View Full Version : Chronos LTD vs Gloster Tooling (Prices)

12-29-2009, 09:30 AM
Greets all, am looking into getting the wife some post-christmas
gifts and have been looking at tooling :)

I'm not on mainland US and am looking to buy in the UK. Searching
the forum I've found these two suppliers come up often.

For import tooling on both sites, I'm finding a substantial price difference
and am wondering why that might be.

For example, a metric set of r8 collets (19 pieces, from 2mm-20mm in 1mm)
from Chronos is $120, what looks like the same set from Gloster is $90 and
they give you the stand.

I'm looking to spend about $500 on "stuff" (clamps, chucks, adapters, etc)
and the price difference is really consistent.

Anyone venture a guess as to why? Is Chronos' stuff better quality?


12-29-2009, 09:43 AM
Chronos is reliable i have to say and i've been buying off them since 1979-80
ok its chinese but mostly it works ok [except the groz bender!]
i havent gone overseas much

Tony Pratt
12-29-2009, 10:17 AM
I too have bought a fair bit of kit from Chronos and find it of acceptable quality and accuracy, I have bought 1 collet from Gloster which was also ok.
In my humble opinion buy a sample purchase from Gloster and evaluate to see if it is good enough for your purpose.
I would imagine both of these companies source from the east, how far east is anyone's guess and I am sure the quality will be variable.You could also ask the 2 companies concerned who are their suppliers and the accuracy they will guarantee.


12-29-2009, 10:27 AM
I have the advantage of being able to drop into Chronos on the way to work. They're based in an industrial unit with a combined stock/showroom. Most of their tooling is a mixture of Taiwanese, Chinese and Indian, with quality (although not necessarily value for money) generally decending in that order.

If the difference in price wasn't that much, I'd almost certainly buy from Chronos. Their prices include postage and you get a discount when buying over the counter. If something wasn't up to spec, I'd be able to take it back and get a refund or replacement. I've done this with an R8-JT3 adaptor with incorrect R8 taper and an APEX brand M10 x 1mm tap that cut too large a diameter thread.

Note for overseas buyers, all their prices also include vat @ 15% (due to got back up to 17.5% on Jan 1st) as required by UK law for retail outlets. If you're buying mail order with an overseas shipping address, they'll be able to deduct the vat from your bill.

12-29-2009, 11:26 AM
Paul, thats funny -- R8-JT3 is on my list, along with a 1-13mm Jacobs chuck.

Sounds like they're closed til Jan 4th. Wonder if I put my order in now
(electronically) if I'll get the reduced VAT?

re: Accuracy -- along with the R8-JT3 I'm looking at a series of R8-MT
adapters.. MT1, MT2 and MT3. And the R8 metric collets. Hopefully these
are "easy" items and quality will be acceptable. The other items are clamps
so I'm not too worried there.. as long as they fit in the T slots!

Chronos doesn't have an R8-MT1 so I'll
get that from Gloster .. I'll stick with the recommendations from here and
get most everything from Chronos. Your endorsement is worth the cost
diff in terms of peace of mind.


Peter N
12-29-2009, 11:34 AM
Conversely, I've bought from Chronos and it's been crap.

Scissor knurler - crap
Chuck backplate - crap
Drill chuck - crap
Glanze boring bar - very good.

These days if I buy from hobby suppliers I use Arc Euro Trade, but mostly I buy from J&L Industrial or other industrial tool suppliers.


David De'ath
12-29-2009, 11:54 AM
Conversely, I've bought from Chronos and it's been crap.

Scissor knurler - crap
Chuck backplate - crap
Drill chuck - crap
Glanze boring bar - very good.

These days if I buy from hobby suppliers I use Arc Euro Trade, but mostly I buy from J&L Industrial or other industrial tool suppliers.


I agree with Peter, having bought from Chronos for a couple of years not everything is excellent. A rotary table, depth mike and currently a milling vice have been problematic. However, their end mills and many other items have been very good and they are very easy to deal with, no delivery charges and they replace items quickly and without a fuss when asked.

I have never needed to return an item to J & L. Arc Euro Trade has been fine apart from a couple of wrong items sent which were instantly replaced. I do find that they are often out of stock of what I need though.


12-29-2009, 12:12 PM
wow.. J&L (UK) have the R8 collet set for 135 BP. Compare that
to Chronos & Gloster @ about 50-60 BP.

Maybe the Chronos/Gloster are single use.


12-29-2009, 12:39 PM
If you are worried about the quality of the collets why not buy better quality ones as and when you need them if a set is anything like socket sets I have in that there are an awful lot of them that have never been out the box!

Besides the chronos bits just about match my machining ability and if I stuff one up so what just buy another.

Perhaps if I live long enough I will buy a decent set.


12-29-2009, 01:50 PM
How does RDG Tools quality compare to Chronos?

I have used chronos and Arc in the past and have generally been satisfied with the quality, not saying it always has been the greatest but factoring in price and my needs it has been as expected or better... I have been favoring chronos because of the high shipping cost from arc with the exception for cutting tools or if I need to be certain of a certain level of quality...

Tony Pratt
12-29-2009, 02:16 PM
I have also used RDG tools and I would say they are ok, similar to Chronos. What we have here are hobbyist suppliers who basically buy from the same pool. I did buy a knurling tool from Chronos, it looked cr#' but it did the job.
J & L are industrial suppliers so hopefully their accuracy and build quality are better but the prices reflect this.
As for R8 collets I would just buy what you need, as has been said if you buy a full set most won't ever get used, perhaps start with 1/4",3/8",1/2",5/8",6,10,12,16mm to cover the most popular milling cutters.