Dremel 3000 Vs. 4000 Comparison: Which is Better?

In the next 35 seconds, this Dremel 4000 Vs 3000 comparison chart and buying guide will give you the information you need to make an informed buying decision.  

You’ve decided to buy a Dremel (or you are looking to upgrade the 10-year-old version you have), and you’ve instantly established that the 3000 and 4000 are the best choice. The fact that they are corded is going to give you the best power and unlimited run time. 

Which one is better? Is it worth the money to upgrade to the 4000?

Like any established brand, Dremel rotary tools offer different models at slightly different price points. It is a solid strategy that ensures that they can provide something for every budget and keeps cheaper tool brands from gaining a foothold in the rotary tool market.

Unfortunately, these model variants can create confusion for shoppers. Do you need to invest more for the best model they make? Would the cheaper model work just as well? Tool Tally specializes in providing tool comparisons that help you make a quick decision. 

Dremel 3000

Dremel 3000 vs 4000 comparison of the Dremel 3000 drilling a hole in a birdhouse
  • 7.5 inches long
  • 1.2 pounds
  • 130 Watt Motor
  • 1.2 Amp Motor
  • 5,000 to 32,000 RPM
  • 5 RPM Settings
  • No Separate On/Off Switch
  • EZ Twist Nose Cap for changing tools.
  • Compatible with Stationary Workstand
  • Good for cutting and standing
  • Not Compatible with All Of The Dremel Attachments 

Dremel 4000

  • 9 inches long
  • 1.4 pounds
  • 175 Watt Motor
  • 1.6 Amp Motor
  • 5,000 to 35,000 RPM
  • Unlimited RPM settings 
  • Separate On-Off Switch
  • EZ Twist Nose Cap for changing tools.
  • Compatible w/ Stationary Workstand
  • Good for cutting and sanding
  • Electronic Feedback Control
  • Compatible with All Dremel Attachments

10 Second Summary: Both variable speed rotary tools are exceptionally well made and offer similar RPMs. Both devices offer an integrated wrench system for easy bit changes. However, the 3000 version tends to “lag” when under heavy pressure and the 4,000 provides a slightly bigger motor to combat this.  The 4000 uses an electronic feedback feature to protect the motor and help the motor automatically adapt to different tasks, delivering more performance. This added control is designed to allow better precision, faster task completion and better motor life. The advantages of the 3000 are a lower price point and a slightly smaller and lighter machine. I prefer the feel of the 3000 in my hand and feel like is much more manueverable. 

Dremel 3000:
For Wood, Plastic and Light Tasks

Dremel 4000: Only if you need the added power for metal and ceramics. The added length makes it less comfortable to use

Purchasing Tip: Each model comes with different configurations of accessories. I review the various kits and give you my suggestion on the best arrangements, below. 

Dremel 4000 Vs 3000: What's The Difference Between Them?

These two versions are very similar. For example, if you compare only their RPMs, you’ll see a similar RPM range for both units. They both start at 5,000 RPM, but the Dremel 3000 caps out at 32,000 RPMs while the 4000 goes up to 35,000 RPMs.

While 3,000 RPMs may not make a large difference in the ability to carve, grind and polish, it is one of the notable upgrades that come with the newer model.

More importantly is that the Dremel 4000 offers electronic feedback circuitry. It appears that this little upgrade allows the Dremel to increase power when under load to help create more consistent speeds.

Combined with the higher power and higher peak RPMs. The Dremel 4,000 allows you to work quickly and effortlessly while automatically adjusting to the demands of your task.

Note: sanding and drilling equipment produce fine particles that are harmful to breathe and may cause cancer. Use proper eye, ear and nose protection when performing these tasks.

Performance

Image of Dremel 3000 mounted in Drill Press Workstation (optional Attachment)
Photographer Credit Aviation Metal Smith

The electronic feedback control is a significant upgrade. The Dremel has a significant design constraint in that they need to keep it small enough to be handheld, lightweight and vibration-free.

It’s not like they can just insert a 3 horsepower motor. The motor must be small enough to fit in the user’s hand.

