V2 Spindle/Cutting tool

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Taylor 8 years, 5 months ago.

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    In the search for a new cutting tool to replace the Dremel 300, here are a few attributes we’re looking for (see a few specific tools outlined below):

    Variable speeds (ideally about 10-30,000 RPM.

    More power than the ~1.2A Dremel.

    Collet for bits up to 1/4″ diameter.

    Similar price range to the $60 Dremel 300.

    Similar weight to the 18oz. Dremel 300 (extra weight requires an over-engineered gantry).

    Widely available for purchase.

    • Ed Ford recommends used the 3Speed spindle from http://www.cnconabudget.com/

      • Pro:

        • It’s a real spindle
        • 3 speeds
        • ~$100 is a reasonable price point

      • Con:

        • harder to get (their production is limited)
        • optimized for PCB milling; how will it handle other materials?
        • looks like a small collet – hard to tell & no specs!

    • Rotozip RZ2000

      • Pro:

        • Variable speed
        • 6-amp motor; pretty powerful
        • up to ¼” bit
        • Specifically made for a range of materials
        • Widely available

      • Con:

        • Very heavy; 8lbs
        • Expensive: ~$150
        • Has flex shaft attachment that’s limited to ⅛” bit & lower RPM
        • Not sure what collet/chuck style this uses; may be proprietary

    • Dremel 4000

      • Pro:

        • Variable speed
        • widely available
        • Cheap: ~$70
        • 1.6-amp motor; ~.5 amps more than the 300
        • About the same weight as 300 (~18 oz)
        • Uses a collet

      • Con:

        • Limited to 1/8″ bit
        • Not sure if the power jump is enough to matter

    • WeCheer HD Flexshaft Power Carver

      • Pro:

        • Flexshaft eliminates weight problem
        • Variable Speed (up to 26,000 RPM)
        • 1/4″, 1/8″ and 3/32″ Collets
        • powerful; ⅓ horsepower

      • Con:

        • Very expensive; almost $200
        • Not sure how flex shaft will perform
        • Not widely available

    • Dewalt Compact Trim Router

      • Pro:

        • Variable Speed: 16,000 – 27,000rpm
        • up to 1/4″ collet
        • 7 Amps; very powerful
        • Widely available

      • Con

        • Heavy; just over 4#
        • Expensive; ~$140



    Grumpygeek’s CNC uses a Ridgid R2400 and he was considering a DeWalt 660.

    Ridgid R2400

    20,000 – 30,000 RPM.


    1/4″ collet.

    $100 on Home Depot.

    3lbs, roughly 3 times as heavy as a Dremel 300.

    DeWalt 660

    30,000 max RPM, no indication of having a speed dial.


    1/8″ and 1/4″ collet.

    $60 on Home Depot!




    Just so there’s no confusion. I do not *recommend* the cnconabudget.com 3 speed spindle. Yes, I own one, and yes I occasionally cut with it, but it’s nothing more than a glorified Dremel. There is noticeable runout on mine and I don’t think it justifies the price tag over a regular $40 dremel.

    With that being said, it looks nice, is a little quieter than a dremel 300, and is straight forward enough to work in most situations. But again, it’s not any better than a regular dremel.



    Ran some tests tonight using the WeCheer HD Flexshaft Power Carver. Compared to the Dremel, it is a huge step up. I’m not sure what kind of bearings the WeCheer uses, but the collet seems much more stable than the Dremel, which wobbled quite a bit.

    Check it out:

    DIYLILCNC V2 Hardware Tests



    The problem I found with the Dremel 4000 is that it is too big and a bit too heavy for smaller jobs if you have to hold it for long periods of time, but a simple way around this is to get the 6/50 model where you get the Flex Shaft attachment. As an alternative you could opt for the Dremel 300 which is lighter.




    Does your landlord know you’ve got that? ;)



    What about an air engraver? Off the mighty ebay you can purchase one form around $40 US on up. I have a $300+ turbine one, in a pen style that spins 400,000 RPMs, most though spin 55,000 +/-. They have low volume requirements so an airbrush compressor can drive them. Come to think of it an airbrush might be a fun a attachment too.

    With a pen holder already designed, and at such low cost if you already have compressed air, seems like a worth while experiment.

    Also I’m contemplating on construction of a flood-able cutting table. This would require design modification, raising the X axis tracks, lowering the cutter, and getting another construction material involved. But when the task called for it, the addition of water would increase the longevity of cutters when working with harder materials, or rather soft metals, marble and such.



    Has a final recommendation been made for the tool? I have seen a lot of discussion about wecheer w/ flexshaft and dremel 4000 w/ whip.



    If you’ve got the scratch, the wecheer is great.



    I just wanted to point out that it is very possible to make your own spindle. A student from MIT made one that is used by nearly everyone else that designs a machine even similar. You could beef up the design and use a larger motor. The Jameco Motor that they use is 20,000 rpm. They used it on non ferrous metal all the way down to PCBs. My machine will be a PCB mill anyway but my second machine will be a beefy mill that can cut steel hopefully. I plan to design most of it myself too.

    Here is the link.


    And here is some of the work it has created.


    Pretty amazing what those guys have come up with.




    That looks like a great sub-project! Thanks for the tip.

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