Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 16
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 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 5.0 out of 5.0 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
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Historian A Great Toolmaker Outdoes Itself!
I have been a fan and regular user of Dremel's Moto-tool for many years. I had the older model moto-tool, and used it for hundreds of jobs of all sorts. I loved that thing! Then I got the chance to try out Dremel's new Fortiflex Heavy Duty Flex Shaft Tool. I'll say upfront that this tool sells for much more than what the older moto-tool does. However, in my honest opinion, it is worth every penny, and is a far greater tool than the moto-tool ever dreamed of being. Oh my, this thing is nothing but awesome! For starters, the motor is about 6 times heavier than the old model version. The flex-shaft is about 2-3 times fatter than the old one, so it fits your hand like a dream, with no need to grip hard and get hand-cramps after hours of use. The end of the flex-shaft is textured with cut lines that encircle it, so you just feel like you have a solid grip. Rather than the old style tool head, that used a small wrench to loosen or tighten a nut to attach bits, this one uses a drill-style chuck. I hated that nut design on the old one, because if you were using the small-shaft bits, you'd have to really crank the nut down, and even then, sometimes the bit would spin loose. I've even gone to the extreme of wrapping bit shafts with electrical tape to fatten them up and give the old one something to grip. No more! The foot-feed is just plain awesome too! The old one had a sliding speed-control switch on the body of the motor. If you had it on high speed, very often the vibration from the motor would cause that slider switch to move, and the speed would suddenly slow down. Well, if you are in the middle of something important, and your hands are full, that becomes a real problem. I learned to manipulate my thumb (if I was using it without the flex-shaft) to shove the slider back up to high, and sure enough, a few seconds or minutes later, it would move again. That was always an
aggravation. They included a small set of drill bits and some sanding wheels, but anyone who spends this kind of money to buy one would want a much larger set of various bits (which I just happen to have already).
They even included a hanger bracket to suspend the motor from above your workbench. I'd made my own such bracket from a plant-hanger for my old moto-tool, so that was a nice touch. I have included some photos to show the comparison of the new Fortiflex and the old Moto-tool and flex-shaft. Folks, this is one very serious tool, and one I expect to enjoy using for many years! I advise any new users of this or a Moto-tool to visit Dremel's website, where they have a nice section of suggested work projects, and helpful videos. Overall, I REALLY love this tool! Thanks Dremel, and Home Depot!
January 3, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Tom3 Great Idea
The motor unit neatly mounts by your workbench so you know where it is and it's ready to use for quick jobs. Foot control gives you easier control than having to stop, reposition your hands and to the switch to turn it off or change speed. Once you get used to using your foot the variable speed adjustments are smooth.
Very easy to use. I like the chuck for changing bits. Every once in a while I wind up with a stuck bit and collet in my regular Dremel rotary tool which is a pain to deal with. Not a propblem with the Fortiflex and bit changes are fast and easy. Would have been nice if there was a little slot on the motor housing to store the chuck and hex wrench.
Spins a little slower than other Dremel tools (20,000 vs 30,000 RPM) but has more torque for dealing with tougher materials. It's bigger and heavier than I expected which isn't a problem since it's meant to be semi stationary. It's easy to remove from the provided hanger if you need to move it to work you can't bring to your workbench.
Comes with an fair assortment of bits but can use other 1/8" Dremel bits as well. I couldn't get my regular Dremel in a tight spot so I put a cutting wheel on the Fortiflex and was able to reach it no problem because the motor is separate.
What you're holding is smaller and lighter. Combined with the foot pedal this is a great tool if you use it frequently for extended periods of time. Even if you just need it occasionally it's great to have hanging in the garage when you need it so you don't have to go running around to find out who used your Dremel last and where they left it.
Just remember to keep a pair of safety glasses near where you mount it so you have no excuse to not wear them when picking it up for a quick grinding, sanding, poslishing, cutting or drilling.
March 9, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by RednexToyz Robust
Handheld Dremel units have been a staple item in my woodworking & hobby tool assortment. Though they will still remain a useful tool for some applications & for portability, I have found a new love; the Dremel Fortiflex. The Fortiflex is the stationary answer where power, durability, longevity & ease of use are key. Powered by a substantially larger motor than a hand-held Dremel, this provides ample torque to grind thru almost any project I can throw at it yet the hand-held head is small & nimble enough to work in tight spots with ease. Rather than using a wrench & collets to hold your Dremel accessories, this unit features a keyed chuck that is protected within the frame of the hand-held flex shaft. This makes for faster bit changes without the need for various collets & the risk of jams. The adjustable foot control allows you to easily vary the bit speed during operation. Having operated the normal Dremel hand-held unit for hours on end, you will immediately notice the missing weight of the motor. Includes a small assortment of bits & a wall hanger.
January 6, 2014