Morse Taper versus the R8 Tool Holder

The most common cutting tools in CNC machining are drill bits and end mill. They don’t do the same thing, but they each earned a place in the shop. Collets or end mill holders hold end mills in place. Chucks hold drill bits.  Collets cost less then end mill holders. They grip better than an end mill holder as well.  There are two types of collets: Morse taper and R8. Do they work the same? When it comes to performance, does the R8 tool holder work better, worse or equal to the Morse taper. How do the two compare? Let’s see.

Up First – The Morse Taper Tool Holder

The Morse Twist Drill Company engineered the Morse taper. It is an American invention. Stephen Morse  invented the twist drill and needed a way to hold the tool. So the company he founded in Massachusetts created the Morse taper to hold the bits in their drills.

A continuous taper is the key feature of the Morse taper.  A set screw secures the collet in place. Morse tapers and drawbars don’t go together. If you see a machine with a drawbar it’s been modified.

The Morse taper is best for tools that are changed infrequently. The Morse taper isn’t the best tool holder for automated tool changing. Auto tool changing is the bailiwick of the R8 tool holder.

The Morse Taper is best used for mini mills and hobby shops. It’s not the best solution for the industrial shop.

R8 tool holder

courtesy Exact Tooling

Up Next – The R8 Tool Holder

The Bridgeport Machine Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut developed the R8 tool holder for quick tool changes. As machining grew, so did the need for quick tool changes.  R8 tapers are easy to spot. They are straight and then flare to a taper.

No set screw darkens the doorway of the R8 tool holder. This beauty uses a drawbar. Now you have much more efficient tool changing. The R8 tool holder is right at home in industrial settings. Try to maintain the same z height every time you remove and reinstall the tool a Morse taper. Yeah, keep trying. The R8 tool holder makes it much easier. That’s why professional machine shops love them.

You can even find R8 endmill holders pretty easy. And, because they are not rare, they don’t cost much.

R8 tool holder protects colletsR8 Tool Trays Protect R8 Collets and Tools

So, if you’ve made the move to use R8 collets, they need a place to stay. The Tool Company sells trays that secure your R8 collets. Protect your tooling with a strong, high-impact plastic R8 tool tray. Look, if you only use the best, then only use R8 tool holders. Then keep them safe in a tray made in the USA and sold by The Tool Company.  Buy now and protect your R8 tool holders with a tray that keeps them safe and organized.

American Tools | Tool Company
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