Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Recommendation points

Hand drills, which are more often called engravers or dremels, allow you to perform an impressive range of operations for processing materials of all kinds. However, it is impossible to fully realize the potential of such a tool without the availability of appropriate equipment. However, it will not be difficult to understand the variety of nozzles for drills..

The entire range of accessories for hand drills can be divided into three categories:

  1. Basic – designed to work for the intended purpose of the tool.
  2. Additional – expanding the capabilities of the drill.
  3. Other, allowing to increase the convenience of work, ensure the repeatability and manufacturability of processing.

Each of the types of equipment has its own characteristics of choice and use, so we will consider them separately..

Basic equipment

The direct purpose of the drills is to remove material from small areas of the part along a complex profile and shape. This can be done in different ways, having previously determined the appropriate processing modes. In total, two groups of modes can be distinguished: cutting (milling) and grinding.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Milling attachments

The first and most extensive class of drill accessories are various types of burrs. All their diversity can be classified according to a number of characteristics, of which the size and shape of the working part is of the greatest practical importance. The burr tip can be needle-shaped, spherical, disc-shaped, and also have a flame tongue profile, a cylinder with a straight and rounded end, a straight and reverse cone.

By design, the burrs can be divided into solid carbide, steel (including those with a carbide tip), as well as diamond:

  • Solid carbide bursmade of tungsten carbide are intended mainly for large material removal, their main working surface is lateral. These cutters are usually fairly large and designed to maintain cutting performance over time. The large size of the burs allows for a wide variety of flank profiles, which contributes to high-quality profiling of grooves and grooves. For solid carbide, the notch pattern of the cutting edges, their size, shape and sharpness are extremely important. A distinction is made between straight, cross and spiral cuts, which contribute to the most efficient chip removal, depending on which part of the cutter is used as a working tool and which material is being processed. A separate type of rotary cutters – spear-shaped, serving as a kind of analogue of graters and single-tip cutters, as well as studded ones. Extremely productive deep groove and bevelling tips.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

  • Brazed steel burshave a common drawback – poor resistance to lateral loads, which often results in breaking of the working head. The main working surface of such burrs is end, they are designed to form deep grooves and grooves of complex shape. There may be no soldering, which makes such a burr unsuitable for working with dense and hard materials. The main advantage of steel burs is their relatively low cost with high durability, this tool is most often used in the manufacture of parts from plastic and softwood.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

  • Diamond bursIs the most versatile tool. Thanks to the powder coating, all surfaces of such a nozzle can be equally effectively used as workers. The disadvantage of diamond burs is the low productivity of work at low speeds, as well as the relative fragility when processing viscous and melting materials. The area of ​​application of diamond burs is the processing of natural and artificial stone, bone and hard steel alloys. The durability of diamond burs is determined by the number of diamond spraying layers (1, 1.5, 2), as well as the degree of coverage of the cutting particles with a binder (35-60%).

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Most types of cutting equipment are of dental origin, from which the notation system is borrowed. Burs are distinguished by the colored band on the clamping part, depending on the fineness of processing. Tungsten carbide burs and green belted tips are designed for quick removal of large quantities of material. Burs without color coding, as well as with yellow and white belts have 8, 16 and 30 cutting edges, respectively. Color coding is also used for diamond burrs: black, green and unmarked tips have correspondingly increasing grit sizes for rough cutting, while red, yellow and white tips have the smallest diamond grit sizes for fine finishing.

Grinding and polishing

The second type of processing that drills specialize in is abrasive grinding. In part, diamond burrs could also be attributed to the grinding equipment, but in reality, during grinding, an active development of the working body occurs, while the powder of the diamond tool practically does not crumble.

