Can a toolbox and a selection of popular accessories renew interest in the Dremel 3000 rotary multitool?
Rotary multitools are in the family of devices that you never really think you need, then once you have one wonder how you survived without. At their heart, they’re little more than a high-speed electric drill that you hold like a pencil; the wealth of accessories you can insert into the collet, though, enables them act like everything from routers and engravers to circular saws and polishers.
The full article can be found in The MagPi 52 and was written by Gareth Halfacree.
Dremel’s latest attempt to turn people on to the joys of rotary multitools comes in the form of three new bundles, timed for pre-Christmas release. The Three Star Kit is a variant on the existing bundles, offering a Dremel 3000 multitool, a small number of accessories, and a plastic desk holster for storage. The Four Star Kit, as reviewed, ups the ante to include a wider range of accessories and a plastic toolbox for storage. The Five Star Kit, meanwhile, tops the range out with a fuller accessory selection and a more robust aluminium toolbox.
Unpacking the Four Star Kit reveals the first disappointment. The cardboard outer wrapping makes much of a bundled chess set, part of a competition run by Dremel encouraging users to make their own chess pieces using the included tool. The ‘set,’ though, is nothing more than a chess board printed on the reverse of the packaging and a set of black and white two-dimensional cardboard counters; this may be handy if you’ve forgotten what chess pieces look like, but it’s not something you’d want to use to play a game.
The chess set is by-the-by, however. The kit’s real meat comes inside the plastic toolbox, the lid of which entirely detaches with a flick of the solid-feeling blue catches. A second disappointment awaits, though: the interior of the toolbox is entirely plain, devoid of any indentation or padding to hold the tool and accessories properly. While it’s certainly functional for storage, if you’re planning to use your Dremel on the road you can expect a great deal of rattling and crashing of loose parts.
Thankfully, things improve from here on out. The kit includes many well-thought-out accessories: there’s the flexible shaft, which provides a smaller tool head for easier use while insulating the user from the heavy vibration of the tool’s motor at high speeds; there’s the line and circle cutter, satistfyingly robust; and what Dremel bills as a ‘multipurpose cutting kit’ which includes three milling bits, a plastic guard, and a guide with pre-measured adjustable depth. All attach to the Dremel tool itself in moments and detach easily, though the flexible shaft does require replacement of the collet.
The remainder of the accessories, to make up the promised count of 55 on the outside of the box, run the gamut from cutting discs and sanding drums to polishing tools with a small vial of compound to match. Most can be installed quickly using the pre-installed EZ Twist Nose Cap, which replaces the traditional wrench for most tool-change jobs. The exception, as always, is in the cutting and grinding discs, most of which must be carefully screwed on to the bundled mandrel using the back part of the wrench tool.
Another notable accessory is a pair of discs designed around Dremel’s relatively new EZ SpeedClic system. These will come as a revelation to anyone who has dropped a mandrel screw on the floor: each disc features a specially shaped and reinforced centre, which slots and locks onto a sprung mandrel. Discs can be swapped in seconds, rather than minutes, which is why it’s such a shame Dremel only includes two SpeedClic discs in the pack; the remainder are of the traditional, screw-fixed variety.
In use, the Dremel 3000 – first released in 2011 as a replacement for the older Dremel 300, boasting improved cooling and better ergonomics – is a pleasure. The contours of the shape make it easy to hold, while the speed control – which adjusts from 5,000 to 32,000 revolutions per minute – is responsive and accessible. At high speeds the Dremel vibrates heavily and makes an awful din; fortunately, the majority of tasks are better carried out at lower speeds anyway, and for those that aren’t, the Dremel can be hung from its metal loop and the flexible shaft can be used in its place.
While the accessory choices may not be to everyone’s taste, the Four Star Kit is a great introduction to the Dremel range at a reasonable price. A higher-quality toolbox would have been nice, though.