The Best Rotary Tool Accessories of 2020

Dremel lawnmower sharpening accessory

With the seemingly thousands of options available for rotary tool users, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to hunting down the perfect option for your job at hand. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my personal recommendations for the best rotary tool accessories in 2020. The list includes my most used, and favourite accessories, as well as a few novelties that you might not have even known existed!

I’ve had a little Ozito rotary tool for a while now.

Ozito 170W Rotary Tool body with flex attachment
You can read more about my experience with the Ozito rotary tool here!

While I don’t have any complaints with the tool itself, in fact, I’ve actually been quite surprised by it, the accessories that it came with were a little lacking in quality. Which is why I found myself quickly upgrading them to aftermarket ones shortly after buying the tool itself.

Wait, is this a Dremel ad?

The short answer is no: I’m not sponsored by Dremel in any way shape or form, I just appreciate an accessory that doesn’t fall apart in two seconds flat.

But, be forewarned, you are going to see a lot of Dremel accessories in this list. Trust me, I have tried cheaping out and buying the large packs of other accessories – but in the end, it really didn’t save me any money considering the longevity or quality of the accessories I ended up with.

I will usually only purchase Dremel accessories now unless there is a very good deal on another brand that I would like to try. In my experience, there isn’t anything I have come across in the rotary tool accessory range that compares to the quality of Dremel. If you’re reading this and are one of the lucky ones who has found a good, cheap accessory on Amazon, please let me know, I’m all about saving the moolah!

Before we begin

If this is your first time using a rotary tool and it didn’t come with a kit of accessories, I do recommend that you get your hands on an el cheapo set like this one to begin with.

(I know, I know, I just said that I don’t buy off-brand anymore, but bear with me) For one, buying a large set of various accessories will allow you to determine what you use most (kind of like with router bits), and it will give you a standard that you can measure against the much, much better-quality accessories that you will later get.

When I originally purchased my Ozito it came with over one-hundred accessories. I quickly was able to determine what I needed better quality on, and what I didn’t use enough to justify the upgrade.

Use it properly

And one last thing before I hop right into the list, I know it seems like common sense, but please only use rotary tools in the way they were intended. This includes making sure you are using the right running speeds and materials for the job at hand! Many of these accessories will only work well if you use them in the ways that they were designed to be used. If you run a high-quality bit at the wrong speed into the wrong material and it bends or melts, that’s more of a reflection on the user than the accessory itself.

Here’s a handy list from Dremel itself that shows the correct running speeds for various bits and materials:

Source: Dremel

In general, if you see smoke and burning, your speed is too high, and if you feel the bit slowing it could be that you are putting too much pressure on the tool – if you lessen your pressure and it’s still struggling it’s a good indication that your speed is too slow.

Safety (again)

USE YOUR PPE!

Okay, one more last thing and another bit of common sense that deserves to be mentioned, rotary tools spin at really high speeds, and have a tendency to occasionally fling things at equally high speeds, remember your safety glasses. Similarly, rotary tools kick up some really fine dust and particles, so using a mask is a must as well!

With that, let’s get to it!

Accessory Categories

Generally speaking, rotary tool bits can be organised into a few categories

  • Cutting
  • Sanding
  • Material Removal and Shaping
  • Engraving
  • Grinding and Polishing

Cutting

Best for cutting metal:

Most rotary tools come with resin “cutting wheels” – if you’ve ever used one of these you know that they don’t last long – often shattering mid-project, or grinding down into nothing after one or two cuts. I’m happy to say that I will never again be going back to that relationship, because I’ve found something much better.

The best in this category is the:
Dremel Fiberglass Reinforced cutting wheel

If you’re wondering why I didn’t pick the ultra-super-duper-heavy-duty premium metal cutting wheel from Dremel well…

Fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels, such as the above, do last longer and cut better than the resin cutting disks, and they also come in packs. The pack including twenty fiberglass cutting wheels is only slightly more expensive than the single premium metal version from Dremel. While the premium metal version doesn’t have the same tendency to expand or fall apart, and Dremel advertises that it has 20x the cutting life as their fiberglass counterparts, I just didn’t find that to be the case. In fact, I found that the cutting abrasive on the wheel didn’t last as long as I needed it to in order to justify the increase in price.

The cutting speed on the fiberglass version is great and I really can’t see myself getting more cuts out of the premium cutting disk than 20 of these – which is why it gets my vote!

Best for cutting wood: 

Dremel 543 Cutting/Shaping Wheel

I love this carbide cutting wheel for slicing through small trim pieces or making internal cut outs in my projects (it’s come in great use for my caravan remodel!) As a bonus, it can also be used for fibreglass, laminate, and plastics. The tungsten carbide tipped blade lasts a good deal of time, has great cutting speed, and doesn’t seem to overheat or burn the wood in most applications.

It also has abrasive on the face of the blade, which means this cutting wheel can multitask as a shaper as well! BONUUUSSSS

Best for cutting stone and glass:

Dremel 545 Diamond Wheel

Diamond cutting wheels are the way to go when you want to be cutting ultra-hard materials. I’ve tried several different brands of these types of wheels and often found the diamond abrasive to wear away very, very quickly and/or the wheel would overheat and bend the mandrel before I could complete a job. The biggest difference that I’ve found with this Dremel bit is that the diamond abrasive lasts significantly longer.

