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Woodworking/rotary tools

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Question
How do you feel about Milwaukee's rotary tool for woodworking in comparison with the Dremel?

Answer
I don't own a Milwaukee so I had to find a friend that did. I have been using both corded Dremels and Craftsman rotary tools for many years. While I do use a rotary tool for certain tasks in carving, I don't know if my opinion would mean anything as far as woodworking is concerned. Understand that I am a woodcarver, not a woodworker or contractor. Mainly a handcarver, I power carve occasionally. I use rotary tools for sanding and shaping, for sharpening, for polishing.  I will say that in my opinion, Dremel is the King of rotary tools. From the moment it was introduced, it set the multi-tool bar high. It became indispensable in any workshop setting. More than that. It had accessories, glorious accessories.  After you opened your brand new Dremel, it was time to get to the serious business. You sat there opening up everything, examing all the cutoff disks and ceramic bits and metal. You could find one to do almost anything, even sharpen a chainsaw. You could turn it into plunge router, a drill, a saws-all, a grout remover. It cut metal and it could polish jewelry. When you went down to the hardware store, it was like being 8 again and saving your allowance to take to the candy store. There you stood, fist full of money, eyeballing all the bright-colored sweet candies, trying to make the right choices as though the consequence of making the wrong decision would set our lives on a path we could never recover from. The best accessory displays were the rotating racks. I would stand there in a daze looking at all the cool bits. My hand slowly spinning it.  I will admit to having bought bits that I was sure I would never use but they were just cool and I had to have it. Different stores always had different selections and I became a collector of bits and attachments. Then one day my Dremel stopped working and I ran right out to the store because I couldn't live without it. I come across the Craftsman. It was $20 cheaper. I bought it.  It took all the attachments and bits that Dremel could throw at it. I liked it.  I soon found out that I only needed to replace the brushes in the Dremel and it would come back to life for me. The Dremel then became the all-purpose tool and the Craftsman became my dedicated carving tool. I attached a flexshaft to it. I started to favor the Craftsman. I thought it was a little lighter, ran a little quieter and cooler and was just as reliable and powerful as the Dremel. But I digress, lets get back to the accessories.  That is truly where Dremel distinguished itself from all other rotaries. There were a whole bunch of companies that put out decent rotary tools, both corded and cordless, all with the idea of selling just the unit and conceding the accessory market to Dremel.  Milwaukee is just another brand selling a unit. It didn't do anything innovative. It doesnít come with any fun accessories. They do have a good reputation but you pay for the name. They put out what should be a reliable brand but that can only be proven by time. From reading a few of the reviews and watching some videos it seems Milwaukee has its share of raves and boos.  It is higher pitched and louder than Dremel, also more expensive and runs a little hotter. Milwaukee has a slightly better battery and reaches 32,000 rpm to Dremels max 30,000rpm.  I think a contractor or serious DIY guy would be happy with the Milwaukee but does the average rotary tool user want to pay more for a tool than they need to?  Both my Dremel and Craftsman are close to 15 years old.  Iíve wanted to invest in a professional Foredom unit but I never have because these two mid-range models always preform for me.  

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maura macaluso

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions regarding woodcarving, chip carving, scroll sawing, carving tools and techniques and can answer most questions regarding wood. I am not an appraiser of carvings nor an antique dealer.

Experience

I am a custom woodcarver. I have been carving for many years now, have won numerous awards, and am very well connected in the world of woodcarving. I am the owner/operator of www.carvinginnyc.com

Organizations
national association of woodcarvers, woodcarvers of queens, Richmond county carvers club, carving life panel of experts

Publications
Chip chats, carving magazine

Education/Credentials
Have taken many, many classes and instruction from many fine carvers, I was originally self taught which is the best way to learn. Many thousands of carving hours later and I find that I am now well-respected.

Awards and Honors
numerous 1st place and other title awards at different venues

Past/Present Clients
My work is now in international collections

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