Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit: Does it Work?

Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit: Does it Work?
By: Lauren Keith

If you walk through the Heartland Newsroom, you'll see several jack-o-lanterns this time of year with Heartland News anchors' faces carved into them.  The person responsible for the decorative displays: Tye Smith.  He carves for fun, but for his paycheck, he produces some of our daily newscasts.
Tye knows what he's doing when it comes to carving pumpkins, so will he toss aside his craft knife for the new Dremel carving tool?
"The bit is twice as big as the letters," notes Tye as he holds up the Dremel to the tracing pattern.
He's skeptical this tool will make intricate cuts, but he likes the tracing patterns included in the kit.  The tool runs on four AA batteries. 
"Time to make the first incision," says Tye.
"Good so far," he notes as he places the Dremel carving tool along the pattern next to the pumpkin.
He worries this battery-powered tool won't cut deep into the pumpkin.  It's recommended you clean it out so the pumpkin's edge is about a half-inch thick.  Ours is thicker than that to start, but Tye says he'll go back with a knife if he needs to.
By the way, the drilling is going just fine, and Tye has the proof.  He's up to his elbows in orange pumpkin bits that spray him as he carves! 
"It's like woodworking.  You can't control where stuff goes," says Tye as he continues carving.
This tool certainly clears out the pumpkin, leaving a really nice cat pattern in its place.
"I'd recommend playing music with this because it sounds like you're at the dentist office!" laughs Tye.
He's making progress on the jack-o-lantern.  He also makes a great point: after going through the trouble of carving faces, you might want to preserve your work.  That's why he often uses Hobby Lobby's brand of foam pumpkins that don't rot like real pumpkins.
So, let's see if the Dremel works on that, too.
"Yeah, it won't be a prob!" says Tye as he carves right through the foam pumpkin.
Not only is Tye artistic, he's also meticulous.  So, I send him home to finish up both pumpkins. Right now, he's not sure this tool is any better than his regular craft knife.
"I'd go with maybe a 'C.'  It does what it claims to do, but it's not going to necessarily give you the best jack-o-lantern on the block," says Tye.
However, the next day when he returns to the newsroom...
Not only is the spooky cat finished on the real pumpkin, he also made quite an indention on the foam pumpkin.  Yup, he traced my face on the fake pumpkin.  I'm not sure that's quite a sight to see, but the Dremel Carving Tool worked just fine.
He also likes the tool a lot better now.
"I won't completely throw out my old carving knife, but I will use the Dremel in conjunction with it.  It really clears out a pumpkin and quickly.  I'd go with a 'B' now," he says.
Tye and I agree the Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit may not make the most intricate cuts, but it can certainly clear out a pumpkin quickly, allowing you to trace most pictures.
The $20 Dremel carves a "B" on this Does it Work Wednesday test.  You can find it at most Target and Lowes' stores, but hurry...I've seen it on the clearance rack now that we're edging closer to Halloween.