In the last five years or so, the number of tool brands building oscillating tools has expanded from essentially one to many. These tools have taken the remodeling and DIY industries by storm, because of the wide variety of tasks that can be accomplished by one tool: cutting, scraping, sanding and more. Dremel® has been riding the crest of that wave with its Multi-Max™ family of tools and accessories. Recently, representatives from Dremel stopped by our offices to share the latest offerings and fill us in on an interesting new program of independent testing the company has undertaken for its oscillating tool accessories.
If you’re considering purchasing a multi-tool this year, Dremel revealed that this fall, it will be adding a new version of Multi-Max tool, the MM30, to its lineup. John Hauter, Dremel’s brand manager, says that the new MM30 will feature the widest speed range of any oscillating tool on the market, with variable speeds from 10,000 to 23,000 oscillations per minute. “It also offers an increased oscillation angle and a 2.5-amp motor, and it’s 25 percent faster at cutting than its predecessor, our MM20 model. The MM20 had a 2.3-amp motor. This increase in speed will make the new MM30 the fastest DIY cutting tool in the market.”
The new Multi-Max will come with 15 standard accessories, which Dremel reports is one of the highest accessory piece counts available. It will also include a magnetic interface that holds an accessory in place while a user is tightening the clamping screw. An integrated wrench on the tool should make accessory changes easy and the wrench impossible to misplace. Expect to see the new MM30 in stores this October.
This past spring, Dremel also rolled out an all-in-one Carbide Flush Cutting Blade that may help you replace many others in your collection. John says it’s the first oscillating cutting blade available with high-performance carbide teeth. “It’ll cut through materials that are too hard to for other accessories and tools, and it’s designed with our Universal Quick-Fit™ system, so it’s compatible with nearly every oscillating tool on the market.” The teeth are designed to cut through hardwoods, hardened metals, nails, screws, stainless steel bolts, galvanized pipe, plaster and lathe, cement board, fiber board, sheet metal, slate and ceramic tile, according to company literature.
The Dremel MM485 Carbide Flush Cutting Blade has a suggested retail price of $19.99, and you can find it Dremel retailers, hardware stores and home improvement centers.
But, no multi-tool is really worth its salt if the accessories that do the cutting, grinding, scraping and sanding tasks can’t stand up to rigorous use. In an effort to stand behind the integrity of its oscillating tool accessories, Dremel launched a new website late last year to introduce and share the results of its Max Performance Tested™ program.
Effectively, in addition to extensive internal testing, Dremel is also having certain Multi-Max accessories, and those of its competition, evaluated by OnSpex™, an independent third party laboratory. Tests are conducted to evaluate performance on measures of both cutting speed and overall endurance — the two main criteria that equate to value for most end users. Outsourcing the testing process to OnSpex ensures that test data is verifiable, that scientific test procedures are followed and that the results are objective and non-biased. Hauter says work with OnSpex began more than a year ago.
“We’re striving for the longest period of time a blade remains useful before it fails, and for the fastest speed our blades can cut through a material. These tests are conducted under real-life conditions…so that Dremel users can feel confident that every Max Performance Tested accessory will perform as good or better than any oscillating accessory on the market,” Hauter says.
For one example, Dremel’s MM482 Wood & Metal Blade was tested against comparable blades from Porter-Cable, FEIN, Imperial Blades and Rockwell for speed, when cutting through 3/4-in. x 1 1/2-in. oak. OnSpex results concluded that the MM482 cut more than five times faster than the slowest performing blade (Rockwell), 3.1 times faster than FEIN and more than twice as fast as the Porter-Cable and Imperial blades.
Similar testing was conducted to measure endurance for the same test blades, and Dremel’s MM482 made more than 700 cuts in oak — 4.3 times the useable life of the Imperial blade. The test blades were also used to cut 8d finish nails and evaluated for speed and overall life expectancy. Results are posted on the web page: maxperformancetested.com.
You can watch Dremel’s simulations of the testing process OnSpex used for evaluating the MM482 blade and its competition by clicking here. You can also see test results for Dremel’s popular MM480 Wood Flush Cut Blade, when pitted against the leading competitors’ blades. More OnSpex-tested Dremel accessories are forthcoming.
Ultimately, the company hopes that independent testing will demonstrate that Dremel is providing value-priced blades that are still able to meet your expectations for home and jobsite situations: more cuts per blade and more time saved, cut by cut. “When you see the Max Performance Testing seal on our Dremel accessories, it stands for testing, performance, innovation and value of all of our Multi-Max accessories.”
“We also want our users to know that at Dremel, we don’t just sell our accessories, we use our accessories. It is our experience that helps us invent new solutions to old problems and invent ways to complete the job better or faster than the competition,” Hauter says.