I’ve used this bit on the porcelain tiles that I needed to shorten to install a new sink fixture and it worked fantastically. I’ve also used it, before I had a grinder, to cut away at some concrete that had shifted and was blocking the door of my shed from opening, AND, I’ve used it to cut through some carbon fibre tubing for a lightweight frame construction. It has really exceeded my expectations in all of these applications, but I suppose that my expectations were rather low after using the other non-branded diamond wheels.

It’s certainly saved me a lot of headaches, that’s for sure!

Sanding

Okay, so, if you’ve ever ordered Rotary tool accessories before, you’ll be familiar with the insane packs of sanding drums and barrels that come with an incredible 500 some pieces for 11 dollars and 23 cents or something.

Ozito rotary tool drum sander being used to shape a wooden bottle opener

I’m here to tell you not to do it. Just don’t do it. As someone who has wasted a whole lot of time changing out sanding pads that last all of two seconds (touch it to the wood for 1.5 seconds and the abrasive pad suddenly becomes as smooth as a sheet of paper) – I am begging you to learn from my mistake. There is very little on this earth that I find more annoying than having to change out an accessory a million times on a single project. Especially when the process of changing them out gets longer and longer as the drum mandrel heats and expands and the sandpaper barrels no longer fit (can you tell I am a woman who has been slighted by the multi-packs of sanding drums? Hell hath no fury!)

If you have found a kit of sanding drums that actually works – please enlighten me, I would love to try it!

Until then, I’m sticking with these:

Oh, and, they serve a multipurpose too!  My dog, Taco hates to have her nails clipped. And I really do mean hates having her nails clipped. Put these suckers on a low speed, give her nails a little sandy-sand, and it’s not nearly an ordeal as the clippers! (As a note, this really only works for us with the Flexshaft attachment, Taco doesn’t like the tool itself near her.) 😉

 

Material Removal/Shaping

Atoplee 10 Pcs Tungsten Steel Burs

If you do any power carving or simply need to remove and shape material quickly and accurately, there is nothing like a good bur or rasp used in a rotary tool. Lower the speed and you’ll have a delicate carving tool, up the speed (but not too much!) and you have a lean, mean, material removing machine.

I’m about to do something you haven’t seen yet and declare the best value accessory in this category to be one that is not Dremel. *round of applause*

I’ve used these burs on both metal and wood and have had good results. If you do really small detail carving, these aren’t for you, as they are on the large side – but I’m really happy with the results on larger carvings and material removal for the price. I’ve used them numerous times, haven’t noticed any dulling in the blades yet, and they haven’t overheated on me. (Just make sure you use the correct speed!)

I don’t know why they mention diamond in the title (probably because they want to trick people), but it’s pretty easy to tell even from the picture that these are not diamond bits. That bit of sneaky advertising aside, I have found these bits to work well for me. 

Engraving

Okay, Okay, Okay – I love a good engraving bit!  It’s just so cool to see something delicate and accurate come out of something spinning at 25,000 rpm.

You’re going to be pretty hard pressed to do any engraving while holding your rotary tool in hand though. Which is why you’re going to need, at the very least a Flexshaft attachment, and preferably with a pencil or comfort grip. My Ozito rotary tool came with a flexshaft attachment, which is part of the reason I found the kit such great value. It’s still going strong, but if it ever falls apart, I have used the Dremel comfort grip attachment at a trade show, and it is amazing. Comfortable and well balanced, it really does feel like holding a large pen. It’ll be the first thing I reach for off the store shelf when the time comes.

As for engraving bits – for glass, stone and really anything substantially harder than wood that you want to imbue with some fine detail engraving, diamond is the way to go. As with the diamond cutting disks, I found many of the cheaper engraving sets would quickly wear out the diamond abrasive. If engraving is something you do a lot of, invest in the specific diamond bur Dremel bits that you will use often. They last much longer, (the first, thin pointed bit that I bought a year and a half ago is still going!) and will pay you back tenfold both in enjoyment and cost when you don’t have to go out and buy more after every other project. For the ones that you don’t use as often, cheaper steel engraving bits are fine!

This is the best value kit, in my opinion, as it includes a diamond wheel point pit, a diamond carving bit, four engraving bits, and four grinding bits. As I’m writing this the kit is also 30% off, another bonus!!


Grinding

I’ll be honest here. I don’t use my grinding bits very much. Occasionally, if I have a substantially dull edge on something that I don’t really care for much, I might run it over the grinding bits on my Dremel – I have done this for my garden clippers, and it worked fairly well. And, I have even tried to sharpen my 1970’s lawn mower blades as well (which probably would have worked if the blades weren’t so entirely shortened from years of people running small rocks and pebbles through them.) In terms of their other use, etching or engraving, I do use them a bit more.

There are several different types of grinding bits with various profiles and grits. Unfortunately, if you are buying cheap knock offs, it can get pretty difficult to determine exactly what grits or types of grinding stones you are getting – the colours, while a good determinate of the type of stone in known brands, don’t always match with the imported knock offs, and sometimes, I’ve even found that the stones in these knockoffs are specifically coloured in order to look
like the types of stones from say… Dremel for example.

In general though, the most popular type of grinding bit is aluminium oxide which most of the time comes in white, pink, red, brown, and grey colours. The darker grey and brown colours are the big boys around town – and they do most of the work in terms of material removal and rough re-shaping. The lighter colours – white obviously being the lightest – are typically the ones used for the sharpening itself. They will wear quicker, but create a better, more refined edge.

