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Recomendations for a Keyless Chuck?

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Martin Johnson 131/12/2021 12:57:39
144 forum posts
1 photos

I have one from Chester which permanently resides in a drawer while an elderly Jacobs does all the work. Idont like the extra length or the reduced depth on the keyless. I also think the keyed provides beyyer grip.

For balance I also have keyed Chinese no name which is Ok bur the holes for the key are way oversize.

I would always go for quality name and a key by each machine.


Edited By JasonB on 31/12/2021 13:04:37

Vic31/12/2021 13:09:45
3060 forum posts
8 photos

I only have one Jacobs chuck and that’s on my bench drill. The other four are all keyless, one Albrecht, a Rohm and two Far East imports. Two get used on the mill, the other two on my lathes. I’ve not had any issues with any of them but I believe the grip on the Albrecht is superior to the others.

Roger Best31/12/2021 14:56:59
369 forum posts
56 photos

Thanks for all the wisdom guys.

I will have a tinker with the original chuck as well, I think it would be better for big holes if it worked. If not a replacement would be wise



MikeK31/12/2021 22:38:25
226 forum posts
17 photos

This thread prompted me to look for one for my lathe. Found this inexpensive unit below. it comes with a 2MT arbor and free shipping! I have recently purchased from that seller with good results.


Steviegtr31/12/2021 22:44:27
2421 forum posts
336 photos
Posted by Emgee on 31/12/2021 00:34:16:

In the picture posted by Steviegtr of the 1-16mm chuck if the arbor is fitted to the chuck then I would be concerned with the amount of clearance between the back of the chuck and the spindle.
Seems to me the diameter of the taper is too large at the big end.


Emgee i will fit the chuck into the MT2 of the Tom senior & post a pic. You may be right. Never noticed that before.


Roger Best13/01/2022 19:40:49
369 forum posts
56 photos


The arc chuck arrived Saturday, 13mm is a good compromise and they were in stock. I also got some bits and pieces to complement my improved drilling capability. Sunday was my birthday and the cheque from my Mum covered it, so I could say she bought me something specific and wanted even if she doesn't understand the attraction.

I will have a play when I can get into the workshop, it needs some serious tidying, and the house is worse!

The arc catalogue is terrific, it seems so much easier and impressive than their website, very helpful.


Roger Best15/01/2022 21:20:52
369 forum posts
56 photos

crook mmm I might have got something wrong. The tapers don't fit very well but it took me a while to work that out.

A quick video:

How do I get the chuck and arbour apart?

Emgee15/01/2022 22:10:53
2404 forum posts
285 photos
Posted by Roger Best on 15/01/2022 21:20:52:

crook mmm I might have got something wrong. The tapers don't fit very well but it took me a while to work that out.

A quick video:

How do I get the chuck and arbour apart?

A pair of split taper wedges to suit the arbor diameter at the back of the chuck.
ARC list them.


JasonB16/01/2022 07:36:03
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

About what you could expect from a £150 Rohm chuck, these are all 0.05 runout.

Albright High Precision would  be 0.04mm runout and cost £275

So I would say save your money on the wedges


Edited By JasonB on 16/01/2022 08:00:27

Tony Pratt 116/01/2022 08:32:51
1926 forum posts
12 photos

The chuck does seem too far off the taper BUT as Jason B says the runout is about right for a drill chuck, less runout if you strike lucky at the price.


Journeyman16/01/2022 09:35:39
1146 forum posts
230 photos

Yes, looking at the video the chuck does seem to be a long way down the the taper (guessing B16) . I don't think a pair of chuck removal wedges will be much help as there is too much gap between the ridge in the arbor and the back of the chuck. You would have to make a 'thick pair'.


Emgee16/01/2022 09:47:44
2404 forum posts
285 photos
Posted by Journeyman on 16/01/2022 09:35:39:

Yes, looking at the video the chuck does seem to be a long way down the the taper (guessing B16) . I don't think a pair of chuck removal wedges will be much help as there is too much gap between the ridge in the arbor and the back of the chuck. You would have to make a 'thick pair'.


