Every hobby machinist needs to work efficiently. They take pride in the work they do. They don’t want to rush and do a bad job. But they do want the job finished. A tool that keeps you organized and helps work efficiently earns bench space. The R8 tool holder and collet tray deserve a spot.

Keep Tools and Collets Protected

Perform tool setup using an R8 tool holder tray to keep them in the right order and keep them safe. the best tray stores a wide range of collet sizes for all  tools. Then, when it’s tool change time, everything you need is close to you. Instead of spending time searching for your collet and searching for your tool you spend time machining.  It’s  what you love and what brings you to the shop! An R8 tray or a 5C collet tray made of heavy-duty material protects and stores expensive tooling and tool holding. That’s double duty and a good thing in the hobbyist shop.

Keep Tools and Collets Clean

Ever hear the saying “cleanliness is next to Godliness”? Mom told you that to make you wash your hands and face. Well, it applies to the home shop too. We all know, machining can be a dirty business. Between chips and fluid you can easily make a mess. If you don’t have a vacuum system, small particles fly through the air with the greatest of ease. They are a mess. And they make your collets messy too. Once coated in chips and swarf, collets are useless. Dirty collets are difficult to clean. Skip the mess and store collets in an R8 tray with a cover. Look for a clear cover, so you can see what’s at hand. Once again, don’t waste time hunting for collets and tools. Keep them organized in storage that keeps them clean. Use a covered tray.

Sequence with Your R8 Tray

Start by putting the tools  for the job in their collets. Then, just put  the collets in the R8 tray in sequence you will use them and speed up the tool changing process.

This way, when it’s time to make a change, your tools are already sequenced. Taking a few minutes at the start of the job will save more time once you begin work. Those collets are lined up like soldiers, just waiting to go to war. Between a sequenced 5C or R8 tray and your collet wrench, you’ll change tools fast. That’s less time setting up and more time machining. That’s why you’re in the shop, right?

CNC tool trays, arbors, fly cutters R8 tool holder

R8 Tool Holders, Collet Trays, Collet Wrenches and More

No matter what you need to keep organized and keep machining, The Tool Company has you covered. From R8 tool holders and 5C collet trays to collet wrenches, fly cutters, saw arbors and more. the Tool Company sells products made in the USA. Every product we sell is produced by American machinists for American machinists.

Don’t settle for cheap imitations in your shop. Buy your CNC supplies at The Tool Company.

Have you already given up on the resolutions you made in January? Don’t worry. February is still a good time to get organized. Get your R8 tools and collets together.  Get them straight and get them in R8 tool holders and life will be good.

r8 collet trays keep collects looking this newAbout the R8 Collet

Bridgeport developed the R8 taper for the milling machines they manufactured. Use is simple. A drawbar goes through the spindle to the top of the machine and prevents loosening.  Insert tools with an R8 taper directly into the machine spindle.  Place the collets (tool holders)  directly into the spindle and the tighten the drawbar  into the top of the collet. The R8 system is used with collets  18″ to  34″  diameter.

This is not new information.  What is new is the way you are going to keep those R8 collets organized and protected.  Enter the R8 tool holder tray.

Protect Your Collets and Protect your Tools

The collets you use regularly should stay in good shape and rust-free.  Those collets that aren’t often can get rusty.  Humidity control is the best rust preventative. Use fans to circulate the air in the shop  and reduce humidity and moisture. Shop fans don’t work if they aren’t turned on. So, shop fans should run constantly. Heating and air conditioning affect temperature and humidity.  Try to avoid wild temperature swings. You can’t control the weather outside, but you can control the conditions inside.  Drastic temperature changes cause metal to sweat.  So, even if you close up shop for a week in the summer,  keep the fans on and the AC running.  If you don’t, the metal in the shop will get warm. when you turn on the AC it will cool and the metal will sweat.  Constant temperatures are the best metal anti-perspiration.

Apply a light coating of oil to protect collets that aren’t used regularly.  Don’t use a heavy-duty oil or you will spend too much time cleaning it off.  Breakthrough CLP is protects more than just gun metal.

Store your collets in a heavy-duty R8 tool tray.  The Tool Company sells a heavy duty R8 tool holder  that is made of high-impact plastic that will not rust and it will not cause rust on your expensive tooling.

R8 Tool Holders are Kind to Your Tooling

R8 tool holdersR8 tool holders protect your tooling and keeps it organized.  So, whether it’s a 30, 40 or 50 taper you’ve got plenty of room.  Steel stamped R8 tool  trays can damage your tooling; high-impact plastic will not.

Store your tools in a tray that is American built and American strong.  Like everything we sell at The Tool Company, our tool trays are made in the USA.   Don’t trust your tools to cheap, foreign made trays from inferior materials. Get a tool holder that is backed by a full 5 year warranty.  Order your R8 tool holders  today and get organized in 2018.




