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Death of a Dremel

My last planned bit of BMOW case construction was a front-mounted LCD. This required cutting a hole for the LCD in the faceplate, as well as a gap for the wires to pass through the steel case front. Once again my trusty Dremel tool was put to use. This time I enlisted the help of my daughter to get some action photos, while I cut through the steel. Look at those sparks fly! Yee-ha!!!

I am a manly man, cutting steel! Unfortunately, moments after this photo was taken, the Dremel unexpectedly shut down. At first I thought maybe I’d blown a fuse, but the house outlet still works fine, and there’s no fuse I can find anywhere on the tool. I tried cleaning out the motor brushes, but that’s about all I could think to try. The Dremel manual doesn’t mention anything about what to do when the tool fails to turn on. I guess I killed it. At least I had the cut about 95% finished, and I may be able to finish it off by hand.

Dremel Tool: 2009-2009 R.I.P

Read 29 comments and join the conversation 

29 Comments so far

  1. pokey - March 1st, 2009 10:48 am

    Is it an AC operated Dremel? You need to reseat or replace the brushes. They’re attached to a spring behind the two screw caps on the sides. I’ve had this happen when I’ve overheated mine.

  2. Steve - March 1st, 2009 11:18 am

    Yes, it is an AC Dremel. I did try removing the brushes, blowing gently on them and into the cavity they came out of to remove any dust, and replacing them. Is that what you mean by reseating? They didn’t look obviously damaged, but I’m not really sure what I should be looking for.

    I was a little confused about how the brushes work. Each one appears to be a small magnet connected to a helical spiral of bare wire. But the wire doesn’t connect to anything, as far as I can see.

  3. Steve - March 1st, 2009 12:34 pm

    I replaced the motor brushes with new ones, but the tool still won’t turn on.

  4. Josh - March 1st, 2009 2:00 pm

    What RPM did you have your dremel at? If it was too low, you might have put too much torque on the dremel’s motor, which can cause it to over-heat and possibly break. I’ve cut pc-case steel a number of times w/o issue (usually about setting 6 or 7), but when I tried doing the same on my car, my dremel started to smoke! The smoke was the protective covering over the wound wires of the motor burning off from too much heat. That said, it still works fine (though I’m now very careful to keep it from being to near to metal filings). On another note, my robotics club has killed two Dremel brand tools and one Black-and-decker while trying to cut the steel rim of a trailer tire. Never did figure out how to fix them, only guess is that the coil wires must have fused together. =(

  5. Sebastian - March 1st, 2009 7:59 pm

    You need to disassemble dremel and get to the rpm regulator – its small board, and can be accessed when You will disconnect stator from plastic part where brushes are located – clean this and inspect for any obvious damage – its made from ceramic, so be carefull

    usually, if You’re doing lots of metal work it accomodates debree from cut metal, and rpm regulation is not working any more (its either on or off) – in Your case it might be not so simple, but You won’t know if You won’t open it
    if all fafils, it is spare part listed in Your manual


  6. Ivan - March 6th, 2009 4:02 pm

    One other possibility if the above advice doesn’t help. I had my dremel go out when I overheated it. The problem was the grooves that the brushes slide in, they had melted a little bit and as a result even though it really didn’t look like anything was wrong the brushes didn’t slide across the plastic well and didn’t make contact with the stator. I took a file and removed the surface plastic. Now it works fine.


  7. Denny - May 26th, 2009 11:05 am

    Mine just stopped and it was the motor brushes

  8. Jdubu - May 19th, 2014 12:58 pm

    I think the main problems with these is the switch, we’ve had two stop working on the multi-max. All I did is put a jumper wire across the switch and put a new in line switch on the cord and good as new.

  9. Roberto - August 27th, 2014 7:46 am

    I’ve had the same issue with my Dremel 3000, it suddenly stopepd working. So suddendly my very first thought was a fuse in the house mains. I discovered that giving a couple of strong hits at the bottom the Dremel starts spinning again for a while, then (I believe due to motor vibrations) it stops again.\Any help would really be appreciated: it’s new (1 month old) but I’m not covered by the guarantee (I lost proof of purchase, dho!) and I wish to avoid sending it to Dremel for repair.

  10. onnor bisby - January 22nd, 2015 10:10 am

    try checking the stator (the outer magnetic part of the motor) the are really shit for blowing the wire as it goes into one of the 4 connections for the variable speed contact switch. if it has you can either stretch it really gently though.or put some solder between the connection and the wire, hope this helps someone

  11. shed66 - February 15th, 2015 7:57 am

    hi, got the same problem? as onnor bisby 15/02/15.

