For woodcarving/whittling is an expensive power carving tool better than the cheaper Dremel brand?

A reader asked..

IÙm just getting started woodcarving small sculptures and I’d like to get a power tool to help out. I see that there are some that cost $300-800 (like the “Mastercarvers Micro Pro”) and then there is the Dremel tool and flexishaft accessory for less than $100. I don’t mind spending the extra money if it’s better product–I plan on it a long time. Does anyone know the benefits of the more expensive products? What’s the difference?

(Scroll down to read responses).

Found some power tool stuff on Amazon:

Factory-Reconditioned Dremel 6300-02L-RT 120-Volt Multi-Max Oscillating Kit Review
The Dremel 6300-02LR Factory Reconditioned 6300-02L Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit offers a versatile and extremely effe… More >>

Buy Chicago Power Tools 63559 4.8-Volt 30-Piece Compact Drill/Driver Set
Chicago Power Tools 4.8V Drill and 29 Piece Driver and Drill Bit Set… More >>

Featured power tool resource:
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    • Willeke
    • August 26, 2010

    Are you sure that you want to use a dremel tool?
    Until you have tried it, you do not know whether you like or hate it.
    I would buy a real cheap cheap-brand tool to check whether I like it or not. (In fact I did buy one although not for wood use.)
    Sometimes the cheap tools run for years with no problems, sometimes they are crap, but all will not be worth trying to repair when something breaks.
    And sometimes the bits and extensions only fit this cheap machine so you will have a hand full of bits left when the machine breaks, or when you run out of bits for this machine you can not replace them.

    Cheap tools from proper tool shops are worst in this respect, better go to the real cheap shops, you pay little but you know you buy crap, if you go to a good chain you will pay more but still get crap.

    When you are ready to buy an expensive tool, make sure it uses standard bits and extensions, and that it has a repair service for when problems develop.

    • iroc70
    • August 26, 2010


    Here are some books that are available at any library or bookstore and some websites for it :

    Whittling and Woodcarving
    by Elmer J. Tangerman, E. J. Tangerman – a most excellent book on the subject – Get this one if nothing else

    Manual of Traditional Wood Carving
    by Paul N. Hasluck (Editor)

    The Beginner’s Handbook of Woodcarving: With Project Patterns for Line Carving Relief Carving Carving in the Round and Bird Carving
    by Charles Beiderman, William Johnston, William Johnston

    Woodcarving: 20 Great Projects for Beginners and Weekend Carvers (Weekend Crafter Series)
    by John I. Hillyer

    Little Book of Whittling: Passing Time on the Trail, on the Porch and under the Stars
    by Chris Lubkemann

    Woodcarving: Tools, Material & Equipment, Volume 1
    by Chris Pye, Dick Onians (Foreword by), Gino Masero (Foreword by)

    Woodcarving: Tools, Materials and Equipment, Volume 2
    by Chris Pye

    How to Carve Wood: A Book of Projects and Techniques
    by Richard Butz, Laura Cehanowiez Tringali (Editor)

    Carving for Kids: An Introduction to Woodcarving
    by Robin Edward Trudel

    The Book of Wood Carving: Technique, Designs, and Projects
    by Charles Marshall Sayers

    Carving Classic Female Faces in Wood: A How-to Reference for Carvers and Sculptors
    by Ian Norbury

    Carving Green Men and Wood Spirits: Instructions & Patterns for a Classic Art Form
    by Lora S. Irish, Chris Pye, Shawn Cipa

    Carving Signs: The Woodworker’s Guide to Carving, Lettering, and Gilding
    by Greg Krockta

    1001 Designs for Whittling and Woodcarving
    by Elmer J. Tangerman

    Fundamentals of Figure Carving
    by Ian Norbury

    Carving the Human Figure: Studies in Wood and Stone
    by Dick Onians

    The Complete Woodcarver’s Handbook
    by Graham R. Bull

    Figure Carving in Wood: Human and Animal Forms
    by Sara Wilkinson

    Carving Santa and Mrs. Claus
    by Ken Blomquist, Jeffrey B. Snyder (Photographer)

    Carving Found Wood: Tips, Techniques, and Inspiration from the Artists
    by Vic Hood, Jack A. Williams, Jack A. Williams (Photographer)

    New Techniques and Approaches for Wood Carving
    by D.V. V. Semenick

    Sculpting Wood: Contemporary Tools & Techniques
    by Mark Lindquist, Bill Byers (Photographer), Bill Byers (Photographer)

    A Woodcarver’s Workbook #2: More Great Carving Projects
    by Mary Duke Guldan, Mary D. Guldan

    Some websites:

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