Collets Explained

Collets/An image of a collet chuck

A key member of the modern workholding family is collets. They’re used across a wide range of industries and crafts and provide the ideal solution to a variety of clamping requirements.

In this blog article, we’ll dive into the subject of collets and examining their uses, pros and cons and which collets are available for the metalworking industry in particular.

What is a collet?

A collet is a type of chuck, used to form a collar around an object and to clamp onto the object when tightened firmly. They’re mainly used within industry to secure cutting tools and workpieces at high speeds and pressures.

Primarily, a collet can be divided into two categories; external and internal collets.

An external collet is, in essence, a sleeve, usually with a cylindrical internal surface and a conical external surface.

An internal collet is presented in the form of a truncated cone, which has been drilled and threaded along the centreline. They expand inside the desired objects, securing them in place or holding two separate items, such as telescoping tubes, together.

Why are collets used?

Collets have a narrow clamping range relative to chucks but allow for the highly effective repeated clamping of similarly sized objects, with faster clamping and releasing speeds than chucks.

This makes them ideally suited to the repeated production of high-precision components and products.

Advantages and disadvantages

Collets find a wide variety of uses for a host of reasons, but like all workholding options, they have their advantages and disadvantages when compared with the chuck alternatives.

Advantages:

  • Lightweight
  • They can accelerate up to a higher speed than rotary chucks, due to the fact they are relatively lighter
  • Less affected by centrifugal force
  • Tight concentricity
  • Fast clamping
  • Faster setup time
  • They can clamp onto parts with extremely small diameters

Disadvantages:

  • Limited in the range of workpiece sizes they can accommodate.
  • Large axial dimension
  • Better suited to workpieces with consistent diameters

Where are collets used?

While metalworking utilises the broadest range of collet varieties, collets are used in a surprisingly wide variety of applications:

  • Woodworking – used to secure tooling
  • Metalworking – used to secure tooling and workpieces
  • Craft hobbies – used to secure blades in craft knives
  • Internal combustion engines – used to regulate engine valves
  • Semiconductors – used in the semiconductor industry to pick up a die from a wafer after a die-cutting process

Which collet options can Hyfore offer?

At Hyfore Workholding, we supply a leading range of collet options. While the options available are primarily for the metalworking industry, the applications of collets, as listed here, are far-reaching.

We supply the following collet workholding:

  • C-style collets
  • Collet blocks
  • Collet chucks
  • Expanding collets
  • HQC (Hardinge’s unique system)
  • S-style master collets and pads
  • Swiss-style collets

Through our trusted partners, we can supply an unrivalled selection of collet workholding options, as well as a variety of chucks, clamps and vices. Contact us today to learn more about our advanced solutions or head over to our online store to browse our workholding range.

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