Best Dremel For Wood Carving

Wood carving traditionalists swear by using a knife, chisel, mallet and file to whittle, carve and shape wood.

These tools are always beneficial in finishing wood carvings to make the final piece look clean and professional.

However, many people these days like to work with a powered tool too, and for those people, they often ask what the best Dremel for wood carving is.

Dremel rotary tools are extremely flexible and useful tools to have in any DIY/beginner or professional tool set – especially for wood carving, or sculpting/shaping.

Not only should you be aware of the best Dremel tool for wood carving, but you should also be aware of the best bits/accessories for wood carving.

Wood carving can involve anything from cutting and sanding with larger bits (like structured tooth bits) to remove larger pieces of wood, to detailing/tracing to create patterns or lines in the surface of the wood – and this requires finer wood removal with smaller bits (pointed carbide and diamond cutters/bits).

In this guide and the reviews, we’ve covered both the best Dremel brand tool for wood carving, AND the best bits and attachments to use with that tool.

If you’re running a little short on time, you can check out the top rated Dremel for wood carving list immediately below.

Otherwise, you can read the guide in full.

 

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Top Rated Dremel Tool For Wood Carving List

 

Best Dremel For Power Wood Carving (Flex Shaft Tool) – Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex (on Amazon)

Dremel For Light-Medium Wood Carving – Dremel 4000-6/50 (on Amazon)

Dremel For Light-Medium Wood Carving – Dremel 3000-2/28 (on Amazon)

Wood Carving Dremel Attachment For Rotary Tools – Dremel 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment (on Amazon)

 

Best Dremel For Wood Carving Reviews

 

Best Dremel Tool For Wood Carving

 

Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex 2.5-Amp Stationary Flex Shaft Precision Rotary Tool

View On Amazon

We reviewed the Dremel 9100 Forti-Flex in Best Electric Dremel Tool: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews.

However, below is a review of this Dremel model when using it specifically for wood carving:

 

Who Would Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

  • Those who want a Dremel designed specifically for detailed projects, and is ideal for power-carving, shaping and grinding applications
  • Those that want a Dremel tool that can handle the more heavy duty wood carving tasks
  • Those who want a tool that can take any Dremel rotary tool accessory/bit
  • Those who want a dremel tool that can carve, engrave, cut, clean, polish, grind, sharpen, sand and more

 

Who Would Not Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

  • Those who want a cheap Dremel or power tool for wood carving

 

What Makes This Dremel Good For Wood Carving?

  • 2.5-Amp (1/5 HP) motor with 23,000RPM top speed – plenty of power for hard woods, going against the grain, and removing lots of wood quickly when trimming down a block
  • Flexible shaft – allows you to get the hand piece in many different angles
  • Pen-like hand piece – very comfortable and lightweight hand piece which you grip…no need to grip and use a bulky tool when carving or detailing. Hand piece is designed to give you control and precision when engraving/carving
  • 3 Jaw Chuck System for bits/accessories – three-jaw chuck enhances versatility by accepting accessories with shank sizes from 0 In. to 5/32 inches. The chuck can take all Dremel bits from carbide cutters, to diamond cutters, to tungsten carbide cutters and structured tooth cutters.
  • Variable-Speed Foot Pedal – you can easily match the tool speed to hard wood or soft wood, hands-free. Can also match tool speed to whether you are sculpting or engraving, and depending on what sort of wood you are working with.
  • Interchangeable hand piece– is compatible with other flex shaft tools for more flexibility
  • Wall hook for hanging the tool and cord when not in use
  • Comes with 21 accessories – useful accessories for wood carving include 117 carbide cutter, 7103 diamond wheel point, 9910 tungsten carbide cutter, grinding stones and sanding bands for quick wood removal
  • Overall, the kit comes with Dremel Fortiflex motor unit, 21 Genuine Dremel accessories, Variable speed foot pedal, Heavy duty flex shaft, Hand-piece with three-jaw chuck, Wall hook

 

What Makes This Dremel Not So Great For Wood Carving?

  • Only 8 foot of cord length – may need an extension cord if that isn’t enough for you
  • For a beginner wood carver, this tool may be too expensive
  • The three jaw chuck uses a chuck key/wrench for changing bits – not the quickest bit changing system

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

Common extra items people might choose to get with this Dremel are:

 

Where Can I Check Out This Wood Carving Dremel?

View the Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex on Amazon

 

 

Other Dremels For Wood Carving (Value For Money Options)

These other Dremels aren’t specifically designed for detail tasks and precision.

They are more so all-around use Dremel rotary tools, but are capable of wood carving – as long as you get a flex shaft attachment with them.

