Without a doubt, one of the most popular and successful lines of consumer-level tools has been the Dremel. There just seems to be no end to the accessories that expand what you are capable of doing with the high-speed Dremel Rotary Tool. In fact, it’s so versatile that you’ll find some kind of Dremel tool in many pro shops as well. I’m taking the opportunity to look at one of the newest members of the Dremel family, the Dremel Micro 8050. This is a cordless Lithium-Ion model from the subsidiary of the Bosch corporation that promises the ability to do precision work. Let’s take a look at what the Dremel Micro 8050 offers.
Dremel Micro 8050 Specifications
- Power Source: Integrated 8V Lithium-ion battery
- Motor Speed: 5 Speed Motor (5,000/10,000/15,000/20,000/28,000 RPM)
- Collet Capacity: 1/32″ – 1/8″
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Full Charging Cycle: 3 hours, 45 minutes
- Warranty: 2 year limited
- Price: $89.00
Dremel Micro 8050 Features
- Compact, lightweight design
- 360 degree grip zone for comfort
- Designed to allow precision work
- Quick collet lock allows for quick accessory changes
Included Accessories in Dremel Micro 8050 Kit
- 105 Engraving Cutter
- 125 High Speed Cutter
- 191 High Speed Cutter
- 426 (1-1/4″) Fiberglass Reinforced Cut Off Wheels (2)
- 84922 Silicon Carbide Grinding Stone
- 414 (1/2″) Felt Polishing Wheels (2)
- 421 Polishing Compound
- 429 (1″) Felt Polishing Wheel (2)
- 530 Stainless Steel Brush
- 407 (1/2″) Sanding Drum
- 408 (1/2″) 60 Grit Sanding Band
- 432 (1/2″) 120 Grit Sanding Band
- 445 (1/2″) 240 Grit Sanding Band
- 401 Mandrel
- 402 Rotary Tool Mandrel
Looking at the features of the Dremel Micro 8050, my first thoughts are to wonder if I can really use it for precision work. Precision use application photos and videos show the Micro being held like a pencil. If that’s the case, then I should be able to perform some petty precise work. It’s a little bulkier than I imagined for the kind of hold I’m hoping to employ, but it is by no means bulky as a tool. The tool does fit nicely in my hand using a pencil grip. Once it charges, I’ll see about etching a few things and see how precise I can actually be.
Plan on letting the Dremel Micro 8050 charge for a full cycle of 3 hours, 45 minutes before use. The integrated battery does come partially charged, but I always like to make sure it has the opportunity to go through that full charge cycle to ensure there are no battery issues that need to be warrantied before I start.
The 18 included accessories come in a loosely separated case. You do get a nice range of accessories with the Dremel Micro but in a limited number. You’ll be purchasing some of your most-used accessories fairly quickly. One accessory that doesn’t come with the kit that you may want to consider is the EZ402 Mandrel. This Easy Lock Mandrel will be a huge time saver if you are a heavy user of rotary accessories that have to be screwed down using the traditional 402 mandrels.
The charger is a simple docking station that supports the Dremel Micro 8050 in a standing position. I appreciate the additional length of the cord over most of my power tool battery chargers. It allows for some extra flexibility in where I’d like to store the tool. Since the Micro is a lithium-ion tool, you can plan on storing it on the charger without fear of battery memory issues like we used to have with Ni-cad batteries.
Using the Dremel Micro 8050
I decided that the best way to test the precision capabilities of the Dremel Micro 8050 was to try some writing and patterns using the engraving tools. I wasn’t prepared for how fun a tool it really is in this capacity. Although my hand is not as perfectly smooth as a surgeon’s, I was able to do some respectable engraving in wood and metal. For the experienced woodworker, these tasks would have been pleasant.
Gripping the Dremel Micro for engraving applications is quite natural. It is a bit like holding a fat pencil with a rubber grip attached. Because of the diameter, I did feel a little clumsier than I expected. For the wood, simply using the larger engraving tool made the task easier and produced a better result. On metal, I found that using a marker to write what I wanted first, then “coloring in” with the smaller engraving tool was the way to go. It was easier to engrave at higher speeds, but I found my happy place between speed and control to be at the 15,000 RPM setting.
I also wanted to test the Micro on what Dremel has been known for among pros that keep it around – as a small cut-off tool. I decided to take a couple of inches off of a 1″ aluminum pipe. Cranking it up to the maximum 28,000 RPM setting, I started cutting through with the premium metal cutting wheel. It performed very similar to what I have experienced before from Dremel, sending satisfying sparks flying. Unfortunately, just over a minute into the cut, the Micro shut down. I wondered if I had simply run the battery out, but I had put too much stress on the motor and the auto shut down protected the unit.
The design of the Dremel Micro 8050 is really optimized for applications that you can attack from above using a pencil grip. I found the cut-off application from the side to be a bit awkward. Like most of the tools that Dremel produces, the available accessories open this up for a wide range of applications. I already have visions of making some pretty cool wood projects with my kids using this unit. For me, wood hobbies and crafts will be where this Dremel is going to find its niche. I’ve seen others use and have used a Dremel in the past for creating popping bugs for fly fishing. This model is fantastic for that kind of precision work.
Pros that see the value in the Dremel family for cut-off and other minor metal applications are probably better off looking at a corded model like the Dremel 4000. Certainly, there are a plethora of uses around the home and in the woodworker’s shop for the Micro. As a consumer-level tool, look for the Dremel Micro 8050 to really shine around wood, polishing, and engraving applications.