|Review by EricWrights||posted 07-06-2009 09:39 PM||22055 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
A very useful customer’s review I found.
Credit: Camera Shy (Baltimore, MD USA) at Amazon.com
Good Tool and Recommended (with some room for improvement)
I received my Dremel Multi-Max about a week ago and was anxious to try it out on a serious project. The Project: Cut out exterior window molding that had begun to rot. The tool did the job as expected; in fact I felt like a surgeon cutting out a tumor. However, after just a few minutes of use, the blade came off – not good. The tool oscillates at a high rate of speed which also means it vibrates. I must admit when I installed the blade I was skeptical that a simple hex nut and beveled washer would hold the blade in place. Obviously, it didn’t (and yes, the beveled washer was installed correctly per Dremel’s clear warning). I reinstalled the blade and re-tightened the hex-nut (forcefully to the point the amount of torque made me wonder how long the hub mount would last).
I contacted Dremel and they admitted the loosening blade was a known issue and a fix had been developed in the form of another washer (I presumed a lock washer, but the customer service rep was not sure). She offered to overnight express the washer to me and of course I declined the generous offer and suggested they simply drop it in the mailbox.
Aside from this mishap, I’m pleased and the prospects of the tool are very good. As the first reviewer points out, the blades that come with the kit are wood only blades. However, metal and grout blades are available. Here’s my rating of the various aspects of the tool:
1. Ergonomics – 5-star. Ergonomically, this tool feels good in your hand. Not too big with enough heft to feel like a quality tool. I have used the Fein Multi-master which is bigger and heavier than the Dremel version. However, I like the feel of the Dremel.
2. Power – 5-star. Although I cut through relatively easy-to-cut pine, the tool never felt under-powered. For most projects where you’d use this tool, I don’t think power will be an issue. The ability to cut through materials is likely to be dictated by the blade used (true of any saw).
3. Durability – ?-star. Time will tell. My guess is that the blade changing hub will be the first to go if you end up changing blades frequently.
4. Blade Change Feature – 2-star. In the era of quick blade change everything, Dremel missed the mark with a conventional hex screw setup. It is a slow process of switching from one blade to another. This is where the Fein tool has a distinct edge.
5. Carrying Case – 5-star. Surprisingly nice, well made, attractive, and can hold a few extra blades.
6. Cord Length – 3-star. It’s 6’ feet long and of avg quality. Would have been nice if longer and more rubbery than plastic (just doesn’t uncoil like you’d expect from a good quality electric tool). However, tools with long cords can introduce some baggage.
7. Dremel Customer Service – 5-star. My experience exceeded my expectations. Other companies should take notice.
8. Value – 4-star. In case you’re unaware, Fein had the patent on the oscillating saw until September 30, 2008. This is why it cost $400+ all these years. On October 1st, Dremel, Bosch, and Chicago all came out with competing versions. The Chicago version is on sale at Harbor Freight for $39 while the Bosch (which is battery operated) is just under $200. At just under $100, the Dremel is likely a little over-priced, but, still a decent value. I suspect once Hitachi, Makita, Milwaukee, Ridgid, and others get in on the act, the price will get closer to $50. Their money is made with the replacement blades.
Washer Update – I received the washer from Dremel. As I said above, their customer service was impressive; at least over the phone. The washer I receiver appears to be more of a passifier instead of a solution. It is a flat washer that is significantly over-sized; not fitting the hub’s shaft. I finally bought a right-sized lock-washer and it appears to have done the trick. I retract my 5-star Dremel Customer Service rating above, however, I still recommend the product.
$99.00 is its selling point in this economic crisis era.