CNC collets are the ideal workholding method for machining smaller parts. They are typically used with pieces less than 3 inches in diameter because of the additional tool clearance. This added space provides a more streamlined shape and reduced nose diameter. Collets also offer:
- Fast setup times
- High accuracy
- Increased cost-effectiveness
- Availability in a variety of sizes and shapes
- Ability to hold oddly shaped or off-center parts
- And many other benefits!
Precision CNC Collets to Match Your RequirementsA collet is a workholding device used to keep an object in place. As the collet is tightened, it clamps down on the object and prevents it from moving. They typically consist of an inner, cylindrical surface and an outer, conical surface. When the outer surface contracts, the inner surface clamps tightly to the object. Collets can also contain a star configuration of tapered gauge steel blocks held together by flexible rubber.
As CNC collets come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations, it is important to make sure you are purchasing the best component for your equipment. Consult your machinery’s manual or call 1-888-336-7453 to speak with a McWilliams expert.
CNC Collets vs. ChucksChucks and collets serve similar purposes but have several key differences. The most notable is their diameter range. Collets are typically used on smaller objects, whereas chucks are applicable to larger workpieces. However, collets provide several additional advantages:
- Support provided around the entire circumference of a workpiece
- Reduced chance of part slippage
- Improved production for machining tubes and thin-walled parts
- Reduced risk of pinching and crushing the workpiece due to an evenly distributed gripping force
- Final machined parts with better rigidity, improved accuracy, and roundness
- Longer lasting concentricity
- Faster changeover times (15-20 seconds compared to 1 minute)
Applications for CNC ColletsCNC collets can improve production for a wide variety of industrial machining operations. They work best in applications requiring weight control or high levels of RMP. They are also useful in projects where second-operation accuracy is a top concern or for productions with very small or very large lot sizes. While exact applications will vary depending on your selected collet component, they are commonly used for:
- Turning and grinding applications
- Lathing and milling, particularly for metalworking
- Gripping cutting tools, such as drills, end mills, and taps
- And other CNC machining operations