Make Your Collets Last Longer – The Do’s and Don’ts

T.M. Smith offers a comprehensive selection of collets, collet nuts, and accessories. Our high-quality parts are built to last. Nonetheless, proper care is essential for ensuring the maximum possible service life. If you want to learn how to make your collets last longer, the following do’s and don’ts will help.

The Importance of Proper Collet Care and Use

Perhaps the most important aspect of extending the useful life of collets is to practice all the recommended care and use steps. At T.M. Smith, we provide an in-depth, eight-step guide on collet use. This includes everything you need to do from taking the collet out of storage to putting it back. To help you understand the do’s and don’ts better, this is a quick overview of the usage steps:

  1. Thread the positive drive into the collet chuck body.
  2. Insert the collet into the nut (for single-angle collets only).
  3. Thread the collet and collet nut into the collet holder, leaving it loose.
  4. Load drill into the collet chuck assembly. Rotate drill until tang engages with the positive drive slot.
  5. Adjust drill to required gauge dimension.
  6. Tighten collet nut with a torque wrench to recommended specifications.
  7. If using coolant thread inducer into the back of the collet chuck assembly.
  8. Disassemble, clean and store equipment.

The Do’s

When you are using your collets, make sure you use all the following tips. Some may apply only in certain situations (noted below).

  • Only Use Clean Equipment: Always ensure that the collet, collet chuck body, and other parts are clean before use.
  • Align Carefully: When placing the positive drive and collet chuck body, make sure they are correctly aligned. Trying to force misaligned equipment will cause damage.
  • Ensure Free Movement of the Positive Drive: When in the first place, the positive drive body should move freely in and out.
  • Use a Torque Wrench for Final Tightening: Tightening correctly is one of the most important parts of protecting your collets. During the initial steps, you should only hand-tighten the equipment. When tightening to the final settings, use a torque wrench and make slow, smooth turns.
  • Check Fit and Torque Before Use: Always ensure that you have the fitment and torque specification correct before use.
  • Use Coolant When Needed: Some setups call for coolant. Make sure this is used amply and with the inducer correctly set up.
  • Protect Components With Oil: When storing or shipping components, ensure that they have been properly cleaned then protected with rust-preventative oil.

The Don’ts

Of course, there are also a number of practices you should avoid. Be careful of the following issues:

  • Don’t Overtighten or Under-tighten: As mentioned above, correct tightening is important. During most of the process, you should simply hand-tighten the equipment. When ready, use a torque wrench.
  • Don’t Overextend Tools Held by the Collet: If you are misusing the tools held by the collet, you will likely damage the full system. Make sure the tool is properly seated and not overextended at the very end of the holder.
  • Don’t Force the Equipment: When using the collet and attached equipment, avoid using force. If things are not fitting together smoothly, there is likely a problem. Similarly, if you need to force a drill bit or other tool, you likely need a different tool.
  • Don’t Use Broken Equipment: It is probably no surprise that you should not use damaged or broken equipment. This can cause damage to other parts of the system.
  • Don’t Use Sudden Pressure: Avoid using sudden movements or pressure to assemble, disassemble or use the collet or attached tools.

Following the above do’s and don’ts will improve your collet service life. Additionally, check the instructions for your specific collets. At T.M. Smith, we are always available to answer questions and provide you with the best tooling solutions.

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