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Monty

Kinda embarrassed to ask, but I have an unusual Dremel question

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The last time I looked into buying a Dremel (5 years ago?) I was surprised by the number of people who cautioned me that they generally spin at RPMs high enough to melt plastic, which to me kind of limits their usefulness.  OTOH, some had gone as far as to wire rheostats into their Dremels so they could dial the RPMs down.  

Just curious if anything had changed, i.e. is there a Dremel that has a built-in control that will allow more low-end operation?  Seems like they offered a 6-speed unit at one time.  Would that obviate the need for a rheostat?

As is probably blazingly obvious, I don't know much about these tools, so any helpful links to items of interest would be appreciated.

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Oh my yes, Dremel makes a variable-speed  tool that will turn at any RPM you want. I routinely use mine on plastic, turned down to 2 or 3. 

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What is the slowest speed of a variable-speed tool?  The one I have is about thirty years old, I operate it on the slow end of the available speed range which is OK in most cases.  But in this case, variable is not infinitely variable.

I also have a cheapo single-speed Harbor Freight unit (probably got it on sale, under ten bucks) that I plug into an old Dremel separate speed control that I bought unused, in the box, on eBay.  With the separate speed control, that one can be cranked down to so slow you can see the bit rotating.

Edited by Mark
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Wasn't sure what your question was going to be. I was going to say not to hold on to the spinning end, you won't get much accomplished.

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29 minutes ago, Reegs said:

Wasn't sure what your question was going to be. I was going to say not to hold on to the spinning end, you won't get much accomplished.

Now ya tell me.  Notice my missing arm?  Thanks loads.  

cbg.jpg.955276d8db5dd69b62fb2111a2a761b1.jpg

Edited by Monty

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I use the Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro cordless with a keyless chuck and has pushbutton 5-28,000 RPM speed controls. Best moto-tool I've ever owned.

image.png.072c61feb510cecb38cb6161d4093bca.png

Edited by SfanGoch

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I have the 3000 model, it has a half dozen or so speeds. The slowest setting is still fast enough to melt plastic if you hold the tool in one spot for too long but it's much more forgiving than the one I used to have.

20200121_144153.jpg.d7823233a0f934d3b9efa07c3ee580f0.jpg

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One thing to consider when applying a rotary tool with a grinding bit to plastic....use a very light touch and go slow. You can always take off more...kinda hard to put it back, sometimes! Even setting my Dremel at the lowest RPM, I have to be careful about what I'm grinding on.

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I prefer using diamond burrs of various shapes and grits (150-600) over stone bits at speeds of 5-10,000 RPM. I haven't experienced any plastic melt yet.

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5 hours ago, SfanGoch said:

I use the Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro cordless with a keyless chuck and has pushbutton 5-28,000 RPM speed controls. Best moto-tool I've ever owned.

image.png.072c61feb510cecb38cb6161d4093bca.png

I've got the exact same Dremel here and have never had any kind issue with melting plastic. it works a treat and I find it well balanced and easy to use.

I'm sure you could melt plastic with it  if you ran it flat out and had a heavy hand though. It all comes back to how you use the tool .

Edited by Roncla
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I use a Dremel Multi Pro model #395, I have had it so long I don't even remember when I bought it but I know it had to be over 20 years ago. The operating range on the side of the unit shows 8000 to 35000 RPM. The rheostat has numbers from zero to 10. Working on plastic models I usually run it no more than 3 and usually around the 1 or 2 mark. At close to 35000 RPM I've cut wood moldings for a flooring job in our house. This thing will get wood smoking pretty good if that's what you want. 

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I added the flex attachment to mine a few years ago. Makes it sorta like holding a fat pencil. I found I have a little more control than trying to hold the bulky part of the Dremel.

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6 hours ago, SfanGoch said:

I use the Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro cordless with a keyless chuck and has pushbutton 5-28,000 RPM speed controls. Best moto-tool I've ever owned.

image.png.072c61feb510cecb38cb6161d4093bca.png

Great tool!

I have the same one as well.

I use it constantly!!!

