As soon as we had the Dremel vise together, we decided to check out the claims on the box — specifically how long an object it could hold. The largest object we managed to clamp in such a manner (read: it held firmly enough for serious work) was 7-11/16” — a bit more than Dremel’s spec-claimed 7-1/2″. That may not seem like much, but who knows when that 3/16” of an inch could make a difference?
Tightening is a two-step process. First you release the pads and push them manually into place roughly against your workpiece, then crank the blue handle down to grip it — pretty much the same process you use on most bar clamps.
Here’s where we ran across one problem in the vise’s design. Because it’s such a small tool, the space between the blue handle and the clamp’s bar when clamping small items is the perfect size to skin your knuckles when you turn the tightening handle. It happened to almost everyone who used the vise in our shop until we learned to warn them first. Once we knew to watch out for it, we didn’t have any problems. But anyone not in the know is gonna get scraped.
The feature that won us over, however, was the vise’s ability to hold a Dremel rotary tool in place of the clamp. We’ve always wanted a good way to position a Dremel so that we can hold and move the workpiece instead of the tool. Clamping the tool in a standard vise works (sort of) in an emergency, but Dremel’s vise offers a sold, functioning solution.
Installing a rotary tool requires that you remove the clamp, then install that small key-looking piece of metal we described in unboxing into the diamond hole on the vise’s base — just like you install the clamp. Then you can remove the chuck and collet ring on your rotary tool, install it in the key’s hole, and affix it by reinstalling the tool’s parts and a blue composite ring on top. Once it’s mounted, you can then position the tool just like the clamp and lock it down in position to use your rotary tool like a tiny bench grinder, sander, or even a rudimentary miniature chop saw.
It’s also possible to remove the clamp completely from the base and to use it as a small bar clamp around the shop.
Read on to page three for our conclusions.