Or use a split packing piece of the required thickness to allow the wedges to enter.


Roger Best16/01/2022 15:11:14
369 forum posts
56 photos

Thanks Emgee, I couldn't find those either on the website or catalogue.

I didn't jam it on tight it should pull off.

I will check dimensions against info here:


JasonB16/01/2022 15:40:39
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

From measurements of my own one it is the male taper that is a bit long beyond the gauge dia.

Gauge dia for B16 is 15.773mm

As best I can measure on mine against the back of the chuck it is 15.71mm

So that is a difference of 0.023mm

After a bit of trig if the gauge were spot on that would only allow the taper to go a further 0.4mm in. Which is far less than can be seen.

On no standards can I see a requirement for the length of taper beyond the gauge dia.

Douglas Johnston16/01/2022 16:37:29
767 forum posts
34 photos

I have collected a few keyless ones over the years. Most are of the cheap type and all have worked well, but I did splash out and buy an Albrecht one with integral R8 arbor about ten years ago . The Albrecht one was on special offer at the time and cost about £100 but I have never regretted the purchase since it is so nice to use. There is something about quality tools that keep on giving joy long after you have forgotten the price.


DiogenesII16/01/2022 17:40:18
517 forum posts
202 photos

..after talking about drills the other day, I think Rotagrip sells a B16 chuck wedge tool, but about £17 crying

If your arbor has a drawbar hole, sometimes a loose weight on a drawbar used it like a slide hammer will jar the arbor out if it hasn't been on for long - drill a hole big enough for the arbor in a block of some solid wood to 'back' the chuck.. ..remember the chuck will fall somewhere once it comes off..

Roger Best16/01/2022 20:22:00
369 forum posts
56 photos

Thanks guys.

I only pushed the chuck on by hand and it hadn't been used so it came off easily with a tiny slide-hammer action. Bragging rights to DiogenesII. laugh

I measured the arbour diameter and its oversize, 16.0 v 15.7, chuck seems OK size-wise, so I have sent an e-mail with pictures to the vendor and hopefully we can speak tomorrow and they can say what they want me to do with it.

Not being properly seated would account for much of the excess run-out over the fancy chucks, its a matter of leverage and we are talking microns. That's great.


Edited By Roger Best on 16/01/2022 20:24:14

JasonB17/01/2022 08:19:08
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

That sounds rather large, are you measuring it in the right place?

I have a couple here and the measure 16mm at the largest part of the taper but that is NOT where you measure. The dimension is at the gauge length which in the case of B16 is 24mm up from the end.


b15 gauge length.jpg

What runout are you expecting? I've already linked to the fact the £25 chuck is showing to be within the spec of a £175 Rohm top of their range or only just outside a £250 Albright.

Ketan Swali17/01/2022 09:28:35
1416 forum posts
133 photos

Hi Roger,

Ian will review your email when he comes in, and he will get back to you.

Just reading this thread (without site of your email), I would suggest that both the chuck and arbor are fine, regardless of expectation for the price in comparison with expensive Rohm or Albrecht chucks.

We sell both products on a daily basis... mainly to industrial users, as well as certain blue chip trade re-sellers, without complaint. We know the factory from where we have purchased the chucks from, and we know the factory from where we have purchased the arbors from. Apart from the odd Friday afternoon product, we are comfortable with the consistency of our supply. However, I will let Ian review your email and get back to you.

With regard to getting into detailed discussion on the subject on here, this is all I will say:

About ten years ago, my team, John Stevenson (who passed away in 2017) and I spent over a year checking keyless chucks from 5 different factories. There are three grades of Chinese keyless chucks. There is high precision - used for CNC (P), Heavy Duty (H), and General (G).

