Which Dremel for inlay cutting?

pavel

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I have an older cordless Dremel 800, one of the first with Lithium Ion batteries. I have used it among many other things for routing inlays on three boards. During routing it sometimes starts vibrating uncomfortably and I think it is getting worse over time. I have noticed quite a bit of play in the mechanism. Taking it apart, the bearings look OK but the entire assembly is a bit flexy.

I'm thinking of retiring it and getting a beefier model. Should I get corded model (4000) or is a bigger cordless OK 8220?

My small cordless one seems plenty powerful for everything I use it for, it's just the flex/vibrations that make it not great for inlays.
 

LtDave32

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I've got the corded Dremel 3000 and it has served me well.

But with the tech getting stronger on batteries, I'd love to have the cord out of the way. You have to whip it around so it doesn't throw any "english" on the project that you don't want. The cord is at the high side, and that have leverage.

If the batteries can last, or you can readily change out a spare, I'd recommend the battery model.
 

LtDave32

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After reading the specs, it doesn't offer its runtime, only that the run time is longer than the previous model by 33%.

And the charge for the battery takes one hour.

-Well, it's good to get up from inlaying fret boards and shake your limbs and stretch. It's a tedious task where you've got to get your face in there, close in. And with magnifying glasses.

So if the cordless will run long enough to do 2-3 inlays at least before recharging, I'd go with that.


I have this issue with run-time and charge time with this old battery dremel I keep around. It's a very old one, and it doesn't have the staying power or torque needed.

Obviously, the newer models do.
 

smk506

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Maybe go cordless for doing the inlay work and get a cheaper corded option for doing misc other stuff.
 

pavel

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After reading the specs, it doesn't offer its runtime, only that the run time is longer than the previous model by 33%.

And the charge for the battery takes one hour.

-Well, it's good to get up from inlaying fret boards and shake your limbs and stretch. It's a tedious task where you've got to get your face in there, close in. And with magnifying glasses.

So if the cordless will run long enough to do 2-3 inlays at least before recharging, I'd go with that.


I have this issue with run-time and charge time with this old battery dremel I keep around. It's a very old one, and it doesn't have the staying power or torque needed.

Obviously, the newer models do.
I actually have no complaints on the battery life -- I can easily do a whole fretboard and have charge to spare. And I have two battery packs, in case I run out in a middle of the job. I did have the older model many years ago that didn't last nearly as long, the newer LiIon batteries are a whole different deal.
It's really just the wobble/flex causing vibrations during cutting. My model has the shaft in a single bearing I wonder if the larger models perhaps have a more rigid setup.
 

Ripthorn

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I've had the Dremel 4000 for many years and have gobs of hours on it for inlay and fret polishing. I did have to replace a broken commutator at one point, but it works pretty well.
 

Martijn R.

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I had a very old (used to belong to my grandad) Dremel with a lot of play but a few years back i bought the corded 4000 which was a huge improvement. It has a lot less play but it still does have some play in my experience.

I will be buying a Proxxon next, I have a scroll saw from them which I bought roughly 20 years ago and they still sell it. From what tools I have used between either brand I feel like Proxxon might be a step up in quality.
 

moreles

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I finally got a 4000 after torturing some old model for decades. I should be in jail for what I've dine to and with Dremels, starting with building a banjo (sorry) from boards with all hand tools plus a Dremel. Between carving, drilling, inlaying, etc., that thing got abused. But the old ones were really solid in terms of bearings and ability to handle load, so it lasted and lasted. I finally junked it, and I feel bad because it deserved to be buring in my back yard. The newer ones are fine but I agree that they do have flex and play and you need to be careful if you're slotting a bridge or doing something that needs geometric precision. I find that the bits don't last very long these days, but maybe I'm expecting too much.
 

LtDave32

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I actually have no complaints on the battery life -- I can easily do a whole fretboard and have charge to spare. And I have two battery packs, in case I run out in a middle of the job. I did have the older model many years ago that didn't last nearly as long, the newer LiIon batteries are a whole different deal.
It's really just the wobble/flex causing vibrations during cutting. My model has the shaft in a single bearing I wonder if the larger models perhaps have a more rigid setup.
Pavel, what sort of router base are you using?
 

LtDave32

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that's what I use.

Sort of moves like an Ouiga board..
 

Brek

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Always wanted a dremal, it in the U.K. they are kinda pricey. I take it you are all using a plunge base to do inlays? I was routing a thin rebate today and thought a cordless trim router would have been safer and quicker. Could a small cordless router also be used for inlays? As would save buying two tools, and I cannot think of anything else I need to do that requires a dremel type tool.
 

Zeegler

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I don't think a plunge base is even necessary. I have the Dremel plunge router base, and honestly, it's the biggest piece of garbage ever. I can't remember ever owning such a poorly designed tool in my life.

I need to order one of the Stew Mac ones right now because I am about to do inlays on a neck I'm working on.
 

pavel

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Back to the flex/vibrations -- does any one have any experience with using any of the cordless models for inlay cutting?

It sounds like everyone is happy with the coded ones, like the 4000.

From teardown pics, it looks like the corded Dermels are a bit more robust, with a bearing at the tip and another on the end of the shaft, past the brushes/commutator:

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 9.35.02 AM.png


The cordless ones all seem to have one outside bearing at the tip only:
Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 9.36.23 AM.png


This is the assembly for the 8220 model. My old model 800 looks similar.

There are bearings in the motor obviously, but the shaft looks thinner and there is no extra bearing at the end of the tool. So I wonder if the corded ones are just that much better/more robust as a result.
 


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