Micro motors advantages

Hello everyone,

Micro motors…do you use one? If you do, do you still use your flex
shaft too? What are the main advantages of the micro motor in your
opinion? What is the volume level like compared to a flex shaft ( the
motor noise as opposed to the bur on metal,as i presume this is the
same even at the higher speeds of the micro motor.)

Any reccomendations regarding different models?


Hi Steven,

I have a Micro motor as well as a pendant drill, I use it under the
microscope, the advantage is that it keeps up its torque at slow
speeds and can be set to run at a particular speed and switched on
and off by a footpedal. It is much quieter than a pendant drill. I
still use my pendant drill for jobs that need more power though.

Mine is a second hand dental one (I am in the UK) and about 400 new,
you can get cheaper. An attachment that I found invaluable is
apparently known as a ‘knuckleduster’. It is an oversize flat ring
that goes on your middle finger, coming off the outside of it at
right angles is another half flat ring to go over the top of your
index finger, coming off that is a hook that in my case clips into a
groove in the handpiece of the Micromotor. This carries the bulk of
the weight of the handpiece so you do not have to grip as hard. It
makes a huge difference if you are using it for long periods! Not an
original idea, I can’t find where I found it on the Internet though.

regards Tim Blades.

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The NSK is the 'Rolls" of micro motors. There is no way to compare it
to a flex shaft.

At full speed you cannot feel it running while holding it in your
hand. It runs smoothly at low speeds; I also use it for wax carving.


I’ve used a micro motor for twenty years or so. You will still need
a flex shaft for drilling and other things but I use the Micro motor
ninety percent of the time. The micro motors’s high speed more than
make up for the lack of torque.

R. Hood

The NSK is the 'Rolls" of micro motors. There is no way to compare
it to a flex shaft. 

I have not used the NSK, but the Marathon N7 has been used daily for
about 3 years doing anything a flex shaft is used for, and it is
quite a bit less expensive than the NSK. It runs fast and smooth.

I think some of the micro motors on an auction site that are used for
manicures would serve the purpose, as I did purchase one as a gift
for a jeweler friend as a present. It has been running fine for
several years, and it was around $150. The only difference is the
foot petal, which is an on off switch, mine varies the speed. I
mostly set the speed with the knob on the unit and rarely use the
foot petal anyway. I usually only use my flex shaft when I need to
use the #30 handpiece for anything that does not have a 3/32 shaft.
The micro motors are all made in China. The bearing on my handpiece
are starting to go, and the replacement handpiece for my model is
$250. I’ll just order one direct from China when it grinds to a halt.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

Hi Steven. I use them both about equally. My Gesswein micro motor is
mainly for those tools that fit it’s collet and don’t require foot
control of the speed- although you could use a pedal. My Foredom is
for heavier shanks and those situations that need the variable foot
control. You’d have to fight me to take either one. My micro motor
was about $400, but I’ve seen much more expensive versions that
didn’t seem to offer enough additional utility to justify the


I can’t see why one would not be able to drill with a micro motor. My
NSK has a doubler to increase torque when needed.


I can't see why one would not be able to drill with a micro motor.
My NSK has a doubler to increase torque when needed. 

You can drill with a micro motor if you get the special drill bits
that have a 3/32 shaft, however if you have a lot of drill bits that
have various shaft sizes, you need to use a #30 handpiece or one
that is similar.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

When doing on-the spot repairs at the market stalI, a tiny 12 Volt
hobbyshop micromotor (about AUS$30) running off a car battery (the
same power source for my desk lamp and plating solution) was great
for what it could do. A bit lacking in torque but very eager at high
RPM! A good compliment to my treadle powered work head that did the
drilling and polishing.

Later when I moved to a fixed location an 18 Volt micromotor
(AUS$150) was a great improvement for all the high-speed low torque
stuff. It said clearly “Warranty void if used for
commercial/industrial purposes”. Well it just that for 6 or 7 years
before the bearings gave out. No complaints!

Next was a Marathon N7 at 36 Volts. (AUS$1000). This is my current
workhorse and the torque is sufficient for 90% of the rotary tasks.
It has the capability of maintaining the desired speed regardless of
the load, up to it’s load capacity.

All the while my home-made pendant motor keeps on going. I promised
I would get a proper one when it quits…15 years and no sign of
quitting yet. It comprises a motor from a floor polisher, a sewing
machine foot pedal, and a flex shaft with a large key-chuck. It has
huge power and will almost qualify as a die-grinder. Not wery
accurate or controllable but does all the heavy stuff that the
micromotor baulks at.

If you already have a pendant motor then it will do everything with
brute power at any speed. A good micromotor will do 90% of the work
with more finesse than a pendant motor, and 90% of the time the
finesse is more important too!

Regards, Alastair

You can drill with a micro motor if you get the special drill bits
that have a 3/32 shaft, however if you have a lot of drill bits
that have various shaft sizes, you need to use a #30 handpiece or
one that is similar. 

