Dremel’s new 8200 cordless rotary tool is powered by a brand new 12V-max Li-ion battery, making it the fastest and most powerful cordless tool of its kind. The 8200 is not exactly compact, but its battery allows it to be used for many jobs where a corded tool would be inconvenient or impossible to use.
We are avid fans of Dremel’s rotary tools, so when we found out they were releasing this new 12V model, we had to try it out! For this hands-on review, we used the 8200 for all types of cutting, grinding, and sanding jobs we would typically use a corded Dremel for.
- Variable speed 5,000 – 30,000 RPM
- Separate on/off switch and speed control
- Comfort grip
- Battery fuel gauge
- 1 hour 12V-max charger
- Electronic brake
Design & First Impressions
My first impression of the Dremel 8200 was “wow, it’s big.” Although its product description lists the 8200 as “slim” and “compact”, I wonder what Dremel was comparing it to. Yes it is slimmer than previous models, but it’s nowhere near as slim as a flex shaft. That said, the tool has a very solid feel to it. It is easy to grip, and the rubbery grip has a secure non-slip feel to it. I had some concern about the rubber grip being a dust magnet, but it’s not – it cleans easily.
I did notice one thing about the tool’s design that I was less than happy about – there is no way for a user to replace the motor brushes. I’m not sure what this will mean in the long run, but it’s something to keep in mind. Dremel’s corded models usually feature access panel that make it easy to install user-replaceable brushes.
Switches & Controls
Dremel’s engineers have definitely put some thought into redesiging the switches and knobs. I don’t remember there ever being a collet lock that was quite this easy to hold. The power switch is a slide toggle, and is very easy to operate, even with a gloved hand. Gone is the dial speed control that you may be used to. Instead, this model features a new sliding switch that moves with ease but not by itself. The speed control slider is set in a recess, which reduces the chance of accidentally moving it from its setting.
The first time we used the 8200, we discovered that it has an electronic brake. This feature isn’t mentioned in the tool’s product description, but it is definitely a welcome touch.
Dremel was not kidding when they said they designed the 8200 to be ergonomic. No matter how I changed my grip, the tool felt comfortable and secure to hold and use. The 8200 is a bit bulky though, so if you’re looking for a lightweight cordless rotary tool for delicate or detail work, check out the 7.2V Dremel Stylus instead.
We used the 8200 to sand, grind, cut, polish, and shape wood, plastic, aluminum and steel sheet metal. Our finding: the 8200 really hauls. I don’t know where Dremel is getting the extra power from, but the 8200 performs nearly as well as a corded rotary tool.
Battery, Charger & Case
Based on the design similarities between Dremel and Bosch’s 12V batteries, the two sister companies swapped a few cordless secrets between themselves. It looks like this cooperation is already bearing additional new products.
Hopefully Dremel will eventually follow Bosch’s examples and bundle their cordless tools with soft cases instead of awkwardly designed blow molded cases. I would much rather have more open space for a second battery and additional accessories than the special special dedicated for the charger.
Dremel includes a modest starter selection of accessories with the 8200 kits, but not as many as a beginner might need. Beginners should factor in an additional $20 into the price for one or two general purpose or specialty accessory kits.
Conclusion & Recommendations
It looks like the Dremel 8200 cordless rotary tool can really hold its own against corded models, and it blows older cordless versions straight out of the water. This is reason enough to give the 8200 a glowing recommendation. Not only does it provide heaps of power, Dremel’s new 12V-max Li-ion battery holds up for a very decent amount of time (we’re still testing it to come up with a repeatable number).
The sample we tested (8200-1/28) included a single 12V-max battery, but there is also a kit that includes two (8200-2/28). One battery packs enough of a charge to last for quite a few small operations. If you plan on using the tool for a long time, consider the two battery kit or a corded rotary tool.
We are quite pleased with the Dremel 8200. For the first time, Dremel has actually produced a cordless rotary tool that can be used interchangeably with corded models. All of the accessories and attachments should fit, and the 8200 has more than enough muscle to keep up. The 8200 is one heck of a comfortable and powerful solidly built rotary tool that we have absolutely no issues with. In other words, we definitely recommend it!
The two 8200 combo kits are available now and are priced at about $100 and $150 for the one and two battery kits. The 2-battery kit also includes a right angle attachment that is ordinarily priced at $20 separately.
Dremel unconditionally provided the product sample featured in this review. Review samples are typically given away, donated to a local charity, or in certain cases retained for future review/benchmarking/comparison purposes.
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