Everyone looks for savings on commodity items. If you can shop around to cut the cost of anything from a loaf of bread to a new car, you can hang on to more of your money. Apply the same penny-pinching philosophy to your ER collets, however, and you may be in for some disappointing – and expensive – surprises.

At REGO-FIX, we invented the ER collet back in the 1970s, and for years, we were the sole source of a product that others couldn’t copy because we held the patent. We let that patent lapse so our design could become a global standard. Now, anyone can follow the DIN specs and make ER collets that should be interchangeable with ER products from other companies, including REGO-FIX.

And that’s why today, you can price shop for ER collets from a host of manufacturers. To cut your production costs, you may be enticed by inexpensive products that promise the same toolholding performance you get from us. They look like a great way to save on an item that’s a constant among your setup expenses.

But those inexpensive collets can turn out to be anything but a bargain. If they’re not built to the standards we design into every ER product we make, they won’t last very long and most likely will fail to provide the consistency and performance you need – especially in terms of TIR. The more frequently you have to replace your toolholding, the more you spend on it, which can wipe out every dollar you save on bargain hardware. In fact, you’re likely to end up spending more for collets in the long run than if you’d purchased REGO-FIX quality in the first place.

This is especially true on today’s high-speed machine tools, where even the slightest toolholding insecurity or inaccuracy can cause a mill or drill to snap like a toothpick. On top of that, your part quality will suffer, wasting both time and materials.

Before you fall victim to a supposed bargain, look closely at the performance of those “cost-saving” options. Don’t get suckered into short-term savings without long-term benefits. You may find that your toolholding budget comes out ahead if you invest in better collets that last.

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