Home Forums General General I want a mini-drill any suggestions?

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  • #84050
    OB
    Participant

    I want a mini-drill so I can drill out hands on 15mm figures.  I’m hoping folk here can suggest a good one.  I’d prefer cordless.

    Thanks

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84051
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    I’d avoid any power tool, cordless or otherwise.  Use a pin vice.

    Check out the chuck for the finest dril size (usually with just a cross cut in the end) to see that it is centered, otherwise you’ll end up drilling ellipses  ; ).

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Don Glewwe.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #84056
    ian pillay
    Participant

    I agree with Don, you are better with a pin vice drill. You get much better control and the metal will not heat you as quick so you avoid burning you fingers.

    if you do get a powered one, then look for one with variable speed control. I think dremal do one….???

    Tally-Ho!

    #84058
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Yup Pin Vice advocate here too.

    #84059
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    Controlling a small power tool is no more difficult than using a pin vice – but it does take practice to get to that point.

    Choose a fairly light one if using it mostly on figures, you don’t need a lot of power. I use a 100w corded one and I do sometimes think I should get a cordless one but I’m, used to using mine now. Mine is powerful enough to use it as a tiny lathe so you possibly don’t need one that powerful.

    Dremel are good quality, you don’t want to buy a cheap one, they cause too many problems. Make sure you get one with a chuck and not collets – much easier to use.

    Also don’t be tempted into buying a whole load of kit with it, you will be surprised at how much use you can get out of a few basic tools. Add more later as you have the need for them.

     

     

    #84067
    OB
    Participant

    Thanks for the replies fellows.  I have a pin vice drill already but don’t find it that easy to use.  I keep breaking the drills.

    Tony you seem to be getting on fine with yours can I ask what brand are you using?

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84077
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    Hi OB

    Mine is a Minicraft but they went out of business a while back so they are no longer available.

    A number of people I know have Dremels and they seem quite satisfied with them.

    Possible reasons for drill breakage are : too much pressure, side pressure while drilling, blunt bit (low quality drill bits blunt quite quickly)

    It is worth buying top quality bits for the most used sizes – try tool sellers rather than model sellers, quality for price is usually better.

    Tony of TTT

     

    #84086
    OB
    Participant

    Thanks Tony.  Yeah the drills were cheap and I probably did use over much pressure.

    Any suggestions on which Dremel to buy?

    Thanks

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84088

    Mine is cord, so I  can’t comment on the cordless ones.

    I second getting a variable speed–you need to have low torque for drilling out hands.

    Two recommendations:

    Definitely consider getting the flexi-shaft, a cord that eliminates having to grip the actual drill, which, despite its size, is cumbersome and tiring when working with miniatures. The flexi-shaft is more like holding a pencil.

    https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/accessories/225-01-flex-shaft-attachment

    Second, you need a lubricant of some kind. This may be one reason why you have problems with breaking bits, even with a pin vise. A power drill will be worse. I just keep a bar of soap, or tin of saddle soap, on my bench, and stick the bit in frequently,as I drill. I’ve never had a broken bit.

    One item I find very useful is a bit with a circular steel brush, which I use to remove mold lines It makes that tedious job go much faster, though it takes a bit of practice getting the right speed and pressure; you can wipe away some detail in a second,if you’re not careful. And of course, wear eye protection, which you should do in any case,but especially with the brush,as bits of the wire tend to fly off. I  can live with that– though sometimes  I  have to comb little wires out of my beard!

    Here’s the brush I use:

    https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/tools/428-carbon-steel-brush

    #84092
    OB
    Participant

    The flexi-shaft sounds good Hafen thank you.  I’ve got eye protection and a beard so I should be OK.  That’s a handy tip about the saddle soap too.

    Thanks very much for the advice everyone, much appreciated.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84103
    Grimheart
    Participant

    I have used the older version of this (KC360LN) for some years now and its my favourite tool!:

    BLACK+DECKER KC460LN 3.6 V Compact Cordless Screwdriver Lithium Ion Battery

    It uses hex drill bits so easy to swap over all the time.

    Its lightweight and fits in my hand and is surprisingly powerful for its size.

    I even use it for small DIY jobs around the house and garden!

    Its not variable speed but i have never found that to be much of an issue as its relatively low rpm

    ps I know exactly what you mean about breaking the drills using a pin vice…i have probably gone through close to a dozen snapped ones.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Grimheart.

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    #84202
    irishserb
    Participant

    I have a ton of experience with these tools due to my job,  and just wanted to offer that it is probably more about developing your technique with a tool that is comfortable to hold, than there being the universally ideal tool.

    I have corded and/or cordless tools fro dremel  minicraft, black & decker, proxon , and foredom  all of which will work.  Additionally, I have worked with flex cables on rotary tools  and conventional pin vises.

    Most importantly, find a tool that fits your hand comfortably, and is balanced such that the weight of the motor/battery doesn’t fatigue it.  If you really want a powered tool for this application, a flex shaft my well be a good investment.  And as mentioned by someone above,? a chuck is a must for power rotary tool, but note that some will not hold tiny bits.

    If using a power tool, make sure that you use good quality bits designed for high speed applications.  Cheap bits will break with a motor pushing them.  Make sure to develop your technique, not pressing too hard, and pressing straight through the bit.

    If you buy a dremel, buy a decent one, not the bottom of the line. I would recommend a variable speed tool, as rpm is important relative to the bit/ cutter and the material being cut.  Some cutters have rpm limits, above which, they become unstable or otherwise dangerous.

    My own preference for drilling hands on figs is an old fashion pin vise, single ended, with a flat rotating rest that fits into the palm of your hand.  It is the most comfortable for me.

    #84204
    OB
    Participant

    Grimheart and Irishserb thank you both for your advice.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84212

    Pin vice is the way to go.  Any hobby shop should carry them.  Spend the extra money and get solid metal.  Get a pack assorted microbits.  Be careful with the fine bits.  They do snap easily.

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #84359
    deephorse
    Participant

    Another vote for a pin vice.  I can’t imagine what you’re doing to break the bits whilst using one.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #84380
    OB
    Participant

    Too much pressure seems to be the consensus.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84390
    Don Glewwe
    Participant

    …and perhaps clogging of the flutes/channels?  Soft stuff (plastic, white metal) may act like an adhesive against the wall of the hole if not able to clear up/out of the hole?

    My vote against any sort of power tool is driven in part because of the fact that all the things mentioned above that can go wrong will still do so, but much quicker.

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #84392

    Another vote for a pin vice. I can’t imagine what you’re doing to break the bits whilst using one.

    Too much pressure seems to be the consensus.

    …and perhaps clogging of the flutes/channels? Soft stuff (plastic, white metal) may act like an adhesive against the wall of the hole if not able to clear up/out of the hole? My vote against any sort of power tool is driven in part because of the fact that all the things mentioned above that can go wrong will still do so, but much quicker.

    All the above.  I broke one when it got stuck.  I think I must have flexed it too hard and the tip snapped off.  The fine ones are quite brittle I can assure you!

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #84401
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    A pin vice every time. Ones with chucks are easier to use, but ones with collets hold the drill bits much better and are more accurate. However for the proposed work you won’t notice the difference. Buy the best pin vice you can afford, ditto the drill bits. Clean the end of the drill bit as you go, as the soft metal can clog the flutes, leading to increased risk of breakages. Take your time as well, and keep looking to make sure the drill is going in the intended direction, as it is quite easy for it to wander.

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