Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
I'm shortly going to invest in a Dremel or similar multitool for modding and magnetising, and my initial research has uncovered an embarrassment of options.
So. What should I be looking for in a Dremel?
What neat stuff have you discovered you can do with one?
What bits do you use?
Are there any traps for tool-use n00bs like myself?
Excuse my newbie-ness but when you say dremel i assume you mean one of the electric drill things with sandpads, saw blades and drill bits.
For magnetising small models i use the gamesworkshop pin vice. However they only have 1mm drill bits and i have 2mm diamter magnets. So i went to B&Q (UK) and bought a couple of packs of 2mm drill bits. These work great.
All i can say is that for now, sorry i havent any experience with a dremel
damn... old thread now that is newbie of me ¬¬
most people will insist a hand modeling drill because electri is too unwieldy for such small applications
I've no real experience with them but one thing I have picked up from reading about others using them is that, if you use too high a speed when drilling or grinding away mould lines, or whatever, you can generate a lot of heat and melt the part of the model your in contact with.
Plastic is obviously more susceptible to this than metal, but I think it can happen to both.
I think the article I read this in was about using the Dremel and a wire brush attachment to help with paint stripping a metal model, so that could be one use...
I think the biggest issue when looking at a rotary tool is to buy according to your intended use.
Variable speed is a must for modelling use - there are very few jobs in this hobby that go over well with a screaming 75,000RPM single speed monster. Some models have pre-set speeds (speed 1, 2, 3, 4, etc...) - these are better, but you're best off with a tool that you can gradually adjust instead of having to jump from one level right up to the next. As Deadstar said, these things are capable of truly frightening speeds and they're more than able to mangle a model (and you!) if you're going too fast for the job.
Corded versus Cordless. Cords offer more power if you ever decide you want to sharpen your lawnmower blade or something - they're definitely more versatile, and you never need to charge a battery. Cordless models are generally smaller, more portable, and much more maneuverable, simply because they're not dragging around that cord, or the overbuilt motor needed for long haul, heavy duty work. For modelling use, my vote goes for the lightweight cordless models.
Size, of course. Trying to heft a 5 pound tool whilst drilling a 1mm hole at a strange angle in a tiny little metal figure is never fun. The smallest tool you can get without losing the power to actually do the job is the one you're after.
And accessories. Just about everyone on the market uses the "Dremel standard", namely bits with a 1/8th inch shank, so pretty much any tool should take any bit. Various manufacturers offer attachments to turn the tool into everything from a tile cutter to a drill press to a plunge router... Do your research to figure out if you're interested in any of these, and buy accordingly. My biggest item to add on is Dremel's drill-style chuck. It lets you use a normal drill set for anything from 1/32" to the normal 1/8", which is absolutely great.
My personal tool is Dremel's 10.8V Lithium cordless model and I'm very satisfied with it. Plenty of power available if I need it, nice variable speed, good battery life, and it's easy enough to work with freehand. I've sometimes wished for something akin to the Stylus model for sheer ease of use, though - the thing's tiny, really easy to work with, I think. It won't take that drill chuck, though - definitely a bummer.
I think my best surprise trick is that you can actually use a Dremel as a makeshift lathe! Stick an appropriately sized piece of plastic rod (or even scrap sprue) into the tool, turn it on, and you can sand, file and cut it much like an actual lathe. Not generally that useful, but it has come in very handy from time to time.
As for bits? Assorted cutter bits, some grinders and cutting discs, and a set of industrial burrs and drills that I picked up a few years back. Bit of everything, really.
I've got a B&Q own brand rotary tool. Considering what you'll need it to do i a hobby capacity lots of money for a branded item isn't worth it. This B&Q one has a years warranty so I would have been safe even if it did break (which it didn't)
As you can see I have bought a selection of dremel branded accessories for it, they after all are the bits doing the cutting and need to be where you spend the money.
Like Wraith said, I tend to run it on a low speed or you blink and half the mini is either worn away or melted
I've found such tools are a little unwieldy. Mine did come with a stand a and big long adaptor thing adaptor. Basically you pt whatever bit you want in the pen shaped thing at the end of the adaptor and plug the other end into the tool and you end up with a much smaller and easier to maneuver tool, abit one with a cable coming out the back. You do get a slight lag when you turn it on as the cable inside which transmits the rotary action takes up any twist it can before the bit really moves. Its hard to explain, but not really an issue.
My biggest problem with such tools is how often they are actually useful. Like pupitbackster said, in many many situations a pin vice and a razor saw are far more useful. You have to put a little effort into it but its much easier to control. I've personally found there have been very few instances where my trusty hand saw and drill haven't been able to cope. Maybe if I had it out and set up all the time I'd use it more. I was lucky in that I own both the new and the old GW pin vice, so I do have a range of bits, but even if I just had the new set, as pupitbackster said getting other bits form a diy shop isn't hard.
M advice would be invest in decent hand tools, GW's ones are good but so are some other brands. Then when you came across something that you can't get through with those tools go out and buy a cheapish rotary tool, but with decent bits. If you can find another use for a dremel and you have one set up for another reason you may be able to find a uses for it.
Oh and if you are using it to say, file away a shoulder pad on a metal miniature or worse, resin, you might want to wear a mask
I have a Dremel, and I've oh so wanted to use it in the hobby, but I confess I have yet to find a good use for it. I DEFINITELY would not use it for drilling. A pin vise is infinitely easier to control. Grinding is a good idea, especially for removing icons from metal models, like imperial iconography from a model you're trying to "chaosify," or taking those "U" symbols off the Telion model for your counts-as marine army, but I don't have the guts to do it. Every time I consider using a Dremel I get this nightmarish vision of turning it on too fast, and the last I see of my beloved mini is a wink of light reflecting off it as it rockets off into the shadows of my garage somewhere, or losing my concentration for a second and grinding off my model's arm/head/whatever. At worst, you can really, really hurt yourself with one of these things. Power tools are not toys, kids!
If you insist, I'd definitely take every precaution possible to control it. Mount something, be it the Dremel, the model, or both, and fix it securely in place before you even plug anything in. Wear safety goggles. Yeah, they look dumb, but goggles for 10 minutes beats an eye patch for the rest of your life.
Thankyou all for your suggestions. I do already use a pin vise and find it tedious. I dread the thought of trying to drill out 2mm or 4mm holes with it.
Setting up a proper tool-using ape's workspace is part of my plan, with a soft-jawed vice for holding stuff. I also like Matus's adaptor thing adaptor a lot.
I'll let you know how it goes!
i have a dremel,model 400xpr, and i use it constantly, of course, like said before, carefully, as it will eat a fig with a quickness... for my modeling, i use it to cut off limbs, hollow out termie armor, pinning, just about everything(im not a patient one) but...im also pretty good with gs also.. but like was said before, get the flexable handle with pen grip, it is indispensable...as far as bits, i got the big 300 piece kit, mostly polishing bits etc, but alot of very useable bits too..now you are talking a good $150.00 for a good set up, but i find it well worth the money.