The Art Of The Dremel

Every Foam Smith and Cosplayer knows of this tool: the Dremel. Although this an essential tool for our artistic use, if you don’t know how to work it, it can be a tricky little sucker to work with. Sure, there’s quite a few tutorials you can look up to see how to work this handy-dandy tool, but they aren’t exactly easy to understand. Nor does is it exactly cosplay or foam smith friendly in my opinon. They talk more of how to use it for wood and metal.

But not this tutorial! Here, I will explain the Dremel and it’s different bits in cosplay/ foam smith terms. Because this magnificent tool–although a pain in the butt at times, can be used for so much more than wood and metal!

What is the Dremel?

This is a question I myself had when I first started using this device. So, what exactly is it? Well, at the very core the Dremel is a rotary tool. It’s used for drilling, shaping, sanding, whatever you can possibly think of for creating, the Dremel can probably do it!

Its end tip is even built like a drill. Where you can unscrew the collet–which is the main black bit, and then unscrew the starting bit to insert whichever bit you will be using for the job. You can use a sanding drum, a regular drill bit, a buffing circle, and several grinding bits to shape the project.

Then we get onto good ways to hold it…

There’s two ways you can go about holding the Dremel:

  • Holding the Dremel like a pencil
  • Using the handle attachment that the Dremel usually comes with

Both ways make using the Dremel pretty easy to use it. It all depends on what suits you and what you’re comfortable with.

Now, how does one use the Dremel? Simple. Just plug it in, set it on a speed that you are comfortable with, and get to work on your project by pressing the bit lightly–or hard depending on what you are trying to achieve with your project.

Don’t forget your safety googles though or to wipe down your Dremel. Both are equally important. One to protect yourself, and the other to protect your Dremel!

Dremel bits and their uses!

Now that you know how to handle your Dremel and care for it, let’s get down to what all of those various bits can do for you in your foam smithing and cosplay projects.

Sanding Drums

These little bits are probably one of the most used in projects–at least in my case. The sanding drums can be used to smooth down roungh edges after cutting the foam out. Also, if you hold the Dremel at an angle, you can create a wide array of designs on you foam to make it look like it has taken battle damage.

This bit is very good to use if you are making swords or armor and want it to be smooth and/or have the look of being battle worn.

Grinding Bits

These pink bits aren’t the best for sanding, but if you want to make excellent various details to whatever prop you are making, these bits are for you.

They come in various shapes to make different and unique designs. From circular, pyramid shaped, and cone shaped. If you hold them at various angels on your project and experiment with your Dremel speed, you can get magnificent details on your projects

Here are some cool designs you can make with these little bits just by using the different shaped bits and holding them at different angles…

  • Wood grain
  • Battle Damage
  • A metal-like texture
  • The appearance of screws and bolts
  • And many more!

Just try experimenting with these bits and you can achieve all kinds of details!

Drill Bits

Granted I don’t find myself using the Drill bits often for my projects, but they do have a good purpose for what they are exactly named for: Drilling.

They make really good holes, and if you tilt them to the side while you work you can make really creative indents into your projects.


Well, that wraps up today’s Quotable How To. I hope y’all enjoyed learning more about the Dremel. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I’m always happy to help.

Like what I do and want to support me? Click the link below and donate to my Ko-Fi! Every bit is very much appreciated!


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Next Con

FanXApril 19th, 2019
58 days to go.


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