Manufacturer:Dremel UK Price (as reviewed):£69.99 (inc VAT) (hard case version reviewed - zip case version is £49.99) US Price (as reviewed):$64.98 (ex TAX) (hard case version without flexible shaft)
We think this is a first for a Dremel review, and certainly one for bit-tech - this rotary tool from Dremel is so new we were actually under NDA with this review while we waited for the product to go into full distribution. How about that?
Anyway, back to the matter at hand and if you haven't guessed by the price, Dremel's new corded 3000 series is set to replace the venerable 300 series. Or put another way, the 300 series has had such a major facelift, as the new 3000 series costs just a tiny bit more, there's little point buying it.
Whichever way you look at it, the Dremel 300 was iconic and bit-tech's very own modding forums are awash with photos of dust-covered 300s laying proudly next to fantastic, newly-made mods and scatchbuilt PCs. It's about time for a refresh, though, as the newer Dremel 4000 series showed - it's better in every way, and that goes for features as well as ergonomics too.
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These wishes look set to be fulfilled with the 3000, which comes either as a smart zipper bag containing 15 accessories for £49.99 or in a hard carry case with 25 accessories including EZ SpeedClic cutting discs and a flexible shaft attachment for £69.00. This is still significantly cheaper than the 4000 series and thankfully Dremel hasn't seen fit to bump the price much higher than the 300 either, which means that the 3000 now becomes the de facto standard entry level Dremel.
Click to enlarge - the hard case and accessory set that come with the £69.99 Dremel 3000-1/25
Dremel's much trumpeted EZ Twist nose cap finds its way to the 3000, and has also been introduced on the 4000 (we don't believe our review sample last year had the feature anyway). Thumbs and index fingers delight - you'll no longer be grating your fingers tightening and undoing the locking collect while you change head accessories. This is thanks to a wrench fitment being located inside the collar, which is now identical to that on the 4000 series. This fits snugly over the locking collect, but also acts as wrench when it's directly over it, allowing you to use the collar and not your fingers to tighten the collet. It's a simple addition, but there's now no chance of sore fingers, or the need for a separate spanner to switch attachments - genius.
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The entire outer shell has been redesigned and the motor has been uprated from 125W to 130W, providing more torque although the speed range remains the same at 10,000-33,000rpm. If you need more power or a great speed range, the only option is the 4000 series, that offers 175W of power along with a handy 5,000 - 35,000rpm speed range. Despite the slight power increase, Dremel claims that the 3000 is easier to handle and quieter than the 300 too - we'll be putting that to the test in a minute.
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In terms of ergonomics, the 3000 isn't actually noticeably better than the 300. In fact, for detailed work the 300's thumb grips are easier and more comfortable to work with. The 3000 is slightly more of a grasping tool than a precision instrument, but for the latter, the flexible shaft is where the money's at anyway.