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Rotary multitool guidance

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Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Windows » 14 Jun 2023, 16:36

Does anyone know of rotary multitool (Dremel) videos or text that explain how to use one safely? Or perhaps you have advice of your own? What kind of mistakes do people make with rotary multi tools? I’m a big fan of not getting injured. What tips do you have that relate to not getting injured when using a rotary multitool?
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby TrimTheKing » 14 Jun 2023, 17:05

No online resources from me but personal tip, try and use something to hold the workpiece then use two hands to control the Dremel. Especially using a cutting wheel it can take a millisecond to go from cutting a slot in the top of a screw to skating across your freshly painted door jamb. DAMHIKT…

Also, keep fleshy bits as far away from spinny bits as possible!

Other than that I LOVE my battery powered Dremel. One of the most versatile tools I own.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Windows » 14 Jun 2023, 17:58

Thanks Mark. What do you use yours for? DIY tasks like extracting screws (localised removal of paint, and cutting slots in screws) is one of the jobs I expect to use it for. I’m curious about detail sanding, engraving, and surgical interventions on rotten wood too.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby TrimTheKing » 14 Jun 2023, 18:02

Windows wrote:Thanks Mark. What do you use yours for? DIY tasks like extracting screws (localised removal of paint, and cutting slots in screws) is one of the jobs I expect to use it for. I’m curious about detail sanding, engraving, and surgical interventions on rotten wood too.


I've genuinely used it for all sorts of things. Cutting slots into ravage phillips/pozi screws, detail sanding, polishing, cutting metal in tight spots, literally all sorts. Not tried any engraving with it but it does come with an engraving bit.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby AJB Temple » 14 Jun 2023, 20:23

I've used a mains dremel for grinding away 4mm steel beneath a beam support. (really awkward access).
They are pretty safe tools as the size of bit you can fit is limited. Nothing like an angle grinder say.
Don't like: wood, engines, electrickery, decorating, tiling, laying stone, plumbing, gardening or any kind of DIY. Not wild about spiders either.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby sunnybob » 14 Jun 2023, 21:15

I've had a dremel for over 20 years. Its not my "go to" tool of choice, sometimes its in its box for a year or more, but when I need it, it does stuff I cant do any other way.
The secret with all sharp tools (and guns for that matter) is to be in control of it. If you get scared holding it at arms length, then its going to bite you. Use two hands on it. Dont get lazy and hold the piece with one hand and the dremel with the other. you will be sorry.
When you first use this kind of tool, do a dry run with the piece to cut and the dremel. No power, just check the piece is secure and you know which way the tool is going to cut and where it will go if you slip. After all this time, i still take a couple of seconds (thats all it takes, seconds) to see where the tool is going and which way the sparks will fly.
If using any kind of cutting or grinding bit always WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. It spits red hot metal shavings further than you think. The hot sparks are so small they wont hurt any other part of your flesh, not even your cheeks, and you can even swallow a bit without harm , but an eyeful will seriously spoil your life. 8-) Oh, and one last thing, speed control. Its very rare to need full speed. Every material needs different speeds so start in the middle, and if you feel the bit is bogging down, increase it a notch.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Windows » 15 Jun 2023, 06:20

Thanks everyone. I think doing a dry run every time is really important too. And good reminder about eyewear. I’m very focused on holding the work mechanically too (and thinking through all the forces to stop pivoting). I think I’ll need to be extra aware of body position when using the Dremel because I often won’t have complete control over the position of the workpiece. Will remind myself to take the time to eg raise myself if I can’t lower the thing I’m working on to a comfortable position.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Woodbloke » 15 Jun 2023, 07:10

SWIMBO has a very posh one on a driveshaft that she's going to use for stone polishing and carving. She's got other kit as well, most of which came from the US at prohibitive cost - Rob
I no longer work for Axminster Tools & Machinery.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby sunnybob » 15 Jun 2023, 07:36

I have the dremel flexi shaft. 20 years old, only used twice, about 10 years apart. Just couldnt get on with the thing. :eusa-hand:
I had thought I could get into tight corners and spaces where the dremel wouldnt go, but I found it was even worse for space requirements because the shaft doesnt bend very well. And then you have tokeep going back to the motor to stop start it :eusa-doh:
Might be different if youre surface carving.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Lurker » 15 Jun 2023, 11:19

Facemask is better than glasses or goggles

Cheap as chips

https://www.screwfix.com/p/site-face-sh ... lsrc=aw.ds
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Woodbloke » 15 Jun 2023, 11:41

sunnybob wrote:I have the dremel flexi shaft. 20 years old, only used twice, about 10 years apart. Just couldnt get on with the thing. :eusa-hand:
I had thought I could get into tight corners and spaces where the dremel wouldnt go, but I found it was even worse for space requirements because the shaft doesnt bend very well. And then you have tokeep going back to the motor to stop start it :eusa-doh:
Might be different if youre surface carving.