I always use a cheap collet drill holder to go from 3/32" to the
drill size. Lovely offshore manufacturing won’t hold the drill tight
enough to break it. Sure it wobbles a bit and concentric is a word it
does not understand, but I didn’t learn to be a jeweller just for the
framed papers on the wall.

I don’t even think of using a #30 hand piece any more for drilling

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

1 Like

I love my foredom micro motor. I have a 1090 kit. it comes with the
new hammer hand piece that sences resistance befor it begins to
‘kick’. this gives me a great deal of control over the hammer piece.
there is also an assortment of new anvil points that are avaliable,
ball, square, cylinder, rectangle and even a bezel rocker shaped
point!!! the combinations of the new anvil poins and the new hammer
hand piece is a wonderful advancement for the tool. There are also
graver attachments for the hammer hand piece.

The foredom k1070 is the control box with the micro motor, the k
1090 is the control box with the micro motor hand piece and the new
hammer hand piece. You can use either one. keep an eye out for the
new micro grinder that was just developed for this unit.

I demonstrate these products at some of the larger trade shows and
test them out all the time. I do find them to give me much more
freedom of movement. They do seem to have less torque than a flex
shaft so if i am running at a low speed I tend to pulsate the
pressue on the bit when drilling through metal. if you are at a
higher speed there is no need for this at all. My issue with running
at the high speeds is that I risk the chance of burning up my bur.
my friend was purchasing one of these from me and asked me to
perform a test for him. I put a 2mm round bur in the micro motor,
turned the speed control to half way and drilled through a 2mm piece
of half hard copper, it went through it like butter. keep in mind
the foredom goes 38000 rpms so me setting it at half speed on the
control unit was to save my bur. I have looked at some other units
and noticed that the speed control on the control box does not
always over ride the foot pedal. the foredom does over ride the foot
control, so if you set it on 25% speed and floor the foot control
you will only 25% of its maximum speed. That is worth its weight in
gold for me. I would like to know if any other micro motor unit does

Again, the k1090 is the control box, the micro motor hand piece and
the hammer hand piece. to really take this thing over the top check
out the fact that it is designed to go anywhere, it travels very
easily around the shop, from store to store, to a trade show or even
around the world… it has a voltage selector switch on the
back that goes from 110/120 or 220/240 once you have one you will
fall in love with it, it will not take the place of your flex shaft
but it could. It feels like a feather in your hand.

also keep in mind that the micro motor handpieces are set up as
quick release 3/32 collets. You can change these to 1/8 or 3mm if
you wish.

If 38000 rpms is not fast enough, check out the k1050 unit from
foredom. It goes up to 50000 rpms, it is brushless and has more
torque… however as of now no hammer handpiece attachment and no
voltage selector.

“why get a foredom micro motor and not the cheap charlie version,
they look the same” asked my friend. well foredom test every product
that goes through the factory befor shipping it to you the user. if
you go with a cheaper version chances are the collet, the circuit
board or something else may not be up to par with the intended
design, but hey, you will never know because you may not have
another to compare it to. Also foredom stands by there warrantee and
works on everything at there Bethel, Conn. headquarters.

too much …hardly. if you need more contact me. I have
sold hundereds of these because I believe in them 100%. I will give
you a fair price on one if you would like to try one. I will even
give you 30 days to return it with no questions asked. OR go to your
local tool supplier that you know and love and give them your
business tell them “BUZZ” Werner sent you… I am an independent
jeweler and foredom disributor/demonstator 410-942-0027 or go to
www.foredom.com and check it out… then talk to me… i am
much more fun than Mike Zagielski the national rep for
foredom… he is still listening to the moody blues diving around
in his dodge dart.

Wayne Louis Werner

1 Like

The Foredom Micro-Motor is the epitome of a light-weighted operating
system. There is no longer that the chuck being tethered to the
darned heavy cable then being attached to the motor on a pole.

The air-cooling fan and rotor are now totally encased in the
handpiece. All there is now is a very light weight coiled electrical
cable weighing grams instead of many ounces of rubber cable. You can
almost leave the motor on all day and not have the handpiece heat up.

BUT here is the best part, you can now easily hold your hand at any
angle that is required for diamond or stone setting. Your hands are
free to move in any angle you need. The running motor is extremely

To me, this is the “Rolls-Royce” of motors, but try not to buy a
cheap off-shore item. I was once doing a seminar with one of these
make-do gadgets and in a few moments the whole damn thing was smoking
like a veritable chain-smoker. Buy a “Foredom” and pay a extra few
dollars but you will have years of satisfaction and reliability.

Gerry really hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the freedom
of movement with the micro motor over the flex shaft. it really is a
different animal as far as weight and mobility and again, I love
mine. the one limitation is the torque and the fact that it is a
quick release usually set up for a 3/32 size bur. someone earlier
mentionsed the following:

if you have alot of drill bits that are different size shankes,
you need a number 30 hand piece. 


