Harbor Freight has come out with a new 8V Cordless variable speed rotary tool under their Bauer brand.
The new Bauer cordless rotary tool features variable speed, from 5,000 to 30,000 RPM, built-in spindle lock, easy-access on/off switch, and “comfort grip housing.”
The tool has a built-in rechargeable battery with 2Ah charge capacity.
Speed changes are accomplished using two buttons, as opposed to a dial, with LED indicators used to show the current setting.
Harbor Freight does not mention the type of charging port on their website or in the online user manual.
Key Specs & Features
- 8V 2Ah Li-ion battery
- 2-3 hour charging time
- Charger output: 9V, 1A
- 5,000 to 30,000 RPM (no-load)
- 1/8″ collet size
- 2-button speed selection
The tool comes with a 40-piece accessory set, as well as a soft-style case.
Model 21681-B, SKU 58162
Ryobi has recently brought their A-game to the rotary tool market, and Dremel is still the industry leader.
The new Bauer tool by Harbor Freight looks interesting, but it also seems like just another cordless rotary tool designed primarily with low pricing in mind.
You do get Harbor Freight’s return policy, however, and the Bauer name could be considered a step-up from the very many generic tools sold on Amazon around the same price point.
I feel bad that no one has yet commented on this, yet another HF wannabe/knockoff Dremel tool.
Who on earth would buy this pretender instead of the already better known, and at 30K RPM, surely more comforted by history brands?
Just a thought.
Don’t feel bad, I debated whether to post about it or not. It seems only a little interesting, but with added value in being able to reference it in future posts.
It’s nice to have something like that, and the price is decent, but I find that my one off tools aren’t ever charged when I finally need them…
One major design flaw that would prevent me from buying this even if I would consider buying a rotary tool from HF: Built In Battery.
Battery dies while in the middle of a project, can’t swap in another battery & need to wait for the internal battery to charge, nope I would never buy one like this.
I avoid stuff with built in batteries as much as I can even if I have to pay 3 times the price. Too much disposable stuff out there once the batteries go bad and I can’t just swap in a new battery in the middle of a project.
Eddie the Hook
While i also am not a fan of this type of rotary tool, i’m glad that you wrote an article about it. Thank you Stuart.
What is the use case for a cordless rotary tool? Anywhere I use my Dremel rotary tool, the cord is never an issue.
I’ve got a 12v max dremel w swapable batteries. I’ve used mine to flatten circular insets in stone where an ADA compliance hand rail was required. Cordless angle grinder could only get me partially there.
Also used it for modifying mannequin feet to accept toe-strap sandals. We were on the loading dock of a museum bc dusty power tool operation was not permitted in any of the exhibition halls or staging rooms, and we were not cleared to enter the shop or conservation areas. Cordless bandsaw also a winner that day.
Most things I’ve ever used a rotary tool for are operations that take minutes or seconds so battery life is not a concern. If I were making jewelry or detailed crafts with it, I’d probably opt for something corded with a flexible shaft.
DIY projects, outdoor projects, gardening tool maintenance, tasks where it’s best to bring your tool to the work.
Good to know it exists and HF is diversifying its offers; but this has no value to me. A it is HF motorized which I don’t trust and B, I avoid built-in batteries as much as possible. So I would much rather spend double or so to get a name brand tool.
I will probably get a Dremel / Bosch compatible one at some point.
Unless one is crafting at a desk or work bench; being cordless is very hand for quick fixes anywhere in or around the house, where something just needs a quick adjustment to an edge, corner, … sure sometimes you can do it with an oscillating tool, small sander, … but sometimes you need something small, light, … for a quick fix, without running extension cords.
I brought it when it first arrived at my store in Hampton and I love it. The BAUER
8V Cordless Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit is much better then the BAUER
Variable Speed Precision Crafting Rotary Tool. It’s a great tool.
Ton of imports this rotary tool has to compete with as well as name branded items. Typically I agree with others regarding non removable battery however I have a hyper tough (Walmart) 8.0v I purchased a couple of years ago when Walmart had them on a deal price for under $20 that I purchased purely on impulse while in the store. Lithium battery and decent for the smaller projects. I was so impressed with mine I bought another the same week and gave it to my son. The Good: led lights behind the tool chuck, lithium battery and decent run time, easy corded tool charger, lightweight and easy to hold and maneuver, digital speed change. The Bad: tool shuts off for reset easier than I would like. I don’t use the tool in a hobby sense but more in a pinch or convenience and for that it works great. I also have the Milwaukee M12 rotary tool for more robust applications that I love but tool
is heavy and awkward. In summary this HFT has a market but one that is overly saturated and not sure if anyone but a diehard HFT fan would go out of their way to purchase it.
I bought this today and used it for maybe 15 min. While in use, it suddenly turned to its fastest setting and wouldn’t turn off.
This is my first rotary instrument. Many people talk about a non-removable battery, but I don’t see a problem with this if it’s a lithium-ion battery. All these batteries live for a long time, it’s just possible that when it lies for half a year it will be necessary to charge it to complete.
In fact, this thing has not so many competitors. Of course, there are Chinese no-name ones, in my opinion, the closest competitor is Ryobi, but the price is twice – $99. And it has the same non-removable battery.
In my opinion, if you are doing severe projects, then buy a Dremel or Milwaukee, and pay at least two or five times more. But this Bauer also has the right to life for some small household purposes.
I already tried this thing and I liked it. Bauer is quite powerful, does its job quickly and the battery lasts for a long time.
Of the shortcomings, in my opinion, the collet nut is not very hard, there are traces of the key, which means it is poorly hardened. And the battery takes a long time to charge.
I took an additional 12 months warranty from Harbor Freight for five dollars, so if anything happens, I can return it and exchange it for a new one.
It literally is crap!! Don’t buy it.
If you ever need 3K RPM on this tool, it goanna sound like horribly louder than anything!!
I’m returning mine I bought few days back.
I have purchased 2 different rotery Tools from harbor freight and one 9f them worked one time only and the other didn’t even work long enough to try it. I plugedit in turned it on then it stopped working and wouldn’t turn on again . I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHR POWER OR CORDLESS TOOL FROM THERE AGAIN . IT JUST JUNK AND A HASTLE.