Woodworking requires different types of tools. Router and Dremel are very common tools for woodworking and now these tools are even more popular for increasing demand for different wooden projects, DIY crafts, and home construction. Dremel and router both are rotary tools. As a result, a very common question arises “can I use Dremel as a router?” Well! The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no”; rather a bit tricky. Take few moments and read the article. You will get your answer.
What is a Router
A router is a woodworking machine with a flat base and rotating blade extending past the base. The spindle of the router is driven by an electronic motor or pneumatic motor. A router is often used for routing (hollow out) an area in the hard metal or cutting patterns, grooves, and designs across multiple pieces of wood.
In the woodworking arena router does have a long history. Before the power tool, there was a hand tool known as a router plane with a board base and narrow blade which was used as a router.
What is Dremel
Dremel is also a woodworking rotary tool. It looks like a pencil or toothbrush. To start work you have to insert the bit and place it on the workpiece. Although it is known by the name of the founder and his company “Dremel” its official name is “Moto-Tool”.
Differences Between Dremel and Router
Both router and Dremel are rotary based tools, have high RPM and depending on the bits they can perform many things from cutting, sanding, etching to inlaying, rounding edges, engraving, and many more. In a word router and Dremel are unbeatable tools within their own capacity however, there are huge differences between them also. Let’s take a look at them-
Power: router is more powerful than Dremel. While router power motors are 5.6 amp and can go up to 15 amp, the Dremel motor is around 1,6 amp. So it is clear Demel is not suitable for heavy duty.
Collet size: collet holds bits of a spinning based tool. The Collet size of the Dremel and router is different. Dremel collet size is 1/8 inch. On the other hand router, collet size is ½ or bigger than this, which means the router has a thicker collet than Dremel.
Durability: rooter is more durable compared to Dremel. Since Demel has small bits, these tend to break easily. In contrast to that router has really thick bits that make it more durable.
Speed: speed is another important factor that creates the difference between router and Dremel. Routers’ seed ranges from 15000 RPM to 35000 RPM. On the other hand, the Dremel speed range is 6500 to 13000 RPM. Since Dremel speed is lesser than router its working capacity is also limited comparatively.
Price: a router is an expensive tool. Whatever model you choose fixed based router or plunge router, you have to spend a handsome amount of money, while Dremel is a budget friendly tool. Even you can buy the latest model at a very affordable price.
Material: since the router is more robust and durable they can work on hard material which is not possible for Dremel.
Versatility: in the case of versatility, Dremel is more versatile rather than the router. Dremel is like a pen or toothbrush and comes with different bits. It makes Dremel easy to handle and operate. I sharp contrast router is a piece of heavy equipment and needs the expertise to operate.
In spite of dissimilarities, there are some similarities too that allow Dremel to be used instead of a router. These are
- Both router and Dremel are a fast spinning tool
- Both tools are rotary tools
- Like router Dremel can do engraving, cutting, sanding, rounding
- Although routers can be used on various tools there are some common materials too. Both Dremel and router can work on wood. Plywood, timber, plastic, etc.
Using Dremel as a Router
By adding a table (check amazon) you can turn a Dremel into a low power plunge router. The tabletop comes with a fence and worktable that allows using Dremel as a router and you can easily do slotting, sanding, and trimming. Looking at the similarities and dissimilarities and facilities, if you are pondering that you can buy a Dremel instead of the router and save a lot of money then my suggestion is –wait a minute. It is not a very wise decision. Well, you can do everything like cutting, grooving rounding, and many more thing by Dremel but remember Dremel is not as durable as a router.
It just can’t do a ton of work just like a router with Dremel. However, you can do some work like freehand engraving, making low profiles on edges, cutting, sanding, rounding, etc but on a very low scale and on a small piece of a workpiece. Another major downfall of Dremel is this tool is super slow and tedious. So if you need a large amount or if the workpiece is medium or large size then Dremel is not perfect.
Some Popular Dremel
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
- Voltage 120 v
- Weight- 2.8 pound
- Cordless electric operated
- 360 degree grip zone
- RPM- 5000 to 30000
Dremel 8050-N/18 Micro Cordless Rotary Tool
- Voltage- 8 v
- Weight only 1.1 pounds
- LED light project
- RPM: 5000 to 25000
Dremel 4300-9/64 Rotary Tool Kit
- Pivot light system
- Weight only 1.18 pounds
- Has nine attachment
- 215 watts
- 5000 RPM to 35000 RPM
Dremel3000-1/25 Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit
- Very high performing toll with 1.2 AMP motor
- It has six vriable speed
- Weight= 4.39 pounds
- Voltage- 120 v
- 360 degree grip
- RPM: 5000 to 35000 RPM.
I think pretty much clear that there are significant distinctions between router and Dremel. So if your project involves a large working piece or harder material or if you are planning to produce something in a large amount then I would suggest to rather go with a router. But it is all about your hobby and the workpiece is small and softer wood then Dremel can be a pretty good option.