Which Tool Holder is Right for You?


Tool holders are an important part of modern day machining. A well-made and precise end mill holder will give you a higher quality product. But how does one find the best holder for the job? Here are some tips to help you make your decision.

What Jobs Do Tool Holders Perform?

Cutting bits are an essential component for milling or lathe operations. The tool holder secures these cutters in place during the machining operation. In fact, they have a great deal to do with the kind of precision you can provide and this is why it is essential to have the best possible end mill holder when milling.

Holder Types

There are four main kinds of holders you can choose from. They are hydraulic in nature, heat shrink, polygonal clamp and universal. Let’s look a little closer at each one of these options.


Often referred to as hydraulic chucks, these holders help to keep symmetrical pieces in place. Hydraulic holders do not work like conventional ones. For example, a typical drill chuck works by turning a mechanism to close the clamping jaws. Hydraulic chucks are operated by turning a screw which hydraulically activates an expansion sleeve to grip the tool.

Hydraulic holders are simple to use and virtually maintenance free. Plus, they can deliver a great deal of clamping force and concentricity even at very high speeds.


A polygonal end mill holder clamps the tool in three places. Because of their slim shape, one can use shorter cutting tools. They are quite simple and easy to use.


Universal holders offer excellent vibration damping. This can greatly extend tool life.

Heat Shrink

Heating up the holder creates clamping action and cooling it down releases the tool. Your tool supplier can show you all the options and help you decide which one is best for your shop.

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