There are 2 main mfg. of flexshafts, Foredom & Pfingst. Pfingst
supplies a lot of tools to the dental industry. There are also import
Most (if not all) of the handpieces are interchangeable between
Foredom & Pfingst.
There are 2 basic types of systems of motor speed controls, one
varies the voltage to the motor with no feed back. The other system
(Foredom R series) uses a feed back circuit. The advantage of the
feedback system is almost full power at low speeds. The motors in the
no feedback system produce less than full power at slower speeds. This
can be a disadvantage in some situations.
There are also motors that have have 2 output shafts (only one of
which can be used at a time). One shaft provides the full speed range
(aprox 3000 -15000 rpm aprox). The 2nd shaft’s speed range is about
1000 - 5000 rpm. The 2nd output is great for use with hammer
The motors come in 1/10 to 1/4 hp, most of them have carbon brushes.
Bigger is usually better, but a lot depends on the use you’ll give it.
They can have either sleeve or ball bearings. The sleeve bearings need
to be lubricated, usually annually. Depending on the amount of use
they receive the brushes have to be replaced periodically. For the
part time jeweler, this period is generally in years.
I use both a Foredom ‘R’ & ‘C’ model. The ‘R’ gets the most use.
Foredom tools are sold through most jewelers supply’s. Pfingst tools
are sold through dental suppliers. Pfingst is at: 105 Snyder Rd., So.
Plainfield NJ 07080, 908-561-6400.