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How to Cut a Kinked Flexible Shaft

Flexible Shaft Set

Flexible shafts are important tools in various industries, including plumbing and sewer cleaning. However, even with high-quality shafts as ours, there is always a possibility of encountering a kink when the chain stops abruptly on a solid obstruction. In such cases, it becomes necessary to cut the kinked section to restore the shaft’s functionality. Here, we provide you with a short step-by-step guide on how to cut a kinked flexible shaft, emphasizing the use of an angle grinder and the importance of a torque limiter for preventing such incidents.

Understanding the Need for Cutting a Kinked Flexible Shaft

A kinked flexible shaft significantly hampers its performance and compromises the effectiveness of the tools attached to it. By cutting and removing the kinked section, you can restore the flexibility and functionality of the shaft, allowing for smooth operation. We do not recommend tacking/welding the end of our flexible shafts. For a flex shaft of a lower quality you would need to do that, but since our flexible drain cleaning shafts are wound in opposing directions (meaning they provide equal torque in both directions and won’t uncoil easily), all you need to do is use an angle grinder and slice it 90 degrees to the direction of the flex shaft.

Proper tools and techniques are needed to ensure a clean and precise cut that maintains the integrity of the shaft.

The Role of the Torque Limiter

A torque limiter is an integral safety feature in a flexible shaft system. It is designed to protect the shaft from excessive torque and prevent kinks or damage. However, in some situations, the torque limiter may not engage in time to prevent a kink. By reducing the space between the sleeve friction ring and the drill adapter, you can minimize the likelihood of a kink occurring, thereby enhancing the overall performance and lifespan of the flexible shaft.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting a Kinked Flexible Shaft

1. Assess the Kink

Examine the kinked section of the flexible shaft to determine the severity and location of the kink. Identify the area where the cut needs to be made. Make sure that the kink is not a result of any underlying mechanical issues that need to be addressed separately.

2. Prepare the Work Area

Choose a suitable workspace that provides ample room for maneuvering and allows for proper ventilation. Secure the flexible shaft firmly in a vise or any other appropriate clamping device, ensuring stability during the cutting process, you don’t want that thing flying around or moving while you are busy. Please wear safety goggles and gloves for protection.

3. Select the Angle Grinder and Cutting wheel

Choose an angle grinder with a cutting wheel suitable for the material of your flexible shaft. Ensure that the cutting wheel is designed specifically for metal to achieve clean and precise cuts. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the cutting wheel securely onto the angle grinder. Do not be experimental and try to use an axle blade to cut your flex shaft since it will unsettle the individual strands and make it less effective.

4. Cut the Kinked Section

With the angle grinder in hand, carefully position the cutting wheel against the kinked section of the flexible shaft. Apply steady pressure to the grinder and make a slow, controlled cut along the marked area. Maintain a steady hand to avoid jagged edges or damage to the shaft.

5. Inspect and Smooth the Cut

After making the cut, inspect the cut section for any burrs or rough edges. Use a file or sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections, ensuring a clean and even finish. This will prevent any interference or snagging when reassembling the flexible shaft. Then voila, you have done it maestro!!

If you would like to see how the shaft should be cut, please take a look at this video we created on how to cut a kinked shaft:

Conclusion

Cutting a kinked flexible shaft requires precision and the right tools to ensure a clean and effective restoration of the shaft’s functionality. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article and utilizing an angle grinder with a suitable cutting wheel, you can confidently remove the kinked section and restore the flexibility of your shaft. Remember, the proper use of a torque limiter and reducing the space between the sleeve friction ring and the drill adapter can help prevent kinks from occurring in the first place. Regular inspection and maintenance of your flexible shaft are essential to avoid potential kinking incidents.

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