Black & Decker Wizard Variable Speed Rotary Tool RT550

12 ratings (10 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Nearly Too Fast For Its Own Good

Sep 22, 2000 (Updated Oct 10, 2000)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive, durable, versatile

Cons:Damages wood when stripping paint

Dependable, versatile, and inexpensive - what's not to love. I have used my Black & Decker Wizard almost daily for the entire six months I have owned it. From grinding off rusted screws and nails to sanding wood, I have put it through the paces and for the most part I am very pleased with the results.
The sheer amount of different attachments for the Wizard guarantees that there will always be more than one way to complete the task at hand.
A strong selling point for me was the amazing number of things I could do with this tool: sharpen blades, sand wood, metal and plastic, grind off bolts, strip paint and rust, and carve wood.
Just tonight I was using a carbon steel attachment to strip paint from the crevices in an old cupboard door I am restoring. With the Wizard I can remove all the nearly impossible to scrape paint off an entire five foot high door in the time it would take to do a small fraction with a utility knife (believe me, I have spent many nights using both the Black and Decker and a knife).
This leads me to my one complaint with the Black & Decker Wizard Variable Speed Rotary Tool RT550, the slowest setting is much too fast to strip paint without gouging or burning the wood beneath; I have tried at least five different attachments, and each of the five speeds. The high speed action of the tool also causes the paint I am stripping to melt and burn, which leads to even more sanding. Personally, I would like to see Black and Decker expand the variable speed settings to include a 1000 and a 500 RPM setting.
The plastic housing of the Black & Decker Wizard tends to attract a lot of dust that does not easily wipe off; I think the magnetism of the electric motor charges the particles and makes them much more sticky than usual. A wet rag will clean off most of the dust though.
However, the hundreds of other uses makes this an almost necessary product to have around the house. Having had my Wizard run continuously for hours has proven to me how durable this tool is. As soon as I'm done renovating my house, I will hang my Wizard right next to my hammer, which is not nearly as useful.

***Update***

After many months of dependable use, my Black and Decker Wizard died on me. I was stripping a thick layer of paint from a crevice in a cabinet door. Given the high speeds involved, the paint had started to melt and clogged up the bristles of the brush. Due to all the paint, the brush slowed down to a crawl while the motor was still spinning at 12,000 RPM. The result was predictable: the motor sparked, and then flashed fire... and then all was quiet. This whole process took under a minute and had I been given more time to recognize what was happening, I would have prevented the motor from overloading. A word to the wise, pay close attention to the attachment to see if it being bogged down; if so, turn off the Wizard and let it rest.

Since the Wizard comes with a long warranty, I was able to get a free replacement from the local service center. This level of commitment by Black and Decker proves to me that I will buy all my power tools from this company. In fact, I use my father's twenty-year old Black and Decker drill almost daily and it still holds up fine, though it sounds a little tired.


Recommend this product? Yes


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