It’s almost Christmas.  If you still haven’t found a gift for the machinist in your life, we’ve got a few more ideas.  From R8 tool holders to keep their tools safe to goggles to keep their eyes safe, we’ve got ideas for any budget.

R8 Tool Holders for Tool Safety

Give a gift that protects their expensive tooling.  Portable R8 tool holders come in different sizes and configurations to hold their tools.  They can use them for storage or for transport between the tool room and the machine.

They’ll think of you at evr8 tool holdersery tool change.  That could be pretty often!

This one is numbered to help with tool sequencing and is made from a high impact plastic to protect the tools. It even has handles to give a better grip as you move from the tooling area to the machining area.  At $34.95 it won’t break the bank either.  Order your R8 tool holder now at The Tool Company for delivery in time for Christmas.


Safety Goggles and Dust Masksstryker safety goggles

So if you aren’t about protecting their tools, how about protecting the machinist?  Every shop requires the use of safety equipment, so make sure they are using the best.  Looking for eye protection?

Stryker safety goggles set the standard.  They fit comfortably over prescription eye wear and don’t obstruct peripheral vision as so many goggles do.  Fit well with most half-masks as well.  And speaking of masks, why not give them a mask for work and play?

u2-maskThe mu2 mask is different from other masks.  Instead of trapping particles it repels them.  That means it can be used over and over again.  Like the Stryker goggles go with masks, this mask is made to work with goggles.  If your machinist is into trail riding or other outdoor activities, it can be used for play too.  It even comes in colors!



Digital Calipers

This digital caliper measures four ways; outside, inside, depth, and step. But they won’t be able to measure how happy they are to get this gift.  The large LCD display can be zeroed at any position.  It comes complete with battery so it is ready to get to work as soon as they are.

digital-caliperAll calipers do the same thing, measure.  The difference is how well they do it.  These do it well.  They slide easily and automatically shut off when not in use for 5 minutes.

Happy Holidays from The Tool Company

No matter what you celebrate in the month of December, The Tool Company wants you to celebrate with happiness, joy, friends, and family.

From our shop to yours here’s to holidays that are



Like Big Mac to McDonald’s; the R8 collet is to Bridgeport.  Bridgeport set the standard for milling machines and was one of the industry leaders when it came to equipment for CNC milling.  Their invention of the R8 collet represented a true revolution in milling. It also caused the need for R8 tool holders to hold those R8 collets.

R8 Tools Allowed Rapid Tool Changing

R8 collets made for a giant leap forward in machining.  They allowed rapid tool changing and actually paved the way for automated tool changing.  Little did they know!

With R8 collets, the collet fits into the taper itself.  This requires an exact match between the collet and the tool shank. In the R8 design, the collet is compressed by a drawbar from behind.  R8 collets have no separate chuck. They are self-releasing.  These two characteristics led to the transformation of tool changing and gave birth to automated tool changes.

Also, because the tool is firmly in the taper, you get more rigidity from the end mill.  This results in more efficient work on a reliable basis and that is better.  More than better, it is the R8 tool advantage.

bridgeport mills use r8 colletsR8 Tools for Quick Change

Faster than the transformation of Clark Kent into Superman, R8 collets are the quick change artists of the CNC shop.  Just as important as the machine and the software running it, the R8 collets facilitate rapid tool-changing. Rapid tool changing is another way to increase productivity in the shop.  Just do any simple Google search of the term R8 collets and you’ll find pages with headlines like

The search will also show you that R8 collets aren’t cheap.  As any CNC’er knows the tooling can be as expensive as the mill itself.  Tooling is an investment that you must  protect.  But those R8 collets are at risk every time they are transported to and from storage.  If they aren’t stored in a tool crib, they are at risk during storage as well.   That’s where special R8 tool holders come in handy.

r8 tool holders to protect collets

R8 Tool Holders Provide Protection

R8 tool holders are special trays designed to safely store and transport your R8 collets.  There are some pretty cheap, foreign made R8 tool holders on the market; but The Tool Company only sells quality R8 tool holders.  We think that the best quality and best performance can be found in the Sierra American R8 tool holder.  Here’s why.

Strong.  The Sierra American Multi-Systems R8 tool holder is engineered from a sturdy impact-resistant material. The result is a light-weight storage tray that doesn’t sacrifice strength or stability.

Full Storage.  The R8 tool holder can accommodate up to 52 collets, including oversized tooling and boring heads.  That’s means you don’t need to keep up with two trays.  One tray has enough room for a full set of collets plus emergency back-up supplies.

Quality.  Don’t trust your expensive tooling to cheap tool holders made in China with inferior materials.  Every product sold by The Tool Company is proudly made in the USA by American craftsman.  Support craftsman just like you and order your R8 tool holders today.


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