Dremel 7700 for Carvers
Friday 17 September 2010
Michelle Robertson cuts the cord with the latest multi tool offering from Dremel
The Dremel brand goes hand-in-hand with the multi tool, or rotary power carving tool, and over the past few years we have seen many variations of model offered from the Dremel stable. The few that I have tried and tested, and indeed own, have been exceptional in terms of versatility in the woodcarving workshop, and make a very good power accessory to have for shaping and removing wood. If preceding models are so good, the obvious question is why the need for a new unit? What makes the 7700 different from what went before? Well I decided to find out.
The first thing I noticed when I took the 7700 out from its nice and compact soft bag (a pleasant change from bulky and heavy carrying cases which normally accompany tools) was the absence of a plug and accompanying wire. The previous multi tools have up until now, relied on being used near a power point, but the arrival of the 7700 is set to change the way you use a Dremel rotary power unit. Sure there are other companies out there which offer cordless alternatives but as I, and I imagine many other carvers, already own a myriad of Dremel accessories, it makes sense to upgrade to the 7700, that is if the end result is any good!
The other noticeable difference here from earlier models is the use of a multi-chuck, which means no more digging around for collets to change accessories. I am one of those people who will absent mindedly put down something as small as a collet and not remember where it was I last left it, so the multi-chuck can only be a good thing as far as I am concerned. Plus I like to feel I am getting on with the job in-hand without fussing over fiddly changes.
After charging the Ni-Cd battery, which comes with the 7700, I set to work right away on a bird carving from issue 115, and immediately noticed how comfortable the unit was to hold in the hand. The shape allows for a variety of grips but I found the pencil grip to be the most secure in use.
Changing of accessories was a doddle with the multi-chuck, which allowed me to quickly alternate between various cutters and sanding discs as needed. Fantastic!
And with this being a cordless, I wasn't limited to where I stationed myself. No more tripping over wires, or finding that I don't have enough reach without physically moving the carving, which can be awkward at the best of times, particularly if you have secured it down on the workbench!
As I would expect with Dremel, this rotary power carver performs well, and with the many accessories which are available, you can find yourself sanding and removing waste with ease, precision, control and comfort.
I do like this being a cordless but you do have to allow for a loss of power compared to say the corded Dremel 300, which offers speeds of 10,000-33,000rpm, compared to the 10,000-20,000rpm of the 7700; still this lower speed range is comparable with some of the other corded brands on the market, so not too much of a loss really.
Oh and if I am allowed to have one more gripe with the fact that it is a cordless, is that the battery needs to be charged for 3 hours before it can be used. Being a Ni-Cd, you will have to let this run completely down before recharging, but I think the portability of this unit, plus the addition of a new multi-chuck, will outweigh these small niggles.
With about 150 accessories available which you may already have in your collection, and the competitive unit price of around £50, this is a cost-effective way of upgrading to a decent portable model.
All in all, if portability and quick change is your game, then this is the unit for you!