If you do other types wood working apart from carving, and also need a rotary tool for working with metal, plastic and other materials, these tools are a good option for you.

NOTE: because these tools have less power than the Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex, they are best suited to light-medium carving and engraving on softer woods and when going with the grain. They would be great for beginners, intermediates and all around DIY’ers.

If you have any concerns with heavy carving, carving with hard woods, or carving against the grain, it would be wise to consider the Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex.

 

We reviewed the Dremel 4000 and 3000 in Best Electric Dremel Tool: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews.

However, below is a review of this Dremel model when using it specifically for wood carving:

 

Dremel 4000-6/50 120-Volt Variable-Speed Rotary Tool with 50 Accessories (comes with Flex Shaft Attachment)

Who Would Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

  • Those looking for a value for money wood carving and general rotary tool
  • Beginners and intermediates in particular
  • Those looking for a wood carving tool for light to medium duty carving
  • Those who want a dremel tool that can carve, engrave, cut, clean, polish, grind, sharpen, sand and more
  • Those who want a dremel tool that can accept all accessories/bits

 

Who Would Not Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

  • Those looking for a heavy duty wood carving tool
  • Those who want a Dremel designed specifically for carving and detailing/precision

 

What Makes This Dremel Good For Wood Carving?

  • 1.6-Amp motor – decent amount of power for light to medium duty wood carving
  • Comes with Flexible shaft attachment – allows you to get the hand piece in many different angles
  • Pen-like hand piece on the attachment – very comfortable and lightweight hand piece which you grip…no need to grip and use a bulky tool when carving or detailing. Hand piece is designed to give you control and precision when engraving/carving
  • Quick release Chuck System for bits/accessories – probably the best chuck system of all the dremel tools – super quick and easy to change bits. The chuck can take all Dremel bits from carbide cutters, to diamond cutters, to tungsten carbide cutters and structured tooth cutters.
  • Variable-Speed Settings – easily change the speed of the tool with a speed switch between 5,000 – 35,000 RPM
  • Comes with 50 accessories – useful accessories for wood carving include 107 Engraving Cutter, 191 High Speed Cutter, 194 High Speed Cutter, grinding stones and sanding drums/bands
  • Comes with 6 attachments, including the flex shaft attachment for detail and wood carving work
  • Overall, the kit comes with Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool, 6 Attachments, 50 Accessories, Hard Carry Case, Accessory Case

 

What Makes This Dremel Not So Great For Wood Carving?

  • Only 6 foot of cord – may need an extension cord
  • Doesn’t have that extra horsepower the Dremel 9100-21 Forti-Flex has – so not as suitable for power carving and quick wood removal, hard woods, and going against the grain.

 

What Else Do You Need To Use This Dremel For Wood Carving?

Common extra items people might choose to get with this Dremel are:

 

Where Can I Check Out This Wood Carving Dremel?

View the Dremel 4000-6/50 on Amazon

 

Dremel 4000-2/30 Rotary Tool Kit (comes with Flex Shaft Attachment)

The same tool, but with a different kit – less attachments and accessories/bits.

You get 2 attachments and 30 accessories/bits in this kit, instead of 6 attachments and 50 accessories/bits like the one above.

You still get the Flex Shaft Attachment which is very important. The accessories/bits are a bit lacking for wood carving, as you only get one carbide cutter and some grinding stones and sanding drums.

With this kit, you’ll have to buy a few extra carbide cutters and diamond wheel bits for carving.

 

Where Can I Check Out This Wood Carving Dremel?

View the Dremel 4000-2/30 on Amazon

 

 

Dremel 3000-2/28 Rotary Tool Kit (with Flex Shaft Attachment)

The Dremel 3000 is a very similar tool to the Dremel 4000, and the same summary of the tool for wood carving would apply here.

This is a good all around rotary tool, best suited to light-heavy wood carving tasks.

If you would like to see the major performance differences between the two tools, read more in Best Electric Dremel Tool: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews.

Most importantly with this kit, you get the flex shaft attachment.

 

Where Can I Check Out This Wood Carving Dremel?

View the Dremel 3000-2/28 on Amazon

 

Best Dremel Wood Carving Attachment For Existing Dremel Tool Owners

 

Dremel 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment 

As we discussed above, the flex shaft attachment can connect to new Dremel tools or existing Dremel tools that can take the attachment – check Dremel’s website at the bottom of this guide see if your model is compatible.

This shaft attachment (with the right bits in the chuck) gives you greater precision, control, comfort and detail over holding the Dremel tool unit itself.

As a single attachment, the Flex Shaft is very affordable.

 

Where Can I Check Out This Wood Carving Dremel?

