Can I Carve Wood With a Dremel? A Guide on Carving With a Dremel

Dremel produces a lot of rotary tools that are used for different woodworking projects including carving. However, to carve wood with a Dremel you must be familiar with the basics of power carving with rotary tools and know some details about attachment and accessories that go on Dremel tools.

Dremel is an American brand of power tools that are often used for wood carving. Not all of Dremel tools are suitable for wood carving, however, most models that are “rotary” are perfectly suitable for wood carving.

Rotary tools that are produces by Dremel make some of the best wood carving tools that are available on the market. In today’s article, we will cover the different tips for carving with a Dremel as well as provide you with the name of the best Dremel tool for wood carving that is out there.

What We Like About Carving With Dremel

Dremel has a lot of good reasons to like it. One of the more straight forward reasons is that it has an excellent adjustable speed with usually something around 6 settings going from 5000-30000 RPM. This is not unique to only Dremel rotary tools but it is definitely a trait that your tool must have if you want to consider it as the best choice.

A characteristic that is unique to Dremel is the good airflow. This is what makes the difference between a good tool and an excellent tool. Good airflow is important for a lot of things, for example, the temperature of the whole tool. If the airflow is poor or not sufficient your tool becomes too hot to hold which is least to say inconvenient, and apart from that it also raises questions about the durability of such a tool let alone safety.

Therefore if you will be looking for alternatives to Dremel tools, don’t forget to consider airflow as an important factor.

Another great thing that we like about Dremel is the price of their tools. While it is on the more expensive side the company could have easily made it much, much higher. Of course, you are also paying for getting a better product than most other available options out there.

Dremel is also trying to be as universal as possible and they are pretty good at that. Without losing any quality, Dremel has created attachments to replace thousands of tools for almost any kind of task you can think of. Such attachments although not always as flexible as the tool itself, come at a fraction of the price.

Lastly, Dremel is a very large corporation which is also beneficial to the owners of their tools. Tens of thousands of people use Dremel (including us) and share tips and personal experiences with all of their tools. Apart from that Dremel has good support themselves if you need anything directly from the company. This is not the case for any of the smaller brands as the reviews on such products would be limited and your purchase less predictable.

What We Don’t Like About Carving With Dremel

Tools such as the Dremel 3000 which we will cover later in the article, have a cord that you must always be attached to a source. This is not at all great for getting into small openings as the tool has a permanent 1-meter tail to restricts its movement.

Of course, there are alternative cordless Dremels such as the Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool Kit which you charge and then use on battery, but those have their own disadvantages too.

We also believe that the benefits that Dremel rotary tools provide mostly target more experienced carvers. Their endless potential with attachments and variable speed will bring no real value to beginner power carvers except for maybe the drill being a little more comfortable to hold.

3 Tips When Carving With a Dremel

Carving wood with a Dremel is no different than power carving, however, there are some advantages that are unique to using a Dremel. With that said, if you are unfamiliar with power carving, read the basics of power carving first to have a better idea of the process.

1. How to carve with a Dremel

Dremel rotary tools are similar to some of the pneumatic die grinders that are used in metalworking or mold makers. Power wood carving with Dremel is easy and requires the following 5 steps:

  1. Initial shaping
  2. Smoothing corners and further silhouette shaping
  3. Rough detailing
  4. Sanding
  5. Repeating steps 3 and 4 in different areas

This is no different from carving with any other brand of rotary tools, except for the fact that it is easier and the carving will be of a slightly higher quality.

2. Use Different Bits

Dremel tools are not just a “drill” used for wood carving; it has an extensive selection of bits (attachments) that can substitute many unnecessary tools. While purchasing a Dremel is not likely to save you any costs as the brand produces quite luxury goods, it will improve the quality of your work.

For example, polishing, grinding, burring, and etching can all be done using different Dremel bits, most of the bits also come in sets with different levels of intensity which gives you more flexibility of how you’d like your wood carving to look.

The variety that Dremel gives to your power carving abilities should be used as much as possible, there is no point buying a Dremel and only using sandpaper after you shape your carving. Of course, you should use aa abrasive wheels for sanding and polishing in grooves and bends such as the Dremel 407 1/2 sander that is included in the 5 pack Dremel 407 or one of the abrasive wheels from the 100 pack abrasive wheelset from Amazon.

There are too many bits that Dremel is offering for us to cover in this article, instead, if you are interested head over to Antiqueswood for a very detailed guide on many different bits for your Dremel.

3. Adjust Speed

Adjustable speed on almost any of the Dremel wood carving tools is very useful, this is nothing innovative as all carving routers already have this ability, but as with anything else Dremel offers you a wider range and overall better quality.

If you are wondering whether a Dremel can completely replace a router, the answer to that is yes, it most certainly can. With a very wide range of bits (attachments) and adjustable speed, any Dremel will perform better than an average router.

The only downside is that Dremels are not a very economic purchase, if you are looking for the best value for the price there are some cheaper alternatives that do the job well, but Dremel does the best job at a price that is not the lowest, but fair.

The Best Dremel To Use For Wood Carving

The Dremel 3000 model probably the best power carving tool that is out there on the market. It is made to be both effective, comfortable to use, and replace a thousand tools in your workshop as long as you have the correct attachments.

While the Dremel 4000 and 4300 are also out there listed as one of the top carving tools available, they are both double the price of the Dremel 3000 and provide no real additional value.

Dremel tools will not last you a lifetime but they will last you at least 10 years and maybe double that if you take good care of them, of course, the Dremel 3000 is no exception.

So, here is what the it looks like:

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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