Silicone Carbide is the other type that is commonly seen, though less commonly than aluminium oxide. It is typically green in colour and is harder than aluminium oxide, which makes it better for etching and engraving things like ceramic and glass while the aluminium oxide is better for softer metals.

To be fully honest with you, I’m still using the original grinding stones from my Ozito set, so I can’t recommend other ones in good faith. I do trust Dremel, but given how long I’ve used the Ozito ones for, I might have been convinced to give an offbrand of the grinding bits a try, but after a thorough check on Amazon and a reference to Fakespot (my go to for detecting fake amazon reviews), I really didn’t find one that I would be comfortable potentially wasting money on when the grinding bits from Dremel are actually fairly cheap. So… I’ll be ordering  this when my current ones finally wear out:

Polishing

I never really cared or used the polishing wheels for my rotary tool until the day I did…. And now I can’t stop using them!

They are the greatest thing I have found for my antique tool restorations and I recently used them extensively for my Acorn hand plane restoration.

Wool/felt polishing wheels are my favourite, and the quality is pretty varied. I hate to sound like a woodpecker here, but I’ve ordered three different kits with 50-100 pieces in them, all three of them failed to function. To use the polishing accessories, the felt piece is basically twisted onto a mandrel that has a screw-shaped protrusion. The cheap felt polishing accessories all failed to stay on that screw within a few seconds to a half-minute of use – this is at low speeds and with low pressure.  I’m pretty certain they are all made by the same brand and are just sold from different accounts. So, look, you can get 100 pieces and use all of them for a combined average of ten minutes – or you can just get the tried and tested Dremel ones and expect them to work much longer. It’s up to you, really. I use this kit:

You will notice the difference in quality the minute you pull the felt polishing bits out of the package. They don’t shed a lot of stray strands of material, they tend to hold their shape and attach securely, and I find I can get several uses out of them. In fact, I think I got through five-tool restorations on my last conical-shaped polishing tip.

When the felt tips need replaced the 422 and the 429 from Dremel are my go to.

Honourable Mention

Garden sharpening kit:

If you aren’t keen on sharpening by hand, and you also don’t want to mess with the learning curve of bench grinders, the garden sharpening kit from Dremel is a pretty cool little attachment. The attachment holds the grinding stone at the perfect angle to the blade in order to achieve a sharp, even bevel while requiring minimal effort from the user. If you already have a grinding wheel, this isn’t much use to you, but if you don’t, this thing is a much cheaper way to accurately sharpen some tools!

If you find sharpening your gardening tools to be a process that is particularly crappy/one that you literally never do, this wouldn’t be a bad idea to try out. I will say, that the first time you use a truly sharp pair of garden snips is something of a eureka moment!

Dremel lawnmower sharpening accessory
Source: Dremel

I’ll also point out that the chainsaw sharpening attachment is a huge time saver over the conventional files.

What are your favourite rotary tool accessories?

And there you have it! The rotary tool is one my favourite, most versatile tools and I’m sure that over the next years I’ll find even more fantastic accessories for the tool that will transform it into an even handier little guy to have around.

Do you have a favourite rotary accessory that isn’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!

Ryobi Nail Gun Review | Airwave 3 n 1

Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1

I purchased the Airwave 3 n 1, a Ryobi nail gun and stapler combo, about a year ago.

The following review and conclusion is a personal opinion derived from my use of the tool. Other’s may have different experiences, but I have tried to be as thorough as possible with the use, features, and my personal experience with the Airwave.

Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1

When I originally purchased this tool, I really just needed a brad nailer – but I was lured in by the “3 n 1” capability that Ryobi touted – an ability to shoot both C Series and C1 series brad nails as well as 6000 series staples. Did I need a stapler? No. I can count on one hand, using half the fingers, how many times I have opted for staples over nails or screws, but look, it had three capabilities in one – so why not? I’m sure I would start using staples more if I had a good gun, right?

Specs

Model Name: Ryobi 3 n 1 Brad Nailer/Stapler

Model number: RA-NBS1664-S

Power source: Compressed Air

Weight: 2.46kg

Brad nail range: 15-64 mm

Staple range: 16-40 mm

Magazine capacity: 100 x nails/staples

Working Pressure range: 4.8 – 8.3 bar (70 – 120 psi)

Ergonomics

This is not a small brad nailer. It comes in at 2.5kg, which isn’t the heaviest on the market, by any means, but for some reason I find the balance all off.

In my use, I have found this nail gun big and unwieldy for its applications. On paper, the size and weight aren’t much different to many other brad nailers, but for some reason, it just doesn’t feel easy or comfortable to use, for me. This may be because I am comparing it to other guns that are just brad nailers, and I am cognizant of the fact that this gun is trying to fit three different applications into one body.

Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1 with self-oiling connector
Note: The self-oiling connector at the bottom is an aftermarket add on that I purchased and doesn’t come with the gun.

As for the actual firing – there isn’t too much kickback and the trigger has a relatively nice, even feel when pressed.

The handle itself has a good, rubber coating that improves grip.

Features and Kit

The Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1 comes with a carrying case, a variety of brads and staples, as well as a small oil applicator. I really appreciate whenever a tool comes with a case, so that’s a bonus for me. It is also nice that it includes the small oil bottle – pneumatic guns really need to be oiled at every use!

The gun also features a depth adjustment knob which allows for a more precise setting directly at the gun when driving in your nails.

Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1 depth adjustment knob
The depth adjustment knob is easy to access just in front of the trigger

The depth adjustment works in terms of making sure the nail gets driven far enough into the wood, but it doesn’t keep the anvil of the gun from marring the wood – more on that below.

Use

As far as driving in brads and staples the 3 n 1 works as it should. As I mentioned above, the depth adjustment works well, and I find that I can set nails and staples to ensure that they don’t blow through my project. I have had no problems thus far with jams or misfires, but there is easy access through a lever at the front of the gun to allow for simple removal of jammed nails.

Jam removal on the Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1
Easy access to the top of the gun for jam clearance

The tool works well in both hard and softwoods provided you spend some time adjusting your air pressure at the compressor, the depth adjuster at the gun, and testing on some scrap beforehand.

Assembling drawers with glue and brad nails

The magazine is easy to load and allows for easy changing between staples and brads.

Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1 magazine

Because the 3 n 1 has a wide head to accommodate for staples, it is sometimes hard to accurately pinpoint where your brad nail will end up – I definitely prefer brad nailers with small noses that allow you to see exactly where you will be driving your nail into.

Wide tip of the Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1

There is one big thing that makes me regret my purchase of this nailer/stapler combo – and that is the marring of the wood from the anvil.

I believe the biggest negative for this tool isn’t specifically a problem with Ryobi’s version, as opposed to it being a problem with all types of brad/stapler combos.

When driving in a brad I have been unable, on a consistent basis, to eliminate the unsightly marring of the wood. After trying several different settings, I took to the internet to try to find a solution and was dismayed to find many people struggling with the same issue.

Staples marring in wood from the Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1
marring in the wood from the staple anvil

This seems to come down to the fact that the anvil which drives in the staple is the same anvil that drives in the brads. This means that instead of having a nice hole through which the nail has been driven, as you would in a regular brad nailer, you are left with a long staple mar in the wood.

There have been suggestions that I have found to help eliminate this – such as not placing the head of the gun directly flat on the surface of the wood and instead holding it at a slight angle to eliminate the full surface of the anvil connecting with your project. However, after trying many of the different suggestions, I’ve been unable to have a consistently good result and therefore cannot use the gun on any surfaces that will be visible. This effectively eliminates the usefulness of the brad nailer in terms of front-facing pinning applications. A small hole is easy to fill and relatively unnoticeable in the finished product – a long-staple hole, on the other hand, is a different story.

 

Conclusion

If you are predominantly working on surfaces that aren’t being seen or don’t need a fine finish, then this gun is a pretty good deal for having the capability to drive two different types of brads as well as staples.

However, if you want the true capability of a brad nailer, (ie. nice, easily filled nail holes on front-facing surfaces) this isn’t the tool for you.

If I had to go back, I would have simply purchased a brad nailer itself as opposed to the combo tool. Staplers aren’t that expensive, and I don’t find myself using them that often to have sacrificed the convenience of a good brad nailer.

In fact, I disliked the staple marring so much, that I did recently purchase the Ryobi cordless brad nailer, and am much happier with it. Look out for a coming review on that!

It doesn’t always pay off to get a tool that can do many things okay, but none of them well – and that’s the exact case with the Ryobi Airwave 3 n 1.

Do you have this tool? If so what are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments!

Ryobi Multi Tool Review

Ryobi Multi Tool with wood/metal cutting accesory attached

Today I’m busting out a review on the 12v Ryobi Multi Tool!

I have a long history with Ryobi, and I don’t mean that in a professional, monetary sense.
The first power tool I ever ‘owned’ was a hand-me-down Ryobi blue drill/driver that my dad gave me along with their chop saw from the same era (well before the one+). Both these tools saw way more use than they ever should have – and, since I really didn’t know any better at the time, shaped my impression of how accurate or powerful power tools should be. I know better now. Looking back, I can see where those two tools caused me way more grief than they should have, made projects that much more difficult to complete, and shaped the way I approach projects now.

So look, I have a healthy dose of nostalgia when I think of those two tools. For lack of a better word, they sucked. They were poor quality, the drill died every five minutes, the battery needed to be permanently left on charge so it didn’t drain (okay, so this is a problem with all old NiCad batteries, but still), and the chop saw couldn’t cut straight if it really, really tried. But, I managed to knock out a couple of really fun projects with them that got me hooked on the woodworking bug.

Old Blue Ryobi 18v drill
The ‘good’ old days which were actually the ‘bad’ old days.

My point with all of this is that Ryobi has come a long way from the days of the dark blue tools that more often than not croaked after just a few months. Today, their lime green line of tools is solidly placing themselves at the top of the options for mid-range products – and great value for the hobbyist or DIY enthusiast.

And, that’s why you’re here for a 12v Ryobi Multi Tool review – which is exactly what you are going to get!

I bought this tool about a year and half ago, and it has gotten a good amount of intermittent use in that time. Some weeks, I’ll use it heavily, and some weeks it goes without being touched, so this review will be particularly aimed at those who, like me, aren’t using this tool for professional use, but more on a hobbyist basis.

Here are the raw deets:

Let’s get the boring specs out of the way right out of the gate:

No Load Speed: 0-20000 RPM

Weight: 1.07kg

Battery: 12V 1.3Ah Lithium

Product Code: 4892219121431

The Kit and Kaboodle:

I can’t emphasise enough how much I love when tools come in a kit with a carrying case. Yes, I know, it’s largely cosmetics and it doesn’t change the outcome of the tool itself, but still – how easy to store! How easy to organise! I love things that make my life easy.

