I have the Black and Decker one. It was useful but I think I am probably going to go ahead and get the Dremel. I hated the battery system that Black and Decker has. It might be useful for the handyman who uses the the tools frequently but for the home user it is a lot to keep up with and store. I also didn't think the B&D had enough power even when the battery was supposedly fully charged.
We have the B&D one. It came in really handy in our last house; haven't seen it since the move (although I need it to shear off some slightly protruding screws in the subfloor of our bedroom before we put down new flooring.) I don't have a basis for comparison to any of the others, but ours worked fine for small jobs around the house.
We gave our 3 sons a Dremel set each when they turned 14. They're all well used. Never had any other kind so can't compare them. I think middle son's is the nicest because it came with a carry case that can also be screwed to a wall.
I have the Dremel and a lot of the accessories. Use it for a number of things. Comes in handy. Can't say anything about the other brands. Consumer Reports would have something to say about them, though. I love that magazine.
I have the Craftsman brand and love it. I dont use it that often yet, I use it mainly for working around the house and havnt needed it since I had to replace the old faucet in the bathroom. Boy did that thing come in handy!! Mine is the type that plugs in tho, I would think if your going to get a battery operated one with the rechargable batteries you should get one that has the biggest battery, I know that made a big difference with my electric drill.
The Dremel is professional grade. The Craftsman is not made nearly as well but for occasional use it would do OK. B & D is the cheapest made and will give the poorest service. We have a Dremel with a lot of accessories and have used it a lot. It works quite well.
Could you please tell me some of the things you do with your Dremel or dremel-like tool? I have a new Dremel but, believe it or not, need ideas on ways to use it. I love it! Very powerful!
We have both battery and electric Dremel. They both have their uses, though I prefer the corded one for more power... argh,argh,argh...
I use it primarily for my dried gourds... drilling hanging holes, drilling opening for birds, carving, sanding, etc. We also make dollhouses, miniature furniture accessories and use it for those projects all the time.
I think its a tool that you find uses for as you add bits and accessories...
We have the sharpener attachment that we use for lawn mower blades and other yard tools. We also use it for drilling small delicate holes in projects, for small/detailed grinding and buffing jobs. Anything that involves small detail and precision is what the Dremel is good at.
When I wanted one, I bit the bullet and bought a Foredom flexible-shaft machine that hangs on a stand and has a foot-control for speed. Fantasticmachine but a lot of money. For serious hobbyists, jewelers, etc.
We have bothe Dremel and Foredom tools. Tried the BD...once, took it back and got the Dremel. We use them for lots of tasks and they are only limited by the imagination of the user. For cutting, grinding, sanding, I really like the Dremel. The Foredom is a wonderful carving tool. I received the cordless Dremel as a gift last year. It's a super tool, but the battery has a rather short charge duration.
As far as accessories go, the Dremel just blows all competition away, but most of the accessories are usable by other 1/8th inch chuck machines.
I have the Dremel and love it. I cannot stand Black and Decker products, although I tend to buy them because they are the lightest weight and I can handle them better than some other brands (referring to power tools only).
Incidentally, if you carve jack o' lanterns, your rotary tool (Dremel or whatever brand) is most excellent for that! I won't even consider using knives on punkins any more! The little attachments clean up easily as well. Just put down a big plastic drop cloth because bitty shards of punkin go EVERYwhere.
Just a tip. (I'd actually like to see a thread about the myriad creative uses people find for our rotary tools.)
Thanks for the excellent links, Darius. Dogzilla, I'd like to see a thread like that too! But my biggest problem is identifying the various attachments. I've a fairly comprehensive book on using the Dremel but I can't find any numbers that relate to the attachments, and a lot of the pictures look very similar.