Grinding with drills is used in the final stages of processing and is not intended to remove large portions of material. The signs by which the equipment for grinding are distinguished are the same as those of cutters: the size and shape of the working part, as well as the cleanliness.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Grinding stones are the most common type of accessory for rough processing of light surfaces. Disc stones are used for grinding external surfaces, cylindrical cutters – for internal ones. The color of the stone determines its grain size, but there is no general classification in this matter, each manufacturer arbitrarily determines the marking. Grinding attachments are also completely different and differ in a number of ways:

  1. One-piece version or on a holder bar. The fundamental difference is small: replacement stones are simply more profitable for large volumes of work, but at the same time, serious problems with centering can be observed. It is recommended to use rods and nozzles of the same series, since the diameters of the fit are almost always different.
  2. By the type of abrasive. There are abrasive natural stones, electrocorundum and silicon carbide in polymer bonds, as well as fine-grained abrasives bonded with rubber. Each type of abrasive and bond is used exclusively for a limited range of materials specified by the manufacturer.
  3. In terms of size and shape – almost the same situation as with rotary burrs. In this regard, the choice depends solely on the size and type of workpiece. By the way, most stones are easy to edit to give the desired profile..
  4. By the presence of plasticity. Grinding stones can be either completely hard or slightly elastic. The latter property allows processing surfaces with a fine texture, but microscopic particles of the binder can be strongly packed into the pores of the material being processed..

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Also in this category of accessories can be attributed to polishing tips. These are discs, balls and cylinders made of felt, felt or muslin. Usually the polishing tips are interchangeable and are used in conjunction with the landing rod. Fastening with a screw or on a tapered thread is possible – there is no fundamental difference. Such attachments are designed to work with abrasive pastes: dry polishing is also possible, but for materials such as wood this often results in burns.

Additional equipment

Other types of processing tools can be attached to the holding rods. Basically, such equipment is used for rough and preparatory work. We specially brought this type of attachments into a separate category: they are completely short-lived and rather belong to the category of consumables.

Cut-off and grinding wheels

Cut-off and grinding wheels can be attached to a standard rod with a tightening screw. The latter are often made with their own hand with round die cuts from ordinary abrasive paper. Cut-off wheels are arranged according to the same principle as discs for angle grinders, but most of them do not have a reinforcing cord, which is why they quickly crumble and crumble under strong pressure. Diamond cutting discs are the most durable type of additional equipment, mainly used for cutting stone and other hard infusible materials.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

Petal type cylindrical grinding heads and cylindrical clamps for abrasive belts are widely used. There are also flap discs that are used to sand difficult, raised surfaces. Metal and polymer abrasive brushes are especially popular. Disc harness of this type can also be mounted on rods with a screw clamp.

Features of the choice of collet and flexible shaft

All types of tooling described have standard shank diameters of 1.6, 2.35, 3 and 6 mm. Some manufacturers such as Dreamel and Proxxon may have customized shank sizes for some types of nozzles. The problem of incompatibility is solved by selecting collets of the appropriate diameter or adapters. Long adapters for dental cutting heads are especially popular. Adapters must be selected for each individual drill, taking into account the diameter of the bore in the spindle.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

For greater convenience of work, flexible shafts can be used, providing access to the working body in hard-to-reach places. Almost all flexible shafts on the market have the same range of characteristics, only the length and diameters of the connections differ. Thus, a flexible shaft can simultaneously serve as an adapter for a different shank diameter. Flexible shafts are designed mainly for work with grinding and auxiliary equipment: working with milling cutters requires a rigid connection with the spindle, while the shaft core has significant radial elasticity.

Other accessories

In conclusion of our review, we will mention some devices whose task is to facilitate the work and further expand the range of the tool’s capabilities. First of all, this applies to vertical feed racks, which allow you to turn the drill into a small drilling machine.

Dremel and engraver: attachments and accessories for the home workshop

One of the most popular drill attachments is the milling support platform. This element must be selected individually for your drill model, because quite often the tool and the equipment do not have the same pitch and thread density. At milling sites, the list of body nozzles is not limited: there are also dust collectors, limiters, all kinds of stops and jigs, but their purchase or manufacture is usually associated with the need to perform any complex processing operation.

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