Keeping spindles happy: torque, etc?

Dave B recently mentioned using a torque wrench for ER collets. I agree that would be ideal.

Old-timers tend to get a decent “feel” for things, but a torque wrench can keep things consistent and safe. Seems like it’s the #1 solution for machines with multiple users.
Problem is, a click-type torque wrench for this is usually rather pricey (can’t use cheap bar types). Any suggestions? The techniks most people use runs well over $250. I don’t know what else is out there…

I would also suggest a ball bearing collet nut. They are much easier to close, loosen, adjust, and can reduce possibility of cross threading, etc. About $30.

At the very least, I think we should get proper collet wrenches (even non-torque). They have short, wide handles for a reason, and I can show people the tricks that an old machinist taught me for proper tightening and loosening with these.

Wrenches of various sizes and crescents (yikes) have a lot of variation in torque.

Any thoughts?


P.S. Since an ER32 collet has a recommended torque setting of 100 ft/lb, the problem is often under tightening too – you can get wobble in the bit and twist / lever the nut.

There was some talk about cutting down the existing wrenches.

$20 for a wrench to use on the nut itself:

$32 for ball bearing collet (not sure about brand, but this one has the non slip design and bearing to prevent runout and spinning the nut if overtightened).

Pretty cheap if it saves us spindles. If I were to DIY anything, maybe weld an adapter socket onto a less expensive torque wrench. Some people have had success with this, as long as the lever length is maintained. Even a Harbor Freight is within 5%, and an ER32 collet can go up to 125 ft lb with a good nut.

We should also not store the collets and nuts out. #1 enemy of these damn things is dirt and dust. I always had mine in a sealed box.


Harbor freight makes a digital torque wrench adapter. With it bring harbor freight I know we will get boos however they work really decent and get the job done…all for 30 bucks

Also lorin I dono what the cost is on the spindle shaft wrench or size but for the one at school I took an extra decent wrench I aquired and milled it down to the correct width yo keep the crescent wrenches off it.