When presented with a cordless dremel to use, I immediately flashed back to the week I spent working in Panama City, Panama, where I made the ill advised purchase of a cordless dremel. The tool only came with one battery, and the run time on one charge was so short that I spent about 10% of my time on the job using my brand new dremel and the other 90% of my time trying to make cuts I should have been making with my dremel using a box cutter. Needless to say, it was not a fun time. Due to this experience when I first looked at the box of the Dremel Cordless 12V High Performance Rotary Tool 8220 ($157, Amazon) the first thing on my mind was to tool’s run time on a single charge.
Out of the box the kit comes with a tool, a charger, two batteries, and a smattering of different attachments. The attachments that come with the tool are more of a sampler pack of bits and accessories than anything. If you don’t know what kind of attachment you will need or don’t have any bits at home. It did come with the EZ Lock mandrel, which is a nifty tool and a plastic shield to protect the operator from debris, but the fact of the matter is that there are not enough of any one kind of accessory to really get your job done, so if you know what kind of accessory you will be using you might as well buy that at the same time.
As far as the runtime on the tool, going at high speed (there are three adjustable speeds) the tool runs for about fifteen semi-continuous minutes with a noticeable drop in power and RPM when the battery gets low. The box states that the charge time on a battery is one hour, but I watched them charge in more like 45 minutes. This leaves you tool with some downtime, but not nearly so much as what I experienced with my last cordless dremel.
In the pictures you can see the tool being used to cut and polish a sold piece of bronze, which it could handle to a degree, but it quickly ripped up the one EZ lock cutting wheel that the kit included. However, this 12V model also bills itself as a high performance model, so I went to the local Goodwill store and picked up some stuff to see just how “high performance” the tool really is. I focused on the cutting aspect, mostly because cutting things is more fun that finishing or polishing them. As you can see in the video, the tool could cut through the book, plastic, and the various metal objects, but stopped short of the ceramic coffee mug. I have a list of puns that I came up with to lighten the mood of cutting a bunch of random stuff with a dremel tool ( ex. “When it comes to this knife, the dremel can certainly cut it”) but my editor left those lines on the cutting room floor.
Overall, the tool had a surprising amount of power for a cordless tool, and has a smattering of bits and attachments, but if it is at all possible for you to use a model with a cord that is the one I would have to recommend simply due to the downtime that comes with the cordless model. If the cordless model is the one you need this tool will get your job, and if you need attachments and bits for your rotary tools be sure to check out Ohio Power Tool or call a pro at (800) 242-4424.