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Flex shaft Quick Release Handpiece

I am considering buying a quick release handpiece for my Foredom flex
shaft. One of the main uses for it will be stone setting, requiring
me to change burs frequently. I have used the Foredom #18 before and
thought that it worked quite well. I have also heard that the
Technique handpiece sold by Rio Grande is very good. Main criteria
for me are… must be compatible with my Foredom flex shaft,… bur
changes should be easy on the hands and fingers to avoid fatigue…
cost should be moderate ie in the range of about $100 US which is the
approximate cost of the #18. What have others used. What can you
recommend.

Regards
Milt Fischbein
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Foredom has a new quick change handpiece the No.20, like all quick
change handpieces it accepts 3/32" or 2.35mm accessories only. It is
priced under $80.00 and many equipment dealers have it in stock but
since its new has not made it into their catalogs yet.

I have used the Foredom #10 rapid-release handpiece for many years,
and it has held up very well. I wonder, though, if some of the others
with different types of levers are easier to operate. I have to reach
back to turn the lever 90 degrees to change burs. It looks like the
big levers on some of the other units may be easier. Can anyone
comment on this?

I would never want to give up having a rapid-release handpiece. It
makes work so much easier. But I also have a #30, because other
tools fit on it.

M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
Goodland, MN
www.craftswomen.com

Foredom #10 is an excellent unit. Has been around for years. Lots of
parts available.

Ball bearing construction & excellent size to hold for setters. NY
City’s most popular handpiece. Techno and all others are far far
behind in number of units sold.

It would be my 1st choice as a quick release Handpiece for setting.

Kenneth Singh

Hi Milt,

I purchased the Technique handpiece recently from Rio Grande and I
love it. I do stone setting but mainly polishing with my Foredom and
I bought the handpiece so I can do rapid bur and polishing wheel
changes. The main reason I went with the Technique handpiece is that
you can change burs while the handpiece is still running. When you
flip the lever on the handpiece, the collet holding the bit is
disengaged & when you flip the lever pointing up or down, the collet
engages. I have used quick change handpieces in the past from Foredom
& you had to wait till the bit stop spinning before you could change
it. My only regret with the Technique handpiece is that I had
purchased it years ago. I still keep my #30 handpiece around for
using bits that are not 3/32".

M’lou

You have confirmed what I suspected. From the photos that I have
seen of the #10 hand piece it looks cumbersome to operate. I have
used a #18 hand piece and I like where the lever is located, but I
find that the burs are sometimes hard to remove from the hand piece.
Could be that it was just a very old handpiece and needed some
maintenance. The other one that I have heard of is the one made in
Switzerland by Technique. The Rio catalogue says that you can open
the quick release even while the tool is still spinning, which you
can not do with theForedom #18. Has anyone used this handpiece? Is it
compatible with the Foredom flex shaft?. Any other suggestions for a
quick release hand piece?

Regards
Milt Fischbein

Hi Milt,

  I have used a #18 hand piece and I like where the lever is
located, but I find that the burs are sometimes hard to remove from
the hand piece.

I’ve got a #18 handpiece as well & have noticed the same thing,
occasionally burs are difficult to remove.

I’ve found that pressing the release lever down all the way & then
pushing the bur in a little farther usually makes it easier to
remove.

Also, keeping the collet system clean helps.

Dave

Here’s how I clean my #18 handpiece.

  To clean the collet the handpiece needs to be partially
  disassembled. 

  1. Remove the  aluminum  nose piece from the handpiece. This
  can be done by holding the black portion of the handpiece
  securely & gripping the 2 flat spots on the nose piece with a
  wrench or pliers .Turn the nose piece counter clockwise to
  loosen it. Once it's loosened, it can be unscrewed with the
  fingers. When the aluminum colored nose piece is removed
  another nose piece will be exposed. 

  2.. The newly exposed nose piece can also be removed by
  unscrewing it (counter clockwise). 

  3. Note the hole through the handpiece just behind the lever.
  While holding the body of the hand piece, & watching this
  hole, turn the exposed nose piece until you can see through
  the hole. 

  4. When the hole is clear, insert a metal rod so it goes all
  the way through the handpiece. The hole is just the right size
  for a bur shaft. 

  5. Using a wrench or pliers loosen & remove the 2nd nose piece
  by unscrewing it (counter clockwise). 

  6. After the nose piece is removed, a collet will be exposed.
  Remove the collet from the handpiece. After removal,
  thoroughly clean the inside of the nose piece. 

  7. Upon removal, the collet will be found to be a double ended
  collet.. The odds are there will be an accumulation of metal
  filings & other debris in the slots of the collet.. Clean the
  collet of all the foreign matter.. 

