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Almost everyone I know has at least one version of a Dremel rotary tool in their arsenal of tools, so when Dremel sent me one of their new Trio units to test out I was pretty excited. They claim that the Trio has “360 degree cutting technology”, which means that it can cut in any direction, no matter how the tool is orientated. Dremel also calls the Trio part sander, part mini rotary tool, and part jigsaw, but how well will it actually do all of those things? Will the Trio be a replacement for any of those tools, a nice compliment, or will it just sit in its case collecting dust? hit the jump to read the full review. Compare this with our RIDGID JobMax review for your tool upgrade. And, if you want to upgrade your tool arsenal, you need to read our best tools review.
As a homeowner there are always little jobs and projects to complete, and the ability to use one tool to do the work of many would be a great boon – however as I quickly learned just because something can do something, doesn’t mean that it should. To start out with, I was remodeling my bathroom, and wanted to put a wood border around my new vanity, so this was the perfect opportunity to test the jigsaw functionality of the Trio.
I found that the jigsaw area is where the Trio truly excelled rather quickly when I wanted to cut a rectangle out of a board. With a normal jigsaw, if you wanted to cut out a shape from inside of a piece of wood, you would have to first drill a pilot hold, and then insert the jigsaw blade in the hole to cut. With the Trio, you just plunge and go – rather than using a drill and then a saw, you just use the Trio, and you don’t even need to change the bit. You definitely need to watch the speed you set it at though, because high speeds just rip through soft wood.
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After that, I needed to sand down a bit (because I had the speed a bit too high for my first cuts), so I used the Trio for that as well. It really performed as well as I expected it to – every other Dremel rotary tool does sanding though, so it’s no real surprise they got that right. With the Trio you could potentially get rid of your other rotary tools though – I was even able to knock the tips off of a few nails that were too long for my deck with no problems.
Speaking of my deck, I wanted to try the router function there, and here’s where my issues with the Trio come into play. Every company that makes router bits makes them with a 1/4 inch shank – Dremel in their infinite wisdom decided to make the Trio take a 3/16 inch shank. Even more irritating, Dremel themselves make a six piece routing kit, but the kicker is that the kit is for the normal Dremel tools and all the bits have a 1/4 inch shank! I did manage to get one of the tiny routing bits they make for the Trio, and it does work, but that’s the one area you would be better suited just buying a standard router.
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Overall, the Trio by Dremel is a pretty good tool, and would be well suited in any DIYer’s toolbox. While it’s only 2 amps, it gets between 10,000 and 20,000 RPMs depending on what power setting you use. That’s plenty strong enough to tackle most light jobs, but you just need to remember that while the Trio can do the work of all three other tools, it won’t be able to completely replace them for the heavier stuff.
I give the Trio by Dremel a 3 out of 5 because while it’s nice to have one tool to do multiple things, sometimes it’s not practical.
You can purchase the Dremel Trio from Amazon for $80.44