Most of the CNC tool holders that I see out there are the classic HSK and ISO models with spring collets. They are the most affordable and often do a great job. However, there are a couple more options that more and more of my customers are moving towards.
First off, maintenance on whatever tool holders you have is very important. I recently wrote an article on the best maintenance practices. Find that article, HERE. Proper care of what you have is the first way to enhance your holding power. Imagine trying to open a tightly sealed jar with greasy hands. It’s not going to be as easy as if your hands were clean. Give your tools the best chance at doing their job by keeping them clean.
Next up are two options, that I would recommend, to enhance your tool-holding.
Emuge Tool Holders
Emuge tool holders are the next step up from classic tool holders. They include a stronger clamping force via collet and taper assembly and pin-lock system which provides guaranteed holding power and pull-out protection. They also don’t need any torquing with a classic torque wrench which has been enough to change people over. They take a collet that has a longer and stronger grip to hold cnc bits. the collet is threaded into the tool holder then tightened with a torqued allan wrench, that comes with the tool holder. In my opinion, they are much easier to use and well worth the slight increase in cost.
ShrinkFIT Tool Holders
ShrinkFIT tool holders sit at the top level of tool holder holding power. No collets are needed here. Each holder is tapered to fit a specific size CNC bit. They require a machine that heats up the tool holder in order for a tool to slide into the opening of the tool holder then it is cooled down which grips the tool holder sleeve to the tool. This leaves very little runout within your cutting process. The price is substantially more to get started, due to the machine cost, but levels out over time as no collets are needed and tool holders last longer than classic models. These are highly recommended when using tools larger that 1/2″.
If you’re interested in exploring more about these two options, please get ahold of me via the contact info below.
This is the fourth of many articles to come, related to CNC routing on this website. We will also be sharing videos and updates on our social media pages. Stay up-to-date with Multicam Great Lakes by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
If you need any help cutting specific materials on your CNC Router or Knife Cutter, please call me at (616) 502-7277. I (Greg) manage the tooling department, where we are a distributor for CNC tooling. I work with some of the best tooling suppliers in the world, such as Onsrud, X-Edge, Techniks, Whiteside, Belin, Amana and more. Feel free to check out our online webstore to see some of what we offer. Thanks for stopping by.
CNC Tooling Manager at Multicam Great Lakes
Here to help with tooling recommendations (bits, knives, collets, tool holders, cleaners and kits, torque stations, etc.) and cutting recommendations (speeds/feeds, tips/tricks, passes, etc.).