Precision CNC Tool Holder Options

HSK Collet Chuck, Collet and Router Bit

HSK Collet Chuck, Collet and Router Bit

Standard HSK collet chucks are currently the most common in use in the woodworking industry. They are relatively inexpensive, and highly flexible due to the wide range of collet sizes that are available and easy to interchange.   While HSK style collet chucks are a good choice for most applications, the multiple parts involved in tool clamping (holder, collet and nut). this style chuck does not provide the tightest possible tolerances or clamping pressure. This is one of the shortcomings that has made thermal heat-shrink tool holders popular. 

Thermal (Heat Shrink) Collet Chuck

Thermal (Heat Shrink) Collet Chuck

Heat-shrink tool chucks have been gaining popularity due to the very tight tolerances (0.003mm / .00012″) and extreme clamping pressures used to hold tools in place.  They are balanced to 30.000 rpm.   These chucks offer a slim, light weight design with very high clamping power and accuracy. This choice of tool holder is ideal for use with insert tooling.  When using solid carbide or PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) tooling, tool changes must be completed by the use of either an in-house heating element or sent out to an existing tool supplier.  Heat shrink chucks have their specific advantages, but they also have limitations.  Not all  diameters are readily available, the cost is higher than standard collet chucks and the additional cost of a heating element for in-house flexibility, without depending on a third party to remove the tool from the holder, can be considerable.

Hydro Chuck

Hydro Chuck

 Hydraulic tool holders are an often overlooked option to thermal tool holders with the same accuracy and more flexibility.  The hydraulic tool holder works by using fluid to compress an internal membrane within the tool holder. The hydraulic fluid delivers uniform pressure around the membrane allowing it to compress equally around the periphery of the cutting tool (shank) providing an even hold on the tool shank. The hydraulic fluid is activated by the use of a T-handle wrench to turn and activate a pressure screw. To release the pressure and cutting tool from the tool holder, simply turn the pressure screw counterclockwise. In addition to the quick set and release feature, here are a few additional benefits and features:

  •  Precise tool clamping tolerance of 0.00012”
  • Transmission of high torque or clamping pressure
  • Quick tool set up and removal
  • No Heating element or torque wrench required
  • Hydraulic fluid provides vibration absorbing features
  • Flexible with the availability of collet reducers
  • Increased tool performance (finish quality & tool life)

 With clamping tolerances that are comparable to heat shrink tool holders, tool changes are simple and quick. In addition, no heating element is required for tool changes. And, like standard collet tool holders, hydraulic tool holders provide the ability to use different shank tools by the use of high tolerance (collet) reducers.

The ease of use, high clamping tolerances and torque can and will benefit your bottom line by extending tool performance and improving finish output.

For additional information, please contact us!

Precision ThermoTec Heat Shrink Tool Holder

The ThermoTec heat shrink chucks are precision balanced to 30,000RPM with a runout tolerance of .003mm (0.00012″) making them great for high torque/high speed machining. In heat shrink chucks,  collets and nuts are not used between the tool shank and tool holder creating a more evenly distributed clamping force on the shank.

ThermoTec Tool Holder

ThermoTec Tool Holder

The Thermotec is best suited as a dedicated high-precision tool holder for fully cylindrical shank tools made of solid carbide or precision steel rods. Heat shrink tool holders are designed with internal bores that are slightly smaller than the cutting tool shank. When extreme induction heat (from the heat shrink machine) is applied the tool holder bore expands allowing the shank to slip inside and as the tool cools, the bore shrinks around the shank with extreme clamping force. The Thermotec will improve a surface finish due to the exact concentricity of the cutting tool during use.  We recommend ThermoTec heat shrink chucks for use with all insert router tooling, since the tool body can remain in the chuck indefinitely, as compared to a PCD or solid carbide tool which needs to be removed from the tool holder when being sharpened.

We provide insert router tooling that is already mounted on the Thermotec at no additional cost, contact us if you’re interested.  This allows you to reap the benefits of a highly accurate tool system without the need for any additional investment in an induction unit.

Deep Mortise Insert Bit in Thermotec Heat-shrink Tool Holder

Deep pocket insert mortise bit on Thermotec HSK tool holder

Deep pocket insert mortise bit on Thermotec HSK tool holder

Tool and clamping accuracy is essential to minimize runout with all cutting tool applications, but in particular with very long cutting tools as shown below. The further you move from the clamping source, the more pronounced the runout becomes.  Shown here is a deep pocket insert mortise bit with an overall length of 170mm (6.7″) mounted on a thermal heat shrink chuck with an accuracy of .003mm (.00012″). The mortise bit tool body is manufactured using a high-density special metal, which reduces the risk of breakage and guarantees a vibration free cut without tool deflection. The Thermotec tool holder is a high tech tool holder, precision balanced to run up to 30,000 rpm. Short and slim in design with an “A” dimension (measured from the top of the HSK shoulder to the bottom of the tool holder), of 75mm.

Thermotec heat shrink tool holders come in both HSK63F and HSK63E versions, in diameters ranging from 8mm to 25 mm. Heat shrink tool holders represent one of the most accurate solutions for cutting tool applications. For more information you can contact us at 800-544-8436