View the Dremel 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment on Amazon

 

Dremel and Non-Dremel Wood Carving Bit, Accessory and Burr Sets

The following are both Dremel and Non-Dremel wood carving individual bits, and accessory sets that would be suitable for wood carving:

 

 

Best Dremel For Wood Carving: Buyer’s Guide & FAQ

Other Names For Wood Carving

Wood Sculpting

Wood Tracing and Moulding

 

What Is Wood Carving?

Wood carving can be a a number of things, but mainly refers to:

Wood Sculpting and Shaping – Creating wood objects out of block wood e.g. sculptures, models, toys etc.

Wood Tracing, Engraving, Decorating and Moulding – Surface carving for patterns and pictures on flat or curved blank wood surfaces e.g. blank wood artwork, designs on furniture et.c

 

What Is A Dremel Used For In Wood Carving, and What Does A Dremel Do?

Dremel rotary tools can be used in wood carving for tracing on, and sculpting, both hard and soft wood.

Although an appropriate Dremel can sculpt block wood, they probably excel more with detail and tracing work on flat and curved wood blanks.

The useful thing with a dremel rotary tool is that you can use different attachments and accessories/bits to sand, cut, engrave, carve, shape, hollow and do basically anything you want to the wood – depending on how much or little wood you want to remove, and what effect you are going after.

Not only can you use a Dremel for wood carving, but you can use it for all other types of wood working, metal work, plastic work, and other tasks on various types of material – so they can be great value for money for anyone.

 

 

Types of Dremel Tools Best Suited For Wood Carving

There are three types or categories of Dremel rotary tools that are best for wood carving:

 

1. 9100-21 Fortiflex Heavy Duty Flex Shaft Tool Kit with the necessary bits

Best for control, precision, detail.

Most horsepower to deal with the light, medium and heavy duty wood carving tasks

 

2. Dremel 3000 or 4000 – with Flex Shaft Attachment and the necessary bits

Used with a separate flex shaft attachment.

Best for light-medium wood carving tasks.

 

3. Flex Shaft Attachment for existing Dremel tools

You can get the flex shaft attachment as a stand alone attachment for existing Dremel tools.

You still have to have the necessary wood carving bits to insert into the end of the attachment if you go this option.

 

Dremel Wood Carving Bits & Accessories

The best bits/accessories for wood carving are from Dremel’s ‘Cutting and Scraping’ section of the Accessories part of their site.

We are talking about the burrs/high speed cutter bits with the different shaped heads.

They are great for both wood removal and sculpting, and engraving and detailing.

For a beginner wood carver, if you were going to pick just a few basic cutting bits to have in your set, go with a couple of different shaped head carbide high speed cutters (including the flame shaped head bit), and one set of diamond wheel points.

If you need to do a lot of wood removal on blocks of wood for sculpting, a structured tooth tungsten carbide cutter or two might be a good idea too – they remove both soft and hard wood quickly.

The cutter bits can come in various materials:

Carbide High Speed Cutters – come in different shaped ends. Good for detailing and fine carving on soft woods.

Diamond Wheel Points – comes with a pointed end. Good for detailing and fine carving on soft woods after using the carbide bits.

Tungsten Carbide Cutters – good for shaping, smoothing or removing material from especially hard materials. Use these on hard woods.

Structured Tooth Tungsten Carbide Cutters – for bulk wood removal mainly on hard woods.

 

The different shaped, and different tipped bits, give you different combinations for different styles, thicknesses and types of cut on the wood.

 

The specific models of carbide high speed cutters suitable for wood carving are:

121 High Speed Cutter (flame shaped head) – one of the more versatile bit heads. same as cutter 100, but 6.4mm bit diameter.

100 (small sphere shaped head) – Ideal for shaping, hollowing, grooving, slotting, inlaying, and making tapered holes – especially on curved surfaces. Use higher speeds for hard woods. 6.4mm bit diameter.

114 (large sphere shaped head) – same as high speed cutter 100, but 7.9 bit diameter.

115 (round block shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

116 (inverse round block shaped head, thicker at top, thinner at bottom) – same as cutter 100, but 6.4mm bit diameter.

117 (rounded tip cone shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 6.4mm bit diameter.

118 (small pointed tip cone shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

125 (large pointed tip cone shaped head) – Ideal for shaping, hollowing, grooving, slotting and inlaying. 6.4mm bit diameter.

124 (large flame shaped head) – can be used for shaping, hollowing and grooving. Ideal for making tapered holes in soft metals, plastics and woods. 7.9 bit diameter.

134 (rounded tip muffin shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

144 (football shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

190 (small round tip shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 2.4mm bit diameter.

