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Minky

Are all Rotary Tools created equal?

Is it Dremel or nothing? (Yeah. I went there.)
What should I look out for when purchasing a Rotary tool?

I found an old thread where Sealeys compared more than favourably to Dremels what's everyone's thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
FDT OldNoob

I have never needed a dremel. 3 saws, senior hacksaw, Jewellers piercing saw and razor saw do all my cutting without spreading swarf all over my kitchen.
All of those rotary tools are made in China, so paying a premium for a brand name over Sealey, who do proper tools, is unlikely to be worth the .
Franksie

I bought a dremel and it has singly caused more trouble than it's fixed.  Nothing a hacksaw, junior hacksaw, piercing saw and a big file can't do with more control.
blindgeekuk

Having owned a dremel that bust, and a cheap knock off: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013OYFDC8 I can honestly say I prefer the cheap knock off.

For cuts, the other two are right, a good quality hacksaw is much easier to control, doesn't risk the cutting disc snapping off sending shards into vulnerable body parts, and produces neater cuts.

However, I am a big advocate of using a rotary tool to file off awkward bits of plastic but ONLY IF YOUR HAND CONTROL IS GOOD... Its very easy to ruin everything with one slip...
UKNerfWar

Rotary tools (or die cutters as they are known by manly men) are handy but they're not the be-all and end-all for modelling. Generally speaking they have bugger all torque so you have to go slow when cutting. People who complain that they bork their tools regularly are likely being too heavy handed and stalling the motor. Like ON said, here no substitute to hand tools (if you're a stickler for precision) but they are super handy.

I've owned 4 rotary tools over the years. The first was a cheapo Chinese spelial from Wilkinsons. It did a very fine job before it crapped out but the build quality wasn't great. Every time I dropped it something would need to be bent back into shape and the spindle was wonky from new which meant it vibrated like my wife's bedside drawer and made a ton of noise.

The second was a Dremel and I've had that about 7 years now. It's good but a touch bulky for doing anything fine and I'd say even less 'torque-y' than its cheapo predecessor. On the plus side build quality is great and the brushes are easily replaced when they eventually ware out (which hasn't happened yet surprisingly).

Not too long ago, I bought a really cheap 12v rotary tool to use on my stall at LARP events. I converted it to run off a 3S LiPo or my leisure battery for convenience. It's much smaller and lighter than my Dremel so it's great for super fine detail work but it doesn't have the RPM of my Dremel which makes work a bit slower. For emergency repairs it's brilliant.

By far the best one I own is my pneumatic die cutter. Granted you need a compressor to run it but the actual tool is tiny, lightweight, much quieter (until the compressor kicks in and makes me shit myself) and offers waaaay more control. Unlike the electric ones, pneumatic ones actually have some balls and are torque-y as hell. Massively overkill for our purposes but still a fab tool.

The best advice I can give is spend a modest amount on one and see how it goes. If you rely too heavily on it you'll probably end up disappointed so use other tools where you can and use the Dremel to get you out of a bind.
Northwind

I have a fairly old Dremel with the snake attachment, it's been incredibly useful over the years- the thing is they tend to shine at jobs that other things are bad at. Cutting a new slot on a stripped screw head frinstance or cutting parts with bad access is where a tool like this really makes its mark.

TBH I wouldn't buy one for Nerf- it's sometimes very handy but it's never essential. And the thing with a rotary is, when things go wrong they go wrong in a hurrt  Laughing So whereas your shell cut might go a little bit squint with a razor saw and you see it and corect, with a dremel you'll tend to go BZZZZZZZY ah ****. But, they are very useful at getting into corners, clearing out the insides of shells etc (I have a longstrike project ongoing that needs the shell thinned to fit some of the parts, with a sanding disc in the dremel that's simple, by any other method it's a total pain in the baws)

It used to be that the big advantage of a dremel was tool compatibility but the 3rd parties have mostly got their act together now and matched up with dremel sizing.

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