Saturday 15 May 2021

Cordless Mini Grinder

I have used a small model making drill since first starting out in this hobby. My first drill (which I still have) was a 12V powered drill designed for electronic circuit board work. It served me well and still works to this day despite being almost 30 years old. I decided to retire it because of the shear bulk and weight of the drill and its transformer. I suppose like most model makers the natural choice of upgrade was the Dremmel corded variety of "mini drills" that were very popular when they first arrived on sale. Again while being extremely well made and useful it was still a bulky bit of kit and even when using the flexible extension arm I still had an issue with the room taken up by the main unit, power requirements and the length of the flexible arm. As if that wasn't enough it was bloody noisy as well!

Fast forward a great many years and whilst browsing on Amazon for nothing in particular (it was a VERY slow day) I came across a cordless mini grinder on sale for £20 by a company called Tacklife. This is a hand held, rechargeable grinder via USB that also comes with a small selection of tools and colletts. I thought for that price I had to get it. 24hrs later and I was eagerly ripping open the box with a smile and voila one mini grinder!

I'll start this review with a quick reality check: If you intend on using this as a direct replacement to a mains powered Dremmel like grinder and expect it to perform in the same way then you will be disappointed. It does not have anywhere near the power or torque of a mains powered device. If however you are expecting to use this exclusively for model making then it will be one of the most useful tools in your model making arsenal. The battery life is fantastic, the tools are great and easy to replace from a multitude of sources and it’s lightweight, easy to handle and even has three speed selections. The motor while of course still noisy (it’s a grinder after all) is a hell of a lot quieter than a Dremmel like tool. The motor is designed for RPM rather than torque but I have found that for use on plastic and resin it has more than enough torque to comfortably drill holes, grind etc. I've included a photo of what you'll get when you buy it (photo from amazon) and a link to the tack life website that describes the technical specifications etc (if that's what floats your boat). At the time of writing this review they are currently £25 delivered from


There are loads of other different versions of this type of grinder from a multitude of websites and manufacturers and in all honesty I would imagine that they are probably of the same quality. The only caution that I would take would be to pay attention to the size of the battery in terms of its duration of use. Other than that, for model making tools I would comfortably advise anyone who makes models to invest in one these wonderful little machines as part of their "go to" items for making a kit. 

As always I would love to hear your thoughts on one of these tools if you already have one or if you have bought one based on this review.

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