An Improvement to a Dremel Tool

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I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making an...

Intro: An Improvement to a Dremel Tool

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 Discussions

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    Countrywings

    11 months ago

    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!

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    Blackhart_inc

    1 year ago

    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

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    SherylinRM

    1 year ago

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

    Smart man :)

    Thanks for this :)

    1 reply
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    Phil BSherylinRM

    Reply 1 year ago

    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.

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    gromitnyc

    2 years ago

    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
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    Phil Bgromitnyc

    Reply 2 years ago

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

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    Bobblob

    2 years ago

    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
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    cowboyathomeMandalorianMaker

    Reply 2 years ago

    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
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    Phil BMandalorianMaker

    Reply 4 years ago

    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.

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    SeksBomb

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Phil BSeksBomb

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    cobinrox

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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
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    Phil Bcobinrox

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    mykiscool

    5 years ago on Step 4

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