Abstract: A surgical power tool is disclosed including a power console and a handheld motor unit. The power console provides controlled power and to the handheld motor unit. Pressure sensitive switching elements on the handheld unit provide signals to the power console which are transformed into operating power to the motor unit including variable speed, speed range, forward/reverse, and safety. The handheld motor unit includes a chuck or tool receptacle and a Hall effect or other radiation field detector which response to the presence of a magnet or other radiation device as a part of the surgical tool, to identify the tool installed and provide a control signal to the motor, e.g., speed range limitation. The handheld motor unit housing is sealed and autoclavable. The housing for the handheld unit includes a flexible wall section lying over pressure sensitive switches and variable resistance whereby the surgeon's finger pressure on discrete portions of the flexible wall provide motor control including speed control, direction of operation, speed range selection and a SAFE, i.e., locked off position. Multiple handheld motor units may be simultaneously operated and controlled individually by their handheld controls or selectively by the power supply and control unit. Footswitch control is also disclosed.