Most CNC machinists started machining in a school shop class or a hobby shop. This is where they learned to screw collet chucks into a knee mill. Collet holding is a simple concept. That’s why it is an early lesson. Collets give you excellent symmetry in tool holding. They reduce vibration. This makes them the perfect tool holder for high speed milling. A perfect tool holder deserves the perfect tool. A collet wrench is the perfect tool for your collets.
The Collet Advantage
Collets are just a set of concentric wedges that apply force to the tool shank to hold it is place. The more force you apply to the collet, the more force clamping the tool. According to Engineering.com
the runout characteristics of collet clamping are 10 times better than other styles of tool holders like side locking tool holders. Centrifugal force comes into play as the tool and tool holder spins. The centrifugal force gets higher as you mill faster. So, if the mass of the tool and holder is not balanced, the faster it spins the out of balance it becomes. Motion on a curved path represents an accelerated motion and requires a force directed at the center of the path. This force is centripetal force. In physics the formula is:
Centripetal force = mv2/r
m = the offset center of mass from the spin axis v = rotational speed r = radius of the toolholder/tool assembly If a set screw is off even slightly, the result is vibration at high speeds. High speed machining demands symmetry. You get symmetry with collet tool holding.
Torque and the Collet Wrench
Collets are the perfect tool holder for machining at high speeds and the collet wrench is the perfect tool for tightening collets. To determine the optimal torque, check out Techniks handy torque chart
. Make sure y
our collet is clean. Chips or cutting fluid on the inside of the collet keeps the collet from holding properly. Make sure you use the perfect collet wrench
. Remove 5C collets with ease from the nosepiece of your mill when you use a collet wrench. The Tool Company
sells a collet wrench made of high impact plastic molded for long life. It has a large, tapered handle for easy to use. It's easy to hold and because it is bright fluorescent orange, it is easy to find. Every tool, tray, and tool holder sold by The Tool Company is made in the U.S.A. Support American manufacturing and get a great collet wrench at the same time.
Keys to Machining
If you are machining at high speeds, make sure you have good software to calculate your feeds and speeds. Make sure you use a good collet to hold your tool. Torque it properly. Always use a collet wrench from The Tool Company to remove your collets from the nose of your mill. Don't have one? Buy your collet wrench here.