Ryobi 12v multi tool kit with accessories and charger
This is why I was so happy that the 12V Ryobi Multi-Tool came in a convenient kit that includes a carrying case for the tool, charger, battery, and accessories that also are included.

Three attachments are thrown into the deal: a flush-cut blade, a wood/metal blade, and a detail sanding pad. Included with the sanding pad are a couple of varying grits of sandpaper.

How’s she go?

The 12v “multi-tool” really lives up to its name in terms of the varying applications that it is keen to tackle. The blades can cut through plaster, metal, composite, and wood, but don’t expect it to be tackling large, thick cuts, because this tool is not raising its hand for those jobs! The flush cut blade was particularly useful for me while working on my vintage caravan. It cut through some seriously stuck screw heads with ease!

The sanding application is where this tool has seen most of its use with me. The varying speeds mean it can take off a significant amount of material in a short period of time with the right grit of paper, and also be delicate enough for thin, or delicate material. And, the size of the multi-tool, as well as the convenient shape of the applicator,  make it ideal for awkward or confined spaces that larger detail sanders might not be able to reach.

Ryobi 12v Multi-tool on black table

Plunge cutting is easy on this, and I’ve been able to take a few outlet cut-outs in drywall with not much trouble. However, the tool will quickly let you know if you are doing something outside of its capacity. I have had it stop running on me a few times when I’ve gotten too lazy to take out a larger tool and tried to butt the Ryobi Multi-Tool up against some thicker material.

Ergonomics

At only 1.7kg this multitool is light. The handle is well designed to fit comfortably in hand and has a good rubberized grip that does seem to reduce vibration. The switch is easy to access and has the satisfying “snap” into position as opposed to the dull push of a button that I’ve really come to hate on some tools.

The rubber grip on a ryobi 12v multi tool
Small, sleek handle with some good rubber grip here

Battery

Battery life is just okay. If you’re cutting plaster or detail sanding, I would expect about 30-45 good minutes of continual use in the battery. I’ve found this enough for me, but I expect it would be much too short for professional use.  There is a convenient LED panel on the side of the tool that indicates how much battery life is left during use – so at least you won’t be surprised when it dies fairly quickly into your job!

Ryobi 12v Lithium Ion battery

The battery does charge at a relatively good pace though so if you have some other projects to work on in the meantime, you’ll be able to get back to using the multi-tool in about an hour’s time.

The Extras

Oooooh, baby, I love me some features, and the Ryobi 12v Multi-Tool comes with several convenient, built-in features. The variable speed has six settings that allow for a greater range of control for various applications. An LED light allows for illumination and increased visibility – which is fantastic when working in those cramped corners where natural light doesn’t easily flow (my caravan approves!).

The quick-change attachments are a nice feature that get you back in the game in a flash whenever you need to change up your job.

Ryobi speed adjustment and LED battery display for multi tool

But, by far my favourite feature is the universal accessory adaptor. It’s nice to see a company that understands the frustration of being locked to a particular brand’s accessories. As a Founding Father once said (I’ll paraphrase here to bring it up to date with modern lingo), “Give me universal accessories, or give me death!” That might be a bit dramatic for our purposes, but you get the gist.

Being able to use any brand of accessory really throws the door wide open on what you can use on this tool.

The Final Say

I haven’t had many issues with the 12v Ryobi Multi-Tool, it does what it is meant to do, and it seems to do it well for the price.

For the DIY enthusiast, this multi-tool does the job. The fact that it has a universal adapter makes it all the more appealing – simply switch out the low-quality blades with Diablo and you are going to be able to avoid some of the overheating and power issues that result from the blades just not “cutting” it.

However, if you are a tradesperson and need to use it every day, this isn’t the multitool for you. It simply doesn’t have enough power and the battery life isn’t going to last for what you need to do.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Dewalt Cordless Angle Grinder Review – DCG406

Often when I’m shopping for a particular tool, I struggle with buyer’s anxiety. I spend hours looking at reviews and perusing tool shops to check out the different options. While I do have a certain amount of love for a specific brand, which I have yet to review on this site, I’m not so loyal that I won’t pick a tool from a different brand if it has that wow factor.
This Dewalt cordless angle grinder has that wow factor for me. I mean, it’s not often where I pick up a tool and think “Wow, this is exactly what I want,” instead of the usual refrain of “Well, this tool does have this feature but brand X’s version has that feature and now I’m struggling to choose.”
(just a brief look into my mind for you)

Let me give you a thorough rundown of this little beauty:

Dewalt cordless angle grinder

The Dewalt 18v 125mm Cordless Angle Grinder with Paddle Switch (DCG406)

Specs

Voltage: 18V

Max. Disc Diameter: 125mm

No Load Speed: 9000rpm

Spindle Thread: M14

Weight: 1.74kg

I’m Giving ‘er All She’s Got Captain –  (Does This Thing Have Enough Power?)

Oh, baby. If there is one thing this tool has, it’s the power we have come to know and love in Dewalt tools. The DCG406 has a 9000RPM rating under no load. It cuts through metal like my fork cuts through the half-melted butter that I left out on the counter, because the recipe called for it to be at room temperature, but I forgot that room temperature in Australia is akin to putting a block of butter in the oven so… I’m sorry I digress. The point is there isn’t a thing I have thrown at this grinder that it hasn’t sliced through, ground down, or polished with ease and efficiency. This is a versatile tool that I’m confident will handle anything you direct its way.

