What is a CNC Collet?

question mark man onlyCollet is a word that people use in metal working and wood working shops. It’s one of those words everybody tosses about and just assumes that everybody else knows what they means. Are chucks the same thing as a collet or are they different? Why does a collet need a collet wrench? Let’s go ahead and define a collet once and for all. A collet is a tool holding device that works by clamping. A collet is a kind of chuck. All collets are chucks, but not all chucks are collets. Collets let you strongly clamp a collar around whatever it is that you are trying to hold.

Collet Standards

The common metalworking industry-standard designs for collets are R8 (internally threaded) and 5C (externally threaded). Collets can hold either a square or a round stock. Some CNC machine manufacturers use proprietary collet designs and then there are the emergency use collets that get made by the machinist in-shop. R8 Collets. Bridgeport Machines, Inc., a company that made milling machines and milling center, developed the R8 collet design. These machines were were manufactured under the Bridgeport name from 1938 to 2004. In 2004, the company was sold to Hardinge, Inc. R8 requires an exact match between the collet and the tool shank diameter but allows for rapid tool changes. The R8 collet fits into the machine taper itself. 5C Collets. 5C collets were developed to hold work, not tools. They may look like R8 collets, but 5C collets have an external thread at the rear that draws the collet closed. This way the work piece can pass right through the collet.

The Importance of a Good Collet Wrench

So now you know all about collets. So why do collets require a special collet wrench? A properly tightened collet applies enough pressure to clamp the workpiece or tool securely and hold it in place. A collet wrench tightens the collet. If your collect isn’t tight you can have problems.
  • The tool chatters and ruins the workpiece and your tool – now 2 things are messed up
  • The workpiece won’t be tooled properly – once again you ruined the tool and workpiece
  • The tool or workpiece can fly out – damaging you, the tool, and the work.
You need a good collet wrench to make sure the collet is firmly in place.

A Good Collet Wrench Makes All the Difference

We sell high quality collet wrenches that are designed to insert and remove 5C collets 5c collet wrenchfrom the nose piece with ease. You work more efficiently because you have simplified the insertion and removal of collets on the spindle. The time you spend changing out collets is time your machine isn’t running. When your machine isn’t running, work isn’t being produced and you aren’t making money. While downtime may be a necessary part of the work process, it must be minimized to maximize your working efficiency. A good quality collet wrench from The Tool Company can help. Our 5C collet wrench is:
  • Designed and made in the USA
  • Made with a concave face for perfect alignment and no slipping
  • Easy to use because of the large tapered handle
  • Bright orange so you can find it easily.
If you are ready to change collets quickly and securely, order your 5C collet wrench today. Your 5C collet wrench is backed by a 5 year warranty.