By inventing the electronic feedback control system, Dremel can remove inefficiencies from the drill and create more consistent power. It allows you to get more power out of the same (or close to the same) space.

As a result, the 4000 series tool is the most potent line of handheld rotary tools that Dremel produces. (Dremel also has a handy cordless line of rotary tools, but the 4000 is more powerful than those.) With the 1.6 amp, 175-watt motor, this 120volt variable speed rotary tool packs close to the same power as a small blender.

Even with these upgrades, the 4000 series can be pushed past its limits and will bog down. It is important to remember that these tools operate on speed, not torque. This is especially true when cutting material. It seems to take extra patience to allow the tool time to pull itself through the material.

It’s enough of a difference that the 4000 should be the preferred choice for grinding and replacing grout or cutting tile (one of the more difficult tasks you could do with a Dremel)

If you are doing a lot of cutting, consider their miniature saws.

Switches

Dremel 3000 Speed Selector. Photo Credit Gareth Halfacree

One of the upgrades that the 4000 offers is a separate on/off toggle switch. This allows you to turn off the tool instantly, and yet be able to flip it back on and immediately pick up back at the same speed.

The other neat switch feature is that the 4000 has a spin dial that allows you to dial in the correct speed. The Electronic Feedback Control seems to allow it to offer a little more torque at lower speeds.

The 3000 only has 5 pre-set speed control settings from which to choose. It also struggles with underperforming at the lower speeds, forcing you to choose a higher RPM (which lowers precision on some tasks).

Durability

Photography Credit Will Power

Some of the other review sites mention that the 4000 offers better attachments. But from shopping both online and over at Home Depot, the attachments seem to be of very similar quality.

In my opinion, when comparing the Dremel 3000 Vs 4000, both tools offer similar levels of durability. The two biggest problems I have found with this tool is that, occasionally, fine dust can get inside the tool and interfere with the connection. Blowing it out with a few squirts of compressed air seems to fix that problem.

The other issue is the “blue wire problem” that happens when the tool is dropped. A small blue grounding wire will fall out of its spot, and the tool needs to be re-opened and the wire reinserted. It’s a rather simple fix and rarely happens.

Otherwise, both tools offer solid durability against drops and accidents. The biggest challenge is that the ads for these tools show it cutting drywall and performing a variety of other amazing tasks causing users to be overly optimistic about what the tool can do.

I had to cut a frozen bolt off of a muffler, and due to the tight space, I opted for the Dremel 3000. It did the job and quite well, but I had to be very patient with the bits as the rotary cutoff wheel took a good 5 to 10 minutes to work its way through the bolt.

Design

The 3000 is a little smaller and lighter. For users who do intricate carving work, this is a nice feature as it is that much easier to hold in hand.

However, both tools are ergonomically designed and perfect for handheld use with their 360degree grip zone too. Unless you have small hands, the ergonomics difference isn’t likely to be noticeable.

If ergonomics is the most critical feature than you might look into getting the flex shaft which gives you a pencil-like hold for fine carving. (If you are buying the 4000 kit that comes with this flex shaft included, you’ll want to buy the special stand to hold the motor while you work.)

Both of these power tools are corded. For the added power, it makes sense to invest in the corded model. But if you are always on the go, you may decide to upgrade to a cordless rotary tool instead.

Price

For the cost-conscious, the 3000 offers an insane amount of value. You are getting a tool that can — with patience — do every task that the 4000 can do.

It was an upgrade over other models of the Dremel and has been a long-standing workhorse in their lineup.

It also has a robust list of attachments that come with it.

However, the 3000 also plays an oimportant marketing role in that for only a few dollars more, you could upgrade to the better tool. This is a psychological game that big companies play, and Dremel does it as well as anyone.

If you are starting, and want your first Dremel, you won’t be disappointed with the 3000. However, if you expect to use it on a monthly basis, then it is worth the extra amount to get the 4000.

It is worth investing in the more expensive version if you want a better rotary tool, especially if you plan on keeping it for years and years.

What Other Users Are Saying

I’ve rarely had a time in my life when I haven’t owned a Dremel. So I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying these tools as the company has matured, and offered newer versions.

