Dremel 8220 Cordless Rotary Tool:
Cordless Rotary Tool
12V Max Lithium-Ion
Need to chop and change quickly between cutting, drilling, sanding, and a multitude of other activities on your latest project?
While it’s possible to use a dedicated tool for each job, who wants to break their back carrying loads of heavy power tools and their accessories to and from wherever they’re working?
And another thing, can you honestly be bothered with the hassle of putting them all away again after you’ve finished?
Thankfully, there is an easier option, and it comes in the form of the rotary tool.
Simply put, rotary tools are one of the quickest and easiest ways to handle activities like carving, cutting, drilling, engraving, routing, and sanding on loads of different materials such as glass, metal, plastic, wood, and more.
The Dremel 8220 is one such example that takes the inherent convenience and versatility benefits of a rotary tool one step further, as unlike the Dremel 4000 series tool that we looked at previously, the 8220 is cordless to give you a true go-almost-anywhere, do-almost-anything tool.
Sounds great so far…but what’s it really like to live with and use?
And more importantly, is it the best choice for you and your DIY or project needs?
Let’s find out by looking at everything you need to know about this Dremel rotary tool…
Thanks to its powerful motor, lithium-ion battery, variable speed of between 5,000 and 35,000 RPM, and a design that’s both simple to use and compatible with hundreds of different accessories and attachments, we’d recommend the Dremel 8220 to anyone including beginners, professionals, hobbyists, crafters, DIYers, and everyone in between as their go-to tool to handle a virtually unlimited number of tasks.
Would we recommend it anyone who intends to use it continually on tougher tasks?
Perhaps, but only if they’re planning to stock up with multiple batteries, otherwise a corded option like the Dremel 4000 may be a better choice to minimize downtime during usage.
Owing to the Dremel 8220’s versatility, here are some of the tasks you can complete provided you use the correct Dremel accessory and collet (the part that holds accessory bits):
While the 8220 model isn’t Dremel’s most powerful rotary tool by any means (though to be fair, you’d struggle to find a cordless rotary tool that matches the performance of their corded offerings), it’s still more than capable of handling the bulk of your carving, grinding, cutting, sanding, drilling, and other needs with ease.
Part of this comes down to the fact that the 8220 model is fitted with a high-performance motor, but also thanks to the fact that it’s powered by Dremel’s 12V max lithium-ion battery technology.
If you’re unfamiliar with the inherent advantages of lithium-ion batteries, probably the most significant benefit is that they exhibit a much higher energy density versus conventional batteries, meaning they can provide more power while simultaneously being smaller in physical size.
A true win-win.
Dremel has taken their lithium-ion technology one step further, however, and the Dremel 8220 has a much longer run time as a result – 33% longer in fact versus the Dremel 8200 cordless rotary tool (which comes with an older version of their lithium-ion batteries) when cutting screws.
It’s possible to boost run time even further too, as while the 8220 tool comes with a 1.5 Ah rated battery as standard, Dremel also produces a 2.0 Ah alternative for even longer-lasting performance.
It isn’t all good news for the Dremel 8220 though when it comes to power and performance, as a disadvantage in our eyes is the fact that it doesn’t feature Dremel’s electronic feedback circuitry – a common feature on their corded rotary tools like the Dremel 4000.
The purpose of electronic feedback is to help overcome the common dip in performance that power tools experience while under load.
Thanks to this circuitry, the tools which feature it can maintain a steadier performance regardless of what task they’re completing or their specific output speed, making it easier to achieve a more consistent (i.e., better quality) finish, so it’s unfortunate that the Dremel 8220 doesn’t come with it.
Unless you’re new to woodworking or DIY in general, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that different tasks will require different output speeds from whatever power tool you’re using.
When it comes to the Dremel 8220, for example, slower speeds are better suited to operations like polishing, while you’ll need a much faster speed for tasks such as cutting or routing to be effective.
To help you achieve the best possible finish, the Dremel 8220 comes with a built-in variable speed adjuster dial located on top of the tool (see image below).
Using this, you can select an output of anywhere between 5,000 to 35,000 RPM quickly and easily by sliding the dial either forward or backward.
What’s more, the variable speed adjuster dial works independently to the Dremel 8220’s on/off switch as shown above, with this being different to a lot of rotary tools that feature a combined on/off and speed control switch (setting the speed to zero switches it off, while anything above zero switches it on).
Because of this, you can set your preferred speed with the Dremel 8220 once and leave it fixed, as switching the tool on or off won’t change it.
When you buy a Dremel 8220, you aren’t just getting arguably the best cordless rotary tool on the market; you’re also getting access to Dremel’s massive range of rotary tool attachments and accessories with which the 8220 is compatible.
For example, want to turn your rotary tool into a plunging router? No problem.
Maybe you’d like to use it as a drill press, or even as a mini-saw? Again, not an issue.
How about using it to cut perfect circles, or to sharpen outdoor equipment such as chainsaw chains or your lawn mower’s cutting blade? Yep, you can do all of that too.
