Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Prevent burr from slipping

Hi. I am so happy to find this active community. I have almost a year since I started learning how to make jewellery, went through almost anything from cutting, soldering, stone setting and so on. One problem I still encounter from time to time is the drill bit (especially ball burr or cylinder) slipping on the surface. I have a pendant motor so I can pretty much adjust the speed to any rpm.

One thing I noticed is that when using the ball burr or cylinder you cannot go that slow, like with a shank drill.

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve this and prevent it from slipping?


To gain better control of burs for precision work, you need to hold the handpiece of your Flexshaft like a pencil, with your pointer finger and thumb. Then place your middle finger on the shaft of the bur. The ring finger and pinkie should be on the work or the bench-pin to stabilize your hand.

The idea of touching a spinning bur is scary, but you can cutoff a regular pencil to the length of the shaft of the bur that is exposed when the bur is in the chuck head of the handpiece. Then drill the graphite from the center using a drill bit the diameter as the shaft of the bur. Place the shaft of the bur in the pencil before putting the bur in the handpiece. You now have a collar on the bur shaft to place your finger for better control and precision use of the bur.

This is an upcoming tip on Instagram @FSGmetal, and in the newsletter. Both are open to the public, and we would love to have you share your tips and tools!


So you say that I could touch the burr to the surface before spinning it, like you would with a shank drill. Is this how you do it?

Another thing is if you are trying to drill holes with a drill bit or ball burr use a center punch first to give yourself a little divot. There are small automatic center punches that are pretty cool too or just sharpen an old burr. A light tap with a hammer or even a hard press by hand will give you a good spot


When first starting out with the ball burr, instead of going in straight, try holding it horizontal and touch the side of the ball. It will not walk. You just need a touch to start, then straighten up. The center punch is ideal as they are spring loaded and work great.