Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Rotary Tool includes 10 Templates
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on January 2, 2005
I should be the ideal user of this tool; I've been making translucent pumpkin carvings for years. Until now, I've done so by hand, chipping and peeling off bits of pumpkin rind with a razorblade. It's a labor-intensive project, but the effect really is cool. So I was very enthusiastic when I heard about the Dremel carver, which promised to make this much easier.

Unfortunately, the result is just a lot of pumpkin mush. You cannot carve fine detail with this tool, and although it's safer than a razor blade I still don't think it's appropriate for children to carve with. The tool is heavy and awkward, and I needed to stop often to wipe away the pulped pumpkin. Even when I relegated it to its most appropriate task, thinning large areas of pumpkin rind, it wasn't a whole lot more effective or all that much easier than hand-peeling. At times it was useful for deepening peeled areas that weren't glowing enough, but for the price, I was not impressed. Next Halloween, this tool will be a little-used accessory.
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To clear things up, this Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Kit is really not a pumpkin carving kit. If that's what you're looking for, then just pass on this. However it is a decent pumpkin sculpting tool, and will do things that you just can't do with the traditional knife and spoon. It's really used to sculpt the surface, "to 'carve' layers of skin away from your pumpkin so that light will 'glow' through the pumpkin," as noted in the product description.

Just don't think that you're going to cut all the way through the pumpkin with this tool inless yopu want a mess of pumpkin puree on your hands. Cut the pumpkin with the knife of your choice, then use this to power carve the surface, to sculpt the pumpkin so that the light will glow through the remaining pumpkin flesh once you're done with your masterpiece.

It comes with ten sculpting templates and a Dremel Minimite Cordless Rotary Tool, the 6-Volt version that uses 4-AAA batteries, and is much like the Dremel Cordless Pet Nail Grooming Rotary Tool. You can comfortably and safely sculpt the surface of your pumpkin, as the two speeds (6,000 and 12,000 RPM) allow for light duty precision sculpting... one you get the hang of it. Just start simply with an easy project on a smaller pumpkin, maybe using it to 'clean up' on a regular carving.

You'll need a sharp knife or two for cutting the pumpkin, and a tablespoon (or even better, a serving spoon) for cleaning the seeds and 'guts' from the pumpkin. You may want to save the insides of the pumpkin for the seeds or other pumpkin creations (see the photo).

Pros:

- Light, easy to use
- Two-speed operation, versatile
- Accepts a variety of other Dremel attachments

Cons:

- Misleading name, it's not a carver!
- Uses more AAA batteries than one would expect

If you already own a rotary tool such as the Dremel MultiPro Cordless System w/50 Accessories, then you might want to try sculpting with some of your bits, or look for a 'pumpkin bit' like the one from carving kit.

If you're going for the 'Carving Kit' then be sure to read the directions, be patient and have a couple of pumpkins to experiment with the first time you use it. Must admit that I didn't read the instructions the first time around and managed to create quite a mess when I tried 'carving' a large pumpkin. Luckily it was outdoors, as I had a bit of a spatter mess for a few feet around. Just remember: RTFM!

As a "Pumpkin Carving Kit" this probably wouldn't have more than a 1-star rating: Dremel was wrong in labeling it as such, for it's misleading. As a properly named "Pumpkin Sculpting Kit" I'll call it a 4-star tool, but remember that it does have a learning curve.
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on October 22, 2005
The cutter is all wrong and the speed is way too fast, turns everything to mush... they obviously took an existing Dremel tool, made it orange and tried to sell it for pumpkin carving.. they should stick to metal and wood for the hobby customer.
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on October 26, 2008
Until a few years ago it used to take me four to six hours (or more) to carve a jack-o-lantern due to the fact that I liked to carve and sculpt intricate designs into the pumpkin. This was done using a combination PimpkinMasters saws and carving tools for the carved areas and an Xacto set for the sculpted areas. Then a few years ago I picked up the PumpkinMasters electric saw, which cut my carving time in half due to the facts that I didn't have to stop every so often to rest my hand and to the speed at which the saw carves.

All in all I'd say this set misses out on five stars due to having only the one bit and a battery pack that could be better designed. If it were impossible to get other bits for it (the instructions do suggest you can use other bits) then the rating would have been even lower.

So as you can imagine, I'm interested in things which make my work faster. Which was why I bought the Dremel 764-04 Pumpkin Carving Kit. I figured that it's rotary tool would do for sculpting what the electric saw had done for carving.

What you get when you get this kit is a two speed, hand-held router, a bit, and ten carving templates. The router fits comfortably in your hand, or at least it does in mine. Four AA batteries placed in a moderately easy to use battery pack mean you don't have to sit near an electrical outlet to operate it.

