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Instruments and Accessories

What is the needle and brush used for in the Buck and Babinski neurological hammers?

Our Buck and Babinski neurological hammers are equipped with concealed needles and/or brushes to allow for additional reflex and neurological testing. The brush accessory can be used to assess thigmesthesia or sensitivity to light touch on various parts of the body. The needle can be used for similar testing or to assist in testing for pain sensitivity in the upper or lower extremities. (Important note: neurological hammer needles are not designed to pierce the skin and are not sterile devices.)

How do I deactivate my tuning fork?

Touching and holding the tines of the tuning fork while it is activated will cancel out the vibrations in the tines and silence your tuning fork.

What is the best method to use to activate my tuning fork?

To activate your tuning fork, hold it as close as possible to the end of the handle. For best results, strike the tuning fork gently against a hard surface near where the tines end. Note that you do not need to strike the tuning fork very hard against an object to activate it.
Alternately, you can activate the forks by ‘snapping’ the tines of the forks. Place your thumb and index finger on the outside of each fork and then slide your fingers off the tip of each tine while moving them towards each other, as if you were snapping. This motion will set the tines to vibrating.

Which tuning forks should I use for Weber and Rinne tests?

The Weber test is generally conducted using a tuning fork with a frequency of 256 Hz. Our model number 500256 will provide the appropriate frequency for this type of test. Activate the tuning fork (as described further in this FAQ) and place the base of the tuning fork over thin skin that is in contact with bone, equidistant from both ears to perform the test.

Which tuning fork should I use for vibratory sensation testing?

Testing for pallesthesia or vibratory sensation can be accomplished through the use of a tuning fork calibrated to a frequency of 128 Hz. Our model number 500128 will provide the appropriate frequency to allow for this type of testing anywhere on the body.

What kind of tests can be conducted with the tuning fork?

Tuning forks of various frequencies can be used to test for pallesthesia as well as hearing disorders through the Weber and Rinne tests. This type of testing generally involves selecting a specific frequency of tuning fork (dependent upon the type of test being conducted) and activating it over bone or near the ear canal.
ADC offers tuning forks in an assortment of frequencies to provide you with all of the tools you might need to conduct these types of tests.

I am having trouble hearing anything from your tuning forks. Am I doing something wrong or is it malfunctioning?

ADC’s tuning forks are American made to the highest medical grade standards and accurate to within 5% of the rated frequency. The best way to activate the fork is by striking it firmly (but not with too much force) on a rigid surface. Snapping the tips of the fork prongs together with the fingers will also start them vibrating but probably at a lower volume. Striking the fork against the palm of the hand or any padded surface will dampen vibrations and is not recommended.

What is the frequency in Hertz of each of the tuning forks?

The model for each tuning fork represents the vibrational frequency measured in cycles per second (cps) or Hertz. For example, the C128 vibrates at 128 Hertz or 128 cycles per second.

What is the purpose of the weight on the C128 and C256 tuning forks?

As the frequency decreases, the tuning fork's arms must be increased in length. In order to keep the size of the instrument manageable, weights are added to the C128 and C256 frequencies. Without them, these two models would have to be considerably larger.

What do the different tuning fork frequencies test?

Tuning forks are used to conduct hearing and neurological vibratory tests. The C128 and C256 forks are generally used for the neurological tests, while hearing tests are often conducted using the higher frequency forks.