Manufacturer:Dremel UK Price (as reviewed): £34.99 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed): $33.04 (ex TAX)
Dremel is a household name to most PC modders, and anyone who gets that warm fuzzy feeling when walking through the tools section in any DIY store. Apart from exhibiting excellent build quality compared to many of their rivals, Dremel’s rotary tools also have the advantage of a range of add-on attachments being available. These range from flexible extension shafts, drill presses (see our review of the Dremel Workstation 220) as well as hundreds of smaller attachments or bits for dealing with different tasks and varying materials.
The Router / Shaper, is one of the more expensive attachments, although it still only retails for less than £30. Despite the price, we had high hopes for it given how impressed we were with the Workstation 220, which proved to be sturdy and equally as good as a budget drill press for light to medium work. The Router / Shaper is a compact bit of kit, much like most of Dremel’s attachments, but for the most part feels very well made and solid.
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Sadly, it’s not something you can use straight out of the box. The base needs to be screwed to a workbench or other surfaces that will prove enough of an immovable object so not to have things wobbling around. As such, you’ll probably need to find a permanent home for it if you don’t want to have to unscrew it from your desk or workbench after every use. In addition, there are no routing or sanding bits included, meaning you’ll have to buy these separately, although most Dremel kits come with at least a small selection of these.
The instructions aren’t particularly clear either, with one word or at the most one line descriptions about the Router / Shaper’s many adjustable surfaces. Thankfully, you don’t need an IQ of 200 to work out how everything works, and the unit comes mostly pre-assembled.
We actually found it easier to dismantle it partly first, to get an idea of how everything fits together and works. The tool holder unscrews from the table via two screws that are easily accessible from the top of the table.
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The tool holder uses the thread on the rotary tool itself to secure it to the underside of the table – contrary to many images and videos we’d previously seen of the unit online, which showed rather haphazard-looking straps securing your rotary tool in place. This might explain many views online that tell of a significant wobble exhibited by the rotary tool once in place. Thankfully, our unit only exhibited a slight movement of no more than 1-2mm under heavy pressure.