That said, with the internet, we can test a tool among many users. The only downside is that it takes quite a bit of time to go through all of the reviews and top pick out what the commonalities are.

I took some time to do that (3 cups of coffee worth) and came up with some uimportant points for you to consider.

The Attachments with the 4000 are better. One of the reasons people go for the Dremel is that it is an extremely versatile tool that is handy for solving all manner of problems. While the 3000 comes with a good collection of tools, it doesn’t make you fo “wow.” The 4000 brings that wow factor with added options available such as a guide for sharpening lawn mower blades.

There is also this problem with folks hating on the “new” Dremel. This is common — we always remember “older” versions of brands to be “better.” However, the Dremel 4000 seemed to have fewer complaints about the “old stuff was better.”

Additionally, the 4000 seems to be better at completing construction-type tasks such as cutting tile, cutting holes in the wall and removing grout. The 3000 seems to have a bigger hobbyist and crafter set of users who rave about the tool (although some of the dedicated crafters have upgraded to the 4000).

Rotary Tool Kits Attachment Options

One of the confusing problems with the Dremel buying process is deciphering attachments and accessories kits. (This might have been the hardest part of this review to compile.)

Note that they are labeled like this: 3000 -1/24. The “1” refers to “one” attachment (such as a high-speed cutter), and the “24” is the number of accessories (such as bits) that come in the kit.

I find that I go through the accessories pretty rapidly. This is a nice variety to get you started, but if you are doing a larger project, you will need to invest in more of the specific accessory that you need.

Note: one of my fellow bloggers or I try to check this list once a year and update it. I don’t make any claims as to the accuracy of the list. If a particular bit is significant to you, you will want to do your due diligence to make sure it is still included.

Dremel 3000 Options

#1 Dremel 3000-1/24 Kit

product image dremel 300 base kit

This is a perfect starter kit set for those just beginning with the Dremel or who are purchasing the Dremel for one specific task. The 1/24 is an excellent kit that gives you the most used tools.

Here is what you get:

  • 1 sanding/grinding guide for when you need a flat surface for
  • 1 High-Speed engraving bit
  • 2 Cutoff wheels
  • 3 different grinding stones
  • 1 bristle brush for cleaning
  • 1 steel bristle brush for deep cleaning
  •  3 felt polishing wheels and polishing compound to clean and polish
  •  2 Sanding Drums
  • 7 Replacement sanding bands
  • 3 Mandrels for attaching the various bands and bits
  • Wrench for swapping bits. (Not needed, but occasionally comes in handy)

#2 Dremel 3000-1/25 Kit

product image of dremel 3000 with extra piece

There are a few small accessory changes with this set from the 1/24. Most notably is the difference in giving up the saw attachment for a shield attachment (reduces flying dust and debris).

There are some small variants in the accessories from the 1/24 kit) such as 1 extra sanding band and no nylon brush wheel. I think we can summarize that this kit is designed for the buyer who wants to do a lot of sanding.

  • 1 shield attachment
  •  1 high-speed engraving bit
  • 2 Cutoff wheels
  • 3 Different Grinding Stones
  • 1 Steel Bristle Brush for deep cleaning
  •  4 Felt Polishing Wheels and polishing compound
  • 2 Sanding Drums
  • 8 Replacement sanding bands
  • 3 Mandrels for attaching cutting wheels
  • Wrench for swapping bits (not always needed, but handy to have)

#3 Dremel 3000-1/25 Kit With Flex Shaft

Product Image of Dremel 3000 with Flex Shaft

You are getting the same kit as above with the added Flex Shaft attachment. The flex shaft is one of the handiest tools for completing intricate work.

Most folks find that they also need something to hold their Dremel while they are using the Flex Shaft Attachment. This holder is quite inexpensive.

#4 Dremel 3000-2/28

This is my top pick of all the 3000-series kits.

This one adds a multipurpose cutting guide and some cutting bits to the 1/24 kit. These cutting accessories make it much easier for the user who wants to do more cutting into walls and plunge cuts. However, this is an invaluable attachment for all of our sites.

This one also includes more engraving and carving tools.

This is one of the most robust toolkits that you can get with the 3000 series. Would recommend this one if you are interested in the 3000-series tool.