191 (medium round tip shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

192 (big round tip shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 4.8mm bit diameter.

193 (small cylinder shaped head, drill tip) – Used for shaping, hollowing and grooving and ideal on curved surfaces. 2.0mm bit diameter.

194 (medium cylinder shaped head, drill tip) – same as cutter 100, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

196 (round block shaped head) – same as cutter 100, but 5.6mm bit diameter.

199 (flat wheel shaped head) – same as cutter 100 + also good for inletting, but 9.5mm bit diameter.

 

The specific models of diamond speed cutters suitable for wood carving are::

7150 (pointed tip head) – For fine detail work, cutting, engraving, carving, touch-up and finishing. Use high speeds on hard woods.

 

The specific models of tungsten carbide cutters suitable for wood carving are:

9901 (long drill shaped head, flat tip) – Shapes, smooths or grinds especially hard materials including: hardened steel, stainless steel, cast iron, nonferrous metals, fired ceramics, plastics and hard woods. Use high speeds on hard woods. 3.2mm bit diameter.

9902 (short drill shaped head, flat tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 2.4mm bit diameter.

9903 (long drill shaped head, round tip) – same as cutter 9901.

9904 (short drill shaped head, round tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 2.4mm bit diameter.

9905 (ball tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

9906 (pointed tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

9909 (small rounded cone tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

9910 (small pointed cone tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

9911 (drill shaped head, rounded tip) – same as cutter 9901, but 3.2mm bit diameter.

 

The specific models of structured tooth tungsten carbide cutters suitable for wood carving are:

9931 (cone/taper shape head, rounded tip) – Fast-cutting sharp teeth for greater material removal for all woods. 6.4mm bit diameter.

9933 (cylinder head, flat tip) – same as 9931, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

9934 (cone head, round tip) – same as 9931, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

9935 (ball/sphere head and tip) – same as 9931, but 7.9mm bit diameter.

9936 (wheel head and tip) -same as 9931, but 19.1mm bit diameter.

 

NOTE: for wood sculpting and removing larger quantities of wood quickly, you might like to start by cutting, chipping or sanding the wood block down first using cutting wheels, sanding drums/pads, grinding stones, structured tooth bits or even a handheld chisel and hammer.

This will allow you to get your general shape of the object you are trying to sculpt.

From there, you can use pointed cutter bits to work detail into your block/sculpture.

 

How To Choose A Dremel For Wood Carving

Think about what sort of wood carving you will be performing, and what you want to use the Dremel tool for overall.

Based on these two considerations…

 

1. Get the 9100-21 Fortiflex Heavy Duty Flex Shaft Tool Kit with the necessary bits, IF

You want to use the Dremel tool primarily for wood carving (tracing and sculpting), and other detail and precision type activities.

This tool is best equipped for power carving and heavy duty type carving on hard woods.

 

2. Get the Dremel 3000 or 4000 – with Flex Shaft Attachment and the necessary bits, IF

You want to perform wood carving with the Dremel, as well as other woodworking, metalwork, plastic work and other tasks.

This will give you more flexibility with the tool for a wider range of tasks.

These tools are better for light-medium level wood carving as they lack the higher power of the 9100-21 Fortiflex.

 

NOTE: most of the cordless dremel rotary tools, and smaller/micro corded and electric dremel tools lack the overall power for power carving and mass wood removal.

 

 

Features To Look For In A Dremel For Wood Carving

Comfortable in the hand for longer periods of use – use a hand piece that you can grip like a pen and is lightweight

Flexible shaft for angling the hand piece in different angles

Variable speed for adjusting the RPM to different wood carving tasks

Higher power for hard wood and going against the grain

Able to take a range of accessories and attachments – particularly cutters, grinders, sanding drums and flex shaft attachment

Comes with wood carving bits and attachments

Chuck system is easy to use and quick to change bits and attachments over – quick release chuck system is quickest

 

Tips For Using A Dremel For Wood Carving

1. Fine grain, soft woods are usually the easiest to work on. These types of wood (among others) are generally common for wood carving:

Basswood

Pine

Balsa

Butternut

Tupelo

 

2. Carve with the grain so there is less resistance, and to prevent tearing, chipping and other damage to the wood.

 

3. When you are performing deep cuts, move the cutter bit slower to minimise wood burn.

 

4. Before starting carving or engraving, it can help to trace or mark out your design, shape or pattern first.

 

5. Smart safety measures for any woodworking task include wearing gloves to protect your hands, eye protection such as clear safety lenses, and a dust mask or dust extraction system to protect your airways.

 

Best Dremel Tool For Wood Carving Resources

1. https://www.dremel.com/en/

 

 

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