When I hear the word Dremel, I think of the little handheld rotary tool that looks like it came straight out of the dentist’s office. After all, it is what they are famous for. But Dremel has much more than just stuff to scare kids into brushing their teeth. Although, if you’re still looking to scare your kids into brushing their teeth, the Dremel Multi-Max MM40 would probably do the trick too.
I can tell you from experience that an oscillating tool isn’t something I use too often, but it’s definitely a tool that I can’t live without. Before oscillating tools came onto the market, I was content with using a jigsaw, reciprocating saw or even a coping saw to make small and intricate cuts. I’ve had my fair share of plunge cutting with these aforementioned tools and, to tell you the truth, it’s not the safest or smoothest way to cut. After I got my hands on an oscillating tool though, I never knew how I worked without it. From cutting outlets in drywall to undercutting door trim, my oscillating tool has been useful to say the least.
Repair, Restore, Remodel via the Dremel Multi-Max MM40
The Dremel Multi-Max MM40 was sent over to us for review, but I wasn’t sure how it would stand up against my older econo-style oscillating tool. I mean, how much better can one be than the other – they just oscillate back and forth, right? But once I got the MM40 out of the box, I knew right away that this little beauty was going to send my old oscillating tool to the Island of Misfit Tools.
The Dremel Multi-Max MM40 beats the pants off of my old Chicago Tools oscillating tool by a long shot. A powerful 2.5 amp motor provides plenty of power to get any scraping, sanding or cutting done with ease. I also really liked the way it handles in your hand. It’s stout enough to handle the difficult cuts without any trouble, yet lightweight enough that it doesn’t give me hand cramps every time I use it.
Quick Lock for Quick Work
The only thing my old oscillating tool came with was a cutting blade and a scraper. The Dremel Multi-Max MM40 comes with sanding pads as well, so I was eager to try them out. Unlike my old oscillator, the Dremel has a handy blade changing system called Quick Fit and Quick Lock. These little holes in the blade fit perfectly into the interface, so no matter how I tried to jam the blade in there, it would only go into one proven position. The Quick Lock release handle makes it easy to change applications without the need for any special tools. Just flip and switch the accessories without taking all day to get the job done. It is fairly stiff however and when I first opened the chuck, it snapped my finger pretty smartly.
Variable Speed for Variable Work
The thing I really hated the most about my old oscillating tool is that it’s just one speed. So when I was trying to delicately cut some materials, it was like trying to hold a bull by the horns – it cut everywhere I didn’t want it to. That’s one reason why I find the Dremel Multi-Max MM40 to be a more serious tool. Its variable speed switch ensures that I can get the tool ripping hard and fast or light and soft with just the scroll of my thumb on the wheel. And because it’s placed right on the back of the handle, I can slow down the tool when it’s in use if needed.
One note related to power: it is very easy to turn on the power switch. When I was changing the cutting tool to a sanding blade, I accidentally turned it on. It’s not a chainsaw, but I’d still recommend that the tool is unplugged when you change out accessories.
Once I got the Dremel Multi-Max MM40 out in the field, I knew I had to give it a little abuse just to see how much better this tool was than a cheaper knock off. What I found out was that you certainly get what you pay for. Priced right at around $130, the Multi-Max is well worth the money. For the amount of abuse I gave it, it keeps on ticking like a Rolex watch.
I a very solid 2×6 piece of pressure treated yellow pine with a big old knot and proceeded to use the cutting tool. I was impressed! It cut through this stout board like a hot knife through butter.
The scraper tool works well too. I removed a bit of old linoleum with it and it took me just a few minutes to really power off all of the old linoleum and adhesive from the concrete floor. The only issue I had was that the scraper was a bit too stiff for my liking resulting in a deeper angle on the tool that I wanted.
Sanding with the provided sanding wedges was well worth the effort. I’m not sure you’d have a good time sanding large projects with this tool, but if it’s small and in a tight spot to reach, you can bet than your little palm sander isn’t going to do the job. The soft triangular pads let me squeeze into some pretty tight spots to do some sanding.
Should I Get One?
All in all, if you’re going to use an oscillating tool, then it’s a good idea to get one that’s going to last and performs well. Since it’s more of a specialty tool, the common perception is that it’s better to go with a cheaper model since you’re going to use a few times a year at best. Now that I’ve used the Dremel Multi-Max MM40, I regret buying a cheaper oscillating tool. The Dremel is stouter, more powerful and has more accessories than cheaper knock-offs. And with a two year warranty, you can be reassured that the Dremel Multi-Max MM40 is going to last through plenty of projects to come.
You can find the Dremel MM40 2.5 Amp High Performance Oscillating Tool Kit for around $120 or $170 on Amazon, depending on what size accessory kit you go with.