Author Topic: What do you do with your DREMEL?  (Read 14097 times)

wintersun

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What do you do with your DREMEL?
« on: April 10, 2015, 09:27:25 AM »
I got a dremel as a gift and want to make sure I plum the depths of its usefulness.  What do you use your for and what tips do you have?

Gone Fishing

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 09:34:27 AM »
I mostly use mine to sharpen my chainsaw. You can do it freehand, but they make an add on jig that helps get it right.

Also works great for sanding, polishing, cutting small things and in tight areas.  Most of my jobs are big and need more power so the Dremel doesn't come out too often.  You will drive yourself crazy trying to bite off too much with a Dremel. 

Jack

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 10:10:01 AM »
plum the depths

Even when written in purple text, the idiom is "plumb the depths," meaning to lower a lead ("plumbum" in Latin) weight into them. It has nothing to do with fruit.

DragonSlayer

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 10:12:22 AM »
I grind my dog's nails with a low-grit pad. Much better than the clippers, as I can take off a little at a time without making her bleed.

wintersun

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 10:29:20 AM »
Thanks Jack, good to know, I am grapeful.

Dragonslayer, brilliant, I was planning on getting dog nail clippers and will try this instead. 

SoClose, Do you think it would work on lawn mower blades? 

Jack

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 10:39:49 AM »

Russ

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 10:45:05 AM »
I like using the cutoff wheel for cutting bicycle cables, housing, and various other wire things. Leaves a nice flat, clean face without crushing.

That's literally the only thing I use it for though, so I've been thinking about selling it.

forward

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2015, 06:50:19 PM »
Thanks Jack, good to know, I am grapeful.

Dragonslayer, brilliant, I was planning on getting dog nail clippers and will try this instead. 

SoClose, Do you think it would work on lawn mower blades?

Freelance dental work?

So Close: I have used it on my mower blade, worked fine, but I actually have found it to be easier with a hand file.

Elliot

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 07:02:03 PM »
Count me as one who uses the dremel to file the dog's nails! Pit bulls have large, durable nails. No match for dremel, though.

Gone Fishing

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2015, 07:12:40 PM »
Would work on the mower blade but a little slow for me.  I usually put mower blades on the bench grinder.

cjottawa

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2015, 07:44:41 PM »
Oh wow, there's so much I've done with the Dremel.

...

None of which I can think of right now. :\

Oh, wait... nope. Lost it again.

...

EDIT - ah, there we go.

  • Rubberized polishing discs (on low speed otherwise they shred) to clean surface rust off bathroom fixtures.
  • Polishing disc to remove thin layer of paint from antique brass doorbell fixture without damaging brass.
  • Cutting disc to shorten bolts or screws.
  • Grinding tip to carefully put holes in sheet metal (for draining water).
  • Burr for reaming a door kick plate. (deadbolt was catching on the edge of the kick plate)
  • Drill bits for fast drilling of holes in wall studs, for hanging paintings.
  • Drilled two holes in the broken handle of a vacuum cleaner to secure it back on the vacuum.
  • Reaming holes in wood, metal, and plastic. Much more precise than using a full 3/8" drill. I fixed telescoping snow brush that wasn't locking by reaming a mis-drilled locking hole with the Dremel. Saved me a trip to the store to exchange it.

I've lost count of how many times I've used my Dremel; it's paid for itself in the parts and appliances I didn't have to replace but instead was able to fix or modify.

TIPS - the "all in one" bit kits usually suck. Too much of the stuff you don't need, too little of what you really need. I bought a bunch of dedicated accessory boxes and divide bits by type. (cutting discs, burrs, sanding, polishing, drilling etc)

These are the dedicated kits I like:


http://www.dremel.com/en-ca/Accessories/Pages/SubCategories.aspx?catid=13510

There's a Dremel case that holds four of them:


I really love the EZ-Lock kits:
http://www.dremel.com/en-ca/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=EZ684-01

The bits wear out quickly so buy replacements in bulk to save money.

Buy the keyless chuck but be aware of its limitations. (tighten it properly, don't abuse it) It's not as robust as the collet system but is way, way more convenient when switching between bits.

Use the flex-shaft attachment as much as possible. (if you don't have one, I recommend picking it up). It's far more precise and easy to handle, for most jobs.