  8. Examine the barrel the collet was removed from & remove any
  foreign matter. 

  9.  Apply a drop of oil to your thumb & forefinger. Lightly oil
  the outside of the collet & insert it in the space from which
  it was removed. 

  10. Re-install the nose piece by screwing (clockwise) it back
  in the handpiece. Be careful to get it started straight so the
  threads aren't damaged. 

  11.. Remove the metal rod (bur) from the hole behind the 
  lever. 

  12. Test the handpiece by inserting & removing several burs. 

  13. Re-install the aluminum nose piece by screwing (clockwise)
  it in the handpiece body.

Hi Dave

I’ve got a #18 handpiece as well & have noticed the same thing,
occasionally burs are difficult to remove.

I’ve found that pressing the release lever down all the way & then
pushing the bur in a little farther usually makes it easier to
remove.

Thanks for the tip on removing the bit from the #18 hand piece. I no
longer have my #18, but did like it while I had it. If you were going
to buy a new one, would you buy the #18 again, or would you buy
something else?

Milt Fischbein

You have confirmed what I suspected. From the photos that I have
seen of the #10 hand piece it looks cumbersome to operate.

Well, I don’t know that I have confirmed that. I was asking if the
others were easier, since I have no experience with them. The burs do
come out easily on the #10, once you move the lever. If they ever do
stick, you just have to push them in a bit and they come loose. I
would take very seriously the fact that many, many of them are in use
in the NY jewelry industry, as cited here last week. The reason I got
the #10 is partly because I have medium sized women’s hands, and I
thought that the slim lines of the handpiece would be a plus for me.
Many tools designed for the average user turn out to be designed
for men, and are harder to use for small-to-meduim sized women.

Anyhow, I am keeping my #10 handpiece. The time that the lever gave
me the most trouble was when I had a finger injury, and it hurt to
flip the lever. But it is usually acceptable.

We never got an answer to the question: Are the other style levers
easier to operate?

M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
Goodland, MN
www.craftswomen.com

We never got an answer to the question: Are the other style levers
easier to operate? 

Of the ones I’ve used, there are two other main lever types. One is
the Techno style, including the original Techno, and the at least
two versions/copies now available (One swiss, one american made, that
I’ve seen). The other is another one now sold by Fordom as their
number 18. I forget who the original manufacturer/designer was. The
number 10 you’ve got is, I think, simply the Italian Faro design in
the Fordom USA made version, otherwise identical so far as I can tell
with the original Faro. Fordom also sells one listed as the #180 in
Gesswein’s catalog, but I’m not familier with it.

The Faro/#10 was for a long time, the one I used, and still use on
occasion. The lever is sometimes a bit short for total ease of use,
but always worked fine for me. It’s main drawback is that the lever
operates a friction fit cam mechanism, so if you use the lever a lot
when the handpiece is still rotating, you’ll wear out that cam
rather regularly (though it’s not that hard to replace.) And the nose
bearings seem to have a somewhat shorter life than I’d like.

The Techno types have longer levers, and the lever operates a ball
bearing mechanism, so operating the lever with the shaft still
rotating doesn’t hurt it. You can, if you wish, change burs with the
motor still clipping along at a decent speed if the burs are
something you can grab or otherwise flip out without injury. And
bearings are completely replaceable. But smaller hands might find the
Techno sometimes slightly more awkward to hold. Not sure why, but
it’s sometimes an odd shape in the hand, though I’m used to it now.

The number 18, at least the one I’ve got, uses a lever you press in
towards the body of the handpiece. In use, the lever juts out away
from the handpiece. I find that quite awkward, and at least on mine,
the mechanism takes considerable force to operate, and makes a
rather grating sound while doing so. Not a pleasant handpiece at all,
and I almost never use the thing.

I also have a Badaco quick change. As you’d expect from the swiss,
this puppy is a very slick handpiece. runs cool and as absolutely
true and concentric as you could wish. It’s by far my most accurate
handpiece in this regard. It’s big failing is that the swiss
apparently used only their own precision made burs or the Busch
burrs, or the like, when designing the specs. When it says it want’s
3/32 shanks, it’s not kidding. If they’re a tad over or undersized,
they either won’t go in the handpiece, or they go in but won’t be
gripped. And unfortunately, I find a lot of the various bits and
brushes and other things one puts in a handpiece to be rather too
innacurate in sizing for the Badeco handpiece to work with them. And
that includes many of my older Spearhead high speed steel setting
burs. The badeco is wonderful when I’m using the busch or similar
precision ground carbon steel burs. But for the rest, it’s very hit
or miss. Annoying, especially considering that it’s the most costly
flex shaft handpiece I ever bought. But I do like it’s release
mechanism, which is a rotating collar, not a lever. Very
comfortable to hold in the hand, and easy to use.