The one that SWIMBO's got has a foot operated pedal and I've hung the motor up on an adjustable bracket. She bought the whole set up (inc. the stone saw and surface plate polisher) during 'lockdown' for a future retirement hobby, but she still seems to like working, so I dunno when it's going to get used in earnest - Rob
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby sunnybob » 15 Jun 2023, 12:39

I know that feeling :eusa-doh:
'er indoors had a try at pyrography and said she wanted to do it. So I bought her a Peter Childs unit.
Then she moaned that it took too long for it to cool down so she could change nibs.
So I bought an add on with two pens. I made really nice work station with both units, changeover box, pens, tray for spare nibs, and a drawer underneath. All easily portable so she could put it away when not in use.
She put it away.4 years ago. Moved it from one wardrobe to another. Done.

Wont use it, wont sell it. :eusa-hand: Says she is saving it. Dont know what for, we're in our seventies now.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Eric the Viking » 18 Jun 2023, 13:07

My advice: get a Proxxon rather than a Dremel. I have had a Proxxon for about 20 years, possibly longer. It has been worked very hard at various times and it's on its second chuck, but it still works well.

I got my son in the USA an actual Dremel, and a Dremel chuck (the collets are a silly idea) last year. I finally got to use it last month: noisy, lots of vibration (because of horrible runout), and low torque. Basically just nasty in comparison.

I see now why he didn't think much of it, and there was me telling him that a Drem... er, Proxxon was so useful...

I can't add much to the advice above, except
  • don't overtighten the cutting disc clamp screw,
  • always use two fibre washers, one each side of the disc,
(that reduces the propensity to shatter quite a bit).
Also,
  • when cutting thin stuff, downcutting (i.e. a climb cut if it was a circular saw or a router bit) stops the disc splitting itself on the sharp edge of the work, and
  • when cutting plastics use the fibre discs and a slow speed, so the work is cut, not melted.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby Woodbloke » 18 Jun 2023, 15:44

Eric the Viking wrote:My advice: get a Proxxon rather than a Dremel.


When I worked at Ax some years ago now, that was the advice of the power tool gurus - Rob
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby sunnybob » 18 Jun 2023, 17:35

You never can tell.
The only person I know who bought a proxxon (from yandles) had it die on her well within the warranty period.
My dremel at 20 years is still going strong, and I've often used it enough to make it too hot to hold :shock: . I especially like the click loc cutting wheels, but the rubber sanding bobbins are pants.
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby AndyT » 18 Jun 2023, 17:45

I don't really mean to derail the thread too far, but getting decent quality bits and pieces does have safety implications, so I will ask.

I've got an assortment of accessories, all made in China, none of them very impressive, all a bit disappointing.

Is there a consistently better range of things that anyone can recommend? I'm thinking of things like little sanding drums, discs and flapwheels. Also rotary wire brushes for removing paint or rust.

TIA,
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Re: Rotary multitool guidance

Postby sunnybob » 18 Jun 2023, 21:03

The best I have used actually have "dremel" on them. The clic loc (or something) are excellent for quick change cutting wheels. The expanding drum sanders tend to wear out quite quickly , I think just because they are small and I tend to be heavy handed
I even had the wood saw adaptor, which was a wicked little circular blade, but again, I destroyed that expecting too much from it. I should get paid for all my years of destruction testing :lol: :lol:

The only problem I have had with the dremel was I wore out a chuck after severe abuse (OOPS I mean USE) :lol: My fault, not theirs.
I bought a cheapo from china, it would not even run on the thread. I got a refund, spent more on a real one and its been fine ever since.
One trick with the rods.... Dont seat them all the way to the bottom of the chuck. After use you cant get the jaws to release the rod. Leve the rod an eighth of an inch out, and when you loosen the chuck just tap the rod and the jaws release.
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