But How Likely am I to Lose a Finger? – or Is This Thing Safe?

I love angle grinders, but I also have a very healthy fear of them. My partner is a surgical registrar and I can’t tell you how many times she’s messaged to say she’s staying late to attend to a mangled hand courtesy of a wayward angle grinder. It’s not a stretch to say that it’s probably the tool that I hear the most about in terms of gnarly accidents.

So, all those stories were echoing around in my mind when I was perusing the isles for my new angle grinder.

The Dewalt DCG406 has several safety features that are common on today’s grinders and a few that are not.

The electronic brake, which operates when the switch is turned off to stop the disc from spinning, is a feature you should look for on any grinder you are intending to purchase. The DCG406 is also equipped with an E-clutch. The clutch uses an electronic monitoring system to detect a significant drop in RPM, as would be seen in a bind or stall, and automatically cuts power to reduce the occurrences of kickback. Again, you should look for this feature on any grinder.

Dewalt cordless angle grinder electric brake

One feature that I chose this specific model for is somewhat contentious – the paddle switch. Some people love it, some people hate it. I’m in the former group’s camp.

My previous grinder had several years on it, and I found the switch took a good amount of pressure to turn on and off – not an ideal situation. The paddle switch is nice in that as long as I have a good grip on the grinder, which is necessary for safety, the switch will be in the on position. If I lose grip or the grinder jumps, or I drop the grinder for any reason, the paddle switch is depressed, and the grinder turns off. This has never happened to me, but it does provide me with some degree of peace of mind.

Dewalt cordless angle grinder paddle switch

If you do difficult cuts like those over head or in awkward angles, Dewalt has put the same grinder out with a conventional switch as well. This makes those awkward cuts easier as you can twist your grip while using the grinder without fear of depressing the paddle.

To each their own on the switch, but the electronic safety systems are a must. It’s important to remember; however, that you shouldn’t rely on any of these safety features as your frontline defense against an accident. Safe and controlled use of a tool is always the most important.

But how Does it Feel? or – Ergonomics and Features

The DCG406 is a well thought out tool that is evidenced throughout its design. It has a comfortable, compact body with a nice thick rubber grip and good room for the hands, which makes the handling of the tool quite comfortable. The front handle itself is like many other grinders in that it can be moved to either side to coincide with your dominant hand. My only complaint with the front handle is that it’s quite rigid and, although Dewalt advertises it as an anti-vibration handle I didn’t feel like it offered much vibration protection.

The body itself is solid with no unnecessary protrusions or holes that could chip or allow debris inside the casing. I have dropped or knocked the poor thing (Thankfully not while on!) more times than I care to admit, and it doesn’t seem to show for it. In addition, there is a micro filter located at the base of the handle that is easily removed for cleaning and keeps fine particles from gumming up the interior.

dewalt cordless angle grinder microfilter

Featured within the DCG406 is power-off overload protection which makes the grinder shut off before it can overheat and protects it from thermal overload.

The keyless disc change button is easy to use and convenient which makes the next feature one that I haven’t had to use often, but I do appreciate it. I’m talking about being able to use an Allen key for disc removal. No more searching around for the 2 pin when I have too many Allen keys lying around that need to pull their weighAllen key disk removal for dewalt cordless angle grindercordless angle grinder keyless disc removal

 

In addition, the guard can quickly and easily change positions with the guard change lever which is exceptionally convenient when working on projects that require a consistent change of position.

Lastly, as for noise, I was surprised to find it noticeably more quiet than my previous grinder that was both smaller and less powerful.

Final Say

There is really not much I can negatively report on this grinder. I would prefer a better front handle for vibration reduction, but this is something that can always be purchased as an aftermarket accessory, and therefore it doesn’t have a significant impact on my final conclusion. For safety, power, comfort and ease of use – I definitely give the Dewalt 125mm 18v DCG406 Cordless Angle Grinder a solid A+

Pros:

Lots of power

Great safety features

Solid, sturdy construction

Comfortable, ergonomic handle and switch

Easy disk change button and accessories

Convenient guard change lever

Cons: 

Rigid front handle with very little vibration protection

Overall Score: 9/10

Ozito Tools Review | 170W Rotary Tool Kit

It’s not all expensive tools here!

You see, today you’re about to see a 170W rotary tool from Ozito tools review.

That’s right, Ozito.

This tool is something I picked up off the cuff when I was working on refurbishing some mechanical parts. I was tired of all the fine muscle work and wanted something to polish, clean, and sometimes sand or wire brush small, oddly shaped parts. It was one of those mid-project moments that happens very occasionally, where I think “Nah, this is painfully slow and monotonous. I bet there is a tool that could do this much more quickly.” But I didn’t want to spend much, didn’t want to waste a slew of time researching, and needed (Read: Wanted) it right then and there. First world problems, right?

And thus, I came into possession of this fine, high speed rotary tool.

Ozito Rotary Tool

Here’s the low down:

Specs

Power

170W

No Load Speed

8,000 – 35,000/min

Collet Size

3.2mm

Flex Shaft Length

1m

Weight

1.5kg

Uses

I’ve had this tool for about a year now and have used it for a slew of jobs, including some perhaps that it was not intended to be used for. But, I think that’s the wonder with rotary tools, in some respects, your imagination is the limit for the odd jobs it can be applied to.

