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Kickstarter: Wowstick – Powered pin vice for hobbying?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  refersent 1 month, 1 week ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    Not gonna lie, not the greatest fan of the name but this caught my attention:
    A miniature hobby drill with a powered motor. Seems like a neat idea, especially for those of us with variously failing joints.
    A fair few comments in the Q&A conforming that this will work on things like pewter and resin.

    Thinking about backing this as, even it doesn’t let me use all the attachments I have, it might extend the amount of time I can spend on work that requires drilling.



    Cult of Games Member

    A pen drill. The idea is great and the asking price of ~50€/GBP/USD isn’t bad but I can see some flaws in this.

    Durability: drilling takes a toll on the motors so they will not last long if they are build this small (at this price)

    Runtime: again the physical size that makes it look good brings a flaw. A small battery that will be drained faster then you wish.

    If that thing get’s made and we have tests on how good it is I might be very tempted. Until then I use my off-brand Dremel with a long extension.



    Cult of Games Member

    @sundancer I’ll let you know when I get mine.  I have a dremel but I like the idea of something smaller.


    Cult of Games Member

    @jodain I got to thinking much the same over lunchtime. I have a dremel but I am often reluctant to use it on the likes of plastic and resin for fear it’ll shred right through or it’ll veer off and make a hole to big.

    This feels like it could do well for the softer materials and keep the big boy for tougher stuff like metal and stones. It’s a bit of a big boys toy but with the early bird price, I think I am making my peace with getting one.
    Just going to treat it like an assisted pin vice rather than a miniaturised drill if that makes sense.


    Cult of Games Member

    And another thought: it has no speed adjustment so you can’t adjust for different materials. (Also the specs pages says 2 hours battery life. That is not very long)

    Since they did prototypes I think they could have gained a lot more attention if they had shipped some prototypes to hobbyists to let them test and review that thing.

    It’s a nice idea if the execution is well done.


    Cult of Games Member

    First red flag : kickstarter project type

    It is an electronics project. Even with a fully functional prototype things can go wrong very quickly.

    Second red flag : estimated cost
    They ask for 5000 $ and have 3 people working … what the heck are they going to do if they encounter setbacks ?
    What exactly are backers paying for ? Effective cost must be ridiculously low if they can sell a 50$-ish item and have money to produce +/- 100
    I kind of doubt margins on this kind of product are that good … the Chinese would be flooding the market if that were true 😉
    Remember : they only have a prototype at this stage !

    Third red flag : status and quality of previous projects.
    Similar ideas (battery powered gadgets) and backers complaining about not receiving product as well as low quality.

    Final red flag : the competition
    Dremel Lite 7760
    2 hours battery life
    Do they really think they can compete with *that* ?
    I doubt they can do anything other than cardboard …
    50$ …

    If it sounds too good to be true … it probably is.
    You can not break the laws of physics and they’d have to break at least one to make this a useful gadget when you look at the competition who have been making this type of tool for more than a few years.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  limburger.

    Cult of Games Member

    Is it weird that they have limited slots for every tier? I know some kickstarters promise everything and a packet of crisps and spend ages in production queues but I have never seen a kickstarter with a finite number of backers.


    It sounds like a good idea for sure, for ~£30 I’m willing to give it a shot.

    The comments on the previous KS look quite positive actually, answers to questions, positive feedback from users.


    Cult of Games Member

    (hmm … looks like my internet didn’t want me to answer yesterday. I hope I can remember everything I wrote )

    I think limiting the amount of product a kickstarter needs to make is a great idea.
    Being too successful can be deadly (as we saw with Dropfleet commander … ).

    @nighthaunter666 it is your money but I wouldn’t do it for the simple fact that there are comparable device out there (the Dremel Lite is in the exact same price range).
    Those devices are bigger than that ‘small’ pen they show, but with mechanical devices there usually is a damned good reason (= physics).

    Disclaimer : I do not own a Dremel and I have no relation with them in any shape or form.

    The Dremel doesn’t look quite as ‘easy to use’ as a pen … but you’ve also got to remember you’re dealing with a device that is spinning a pointy bit at a few thousand rpm. You need something to hold on to, especially when dealing with materials that could grab onto the bit … so there is a bit of safety to consider as well.

    That doesn’t look too bad to be honest.

    And an Adam Savage video just for fun

    (and the internet groaned when he refered to his tool as a Dremel Proxxon … :D)


    Cult of Games Member

    This is one of the things I really appreciate about these forums – good discussion and alternative options. I’m a cheapskate so I wouldn’t have bought this on KS but that Dremel Lite is making the Wish List


    Cult of Games Member

    I must admit that I get what the ‘wowstick’ is trying to do, because a battery powered pin vice would be great for those of us with less strenght/control in our hands.
    However I suspect that pure physical (and therefor practical) limitations there’s a reason these don’t exist.

    I think a dremel (or a clone like the Proxxon) in some sort of vertical drill-press (sp?) is a better solution.
    It’s not going to be cheap, but I think it will be more precise than anything a pin vise could do.

    I know I can drill barrelholes with a pinvise, but finding the center is the hardest part.


    I have a corded Dremel-style drill, I can’t use it on models because it doesn’t hold the drill bits precisely enough (they’re just a little off centre) and I can’t run it slowly enough for precise control, even the slowest speed is quite quick. And being large, it is also heavy and therefore more difficult to manipulate for precise use.

    So I don’t use it for drilling minis. I’m ready to try something that looks better suited.


    Cult of Games Member

    I’m on my second Dremel. The first was a battery job and I hated it running out of juice at the wrong moment. I’m much happier with my mains Dremel. It’s great on low speeds for plastic and resin.


    Cult of Games Member

    I run a Dremel clone with a “snake neck” attachment – it’s perfect for drilling with tiny drills; I use it for PCBs mainly, and drill as small as 0.3mm without problems (though my main drill bit is 0.8mm). It makes short work of plastic/resin (it’s main purpose is to drill copper-clad resin-bonded paper sheets) but it a million times more controllable than a Dremel in a vice or stand.

    My entire set-up cost a fraction over £50 – thirty for the drill, fifteen for the long neck attachment and drill bits are about £7 for 50 (refurbed CNC drill bits).

    I’ve made no end of different spindles for CNC machines from all kinds of different motors – this prototype doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. It might be a nice little gimmick, usable even. But I doubt it can hold a candle to a Dremel with a snake neck attachment!


    Cult of Games Member

    I run a Dremel clone with a “snake neck” attachment

    Same, very useful but a bit loud. Though that might be because it’s old and was very cheap.

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