The Mini-carver is excellent for carving and shaping fine detailed woodwork. The 2 inch diameter mini-carver blade together with the 6 inch long extension neck allows rapid stock removal and access into confined areas. Uses include model-making, toy-making, pattern making and most small carving projects. It can provide precision accuracy for relief carving and allows excellent control. Complete with 2 steel blades and 4 sanders.
This is a great versatile machine. Easy to maneuver, and takes quite a bit off. Much like a mini chainsaw. There's minimal kickback, and you can carve all day without much strain. Great for detail work up to a point. You can sculpt out main forms, and use detail grinders for the delicate work. Great product all around except for its incompatibility with other grinders (for those purchasing only the head unit) due to the nut hex. I recommend purchasing the complete unit instead. While switching and changing seems like a money saving venture, it's more headache than it's worth. It takes time to change out the head, and yet before you do so, you have to purchase the correct nut, because Arbortech's nut isn't universal. Trust me, it's a hassle you don't need. On Amazon, Treeline sells the complete unit for $213 because they are the only distributor here. It's a rip off. Buy it at Bailey's. I can't provide the link due to Amazon's linking policy. Just google it. They sell the complete set there for $169. Make sure you also purchase the carbide cutter. It's super for detail work that the stock carver blade is too crude for. Good luck.
Update as of 6/24/2010: I just recently bought a replacement carbide cutter blade from Bailey's for this tool and discovered that their price for this item has increased to $239. Just a heads up for those who didn't get the chance to purchase it when the price was low. Good luck.
This is a great tool and worked just as I hoped it would. The only problem I had, was that small chips would get under the on and off switch as you would use it and then when you went to turn it off, you couldn't because the chips were plugged under the switch. I had to unplug it as it was running. This happened to me several times. Something you have to be aware of as a safety concern.
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I had read a lot of reviews on this unit and most of them seemed all in the positive. I found that the blade that comes with the unit is pretty much garbage. It burns out from overheating without much use. I will say it easy to control and does leave a nice finish but once the blade turns purple its done. Maybe its more compatible with softer woods they play it out like it goes like a hot knife through butter...I would say that might be slightly exaggerated. One guy said the carbide blade is better may try that. Its a lot of money for a sub par tool.