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Inexpensive Flexible Shaft


#1

Hi all: I’m looking for an inexpensive flexible shaft (under
$100.00) for a friend who wants to carve stone and isn’t ready to
commit to an expensive tool. Harbor Freight has one made by Chicago
Electric Power Tools for $66.00. It is 1/4 HP and 15,000 RPM and
comes with a variable speed foot control. Does anyone know anything
about this Company or can clue me in to what I should be looking for
and/or other places to look? I would really appreciate any
Thanks, Sandra


#2
Hi all: I'm looking for an inexpensive flexible shaft (under
$100.00) for a friend who wants to carve stone and isn't ready to
commit to an expensive tool. 

Hi, I just bought a mini hand held grinder similar to a dremel …
But Much Better, Lighter and more powerful from Home Depot for $39
it has 3 setable speeds up to 30,000 rpm and is very light… no
flexible shaft… uses collets, does not need a tool to remove the
burrs… Has a built in lock to remove the burrs. Comes with a well
made case that has storage compartments for burrs and other stuff.
Very small case. We have used it extensively for the past month and
it is definitely worth it.

There is a larger version that comes with the flexible shaft /case
and more goodies for About $59 … it is not neccessary to use the
flexible shaft, but , you have that option. It can be hooked up to a
footpedal if neccessary, but I find it is also not neccessary. This
grinder is made by black and decker and is called the RTX. the
brochure says it is the most powerful in it’s size range . I believe
it ! I have been grinding down steel bars with it and cannot stop ,
or even slow down the rotation no matter how much pressue I put on
it!

Hope this may be helpful . Daniel Grandi We do casting finishing and
a whole lot more for people in the trade


#3

Hi Sandra,

Harbor Freight has one made by Chicago Electric Power Tools for
$66.00. It is 1/4 HP and 15,000 RPM and comes with a variable
speed foot control.  Does anyone know anything about this Company
or can clue me in to what I should be looking for and/or other
places to look? 

I’ve seen the unit you mentioned. While it hasn’t been around long
enough to discuss it’s life expectancy, it’s handpiece (a #30
knockoff) leaves much to be desired.

The handpiece with the unit I saw had excessive end play. The end
play was so bad as to make the handpiece unuseable without reworking
it. To it’s credit, the Foredom # 30 handpiece will work with the
unit.

For anyone wanting to carve, the handpiece would be a large PITA.

Dave


#4

Hi Sandra; I ordered a $69 sand blasting cabinet from them, expecting
it to be a possible throw away. What I got was worth a lot more than
I payed for it. It’s all steel construction, about twice as large as
I expected, with a brand-name blast gun. I was tickled. It’s going
to do a lot more for me than I expected. One of the other items I
ordered, an air brush, was back-ordered, and instead of 2 pairs of
tweezers, I got 22! What’s more, they only charged me for two. A
$60 mistake in my favor. I called, ordered the next better of air
brush, canceling the backordered one, and told them to send me a
shipping label so I could return their 20 pairs of tweezers. They
were pleasand and helpful on the phone. We’ll see how things work
out, but so far, this company has possibilities. By the way, the
tweezers, at $2.50 ea. are equivalent to ones I’ve seen selling for
$5.00 from jewelery suppliers.

David L. Huffman


#5

I bought one of these HF ones on sale for about $50. It seems
like a bargin and works ok , I am using it with a Lucus foot pedal
which cost about as much as the rest of the set up. You get what
you pay for and it is ok for occasional use but it has some
problems. Some people were upset about the factory sewing machine
foot pedal --sparking etc. I also have a Foredom and bought this to
see what it was. The problems I have had relate to the flex shaft
upper connection to the motor coming loose. It is not as good as a
Foredom and you shouldn’t expect it to be. A lot of HF stuff is a
real buy , but this one is certainly a lot cheaper and may serve
your needs.

I have one of the Black and Decker RTX grinders ( $39) and like it
better than the Dremil. Why? just do. Jesse


#6

Hi Sandra, Words can’t express how much I hate these units. I
ordered 6 flex shafts from Harbor Freight last year. They would run
(no on or off switch, just a foot pedal) when no one was near them
(at first I thought I had a studio ghost!) The foot pedal got so hot
that you couldn’t touch them The hand pieces weren’t true (off
center- wobbly) and made a grinding sound. Harbor Freight wouldn’t
take them back, wouldn’t replace them. After 8 or 9 emails, and many,
many phone calls, threats to file complaints with the Better Business
Bureau and Underwriters Laboratory (the foot pedals were a fire
hazard!) they agreed to send me new revised foot pedals. This took 6
& 1/2 months! I replaced the hand pieces with #30 Foredom handpieces
from another vendor. It is an incredible waste of time and this kind
of frustration does hinder creativity. I’ve seen other posts on
Orchid about Harbor Freight tools that folks like, but after this
dreadful experience, I won’t be back. I hope this helps… Best
Regards, Kate Wolf in crisp and sunny Portland, Maine
http://www.katewolfdesigns.com


#7

Having started life as a jeweler with secondhand, but good,
flexshafts, handpieces, motors and foot pedals, my only suggestion
would be, buy the best quality, most durable units you can find,
even if this means buying new and expensive. Don’t waste your time
and energy struggling with inefficient, inaccurate, cumbersome
equipment. It’s worth the extra money to invest in quality and ease
of use. Save your money until you have enough to afford the best. Of
course, if you can find a secondhand piece of equipment that was
great when new and is still in extra fine shape, go for it!

Linda Kaye-Moses


#8

I have the Harbor Freight flex shaft and like it very much, even the
handpiece. I did, however, have to replace the foot control.

Janet Kofoed


#9

I purchased one of the Harbor Freight Flex Shafts as an emergency
backup unit. I haven’t used it extensively. I didn’t have Dave’s
experience with the handpiece but the foot pedal (sewing machine
type) heats up. I know other people who have had disastorus
experiences with this unit. Check this post by Kate Wolf.

http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archive/200107/msg00832.htm

Linda M