The Rockwell SoniCrafter - Review
By: The Working Man
Nearly every woodworker or craftsman has or at least knows
about the Dremel tool, which for years has filled the niche
for a multi-tool that was able to do fast and detailed work
on small items or in close quarters.
But now some new and interesting competitors have come on
the scene. One of the most compelling is the Rockwell
Sonicrafter, which is engineered in Germany and manufactured
in several countries including the USA.
This handheld and easy to manage electric multi-tool will do
scraping, sanding, cutting, sawing, rasping and many other
projects with an assortment of up to forty-eight available
attachments plus pre-cut sandpaper.
Some tasks we did successfully with the SoniCrafter:
* Trimmed the bottom of a door where it hung.
* Plunge cut a hole in wall paneling to add an electric outlet.
* Cut sheet metal to repair lawn furniture
* Cut carpet
* Scraped and cut up old vinyl floor tiles
The most interesting feature to us is the fact that the
Rockwell Sonicrafter doesn't do the job by the usual rotary
action that can cause excessive vibration and make it hard
to do careful detailed work without slippage, and it doesn't
throw shavings about. (It comes with a dust collection
attachment, in fact.)
Rather that rotation, it uses side to side oscillation of
the work head at from 11,000 to 20,000 times per minute,
cutting or sanding quickly and giving you more control when
cutting or sanding.
Another thing we liked, since we are both "lefties" and
"righties," is the neutral switch location for easy access
with either hand. We also like the comfortable rubber grip.
On the negative side, this tool gets uncomfortably warm with
much use, and the connector for the attachments could be
made more securely.
The price is competitive with other handheld multi-tools we
checked, at around $120 to $160 for the tool alone, and it
comes in a nice, sturdy case. Most of the optional
attachments cost around $20, and you can buy the tool in a
set with the most common attachments if you wish.
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