Go slow. Use the tool on a low RPM setting and don't exceed the speed recommended for the bit you're using. (the rubberized polishing discs actual disintegrate violently at high RPM which is mostly a waste since they aren't cheap and you want to wear them out, not have them self destruct with 90% of their life left)

EDIT 2!

Roto-zip type bit for cutting a hole in dry-wall for a new access panel.
Tiny burr for thinning a "clip" used to hold a BlueTooth mic assembly together; this permitted easier access since less force was needed to pop the two parts apart.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 07:46:22 AM by cjottawa »

iris lily

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2015, 07:47:08 PM »
We also use ours to trim dog nails.

wintersun

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 05:04:26 AM »
Reading your post cjottawa, I realised something I can do with it immediately.  Thanks for all of your ideas.  And hearing that several people use to for clipping dog nails is inspiring me.


Gone Fishing

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2015, 08:45:04 AM »
Just remembered that I have also used Rotozip bits in a Dremel to cut a few things.  Works great on plastic!  Just practice a little before hand.  There is a specific direction you are supposed to cut in, but I can't remember what it is at the moment.  If you have trouble cutting a straight line, work in the opposite direction, ie left to right vs right to left.

wintersun

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2015, 03:57:48 AM »
Thanks So Close.  I am going to look Rotozip up.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2015, 07:07:00 AM »
We use it to trim the dogs nails.
Got one of those "Pedi Paws" things and it was utter crap compared to the dremel.

momoneymama

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2015, 08:29:11 AM »
I've used it to sharpen gardening tools.

kendallf

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2015, 04:52:59 PM »
I use an air powered die grinder that takes 1/4" bits to do anything that I would otherwise do with a Dremel, better and more cheaply.  They're about $15 at Harbor Freight and and will take carbide burrs, grinding stones, cutoff wheels, etc. 

This of course is predicated on having a compressor handy, which any dedicated Tool Person will have already.  :-)

2ndTimer

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2015, 02:43:56 PM »
Does anyone use theirs for knife sharpening?  If so, report please.

bzzzt

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2015, 10:46:20 AM »
I use an air powered die grinder that takes 1/4" bits to do anything that I would otherwise do with a Dremel, better and more cheaply.  They're about $15 at Harbor Freight and and will take carbide burrs, grinding stones, cutoff wheels, etc. 

This of course is predicated on having a compressor handy, which any dedicated Tool Person will have already.  :-)

Agreed. I don't do enough small work where a Dremel is useful. 1/4" shank tooling is also more durable.

Lawnmower blades with a 4.5" angle grinder and finish with a file.

Rezdent

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2015, 09:57:11 PM »
Like Kendallf, we've got the bigger air compressor setup.
But I still use my Dremel a lot.  Its smaller size and portability make it very easy to use around the house and for crafty stuff.
Here's what I've done recently:

Buff my nails. I can also do a full fake nail application and my own fill ins...but I've only done that for really special occasions.  For everyday use, a quick buff is all I need.
Removed hard water scale from faucet fixture.
Drill tiny pilot holes for screws/nails and small hooks (cup hooks?)
Cut custom notches in the cabinets for add on storage and other various things
Sanded small places (where the bigger tool wouldn't work) using various flap sanders.
Cut bamboo stakes to size for plants.
Cut off annoying, stuck screw head and drilled out the shank.

Guses

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2015, 09:54:18 AM »
Does anyone use theirs for knife sharpening?  If so, report please.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I stupidly tried this on my cheaper chef knives. While it kinda does make the knife feel "sharper" for a while (due to the serrations it induces), you end up damaging the edge and making it uneven (unless you have a robot like ability to move in incredibly precise movement).

I had to spend about 1 hour per knife repairing my "great idea" with a proper sharpening tool (whetstone).

If you want to do it cheaply, you can use automotive sanding paper to achieve a pretty good edge.

I also tried it with a lawnmower blade and an axe edge. The dremel does a decent job for those. But now that I know better, I use a file or a sharpening stone for both of those since it is quicker and removes less material.

Noahjoe

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2015, 10:56:43 AM »
Not to derail this thread, but if you're looking to sharpen a knife get a Lansky kit. I have the 5 stone kit and it will put a factory quality edge on a knife with little work. If you're sharpening a knife made with good steel you'll be able to shave with the 25 degree edge:

http://lansky.com/index.php/precision-sharpening-kits/

FrogStash

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2015, 11:53:50 AM »
...

