Precision CNC Tool Holder Options
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.
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.
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!