Pachmayrs Bench Weasel is
aptly named. Its small, maneuverable, and it gets into places ordinary tools cannot
go. Mine rests beneath the reloading bench ready to grind, cut, drill, clean, shape, rout,
polish, sand, engrave and sharpen other tools. It promises to be the perfect outfit for
virtually any type of gunsmithing, woodworking or home repair. Perfect is a dangerous
term; however, the little Weasel does perform on metal, wood, glass and plastics. The
heart of the Bench Weasel is a rotary hand-held variable speed motor with 8,000 to 30,000
rpm capability at 120V 60hz; it comes with a six foot cord, and collet capacity is 3/32 to
The little lightweight gem comes
with 86 accessory pieces including brushes, polishing bobs, drills and high-speed cutters.
There are also several grinding points of various size and shape, along with sanding discs
and drums. I especially like the cut-off wheels and arbor, but also the sanding
When the Bench Weasel arrived, I was
in the process of completely refurbishing a Marlin Model 336-A lever-action .30-30
Winchester, and the sanding discs and drums paid off immediately. I also used the larger
of the polishing brushes on a couple spots. Im looking forward to using the Weasel
as a small drill, especially with the neat Flex Shaft for detailed work. The Flex Shaft is
over 3 feet long. Like a dentists drill, the Flex Shaft puts the working part of the
tool a distance from the operating motor.
Ergonomic, I believe, is the
operative word. The Weasel handles like a pistol. The on/off switch is located where a
trigger would go, and the speed dial rests where a right or left thumb might ordinarily
find a safety catch. The tool shank is installed in the collet with, appropriately, a
collet wrench provided. The collet is removable. The collet, along with its retaining nut,
is removed for installation of the Flex Shaft, which plugs into the body of
the tool secured with a few turns on the collet retaining nut. Then the speed control
position is dialed from low to high with continuous intermediate speeds.
Naturally, the little Bench Weasel
comes with an instruction sheet along with cautions that include wearing safety glasses
for operation, properly grounded electrical outlets only, avoidance of use during wet
conditions so as not to get zapped, unplugging the tool when changing tools and
accessories, not to use grinding or cut-off wheels that exceed an inch in diameter, not
engaging the Shaft Lock while the tool is running, and to have any stock or materials
worked on secured, as in a vice, so such items will not dash away from the working end of
the Weasel toward the operator.
The variable speed function is near
the top of the Bench Weasels features, especially for working plastics that can get
hot, and also for delicate operations on any material.
Pachmayrs Bench Weasel is a
cool tool for folks who like to work on guns, be it metal or wood application. Of course,
the handyman will keep his at the workbench. Mine will remain in the handloading room.
For more information contact Lyman Products,
475 Smith Street, Middletown CT 06457; or call toll-free 1-800-225-9626; or visit its web
site: www.lymanproducts.com. - Sam Fadala