ER20 Collets

ER20 Collets

Postby cbr_speedster » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:00 pm

I've always been reluctant to purchase tooling on-line because the picture could be deceiving.. But a 14 pc. collet set for $33 bucks is hard to pass up. I mean a collet is a collet so I thought I would try these. I got them in the mail yesterday and pretty pleased of how they look. Haven't tried them in the machine yet but was wondering if others have purchased these and if they work ok. I was going to order the main sizes I use but at that price I'm glad I went with the full set.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby Leo » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:05 pm

I have been using / buying ER collets and other kinds of collets since 1978. I use them in the machine industry. I would like to have a dime for every collet I have bought.

To me - a collet is just a collet - does NOT work in my mind. That is just NOT correct.

There really is a lot that goes into a collet. Those angles are important in holding the tool correctly.

The material, steel is NOT just steel, is equally important.

Collets can crack, slip, not hold a tool well, runout, and other stuff. You may see it in the cutter performance and never give the collet a second thought.

Maybe in woodworking and on hobby level machines it does not matter as much. I have paid $100 plus for ultra precision collets. Generally ER20 collets are in the mid $30 range.

I do use inexpensive collets on my CNC Router at home, but I would not in my wildest dreams use them at my workplace.

I am a believer in using decent tooling. If I buy a router that costs thousands of dollars I am not going to use the cheapest cutters and collets and such in places where the rubber meets the road.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby BDM » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:15 pm

Leo beat me to it, but I have a feeling the fine folks at Precise Bits would disagree with the statement "a collet is a collet".
Here's their take on that statement, a lot of good honest information in there: https://www.precisebits.com/tutorials/C ... ollets.htm

You may have lucked into a good deal, but I would be really leery of a <$3 collet in anything I'm using.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby scottp55 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:08 pm

+3
Bought a cheap ER20 collet and a nut ONCE.
Nut was eccentric and threads STUNK...collet wasn't much better...trashed after using once.
Didn't notice fast enough, or I would never have used them at all.
$1700 to replace my spindle....NOT worth it!
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby martin54 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:09 pm

+2 on what Leo said, but I have an engineering background the same as Leo does so I know better :lol: :lol:

Generally speaking the price would indicate that these are not a quality collet but that doesn't mean that they won't be any good for your needs, if your not doing any precision work then things like run out should not really cause to many problems & if they hold the bits without slipping then they will serve your purpose OK. The other think Leo mentioned was quality of materials, I have seen cheap collets rust very quickly so that is something else to watch out for :lol: :lol:

If they do OK for you then you have a bargain, if not then make a mental note not to buy again :lol: :lol:
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby potzmannwoodshop » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:11 pm

cbr_speedster wrote:I've always been reluctant to purchase tooling on-line because the picture could be deceiving..


Have not used those, but i buy a fair bit of stuff directly from overseas, China mostly, but also Taiwan, and India. The parts are likely coming from there anyway, so why pay a middle man to import them when I can and save a few $$$. I buy many of my bits overseas. I have a supplier of V bits,30,60 &90, they run about $2 per bit and last half as long as one from amana or onsrud that cost $40.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby cbr_speedster » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:44 pm

Thanks for the replies and info,,, I had to see for myself what cheap looked like and tonight I will blue the collet and see if the taper matches the spindle and then check for run out... I do see irregularities in the slots when blowing up the picture. I'll probably only use a few of them regularly anyway. I'm with Leo, I wouldn't use cheap collets in a machining environment but the company pays for those and I'm paying for these... It makes a difference... Just thought I would check them out.. May pitch all of them afterall...
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby Leo » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:10 pm

I would not chuck them out too fast. They may be servicable but it's worth a little extra effort to look at them to be sure they are not cracked when you use them. At first sign of trouble I would chuck the collet.

In general I have worked at companies that replace collets on regular intervals just to be sure of quality. I would rather have THOSE collets than the cheap collets. A rego-fix collet at 5-6 years old is still a good collet.

The collets you got may work well enough, just be careful with them, and don't push heavy cuts or expect precision.

Then again I work in metrology and think .0001 is low precision - rough cutting.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby Mikehell » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:03 pm

I get Technics brand on eBay for $15 each. I can't see how a set that costs that much is much cheaper since you'll probably only use ,2, maybe 3, sizes anyway. All but 2 will sit collecting dust.
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Re: ER20 Collets

Postby TReischl » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:32 am

I recently purchased a set similar to the one the OP wrote about. I do not use them in the CNC machine. They are for my lathe.

The worst runout I have is about .001. In Leo's world. . .that is downright awful. On my 1946 Delta 1460 lathe, that is high precision. Surprisingly that old lathe has about .0002 spindle runout.

Frankly, even if the runout were .005 it would not bother me. Most of the things I make in the lathe get cutoff anyhow so it does not matter in that regards.

So, when it comes to cheap collets, it depends on what you are going to use them for. I would not run a cheap collet in a router for obvious reasons. The other thing is, from what I can tell there are only four really useful sizes 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 since I have never seen a router bit that is 5/32 or 7/16. However, on a lathe those sizes are entirely possible. This week I was turning stock that was 5/32 and 7/32. It is way handy to have collets to grab that stuff.
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