Foredom has just released its new k1020 micro grinder kit same
control box as the k1070 but now there is a micro motor hand piece
that is alot like the Number 30, meaning it is a geared 3 jaw chuck
that goes up to 5/32" or 4mm diameter shank size. it works with a
standard chuck key.

this unit has the torque of a flex shaft and the freedom of movement
as the micromotor.

the k1020 list for $499 it comes with the control unit, foot pedal,
and micro grinder hand piece and stand.

you can also just get the handpiece if you already have the control
box (hp4-917) it list for $325

keep in mind, it can go anywhere in the world and work
110/120-220/240 volt. it has a forward and reverse, a speed control
and foot pedal.


twist one up and call me at 410-942-0027

Wayne Louis Werner

When I first began to take classes with Jay Whaley, he lent me a
small hand held tool. I was so fascinated with it, and so enjoyed the
non-tethered to a heavy overhanging motor, I immediately bought one
from him. I know he still has some in stock. Cost about $70.00. It
has a transformer that plugs into the wall and a slim light weight
wire that plugs into the back end of the hand piece. Has a Jacobs
chuck so rotate, slip out the burr in use and slip in a drill, (yes I
do drill holes with mine) or any other you may want to use, sanding,
polishing, grinding, etc.

I have no use for the Flex Shaft, don’t even know where in my garage
it resides.

Jay also sells a unit from the same manufacturer, but a bit lower in
price, for his wax carving students. I love ming.


Gerry really hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the
freedom of movement with the micro motor over the flex shaft. it
really is a different animal as far as weight and mobility and
again, I love mine. 

Regarding weight and mobility of standard flexshafts, I’ve seen the
neoprene sheaths that can replace the Foredom (standard) reinforced
rubber sheaths. The neoprene provides greater flexibility than the
reinforced rubber.

You can also purchase 66" flexshafts to replace the 39" (standard)

I’ve considered changing out my flexshaft with one or both of these
options over the years, but never have. Does anyone have any
experience with the se options?


Hi Jamie,

Regarding weight and mobility of standard flexshafts, I've seen
the neoprene sheaths that can replace the Foredom (standard)
reinforced rubber sheaths. The neoprene provides greater
flexibility than the reinforced rubber. 

I replaced my standard reinforced Foredom flexshaft cover with one
of the neoprene units about 3 years ago.

It’s a whole lot more flexible & so far hasn’t caused any problems.


Wayne, I was looking at the 1090 kit on Foredom’s website, and it
says that the hammer hand piece comes with a graver holder to turn
the micromoter into a power assisted graver. Have you (or anyone
else) used this feature? I’m curious how it compares to flexshaft
gravers like Foredom’s PowerGraver or the nGraver, or even air
powered gravers like the equipment available through GRS or Steve

Thank you very much,
Willis Hance

Hi all, I’m aware this conversation is old, but noticed nobody ever got back to Willis about his question re: the Foredom micromotor with power assisted graver. Has anyone here used this graver? What were your impressions? I’m new to the trade, and just returned my first suspended motor to Cookson-Clal a week after receiving it, as I was disappointed in weight and bulk of the handpiece. That was my first experience with a flexshaft, a Balkan BM24E with the standard Balkan handpiece. However, yesterday in class I got to try a Techdent motor 20.000 rpm with the 4000 handpiece and I have to say, I was surprised by how heavy and unwieldy even that felt. This was for my wax modeling class, we were emptying out the inside of a ring, which was made quite difficult as the techdent speed seemed to vary between 0 and max speed and the pedal was not sensitive as one would like it to be. Consequently, I’ve started to research micromotors. As a student I can’t help but notice many of the low-cost motors being offered to nail technicians at 45.000 rpm for around 100 EUR. Is it safe to assume they will be lacking in torque compared to the Foredom and other higher-end models? In the next few years, I plan to do some setting and learn to engrave within 5 years or so. I don’t expect a micromotor to help me do either of those things, but wonder whether I can avoid having to buy a hanging motor in favor of one of these lightweight setups. Any thoughts appreciated! :slight_smile:

For wax, get one of those little battery-operated devices–you don’t need high torque and they’re easy to hold.

For metal, I just purchased a Badeco MX1-strong, which has 4 hand pieces that just screw on/off. I’m still putting it through its paces, but the fact that it was designed for jewelers and has great torque at low speeds is what sold me on it. There might be an issue with the foot pedal–it ships with a free one but you may not get the performance you need without the more expensive one that you have to purchase separately. It’s expensive, but I hope to never have to purchase another micromotor in this lifetime.

Here’s a link to a video from Otto Frei:

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Hello Makena, I am reading your thread regarding the Badeco MX1 Strong micromotor and I am wondering if there is some way that I can develop one of my Variable speed #9 Lowboy rheostats to work on this micromotor. We already have two models that we manufacture. (1) #9 Lowboy for standard 115 volt use and our #9XR Lowboy which was designed to be used on the Foredom TX, LX DC motors. Our prices are Very competitive on these two models. #9 Lowboy (standard) at $52.00 and model #9XR Lowboy at $62.00. Both of these models have many high reviews through out the Industry as the best rheostat that they have ever used. I will be in touch on my mission, and thank you for your time, Sincerely, Richard Lucas Lucadent@verizon.net or www.LucasDentalCompany.com