Here are just a few of the accessories that you can purchase separately to boost the functionality of your Dremel 8220:
Popular Dremel 8220 Attachments:
Aside from attachments, you can also use the 8220 rotary tool with all of Dremel’s accessories (and even those made by other companies), thanks to the fact that it’s compatible with a whole host of different collet sizes.
For example, while it comes with a 1/8″ collet as standard which the majority of Dremel’s accessories fit, this can be swapped out in favor of a 1/32″, 1/16″, or even a 3/32″ collet, each of which sells separately, giving you the flexibility to use bits with various different shank sizes in the Dremel 8220.
With literally hundreds of different bit types and accessories available to cover pretty much any task imaginable, don’t be surprised if you find yourself turning to the Dremel 8220 for years to come for each of those odd-jobs, projects, and hobby tasks.
Here are just a few examples of the various bit types that are available for this model (click the image below to enlarge it):
- Carving bits – high-speed cutters, etc.
- Engraving bits – engraving cutters, etc.
- Routing bits – corner rounding router bits, straight router bits, etc.
- Grinding bits – aluminum oxide grinding wheels, silicon carbide grinding stones, etc.
- Sharpening bits – chain saw sharpening stones, etc.
- Cutting bits – carbide cutting wheels, diamond wheels, etc.
- Cleaning bits – bristle brushes, brass brushes, etc.
- Polishing bits – felt polishing wheels, polishing cloths, etc.
- Sanding bits – sanding discs, carbide sanding bands, etc.
- Drill bits – standard drill bits, brad point drill bits, etc.
The ability to use hundreds of different accessories is great, but if they’re too complicated or fiddly to fit and swap out, you’ll want to avoid the hassle of this altogether.
Thankfully, the Dremel 8220 comes equipped with Dremel’s handy EZ Twist™ nose cap to make changing bits as quick and straightforward as possible, all without the need for using the wrench that comes with each kit.
To remove a bit, all you need to do is press the shaft lock button, unscrew the nose cap, and remove the bit with minimal fuss or hassle. Fitting a new bit follows the same process but in reverse. Simple!
Dremel has made it easier to tackle intricate and fiddly tasks with the 8220 too, as the tool’s slender body has been ergonomically designed to make it as easy to hold and maneuver as possible. The housing, for example, features a built-in comfort grip to make it easier to handle and to provide you with better control in a bid to help you achieve the best finish possible.
Finally, while you could argue that it doesn’t have a direct impact on how easy it is to use, one of our favorite features of the Dremel 8220 is the fact that it’s cordless.
There’s no denying how annoying it can be having a power cord restrict where you can and can’t use a power tool, and so, we think that 8220 rotary tool is inherently easier to use, and it’s also more enjoyable in the process, thanks to this particular annoyance being removed.
Think rotary tool, and the chances are that you automatically think of Dremel.
It’s no coincidence that Dremel has become synonymous with the rotary tool. After all, they originally invented it back in 1934, and they’ve been refining and improving the design ever since.
Simply put, Dremel has a long reputation for quality and versatility that the majority of other brands can’t even come close to matching.
Trust us when we say that the Dremel 8220 both lives up to and continues this reputation, too.
For example, there’s no denying its merits in terms of quality as a result of its sturdy, durable design, while it more than stacks up in the versatility department thanks to its compatibility with literally hundreds of different accessories and attachments that you can use to tackle a virtually endless number of tasks.
Throw in other benefits such as the Dremel 8220’s powerful motor and lithium-ion battery, and don’t be surprised if it’s a tool that you find yourself relying on for years to come for all those odd-jobs, projects, and hobby tasks.
In our opinion, the only slight disadvantage of the Dremel 8220 is the fact that it comes with a brushed (as opposed to a more-favored brushless) motor and the fact that you can’t replace the motor’s brushes after they’re worn.
There’s also the risk that the benefit of the tool being cordless could lose some of its charm if you’re planning to use it heavily, as battery life could become a concern (you can always purchase additional batteries to overcome this though if needed, and to be fair, it does charge pretty quickly).
Despite this, there’s no denying the fact that the Dremel 8220 provides considerable bang for your buck, and we’d have zero issues in recommending it to DIYers, professionals, and anyone in between who’s in the market for an affordable cordless rotary tool as a result.
Still not convinced? We’ve included a summary of the various advantages and disadvantages of the Dremel 8220 cordless rotary tool below to help you make up your mind.
Dremel 8220 Rotary Tool
- It offers great value for money thanks to its low price, excellent build quality, and its almost endless array of uses.
- It’s capable of handling the bulk of your carving, cutting, drilling, engraving, routing, and sanding needs with ease on a whole host of different materials.
- It features Dremel’s next-generation high-capacity 12V max lithium-ion battery for longer run-time (33% longer than the Dremel 8200 when cutting screws, for example).
