Pros:Larger with better ergos and power than prior Dremels, accessory capabilities
Cons:Not heavy duty enough for professional use
The Bottom Line: Compared to smaller Dremels, it's larger, more powerful and boasts better control and less susceptibility to failure from heat...well worth the price difference for serious hobbyists.
The Dremel, one of the most well known hobby tools around, has evolved slightly in this latest package. Not only does this latest evolution make the tool more useful, it also makes the product far more profitable for Dremel as a result of new accessories. What is this evolution? The addition of a number or accessories aimed at expanding the capabilities of this tool.
Recommend this product?
This model comes in a nice little plastic case. Inside, there is room allocated for specific accessories, attachments and so on. Especially nice is the slot for the easy-to-lose collet wrench. The team at Dremel really did a great job at optimizing the space in this case. Of course, there's some psychology at play here...one will naturally be inclined to fill those empty slots in the case.
A number of accessories are included here:
Sanding edge guide
Additionally, some of the most basic bits are provided. One quip I have with this case is that the accessories aren't retained as well as they could be within the case.
Form and Features
The 4000 series is much larger than the 300 series. It features a grey/blue/black color scheme and rubber overmolding. The on/off switch is sensibly placed toward the front of the body, while the speed switch is placed towards the rear. Unlike most speed switches, this switch actually makes direct corollation with the speed. In other words, instead of a 1-6 scale, it is a 5-35k RPM scale. So, as you turn the dial, it actually shows your (approximate) speed...not a bad feature to have.
Thanks to the increase in size, heat exhaustion is less of an issue than with the smaller models; it's much easier to control the tool without blocking the exhaust vent. The size also helps prevent depression of the shaft lock. Speaking of shaft locks, this model has more lock detents than the smaller Dremels, indicating a larger diameter shaft or pressed collar.
The bit changing system is standard wrench and collet, having evolved little. The new feature is the accessory change system, featuring plastic threads in the body into which accessories are threaded. This can a little cumbersome, as any larger bits inserted must be removed prior to accessory attachment. Nevertheless, this is a very handy system to have at one's disposal.
Performance is top notch. This motor is plenty strong for any hobby purpose, but I wouldn't expect it to hold up in professional applications. I've used it to hog out and form large chunks of wood with ease. It doesn't seem to get quite as hot as some smaller Dremels, but it will warm up noticeably.
Especially useful is the detailer's grip. I thought it to be quite gimmicky at first, but I've found it adds substantive control, quite useful during many Dremel tasks, especially cutting. Additionally, it allows the hand to rest in a place where motor airflow is not hindered.
The "routing" accessory works ok, but only on small things...attempting to use this on anything but will likely result in very sloppy work. I've used it for creating recesses in wood, into which casters could be pressed, for instance. It's pretty sloppy compared to CNC mills to which I've become accustomed, but it does the job. You could probably create rough mortoises with this, though I've not tried.
I've never used the edge guide, so I can't really comment on its usefulness.
Overall, performance is great; however, you'll want to buy an accessory kit to enhance its capabilities. I really like the easy change cutting wheels. Sure, they may seem expensive at first, but they're well worth the price considering that last longer and perform so much better than the much thinner and flimsier cutoff wheels.
This is an awfully handy tool, and this is about the best version you can buy. With an outstanding 5 year warranty, I'd consider this a must-have. Depending on your intended use, you may be able to get away with a cheaper model, but I'd rather just get the best from the start and not worry about upgrading later. If you're after a professional level heavy duty, you might want to look at the Proxxon line of tools.