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560-828 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9


Arbutus Medical is an orthopaedic equipment company developing innovative devices for use around the world. 

Veterinary FAQs

Arbutus Medical is a surgical equipment company developing innovative devices for orthopedic surgery in low-resource environments and developing countries.

Veterinary Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

DrillCover Technology

Is it safe to use a hardware drill for orthopaedic surgery?

Yes, but not just any drill. The hardware drill must always be used with a sterile DrillCover System before it enters the sterile field. Before use, ensure your DrillCover System has been correctly assembled and that the textile is free of damage.

First, it is important to drill at speeds that avoid bone necrosis, and some hardware drills operate at maximum speeds 2-3x greater than standard orthopaedic drills, which therefore increases the risk of excessive heat generation at the drilling site.

Second, the drill must not interfere with other electronic equipment in the OR. Arbutus Medical has carefully selected and extensively tested both the DEWALT DCF610S2 (drill included in the DrillCover Hex System) and Makita DF032DZ (drill included in the DrillCover PRO System) to ensure complete safety.     

We recommend that only power tools specified by Arbutus Medical are used, since each tool has ideal ergonomics, compatibility, and speed/torque settings for orthopaedic surgery. The DrillCover Hex uses the DEWALT DCF610, while the DrillCover PRO utilizes the Makita DF032DZ (with an additional Arbutus Medical stabilization bracket). We do not recommend using the DrillCover power tool for purposes outside of surgery.

Can I use any power tool with the DrillCover Systems?

The DrillCover Hex DeWalt drill torque is excellent for drilling. The DrillCover Hex System is inadequate for reaming.  
The DrillCover PRO Makita drill torque has 50% more torque than some surgical drills. Through our clinical trials, the torque was thoroughly tested for drilling and reaming these various bone and tissue types.

Is the torque sufficient for cortical bone drilling? For IM reaming? For acetabular reaming?

Product Details & Selection

The DrillCover Hex includes only three components: a DrillCover linen, a 7.4mm chuck attachment (with chuck key), and a single-speed DEWALT 12V drill/driver (DCF610S2 -  includes one charger and two batteries).

The DrillCover PRO has expanded capabilities: option to use multiple quick-connect attachments (including a keyless 7.4mm chuck and AO quick connect), a 2-speed drill (high-torque reaming mode, high-speed drilling mode), and the option to use a Cannulated or InLine adapter - all on a minimal footprint.

What is the difference between the DrillCover Hex and DrillCover PRO?

What is the grip capacity of the DrillCover Hex 3-jaw chuck?

The DrillCover Hex includes a regular 3-jaw chuck, capable of gripping drills with diameters between 0.5mm-7.4mm. A 10mm chuck is available upon request.

All our products are designed and manufactured with the highest standards in mind. That is why we have chosen to work with the leading saw blade manufacturers in the US and in Germany.

What is your saw blade quality? How do your saw blades compare to others?

Saw blades are available in packages of 5.

While saw blades can be reused, the sharpness of the blade will depend on the type and duration of procedures for which it was previously used. Therefore, we recommend having a new blade available to use for each surgery.

How many saw blades do I need to buy?

The saw blade 5-packs include 5 units of the same model. A variety pack is also available, which includes 1 x BLD-201, 2 x BLD-202 and 2 x BLD-203 blade models.

Contact us should you be interested in modified packs.

Can I mix and match saw blade models?

Not at this time. Instead of using a K-wire collet, we recommend that users employ the Cannulated Adapter (RPA-005) with a 7.4mm keyless chuck (RPA-011) to drive and remove long pins.

Does the DrillCover PRO come with a K-Wire collet?

Textile & Sterilization

What material is the textile portion of each DrillCover made from? Is it waterproof and virus-proof?

Each DrillCover textile is made from a trilaminate material commonly used in reusable surgical gowns. The middle “barrier layer” is made from ePTFE, and is an AAMI PB70 Level 4 waterproof and virus-proof barrier up to 2.0 PSI. All seams are taped to maximize barrier performance.

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How is the DrillCover sterilized? Are all components sterilized?

All DrillCover System components can be sterilized by autoclave, except for the power tool, which remains non-sterile.

We recommend a pre-clean by spraying the device with water or an enzymatic detergent. Scrub with soft brush, using the brush lumen for inside of chuck and repeating until no remaining soil is visible. Do not use bleach - it decreases lifetime, performance and degrades seals.

Arbutus Medical instructs users to sterilize the linen and attachments under the following settings:

  • Pre-vac autoclave 132°C, 4 min exposure time, 30 min dry time OR

  • Pre-vac autoclave 134°C; 3 mins exposure time; 30 min dry time OR

  • Gravity Displacement Autoclave 121°C, 30 mins exposure time, 60 minutes dry time

Full processing instructions are provided in the Instructions for Use manual. Find them here.

Arbutus Medical has not validated EtO as a sterilization method for the DrillCover family of products. The effectiveness of this method and whether it is safe for the product is not known at this time.

Can the DrillCover be gas sterilized?

Do the DrillCovers ship sterile or non-sterile?

All DrillCovers ship non-sterile and must be sterilized before use.

Each DrillCover, including the textile guard, is reusable.

A single-use cover is in development and is set to launch in the summer of 2019.

Can I purchase single-use covers?

Product Lifetime & Warranty

We recommend replacing the linen cover after 75 uses.

The chuck adapter and power tool have lifetimes of multiple years, and a 2 year limited manufacturer warranty is offered for the chuck adapter.

What is the lifetime of the product?

Find our complete warranty document here.

What is the product warranty?

Power Tool & Components

We recommend utilizing the charger (120V or 220-240V) which matches the native output of your power supply.

Tell us where you are going to use your products and we’ll make sure to get you the correct charger.

Will the battery chargers safely operate at any voltage / frequency?

Typically batteries last for 30 minutes of continuous drilling. Anecdotally, has been used up to 10 cases on a full charge.

Note that proper use and care of the batteries will extend their life. Additional and higher capacity batteries and chargers are available upon request.

How long do batteries last?

Though it is unlikely that a battery will need to be changed during a procedure, we recommend keeping a charged spare battery available at all times.

When a battery is deemed to be low charge and not usable, replace the battery while maintaining the sterility of the DrillCover linen.

What is best practice for changing batteries?

Question not answered here? Contact us.


US FDA (Food & Drug Administration): The DrillCover Systems Family is registered as a Class I medical device with the US FDA.

Health Canada: The DrillCover Systems family is licensed as a Class II medical device by Health Canada.