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Best Tool holding for CNC Milling

metalmadness

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
I use all types of tool holders; shrinks, ERs, side locks, and hydraulics. I am only going to comment on the ERs since I see a lot of people hating on them recently. To begin with, you need to know how to use them. To start, make sure the cutter size is within range of the collet. Don't just slam a cutter in there because you can. Second, the holder and the collect need to be CLEAN, like super CLEAN, whenever a new cutter is inserted. Third, the collet nut should be torqued properly; consult your tooling manufacturer. I have never had any cutter pull from any ER setup regardless of the material or how "hard" I was running. Fourth, you want good finishes? Shorten your cutter/holder OAL when possible. Don't be afraid to run 0.010 or less from the nose of the holder to the top of the stock.

2xD slot milling in 4140 will absolutely pull out a cutter in an ER chuck. I have seen it twice on some expensive parts. OK OK I didn't see it per se, I was the one running it! Oops. Maybe if you use the high torque bearing nut you can get away with it but I wouldn't want to risk it. Scrapping those parts really hurt my soul.

But yea it definitely is a concern

ER is middle of the road for surface quality. You want some sick surface finish? Run some shrink fit or hydraulic holders. Hell, even a good milling chuck that has been backed off from being fully tight will leave some excellent finishes. I dunno, I have always had good surface quality. It isn't that hard to achieve.

But hitting Ra12-20 is hard to do. I do it though.
 

rokstarr999

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Sonoma County, USA
I use all types of tool holders; shrinks, ERs, side locks, and hydraulics. I am only going to comment on the ERs since I see a lot of people hating on them recently. To begin with, you need to know how to use them. To start, make sure the cutter size is within range of the collet. Don't just slam a cutter in there because you can. Second, the holder and the collect need to be CLEAN, like super CLEAN, whenever a new cutter is inserted. Third, the collet nut should be torqued properly; consult your tooling manufacturer. I have never had any cutter pull from any ER setup regardless of the material or how "hard" I was running. Fourth, you want good finishes? Shorten your cutter/holder OAL when possible. Don't be afraid to run 0.010 or less from the nose of the holder to the top of the stock.

I would think that collets would be superior to side locks since your grabbing the full diameter of the tool. I can't even remember why I was told to avoid collets. I think it was due to runout.
 

Qwan

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Location
Midwest U.S.A
For my type of parts I prefer:
Schunk hydraulic holders for most of my programs, by far.
Some HPI Pioneer MX collet chucks when I need more holder clearance.
Mill chucks for larger tools.
ER for small drills and never for milling cutters.
Side lock holders for paper weights.
 








 
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