In 1935, Dremel introduced the first handheld rotary tool in the world. This was a huge improvement from the bulky power carving tools of the day. Ever since its first rotary tool, Dremel has grown to be one of the best manufacturers of rotary tools in the market. If you’re looking to start power carving, Dremel offers a wide range of rotary tools to get you started. In this post, we’ve reviewed four of the best dremels for wood carving. Enjoy.
Our Best Dremels for Wood Carving
- Best Flexible Shaft Dremel Machine: Dremel 9100 Fortiflex
- Best Micro Motor Dremel Machine: Dremel 4300
- Best Cordless Micro Motor: Dremel 8220
- Best Dremel Wood Carving Accessory: Dremel Flex Shaft Rotary Tool Attachment
Best Flexible Shaft Dremel Machine
Dremel 9100 Fortiflex
The Dremel 9100 is the most powerful flexible shaft rotary tool from Dremel. It is an excellent upgrade for an everyday wood carver looking for a reliable and cheaper flexible shaft machine. Despite the power, it is quiet and very versatile. The handpiece is also very comfortable, even for extended carving sessions. Overall, we recommend this to anyone looking for a reliable power carver.
If you’re looking for a powerful flex shaft Dremel rotary tool, the Dremel 9100 Fortiflex is your best pick. The 9100 Fortiflex is an excellent option if you’ll regularly use it for wood or other types of carving. It has plenty of power, especially considering its low power requirements, and the variable speed foot pedal control works great. It is also very quiet in operation, considering the power it generates.
The flex shaft is sturdy, while the handpiece is very easy to control and comfortable to hold. Unlike smaller Dremel rotary tools, the handpiece never overheats, even when carving wood for several hours. The chuck also holds very well and comes with a chuck key, which you use to change the bits. It is easier and faster to change the bit and reduces the need for collets.
We recommend the Dremel 9100 Fortiflex to anyone looking for a good dremel flexible shaft machine. It is well built, has a higher torque, and is cheaper than other flex shaft machines like Foredom. Owing to Dremel’s track record and excellent customer service, I recommend this tool if you’re a regular wood carver or want to upgrade your wood power carving tool.
Best Micro Motor Dremel Machines
Dremel 4300 – Best Micro Motor
If you're looking to get started in power carving, the Dremel 4300 is beginner friendly and has many accessories to help you get started. It's great for carving smaller wood carvings, detail work, and texturing. Apart from wood carving, the tool can also serve many other purposes.
The Dremel 4300 is excellent for anyone looking to start power carving. If you’re a hobbyist, the 4300 is one of Dremel’s best models and comes with hundreds of attachments you can use to make a job easier. Whether you’re grinding wood or sanding, there is an attachment included. Its physical size is bigger and heavier, so you’ll spend a little time getting it comfortable.
It is well built and has a powerful motor, good controls, and a convenient chuck to replace three collets. It has more speed settings with a maximum speed of 35k, but it is noisy and vibrates too much at high speeds. For smaller projects, you can get the attachable dremel flex shaft extension, which is easier to control. Overall, this is a great product, it works well, and I recommend it for any beginner starting in power wood carving.
Dremel 8220 – Cordless Portable Option
If you're looking for a portable Dremel to move around, the 8220 is your best pick. It is a versatile rotary tool that keeps the power high. It has a decent battery life, and you can get an extra standby battery just in case. Overall it is a cordless rotary tool worth checking out.
If you’re looking for a cordless dremel for wood carving, the Dremel 8220 is an excellent option to check out. Because it lacks a cord, it is much more dextrous, and you can take it anywhere without worrying about power. It has a long-lasting battery that is also quicker to charge. For a wood or spoon carver who would like to incorporate a power tool when carving outdoors, this is it.
Like the Dremel 4300, the 8220 has a variable speed setting, but the RPM range is 5000 to 30000. Even though it is cordless, you need more power than the corded 4300. It is powerful, less quiet, and can easily handle different projects. The 8220 also takes all of the Dremel attachments, unlike other smaller models from the brand. Overall, the quality and power of the 8220 are good, and it’s a worthy investment.
Best Dremel Wood Carving Accessory
Dremel Flex Shaft Rotary Tool Attachment
This is one product I'd recommend buying if you're going to get one of the rotary tools from Dremel. It is versatile, easy to use, and very simple to install. With this attachment, you can easily do detail work and maneuver tight spots, nooks, and corners. This is a must-have for any Dremel user.
The Dremel flex shaft attachment is a valuable accessory if you’re a wood carver. It is perfect for getting into tight spots, corners, and nooks and working on fine details of your wood carvings. The shaft attachment is compatible with the Dremel 4300 and 8220 that feature on our list and other Dremel models 4000, 400, 398, 300, 285, 275, 200, 100, 8200, 800, 4200, and 3000.
It is easy to install, and you’ll love the versatility it adds to your dremel rotary tool. Working with it feels like holding a pen or pencil rather than the whole motor. If you buy this attachment, find a way to hang your dremel or support it for the best results. Overall, this solid product from dremel makes it easier and more fun to carve.
Guide to Choosing a Dremel for Wood Carving
Flexible Shaft vs. Micro Motor Machines
Flexible shaft machines, like the Dremel 9100 Fortiflex, are the primary tools for power carving. A flexible shaft machine will fulfill all your equipment needs if you plan to do larger carvings. A flexible shaft machine consists of the drive motor inside the flexible shaft and is connected to a handpiece. The 9100 Fortiflex is a hanging model preferred by most carvers. Compared to micromotor machines, flexible shaft machines spin at a higher RPM and have a high torque.
Micro Motor machines operate at higher speeds but have less torque than flexible shaft machines. This makes them good for smaller wood carvings, texturing, and detail carving. The high speed of a micromotor means it will produce cleaner cuts. Do not use a micro motor for roughing out large carvings, which might lead to the unit heating up or early failure.
Cord vs. Cordless Options
Choosing between the corded Dremel 4300 and the cordless Dremel 8220 is something you’ll find debating yourself. Power and portability are the main major differences between these two. The 4300 cord dremel not only has a higher RPM, but it is also more suited for heavier applications. The 8220 is easier to set up and start, you can move it with you, but it is slightly less powerful. The difference in power is slight and will not help you choose which one to pick.
Dremel Bits for Wood Carving
Different bits offered by dremel come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some are soft as ceramic, while some are as hard as diamonds. While they all look different, all bits perform the same task, i.e., wood removal. When choosing the right bit, consider factors such as how fast to remove wood, how wood to remove, and how smooth you want the surface to be.
The best dremels bits for roughing out work are Tungsten carbide carving bits. These are aggressive and can remove wood faster for a shorter time. There are diamond wheel points, engraving bits, texturing stones, and more. Check out our wood carving bit guide.