We’ve seen every model of Dremel rotary tool and put most of them through the shop to test this or that feature, but we kept coming back to the old Dremel 100 that never failed us. The phaser-shaped Stylus was cool but underpowered; the Volt Max cordless was better but didn’t last long with the jobs we subjected it to. However, Dremel’s new 4200 melds the strengths of old 100 with new features we might actually give the old dog up for — like the ability to swap accessories just by pushing a lever.
Essentially the 4200 has the same form factor as the 100 and carries most of the same specs of the 4000: a variable speed motor (5,000–35,000 RPM), larger vents, and electronic feedback that adjusts motor power and speed as needed. The important shift with the 4200 is the EZ Change mechanism (not to be confused with the EZ lock system on the bits). It puts a dual lever lock system tucked into the nose of the barrel for quick accessory change, replacing the collet-and-nut bit retention system the old Dremels have had since time began.
The new EZ Change is of course compatible with the rest of Dremel’s bit line, but it also represents a shift in thinking. Standard bits have always been the focus for the rotary tool, mostly because they work well and are awesome for small jobs. But a few years ago, someone up in Mt. Prospect figured out this was a remarkably interesting system to hang attachments on. For a while, the attachment solutions have been fairly clunky since there just wasn’t a good way to strap something to the front end of it. But the EZ Change gives the entire front end a neat, simple solution to affix anything to the power, making the 4200 a great deal more “attachment ready” than its predecessors.
Pricing for the basic kit that comes with the 4200, plus a small assorment of discs and grinding/sanding gear, will run you about $130.