An Improvement to a Dremel Tool

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Introduction: An Improvement to a Dremel Tool

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

The cutoff wheel is one of my favorite tools for use on a Dremel. But, the little discs do not last long when cutting on a piece of sheet metal and frequently need to be changed. That means I need to have a screwdriver at hand to remove the small screw that holds the disc in place, and to tighten the new disc onto the mandrel. This Instructable will show a simple modification that should be standard on every Dremel. The only thing needed to make this modification is a grinding stone. One attached to a Dremel will do the job.


Step 1: Screwdriver Options

I usually use a very small screwdriver, but I also discovered the middle screwdriver bit on my Leatherman PST will also do the job in a case of necessity. 

Step 2: The Other Tool for a Dremel

Everyone who has a Dremel knows the little wrench that comes with the Dremel. Why does this little wrench not have a spot on it that doubles as a screwdriver bit to remove and to tighten the little screw on the mandrel? One tool could serve two functions. 

Step 3: Do a Little Grinding

Almost any grinding wheel will do the job. Here you see a common grinding stone in a Dremel. Even an oilstone and some hand labor would do the job. I chose to grind on the side of the wrench because it already has a straight edge, but the round end of the wrench could be made flat and straight, too. I ground at a very shallow angle until the edge of the wrench was thin enough to fit the slot in the mandrel screw. 

Step 4: And, It Works!

In the photo you can see the new, thinner edge of the wrench mated with the slot in the mandrel screw. 

My Dremel came with a plastic case that holds the various bits and the Dremel wrench. That case is always in a drawer at my workbench. I can put my hands on the wrench very quickly anytime I need it. But, the small screwdriver I usually use to change the cutting discs seems to wander around the top of my workbench and even hide under other things. This will save me time I would spend looking for my small screwdriver.

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    71 Comments

    For the small Dremel grinding discs that are not reinforced, I have heard of taking thin super glue (CA) and saturating the discs before use and letting them dry completely, to add strength. Personally, I've never tried this, as I use larger, fiberglass-reinforced wheels. But regardless of the type, eye protection is a MUST!

    1 reply

    Thank you for the idea.

    i just bought a new Dremel " https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dremel-4000-Series-39-Piece-Variable-Speed-Multipurpose-Rotary-Tool-Kit-with-Hard-Case/3824381 " it has a quick collet changer so Dremel is trying to keep up

    I have used a dremel for decades and never thought of this.

    Smart man :)

    Thanks for this :)

    1 reply

    Thank you. As you can see from some of the other comments, newer Dremels come with a screwdriver point on the little collet wrench. Mine was inherited from my father-in-law's estate and is older. It came without that little screwdriver tip. I am glad you can use the idea.

    I have to call lame on Dremel. Every one I've bought in the past had a combo wrench screwdriver. This type of change is the result of not caring about our even considering your customers when the company can save 1/10th of sent. #nosympathy #crappycompanies

    2 replies

    The Dremel I have is from around 1990. It is not new.

    I stopped using the Dremel colletts a while a go and use a chuck made for the Dremel that fits every tool shaft I've needed and made the use of my Dremel even more joyful!

    Walmart has them in my area.

    Dremel Chuck.jpg
    1 reply

    Thanks.

    Sorry, but that is not a "Philips" head. That is just a standard slotted screw head driver.

    This is a Philips head:

    PHILLIPS_screwdriver_and_screw.JPG

    If you read other comments, you know that it was not always so. I did not know Dremel began adding screwdriver ends on the wrench until after I published this. My Dremel was inherited from my father-in-law and is decades old. The end on your wrench looks like a straight blade screwdriver rather than a Phillips.

    You can also block the head by pressing the little button, and "unscrew" the cutting disk just like you would open a beer. This loosen the screw and you can easily remove it by hand afterwards.

    1 reply

    When it is time for me to unscrew a disc the disc has shattered or worn down to nothing. Otherwise, yours is a good idea and would be useful in some situations. Thank you.

    Neat, easy, quick, works.
    By the way, they also make these chuck things (but they may not fit on older Dremels as I found out) : https://www.instructables.com/file/FQBMNK7HJKC0HAN.

    1 reply

    Thanks. I have not used the chuck you linked. I seem to use cutting wheels a lot, burring tools sometimes, grindstones and wire wheels now and then, and a sanding drum rarely. That is about it.

    Thanks.

    As far as I can see picture doesn't work sir. Maybe it's just me, but you may want to look into this.