Showing posts with label power tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label power tools. Show all posts
It was a great feeling to unwarp the package and find a nice swanky Dremel in it. I have never had the opportunity to use one, though the closest I came to using a rotary tool was the Bosch Engraver. So I was excited. Given that it is such a versatile tool with so many purposeful attachments, I wanted to see how best I can use it for my day to day work. Nothing like getting to review a product by using it for my own daily work, right ? And so I had to take my own sweet time until now.

Before looking at the application, here’s a little something about the Dremel Micro. It is a very compact, rotary multi-tool that comes with various modular attachments that you can use based on your requirement. The Demel tool works by rotating at high speeds and by using the appropriate attachments one can drill, grind, sharpen, cut, clean, polish, sand, route, carve, engrave and more. It is a very handy tool that one can hold like a pen and perform the required activity . The 5 different speeds allow the user to gain more control over the tool depending on the application.

Dremel Micro comes with a sleek charging pad and a 7.2 V lithium ion battery that lasts for more than 4 hours. It has no cords and that is an added plus. The LED lights in the nosecap make it easier to work on intricate surfaces Now for the attachments that it came with. While I had use for some of them, I tried using few and I could not find means to use the rest. Each of the accessory is attached to a mandrel that can be easily removed and replaced. Here’s the list of attachments and the application. 


Drum Sander

Earlier last month, we were participating in an exhibition and I struggled to make the base for my HALO series lampshades. I managed to make two. But I still needed to make 8 more and that is where I thought I would put the Dremel Micro to good use. My biggest challenge was to slightly round the edge of the base which was taking me time with hand. The drum sander attachment came in handy and I was able to complete the other 8 much quicker.  




Metal cutting wheel

The other issue I had was to cut the SS pipes using hack saw blade. While it did work, it took me lot of time to cut through from one end to the other. The metal cutting wheel, that comes with an easy, quick change system called EZ SpeedClic, came to the rescue. It took me some time to get the knack of it, but it certainly helped. With sparks flying around, one should be cautious and ensure safety masks are worn.




Aluminium oxide grinding stone

Something I have long been looking for. Finally used it to sharpen my carving knife and chisel. The rotating stone rubbing on the metal sends sparks flying around, so make sure you cover your eyes up. Wear gloves if you must.


Silicon Carbide Grinding Stone

This one was pretty exciting for me to use. I have always wanted to try etching on glass and have been exploring options. I did not have real purpose for it at that moment, and so I went about trying it out in a bottle of pickle. And look what I ended up with. I could have done a better job had I used a template or did an outline before trying to etch. This is what my free hand expertise could manage. Nonetheless, I was quite happy with how easy it was for me to etch the W. Caution : Wear safety goggles and a mask.


High speed cutter

Given that I had worked with the Bosch engraver earlier, this attachment excited me. It is in my vision to start either engraving or etch the WOODOOZ logo in all my products and so these two attachments have been of special interest to me. Again, I went about randomly trying out on a piece of pine wood. I had trouble moving the tool against the grain, but I feel a trained hand would be able to do this with ease. A handy tool for someone who is into carving too. Some of my clay carving friends might find use for it. Works well on metal too.




Cut off wheels

The cut off wheels are made of hard abrasives and are ideal for cutting metals, wood and ceramics. This is particularly useful if you want to cut off a portion of a screw, bolt or a nail from your WIP projects. 


Nylon bristles and polishing wheel

The Dremel Micro comes with a polishing compound that is ideal for polishing metals and plastics. I had few silverwares on whiich I tested it and it did wonders. You can either use the nylon bristles or the polishing wheel, take a bit of the polishing compound and run it along your silverware and watch it do wonders. I was surprised at the luster that it added to the spoon that I tested it on. Surely a winner attachment at home given that there is lot of metal polishing that is waiting to be done.


On the whole, the Dremel Micro is a very functional tool for a DIYer. Priced at a little less than 17K, I strongly believe only serious DIYers would give it a due consideration. The one and off DIYers would still want to manage with low cost options like hand sanding, using hack saw, and other means to getting their work done. With routing and saw attachments being available, the Dremel Micro can truly be a tool that can replace most other tools. I am falling in love with it and finding it extremely useful for my needs as I keep working more on it. Happy that I could lay my hands on it. 

You can buy the Dremel Micro from Amazon

P.S. This is a sponsored post. However, the views expressed are my own and based on my use of the tool.

Disclaimer 1 : This is neither a tool review nor a sponsored post. I have not been contacted by anyone to write this post. This is part of the series where I write about the tools that I use for my home DIY projects. You can read about the other tools that I use by clicking this link here.

Owning a tool or not having the skill to use one is probably one of the hurdles in DIY in India, and am sure many of you would agree. This is a reason why I invariably outsource the cutting wood activity to someone at the timber store.  It has always been easy that way. Give the dimensions and be done with it. But, with my side table, I was left with a challenge. I needed to have the plywood top cut to the exact dimensions as the frame inset measurement. The challenge though was that the frame was not fixed exactly at 90 degrees, which meant, giving the dimensions to have the plywood cut may not really work.

