Test Driving the Saeshin Micro Motor: A Little Studio Giant

|Sponsored| I recently had the pleasure of test driving the Saeshin Micro Motor from Rio Grande. I hadn’t worked with a micro motor before and didn’t know what to expect. This baby is waaaaay more than I even thought possible in a motorized bench tool, and now this tool junkie is in love! Knowing I’m surrounded by many other self-proclaimed tool junkies, I want to share a little about what’s under the hood of this little studio giant.

micro motor control box can be vertical or horizontal

The control box can be vertical or horizontal which gives you great flexibility.

First, its size. At 9” long x 8” high x 3” wide, this bench partner takes up very little space. The control box can be placed in the vertical or horizontal position, which makes this tool uber flexible. Speaking of flexible . . . the handpiece cable is very flexible and, unlike a flex-shaft, it doesn’t need to be kept straight. This feature alone allows you to carry and use this motor just about anywhere!

micro motor handpiece base

The handpiece should always be placed on the base when not in use.

About the Motor . . .

Oh, get this! The handpiece IS the motor! For some of you, that won’t be a surprise, but I’m still getting my mind wrapped around how a handpiece can go at these speeds. The Saeshin Micro Motor can operate up to 50,000 RPMs(!), all within this 6-inch, lightweight container.

The handpiece comes complete with a 3/32 collet that accommodates a lot of different bits. Be sure, when you purchase bits, they are rated for high speed and the right collet size. You can change the collet to work with bits you like that are not found in the 3/32 size.

Switch between hand dial or foot pedal with the ease of a button.

The motor is operated from the control box. It can be regulated through a foot pedal, which is included, or the dial on the front. To switch between the two, press the “hand” or “foot” button found on the front.

You can also change the motor to operate forward or reverse. This option is ideal as it allows you to work with this tool whether left- or right-handed. And, it spins so you can evacuate materials away from you.

change RPMs

Change RPMs with two fingers.

As for the speed – you can change between the 40,000 RPM standard or amp things up by switching to 50,000 RPMs! To switch, turn the dial so it reads “0” and press the motor and hand/foot buttons at the same time. Repeat to switch back.

Micro Motor in Use

3M polishing bristle discs

A series of 3M Bristle Discs

So, how does this baby perform? Well, I did a quick polish on a metal clay ring, fresh out of the kiln.

metal clay ring before polishing burnishing

Metal clay fresh out of the kiln (cooled to room temperature).

Metal clay fires up wonderfully, but it comes out of the kiln flat in appearance and a bit rough. It needs burnishing.

polishing with micro motor

First bit applied to metal clay to polish the surface.

First up in the polishing series is a mild abrasive bit. The ring was then polished with a full series of 3M bristle discs, attached to the proper size collet. The ring came up beautifully, quickly, and to a full shine.

polished metal clay ring

Metal clay ring polished using the Saeshin Micro Motor

Impressions of the Micro Motor

micro motor set up

  • The motor is quiet! I had a hard time believing the power behind the motor when I first heard it operating at 40,000 RPMs. Don’t let the quiet fool you, too!
  • The handpiece is lightweight, doesn’t cause any ache in my hand when in use, and it’s easy to change up the bits.
  • The box contains an extra fuse. I hope it won’t ever be necessary to make use of this bonus or that I remember where I put it should it be needed!
  • The instructions include how to change the collet. I need to purchase another collet so I can make use of the drill bits I own—or—I need to get some new bits to suit the 3/32 collet.
  • I’m used to working with a foot pedal, so was surprised I relied on the dial control when polishing the ring. I’m not sure why this is, but it was easy!
  • Set up was a snap! In less time than it took to unpack the tool, it was up and running.

A micro motor was not on my radar or seen as missing in my studio. Now, I will be hard pressed to not save for one and will be moving it to the top of the must-have list!

Tammy Honaman

Editorial Director, Interweave Bead & Jewelry Group

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