Tool Holder and Collet Maintenance

      How often should you clean or replace CNC tools and collets? December 27, 2007

We've been running a Komo Mach II for about two years now. We've been very good about keeping up on the hourly/daily/annual maintenance, but I will admit have not been following along with tooling maintenance.

We've been using the same tool holders (HSK 63) for two years now. I've seen recommendations to replace these on a yearly basis. That would be quite expensive for us, as we have over 30 of them. I do chuck them into a lathe every 3 months or so and clean the rust off of them. Is it really necessary to replace them? They still seem to perform fine.

As for collets, I only replace them when edge quality becomes unacceptable. As with the tool holders, is it necessary to replace them on a set schedule, or do most of you go by feeling?

Along the same lines, would you ever consider calling up an empty tool holder and spinning at a very low rpm, as opposed to chucking it into a lathe, to clean it? As with a lathe, this can be dangerous, but would this be an alternative using good, common sense safety?

I guess to sum it all up in a nutshell, who follows the recommendations religiously and who just goes more by observation in terms of replacement?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor J:
I have no hands on experience with routers, but I have been researching what the costs to own one of these will be. Last week I attended a Biesse One-2-One and they had an interesting seminar on tooling. You probably do not have rust on those tool holders. They said that brown coating that looks like rust is a buildup caused by small imperfections in the fit of the taper or tools out of balance that in turn cause vibration and leave the brown buildup. We had this with an ISO taper spindle on our shaper. I also thought it was rust and used emery cloth to clean it off. They said using an abrasive to clean it is the worst thing and will ruin the holder or spindle. They recommend a solvent to clean it.

Another thing they talked about was the importance of not using range fitting collets. If you do use them, only use one size shank in them. They recommend always using a torque wrench. There was a lot of discussion about tool balance and how it relates to the spindle life of the machine. They said it is best to balance the holder and tool as a unit. I didnít realize the cost to replace a spindle cartage is about 20K. They said slightly unbalanced tools can shorten the life by 75%.

From contributor G:
As mentioned, use a cleaner to take off the so-called "rust" ("fretting" is the term). To replace these every year is expensive and really not required. If the toolholder is sticking and the solvent does not take off the fretting, you will need to replace.

Collets, on the other hand, should be replaced after 600+ hours, again depending on the type of cuts you do. Panel processing, 600-800 hours. Heavy machining would be sooner, 400-500 hours. Tools are usually more expensive than a collet.

From contributor C:
The collet is more important than the tool. They should be replaced 2-3 times a year depending on how much and how fast they are run. Holders, once a year is fine if they are kept up. The nut is very important as well.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization

  • KnowledgeBase: Computerization: CNC Machinery and Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article