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Multifix Toolholder Clone Review

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  • Multifix Toolholder Clone Review

    This is a review of a Chinese clone toolholder compared to the original Swiss made product. The Swiss made product is probably as good as it gets in terms of quality and excellence of design. I will double post this as the topic is of concern to several groups who have like interests but seem to prefer pursuing them in different fora.

    I suggest to keep the irrelevency down that those who favor other tool systems (the excellent Aloris system for excample) make their thoughts known on another thread leaving this discussion to the merits and defect of the clone under discussion.

    There has been mention of "Create Tool Trade CO.,LTD" a Chinese outfit making copies of of the well regarded "MultiFix quick change tool post systems now marketed by Amestra ( and distributors. This is the splined tool post system where the toolholder can be incremented around a vertical 40 tooth stube spline that is the tool post. For those not familiar with the Multifix tool post system. here is a link to a catalog:

    Increment the digits "12" down to see other pages.

    I have a Multifix size "B" tool post and I LIKE it; especially the 40 position feature. I (personally and without good reason) feel that pound for pound the Multifix tool post system is a little stouter and considerably more convenient than the Aloris "wedge type" and certainly stouter than the "piston type".(which I have damaged more than once taking heavy cuts well within the capability of the machine on which it was mounted.)

    I was attracted by CreateTool's pricing. Knowing that you get what you pay for I took a gamble thinking that $56 isn't excessive for a poorly wrought tool holder that may be of some use in the future if only to butcher up for a special.

    I set the chinese copy and an identical MultiFix toolholder on the bench in front of me. Fit and finish of the Multifix are excellent; the clone less so but these are esthetic not functional points. Dimesionally they are identical. The screws interchange as does the height adjuster. The knurls on the adjuster are even the same. The Create Tool version is a careful copy.

    When the original is clamped in the tool post and the single tool registration feature (lower shelf of the tool slot) is scanned with a dial indicator it registers parallel with the tool post base to 0.0010; the clone within 0.0015. Both blue to the post spline about the same but it's very difficult to read the transfer.

    My little Wilson hardness tester is out of commission. A file test comparing the hardness of the two tool holders seems fo confirm they are close to the same - about Rc 55 if my guess is worth anything. The unknown factor is the depth of the case. A centerpunch mark tells me - I don't know what; but the Multifix is either through hardened or has a thicker case. The Create Tool version will take a deeper mark suggesting a thinner case (or I punched a place where the diffusion carbon was in poor supply.)

    I sheared three 0.001 feelers to about 1/16" wide. I gently clamped the tool holder with the feelers at three points equally distributed along the spline engagement all on the same side of the flank. Tweakng the clamp this way and that I found a setting where one or more of the feelers could be withdrawn to test the equality of flank fit. The Multifix was spot on. The clone seemed to fit sooner in the middle of the spline but as the clamp was drawn up the holder spline came into compliance with the post and gripped all three feelers. This is a very sensitve test and one that demonstrates perfection of fit.

    However it must be kept in minds that small imperfections in spline fit does not equate to flawed repeatability or rigidity.

    Tests with dial indicators show repeat interchange registration within 0.0003" easily - provided the clamp was modestly snugged say 15 in lb. A tighter setting did not change the registration reading but a minimum clamp torque seemed to be required for consistent tool holding. The vaunted original Multifix claim of 0.0001" could not be reliably determined with the equipment I was using at the time.

    I took a couple of full HP (10 HP) cuts with each tool holder with a 1" shank carbide insert holder on 6 dia hot roll steel. Each performed well and no difference in stock removal. tool performance, or finish was apparent from one tool holder to the other.

    The one snag with the Create Tool holder was the clamping feature was too close. With the original Multifix you released the clamp and there was ample clearance to snatch out the tool holder to replace it with another. With the Create Tool holder the fit is so snug the holder has to be juggled a bit then slid carefully up or down. If you hurry it will bind. This means tool changes may be thirty seconds in stead of five and a PITA.

    The Create Tool line covers the full Multifix range from Aa (suited tto 4" to 7" swing to D (suited for 30" and larger) and they ovver the full range of holders except for the threading versions with the tool retraction lever.

    Here is a link:

    Import clones of the Multifix are available from Shars who advertize here.

    From the above I conclude the Create Tool is close in quality and utility to the Swiss made original Multifix toolholder. I would reccommend it for the home shop owner or a commercial shop where 8/5 heavy service was not a factor. If the service was heavy and reliability was a controlling factor I would suggest going with the more expensive Swiss made Multifix. Sometimes paying 4x the price of the cheap stuff to buy the really good stuff is a bargain.

    Shop wisely.
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-25-2011, 08:08 PM.

  • #2
    so you bought one ..from that link i gave a couple of weeks ago

    good to go then forest ..

    did you just buy one tool holder or the set

    will order a set now if its ok

    all the bestr.markj


    • #3
      Where did you order your holders from. I would like to get some more for my A series.


      • #4
        I think the Original Multifix-Suisse is made in France by Amestra.


        Originally posted by Forrest Addy
        I would suggest going with the more expensive Swiss made Multifix. Sometimes paying 4x the price of the cheap stuff to buy the really good stuff is a bargain.

        Shop wisely.


        • #5
          Multifix clone sets can also be purchased here:

          So far as I know, T4C only sells sets, not individual holders.


          • #6
            Very intresting review! Thank you for daring to centerpunch mark your holders!

            I wonder about the tight fit (for insert/removal) however, Do you think it might get a little better as it wears in?
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


            • #7
              It's case hardened. I doubt it.


              • #8
                On the createtool site, could not find the lathe swing to Multifix size holders.

                Anyone find that link?



                • #9
                  Ken. You won't find HP and swing recommendations on the CreateTool site.

                  Look here:


                  Paste in link: x remove "x" at each end after pasting onto browser
                  Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-26-2011, 04:21 AM.


                  • #10
                    Both urls are the same and come up as 404's.
                    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ken_Shea
                      On the createtool site, could not find the lathe swing to Multifix size holders.

                      If you click more on the sets it shows a drawing top of compound to centre height.

                      AA = 26mm / 1"
                      A = 40mm / 1.57"
                      B = 56mm / 2.20"

                      Steve Larner


                      • #12
                        As Steve points out the key dimension is the distance from the top of your compound to the centerline of the spindle, not the swing. The tool holder has a minimum setting height for a particular tool cross-section. So what you actually have to compare is the height from the base of the tool holder to the height of the tool cutting tip. This must be less than the compound to the spindle centerline height, otherwise you will not be able to set the toolholder low enough. Then you need to check that the maximum setting height actually reaches the spindle center height. I think that some older lathes tend to have relatively small compound to centerline heights, as the basic tool mounting method was directly on top of the compound. This can make selecting a sufficiently rigid setup impossible, unless you are prepared to skim the top of your compound

                        The Amestra Original Multi-Suisse brochure gives all the necessary dimensions, strangely I have never seen these critical dimensions quoted by any other manufacturer.


                        PS: For example the minimum compound to centerline height for a type A is 20.5mm if you are prepared to use 12mm cross-section tools and 28.5mm if you use a 20mm tool cross-section.
                        Last edited by philbur; 03-26-2011, 06:03 AM.


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            Forest, SDL, philbur
                            Thanks for the information, that is what was needed.


                            • #15
                              There is a nice table and pictures of the dimensions:
                              Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.