Dremel’s 4000 is the company's most powerful corded rotary tool. As with Dremel’s 300-series, Dremel’s reputation precedes it, as Dremel rotary tools are by far the favourites among PC modders and DIY enthusiasts alike. The Dremel 4000 can be bought in two guises – the 4000-1/45 we’re looking at here includes a number of accessories, as well as Dremel’s Flexible Shaft attachment, while the Dremel 4000-4/65 includes several additional attachments (including a detail grip) and a hard case. The latter kit costs £105, but the accessories bundle alone would cost £70, so the price isn’t unreasonable.
The Dremel 4000-1/45 costs a less staggering £85, and while this is nearly £50 more than the Dremel 300-30, it goes some way to justifying its price tag. Weighing 660g, it's heavier than the 550g Dremel 300-30, but it also houses a more powerful 175W motor. As well as this, the 4000-1/45 features electronic feedback, which enhances torque, starts the motor slowly if initially set to a high speed to reduce stress, and also maintains a near constant rotational speed through different workloads. This is something with which every other tool on test struggled, particularly at low to medium speeds.
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The Dremel 4000 has the broadest speed range of any of its competitors too, starting at just 5,000rpm and finishing at a rather scary 35,000rpm – enough to make a mockery of a Formula 1 racing car’s engine. Like the Dremel 300, the 4000 doesn’t have a fully variable speed dial; instead, the range is split into numerous steps.
While the inability to fine-tune the rotational speed might seem like a disadvantage, particularly from a high-end rotary tool, Dremel has ensured that each speed tallies with particular head accessories and materials. For example, the included SC456 cutting disc should be used at up to 35,000rpm on metals only, while the sanding discs should be used at 20,000rpm or less on wood and soft metals. Even though we've tested other rotary tools with fully variable speed controls, we quickly became accustomed to the Dremel 4000, and the recommended speeds felt spot-on too.
The Dremel 4000 also comes equipped with a tough, material case. Unlike the Dremel 300-30's case, the 4000's at least has several pockets to house its included accessories. Even so, you would expect a proper case considering the price of this kit. There's a compartment for the accessories, but they still roll around too much, even if they’re separated from the tool itself.
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As far as accessories go, the Dremel 4000 is much better equipped than the Dremel 300. It has seriously hardcore reinforced cutting discs, and a reusable attachment called a SpeedClic. This is a sprung-clip mount for the supplied 38mm cutting wheels, and it eliminates the need to use the fiddly mandrel head accessory, allowing for quicker and easier changes of cutting discs. Our steel case was no match for these cutting discs, and you could easily cut an entire side window with them. Like the Dremel 300, though, the Dremel 4000 lacks anything less brutal in the way of cutting discs.
There are also five sanding bands offering grits of 60 and 120, and 21 sanding discs – 11 of which are 180-grit and ten are 240-grit. These all proved to be much more long-lasting than those included with other makes of rotary tool, and the sandpaper’s grit rating is handily printed on their rears too.