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Graver max?

Hi, Which is better Graver Max or the Fordoms Micro Motor for

I am interested in learning about the above for setting purposes,
and would like to know the benefits and draw backs to both these
machines. Fordoms have the 1045 and the 1011 which of the two will
covers pave as well? The graver max is more than double the price
and requires a compressor, is it the better machine?

Thank you

I have used both but i bought the cheap version of the graver max it
costs about 300 dollars and uses a compressor I didnt like the
foredome as much as the pneumatic graver you don’t need a very large
compressor to run it and you can use the compressor for a
sandblasting cabinate and to pressurize a wax injector. The
gravermax seems to work about the same as the inexpensive model I
was told by a friend who is a professional engraver that the
gravermax is the way to go because it has mor strokes per minute but
I couldn’t tell the difference all I use mine for is pave and bright
cutting and it works great, you can push up big beads even in steal
with no effort you have to let the tool do the work and you just
guide it the temptation is to push it but it actually slows it down.
hope this helps just my two cents worth. sincerely Kevin

I have been a happy camper/setter with my “Foredom, Micro Motor”.
Nothing is better for freedom of the heavy weight of the long “flex-
shaft”. It’s almost noiseless 25 -35 decibels (±10dbs) it has a
reverse rotation, lightweight motor is in its handle! I just wouldn’t
use any other device, actually I 'm spoiled on this micro-motor. It
ain’t cheap, but is a “Rolls Royce” cheap?..:>) all plastic handle,
too boot!

Oh, here is a cute thing,…it won’t work unless there is a bur in
the handle!..n-i-ice!

For continuous pave’ setting, nothing is better than this machine,
trust me!..non-tiring!
Gerry, Cyber-Setter

If you are serious about stone setting investing in a graver max is
a good idea. The fact that you need a compressor just means that the
tool is designed to give you the power and control you need to do
professional stone setting.

Ted Curtis

As the owner of a graver max, I would say it’s versatility the fact
that pneumatics run the impact and the multitude of possibilities
offered by the tool fer exceed the ‘‘setting demands’’ It will make
butter of most metals as long as your are using the correct bit and
it’s sharp! Ringman John Henry


The two items you list are two totally different things. There is a
little cross over in usage with the two items. I will try to
explain. The Foredom micro motor is a high speed rotary grinder/hand
piece. You have the option of either using 3/32" or 1/8" burs with
the hand piece. These are very nice smooth running systems. You can
use either a foot control or you can dial the speed control into the
controller for continuous speed control. This unit will drill sand
and grind. You can use this to drill holes for pave’ but it will not
raise beads to go over your stones. A regular Foredom Flex Shaft
machine will also drill holes and cut seats for stones.

The Graver Max is quite different. This tool is used for setting
stones. It uses compressed air to do several things. Depending on
your setup, it uses compressed air to power the impact style hand
pieces which hold gravers or beading tools. You can think of it kind
of like a small jack hammer which allows you to guide gravers through
your metal. This is ideal for pave’, bezel, flush setting and
raising beads to hold stones in place. It is also used to remove
metal around the stones once the beads have been raised over the
stones. Other uses are for hand engraving and bright cutting metal
for decorative purposes. The Graver Max also can power a high speed
rotary hand piece similar to the Micro Motor. This means that the
Graver Max can also be used for drilling operations line the Micro
Motor. The Graver Max is definitely more versatile, as it can
perform many different operations. If you are doing Pave’, Flush
setting, or bezel setting,the Graver Max would be the tool of choice
and worth the extra money. This tool will save you time and increase
your accuracy and proficiency in stone setting while reducing your
risk to the stones because of the added control you have over your

There are also many good video’s, which teach some of these
techniques, such as “Classroom in a Box” which is EXCELLENT for
teaching flush and bezel setting. If you are new to stone setting or
have been setting stones this way for years, this would be a great
way to learn the proper technique or new techniques from a world
class teacher, Blaine Lewis.

I hope this has helped.

Phillip Scott G.G.
Technical Support & Sales
Rio Grande


I believe that you have your Foredom tools a bit mixed up. Foredom
also makes a tool they call the “PowerGraver” which is their entry
into the power assisted hand engraving tool field. There is another
tool called “NGraver” which is also designed to work from a
flexshaft motor. Both tools must be run from special flexshaft
motors that put out lower RPMs than the common flexshafts that we
all use at the bench.

Foredom makes it next to impossible to use their tool on anything
other than the flexshaft that they designed it for. The there is a
slot/tab that prevents connecting the handpiece to any flexshaft
other than the one made to fit it.

NGraver will fit an “ordinary” flexshaft - but it is designed to be
used with the gear reduction type flexshafts so seldom seen anymore.
If you use it on a “regular” flexshaft you will destroy it in a
short time.

Both tools are basically reciprocating mechanical hammers. They are
the most economical entry level power assisted hand engraving tools.

The disadvantages to these two tools are in the awkwardness of the
handpieces and the bulky flexshaft, and the fact that either of them

  • when run for long periods of time to do stippling for example -
    will fail & have to be rebuilt.

Both tools will work to get you started in hand engraving and bright
cut, pave, and flush stone setting. After you become proficient you
can move on to one of the air driven power assisted tools by Lindsay
or GRS.

All of these tools - Foredom, NGraver, GRS, and Lindsays are
available for students to try in my workshops. I do not sell

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
2207 Lucile Ave.
Stockton, CA 95209
209-477-0550 Workshop/Studio/Classrooms


Correct me if I am wrong, but I purchased the Micro Motor from Rio’s
Catalog in Motion a couple of years ago and it was sold to me as a
helpful tool for bead setting and other setting techniques. It was
packaged with the reciprocating handpiece, however, I would like to
purchase a handpiece that I can use to drill, sand, and grind like
you describe. I do no want to rebuy the motor or foot pedal, just
the handpiece. Any ideas? I have called Rio on the matter and
described what I have and they said they will only sell me the
entire set-up again, with the alternate handpiece I desire.

Sara D. Grinnell
Studio C Designs

Sara G. why don’t you contact Foredom themselves, directly? I am
sure you can buy the handpiece, as I did two years ago. I know the
handpiece is well worth the $$$$ investment. I use mine every minute
of the day, its light and very easy to use, no heavy handle to hold.
regards to all,eh?..Gerry!

    I have called Rio on the matter and described what I have and
they said they will only sell me the entire set-up again, with the
alternate handpiece I desire. 

Dear Sara,

I apologize for the miss You most certainly can order
JUST the micro motor hand piece. Call 1-800-545-6566 and request to
place a special order for it. If you have ANY problems please ask to
get a tech agent on the line and they will make sure you’re taken
care of.

Best regards,
Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support

Sara, We at A2Z Metalsmith Supply Inc are Foredom dealers and would
be happy to special order this for you and give you 15% off list on
it to boot. If anyone else is interested in getting a Foredom item
they can’t find A2Z would be happy to offer a Orchid list special of
15% off list for any items with a list price over $75. You can look
up the items at and then contact us.

Tim A2Z Metalsmith Supply Inc 5151 S
Federal Blvd Unit I-9 Littleton CO 80123
720 283-7200 Phone 720 385-2118 Fax