Most frequent questions and answers
If your specific question is not addressed, please Contact Us to submit your question and we will make every attempt to respond in a timely manner. We would also like to suggest that you spend the time to view our Maintenance Videos for step-by-step instructions on proper machine setup, use, and maintenance.
You can purchase directly from us on our websites or by calling 1-800-272-2885. You can also purchase from one of our dealers, some of them have discounted pricing and special promotions.
There are differences between either type of rotary tool. Micromotors have a faster speed range than flexible shaft machines. Micromotors have much more flexibility since their handpiece cord set is just a couple of wires like a phone cord. However, the micro motor handpieces are generally heavier and not as powerful as a flexible shaft machine. Flexible shaft machine handpieces have greater variety and can accept bits with ¼” shanks. Many micromotors can use both 110 and 220 voltage.
Low motor speeds can give users more control in certain operations such as milling, drilling and grinding. Low speeds help prevent bur and bit clogging when working with soft metals such as aluminum. Low speeds generate less heat that may adversely affect metal hardness and tempering.
FAQ about Foredom Flexshaft Rotary Tools.
Check out this page that explains it all! VIEW
Answer: 80% of our customers should get an SR.
If you are looking for guidance, our best advice is to go with a model within the Series SR. Series SR flex shaft motors are 1/6 HP, run in forward and reverse at speeds up to 18,000 RPM, and offer all of the power and speed needed to accomplish most every job. Keep in mind that our motors are rated at continuous duty or maximum efficiency and NOT maximum output. If we adopted the max output rating used by other manufacturers, it would qualify as 1/5 or 1/4HP.
What type and length shaft do you have now?
There are three types of shafting:
Key tip, square drive or slip joint. SHOP
If you decide to change shafting type, you will also need to change your handpiece type.
Key tip shafting is the most common and also requires a motor connector. (SKU UA111P.)Our standard key tip shaft is 39” long with other options at 43” & 66”.
Our standard square drive shafting is heavier and less flexible and has lengths 63-¾” and 45″. We also have very specialized square drive shafting for the Diprofile die profilers and for the Lipshaw autopsy saw.
Unplug your motor before starting the shaft change process.
Lay down the motor and shafting on a worksurface covered with old newsprint or paper.
Remove the handpiece (if it hasn’t been already done so).
Using a 1” crescent wrench or adjustable wrench, unthread the motor connector UA111P on the slip joint type shafting or the sheath nut on the square drive type shafting (remember that this is a left-hand thread).
Slide the sheath off the shafting and unscrew the set screw on the old shaft set screw and remove the shaft.
Insert the new shaft motor coupling as far as it will slide on the motor shaft with the set screw positioned over the motor shaft flat section. Tighten the set screw with a narrow screwdriver. Make sure the set screw is bottomed out and tight.
Consider replacing both the shaft and sheath, as parts of the shaft may break off and become imbedded in the inner wall of the sheath and damage a new shaft.
Slide on the motor connector over your new key tip type shaft. Before you replace the sheath, lightly grease your shaft with good high temperature lithium grease like MS10006.
Replace the sheath. For square drive sheaths, slide on and tighten the shaft nut (remember it is a left-hand thread). For key tip type sheaths, slide the plain end up to the motor and the grooved end towards the handpiece. Adjust the key tip sheath so that only ¾” of the key tip shaft extends out of the sheath. Then tighten the set screw on the bottom of the motor connector.
Hang the motor and run at high speed for 15 minutes with no handpiece attached yet. Let the shaft hang in an empty trash can to catch any grease that runs out from the sheath.
Wipe off any grease on the shaft tip when done and re-attach your handpiece.
Never run your flexible shaft with a cracked or damaged sheath.
The most common cause is that grease migrated from your shaft into your handpiece. Try cleaning out the grease with a cotton swab. The H.15, H.15D H.15SJ should only be run at speeds below 5,000 rpm and requires oiling with fine grade lubricating oil like our MS10005. The duplex spring handpieces require lubrication every week. Read and keep the handpiece instructions. Other causes can be that the bearings went bad or are rusty. Also incorrectly adjusted key tip shafts that extend longer than ¾” from the sheath.
P.S. – Never let your handpiece dangle on the shaft when not in use. This increases the chance that unnecessary grease will enter the handpiece. When not in use remove your handpiece or hang it up.
Most tasks can be done without trouble with the SR motor and the appropriate handpiece like our K.2230 or K.2220 Jewelers kits or the K.5240 Woodcarving kit.
For extra torque at higher speeds go with our TX motor kits.
We also have kits designed for specific applications like stone setting or chisel woodcarving which requires low speed and high torque. Using an LX motor and speed control with the appropriate handpiece will give you better performance than other kits.
