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Choosing a quick change flexshaft hand piece

I am looking for advice on quick change hand pieces for my flex
shaft. I am an amateur jewelry maker, so tool changing speed isn’t
the issue. I am looking for a slimmer profile than the #30 gives me.
I want to use it primarily for stone setting with my new Foredom LX.
I intend to retain my #30 on my CC unit. I realize I am limited to
3/32 shafts but for stone setting that works for me. I feel a smaller
profile would help my line of sight when working with small setting

The currently available hand pieces run from a low of about $65 for
the Foredom model #20 to $200 for the Italian made Farro, AKA Foredom
model #10. While I’m not opposed to spending the $200 the question I
have is in you experience do you get what you pay for? Any
observations or advice based on your experience as to what model or
models I should consider would be greatly appreciated.

Also I have never worked with a hand piece that has a duplex spring.
Would you recommend one? I understand they are subject to failure if
misused; again I would deal with that if their functional advantage
out weighs this drawback.

Thank you in advance for any help.
Mike Callihan

Not to hijack the topic, but this is pretty related… How well does
the Foredom #18 quick change handpiece perform? The push-down lever
intrigues me, but the people I know with quick change handpieces all
use the swivling side-lever type.

Willis Hance

Hi Mike,

I used to use a duplex spring on 2 of my Foredoms. However after
replacing both of them due to failure I discovered another solution.
I replaced the sheath over the flexshaft with the neoprene sheath.
It’s much more flexible than standard sheath that comes with the
flexshaft. The neoprene sheath is item ‘L’ # 117-556 in Rio Grande’s
2007-2008 tool catalog.


Pfingst, Faro, Foredom all make about the same type quickchange,
I’ve used all three, no meaningful difference I could discern. I do
very much however prefer the type with a lever action as opposed to
the push-pull type. I found the collets on push-pulls tend to slip
before too long.

Also I have never worked with a hand piece that has a duplex
spring. Would you recommend one? 

Yes, for setting a sensitive feel is handy. But for heavy work they
sometimes bind up. Buy a few extra springs anyway.

Hi Mike,

I love my #20 handpiece. It fits my hand perfectly, i like that the
bur is in the collet deeper than it fits in the #30 handpiece
(having the bur closer to my hand gives me more control). I also like
the ‘facets’ around the collar - an easy, good place for me to put my
index finger, so I can guide the bur around.

I have, but do not like the handpiece with the duplex spring, it
gets overheated.

When using a quick change handpeice, remember to always leave a bur
in the chuck (hint: read the directions!) even when you are not
using it. Have a great day!

Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the

Hi Mike-

I too, have been trying to find a good quick-change handpiece. I
used to use the Faro, but while I was out of the biz for about 8
years, seems they have cheapend it. Now, I have been thru no less
than 3 Faro’s in two years. They get to where they simply don’t want
to release the shafts & are wobbly. I tried the Foredom at the
suggestion of Gesswein’s tech person, only to quickly discover it was
wobbly & also did the ‘no release’ trick. One Foredom (of the at
least two I’ve ordered) began doing this the DAY I recieved it.

Thru all this, I have been in contact with the tech people and sent
a couple back to the Faro manufacturer. They have accused me of
forcing larger shafts into the handpiece (which I am not stupid
enough to do), told me that there must be something held in the
collet at all times or the collet will have problems (which is not
mentioned in any of the literature that comes with the handpieces).
A bench jeweler friend of mine told me to just rap the stuck bur
shaft against the edge of my bench to get it to release, but I dont
really feel this is the ideal solution!

I, too, will be happy to see what handpiece(s) others suggest, as I
am in need of a smooth-running, reliable one. And p.s.- I like having
the duplex spring- I think it gives me more flexibility and helps
with the pulling on my hand…

Tracy Brown

The duplex spring seems like a great idea but, after owning several
handpieces–hammer hp’s, quick change, etc.-- with and without the
spring, I’m opting for without. In the case of the hammer hp, unless
your shaft is hung quite high (which is easy when you have several
shafts, one dedicated to the hammer), the spring bends at way too
sharp and angle. They are designed to take the weight off the hp but
I find it turns out to have pretty much the opposite efect.

The other problem: the Epilady effect. Those springs will grab hairs
from your arm, beard, bangs-- what have you-- and rip them out. Ouch.

Take care,

I too, have been trying to find a *good* quick-change handpiece. I
used to use the Faro, but while I was out of the biz for about 8
years, seems they have cheapend it. Now, I have been thru no less
than 3 Faro's in two years. 

For stone setting I primary use gravers, so mostly I use a regular
Foredom chuck. I bought a no name lever handpiece from Landa about 25
years ago. Same like now, there were complains about hand pieces, so
he decided to launch his own line. He sold me one for $20.00 to try it
out. I am still using it, but the line did not go anywhere. I bought
Faro handpiece about a year ago and it is already junk. I would like
to have a quality handpiece on which I can rely on. If someone knows
any names, please speak out. I am looking for handpiece which performs
under wide range of speeds, especially in low range.

Leonid Surpin

They get to where they simply don't want to release the shafts &
are wobbly 

I had a spate of the sticking problem. The fix was to take apart the
nose of the unit, clean it, and just the smallest amount of
lubricant. Every time you insert a bur there is the chance that
benchdust gets in there too so over lubing is not good cuz the crud
will stick to the oil. I’ve never had the handpiece itself wobble,
for that I would look to the duplex spring or the flex shaft. Also
check the wear on the sleeve/key that connects the motor/shaft and

Its a good idea to once in a while clean the shaft in solvent then
re-grease it. A little particle jammed between the coils can make
the shaft seem to vibrate under load.