Cleaning & storing collets

If you’ve been following any of my recent posts, you know I’ve been making space in my tool chest. The tool(s) I was making space for, was a 1/32nd set of 5C collets from Mari tool.  A set of good collets is not cheap, but if they are properly cared for they can last a lifetime. Thus, when they arrived the other day I thought others might find the inspection, cleaning, and storage process interesting.

When I opened the cardboard shipping box, I found several small hand labeled bags, each containing 2 collets. Each collet was coated in a layer of oil/grease, and sealed in an air tight plastic bag.


After discarding the plastic and verifying I got the correct sizes, I set about cleaning the collets. To remove the packing grease, I submerged each collet in a bath of mineral spirits for a few moments, and then wiped off any stubborn spots with a paper towel. While I was at it, I carefully inspected each collet for burs, or any manufacturing defects that would dictate returning it. Thankfully all the collets  checked out fine.

To protect the collets from moisture I coated them all with a thin coat of oil. I choose mineral oil, because it’s cheap, readily available, and it never dries.  For those that don’t know, mineral oil is what Starrett tool & instrument oil is made from.  To ensure the collets where thoroughly coat in oil, I  submerging them in a Tupperware container full of oil.  After whipping off the bulk of the excess he excess with a paper towel, I set them aside to “drip dry”.


I wanted to store my collets in individual plastic tubes to help protect them (Hardinge ships their collets in tubes), so I purchased some tubes from JC Danczak. So I could easily identify the collets I made individual labels for them using Avery Multipurpose labels I picked up at Walmart.

Posted in: Machining

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *