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$474.00

The Balaur was designed exclusively for the final stages of fossil preparation. This air scribe will make you the best preparator you can be! The most advanced and accurate air scribe for detailed, finishing work and prepping even the most fragile fossils in all types of rock. Perfect for working under high magnification or a microscope, but this air scribe will also be a game-changer with just the naked eye. 

  • The most precise air scribe EVER made
  • Independently adjustable beats per minute, impact character & pressure
  • Available with chisel or pointed stylus
  • UKCA & CE Certified

  • Excellent customer service
  • Made in the UK in our Dorset Workshop

  • Spares ALWAYS available

  • Guaranteed safe checkout

The option selected below will be your 'Base' tool. You can select different styli/head combinations and sizes below. 

ZPT-BL THE BALAUR

The Balaur is the most adjustable and advanced precision air scribe for fine and finishing prep in the world. You have absolute control by selecting the power ofthe impact, the Beats Per Minute (BPM), the operating pressure and the impact profile; all independently of one another. Adjust the character from impact-driven style heavy beats (great for 'sticky' matrix) through to pusher-plate style, through to ultrasonic needle scaler delicacy (without the annoying noise!). With a wide range of stylus options available, there will be no limitations to the finest stages of your prep.


All rocks fracture and break at differing levels of power and frequencies depending upon their individual mechanical characteristics. This fact is at the heart of the degree of customisation of the Balaur. A combination of spring, selected stroke number and pressure will provide the best results for a job where the matrix will “pop” cleanly off the specimen. We have engraved the settings on the BPM adjuster, making it easy to recreate the perfect settings for different types of fossil. 


You can customise the Balaur exactly to your requirements.

  • Adjust the pressure using the pressure regulator
  • Adjust the beats per minute using the BPM adjustor
  • Adjust the impact profile by choosing a hard spring or a soft spring
  • Choose the perfect tungsten carbide stylus for the job! Chisel or point? A variety of diameters available. 


Weight: 110g (3.9 oz)

Dimensions: 145mm length, 19mm max. diameter (5.7" long, 0.35" ø)

Working Pressure Range: 0.3 - 2.3 Bar (5-33 PSI)

Maximum Air Consumption: 12.5lpm (0.44 CFM)

Noise: 74 dB(A)

Vibration: 3.06m/s2

Connection: 1.5m extra flexible braided hose + Inline filter assembly + pressure regulator + quick coupler

On/Off Mechanism: Ball Valve

The Balaur is fitted with a stylus locking mechanism, which means that when fitted with a chisel it will never rotate or spin when you’re working – not once, not ever. Easily switch between point and chisel.


This is also beneficial if you sharpen your own points, as it is not essential to grind dead on centre. Under high magnification, your stylus will remain absolutely stable.

  • The finest, most adjustable air scribe for precision work

  • ZOIC PalaeoTech PRO Range

  • A variety of stone-grade tungsten carbide styli to choose from (0.5mm-1.5mm diameter)

  • Frugal air consumption 

  • Adjustable beats per minute (independent of operating pressure)
  • Rubber coated for thermal insulation and easy grip
  • OIL FREE!


The Balaur is a special combination between an impact-driven and a pusher-plate driven tool. Its versatility comes from the ability to extensively vary the length of the stroke of its piston, independent of the operating pressure and thereby change not only the force of the impact, but the force profile of each impact as well.


By turning the BPM Adjuster clockwise and increasing the number visible adjacent to the reference line, the gap between the two sections becomes smaller. As the gap is closed, the distance between the head of the piston and the tip of the stylus anvil decreases thereby shortening the length of travel the piston can achieve before impact. By lessening the length of travel of the piston, the number of blows transmitted to the stylus increases in direct proportion to the decreasing force of each individual blow. 


Heavy, slow impacts with low beats per minute are brilliant for hard, brittle matrices (not dissimilar from our T-Rex running at low pressures, fitted with the 1.5mm stylus). Higher beats per minute and a softer impact replicate pusher-plate driven tools. With the highest beats per minute and the gentlest impacts, the Balaur becomes similar in character to an ultrasonic needle scaler (without the annoying noise!), which may be essential with delicate free-standing structures. 


Worried about forgetting the perfect combination for a certain fossil type or locality? We have marked increments on the BPM adjuster to make it really easy to pick up again where you left off. Simply make a note of the setting, the spring type, the head and the stylus that worked. 


At its most powerful, the Balaur is similar to the Microraptor running at full pressure, but is also able to be much more delicate. The Microraptor has a 1.5mm pointed stylus with no smaller options available. 


