Types of Collet Chuck3 min read

Collets are an integral part of machining and often confused with chucks. Falcon is known for its quick-change tool holding systems. Collets are a form of chuck that are non-identical. All collet types operate by being pressed over the element to be held, resulting in both accurate alignment and static friction and are not suitable for every tool and operation but it does allow for self-centring, resistance against loosening, fast-chucking and steady clamping pressure. 

There are different types of chucks used for specific fields of construction and manufacturing sectors. 


Collet is useful in woodworking, as it is a tool found in drill presses and other machinery. However, the collet is most frequently used in routers to hold the cutting bits in place. The collet is secured to the tool using a hexagonal collet nut, allowing it to be tightened or loosened to the motor arbor.

Metalworking: Metalworking uses many types with varying holding capacities than woodworking collets. The standard metalworking collet is used for holding round bars or tools, but there are also different shapes of collets available such as hexagonal, square and other shaped collets for specific tasks and tools. 

ER Collets

The ER collet is manufactured and used worldwide as one of the most trusted clamping systems and these collets come in a standard series from ER-8 through ER-50 with each series number referring to the receptacles tapered diameter size in millimetres, furthermore, the collet system is still widely accepted as the most versatile collet chuck system.

When to use?

Most CNC Lathe users use the three-Jae powered chuck as the standard work holding device. This type of chuck is versatile enough to be used in a wide range of turning applications. However, it’s not the best chuck for all jobs. The collet chuck is an alternate work holding device that, like the jaw chuck, also uses mechanical force to hold the part being turned. While a collet chuck lacks the capacity for the same wide range of workpiece sizes that a jaw chuck can accommodate, it offers advantages related to speed, accuracy and productivity that may be crucial for certain jobs. 

Several actors to keep in mind of which type of chuck would work better. 

  • Spindle Load Capacity: The lathe spindle allows a maximum weight based on bearing load capacity, in such cases Jaw chucks tend to be more massive than comparable collet chucks, making the collet chuck an appropriate choice where weight control is needed.


  • Spindle Speed:  A collet chuck tends to be the better choice for turning particularly high levels of spindle rpm than Jaw chucks. 


  • Operation to be performed: A collet applies clamping force all around the circumference of the part rather than just at select contact areas. This leads to tight concentricity and thus the collet also can be adjusted for concentricity during installation to further improve secondary operation accuracy.


  • Workpiece Dimensions: Collet chucks are best suited to workpieces that are smaller than 3 inches in diameter.


  • Lot Size: A collet chuck takes less time to open and close comparatively than a jaw chuck, shaving cycle time by reducing the non-cutting time from one piece to the next.


  • Workpiece Size Range: collet is more limited within the range of workpiece sizes it can accommodate. Collet chucks have essential trade flexibility for speed, If the part size is consistent, a collet chuck is faster. But where workpieces vary significantly in size, it’s going to take a jaw chuck to accommodate the entire range of labour.


  • Types of Materials: For cold-rolled material tends to be more consistent in size and therefore better suited to collet chucks and for hot rolled steel, castings, forgings and extrusions, standard jaw chucks tend to figure better due to the diameter variations inherent altogether of those sorts of parts.


Take away:

Falcon are the profound manufacturers and experts in providing all your tool holding needs and have a variety of collet, chuck and quick change designs that may suit your manufacturing and production needs. In case of upgrading or updating an old drill press or milling machine. Contact us and find a solution that works for your business needs today.

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