November 27, 2009

Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool - Review

dremel_4000_case.jpg"Man, this thing has some stones."

That's what our coworker said after borrowing the Dremel 4000 to fine tune a radius cut on a piece of 1/8" steel. The grinder bit was devastated after the five minute process, but the tool seemed like it was just getting warmed up.

The Dremel 4000 is simply the latest update to Dremel's omnipresent rotary tool. Over the years, we've tried a number of different rotary tools and we keep coming back to the fact that Dremel is where it's at in this category. In fact no one we know even uses the term 'rotary tool,' preferring to use 'Dremel' as the catch all, like 'Kleenex.' So with the release of this new installment in the ongoing Dremel saga, the company was nice enough to ship a unit our way for reviewing purposes. We immediately tossed it in the back of the truck and headed off to work to see what it was capable of.


dremel_4000_hand.jpgdremel_4000_speed.jpg

So what's new with the Dremel 4000? Quite a bit actually. And as an added bonus, the changes are pretty significant when it comes to the functionality of the tool.

First, the 4000 is more powerful than its predecessors, ticking in at 1.6 amps, as opposed to the 1.15 amps of earlier models. We understand that 0.45 amps might not sound like much, but here it makes a large difference. Compared head to head with an older Dremel, the 4000 has reached a strength level that really increases the uses of the rotary tool. Until now, we saw Dremels as items that are useful in many situations, but their 'hobbyist' vibe (read: low strength) prevented us from embracing them as a job site item. Since we're coming at things from a carpenter's perspective, the added strength is right up our alley and, like we said, it opens a lot of new doors for the tool.

dremel_4000_grip.jpgBut there's also a 'double-edge sword' thing going on here though. Yes, the tool is more powerful, but because of this added strength, the Dremel has outgrown some of its accessories. We used the 4000 to tinker around with the pre-cut lock set openings on a metal door and while the tool showed no signs of stress, we went through the grinder accessories like they were made of origami paper. They might be fine for someone sitting in their basement carving ducks, but on a job site, a more aggressive grinder wheel is necessary. If we were Dremel, we'd start considering a 'Pro Line' of accessories. If they're going to make a tool with this strength, morons like us are going to push it well beyond its limits on a regular basis. (For all of you non-carpenters out there reading this, you can probably ignore this paragraph and take comfort in the fact that the Dremel 4000 is powerful enough to do what you ask.)

The added power is just one of the cool things about the 4000. There is also a new handle attachment called a 'detailer's grip,' that screws onto the chuck and allows a tremendous amount of control over the tool (not available in all kits). During use the handle would loosen some, but this was nothing more than a minor irritation compared to the level of added maneuverability. The kit we used also had a sanding guide and a multi-purpose cutting guide (not available in all kits).

dremel_4000_cut_guide.jpgDremel_4000_sand_guide.jpg

To wrap things up, this is a fantastic tool and by far the best rotary tool in Dremel's already stellar line up. The ergonomics are off the charts and like our pal so eloquently said, it does indeed have 'stones.' Lots of 'em.

It looks like there are three kits available, the differences being in the number of included accessories and chuck attachments. We tested out the 3/34 (3 attachments, 34 accessories), and after looking at the other kits, that's probably the one we'd recommend. There is also a 2/30 kit and a mega 6/50. We suggest checking out each kit to see which one suits your needs best.

Dremel 4000 2/30 at Amazon.com ($80)
Dremel 4000 3/34 at Amazon.com ($87)
Dremel 4000 6/50 at Amazon.com ($150)


Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools | Rotary Tools | Routers | Sanding

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at November 27, 2009 5:16 AM

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Recent Comments

Can you give me what model I should get my parents who are tool "nuts" but whose jobs are small household stuff - not big things.

Do you think I should get a 4000 or stick with something smaller for them? They need something to cut with (drywall, etc - home improvement stuff), some sanding attachments, and some drilling.

Thanks - also really confused what the numbers mean: 5/60, etc. I obviously didn't get the "tool" gene from my parents. LOL


Posted by: Al in SoCal at August 13, 2014 12:26 PM

Why dont you compare it with dremels most powerful hand rotary tool ever, the 400 XPR, i had two of this tools failing in the same day doing light work, they did get ridicusly hot on their own without load, you could make a comparison between the two of them, dremel could try to clean up that huge mistake, ask them for samples for testing im sure you would have no problem with them seeing your review try to hide the existance of the 400 xpr.


Posted by: Mr_Conejo at August 21, 2010 1:28 AM

Actually the Dremel 400 XPR (the predecessor) is actually more powerful ringing in at 2.0 amps vs 1.6 amps on the 4000.

See Dremels site:

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/Pages/ToolDetail.aspx?pid=400+Series+XPR


Posted by: mb at February 7, 2010 9:36 AM

Guy's - Thanks for the site and all your hard work!!

One suggestion - Top 5/10/20 tools in each section as rated by you. Keep it current as a running list of the "best of the best" so the reader can see your rankings when they go to spend some bling on a tool and compare the "best of the best".


Posted by: Frank Hair at December 14, 2009 10:16 PM
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