- The variable speed function allows you to change speed quickly to best-suit whatever task you’re completing (between 5,000 and 35,000 RPM), using the built-in speed control dial.
- The 8220 model’s separate on/off switch and speed control dial let you leave it set to your preferred speed ahead of your next job.
- It’s compatible with a variety of different sized bits given its collet capacity of 1/32″, 1/16″, 3/32″, and 1/8″ (it comes with a 1/8″ collet as standard).
- The 8220 model is compatible with all of Dremel’s rotary tool accessories and attachments.
- It features Dremel’s handy EZ Twist™ nose cap for faster accessory changes.
- It provides smoother and quieter operation as a result of its cool-running ball bearing construction.
- It doesn’t feature Dremel’s electronic feedback circuitry, the purpose of which is to maintain a steady speed regardless of which task you’re completing or the output speed you’ve chosen.
- You can’t replace the motor’s brushes on this model (a replacement motor is needed whenever these wear out).
Dremel 8220 vs 4000
The most apparent difference between the Dremel 8220 vs 4000 is that the former is cordless and runs off a lithium-ion battery, whereas the latter is corded.
The 4000 series model also features electronic feedback circuitry which is designed to maintain a steady speed regardless of which task you’re completing or the output speed you’ve chosen. The Dremel 8220, unfortunately, does not feature this which could impact performance.
When it comes to similarities, both models feature brushed motors, and each is capable of the same 5,000 to 35,000 RPM variable speed output to give you the same degree of customizability with each model to vary the output speed to best suit each task.
They’re also both compatible with the same attachments and accessories thanks to their similar chuck capacity (1/8″) and collet compatibility (1/32″, 1/16″, 3/32″, 1/8″).
There’s little difference between the size or weight of each model, either.
Here’s a summary of the key details for each model:
(Scroll table if needed)
As mentioned, one of the main selling points of rotary tools, in general, is how versatile and well-suited they are to performing many different tasks, and the Dremel 8220 is no different.
Obviously, specific accessories will be better suited to particular types of task, and because of this, and because every user’s needs will be different, the Dremel 8220 comes in a number of different kit types with varying accessories and attachments in each as shown by the kit numbers shown below.
A logical question would be, however, what do the various kit numbers mean?
Well, looking at the Dremel 8220-1/28, for example, this kit features the 8220 cordless rotary tool in addition to one attachment and 28 accessories.
Similarly, the Dremel 8220-2/28, for example, comes with the same 8220 cordless rotary tool as the previous kit but instead includes two attachments in addition to 28 accessories.
Here’s an overview of the various kit types that are available:
- What is the difference between the Dremel 8220 vs 4000?
- What is the difference between the Dremel 8050 vs 8220?
The Dremel 8220, on the other hand, is primarily a handheld tool given its much larger size.
Each model features a variable speed, although the Dremel 8220 is capable of a wider speed range of 5,000 to 35,000 RPM versus the 8050’s more-limited range of 5000 to 28,000 RPM.
When it comes to similarities, both models feature brushed motors, and they’re both cordless and run off a lithium-ion battery (although the Dremel 8050’s battery isn’t removable, whereas the Dremel 8220’s is).
They’re also both compatible with the same attachments and accessories, too, thanks to their similar chuck capacity (1/8″) and collet compatibility (1/32″, 1/16″, 3/32″, 1/8″).
Click here to check out the Dremel 8050 on Amazon.
- Does the Dremel 8220 feature a variable speed control?
The approximate speeds for each setting are as follows:
- Switch Setting 5 = 5,000-7,000 RPM
- Switch Setting 10 = 7,000-10,000 RPM
- Switch Setting 15 = 13,000-17,000 RPM
- Switch Setting 20 = 18,000-23,000 RPM
- Switch Setting 25 = 23,000-27,000 RPM
- Switch Setting 30 = 28,000-35,000 RPM
Slow speeds (15,000 RPM or less) are generally best for polishing operations, whereas higher speeds are better for carving, cutting, routing, shaping, cutting dadoes or rabbets in wood.
- Does it come with a brushed or a brushless motor?
- Is the Dremel 8220 cordless?
- How long does it take to charge the Dremel 8220’s lithium-ion battery?
- Can you buy additional batteries separately?
The Dremel 8200 is compatible with batteries with a capacity of 1.3 Ah, 1.5 Ah, or 2.0 Ah (the higher the capacity, the longer the battery life should be).
Here are a few examples:
- What size of bit tips can you use with it?
You can also use 1/32″, 1/16″, and 3/32″ collets, however, these sell separately.
- Is the flex shaft attachment compatible with this model?
Click here to see it on Amazon.
- Is it capable of cutting bolts?
Dremel advises using one of their meta cut-off wheels for best results when cutting bolts.
- Can it be used to cut plywood?
Dremel advises using one of their 561 multi-purpose cutting bits for best results when cutting wood.
- Does it come with a carry case as standard?
- How long is Dremel’s warranty period for the 8220 rotary tool?
Dremel 8220 Rotary Tool