the collet and sliding the collet ring toward the end would sinch the eraser in place.

clubman 04-16-20 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Velo Mule (Post 21421504)
Thanks for posting this. That is an electric eraser. From back in the days when the designs were tuned out with pencil and velum. And companies hired Draftsmen.

A rubber eraser, typically the white colored one would go in the collet and sliding the collet ring toward the end would sinch the eraser in place.

Cool, thanks. Gonna start erasing things now.

Chombi1 04-16-20 08:26 PM


Originally Posted by clubman (Post 21421476)
I've got this smallish rotary tool that reminds me of something made in the 60's. Full metal alu casing and light. One speed, seems to be around a 3 or 4 on a Dremel tool but not a lot of torque. The collet is over sized and takes threaded bit's while the top of the tool shaft looks like it would accept a flexible shaft.
It's also remarkably quiet. Wish I had some some accessories to fit but the collet is about 3/8". The lock ring is a friction fit.
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...62968e4fb4.jpg
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...5be60a38b2.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6af011845f.jpg

I had something similar but with a plastic body.
Can't remember who made it (Maybe Steadtler?), but it was light grey.
It was a must-have when I was in college in the School of Architecture, which was just right at the very start of when CAD programs were being developed, so most of our drawings were still on vellum and mylar, drawn with technical ink pens or pencil. Went through miles of those long cylindrical, white eraser inserts from Steadtler that went into those electric erasers.
Coincidentally, I also had fun with it during slow days in school by attaching all sorts of self made grinding and drilling tips on it. Even remember using it as a fan by attaching a four bladed RC plane propeller on it!
Used the same electric eraser for the whole 5 years I was in college. I bet it's still somewhere deep in my junk in the garage somewhere and would still work if I plug it in.

branko_76 04-17-20 07:16 AM


Originally Posted by Velo Mule (Post 21421504)
Thanks for posting this. That is an electric eraser. From back in the days when the designs were tuned out with pencil and velum. And companies hired Draftsmen.

A rubber eraser, typically the white colored one would go in the collet and sliding the collet ring toward the end would sinch the eraser in place.

I have one hanging off the edge of my Mayline drafting table which now, instead of vellum, has a monitor, keyboard and mouse sitting on the Borco...:crash:

oh, no Dremel tool in my shop. Lots of files, emery cloth, hack-saw blades, snips and various manual cutters.

TiHabanero 04-17-20 05:37 PM

Had a corded Dremel that made it through two frame builds, then bearing puked on it. Replaced with a Rotozip upon recommendation from my brother. Although it is much larger in diameter than the Dremel, it is very well balanced and spins better than the Dremel did when it was new. Much better quality. I use it for cutting slots into stays and grinding down filler when I over fill a joint. So far it has done three frames without a problem. Have dropped it from the bench several times and that has had no effect on it. Good tool, and much better than the Dremel that it replaced.


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