So it was: the people cried out to Dremel, “make us a tool that is compact, yet powerful — one with which we can comfortably perform very detailed work, and, oh yeah, one that sounds like a freakin’ seriously cool-ass jet engine when you turn it on.” Yea, Dremel did make such a tool and said onto the people, “Behold, all ye of DIY ilk, we deliver onto you the Dremel Stylus.” And the people saw that it was good. Then, a little later, Toolmonger came along to agree.
Seriously, though the Stylus has received a ton of press — visit Google to see what we mean — we thought you’d like to hear about it from a Toolmonger perspective. It’s the newest member of the Dremel line, and besides the fact that it looks like Captain Kirk’s phaser — which, lets face it, is pretty cool — the Stylus is literally packed with features that’ll make your DIY projects bristle with detail… when you finally manage to put it down and the dust settles.
Read on for lots more info on our experiences with the Stylus.
It’s quickly apparent after you remove the Stylus from the box and hold it in your hand that you can’t hold it in an uncomfortable position. The entire unit is molded as if it was custom fitted for your palm. When you grab it naturally, the tip is located at the tip of your finger and thumb, as if you were holding a pencil. This facilitates the tasks at which the Stylus excels most: detail work. Even when you hold it upside down, the Stylus delvers a good, stabile platform.
Once inside the grip of your hand, only a slight movement is required to guide the tip directionally. Power is controlled through a 10 speed “clutch dial-style” knob located at the rear of the motor casing. The battery, normally located aft of the motor on most Dremel tools, is instead relocated to a mid-pistol-grip location. The battery is a lithium-ion type, which adds long shelf charge life and runtime to the Stylus’ list of goodies.
The unit comes with a charging base that holds the Stylus by the handle in a 45 degree angle, and charges it via pins at the base of the handle.
If you don’t already own a Dremel system, the starter kit facilitates performing all sorts of tasks right out of the box, which is handy if you’re impatient like we are and want to do everything right now like a kid on Christmas morning. The kit contains 10 assorted bits including those suited for grinding, routing, cutting, polishing, drilling and sanding. Dremel also includes a few extras, all for your high-speed Dremeling pleasure.
The Stylus’ chuck uses a collet nut system that locks the bits into place. There’s also a shaft lock button on the top that grabs the shaft and prevents rotation while you load or swap bits.
So it looks cool, right? The real joy comes when you power it up and work with it.
As we mentioned back at this post’s start, the sound this thing makes when coming up to its 5,000 to 25,000 rpm speed is one of the coolest noises we’ve ever heard coming from a power tool. Think electric generator meets Pratt and Whitney. It’s the kind of sound you’d expect from a flux capacitor.
The power button, which is located right in front of the shaft lock button on the top near the chuck, is easy to reach at any point during use.
Once spun up the Stylus does not disappoint. We tried it out with some quick detail routing work on a piece of 2×4 we had around the shop. The Stylus plowed right through the wood at a steady pace and required only a gentle hand to control the tip in whatever pattern we desired.
The Stylus’ balance, weight, and form factor work together to create an incredibly steady platform — especially when you use both hands to steady it. You can also brace against the handle to avoid unwanted sway or squiggles of the tip while cutting.
For all intents and purposes, the Stylus provides the closet thing you’re likely to get to a pen- or paintbrush-like experience with a power tool. From first glance to project completion, the Dremel Stylus proves to be a comfortable and capable power tool offering a great deal of power and finesse. Any doubts about the small size or power of the Stylus are put down as soon as the motor spins up and digs into whatever task lay before its capable business end.
If you enjoy your dremel, but wish you could control it better for detail work, the Stylus is your tool. It’s available at your local big box home store or on the web for around $70 — an investment you won’t regret.