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Vibrating flexhaft handpiece

I have what I think is an older (?) Foredom model in my home studio,
a “Series CC” 18,000 RPM, #2230. However, it has less than 10 hours
of use from new, out of box condition. When I try to operate it at
low speeds (for stone setting primarily), I get intense vibrating and
the handpiece is out of control. However, if I rev it up to high
rpms, and then take it back down, it is OK and steady. Is this normal
for this model? If not, any ideas what might be wrong and how it fix

Also, I’ve been using the #52 handpiece at work, and therefore, many
more hours than I originally intended for this handpiece. Lately,
it’s been feeling somewhat “gritty”, not as smooth as it was 5 months
ago, before I started using it daily. Does anyone else use this
handpiece daily and/or have/had this experience? I fear it is not a
workhorse, but it’s so light, and it fits my small hands well. Any
advice is appreciated.

Best, Holly.

Hi Holly,

I’m sorry to hear of your problem. Have you checked the inner shaft?
Is it attached properly to the motor shaft? Is it kinked? Is it
properly lubricated not to much not to little? Is it adjusted so that
only 3/4" is exposed from the sheath? You can see how to do this on
the Foredom website on streaming video in the “Foredom Basics”. If
you can’t fix it yourself you can send your unit back to Foredom for
a free estimate. If it has been only used a little while as you say
and is new out of the box it may still be under warranty even though
it is an older discontinued model. Your #52 handpiece sounds like it
needs a good cleaning. They get grit caught between the front and
rear housing. You can take it apart and clean it yourself using the
instructions that came with your handpiece or send it back to Foredom
for cleaning. If you do send anything back send it to my attention
with your day time phone number and description of the problem.

Mike Zagielski
Sales Manager Foredom Electric
16 Stony Hill Rd.
Bethel, CT 06801

Hi Holly,

Your older Foredom CC motor should run smooth. Unplug the handpiece
from the flex shaft and run the motor to determine if the motor is
OK and the trouble is in the handpiece. What model handpiece do you

The Foredom 52 is a good handpiece but the front ball bearing wears
out sooner than average for handpiece bearings. For the
do-it-yourselfers: You can replace the front bearing yourself
(Foredom number HP5268, Grainger number 5U526, industry number
607zz, dimensions 7mm X 19mm X 6mm). The Foredom 52 handpiece can
last a long time if the collets (two of them in this handpiece) are
kept clean and adjusted and the bearings are replaced often. Keep the
slide mechanism clean. Do not over-tighten any of the plastic parts.
If you want a handpiece that will stand up to daily hard work,
consider the Faro (same as Foredom 10 or Pfingst AC), the Technique,
180/00 (same as Grobet Q40) or the Foredom 20.

The Jewelry Equipment Dr.


Have you tried taking off the handpiece and re-seating it? (You
should do that with the flexshaft turning, by the way - very
counter-intuitive) It could be as simple as the handpiece not being
fully seated and connecting correctly with the shaft.

Karen Christians has an excellent book on the Flex Shaft which will
take you through operations and maintenance tasks that might help you
trouble-shoot the problem. It’s available from the Ganoksin website
and I really recommend it.

Hope this helps!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry

I might be on the wrong track completely but it sounds as though you
just have a very torquey motor. My new Foredom is also very torquey
and when my hubby set it up for me he warned me of this but he is
more heavy handed than I am and as such I’ve not found it a problem
after he warned me. Maybe you’ll just get used to it and be able to
control it smoothly very quickly.

As for the "gritty"ness of your flexshaft, maybe the shaft needs
lubricating. The instructions on mine say to lubricate the shaft
after every 50 hours of use and when hubby did that for me the other
day it was as smooth as it was when new, afterwards. Forgive me if
I’m teaching “my Grandmother to suck eggs”! (hope people in the US
understand that term too!).