Chuck jaws are an item that can commonly be found in the manufacturing industry and one that is very useful.  Many of the products that we purchase as consumers have been made by using chuck jaws – or at least some of their components have.  Yet most of us will go through our whole lives without ever really knowing what chuck jaws are.  Here we look at their uses and discuss why there are such an important item.

An overview

A chuck is a clamp that is used to hold an object in place, usually with rotational symmetry and quite frequently cylindrical in shape.  The chuck jaws are the parts that physically hold the piece in place and are often detachable from the chuck itself.  Chuck jaws can be used to hold a tool that is used to shape the object, such as a drill bit.  In addition they may be used to hold the piece of metal that is being shaped.  Perhaps the most basic and common use of chuck jaws can be found in power drills that are readily available to the general public.  In this instance the chuck jaws are used to hold the drill bit and can be usually be tightened by hand without the use of a chuck key.

Producing accurate pieces

In a more advanced application chuck jaws are used to clamp metal components in place with great accuracy.  The clamping power that can be generated is extremely high, depending of course on each model, which provides the stability to ensure that pieces are of very exact dimensions.  The ability to make many of the same items that are identical in dimension is essential.  For example it is imperative that all car engine parts are made to perfectly fit together; otherwise the engine may not run properly or excessive parts wear could occur.  In order to provide such great accuracy the machines that are used to shape materials are controlled via computer numerical control (CNC).

Hobby machinists

Whilst they are frequently used in manufacturing environments, chuck jaws are also employed by hobby machinists.  In such settings they are most frequently used in conjunction with drill presses and lathes in relatively basic applications.  Whilst the machining process in such instances will not be controlled by CNC as in the manufacturing industry; it is still possible for experienced machinists to produce accurate pieces of work.

 

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