Hope that helps.
Peter Rowe

i just recieved the new #20 foredom quick change handpiece that i
ordered from Blaine Lewis at the New Approch Jewelry School. i have
been using the #10 faro handpieces for 20 years and never thought i
would like any other. this #20 hand piece is a very good tool. there
is no wobble with the burs which is very helpful when setting. the
burs do not get stuck in the collet every other time. and the
gripping seems to hit my fingers better than the #10. dont get me
wrong i have been using the same five #10 handpieces for 15 to 20
years with min. servicing. hopfully this #20 foredom handpiece will
last just as long. the reason i chose this handpiece over the #20
was solely because of cost. the #10 is now $150 to $190 and the #20
handpiece sells for $75.00 i felt it was worth trying. my #10
handpieces are getting to the no fixing point (ball bearings going
which causes a wobble) and i am starting to just replace them. give
BLAINE or HENRY a call and order one i recommend trying it. their
number is 1-800-529-4763

Matthew
www.mhgjewelry.com

    this #20 hand piece is a very good tool. there is no wobble
with the burs which is very helpful when setting. the burs do not
get stuck in the collet every other time. and the gripping seems to
hit my fingers better than the #10. 

Mathew

What about the quick release lever on the #20. Is it easy to use. Is
it located in such a way that you do not fatigue your hands if you
have to operate it often

Thanks
Milt Fischbein

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/flex-shaft-quick-release-handpiece

Peter

I am surprised that you did not mention the push pull quick release
(W.H. Austrian) handpiece. There is also a new version now made by
Foredom.

#10 by Foredom is a Faro with a few Foredom connectors.

The new Cheaper #20 Foredom is an Italian job that has been around
for long but I was told Foredom had it upgraded. It is also sold by
Grobet.

As a vendor of these products this was a very interesting thread.

I would say all of these are good as long as you can get them
serviced & if the parts are easily available.

Kenneth Singh.

 I am surprised that you did not mention the push pull quick
release (W.H. Austrian) handpiece. There is also a new version now
made by Foredom. 

Ah Kenneth, not being a tool dealer myself, but only a user, with of
course limited purchasing power, I can only comment on the tools I’m
actually familiar with. I’d love to know more about this Austrian
handpiece, if you feel it’s a high quality tool I should know more
about.

cheers
Peter

I have used the #20 Foredom for a few years now and would have
nothing else now. Its somewhat thicker than most of the lever
release types, so it fits my hand perfectly. And I love not having a
lever sticking out into the palm of my hand as I find it
distracting. Also I find that its great for more heavy duty
grinding, cutting, drilling jobs, but still quite suitable for stone
settingof all styles and sizes. Naturally it requires the use of
3/32" shafts on all bits, mandrels, etc…

Ed in Kokomo

Milt,

i have been using this hand piece for about a week now. and i love
it. in addition to all the things i said about it i also have to
add the lightness, and the finger grips. as far as the lever for
changing the bur, i thought it would be in the way because it is
some much bigger than i am used to, but it is not. it is actually
easier to change burs than the #10, with just your thumb. my biggest
concern is the longevity of the handpiece, the #10 lasted about 15
years with no service, which is very important, because repairing it
is very expensive. other than that i really like it and it seems to
be my favorite handpiece.

Matthew

Kenneth,

i believe the #20 fordum hand piece just came out recently, and how
can it be Italian when it says made in China on the side? are the
internal parts Italian? which part is Italian?

Matthew
www.mhgjewelry.com

I haven’t noticed in which country it was made. I am at home right
now, and my tools are at my store. Otherwise I would take a look so
I could answer that question. But I assure you that it has been out
at least a couple years now, because I have been using that model
for aprox. 3 years. At the recent Columbus, Ohio jewelry show, I
bought a 2nd one from Casker (Cincinnati) to keep on hand, in case
the one I use daily would happen to die. The comfort in my hand, and
the time that it saves me, makes it worthwhile to have a spare on
hand.

Ed in Kokomo

Peter

The Austrian Quick release Handpiece was very very popular. Now it
seems to have been discontined due to high price. However Foredom
have brought one just like this.

I check on the Foredom #20 it works well but it is made in China

Regards Kenneth.

Mathew

This Handpiece was designed by Giorgio (Italy). Grobet carries this
one too. I check the Faro in the store & was surprised that it is
made in China.