In one project I used the rotary tool for drilling some holes in a tight space near two shelf corners of Merbau that my larger cordless drills couldn’t access squarely; and, although it took longer, it did the job nicely.

Ozito 170W rotary tool with flex shaft being used to refurbish a vintage Acorn hand plane
Worked like a champ to help me bring this hand plane back to life!

I’ve even used the flex shaft with the small polishing attachment (without the polishing agent applied) to clean some hard to reach places on my table saw, and recently, to clear rust from the body and to polish the brass of my vintage Acorn hand plane.

For polishing, engraving, cutting, as well as most random uses, I have been thoroughly impressed.

Ozito Rotary tool flex attachment

I’m Giving ‘er All She’s Got, Captain! – Or, Is This Thing Powerful Enough?

Look, when you’re using a rotary tool a question on how much power it’s going to put out seems to be a bit like asking how powerful your electric toothbrush is. It doesn’t need to be immensely powerful. Lots of power would be wasted because it’s not meant to do things that tools requiring larger motors need to do. So, the question then becomes, can this tool do what it is needed to do? The answer is yes. The 170W power on the Ozito rotary tool is more than enough for anything I have needed it for.

Ozito 170W Rotary tool variable speed setting
The variable speed setting situated at the back top of the handle.

I’ve had the motor stop spinning on me twice. Both times, I was applying too much pressure while using the sanding drum attachment with the flex shaft – IE. trying to do a job it wasn’t really intended to be doing. Ozito also puts out a 120w version and a cordless 12v version which I really think would suit most projects as well.

But How Does It Make You Feel? Or – Ergonomics

Ozito 170W Rotary Tool body with flex attachment
Oddly shaped body with a switch at bottom of the handle.

The body of the rotary tool itself, while relatively light is oddly balanced and I found difficult to hold in hand and use. During use there is a significant amount of vibration that makes the awkwardness of the hold that much more difficult, and I found it hard to use for more than a minute before having to break and shake my hand out. In the interest of being honest, I have struggled with carpal and ulnar tunnel for the past few years and these types of activities can tend to exacerbate those symptoms. However, there are many tools that don’t cause this type of reaction.

I find the flex shaft attachment a necessary addition for use in order to mitigate the above issues. Which leads me to my next point:

The Bells and Whistles:

Alright, so here’s the thing, when I picked up this kit it came with 190 accessories including a flex shaft! That’s loads!

The flex shaft is a great addition. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an embedded switch, like similar more expensive models of other brands. This means that you still need to turn the tool on at the body, but it hasn’t proved to be a large inconvenience to me.

Ozito Rotary tool accessories

The quality of the accessories is rather low. The sanding drums, in particular, don’t get through much at all before peeling away, and the drum itself seems to disintegrate after several uses. At first, I thought, “Ah, must be me putting it through the wringing” but I purchased a Dremel sanding drum accessory and both the paper and drum seem to last much longer.

The case is handy with loads of slots for accessories, and even has a nifty slide-out extra storage located to one side. You’ll notice that extra storage is rather clean in this picture, and that is because I had legitimately never noticed it existed until I pulled out the case to take some pictures of it. It’s always a grab and go type job with this one and I had never given the side of the case a serious look!

Ozito rotary tool kit side storage box
The sneaky side storage itself! I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this little bonus in the future!

Ozito Rotary tool kit storage case

While the accessories are hit-and-miss, I’ve certainly gotten my use out of them, and the ones that have broken I’ve easily been able to replace with better quality items. I would compare it to buying a large, cheap kit of router bits to see which ones are most used, before upgrading to better quality. There are a large range of attachments out there both generic brand as well as high-quality Dremel that are compatible, and so I really can’t see a reason why the accessories would be a deal-breaker when deciding whether to buy.

Conclusion

It’s cheap. It’s Ozito. They don’t exactly have the best reputation for quality. Naturally, that led me to believe that I really wouldn’t get much longevity out of this tool. However, I’ve been surprised both by how well it has held up and also by how many uses it really has in the shop. It may even have me second-guessing whether I’ve been unnecessarily giving Ozito the cold shoulder up to now.

The flex shaft is included is a huge bonus for me, given that I find it necessary during use as I mentioned above.

As for the tool itself, I can’t really complain about a thing. It does what it needs to do, and it tends to do it well. The nearest Dremel with the same level of power is over twice the price with only 50 accessories, and I just don’t see there being a massive jump in the quality to allow for that change in price. If you are a professional and need this tool every day, all day for your career of choice – this probably isn’t for you, but for everyone else if you asked me which rotary tool I would recommend for the price…. Well, for the first time in my life I think I would pick Ozito.

Pros:

Low cost

Good power

Flex attachment

Lots of accessories

Cons:

Awkward body shape

High vibration

No switch on flex attachment

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

If you would like to purchase the kit from the comfort of your own home, without moving a muscle except for the one in your index finger required to click the button on your mouse… here’s a link to it on Amazon Australia:

Ozito Rotary Tool Kit 170W with 190 Accessories

Or if you intend to upgrade your accessories anyways, you can buy the version with fewer accessories here:

Ozito 170W 42 Piece Rotary Tool Kit

Do you have an Ozito Rotary tool and have an opinion? Let us know in the comments!

