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Keyless Drill Chuck Recommendation

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  • Keyless Drill Chuck Recommendation

    Gentlemen,
    I need a drill chuck and I’d like to get a keyless one. I’ve done a search on the forum and found some good information; don‘t try tapping with them and be careful with S/D drills.. What I’d like to get is a keyless 0-½“ MT2 integral tang chuck. Lathemaster has what I need for less than $30. Grizzly has a chuck for about $60 but you need to buy a separate arbor for it. EMCO has an SPI that has the integral MT2 tang for about $110. My question is, is there anyone of you guys that has the $30 LatheMaster chuck, and what do you think of it. I’d also appreciate any other recommendations.
    Thanks, Tim

  • #2
    I'd choose a rohm chuck if your willing to spend for them, im not sure if they do an integral shank version but they are good chucks, not the cheapest though

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    • #3
      Albrecht, none better, you get what you pay for.
      You can power tap with them all day long. I have had mine for 25 years, used daily 4-6 hours for about 15 of those years. Only replaced one set of jaws. Still has the original shank. I bought a smaller one a few years back, same quality.
      While Rohm and Jacob make decent keyless chucks, my personal opinion from using them all is they won't hold a candle to the Albrecht in the long run.

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      • #4
        I've got 4-5 of the el-cheapo Chinese keyless that you can pick up all over the place for $20-25 -- with arbor, but NOT integral, -- though in about any configuration imaginable...a variety of JTs, R-8, all the MTs, straight shanks, etc.

        Theyre pretty amazing, I just abuse the crap out of them, run the Silver & Deming big boy drill bits in em,-- the bit'll get locked, just put a big pair of channel locks on it and crank it back open, move on to the next item. And I thread with one on the mill almost exclusively, once in a while itll loosen in retracting, but usually a re-tight on it will back it out, if not, I just let the quill up and use the tap wrench to back out.

        I think theyre a heck of a bargain for the money....
        If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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        • #5
          Tim, I have both a Albrecht integral shaft key-less and one of the $30 Lathemaster Chinese. While the Albrecht is definitely the only one I would own if I could only have one, if money were tight and I wasn't going to use it for NASA level precision, I could easily live with the Lathemaster chuck. Its more than adequate IMHO for home hobby work and most general shop production work as well. Just my 2 cents worth.
          Steve
          NRA Life Member

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          • #6
            Gentlemen,
            Thank you all for your answers. Mcruff is right about buying top of the line equipment. Back in 83’ I bought my first lathe, a Jet 12 X 24. The first thing I added to it was an Aloris BXA tool post and tool holder set. It’s a pleasure to use. Makes me feel good just looking at it. One of the best investments I’ve ever made. But I was working back then; I’ve been retired for a number of years and money is tight now so Steve’s suggestion about the cheap one sounds good to me. Bill’s shows how to get around their weak points makes it sound even better. Sconisbee suggests the middle of the road choice. That definitely is an option. But for now I think I’ll spring for the El Cheapo (way less than a tank of gas) and put the Albrecht on my Christmas wish list. Thanks again for your help.
            Tim

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            • #7
              Tim, My choosing the "cheap" route is certainly not by choice! I'm like you and retired, so the money has to be much more closely monitored than it was when I was "employed". Every week or so I'll make a run thru the Albrecht chucks offered on ebay and one day I'll sneak up on one that I can afford.

              Even so, "going cheap" has had some pleasant surprises, like the keyless chucks, the dang things are just really well made for $20 ... and theres the side benefit of not worrying about the abuse! (Channel locks for a key) I buy quite a lot of the Chinese stuff and find, while the occasional piece of real crap will pop up, and there is sometimes the "work in progress" aspect, that by far, I've got a LOT of very useable tools that I could never hope to have otherwise. These "cheapo" tools are a real boon to a lot of us HSM'ers.

              Try CDCO or Shars if you dont wanna fool with ebay, they both have good stuff and good reputations. Ask for their catalogs while youre on the sites, theyre handy to have for reference (and buy stuff!)

              http://www.shars.com/
              http://www.cdcotools.com/index.php
              If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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              • #8
                my main chuck i use is a keyless metabo 5/8 also comes in 1/2 as well and you will need to buy an arbor for it but thats the cheap part ,, my metabo 5/8 cost me 150.00 canadian at busybee at the timeand they go onsale as well.and its an awesome chuck, also self tightens if the bit tries to slip ,, i love the chuck and would defentalty reccomend if you want a good chuck and well built at that as well ....

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                • #9
                  Bill, I ordered both catalogs. Also called LatheMaster to order the chuck but I guess they don't work on Saturday.
                  It appears that 150$ canadian is about 145$ USA. I'll give the cheaper ones a shot at this point and let you know how I make out.
                  Tim
                  Last edited by Timo; 06-14-2008, 12:19 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Whenever keyless chucks are mentioned it always reminds me of when I worked on aircraft. The original keyless chuck is a regular 1/4 inch chuck on an air drill. We never needed a chuck key, just blip the drill to tighten or loosen. I still do that for most small bits, old habit.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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