What size shank burs are you using?
If you are using burs with ¼” or 6mm shanks you will need to use our H.44T, H.44HT, H.44TSJ, H.43T, H.43HT, H.25, or H.25H.
If you are only using burs with 3/32” (2.35mm) shanks and frequent bur changes, go with one of our quick-change handpieces.
If you are using bits that vary in size from 0” to 5/32” (4mm) go with one of our 3-jaw chuck handpieces H.30.
The key tip shafting is more flexible than our square drive shafting.
The square drive shafting has twice the torsional breaking point than the key tip but it is heavier and less flexible.
The key tip shafting has many more handpiece varieties including reciprocating types than the square drive.
If your speed control is a foot pedal type it may need a new trigger switch. If you have an SR motor, you can try plugging your motor into a power outlet directly which will make it run at full speed once you turn on the power switch. Do NOT try this with an LX or TX motor as they require DC power in-put, and it will damage the motor. If your SR motor still does not run the problem might be the power switch. If you have a dial speed control, check the fuse. The location for the fuse on newer models is near the power plug. If the fuse is ok, then it might be the circuit board. You can find these items in the Maintenance Section on the website, and they all come with instructions for replacement.
Reciprocating handpieces have a limited speed range. We recommend a dial speed control part number C.EM for SR motors and for TX motors C.EMX, keep the speed dial set to ¼ speed or less. LX motors can be used with foot pedals or dial controls with the hammer, or chisel handpieces.
The inner shaft is a long thin flexible length of tightly coiled steel wires that slides and spins inside a shorter spring known as a silencer. The outer sheath is a reinforced rubber-like or neoprene hose with a steel flat wire liner in which the shaft spins, transferring the power from the motor to the handpiece.
There are two types of flexible shafts
1. The standard shaft (Part No. S-93) is 39″ long and has a key tip on the end that connects to the keyway slot in the back end of the handpiece. It comes factory installed on all Series SR and TX motors and is perfectly suited for most applications. It is 1/8″ in diameter and can tolerate 12lbs. of torque.
This key tip style shaft can use two types of outer rubber-like sheaths.
The standard sheath (Part No. S-77) come standard with most motors. Key tip shafts and sheaths also come in two longer lengths 46″ (Part No. S-93-43) and 66″ (S-93-66). If you are looking for more flexibility there is an option made of neoprene and is very flexible and comes in 39″ length.* It comes on Foredom’s specialized motors – the Power Graver and the Series LX – but can also be ordered separately for use on any motor. Finally, key tip style shafts also come in optional, Non-Conductive versions.
*Specail caution should be taken when working with a neoprene sheath, please read all instruction manuals.
2. Square drive shafts are the second type of shaft. When a Foredom motor comes equipped with this style shaft, it is considered a “Heavy Duty” motor. Square drive shafts have a square drive tip (as opposed to key tip) on the handpiece end. This shaft is 3/16″ in diameter and can tolerate up to 28lbs. of torque. The sheathing for heavy duty shafts is stiffer than standard and neoprene sheathing.
Heavy duty shafting is that it work ONLY with 4 handpieces (30H, 44HT, 25H, and the new H.28H). The square drive shaft (Part No. S-10823) that comes equipped on Series SRH, TXH and LXH motors is 63-3/4″ long. The companion heavy duty sheath (Part No. S-10801TX) includes a silencer spring. A complete Assembly of heavy duty shaft, sheath and silencer spring is also available (Part No. S-10816TX). Shorter and Non-Conductive versions of heavy duty shafts and sheaths are also available.
• Vibration in the flexible shaft is usually caused by a kinked or bent inner shaft.
• Bending the shaft too tightly at the handpiece or motor ends is the primary cause of shaft kinking.
• We recommend that you not exceed a 4” radius curvature of the flexible shaft.
• Improper shaft-to-sheath adjustment will also cause vibration and kinking. The shaft key tip should extend 3/4″ out from the sheath tip to prevent kinks.
• Overloading the tool will also cause vibration and “knotting” of the shaft.
• Be sure to use caution when working around imperfections in your work piece.
• Lack of shaft grease and failure to periodically clean and re-grease the shaft may also cause vibration.
• Over greasing the shaft is the primary cause of handpiece over-heating.
• Rarely, the flexible shaft motor coupling set screw may loosen and fall into the space between the inner shaft and the outer sheath causing damage to both shaft and sheath.
FAQ About Foredom Micromotors
Collets that are larger can accept smaller shank burs with the use of collet adapters. We have collet adapters that go from 1/8” down to 1/16” or 3/32” and some that go from 3/32” to 1/16”.