Convert A-series Sonicare Toothbrushes to Use E-series Heads




Sonicare toothbrushes rock. I was skeptical, but after buying one I'll never go back. I bought an A-series about 4 years ago. My only real complaint was that the head was a little bulky and the inside of the head was hard to keep clean. Then the Elite series (E-series) came out. It promised better maneuverability and increased cleanliness. I was a bit pissed when I found that my toothbrush wasn't compatible with the new heads.

The E-series heads are much lighter than the A-series. If you look at the the bases next to eachother, the A-series base is a little larger than the E-series. I think the A-series base is a little more powerful in order to compensate for the difference in brush mass. My A-series base running an E-series head is quite a bit more powerful than the E-series set.

Booya. Saved money and got a superior toothbrush.

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Step 1: Buy an E-series Head

Trust me, you'll be able to do this conversion. Your hard earned money won't be blown on buying the head.

If you don't own any tools, I would recommend that you buy a small carving chisel to gouge with. I just used a typical utility knife. The job wasn't as pretty as it could have otherwise been, but it worked.

The reason you should buy the head first is evident in the next step.

Step 2: Inspect the Inside of the Head

When the Sonicare people designed the E-series heads to not be compatible with the A-series, they made two changes to the head.

First, they added a little piece of plastic to the inside to prevent the head from being able to fit properly. Second, the changed the threads a little so it wouldn't fit on an A-series.

On the newer E-series heads, the extra piece of plastic is absent. Maybe they decided that the different threads were enough the prevent people from being able to upgrade their A-series. If you buy your head ahead of time, you can save yourself from having to do a little bit of carving.

Step 3: Carve Away

No matter how new the head is, you'll have to remove some threads from the base. You'll need to remove the about 1/3-1/2 turn of threads working from the bottom up. It doesn't have to look pretty. In fact, with a utility knife it's pretty much impossible to look pretty (get a chisel). Just remove a little and try the head. Keep going until the head is able to thread onto the base.

If necessary, now carve a notch from the inside of the A-series base. The best way to do this would be to put mascarra, stamp ink or some kind of washable ink on the little plastic nub. Screw the head onto the base. The nub will transfer the ink onto the base in exactly the right spot. Cut a notch a little larger and about 1/4 inch down.

That should be it.

Step 4: Brush Your Teeth You Filthy Animal

Brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably after every meal. Visit you dentist every 6 months. Don't let the man keep you down.

Enjoy citizen.

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    15 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 2

    I had my A-series Sonicare stolen, and had a couple of extra, unused brush heads that I never threw out even after I replaced it with an E-series brush. (too painful!). I was looking up to see how much I could maybe sell them for when I found this. After some carving, I got those A-series heads to fit my E-series. Thanks so much!


    7 years ago on Step 4

    Hey! THX...I have the original Advance a4000 model...still works super. But, since I haven't been able to find the HX4002 for a year or TWO, will try your recommendation...just couldn't bear to throw it out, OR buy a new one! With your instructions, definitely looks like something I can do!


    7 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks for your post I am gonna try it out.
    I was looking at buying a single a-series head for $20+ shipping. Yikes!!
    With your courageous post I am gonna get a $10 e-series and whittle away.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    YOU RULE!!! I never thought I would need or hear of a freakin' toothbrush hack..but I do need it...thank you for taking the time to post this! i'm on my way out to get a chisel!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Just a heads up, i have an old original sonicare brush and bought some e series heads today at walmart for it. I found out these new e series heads no longer have the notch and screw directly onto my old sonicare without any modification! And yes, they vibrate WAY more than the original ones, i can't wait to try em tonight.

    Box of 2 heads was $35 canadian, box says fits Essence, Xtreme, Elite, Advance. model HX7002.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I recently made this replacement head for my sonic toothbrush with a toothbrush I got for 2/$1.00! This is a CareOne brush and I cut it with a hacksaw at the meatiest part of the handle and then the hardest part was drilling a hole up the center of the shaft. I started by drilling a small pilot hole with a 1/16 drill bit and then a 5/32 bit but that is a judgment call depending on your brush. You just want to be sure to drill a little smaller than the shaft for a snug fit. Works great!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I'd love to splice any decent over-the-counter manual toothbrush onto an old Sonicare head and save myself $15 a pop. Anyone care to collaborate on such a project?

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think that's possible to any useful degree. The heads wear out for two reasons 1.) Obviously the bristles get worn and 2.) The internals of the head wear out. If you have a sonic toothbrush, you'll notice that over time it doesn't vibrate with quite the same pizazz. I think the only feasible project would be to adapt cheaper sonic toothbrush heads to fit a sonic care base. I'd be willing to give that one a go for sure. Now let's see, who makes the cheapest sonic toothbrush heads...?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    My brush is the Sonicare Advance - the chunkier model. I find the powerful magnets in the toothbrush come in handy. And unfortunately they move around quite a bit and often require adjustment. My idea is to remove the plastic on the metal shaft and then heat up a regular brush and melt it in place on the shaft. Ether that or somehow put some threads on there, so you can screw a new head in place. I have a feeling the tension in the metal shaft doesn't quite wear out as fast as you think.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable. I am too a big believer in the sonicare. It's near impossible to switch back to a normal toothbrush once you start using this bad boy. And to think, I was about to drop another 100 bucks on the E-Series. Thanks man.