Dremel 4000 vs 8220 Rotary Tool: Which One’s Best?

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The Winner (#1)
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
The Runner-up (#2)
Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
Model
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
User Rating
The Winner (#1)
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Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
Model
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
User Rating
User Reviews
The Runner-up (#2)
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Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
Model
Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
User Rating
User Reviews

For today’s competition, we are pitting the Dremel 4000 corded rotary tool against the Dremel 8220 cordless rotary tool. It’s no contest: buy the Dremel 8220. (Okay, opening with a touch of humor.) It is true that cordless tools seem to be the better choice in portable hand tools. We even came across a battery-powered 12” table saw the other day! It’s surprising to see batteries in such a high power-demand tool.

When it comes to runtime, a corded tool is always going to win out. If you have projects and commitments you must meet, losing production time over battery charges is unacceptable. It can also be annoying if you are trying to get the job at hand done in as little time as possible. The Dremel 4000 is going to be the best choice.

There are some similarities between the two tools. For example, both use the same process to change work attachments and accessories like drill bits, burrs, drum sanders, and so forth. This collet system allows you to use all the existing Dremel attachments, creating savings when you already have attachments in your shop.

The 8220 is going to shine brightest for you if you love cordless tool options for the freedom they give in working where 120 VAC power is not available or in awkward areas. We understand the appeal!

Dremel 8220 for wood

What are the differences between them?

Time now for another edition of tool-on-tool cage match, where the venerable corded 4000 squares off against the upstart cordless 8220. On-scene reporters overheard the 4000 smack-talking the 8220 about staying power. We think this promises to be a great match.

Able to accessorize – It’s a tie

Everything one tool can do, the other can do just as well when it comes to what you can connect its “business end” to for getting work done. This is a good thing for you because you are not sacrificing flexibility over a choice between corded and cordless.

Dremel 4000 in wood

Price – This round ends in another draw

Look around, and you will find the two tools at similar prices. Purchasing kits will change the actual cost, so choose wisely to get the best value.

Ease of handling – Point to the 8220

Cords are always getting in the way! Yes, that is an exaggeration. Cordless offers a tremendous range of motion so you can “attack” your project from every angle. The 4000 is slightly heavier (.86 vs .72 pounds) but it is sleeker and easier to hold than the 8220. Still, point to the 8220.

Dremel 8220 for metal

Design – Partial point to the 4000

People always recommend looking for a surgeon with small hands. The 8220 is a bit “clunkier,” meaning it may be more difficult for someone with smaller hands to use, great surgeon or not.

Quick Rundown of the 4000:

Sale
Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
477 Customer Reviews
Dremel 4000-4/34 High Performance Rotary Tool Kit...
  • High-performance motor for maximum performance at all speeds
  • Cord length:6 feet.Electronic feedback for consistent speed under load
  • Variable speed provides maximum control and precision

From the direct descendant of the original “Moto-Tool” we offer:

Pros
  • Sleeker overall shape
  • Never needs a recharge
Cons
  • The cord can be an issue in certain situations

Quick Rundown of the 8220:

Sale
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
1,312 Customer Reviews
Dremel 8220-1/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool
  • Compact size and weight allows access into tighter areas and reduces user fatigue
  • This product is made of high quality material
  • Can be used with all Dremel accessories and attachments

And now it’s the 8220’s turn:

Pros
  • Cordless, oh, the freedom, baby
  • Excellent run time on the battery
Cons
  • Work stoppage due to recharges

What the Users Say

How can you even compare a corded tool to a cordless one? It’s difficult but not impossible. As the old saying goes, “We do the difficult immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.” Let’s enlist some input from people out there in the digital tool-verse to weigh in with their thoughts on the good points of each tool and their respective warts.

Up first, the 4000. People who own this tool love its versatility and its ability to complete every task they tackle with it. It is a great reflection of Dremel’s quality, evidenced in the rugged build and excellent fit and finish.

The last point to highlight is, at the risk of sounding repetitious, value. Both tools are reasonably priced and well within reach of most people looking to expand their tools and capabilities.

Now, the 8220. Users express delight with the fact that the 8220 is as powerful as earlier corded versions. They are equally as happy with the quality, and versatility is a no-brainer as both tools accept the same loadout at the “business end.” Of course, cordless-ness generates rave reviews. That’s why people buy cordless in the first place.

Where are the “warts” with these tools in the eyes of their beholders? Both suffer from issues regarding early failures with the variable speed selectors, and there are also some issues with shaft locks sticking. When it comes to the motors, users do experience failures. Time to exercise your warranty rights if these things happen.

On the 8220 front, issues with charger failure and battery issues emerge. In particular, there are issues with chargers not working and with batteries providing little runtime or no power at all. For a rather picky complaint, we present users dissatisfied with the fact that the case does not hold as many accessories and attachments as older Dremel cases. Fortunately, it does have provision for a second battery!

Conclusion

We are going to recommend the cordless 8220 with one caveat: buy an extra battery or a kit that includes two. With a projected recharge time equal to or less than the runtime expected, you may never have to take a break from your project until it’s time for dinner. Adding a Dremel to your workshop is a must and, in this case, adding a cordless model makes complete sense. Mr. Spock would approve of the logic.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!