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Flex Shaft Machine only $50

Harbor Freight (800-423-2567) has a flex shaft machine (order
#40432-1RHC) which looks to be about as sturdy as a fordom for
only $50. I have not ordered one for myself because I have no
need for another right now. However, anything over $50 from HF
gets FREE SHIPPING and a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

Compare that to a $300 fordom

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Ganoksin Online

It is not the same as a Foredom in quality !! but you must
consider the price differential. If you use these every day for
a living this is not for you unless you want a cheap backup. Many
of Harbor Freight asian made tools are real bargains at the sale
prices but you must remember that when you can buy 3 or 4 for the
name brand price you can not expect the same service. Jesse

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I bought the Harbor Freight Foredom like tool. I took it to some
friends to evaluate. It looks good and has a solid strong motor.
After all my tools were stolen, this was cheaper than a Blazer. I
love that store.

A friend had an Optivisor like device, showed it to me, I was
impressed, it had two sets of magnifiers, one flips back out of
the way as well as an additional attached loupe. That all on a
far lighter headpiece along with two lights on either side of the
headpiece. Where from? Harbor Freight of course, how much? try
$7.00. If gas (petrol) wasn’t $1.85 here in Paradise, I’d have
driven out already and bought one. Trouble is, I can never go
there and just buy one of anything… Teresa

I purchased one of the $50 Flex Shaft machines from Harbor
Freight. As I do most of my polishing (lots of flat planes) with
a flex shaft (Foredom, high torque gear reduction EE model) I
wanted another for backup and to permanently set up for wax work.
I have used the machine periodically. The chuck key seems to
have a strange fit, the rpm rating is lower and the plastic motor
casing isn?t impressive but I have been satisfied with its
performance. I don’t think it is nearly as sturdy as my Foredom.
But, if I had to replace my #30 handpiece and get new shafts I
would spend as much so I think it is a good investment. Linda M

You are quite correct. I offered the for those
individuals who could not or perhaps did not want to afford the
quality of a Fordome at this point. (eg: jewelry class
students, people tinkering and on a budget, etc…). And as you
mentioned, the price is perfect for a backup unit.

Companies like HF have some very good deals, if you don’t mind
taking a gamble on the Asian version. HF makes it even easier
with their 30 day satisfaction guarantee. You don’t like it,
they pay for you to send it back, no questions asked. Heck, I
just bought a 7x10 mini lathe from them. It arrived on friday.
Sure it was covered in cosmoline; sure it has rough edges and
needs a bit of work, but damn, it was $329. I also discovered
that there is a user e-group specifically geared for this lathe,
so with so much support how could you go wrong.

Perhaps there are similar egroups of other products they carry.
Who knows, but hey a new flexshaft for $50 is worth a look if
you are in the market for one.

Question for Mike Frost: I also bought one of Harbor Freight’s
7X10 mini lathes and it’s GREAT! I don’t see how they can sell it
for $329. I would like to visit the e-group dedicated to this
tool. Would you please post the URL for this group?
Regards…Bob Williams

Concerning the actual price for the $50.00 Flexible Shaft, item
40432-3VGA, a search on the Harbor Freight web site shows a
price of $65.99. Is this correct or did I find the wrong unit?
Could it be that Harbor Freight heard of our Orchid dialogue and
raised the price?

Charles Heick

I bought one of the Harbor Freight Flex-shaft tools and found
out that a number of customers are returning them because of the
motor in the pedal overheating.When I heard this before my
purchase I got an extended warranty for a few dollars more just
in caes.After using it for polishing for about 1 1/2 hours the
motor did start to overheat and put off a smell of burnt
metal.Now I could of returned it but I thought that replacing
the pedal would still be cheaper than trying to purchase a new
one.Hope this helps out… Wil/wireworks

Hello, I’ve observed the comments about Harbor Freight’s flex
shaft machine. My experience with them has been positive. I
recently bought a small drill press for $39 from HF, and since
my order totaled > $50, there was no shipping or handling! A
nice benefit. While the machine is not elegant, by golly, it
does the job of drilling holes quickly and easily. Far less
misery than trying to use the flex shaft. The only
disadvantages are that it has a fairly large footprint &
changing speeds involves moving the pulley belt. Why didn’t I
buy one sooner. (I should have spent the additional $10 to get
the keyless chuck.) I’ll probably put one of those keyless
adapters on it. Back to the flex shaft discussion. Before I
bought a Foredom unit, I ordered a flex shaft from Griegers in
Calif. Big mistake. Not only did the unit come incomplete so
that I had to return it for replacement, but the handpiece
wouldn’t hold a drill bit so that it was centered. By the time
I’d returned from a 10 day vacation and determined that I really
didn’t want this substandard flex shaft, they refused to take it
back. Even though I’d notified them in writing of the initial
shipping problem, the 30 days for return began at that time, not
from the receipt of the second unit. Also, I’d actually used
the unit (that’s how I figured out the handpiece problem!) and
it was no longer in acceptable condition. They were very rigid
about the whole thing. Anyway, you can be sure Griegers will see
no more of my $. Harbor Freight, was gracious about a return I
made and even sent a Pre-Paid (!) shipping label to use. I did
find their best response was to an email - their phone lines
seem to be always busy. I know I’ll be ordering from Harbor
Freight again. Judy in Kansas, where fall is trying to appear…
we still need rain

