Recommendations on new Foredom Flexshaft handpiece?

After over 20 years, my Foredom H18 quick change 3/32" collet handpiece has died. The lever will no longer depress fully. Doesn’t look like it can be fixed. The duplex spring is fine.

What are your recommendations among currently available replacements? I like the slim size of my current handpiece since my hands are small. Any comments on the Technique handpieces, or which of the Foredom options to choose?

Thanks very much.

Marcie Rae

You might look into a repair. There is someone on Ganoksin who does this…Rob

Previous Ganoksin post…Rob


i use this one and love it…

and the jacobs chuck


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Everyone has their favorites.

My two favorite quick release handpieces are the Foredom H.20 and the Technique handpiece. They’re fairly similar designs. The H.20 is reasonably priced and the Technique handpiece is well constructed and maybe a little better balanced. Truthfully, I own them both and like them both. I use them interchangeably. (I work at home and in town, so I have two set ups.) They are thicker than the H18, so you may not like either of these. Although both are much thinner than the Foredom #30.

Foredom does repair as well, if you want to reach out to them.

20 years is a good run on a handpiece! Glad yours lasted as long as it did, but am sorry that it wasn’t forever.


Hi Jeff,

I bought the H-20 (non duplex spring)…and the first time i used it, the bur got stuck and would not release when the lever was released.

i tried tapping the bur tip into my wooden bench pin to release it, but it did not work to release the bur.

(this works with my H10D (with duplex spring)

i called Rio Grande tech support and they told me that once the H20 locks up on the bur, there is nothing to be done to fix it, so i returned it…

also, being used to a duplex spring model, i found that with the non duplex spring model, i had to fight the flex shaft more…like “wagging the tail” of a dog…


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Julie, it can be very hard to remove some burs on mine as well. I resort to pulling the bur with pliers.

There are directions for using a hex wrench to loosen or tighten the collet’s grip on burs. I’m pretty sure the directions come with the handpiece, but certainly Foredom would be a source for the directions.

I’ve never gotten around to adjusting the collet grip but it is something current or future users should know can be done.

Also, not all 3/32 in. bits have the same shaft thickness. I have some felt buffs that do measure 3/32 in. and they do not fit my the handpiece. Most of the “3/32” bits I have are actually thinner than 3/32.


You can use an Allen wrench to adjust the collet, but the bur has to be removed. You might put a drop of oil on the bur shaft and see if that works its way down to loosen the grip. I have three #30s and an H20 ( I think). They all work well and are very old…Rob

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That’s interesting Julie. I haven’t had any problems like that with my H-20’s. I’ve had a number of them personally and through my job. Both the Technique handpiece and the H-20 need to have their bur tension be adjusted now and again. I’ve found that when adjustment is needed it’s because it’s too loose and won’t hold a bur, not too tight. The H-20 is way easier to adjust than the Technique (although the Technique isn’t hard to adjust).

The fact that you got a H-20 Julie that was adjusted too tight from the factory and malfunctioned during the first use, probably was a fluke. I’ve found them to be great handpieces. But who knows?

I’m surprised that Rio said that once it’s locked up that it can’t be unlocked. But again, who knows?

I’m glad you found a handpiece that you like though! That’s what’s most important!!


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Hi Marcie my name is Charles Stuart. see me at Tel 1718 339 2640. The Techno is indeed a great handpiece. However, If you do have small hands remember that the Techno rotary is wider than the 18D handpiece. I would recommend the 10 D handpiece. It is versatile, comfortable in the hands and easier to obtain replacement parts for it if it needs repair. Besides repairing handpieces for over 25 years I distribute handpieces as well. Your 18D handpiece can be repaired or repaired as a back up handpiece. I do indeed recommend the 10 D handpiece as a precision handpiece. I have this handpiece available for $220.00 each . Thank you



Jeff good day, This is Charles Stuart Handpiece repair in Brooklyn New York . Most of the time the problem is the arbor itself especially with the arbors for the sanding disc or the rubber wheels. I would suggest to that the jewelers and setters measure the arbor shaft with a dial caliper or other precision measuring device. The needed measurement to allow the arbors of the burs to hold and not jam in the handpiece is 3/32 of an inch . The following are the numerical conversions using various available measuring devices for this .In inches it is . 09375 millimeters 2.3813. I hope this helps those struggling to select the variation in selecting arbors or mandrels. This is a result that these mandrels are made abroad not domestically . It is a common problem I see when doing handpiece repairs.

Charles Stuart


Hi Jeff,

i was surprised as well…i kinda didnt wanna send it back…

my H10D infrequently experiences a stuck bur upon lever release, but it is always resolved with a light tap on the bench pin…

i was surprised when i was told that there was nothing i could do to release the bur on the H20…as you said, probably a fluke…but i didnt wanna chance exchanging it…

and i actually did not like the feel of the H20 without the duplex spring…i thought i would…

the reason i got it was because i also love my shorter H30 jacobs chuck and thought i would also like a shorter quick change handpiece…but i didnt…it is hard to explain, but the flex shaft “felt” “stiffer” coming out of it than the H30 jacobs…

all a matter of personal taste…to each his own, right?


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I have used Charles Stuart for repairs.
Does a great job and pretty quick too

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