A review of the Axminster heavy duty flexible shaft.
- 190W continuously rated motor
- Variable speed (0-20,000rpm) – foot pedal control
- 970mm long flexible shaft
- Wall mounted hanger
The base unit as it arrives in it′s box. This contains the motor, flexible shaft, foot-controller and cables to join the 2 parts and cable with 3 pin plug. This box also contains allen key and instructions for fitting this all together.
The left-hand thread for the flexi-drive attachment to the motor could catch you out, but there is a big label showing direction to rotate to remove it. The grub-screw fixing of the flexible-drive locates onto a flat on the shaft of the motor, once this grub screw is tight you can then wind the outer housing of the flexible-drive onto the motor housing.
The handpieces are interchangeable with a push fit, the drive is located with a key in the flexible shaft.
The handpieces are sold separately – this allows for great flexibility in tailoring the unit to match your needs.
4mm Chuck Handpiece with Key
The handpiece with the 4mm chuck is probably the most general purpose of the hand units, but this does come with a downside and that is the diameter of the hand unit is rather large.
If you have small hands or not so much strength in your hands then this handpiece will be challenging to use.
The unit is supplied with a wall bracket for hanging the motor on, this is a two-man job to find the right location over the bench and I pretty much guarantee you won’t get the location right the first time as you need enough free length and the right angle that works for your application.
The motor itself is very powerful and the speed control is good, but it has taken me some time to get used to the foot speed control.
2.4 & 3.2mm Collet Handpiece
The collet handpiece clips into place on the flexible drive in the same way as the larger 4mm chuck.
This is also supplied with a pin and a spanner. The pin goes through the hole in the handpiece and locks the rotation of the shaft, the spanner can then be used to tighten and loosen the chuck. I unplug at the mains before changing bits so that there is no chance of stepping on the foot pedal and driving the motor against the locking pin.
The 2.4 and 3.2mm collets are both made from aluminium and you do have to be carefull to ensure you don’t squeeze them too far either side of this nominal shaft size that they can hold. Therefore, these are best for use with standard grinding and cutting bits that are normally mounted on a 2.4mm or 3.2mm diameter shaft.
When you compare the collet handpieces side by side you can see the difference in overall size.
My recommendation is to purchase the smaller collet handpiece in the first place as this is the more general and useful of the two.
Price: Flexi-Drive Base Unit approx £119, 4mm Chuck approx. £36 (August 2015)
I bought this Dura-Grit Carbide Drum at the same time as the flexible drill.
This is a mean abrasive drum and works well with the power that this grinder can deliver.
My only downside with the Dura-Grit is that I do find they clog and are difficult to get clean again.
This Axminster Tungsten Carbide Cutter is superb and you can remove wood at a rapid rate of knots.
Warning: with all of these tools it is best to wear a pair of tough leather gloves as they can snag on the workpiece and before you know what’s happening they will walk across and into your hand.