 

 

 

Steve

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My Dremel is variable speed from 0 - 30,000. It’s model 395 Type 5, though must be at least 25 years old now, so I don’t know if it’s a current model. For some reason it says 8000-30,000 on it, but the fully variable control definitely starts at 0 on up. 
 

It’s a very good tool. Always in use. I have a flex shaft installed on mine, a very useful accessory. 

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Absolutely indispensable. Been using a JC Penny "Microsworkshop" motor tool for a bit over 30 years, with its rheostat-type variable speed dial. Lowest setting is 5k rpm, which use nearly all the time except for random occasions where I need to drill into tough metal. 5k will melt plastic when you are drilling sometimes, but you have to know not to drill continuously, and/or know when it is melting, to pull out the drill and pull off whatever melted plastic is on it. Melt on purpose, if you need to wack out a large shape in a more or less flat sheet by drilling a series of little holes around the perimeter of the irregular hole you need and then carefully drag the drill from one hole to the next (clean up the really rough edges with grinder or router bits, of course). Plus, I've used it as a sort of hand-held mini-lathe to shape small bits of plastic sprue. Chuck a bit of sprue into the motor took and freehand shape it with a razor blade, X-acto, or small files. (fer gawd's sake, be careful with the blades!)

907016405_JCPmotortool.jpg.a771f041f1c086a188d5c856a363690b.jpg

348333398_lathe-turnedsprue.jpg.f06deafc75888f0c969bc28e87910f66.jpg

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1 hour ago, Russell C said:

Absolutely indispensable. Been using a JC Penny "Microsworkshop" motor tool for a bit over 30 years, with its rheostat-type variable speed dial. Lowest setting is 5k rpm, which use nearly all the time except for random occasions where I need to drill into tough metal. 5k will melt plastic when you are drilling sometimes, but you have to know not to drill continuously, and/or know when it is melting, to pull out the drill and pull off whatever melted plastic is on it. Melt on purpose, if you need to wack out a large shape in a more or less flat sheet by drilling a series of little holes around the perimeter of the irregular hole you need and then carefully drag the drill from one hole to the next (clean up the really rough edges with grinder or router bits, of course). Plus, I've used it as a sort of hand-held mini-lathe to shape small bits of plastic sprue. Chuck a bit of sprue into the motor took and freehand shape it with a razor blade, X-acto, or small files. (fer gawd's sake, be careful with the blades!)

907016405_JCPmotortool.jpg.a771f041f1c086a188d5c856a363690b.jpg

 

Wow!  That brought back some memories!  I used to use an identical tool, but branded as "Weller" (yes, the soldering iron folks)!  It just has a different brand sticker on it.  Weller probably made these for JC Penney.  It was identical (including the case, and the Styrofoam tool and bits cradle.  I bought mine in the '80s. It is basically like the earlier Dremel tools (motor with with sleeve bearings).  Mine was single-speed, but I added my own speed controller using a dimmer switch. I stuffed all the parts inside it, and had the speed control pot shaft mounted just about in the same spot where the factroy speed control knob is.  I never found a good size knob for mine, so I just turned the shaft..

I eventually upgraded to a Dremel with ball bearings, but my Weller was still in working order. It still sits somewhere buried deep in my workshop.

Thanks for the memories!

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I use a dremel copy from lidl (20 quid with 250 tools) and one from woolworths with a flex shaft. Both can use dremel bits as they come with 3 or 4 chuck sizes. The lidl one is cheap enough that I buy a couple each time they are in stock just for the tools. I've also got a small woolworths engraver set  that can be used as a dremel but you have to use the flex shaft and it doesn't seem to have enough power for that

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Another option is to get a foot speed control- https://www.amazon.com/Control-Variable-Speed-Pedal-Plastic/dp/B00WGVP6Q4/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2MCIG68HO7TY1&keywords=foot+speed+control&qid=1579698043&sprefix=foot+speed+con%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-2

Very convenient to use, and will slow the Dremel down to almost nothing. Unfortunately, the tool has very little torque at that speed.

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Get that foot control, and play dentist!  "Open the hangar, let the airplane in..."

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