Rated 4.8 out of 5Â by 16
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by LosRubios A very powerful, versatile tool
We decided to give this new Dremel heavy duty Fortiflex a try and we are very impressed with its performance. We own a small hand held engraver/grinder however we can only use it for a few minutes before the tool inevitably falls out of the chuck and needs retightening. The Fortiflex tool comprises a powerful motor unit coupled to an approximately 2' long flexible chuck drive. There is also a foot pedal control which allows the power to the tool to be 'hands free' operated if needed.
I was replacing some broken panes of glass in an old wooden window frame that is probably 40+ years old and while a lot of the putty had hardened and came out easily with a scraper, there were a few areas where the putty was rock hard and stuck in place to the wood. Normally I'd use a chisel however this is a little hit and miss as I end up gouging the wood if I press too hard and the older wood is quite fragile. I dropped a small metal grinder bit into the chuck and the Fortiflex made very light work of grinding out the hardened putty in about 10 mins for all three 26" x 10" window panes.
I found that the tool was easy to grip and also easy to maneouver around the project. One of the frames was still glazed and I had no trouble controlling the tool tip to grind out the putty without contacting the glass. It is very easy to control this tool precisely.
The other aspect of the tool I really liked is the chuck keyed tool tip. Our other engraver/grinder has a hand tighten chuck with a brass insert based on the shaft size of the tool being used. With the Fortiflex, there is just the chuck with a chuck key to suit all sizes of tool bit. This is very convenient and it allowed me to use the tool bit set that came with my other engraver in addition to the small range of bits that are included in the box with the Fortiflex. It would be better if Dremel included a chuck key holder somewhere on the tool as it is quite small and will be easy to lose.
When assembling the tool, I found it quite difficult to get the flexishaft outer to screw onto the motor body - the thread is reverse so you loosen it to tighten it however it was a challenge for me to get the threads to engage and took me a few tries.
All in all this is a very solid tool which I am pleased to have added to my power tool collection. It feels durable and performs very well.
January 5, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0Â by sdgiant Perfect for Stationary and Frequent Bit Changers
This is a great tool for certain uses cases. If you
1. work in a limited number of workspaces
2. frequently swap out attachments
3. use the flexible shaft frequently
this could be a great addition to your bench. I'll give some pros and cons, then describe the details of this device below.
Here are the pro and cons I see vs a traditional Dremel.
1. Fast exchange of attachments via chuck
2. Better control than the traditional flex shaft
3. Ability to change speeds on the fly via foot pedal
4. More torque
1. About twice the price of a Dremel rotary
2. Loses some portability
3. The cord from the foot pedal to wall is a little short
Most people are already familiar with Dremel rotary tools. I have the Dremel 4000 myself. They are very mobile and versatile, but changing bits and the flexible shaft is slow, and you need the ubiquitous custom wrench. You also have to change speeds on the device, which can be awkward to do on the fly.
The Fortiflex is an entirely different creature. The motor hangs from a provided bracket that you "permanently" attach to an elevated position. The power cord then attaches to a foot pedal, which in turn plugs into the wall. Finally the flexible shaft goes from the motor, terminating in a metal encased hand held device. The hand held is very sturdy and feels stable in your hand. That attachments are added and removed using a chuck and key, just like a drill.
The Fortiflex also has a more powerful motor as well. You can notice the difference in torque at lower speeds in particular, where the 4000 would grind to a halt, the Fortiflex powers through.
Anyway, if you meet any of the use cases above, I would consider this as a compliment or alternative for a rotary tool. Personally, I'm happy to have both.
January 3, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by joelav22 A solid entry in the flexshaft market
I have been interested in getting a flexshaft carver for quite some time. The usual suspects come with either a high cost of entry or mediocre reviews. The Fortiflex has been available overseas for several years and has been reviewed favorably. I was pretty excited to see them available in the US and jumped at the chance to own one. I spent quite a bit of time with this and although I am new to power carving, Ido a lot of other woodworking and have a general handle on how these should perform
This is a quality unit. As mentioned I do a lot of woodworking (furniture). Dremel is generally more positioned to the DIY crowd than the furniture/cabinetmaker crowd. I do own a few of their tools and they are good for what they are. This is definitely a step above. The fit and finish are outstanding. I love the keyed chuck, and everything just feels solid and built with a purpose.
Plenty of power. With the right bits/burrs, this unit has no problems plowing though material.
Plenty of control. While powerful, it is very manageable and capable of delicate work.
This will accept shafts and accessories from all the major and higher end brand flex shaft tools. That was a really smart move. There are some awesome accessories out there that are simply plug and play.
I wish the foot pedal had a lock-on mode. There are times I am working and need to move around a piece. I need to stop what I am doing and move the pedal. A rotating vise would help, but some items are too large for such a vise and secured to the benchdogs.
The included accessories are not good. One common complaint I have with dremel is the quality of their cutting accessories. They tend to dull or burn up quickly. This unit could have been so much better right out of the box with some better accessories and cutting implements.
Overall I would have no problem recommending this to anyone who does power carving. It is so much easier to control than a standard rotary tool; and functions so much better than a flex shaft accessory on a standard rotary tool. I feel this is priced really well with it's competitors and has a solid place in the entry level flex shaft market. Again I really applaud dremel here for not making this proprietary.
February 12, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0Â by UTbadger Great rotary tool for small jobs
I have used other multipurpose rotary tools and often found them too big for the small/delicate jobs. This tool is designed well to handle those small jobs. The shaft that you hold is small and light enough to be able to have very precise control of it with one hand. Because the motor is separate from the part you hold it does not affect your control over the tool. It has plenty of power but not too much that it would make it hard to control for delicate work. The foot pedal takes a little getting used to, but gives very good control for varying the power. I found it easier for me to turn the foot pedal around to that I controlled it with my heel rather than my toe. It comes with a hanger for hanging the motor up and out of the way. This is very convenient especially because the motor does tend to move around a bit as you are varying the power.
A couple of minor issues that may or may not bother someone. 1) Pointed away from you, bit spins clockwise. So if you are right-handed and holding it across in front of you (pointed to your left) it will throw debris towards you - you should be wearing eye protection with this anyway. 2) The hole for the key to change the bits must be positioned/exposed in the notch on the shaft (see the pic). You have to be careful not to let it rotate while you are using the key or it will jam on the side of the notch. It just makes changing the bits a little less quick and easy. 3) The tool comes with a small assortment of bits, but not cutting wheels and not quick-change bit. 4) I wish it came with a case. The tool, the pedal, the motor, all the cords, and the bits don't re-pack so well in the box it comes in. These four things are minor and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars.
February 1, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0Â by Carver Good Tool For The Money
As a professional wood carver this is an excellent addition to anyones other power carving tools. It is smoother then my Foredom and my Mastercarver. The only drawback is that the keyed chuck accepts only the smaller burr shanks but that is not a factor since my other machines can take the 1/4" shanks and I have dedicated this tool to the smaller burrs. I do not use ANY dremel bits or burrs, preferring Foredom Typhoon Burrs, Foredom Blue Stones and other Foredom Burrs which are far superior to anything Dremel has to offer. This unit is an excellent unit. Well worth the money!
February 3, 2014