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Thread: Pendant motor or micromotor? Really need some advice

  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Pendant motor or micromotor? Really need some advice

    Hi

    I really need some advice. I'd like to purchase a drill and was about to purchase the Foredom SR jewellers kit but then started reading about the benefits of a micro motor and have ended up really confused.
    My main priority is to be able to carve wax and polish pieces which have been cast . But I then want to be able to go on and potentially use my drill for metal work, stone setting etc.
    I'm totally bewildered by the different options.
    I have a decent amount of money to spend so I want to make a good long term choice. I'll be working from home rater than a workshop. I have a single jewelers bench by Emir so if I were to go for a pendant motor, should I have it clamped to the front or screwed into the top of the bench at either the front or back?
    Or would a micro motor be better for fine work?
    I've read some previous threads but some of the terminology was over my head unfortunately.

    I'd really appreciate some words of wisdom

  2. #2
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    Not surprised that you are confused Florence. its a big decision to make, particularly if you are going to spend a substantial amount of money. Here are some thoughts:

    The pendant motor has been the chief workhorse for jewellers for fifty or more years and you can achieve anything you need with it. Make sure you go for a quick release hand piece and choose one of the leading brands, which also offers a hammer handpiece if you want one in the future.
    The downside is that they are rather bulky and will need a hanger, fixed to the front of your bench.

    Then the micro motors came along. They are small and compact, because the much smaller motor is actually inside the handpiece. Known brands tend to be more expensive, the hammer handpiece exceptionally so. So that is one minus. The other is that the cheaper models don't have much torque, meaning that they slow down if you press hard on a rotary tool. That said, it does not create much of a problem, because you can counter it by increasing the speed.

    While you are thinking about it, you might consider gambling a modest amount of money on a cheap Marathon micromotor like this:https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MARATHON-...cAAOSwf~9ZZH50

    On arrival you will be asked for import duty and a carriers handling fee, but the total cost should still be well under 100. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Dennis

    It does seem like the Foredom pendant would be a good way to go. Because I'm going to be working from home and in a room where my children will sometimes be around, I was also a bit worried about the amount of wire and flex that might be around, though obviously I'll be around and watching them, I'm thinking I should try and limit the possibilities of them hurting themselves.
    So I suppose that was also in my mind when thinking about the micromotors.

    It sounds like a good idea to try out the Marathon, thanks so much for the link. If I were going to invest later, does anyone have a suggestion about which model I go for? Is it worth spending more on something 'without brushes' or that can take more than one size drill piece?

    Also, does anyone have experience of carving wax with a pendant drill versus a micrometer, given that this is what I'll mostly be doing, is one better than the other?

  4. #4
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    A brushless motor has a longer life without servicing, but at a price. Provided you have a common make, changing two brushes when they wear down in say 5-6 years, is only a matter of undoing a small screw for each.

    Wax carving is not a severe test for a motor and any one will do it. Note for most operations you will be using only a small fraction of the available speed.

    For safety with children around, switch off at the mains. Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Hi Florence
    I am in the same boat as you and have had very helpful advice from Dennis and others a few weeks ago (this forum is so good).

    To be honest, I am still undecided which way to jump but am slightly veering towards the Foredom SR pendant drill. It will give me the option of cheaper hammer action in the future and I suspect it is more robust than a micro motor. At present, I use my daughter's Dremel and to be fair, it does all the polishing I need although it does slow down under side pressure. I am very aware that a micro motor or pendant will be streets ahead of the Dremel.

    I will be interested to hear what you decide and further feedback would be very helpful. In the meantime, I will continue to deliberate...

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Thank you Dennis, I'm very grateful that this forum exists and I can ask what must seem like very typical beginner questions without being laughed at or at least I cant see if they do.

    You were right though, its because every purchase seems to be such an investment of money and I don't want to buy anything that will end up on ebay or the back of the cupboard.

    Good to know I'm not the only one is this boat Ian. Please do let me know what you decide to do also. I think I'm probably going to follow Dennis's advice and go for the Foredom SR.

  7. #7
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    I do the vast majority of my work by hand (including most drilling), but it might be helpful to add here that I have an SR and a Marathon Micromotor (couldn't afford the Foredom!). I don't think I've touched the SR in the last six months, but use the micromotor many times every day. I think part of it is to do with the sheer 'smallness' of the micromotor, which sits invitingly on my bench and has an incredibly responsive speed control.

    It doesn't have the torque of the SR, but I find the need for that so occasional that it makes very little difference. I also find the micromotor much, much easier to handle as the curly cable is less clumsy than the big flexshaft. And it's much, much quieter as well - which is good for people like me that do a lot of work at pretty antisocial hours!

  8. #8
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    I'm the same as you George, i love the micromotor that i got. Dennis recommended i get one. I find it perfect for my small flat and the little bits of drilling i need to do. I general keep the speed low which i find less scary. Just recently i used it to drill shell. Gonna try seaglass next.

  9. #9
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    I have a foredom micromotor because it was a gift from my husband. It’s really light and as George said the whole unit doesn’t take up room. My only problem is that I wanted it for stone setting and I can’t afford the hammer action hand piece which would cost the same again. I would almost be cheaper buying a pendant but that would be a waste.
    Waiting to see if Cookson adds it to stock as their micromotor is much less than my original. I admit I don’t use it for drilling as I have a wee proxxon bench drill which I wouldn’t be without but that price has gone up enormously since I purchased too.

  10. #10
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    Thank you all

    If I go for the Foredom SR, should I get the jewellery kit that includes all the burrs etc needed for drilling and polishing or is that a waste of money?

    I have set aside around 400 so its just a question of whether I should buy both the SR and a cheap marathon for example, or whether thats a total waste and I should go for either just the SR or a much better micromotor.

    The quietness of a micromotor is really appealing as is the less cumbersome cable which might be better for carving wax? But Caroline I don't want to be in the same position as you thinking I need a hammer thingy to set stones in six months time, but as a beginner that seems unlikely doesn't it?

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