B.A.'s Handy Guide to Handpieces

What handpiece is best for you? Which fitting do you require? Bit confused by the jargon or wondering about differences between brand names and what the model codes mean? Read this handy guide to find out more!

This guide covers handpieces within the “General Dentistry” category (turbines, contra-angles and straights). It excludes scaling, endodontic or surgical handpieces.

B.A.'s main sub-brands explained: Ultimate Power+, Ultimate, Optima.

Our handpieces within the General Dentistry range fall into these three categories. Ultimate Power+ is the top range (premium) brand, Ultimate is mid-range and Optima is entry-level.

Ultimate Power+ - Top of the range (premium) products using latest technology, up to 3 years warranty, only made in Germany.

Ultimate – Mid range products featuring all required handpieces for general dentistry, up to 2 years warranty, mixture of products made in Germany and Japan.

Optima – Entry-level product range suited for challenging markets and made with developing countries in mind. Up to 12 months warranty, mainly made in Taiwan and Japan.

Connections and fittings

The connection, drive and fitting type depends on what type of handpiece you are looking at and what set-up you have in your surgery.

High-speed handpieces: turbines

We have two types of connections for our turbines – coupling base turbines and fixed base turbines. A coupling base turbine connects to your coupling which then connects to your dental tubing. A fixed base turbine, on the other hand, connects directly to your dental tubing.


-       Air driven, fits existing delivery unit tubing.

-       Borden and Midwest fittings.

-       Can be with or without light.

-       Can be with or without water regulation.

-       Each manufacturer has their own coupling. We supply turbines to fit the following: KaVo®, Sirona®, Bien Air®, NSK®. W&H®.

Fixed base:

-       These turbines connect directly to your tubing.

-       Two types of tubings: Borden (old style, 2-3 hole, non-optic) and Midwest (4-hole non-optic; 6-hole optic).

-       We supply turbines to fit Borden and Midwest (non-optic) tubings.

Slow-speed handpieces: contra-angles and straights

Our contra-angles and straight handpieces all have the standard “E” fitting. They connect to either an air motor or electric motor which then connects to your tubing. The type of motor depends on what type of handpiece – these are generally split into three categories defined by their speed ratio: direct ratio (blue band), speed reducing (green band) and speed increasing (red band).

Air motors:

-       Air driven to fit existing delivery unit tubing.

-       Borden and Midwest fittings.

-       For use with 1:1 (blue band) or speed reducing (green band) contra-angles.

-       With external or internal water.

Electric motors (micromotors):

-       Built-in or table top motors.

-       Ideal for speed increasing (red band) handpieces.


Quick guide to turbine codes:

Our turbines’ names can tell you in an instant what type of turbine you are looking at using a simple suffix:

An “F” will denote a fixed base handpiece. You will find either an FB (Fixed base, Borden) or FM (Fixed base, Midwest) suffixed to the BA code. E.g.: BA888FM.

With the coupling base turbines, the last letter will denote the type of coupling:

W = W&H®

S = Sirona®

K = KaVo®

N = NSK®

B = Bien Air®

E.g. BA525K = KaVo® fitting turbine.

Fibre-optic turbines are distinguished using “L” (for “light”) before the fitting abbreviation.

E.g. BA525LK = KaVo® fibre-optic turbine.