  • Cutting Guide Attachment (adjustable)
  • Sanding/Grinding Guide (flat surface)
  • 3 Engraving Tools
  • 2 Cut-off wheels and 1 straight cutting bit (similar to a saw blade)
  • 4 Grinding stones
  • 1 Bristle Brush
  • 1 Steel Brush
  • 5 Polishing wheels with polishing compound
  • 1 Sanding drum
  • 5 replacement sanding bands
  • 3 mandrels for attachments
  • Wrench (not that you’ll need it, but handy to have)

Dremel 4000 Options

#1 Dremel 4000-2/30

(My top pick for the 4000 series is going to be the 4/34 kit that I get to down below.)

This is an excellent series to gift to any homeowner or hobbyist. It comes with a nice sampling of the most basic tools.

  • 1 Circle cutter attachment (doubles as a straight-edge guide for more professional cuts)
  • 1 flat sanding attachment
  • 1 high-speed engraver bit
  • 4 cutoff wheels
  • 1 cutting bit (similar to a saw blade)
  • 3 grinding stones
  • 1 steel bristle brush
  • 2 felt polishing pads and polishing compound
  • 1 Sanding drum
  • 5 replacement sanding bands for the drum
  • 8 sanding discs
  • 2 mandrels
  • Wrench (EZ twist tool switch makes swapping bits easy)

There are some variations of this kit that also give you the flex shaft attachment and/or a chuck attachment for converting this Dremel into a full-on drill.

#2 Dremel 4000-4/34

This one comes with more attachments, which expands the range of the tool. If you envision spending a lot of time with this tool, you’ll appreciate the extra advantages that are included in this kit.

  • 1 flat surface attachment
  • 1 Universal cutting guide
  • 1 Circle cutting guide (also can be used as a straight edge)
  • 1 Detailer’s grip for better ergonomics and control on fine work
  • 3 Cutting wheels
  • 1 Cutting bit (similar to a saw blade)
  • 4 Grinding Bits
  • 1 Nylon Brush
  • 1 Steel Bit
  • 5 Felt Polishing wheels with polishing compound
  • 1 Sanding drum
  • 7 Replacement sanding bands
  • 4 Sanding discs
  • 3 Mandrels for attaching bits
  • Wrench (EZ Nose Grip Means you only need this occasionally)

#3 Dremel 4000 6/50

This deluxe kit is what every shopper should pick up if money is no issue. With 6 attachments and 50 accessories, you are ready for any scenario (except, possibly, a zombie apocalypse).

It is one of the most economical ways to pick up all of these features. You can even get it with the drill press work stand included that turns your Dremel into a mini drill press.

  • 1 Flex Shaft Attachment
  • 1 Circle Cutter (which also works as a Straight Edge Guide)
  • 1 Sanding/Grinding Guide
  • 1 Basic Cutting Attachment
  • 1 Shield Attachment for reducing dust spray
  • 1 and Lawn Mower and Garden Tool Sharpening Attachment.
  • 3 Carving Bits
  • 11 Cutting wheels
  • 1 cutting bit (similar to a saw blade
  • 6 Grinding Stones
  •  1 Nylon brush
  • 2 Steel bristle brushes
  • 5 felt polishing wheels
  •  1 polishing compound
  •  3 sanding buffs
  • 1 sanding drum
  • 6 replacement sanding bands
  •  6 sanding discs
  •  1/8 inch drill bit
  •  3 mandrels
  • Collet (chuck) for attaching drill bits
  • Wrench (for if you need it) to swap bits

Conclusion

The Dremel 3000 is an incredible budget tool for the home hobbyist and crafter.

The homeowner who is hoping to use the tool in their shop or as a remodeling tool, will appreciate the higher power of the 4000 series and its ability to remove grout and cut tile (plan on buying extra wheels).

About Zachary Drumm

Hey! My name is Zachary Drumm! I have a great passion for blogging and trying new things. This site allows me to try these tools out, piddle around in the garage, and create fresh content for this site. When it comes to tools, home improvement, and being a "shade tree mechanic," you've come to the right spot.