SoClose, Do you think it would work on lawn mower blades?

I've been using mine on the mower blade for 4 years with no issues.  Quick and easy.  Only caution is that the blade gets hot so wear a glove or use a clamp.  Oh, and there are sparks so I use safety glasses and avoid flamables too.

briefus

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2015, 12:25:41 PM »
My wife has a habit of keeping old furniture we've accumulated in the past with plans for refinishing/re-purposing. My mom was throwing out a large, old, worn-down hutch and I made a project of out of it. $25 worth of supplies and when I finished it, we received several offers of over $250 for the hutch. With the dremel/sander/finisher, it took about 4 hours of work to complete the project. I now regularly re-visit our basement and will grab items to refinish and sell, or replace current furniture throughout the house, and donate the replaced items if they aren't re-finish-able.

wintersun

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2015, 05:42:58 PM »
Great tips, thanks. I like the idea of it being a handy little helper drilling starting holes, assisting in repairs and getting into areas that are too small for other tools.

CptMrPants

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2015, 10:11:03 AM »
Best thing I've done with the dremel tool is doing the fine tuning while coping trim.

Rough cut the trim using a coping saw and then fine tune the rough cut with the dremel.

This guy uses the dremel for the whole thing, which when using real wood, would be a pain, but this will give you the basic idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV91HbUntmc

FIRE me

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2015, 09:00:08 PM »
I have a old and used Weber, not a Dremel. At a quick glance, you might not notice it isn't a Dremel. It is so old that I can't find the owner's manual on the internet. I used it to fix the power port on a beater of a laptop.

The laptop is a Gateway Windows 7 unit, given to me for free with a cracked screen, missing keyboard key, missing power button cover, and a touchy power port. I was delighted to get it, as I was wanting a laptop but didn't want to spend the money for one.

I bought a new screen on Amazon and replaced the cracked one. Paid about $60 for the screen. Missing key was an unimportant function, like Page Up, power button still worked, but was unaesthetic.

I used it for a year or two and then finally no matter how much I diddled with the power port, it would not charge. Shelved it meaning to buy the power port (they are cheap). Unfortunately, it would require a total tear down to replace the power port, it is under the motherboard.

Finally had the idea that I could just cut out a small section of the underside of the case at the power port to access it. I did so this week (using the Weber) and after a little prying about the port is working well.

I was going to epoxy the removed piece of plastic back on the case, but decided not to bother since it is on the bottom and you don't even see the hole.

theknitcycle

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2015, 12:07:10 AM »
I grind my dog's nails with a low-grit pad. Much better than the clippers, as I can take off a little at a time without making her bleed.

+1 to the dog nail trims.  It's actually the only thing I use mine for anymore (having acquired a partner who loves to do power tool sorts of things for me while I'm at work).

willikers

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2015, 04:26:39 PM »
I make lightsabers.



The dremel is really only used for cutting up the metal bits, but I couldn't do it without it.

wintersun

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2015, 06:12:38 AM »
Willikers,

WOW!  You win the most exciting use for a dremel!

willikers

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2015, 11:01:54 AM »
Haha. Thanks. Each piece costs around $150-$500 in materials, so it isn't sustainable as a mustachian hobby. It's basically just a flashlight with sound effects- a cool toy, but just a toy. Between my wife, my son and myself, we have a few in the house to play with, but since I discovered MMM, they have established themselves as face-punchingly luxurious, so I decided to get out of the consumer side of the hobby.

That being said, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the hobby, as I made some great friends and learned a lot of valuable skills pursuing it, so I don't want to abandon it entirely. I sold off one of my pieces for a small metal lathe so I can turn empty hilts for others at a tidy profit. I can easily make a few hundred dollars a month doing this, which can go to the principal on my house and my investments. A decent enough side hustle for me since I am the only income for my household.

Spork

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2015, 11:17:33 AM »

I've had one for 15+ years (which means: they may have changed since then). 

I have to say: I'm not fond of the Dremel.  It has tons of rpms but almost zero torque.  It will do fine work on very light surfaces (thin woods, thin metals, plastics, etc) but really doesn't do much for me otherwise.  To me it seems aimed at craft type work, but not much else.

worms

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2015, 01:15:56 PM »
The cutting wheel is ideal for cutting a new screwdriver slot in screws where the old slot has become rounded.  Saves the day for old appliance repairs.