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Charles: You found the right price. I went to HF today to check out
this unit. Frankly I was not impressed. The 1/4 HP motor was too much
for the undersized flex shaft and the foot pedal was “cheezy” at best.
You do get what you pay for. I realize that the Foredom and Pfingst
units cost about 4 times as much but you have the advantage of a US
made unit and easy access to repair parts.

Mike & Dale

Hi! Actually the item is on sale at the catalog. Since I have been
using a Dremmel which is heavy, I called them up and asked. The item
number is the first set of numbers. If you call them and ask to place
an order using the item number Silverfoot gave us you will get the
sale price. Just ask. I ordered one and I feel like a kid near
Christmas time. I will share the results and let you know how I like

Thanks, Silverfoot and all Orchidians who so readily share your



Dear all:

There was at least one request from an Orchidian for the URL that
will take us to Harbour Freight Tools (the economy flex tool). Also,
I sent a personal e-mail to another list member seeking the URL.

After doing an Internet search myself, which took like 15 seconds, I
found the home page (now why couldn’t I have done that myself earlier
instead of firing off an e-mail???)

Anyhow, for everyone, here’s the URL for Harbor Freight Tools (the
usual disclaimers, I have no personal interest, etc. etc)

Jeff Booth
Oakville, Ontario

Judy, About Harbor Freight, I visit one in San Marcos/Escondido area
in San Diego County, California. The manager Ralph Coles is about the
most helpful, willing person to manage a store. I can spend an entire
afternoon there just going through every department and marveling at
what they have.

Chinese tools have gotten a bad press online, and insofar as Central
Tools, the quality control is obvious, the price makes even the Lathes
within reach. I know I will eventually get one and hope there is a
class to teach how to use it.

Greiger’s is long out of business. I still find packages among my
stuff with their name on it. Their reputation had been going downhill
for quite awhile.

If there is a Harbor Freight retail store anywhere near you, it is
worth a trip. Teresa

Whilst we’re on about flex shafts, I though perhaps I might mention
the little El Cheepo engraving tools sold probably around $12 - $15
in America. The things I am talking about are actually made by a firm
called ARLEC. They have a little rectifier/transformer unit that
plugs directly into a mains socket and the unit fits nicely in the
hand. They don’t have a chuck, but very many commercially made burrs
fit into the gripping device easily. I have had two in very frequent
use for about 6 years - OK, so they are a bit flimsy and mine wear
masking tape overcoats, but they still work well. I use them with 1
inch MoorPlastic sanding discs, one has a coarse the other has the
finest grade disc - and they get used for just about everything which
normally needs a small file. They were so cheap I bought them for
just that purpose, as I got fed up with changing discs all the time
in my ‘proper’ flexishaft. And whilst I am on about my flexishaft, it
has a simple finger-tight type chuck, but as one tightens it well, the
shaft rotates. There is a small hole in the outer shaft to put in a
rod to stop it rotating, So I made a little brass thumb ring with a
little brass rod sticking out which I wear on my left hand, so I can
slip it into the hole and tighten the chuck with my right hand. 2?
that’ll cost you. Cheers, – John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of
Mapua Nelson NZ

Charles, The 50.00 was a sale price, the higher was actually on the
package. Perhaps the sale was for September only. I believe they may
honor it if asked. Teresa

I purchased a flex shaft for $49.95 at a Wholesale Gem, from Macaw show in Detroit a few years ago, it is all metal, and I
love it!I NO plastic parts!!! (it used to be
if not, check Macaw tools with your web browser. They offer various
"specials" that are very economical.

John, I’ll bet there are a few of us here online that would just love
to have a brass thumb ring with a rod to insert into the hole holding
the shaft firmly.

Interested in making a few? I’ll be happy to buy one, I’m always
looking for another burr to use while I am changing burrs. Thanks,