Fernando, no doubt that the expensive machines will be the most
desirable ones, but if you’re on a budget let me recommend the
Magnagraver and/or the Pfingst hammer handpiece. Price should be down
on the lowest rung and both fits onto a flexshaft machine.
I have been using the hammer handpiece for the past 37 years setting:
prongs, bezel,flush, fish-tail, channel, ridge and pipe. Naturally
you must shape your own tool (anvil point) to achieve the desired
setting. The hammer handpiece is essential to compress all casting to
get an excellent finish. It is a wonderful tool for texturing the
surface. They even have a diamond mounted point which will give you a
surface effect like seeing 0.5mm diamonds encrusted in the metal. The
only fault with the hammer handpiece is that they will breakdown, I
have been replacing one every two years. Amongst the various
handpieces that I have used, I found the Phingst model to provide the
I use the Magnagraver for all small stone setting and for fragile
stones (opals, emeralds, tanzanite, etc). The impact on this tool is
not noticeable and can be brought down to about 50 impacts per minute
by being light on your foot. You must make your own setting tools,
with which I do all of the settings mentioned above plus: wall, bead
raising, bright cut, cup-flush and dimple. The Magnagraver is a
workhorse, I’ve had mine for 18 years and it has never broken-down.
And it will do engraving.
With both tools all of the stones are set hand held, I.e. you don’t
need to use a pitch bowl or clamp the project in a vise device. It is
only when the metal is thick and neither tool can move it will I set
it in pitch and use muscle power. Enjoy. Min Azama in Tokyo.