A Comprehensive Guide to CNC Tool Holder

Posted on Nov 6, 2020

CNC Tool Holder

CNC tool holders are the physical interface between the tooling and a computer-controlled machine tool. They come in many different styles of machine mounting, from the older R8 type to the newer HSK or VDI mounting.

CNC tool holders consist of three main parts: a cone, a collar, and a collet pocket. Live or powered tooling is powered while static tooling is not. The aim is to hold the tool in place as precisely and safely as possible, as the barely noticeable increase in concentricity destroys the pattern or damages the cutting tool.

Different types of holders have different degrees of juggling and balancing. There are also differences in lifespan and reliability. Another important aspect to consider when choosing a CNC tool holder is the time it will take to repair the end mills, as it will directly affect your bottom line.

In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know about CNC tool holders.


Types of CNC tool holders

Tool shape, spindles, and CNC machine operation can all affect the right type of CNC tool holder for your project. Contact the top dealer to choose the right CNC tool holders for your CNC equipment. Quick change step holders are suitable for advanced CNC machines that work with a range of devices.

By reducing the tool change times, the production time can be shortened and the system performance increased. Conical machines ensure precise cutting and longer service life.

With the customer-specific CNC tool holder, the CNC machine can create customer-specific constructions from customer-specific materials.

Work with a leading tool manufacturer to develop the best fixture for your project.


Collet Chucks

Collet chucks may be the most common type of CNC tool holder because they provide a lot of value. Collets and collets are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of collets. Countless sizes are available, and each sleeve in the series can accommodate a variety of tool sizes.

Collet chucks provide good runout and clamping force in all but the most demanding operations. The most popular styles of bushings are ER, TG, and DA. DA bushings are the cheapest of the three and provide acceptable runout when performing light milling operations, but can cause runout problems when performing tight tolerance hole drilling operations such as reaming.

They can also reduce the ability of high-performance drills to produce tight tolerance holes, so DA collets should be avoided in these applications.

:: Read More: A Review of CNC Tool Holder Types


End Mill Holders

End mill holders are CNC tool holders suitable for high-performance milling applications such as roughing high-speed steel. They cost less than all other types of holders, have better grip protection than collet screws, are easy to balance, and are available in very short lengths for optimum spindle rigidity.

These parts use the screw collection to protect the cutting tool. They have small nose diameters and are available in various lengths.


Tap Holders

You equip some machines with a morse taper spindle, which is also known as a tap holder. This type of CNC tool holder includes fixed, floating, and additional tap holders. Adapters are also available that allow you to use more devices on the same device.


Shrink Fit Holders

This type of CNC tool holder uses heating and cooling to apply a clamping force to the cutting tool. Shrink CNC tool holders offer a firm hold and can significantly extend the service life.

Shrink tool technology uses heat shrink tubing to hold the shank of the cutting tool in place during high-speed machining.

This rapidly changing tool holding process in high-speed machining is highly efficient and saves the user production time. This process is simple because the mandrel machining tool is inserted into the CNC tool holder with a shrink fit.

The inside diameter of the shrink CNC tool holder is slightly smaller than the diameter of the cutting tool shank.


How to choose the right type of CNC tool holder?

Before purchasing a CNC tool holder, there are several factors you should put into consideration. It's recommended that you specify what you are looking for by analyzing the spindle type, style, size, and rotational speed. While most machining centers are equipped with V-flanged spindle tapers, BT spindle tapers are becoming increasingly popular on smaller spindles and high-speed machines.

The HSK shank is becoming more and more popular, especially in high-speed spindles and aeronautical work with tight tolerances. Carefully select the type, size, and knob securing the CNC tool holder to the machine tool spindle.

The increasing cutting speeds of today's 10000, 20000, and even 30000 rpm machining centers mean that well-balanced CNC tool holders are critical. Standard slower speed CNC tool holders will not maintain the accuracy achieved with balanced tool holders.

A typical CAT V flanged CNC tool holder has an unbalance of 250 g/mm, mainly due to the design of the driving groove. Additional unbalance is always introduced by set screws and collets if used.

The balance quality specifications for machine spindles are 2.5 g / mm at the rated spindle speed. Ideally, the entire tool assembly should be balanced before installing it into the machine spindle.


CNC tool holder Purchasing Costs

Avoid unnecessary expenses, but use equipment that is ideally suited to the job at hand. Consider shrink holders versus the more conventional ER collet method. Heat shrinkable holders provide extremely low runout, effective vibration damping properties, and high clamping force.

All these features make heat shrink technology one of the best tool holding solutions available. However, CNC tool holders are expensive, require a separate machine to heat and cool them while inserting and removing the tool, and have a finite number of heating cycles before replacement is required.

Compared to shrink-fit chucks, ER collet screws usually don't work as well. However, they are inexpensive. ER screws are a fraction of the price of shrink screws and do not require any additional tools other than keys. You have a limitless tool lifetime with appropriate treatment.

Few machining operations require the precision, reliability, and cost of shrink technology, but many machining operations do not benefit from additional costs.


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Should you run into any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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