  12. leima22 - June 6th, 2015 7:48 pm

    i have the same problem now.. i’m just cutting a piece of fruit cocktail can then suddenly my dremel 3000 stops.. and won’t turn on. 🙁

  13. Gary Munro - September 22nd, 2015 3:43 am

    Well my dremal 4000 has desired to stop for no reason do I send it back for repair or not

  14. shed66 - September 22nd, 2015 4:46 am

    I have a dremel 3000 that’s died, bought a new switch, but still no go?,its a great tool for
    modelling, but very unreliable, had to tap it several time,to get it to go? any advice would
    be good,thanks.

  15. jim nabors - November 13th, 2015 7:23 am

    My dremel 3000 will not turn the shaft at speeds of 2-6. It seems to run fine above 6, however I am not sure it is reaching maximum speed. Any ideas or advice?

  16. shed66 - November 13th, 2015 11:31 am

    hi, not been able to fix my 3000, fitted new switch! still no joy?

  17. Ken - December 27th, 2015 2:18 pm

    My Dremel 3000 still turns on, but only at the highest possible setting. It doesn’t matter what setting the switch is at, the Dremel runs at high speed.

  18. jim - December 27th, 2015 3:14 pm

    I originally purchased my dremel 3000 on ebay for parts. Once I received it and I purchases a new power cord because it came without one I found it would run but only at the speeds of 6-10. I opened it up figuring I would have to replace the switch. Could not find a switch online that matched so I called Dremel and then sent it in for Repairs. They contacted me notifying me that it was counterfeit. They treated me good but the seller was real negative about it and I found out that they are monitoring his sales now. Apparently this not the first time he sold counterfeit tools. I am doing fine now and haven’t had any issues with my Dremel.

  19. Rich Myers - February 21st, 2016 11:18 am

    Mu first Dremel Multimax overheated and quit after about 30 min into a job- removing grout. I was sent a new one and noticed that it overheated rapidly. I had to stop using it after a minute or so. Yesterday I was cutting through 1″ X 1″ pine and it started to smoke. I should not have to go through trying to fix this thing. It is hardly ever used. Basically I am out $90+. I will not purchase another dremel.

  20. shed66 - February 23rd, 2016 3:41 am

    hi, all ,bought a cheaper version of a dremel type tool! going a treat, will never buy another dremel they are crap.

  21. william huneycutt - April 10th, 2016 9:10 am

    Dremel 3000 quit working. Bumped the tool, it worked a few seconds. Replaced the brushes and the switch. Still will not turn on. I checked through the AC path, black and white wires and beyond. I can’t find anything wrong but the Dremil will not run.

  22. bruje - May 27th, 2016 2:31 pm

    Dremel 3000 it’s running but at low speed n some funny sound

  23. dave - August 17th, 2016 5:39 am

    I just got a reconditioned Dremel(MM30) FO13MM3000 the motor seams to work at all speeds the blade does not osculate when i touch the plastic I try to cut.

  24. Ruben Malinao - September 2nd, 2017 2:36 pm

    Hi fellas i am from philippines i got dremel 3000 and while i’m working on some craft it suddenly shut down well in my case i take out the plug in the outlet for SAFETY. Then i open my tool, take out the sticker first then unscrew the brushes carefully and unscrew the screws using t15 screw. Then take out the cord check it and its good. then carefully take out the switchbox the motor parts then check it.NOTE: Check the cover of the motor were you can find the part with electromagnet the one with loop of wire. Check for the loose wire usually found in four corners. then fix it. i unrecoil the wire and recoil it back then my dremel is fixed. for a noisy motor put all parts back in position and screw back the screw VERY TIGHT to reduce noise and vibration. Thats it enjoy crafting!!!

  25. Jeff - November 17th, 2017 4:50 pm

    I have the Dremel 4000. Last year I was laid off from work due to cancer and I had purchased this Dremel to use with all my acc. I use it every week maybe 10 mins. Nothing rough at all. Well today I was doing something very important and it would not cut on. Brushes were just fine, switch seemed fine. I just couldn’t believe this. It’s Dremel the only ppl that make something like this cause it seems like they sell junk

  26. Marionne Oseo - February 8th, 2018 12:02 am

    Hi im from the philippines too. sir Ruben Malinao. May I ask how many winds does the stator need for the dremmel 3000. And this has to be done manually right?

  27. Glin Skelton - September 13th, 2018 6:59 am

    Using my Dremell 3000 this morning to cut car panel & it just stopped checked the brushes , fuse& checked inside its dead very little use

  28. W Nicklaus - July 23rd, 2019 10:23 am

    This is an old thread but from my experience it is the STATOR that breaks (somehow). A simple continuity check on each side of the Stator (These coils create the magnetic field needed for the motor to work) usully finds that one side has no contimuity from connector to connector. You can usually remove one or both of the aluminum friction clips (( BE CAREFUL so you don’t lose it )) unwrap a small section of copper wire, scrape off the enamel insulation re connect if you get continuity on BOTH coils. Should run again. Good luck.

  29. Alex - December 12th, 2019 5:26 pm

    Just bypass the switch and it is working direct while the new switch arrives

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