The spiral cutting bit is great for accurately cutting acrylic sheet.

tooqk4u22

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2015, 03:12:01 PM »
For those that do dogs nails, how do you get the dog comfortable with it?

theknitcycle

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2015, 08:31:16 PM »
For those that do dogs nails, how do you get the dog comfortable with it?

Here's the page that taught me how to do it -- both the getting the dog comfortable with it part and the how to actually do it part.  All good advice:  http://www.doberdawn.com/doberdawn/dremel.html

horsepoor

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2015, 08:54:48 PM »
I grind my dog's nails with a low-grit pad. Much better than the clippers, as I can take off a little at a time without making her bleed.

I do this too, using the pumice stone attachment.  There isn't a nail clippers made that's a match for our pit mix's nails.

BlueMR2

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2015, 10:30:04 AM »
I'm trying to think of something I've used mine for, but am coming up empty.  I remember using it once shortly after I received it (at least a decade ago, maybe longer?), but I don't recall what for.  I haven't used it since.

They are decent general purpose tools, but when you've already got all the "correct" speciality tools, well, the Dremel just isn't terribly useful.  It's like trying to cut down a tree with hand saw vs. a chainsaw.  Yes, it's possible, but if I've got the better tool already, I'll just use that.

Guses

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2015, 03:03:54 PM »
I'm trying to think of something I've used mine for, but am coming up empty.  I remember using it once shortly after I received it (at least a decade ago, maybe longer?), but I don't recall what for.  I haven't used it since.

They are decent general purpose tools, but when you've already got all the "correct" speciality tools, well, the Dremel just isn't terribly useful.  It's like trying to cut down a tree with hand saw vs. a chainsaw.  Yes, it's possible, but if I've got the better tool already, I'll just use that.

What is the correct tool?

tooqk4u22

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2015, 08:30:04 AM »
For those that do dogs nails, how do you get the dog comfortable with it?

Here's the page that taught me how to do it -- both the getting the dog comfortable with it part and the how to actually do it part.  All good advice:  http://www.doberdawn.com/doberdawn/dremel.html

Thanks.  Did the dogs nails this weekend, worked great.  I really don't have the patience to train him to sleep while I do it but some pointers were good - such as the treats, type of sandpaper wheel, and only touching the nails shortly at a time. 

He didn't like it too much but the chicken breast bites made it easier and he didn't hate me or was afraid of me afterwards.

BlueMR2

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2015, 08:43:42 AM »
What is the correct tool?

That depends on the job.

dcheesi

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2015, 09:04:09 AM »
Asked for one for Xmas years ago to do a basement project, then abandoned said project before I ever got a chance to use it.

Just this past weekend I finally fired it up to cut off some nail ends that were sticking out after recent projects.

cjottawa

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2015, 09:15:04 AM »
Found another use for the Dremel:

Couch repair. I'll elaborate...

There was a tear in the leather cover of my couch. The fix is a leather patch on the underside and a very careful sealant/pigment on top to seal and hide the tear.

Problem: the patch adds significant thickness which makes it "telegraph" through - you see where it's been patched.
Solution: use a drum sanding attachment on the Dremel to carefully thin out the leather patch and blend the edges of it.



I can think of no other tool that would allow the kind of precision needed for that; this is the type of job I keep a Dremel around for.

ketchup

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2015, 10:00:46 AM »
Most common use is grinding down our dogs' nails.

Beyond that, I've used it for sanding rust off of cars, cutting plastic or metal pieces for random one-off projects, "assisting" disassembly of various things, and various unauthorized modifications to tools and other devices.

You can do anything with a Dremel.

Guses

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2015, 08:41:44 AM »
What is the correct tool?

That depends on the job.

That's not really helpful. Can you give us examples?

e.g., Cutting small things, now I use a x...
 

LoveStache

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Re: What do you do with your DREMEL?
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2015, 02:11:37 PM »
I used a Dremel to make my husband's wedding band out of a quarter. (To be fair, I also needed a drill.) I love it more than I could ever love a store bought band.

Here's a link:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-silver-ring-for-25-cents/

Although I did spend about $6 for two quarters on eBay (I got two in case I messed up the first one lol) because I needed the appropriate silver content and wanted one minted in Denver (just like we were :-) *cue corny music*

Traditionally I have not been a power tool kind of gal. Needless to say he was quite impressed.