Our findings were as follows:

  • Some factories sampling fialed to reach any of the specifications they specified.
  • Some factories only offered us G grade.
  • Two factories offered us all three grades, and we chose to test the P and H grades only.
  • P grade failed all around on the SIEG machines on which we tested them, and we found that the run-out was worse that the H grade.
  • We even had a batch of P grade which we returned to the factory as they failed on run-out.
  • Tests on our machines included using silvers steel, known turned reference stock, reference stock supplied by the keyless factory for testing, 6mm and 10mm. These were checked at 15mm and 25mm away from where they were held in the chuck. These were checked by hand rotation, as well as at low speed. The chucks were loosened, the stock was moved by hand inside the chuck, so that the jaws could be tightened in a different position. Then the chucks were checked again for run-out. These checks were done on three different machines.
  • Results were different on every machine. Variable factors taken into consideration... spindle run-out, distance from end of spindle to the point at which the round stock was checked, arbor fit to the spindle, JT/B taper fit to the keyless chuck, and one or two other elements which I may have forgotten.
  • Results on the keyless chuck factories test rigs were also different to the results we were finding when fitted to the SIEG, as well as Johns and certain other peoples machines.
  • An average was taken, and we finally settled on the factory we use use, with the H grade. It happens to be the most expensive, but at the same time the smallest factory (in terms of production run), from the five factories we tested.
  • It would still be wrong for me to set a reference for comparison against Rohm chuck because:
    • there are too many variables involved as mentioned above
    • we do not buy the arbor with chuck pre-assembled at the factory
    • our results differ from rests on the keyless chuck factories test rig

We are not prepared to purchase and supply chucks pre-assembled with arbors from ANY factory. Reasons are:

a. non of the factories we tested, including the keyless chuck factory we use make their own arbor.

b. the quality/grade of the material used for the arbor in the pre-assembled units can be variable.

c. the accuracy of the material used for the arbor in the pre-assembled units can be variable.

d. the cost of the arbor from the factory where we buy the arbor is more expensive than the cost of the arbor supplied by the keyless chuck factory, and we cannot be certain of the source.

d. we do not want to keep pre-assembled stock of products.... as this would mean we would have to keep more stock.

We have purchased and supplied the same consistent quality of arbors from one specified factory for over 20 years. The return rate is next to zero.

Chuck removal wedges: For jacob style chucks - they are slim wedges. Albrecht wedges are very thick.. I am guessing because some of their chucks may fit with a bigger gap... but I cannot say for sure.

If the tapers have been mated correctly - i.e. male and female cleaned out to remove the transit oil, and press fit correctly/hard enough (and not by hand only), the resulting run-out is considered to be reasonable for the chucks and arbors we sell. Again, it would be wrong for me to get into results of the tests, as well as any detailed discussion on this over this forum, due to all the assembly variables involved.

Also a note: depending on type of use, the keyless chucks can also tighten and jam.. including Rohm/Albrecht or any other keyless chucks. If mail/female tapers were not cleaned before assembly, they will mark the mating tapers and change accuracy. Using hammers to dismount chucks from tapers can also result in the same problem.

This is a matter for Roger to discuss with Ian and conclude. smiley

Ketan at ARC.

Ketan Swali17/01/2022 10:15:46
1416 forum posts
133 photos

Here are some rough and ready pictures:

This picture is same as the keyless chuck you purchased, hand assembled:

keyless chuck with arbor hand assembled.jpg

Rough measurement of the gap:

keyless chuck with arbor rough gap hand assembled.jpg

Measurement of the gap after hitting (shocking) the arbor into the chuck with blow hammer... not ideal method, but just done for the purpose of these pictures:

keyless chuck with arbor pressed in blow hammer.jpg

Overall picture of an Albrecht chuck removal wedge:

albrecht b16 chuck removal wedge.jpg


albrecht b16 chuck removal wedge close up.jpg

Albrecht chuck removal wedge in gap. The assemble is usually held in the mill, and a sharp blow with a blow hammer is used to separate the mating tapers. Picture just taken to show it in the gap (not usually used at an angle for removal). Usually held at 90 degrees... but good possibility of marking the arbor or the chuck, depending on how long the assembly has been in place.... more difficult to take off after longer period of time..

albrecht b16 chuck removal wedge in gap.jpg

Forgot to add... thickness of Albrecht wedge:

albrecht b16 chuck remval wedge thickness.jpg

Ketan at ARC.

Edited By Ketan Swali on 17/01/2022 10:29:51

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