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3 Jaw or 4 Jaw Lathe Chuck?

Most shops have lathe operations these days, and many are CNC controlled. Some of the best suppliers offer high-quality Sowa Tools for your shop, and they have both 3 and 4 jaw chucks for lathe work. So, which kind of chuck should you use for your applications? Let’s check out the benefits of each type to help you with your decision.

Three-Jaw Tool Holders

If you want to see a good example of a three-jaw chuck, look at a portable drill gun. These chucks contain three jaws that you draw together by turning an outer collar. By using a series of inner and outer gears, and inserting a key to fit the gears, you can loosen or tighten the grip of the tool easily and quickly. Lathe chucks (like ones you can buy from Sowa Tools) are slightly different because they fit onto the lathe headstock. When you hold the inner part of the chuck and rotate the outer part, you can open or close the jaws and tighten them into place with a tool.

Four-Jaw Chuck

The main difference between three and four-jaw chucks is the number of jaws within the tool holder.

Three-Jaw Pros and Cons

It’s fast and easy to set up three-jaw holders. Also, they are self-centering and perfect for holding hex shaped bar stock. They’re mostly used with lightweight stock, and they make good universal holders.

Four-Jaw Pros and Cons

If you need to turn rectangular or square bar stock, you need a four-jaw chuck. Because they’re not self-centering, you can do off-center work. You get a tighter grip than with three-jaw holders, and they can hold heavy stock.

Which is the Right Choice?

Check with your Sowa Tool supplier about all the options you have for lathe tools. They are there to help you choose the best tools for every job.