Intro to the Flex Shaft: How, When, and Why You’ll Use it for Jewelry Making

All day, every day, we’re confronted with decisions. Soup or salad? Diamonds or pearls? Edward or Jacob? Coke or Pepsi? (Make that sweet tea or unsweet?) Flex shaft or Dremel?

That last one can get a group of jewelry-tool fans and jewelry makers in a tizzy faster than diamonds vs. pearls. So far, I’m on Team Dremel–possibly because I already have one, I like to improvise, and I’m trying to save my studio from even more jewelry-making tools–but some folks make a good argument for the flex shaft, and I’m seriously considering the switch. Here’s a good intro to using the flex shaft, including how and when you’ll use this versatile tool for jewelry-making projects and details about what parts and accessories you’ll need to go with it, from the Jewelry Making Daily archives.

If you already know which team you’re on and have (or are ready to buy) a flex shaft, you’ll want to order our jewelry-making tutorial video workshop, Intro to the Flex Shaft. Hosted by metalsmithing expert and jewelry artist Travis Ogden, Intro to the Flex Shaft is over 100 minutes worth of detailed examination of the parts and uses of a flex shaft tool for jewelry making. In seven lessons, you’ll learn how to maintain and safely use the flex shaft; how to grind, sand, finish, and polish metal jewelry with it; the proper sequence for grinding and sanding; drilling and cutting metal, stone, and wax; and using the flex shaft’s specialty accessories. You can also instantly download Intro to the Flex Shaft if you’re impatient like me.

So which team are you on, Team Dremel or Team Flex Shaft? I’d love to hear why in the comments below.

About the host: New to Jewelry Making Daily, Travis Ogden has been an independent jewelry artist for over 40 years and holds both a BFA and an MFA. His award-winning, superbly crafted jewelry is currently represented in three Colorado galleries. He taught metalsmithing at the university level for more than 15 years and currently teaches at the Denver School of Metal Arts, which he owns along with Naja Tool and Supply in Denver.

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