Ronda Coryell’s Foredom Micromotor K.1050

2 Minute Read

HomeLearning CenterJewelry MakingToolsShop MachinesRonda Coryell’s Foredom Micromotor K.1050
By Sharon Elaine ThompsonMore from this author

If you're a bench jeweler who loves her flex-shaft, you may consider adding a micromotor to your toolbox. That's what San Francisco-based jewelry artist and Revere Academy instructor Ronda Coryell did recently when she purchased a Foredom K.1050 brushless micromotor—and it's since become one of her favorite tools in the shop.

What it Does

While the flex-shaft delivers high torque at relatively low rpms, providing maximum cutting ability with maximum control, the micromotor delivers high speeds (up to 50,000 rpm compared to the flex-shaft's 15,000 rpm) with less torque. It's brushless and features a supple power cord that makes it light and easy to use. While Foredom's micromotors won't do everything the flex-shaft does—they won't take larger buffs, nor are there as many accessories available—the faster speed provides a smoother cut. This is especially useful for fine detail work; for example, a jeweler can run a 0.5 mm round ball bur at 50,000 rpm smoothly enough to sign his or her work.

Why it's One of Ronda Coryell's Coolest Tools

One reason Coryell has largely switched to the Foredom K.1050—which she calls the "Lamborghini of micromotors"—is because vibration in the handpiece has been eliminated. The vibration can cause a bur or bit to "wobble," she says. "If a bur or bit goes true and dead center, it's one thing. But if there is vibration or wobble, it makes a different type of hold. The micromotor just offers more precision."

She also likes the control box that comes with the K.1050, which allows her to choose forward or reverse, set a fixed speed, work with the variable-speed foot control, or opt for "cruise control." The last is by far the coolest option, says Coryell, and it works much like the cruise control in a car. You hold the cruise control button and bring the foot control to the speed you want. When the control beeps twice, you take your foot off the pedal and cruise. To take control of the speed again, you simply tap the foot pedal. Just as the cruise control in a car allows you to rest during a long drive, the cruise option on the micromotor allows you to rest if you have a lot of metal or wax to remove.

Coryell's favorite handpiece for the micromotor is the reciprocating hammer. Unlike most hammer handpieces, the K.1050's starts only when you press it to the surface, so you can position it precisely before starting. In addition, you can adjust the stroke intensity—from soft to hard—and the striking speed to your liking. You can tap something only once if you want or need to. While you can use the reciprocating hammer for texturing metal, says Coryell, she finds it most valuable for stone setting, especially bezel setting. "It's the most amazing hammer handpiece," she says. "I can't imagine what I'd do without it. It's so controllable."

In association with

The award-winning Journal is published monthly by MJSA, the trade association for professional jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. “More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry,” says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.

Click here to read our latest articles
Click here to get a FREE four-month trial subscription.

You assume all responsibility and risk for the use of the safety resources available on or through this web page. The International Gem Society LLC does not assume any liability for the materials, information and opinions provided on, or available through, this web page. No advice or information provided by this website shall create any warranty. Reliance on such advice, information or the content of this web page is solely at your own risk, including without limitation any safety guidelines, resources or precautions, or any other information related to safety that may be available on or through this web page. The International Gem Society LLC disclaims any liability for injury, death or damages resulting from the use thereof.

Sharon Elaine Thompson

The All-In-One Jewelry Making Solution At Your Fingertips

When you join the Ganoksin community, you get the tools you need to take your work to the next level.

Become a Member

Trusted Jewelry Making Information & Techniques

Sign up to receive the latest articles, techniques, and inspirations with our free newsletter.