If you’re like most DIYers and Home Fixated readers, you probably own a Dremel rotary tool, and you probably love it. There are some tasks you just can’t effectively do with any other tool. So when Dremel shipped us two of their new 8200 cordless tools (one for our review and another that we will be giving away this month in our July 2010 Free Stuff Giveaway), we were pretty excited to check it out.
The days of thinking of cordless tools as the underdeveloped siblings of their corded brethren are over. So rather than assume the Dremel 8200 can only cut brad nails and carve pine, I decided to cut a 1/2″ thick solid threaded rod. The tool got a little warm and the stall protection kicked in a few times when I applied too much pressure, but the 8200 had the guts to get me through that steel. Cutting through the bar took a couple minutes, but that had more to do with the relatively small grinding wheel than anything else.
Speaking of the grinding wheel, I was using their included EZ Lock spindle and wheel (one of a couple dozen accessories included with the tool). It was so much better (and more durable) than those little discs you normally screw onto the shaft with a tiny screw I usually anticipate losing any second. The EZ Lock is a major advance when it comes to grinding wheels on your Dremel. Highly recommend over the “screwed” method, if you know what I mean.
The battery still showed the full 3 bars on the handy tool gauge despite the workout I gave it cutting the metal rod. When I say “the battery” I mean it, there’s only one battery with this kit. So if you’re going to be getting yourself into a project that’s involved and time consuming, I’d recommend having a second battery on-hand. Or you can always take an hour break everytime you run out of juice, however, that can make others think you’re a slacker. Unless of course you do the battery-charge-dance while waiting. The dance helps pass the time, and it’s more likely to land you on a fame-bound YouTube clip. Since Bosch owns Dremel, and the 12Vmax battery and charger for the Dremel look very similar, I checked with their PR folks on the inside scoop on battery swapping. They said, “The Dremel 8200 battery will work in the cordless Dremel Multi-Max coming out in October, in the Dremel charger and in the Bosch 12V charger, but it will not work in Bosch 12V tools.” So if you have a bunch of Bosch 12V tools, you unfortunately won’t be able to swap batteries with the Dremel. However, you can just leave out one charger for both your Bosch and Dremel 12Vmax batteries now.
Also, do you like how I exposed that juicy bit of news info subtly into the quote? That’s right, Dremel is going to be releasing a cordless Dremel Multi-Max in October! The Multi Max has been doing well and getting positive marks from many sectors, so seeing a cordless option is a welcome addition to the crowded oscillating tool marketplace. Hopefully we’ll have a review for you after the cordless Multi-Max becomes available.
Compared to Dremel’s corded counterpart, the 4000, the 8200 is a little on the beefier side. The 4000 has been exercising and getting lean, while I’m afraid the 8200 must have taken in a few extra calories. For the detailed “pencil grip” position, the 4000 corded model definitely has the edge. It’s small and feels less awkward in that position. I typically have two hands on the tool anyway, and the 8200 definitely isn’t unwieldy. If you have big, burly hands, the 8200 might actually feel more comfortable than the smaller corded 4000.
Our friend and sponsor Jay over at Ohio Power Tool, did a great Dremel 8200 Review on CopTool recently as well. You should check it out, especially since he made us look bad by carving a pretty nifty wooden star (which he no doubt used to woo someone with). Jay obviously seems to have a more artistic (read: talented) approach to tool review than we do. Me HomeFixated man. Me cut metal. Grunt. Anyway, Jay seemed to have a very favorable impression of the 8200 as well, although he mentioned the single battery issue too. He didn’t say if he did the battery-charging-dance.
I think the Dremel 8200 Cordless is a welcome addition to the Dremel product line. We tinkered with it on several tasks, and found it to perform pretty much like you’d expect the corded version to. For highly detailed or time intensive work, and/or work I’m doing at my workbench, I think I’d still reach for the corded 4000. For anything else I’d grab the 8200. The convenience of being able to roam unencumbered sans cord is a huge selling point for a tool like the Dremel. Especially since the 8200 has such a broad job description for the tasks it takes on. You can pick up the Dremel 8200 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool for right around $100 online.