The most adjustable air scribe in the world! Customise to your requirements. Every Balaur will come with both springs (hard and soft), one head and one stylus. The others are available to purchase separately.

Head/Stylus Combinations

Sale Off
1.5/0.5mm Head and 1.5mm or 0.5mm Stylus for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$104.00
Sale Off
1.3mm Head + 1.3mm Stylus for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$104.00

Stylus Options

Sale Off
1.5mm Point for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00
Sale Off
1.5mm Chisel for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00
Sale Off
1.3mm Point for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00
Sale Off
1.3mm Chisel for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00
Sale Off
1mm Point for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00
Sale Off
0.5mm Point for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$39.00

Head Options

Sale Off
1mm Head for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$65.00
Sale Off
1.3mm Head for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$65.00
Sale Off
1.5/0.5mm Head for ZPT-BL The Balaur
$65.00

Every Balaur comes with two springs

The Soft Spring

The soft spring will provide the lowest number of beats per minute depending on the selected pressure, and will provide an impact profile more similar to state-of-the-art impact-driventools (e.g. similar to our T-Rex running at very low pressures with the 1.5mm stylus). 


This impact profile is a short and sudden hit which facilitates the formation and removal of “chips” and is suited to harder and more brittle matrices, in essence those which tend to develop conchoidal fractures (e.g.highly pyritic rocks, very well indurated rocks).

The Hard Spring

The hard spring will provide the highest number of beats per minute (BPM) and depending on the selected pressure, will act most like a traditional pusher-plate driven tool (e.g.similar to our Microraptor air scribe).


When used at maximum pressure and with a high number selected on the back-end, it will tend to perform much like an ultrasonic needle scaler, providing an extremely short stroke at many tens of thousands of beats per minute resulting in pulverization of the matrix instead of chipping. This will be useful for fragile structures in some rock types. This spring provides more of a pushing action on the stylus and is very useful on softer, sticky matrices such as shales, soft mudstones, etc.


What’s in the box? The Balaur air scribe, fitted with 1.5m premium extra flexible braided hose, inline particulate filter assembly and pressure regulator. Packaged in a wooden presentation box with a connector (as per user requirements), 1x hard spring, 1x soft spring (installed in the tool), spare o-rings, silicone o-ring grease, 1x protective scribe sleeve, 1x 11mm spanner, User Manual & Declaration of Conformity.


What else do I need to know? Your Balaur will need to be connected to a clean, dry air supply to prevent moisture entering the body of the air scribe. This will enable it to operate correctly and run smoothly. Whilst the Balaur is fitted with two particulate filters, these do not capture moisture or oil. 


Moisture and oil from your compressor will negatively affect operation. 'Off-the-shelf' water and moisture traps will not be sufficient to remove oil contamination from the air if you are using an oiled compressor. We suggest a 4CFM Dropout Filter as most effective filtration on the market within its price range, outperforming most refridgerant and dessicant air dryers for a fraction of the price. 


THE ZOIC PALAEOTECH QUALITY THAT YOU KNOW AND TRUST

We manufacture each tool right here in Dorset, and take enormous pride in our workmanship. Each tool is quality controlled before it leaves our workshop. Dependability, reliability, innovation and function are at the heart of what we do. We want for our tools to see you through whatever you may throw at them, and for you to enjoy using them. We want them to be as quiet as they can be, comfortable and a genuine pleasure to use. We design our tools to be low maintenance, requiring very little user input. If you look after your tools, they will look after you! 


Warranty: 24 month warranty to cover manufacturing faults and defects. 


If you have any troubleshooting queries at any point during the lifetime of your tool, we are fully contactable. We will always do our best to make sure you are getting the most out of your tool, no matter how old or battered it is!


CE & UKCA Conformable

We know that not everyone loves reading user manuals, so we've got a series of video tutorials on our YouTube Channel on use and maintenance of our air scribes. 


What is a Balaur?

We'll forgive you if you haven't heard of very strange Romanian dinosaur, Balaur bondoc.  We named the Balaur (pronounced Bal-or) air scribe in honour of our late friend, palaeontologist and geologist Mátyás Vremir (1970-2020), who discovered the Transylvanian dinosaur, Balaur bondoc and countless other specimens. Matyas had a magnetic attraction to finding curious and exciting fossils. May you raise your air scribe up in the air each time you use it, and say “to Mátyás!”, and perhaps some of his palaeontological magic will be on your side when you use it.  Balaur bondoc was a double-sickle clawed theropod from the Latest Cretaceous. The skull was weathered away before the creature was found, and so it is not known whether Balaur bondoc was a dromaeosaurid apex predator or even a flightless bird. 

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