This is when I decided to take the task upon myself, and took out a tool gift that I received couple of years back – The oscillating multifunction power tool. I have used the tool earlier but I was not ready to write about it here until I was fully convinced that I could use it for a real project. Before I put it up here, I wanted to be sure that I am able to use the tool to suit my DIY needs at home. So, finally I braced myself and cut the plywood (12mm thick and 18 inches in length) in less than 5 minutes and the result is here for all to see.
Another DIY tool for home woodworking
Oscillating multi-function power tool
The concept behind the tool is quite simple. It comes with a spindle to which you can attach the required cutter / blade / other attachments. When powered on, the spindle oscillates back and forth at an astounding speed of 21k oscillations per minute (may vary from product to product). Imagine using a saw to cut wood and your one up and down manual motion of the saw as one oscillation. This tool can do 21,000 of those in just a minute. With the right angle, and the right pressure applied onto the wooden surface, getting your work done is a piece of cake. The plywood cut came out so perfect that I was kicking myself for not using the tool earlier.

Recommend reading : Some basic things to take care of before you start using a tool or even a kitchen accessory from the United States of America
Home DIY woodworking tool
Oscillating tool and the blade accessory
The accessories / blade attachments are sold separately and there are quite a few attachments available for various activities like cutting wood, pipes, removing grouts, sanding etc… (hence the name multi-function)  I only have an angled cutter that is now coming in handy for my DIY cutting needs. This now gives me the confidence to move from smaller projects to medium sized projects.  But the biggest advantage I see is that I can eliminate the dependence on timber stores for my home needs. I would have loved to do a video. Nonetheless, I am leaving you with a link to Youtube videos that talk about the tool’s versatility.
home based woodworking hobby
Trying the oscillating multi-function power tool
I would like to thank my cousin Raji for this gift and want to tell her that I have started fully using the tool. The official site claims that this is a tool suited for home DIY and hobbies and I fully agree. This is certainly a valuable addition to my tool kit which is mostly only hand tools, barring my electric drill and I highly recommend it for a budding home DIYer like me.

Disclaimer 2 : I am merely posing for the photo. Please exercise caution and ensure you read the user manual for the correct way to hold and use the tool. Also ensure you take precautionary safety measures before you start working on a DIY project using the tool.

A cordless screwdriver was a perfect gift from my brother-in-law who just returned from Indonesia and is the latest addition to my tool kit.  I thought I was fine with the set of screw drivers that I had, but I was completely wrong. I just realized how much more convenient a power tool like this can make my life. I have been playing with it for the last couple of days and the  tool is really handy. I tried using it in place of the allen key wrench and it works like a charm. What I love is that it has driver bits for all possible screw heads and that means I do not need to keep track of each of the wrenches and hand drivers. I still feel that pre-drilling a pilot hole is essential as I was not able to generate enough power to directly drill the screw in. Maybe I need a self-drilling screw for that.
electric Cordless screwdriver
Cordless screwdriver, with the drill bit set
That said, it certainly eases the effort required by at least a good 40-50% and now am eagerly looking forward to work on my next project.

Here are some facts about this cordless screwdriver :
  • Rotates slower (180 RPMs) than the usual electric drill
  • The tool is strictly for running screws and bolts. It is not a drill
  • This one is single speed and rotates in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction
  • Completely a DIY tool and unsuitable for professional and everyday prolonged use
  • It is not bulky. It is just as big as the size of my outstretched palm
  • Very easy on the hands and is completely safe to use, considering its lower RPM
  • It is battery operated and the power cord is for only charging the battery
  • Operates at 240V eliminating the need for a voltage step down transformer
  • Comes with 6 twist bits and 17 screwdriver bits 
Don't you think gifting something related to your hobby is a very thoughtful act ? I always ask for a tool when someone asks me what I need as a gift. What do you ask for ? Share your thoughts.

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Have you bought a power tool or appliance from US and brought it to India ? Like me, were you tempted to plug it in at the first available opportunity ? Well, never do that. Never. In the best interest of your tool / electronics, you need to ensure they are readily suited for use under Indian Power conditions. If not, there are few things that you are expected to know and adhere to. First and foremost, understand the power requirements of the tool from the manual. 
Voltage and Wattage specification
Power requirements
And here are the questions you need to ask and understand before you can plug in that tool / appliance of yours.

1. The specification in the tool manual says 120v. Does it make my tool readily usable in India ?
No. The operating voltage in India is 240v. And since the tool requirement is only 120v, there is every bit chance that it might not work or go kaput if you directly plug it in.
2. How do I then use the tool here in India ?
Stepdown voltage transformers are available in your local electronics store, specifically for requirements like this. They help in converting the 240V power into 120v.
3. Is voltage the only parameter I need to look at ?
No. You need to look at the wattage specification as well. Your transformer wattage should necessarily be equal to or more than the value mentioned in the manual.
4. There is no watt mentioned in the manual. What do I do ?
Look for amps specification and as high school physics would have taught you, Watt = volt X amps. So in the above case, the wattage is 120 x 1.8 = 216 W. That means the transformer should support wattage greater than 216 W.
5. What is the cost of a step down transformer ?
The transformers for lower watt requirements are available as plug in adaptors and cost about Rs.300 to Rs.350. The one you see in the picture below (250W) costed me Rs.950 and looks like a mini stabilizer. So, anywhere between Rs.300 to Rs.1200 depending on your requirement.
Voltage transformer
240v to 120v step down transformer
This is basic physics that I didn't know and had trouble doing my research when I received a power tool as a gift. So hoping this post is of some help to someone with a new tool and the desire to DIY.

Have you used a tool or appliance in India, bought and brought from anywhere outside? Is there anything else that one needs to take care of  besides this ? Leave me your comment. Also, do let me know if you found this post useful.

~Somu