Dremel 8100 Review

Written by Antony Leather

March 5, 2013 | 08:00

Tags: #best-dremel #best-rotary-tool #modding-tool #rotary-tool

Companies: #dremel

Dremel 8100 Review

Manufacturer: Dremel
UK Price (as reviewed): £74.99 (inc VAT) (8100-1/15 kit)
US Price as reviewed): $74.99 (ex Tax) (8100-N/21 kit)

Despite the fact it has practically every base covered when it comes to power tools, offering everything from hybrid jigsaws and scrollsaws to its epic range of rotary tools, Dremel still sees fit to offer new or uprated products from time to time. Its 3000 series rotary tool that we looked at last year was a definite step forward from the venerable 300-series, with sealed bearings and better ergonomics making it our budget rotary tool of choice.

For us in the UK, the range recently got a couple of new additions and one of these is the 8100 cordless rotary tool that was launched a couple of weeks ago. We're generally in favour of corded or mains-powered tools for a few reasons: they have no batteries to run out, they have more torque and are generally more capable when it comes to dealing with tough materials. However, there are times when you just want to lop something off or need to do a spot of sanding, where you don't need masses of power or a tool that will last several hours of torturous use.

Dremel 8100 Review Dremel 8100 Review
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The 8100 is Dremel's mid-range cordless tool and sports a somewhat lowly 7.2V Lithium Ion battery giving it a power rating somewhere around 1/10th of that of your top of the range corded rotary tool. However, the 8100 does come with a variable speed range from 5,00-30,000 rpm so should have enough flexibility to deal with most materials, albeit not long lengths of steel.

It's noticeably lighter than any of the corded tools we've tested though, even with the battery installed, but the hand grip isn't quite as pleasing to the hand as the Dremel 3000. Thankfully, the 8100-1/15 kit we were sent as a sample includes Dremel's Detail Grip attachment, which makes more detailed work much more comfortable - something the 8100 is particularly adept at given its low weight.

Dremel 8100 Review Dremel 8100 Review
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Also in the material carry bag (sadly no hard case here) is a typical set of bits that should cope with most situations. There are four medium cutting discs, that will deal with everything up to and including aluminium, a 3.2mm drill bit, aluminium oxide grinding stone, several sanding bands, a nylon bristle brush, polishing wheels and the mandrels for the wheels and cutting discs. The only things we'd like to have seen are some less heavy-duty cutting discs and maybe some engraving tips but these are of course available separately and Dremel usually released larger kits with hard cases and more attachments, albeit for a higher price tag.

Dremel 8100 Review Dremel 8100 Review
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Moving back to the tool itself, and the 8100's battery inserts at the rear of the unit. Its charger is a dinky table-top type device meaning you can leave it plugged in on a flat surface and pop the battery in for a charge quite easily. The 8100 doesn't have a lot in the way of ventilation but most of the vents are located away from typical finger-resting locations. As with most of Dremel's newer rotary tools, the 8100 includes the EZ grip - an end cap that has been shaped to allow you to use it to tighten attachments with the chuck, instead of using your fingers.
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