The Importance of Tool Holders
Tool holders are important for effective and safe connections between high speed tools and a machine. With the right tool holder, an industry can consistently produce quality and reliable products in a safe way. T.M. Smith Tool offers a wide range of tool holders used by many industries for many different purposes, all the way from creating medical equipment to shaping farm implements. It is necessary to understand the importance of tool holders before purchasing one.
What Is a Tool Holder?
A tool holder is very important in mechanized processes that require high levels of accuracy. This is because they are the interface between a tool and a machine. There are many different types of tool holders, including taper tool holders and quick-change tool holders. Generally, a tool holder is composed of a taper, a flange and a collet pocket. The taper is cone shaped and enters the spindle when changing tools. The flange is the middle portion of a tool holder and attached to the tool changer as it is being moved in relation to the spindle. The collet pocket holds the collet before a collet nut is used to secure it to a tool. These parts are important in developing an effective tool holder and ensuring an accurate connection between a machine spindle and collet.
Why Does a Tool Holder Matter?
The tool holder used in high precision mechanization processes has implications for product quality, machine life span and process noise. The high accuracy processes that use tool holders often involve cutting tools that reach very high RPMs. An imbalance between a high-speed tool and a machine could damage the final product by providing an undesired finish, or it could shorten the lifespan of a machine by wearing down the spindle. The right tool holder, when properly installed and cared for, makes sure cutting processes are performed accurately and safely.
Picking the right tool holder is important to guarantee a quality product and to extend machine life. The wrong tool holder may lead to improper cutting and decrease the quality of the product. Additionally, the wrong tool holder may stall a machine or damage a spindle, which has cost implications. No matter what type of tool holder is being considered, the fit needs to be exact and secure. The fit is related to the connection mechanism of a tool holder. For example, shrink fit tool holders have a very exact and firm fit preferred by high precision manufacturing needed by industries such as aerospace.
Which Tool Holder Is Right for Me?
The type of tool holder used by small and large companies depends on the machine, the process and the product. A shorter tool holder is usually preferred to decrease chatter and the risk of imbalance, as imbalances may lead to vibrations and damages. However, a tool holder should be long enough to meet depth requirements when cutting processes involve insertion into the machine. The type of taper spindle also differs between tool holders. For example, a BT-style spindle is used for small, high-speed machine work while a HSK shank is more common for high speed work at a higher accuracy.
When picking a tool holder, think about insertion depth, whether you require quick tool changes and what the desired cutting size and finish is. It is important to have consistent products that meet the expectations of your industry and your customers. Tool holders can help provide this product while providing safe machine cutting processes and extending the lifespan of the machine. With over 50 years of experience, T.M. Smith Tool can customize tool holders as needed. Visit T.M. Smith online to explore the catalog and to ask questions about which tool holder is right for you.