Name brand vs generic dremel?

I'm doing a project that involves grinding PCB slots off of an aluminum enclosure and making everything fit right - due to the shape of the enclosure it looks like I will need a flexible shaft in order to get into the case.

A Dremel seems to be a good tool to use, however I am looking for something that will be able to grind aluminum fairly fast. Dremels, at least with flex shafts, are expensive. I'm looking for around $40, and this seems to fit. Has anyone had any luck grinding aluminum with a non-name-brand dremel? What about Dremel branded accessories vs ebay accessories?

Edit: currently the one I'm looking at is this

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NAME BRAND! A name brand dremel will last for years, and there are a lot more accessories and attachments for it. The name brand dremel is always on sale at lowes

astroboy907 (author)  sean_sylvester13 years ago

Selecting this as best answer mostly because I ended up snagging quite a deal on eBay - 3 name brand dremels (2 plug in older types), one battery powered, a flex shaft, and a boatload of accessories (probably around 200 total bits, sanders, collets and the like), for $60. Win! :)

seandogue3 years ago

I used a "Sears" branded "Dremel" for over 15 years. It wasn't a jeweler's tool, but it worked just fine.

Partly, the answer to your question depends on the enclosure wall thickness. If it's ~0.090" thick or less, any dremel-like tool will be fine. For thicker metal, IFF you intend on doing a lot of this sort of thing (for instance, 1/8" thick aluminum and thicker), there are far better tools to avoid accidentally overheating the motor, but they do cost.

And as a direct answer to your question, yes, I did so for 15 years with a "Sears" branded dremel-esque tool. Drilling, grinding, cutting, etc...Got a little wobbly towards the end, but was a champ. The trick with these light duty tools is not to overtax them.

Don't apply too much pressure, and don't use them continuously for too long. Once they're warm enough to feel hot, it's time to let them cool down to room temp.

Triclaw3 years ago

they work fine but the dremels disks have more life to them.the generic cutting disks wear out faster you will want better quality cutters they last longer. I have used

for many hours and its the cheapest I can find

rickharris3 years ago

I also have a generic Dremmel available here in the UK - It's fine although after some years the body is split at the top and has a hose clip round it to keep it shut.

By and large I buy cheap tools when I see them available. Because they are so small they tend to wear very quickly anyway.

I have a Jobmate $29

Works great lasted 5 years still working.

So I with Kiteman and mpilchfamily.

Besides most generic are made by the same makers as the name brands and they all have the same guarantee.


used a generic dremal for years and it only recently burned out on me. Also own several dremels. Most of my accessories are off brand. They are all about the same but the cheaper dremals are not as good a quality as the name brand and it's harder to find replacment parts for the generic ones.

Kiteman3 years ago

I use a generic rotary tool that came from B&Q, a UK DIY chain store.

Works fine.