Foot pedals

Greetings all,

Well after 18 years my old flex shaft foot control has died. Does
anyone have any preference or info on the best foot control to
get. I wa kinda leaning toward the low-boy electronic foot
control, (Rio Grande). Or how about the WF-7 from Gesswein?
Pricey but good? I would like to have good control under slow
speed applications as my main focus is stone setting.

Da Gama Designs
Delaplane Va.

For durability and control I’d go with the gesswein pedal. I’ve
been working with beginers at a start up operation and they
haven’t killed one yet


As for me, having gone thru many of the old carbon pile jobs, I
can reccomend the Fordom electronic model w/metal body. I’ve
used it for several years w/o any trouble. I do find it wanting
as far as low speed control though. Hope I’ve not muddied the


Several times I have sent my Foredom flex shaft motors,
handpieces and foot pedals back to Foredom for repair. They have
repaired or replaced them for a modest charge. If you are using
a Foredom machine you might try the same. If nothing else it
would give you a backup for the future. –

Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego CA USA

Larry, I use a Lucas “low Boy” in combination with an Otto Flex
from Frie and Borel. Man, I really like this pedal-- great
control w/ very little pressure and so a small amount of fatigue.

I have a Foredom “S” machine w/ the standard metal housed
electronic foot pedal at my wax bench and, while it’s a great
machine, the difference 'tween the two is obvious.

That’s my two cents…
Good luck, Andy cooperman

Hi, Saw your post. I did a temp fix on my ancient pedal by
removing the rivet/hinge and replacing the broken spring with a
new make shift one that I made with steel wire. I used a long
nail as the hinge bolt. It still sits in a drawer as backup. When
this broke and they no longer bother to repair them, I purchased
a new model which broke within a month. My supplier then gave me
another one which lasted all of 6 months. I then bought another
type (Foredom FTC1)which I’m still using (knock on wood). I’m
real tough on shoes too. Susan Sarantos @auag

Larry, you might consider using a sewing machine foot pedal. I
have a foot pedal that came with one of my foredoms and with the
other two, I use footpedals from sewing machines and actually,
prefer the sewing ones. They are equally adjustable and, (I feel
more comfortable). Aside from the technical side, they cost
about $5.00 at local junk shops and flea markets. Many of the
newer footpedals being manufactured have carbon contacts which
wear out. The old sewing machine pedals just don’t seem to give
up. Happiness to you all from beautiful and warm (today) North

About four years ago I took a stone-setting workshop with Pat
Flynn and he brought his Lucas [a dental company, not a jeweler’s
supply house] flex shaft with its electronic rheostat foot pedal
that did 5 rpm to 15,000. Wowee! We all brought had our own flex
shafts, but we waited in line to use his after demos because it
was so much easier to cut a seat for flush setting when you
didn’t have to worry about your bur whizzing right through the
metal to oblivion. While Lucas no long sells flex shafts as whole
sets, they continue to make those fabulous foot controls [I bought mine right after the workshop, as seven others!]. You can
get one through Frei & Borel in Oakland for about $60 plus
shipping. What a wonderful tool…

Anne Hollerbach

Hi Susan, I stopped using flexible shaft machines in 1988 when i
bought Guesswein’s powerhand 2x control and handpiece. It’s
expensive, but i use to sell jewelry tools and supplies and i
found that when you do hours/day on other machines,
footpedals,shafts and handpieces need constant repair. This
machine has been in constant use since 1988 and i have replaced
the bearrings on the motor/handpiece twice at a cost of around
$30.00 (Guesswein will repair the bearrings for a little more) The
control is a full dc control and the box will acc. 2 handpieces
and has a speed control knob . It is not necc to use a footpedal
although one is available.there is NO movement in the handpiece
since there is no flexible shaft. It’s incredible for
stonesetting since it is so accurate. Other than owning my own
casting business, I am a model maker and spend hours a day at the
bench. I’ve introduced 5 friends who are model makers and 2
jewelers to the system by loaning them mine…they all bought
the system and have told me that they found that their skills
actually improved and that they were working about 30 % faster
than before ! check it out in their catalog. There are other
makes available for less money, but i have found them to not be
as repaireable. Just my dollars worth! Dan Grandi

Thanks for the recommendation! :slight_smile:

The Gesswein pedals are Foredom brand. The CFL-15 is the carbon
pile type and the least durable. Once broken it really is not
even worth repairing - Foredom wont do it, and recommend you
simply buy a new CFL-15.

Take a look at page 250 of our catalog #45 (don’t have a
catalog? Why not - it’s free!! Email me here with your snail
mail address and I’ll send you one.)

The FCT pedal is popular because of its low price. It’s plastic
but it’s solid state and it’s more durable than the CFL-15.

The SCH is a good heavy duty metal housing so it doesn’t slide
around on you under the bench. It’s also solid state and its
slow speed is pretty good. If you step on it lightly then ease
your foot off slightly you can get a consistant really slow speed
that’s great for your setting jobs etc.

The WF-7 is cast iron housing, really rugged. Solid state also
and good on the slow speeds too. Will last you ages and ages!

And of course there’s a manual control, the EM series, if you
use one speed a lot or if you have limited use of your legs or

If you have any questions on these foot pedals or any of the
equipment we sell, please give me or anyone in our Technical
Services Dept. a call. That’s what we’re here for and we’d love
to hear from you.

Best Regards,

Elaine Corwin
Tech Services: 1-800-544-2043, ext 287
Fax: 203-335-0300