But I find that this set is missing something, like at least one other bit. The one that comes with it I found when I finally had the chance to try it out recently is pretty much good for only one thing. Tracing a design. I'd call the bit a pencil bit personally because it took me longer to sculpt a relatively small area than it would have if I'd used one of the chiseling tools from the Xacto set. I'm talking taking about twenty-thirty minutes with this vs just three minutes with the other. And all I really did was to peel off the outer layer of the rind, I didn't dare go to the depth I'd have prefered do to how long it took me to get rid of that much. That and the fact that with this pencil bit you've got to stop every few minutes just to wipe away pulp to see how you're progressing.

At the same time if you go too small in detail this bit is actually too large to use as it wants to obliterate the design. As this is probably the smallest bit for this tool that means that sculpting the smallest details would have to be done with something like and Xacto set.

Had a second, more efficent bit been added I'd rate this set higher than I have. As it stands, when I finished carving I did say I'd like to try it again with a different bit. The router shows great promise in my opinion. Even on low it should be able to cut times down for sculpting a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern. But it can't do that with the pencil bit they provide.

The only other problem I had was the battery pack. As I said, it's moderately easy to use, but it should be easier. It's easy enough to get it out and pop the batteries into the pack. But my problem has come in putting it back into the router. There is a slot and key design which lets you slide it into the router. The problem is there seemd to be two slots and keys, one slightly larger than the other. It's trying to figure out which is the larger so the pack will slide in and lock in place. And even when you do get it right it seems to fight you at first, causing you to take it out and try turning it around twice before it will slide and lock. Had this been designed differently the battery pack would be a breeze to use.
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on December 5, 2007
The product name is very misleading - it does NOT carve pumpkins. It has a little burr on the end of the tool that rotates around and skins the pumpkin. It is for the "glow effect" which sounds cool until you actually try it - then you end of with bits of pumkin splatter in a 3 foot radius of where you are skinning and it takes forever. I ended up using an exacto knife and razor to do most of the work and then used the Dremel for the fine tuning. Not really necessary unless you are super nitpicky (and if you already spent the money and can't return it because you opened it! LOL) The Swimway 30000 Pumpkin Power Carver at half the price is a better purchase.
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on November 25, 2007
This Pumpkin Carver should be called a "Pumpkin Skinner". It's great for patterns that call for you to skin (remove only the top layer instead of cutting all the way through) the pumpkin for a glowing effect. But I did not find it very effective for actual carving, even though I went and bought a carving bit (not included with Dremel). So: great for skinning, but only average, at best, for carving.
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on April 18, 2014
I bought this so I could get wacky with my pumpkin designs. I bought different dremel bits for it, but they never fit perfectly. At one point the whole unit seized and I couldn't get the bit out. Found out the hard way that dremel only intended you to use the bit that came with the dremel only. Kind of a waste of 20 dollars. You might want to buy a real dremel instead.
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on October 27, 2007
There didn't seem to be any reviews of the Dremel tool on fake pumpkins, so here's my two cents. I purchased the Dremel Pumkin Carver after searching for a tool built for fine detail work on the increasingly popular fake foam pumpkins, and I was a little underwhelmed. Depending on what you want to do with it, the 1/8" cutter included with the tool was a little cumbersome and best suited for removal of large areas of the pumpkin. I went out to buy separate cutters to work more efficiently. The design makes it slightly difficult maneuver in tight spaces, and the low speed only causes the tool to bounce around the face of the pumpkin, so stick with high speed for better control. Plus, while not entirely unexpected, be prepared for a lot of dust if you want to go down this road. Not a bad tool, but in the end I've gone back to the X-Acto knife to carve the fake jack-o-lantern.
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on November 27, 2007
This tool would work great for its original intent, moulding, minor sculpting, but other than that, it sucks. it over heats, drains batteries rapidly, and really doesnt like to carve pumpkins at all. the average pumpkin is b/t 1/2" and 1" in thickness, and the thicker the worse it works. i prob spent about $12 in batteries before i went and got my CORDED ROTO ZIP to finish the job. dont waste your time.
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on November 11, 2008
I purchased this thinking it would be the end-all be-all in pumpkin carving. I was really disappointed when I actually used it. It's not meant for anything tougher than slowly scraping the skin off of a pumpkin (and turning the skin into a messy pulp). Put any strain on it and it will oftentimes just cut off, so you've got to coax it back on (turn it off, wait, turn it back on again). Also I was disappointed to see it only came with one bit - if you market something as a carving tool you really should have a bit that does some carving, not just scraping. (just a note here - the package does say "Tool is intended for carving design not cutting shapes." Since I purchased this online from a site that didn't clarify this, my expectations were admittedly off. When I see something that says it is for pumpkin CARVING I think of traditional pumpkin carving. Which is, in fact, cutting a design into a pumpkin.)

BUT, once I lowered my expectations, I found it can be quite useful (albeit in only one respect). We tend to cut more complex carvings/faces/patterns in our pumpkins and I found that using the dremel to trace the pattern into the skin first made it a LOT easier to get the cuts right when I went in with the blade. It made following the pattern really easy. Just be prepared to clean up a lot of pumpkin pulp.
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