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Collet maintenance

Essential maintenance for collets.

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Inspect the collet surfaces for damage

Collet damage can impede the collet’s ability to clamp the tool, affect run-out, and potentially damage the spindle taper.

Before every use, inspect the collet surfaces for damage.

Never use a damaged collet. Discard immediately.

Clean the collet between each change

Debris can impede the collet’s ability to clamp the tool, and can affect run-out.

Blow away dust from:

  • spindle taper

  • collet surfaces

  • collet slots

If further cleaning is needed, use IPA with a lint free cloth.

Do not use a collet if it is not clean.

Lubricate the taper surfaces

Reasons why lubricating the taper surfaces is important

Lubricating the taper surfaces is important for the following reasons:

  • Lubricant ensures that the nut and collet taper surfaces slide during compression.

    • As the nut is wound down the spindle thread, it rotates. Therefore, as the nut comes into contact with the collet surfaces, it tries to twist the collet. If the nut and collet taper surfaces do not slide, the collet will twist and tool run-out will increase significantly. 

  • Lubricant prevents the taper surfaces from corrosion damage.

    • For the same reason above, the tapered nut and collet surfaces must be allowed to slide over each other to prevent twist, and collapse evenly.

  • Lubricant acts as a release agent for between the mating surfaces, so reduces the risk of the collet getting jammed in the spindle taper.

Where to apply lubricant

Apply the lubricant to the outer taper surfaces of the collet only.

Never apply lubricant to the inner bore of the collet, since this would reduce clamping force on the tool!

Which lubricant to use

We use a high-performance grease Molykote P-40. Key characteristics for this application are:

  • Does not displace under pressure (as the collet is compressed)

  • Good corrosion protection (doesn’t absorb moisture)

  • Good fretting protection (prevents the tapered surfaces binding against each other)

How to apply

  • Clean the collet with IPA and a lint free cloth

  • Allow to dry

  • Apply the lubricant with a small brush

  • Wipe away any excess with a lint free cloth

  • Load your collet

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Elliot. is the author of this solution

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Updated on Mon, 27 Feb 2023