Cordless Hammer Drill Reviews- Dewalt DCD795-XE

For the first of hopefully many cordless hammer drill reviews at Tool Talk, I thought it fitting that I talk about one of the first “real” (read, relatively expensive/professional level) tools that I purchased since coming to Australia, the Dewalt DCD795. When I finally decided to settle here, which gave me the freedom of no longer trying to contain my belongings to within the air travel weight restrictions, I began searching for what is often the first tool in someone’s arsenal, a quality combo drill.

The kit I purchased was a Dewalt brushless set, and to be completely honest, the reason I purchased this particular set at the time was because it was on sale for a fairly good price and none of the other kits were. Amazing what a good sale can convince you of! Do I regret falling for the clever marketing strategies? Check out the review below to see!

Dewalt DCD795 – Cordless Hammer Reviews

Dewalt 795

Important Specs:

Voltage:                               18V

Chuck Capacity:                     1.5-13mm

Power Output:                         360 Watts

Speed:                                    Low 0-600/High 2000RPM

 

I’m giving ‘er all she’s got, Captain! -or How Much Power Does This Thing Have?

Since purchasing nearly two years ago, I have put the little guy (don’t let 795 catch me calling him little though!) through the paces.

While he is little in size, the 795 has very little to complain about in the power department. Dewalt has a reputation for power and hardiness, and it’s a well-earned reputation. In regard to power and efficiency, the 795 definitely isn’t the black sheep of the Dewalt family. With 360w power output, it hasn’t in any way struggled with the masonry, hardwood, or metal that I’ve thrown at it.

The 795 is a brushless model, and I have found that it doesn’t heat up nearly as much as other brushed motor drills when drilling consistently. In addition, battery life is excellent, and on a good day at home, drilling 200+ holes in structural pine, I usually have a full or ¾ battery at the end of the day.

 

Settings

The 795 has a relatively good amount variable settings for your disposal. Two-speed settings are a staple of most combi-drills these days, and you will also find them on this drill.

The hammer setting is nearly as effective as my rotary hammer, although you wouldn’t want to use this setting often as it’s as hard on the tool as my mother-in-law is on me! The 795 chewed through my brick wall with an 8mm bit like my StaffyX, Taco, chews through her dinner – in a few seconds flat. At 60nm of max torque, I didn’t come across anything that really stopped me.

Dewalt 795 torque settings

This drill only has 15 different settings for torque, which is on the low end of the spectrum for me. I like the control of the 25ish options that my Bosch has – but REALLY, I use my driver for screws 90% of the time, and so the torque settings for the Dewalt 795 are more than adequate for when I do need some finer settings.

But how does it FEEL? or Ergonomics and Features

Ergonomics are one thing that I focus a good deal of attention on when buying a tool. The reality is that we live in a world where many of the top brands aren’t too far away from each other in terms of power and design; and so, as long as the tool can do the job, the ergonomics and features are what my choice often truly comes down to.

Because, if the tool is comfortable and fun to use, I will reach for it over any other tool in the shed for the job.

The Dewalt DCD 795 is a surprisingly light little guy, I will give it that. Having held some of the older Dewalt drills which felt like lead bricks compared to some of the more well-designed models of their rivals, I was pleasantly surprised at the 795’s 1.88kg weight. It seems that Dewalt has followed the footsteps that we all do and has come a long way from their chunky, awkward, teenage era self (Oh, we weren’t all chunky, awkward pre-pubescents? Just me? Moving on).

Dewalt 795 body

The feel of the drill in hand is comfortable. The grip on the 795 is slim and fits well in hand, with soft rubber at the back that minimizes those nasty thumb-web blisters. The action is relatively smooth, with not much vibration. What I do truly like is the compact body of the drill itself. It is thin, streamlined, and fits in some awkward situations that a thicker drill wouldn’t.

The 795 has a single LED light that is at the base of the body, which eliminates much of the shadow from the chuck, which you would get from the light being at the top of the body.

Attached to the base of the drill’s body is a magnetic holder for bits and screws. This is a nice handy addition that I use quite often and find myself looking for when I’m using one of my drills that don’t have it.

In addition, it also features a stainless-steel buckle for hanging from the belt or easy wall storage.\

Conclusion

So now we come down to the real nit and grit of the matter. What’s the final say? How has the 795 held up over the year?

There is a single issue I have had with this Dewalt combi-drill that has really bothered me and certainly warrants me taking it in to have it repaired under warranty (always seem to forget at the end of the day!).

The chuck has a fair degree of wobble! This wasn’t there when I first purchased it but did develop a few months after – which is a bit ridiculous for a drill of this price and caliber.

So, if I’m willing to look past the above, I would say that the 795 has held up well. The battery life is still fantastic, it doesn’t overheat, it’s powerful, and no matter how many times it’s been bumped or dropped, the body is still looking great. It’s a good working drill with very little else to complain about.

But the thing is, I’m not really willing to look past the chuck wobble because it’s a significant flaw, and it developed only a few months into my owning the drill. This isn’t the quality I would expect from Dewalt, and while the warranty with Dewalt is generally good – I’m not entirely convinced that I would receive a replacement without this defect, especially after poking around on the internet and seeing several other people who have had the same issue.

Pros:

Lots of power/torque

Good battery life

Brushless motor

Low weight

Compact body

Cons:

Only 15 torque control options (Not a significant con, but a con nonetheless)

Chuck wobble**

Final rating: 7/10