Review By Dean Bielanowski  Timbecon Website -

Torquata DCAK Keyless Drill Chuck

By Dean Bielanowski

When it comes to drilling on the lathe, you can either choose to hand-hold a drill bit (with appropriate holding device) or to use a drill chuck mounted in the tailstock to bore holes. Naturally, the latter just seems a lot safer and more accurate to me.

In the hunt for a drill chuck to use with my lathe, I invariably entered the keyed vs keyless debate in my mind. I use a keyed drill chuck on my drill press, but thought a keyless might work well for lathe work, given that the drill bit remains stationary while the workpiece is doing the spinning. Of course, if your drill press uses a morse taper #1 or #2 arbor, you can use these chucks on your drill press too. Mine has a Jacobs arbor so I couldn't test it on the drill press.

The key to a good keyless chuck is jaw design and how well it can be tightened by hand. A drill bit that slips in the chuck constantly is virtually useless!

So I grabbed one of the Torquata DCAK series keyless drill chucks. There are several in the line, depending on the chuck capacity and taper you require. I picked up the DCAK-132, 13mm chuck with a #2 morse taper. You will also need a morse taper drill chuck arbor to suit the taper on your tailstock. Mine was again a #2 MT fit.

The drill chuck comes completely assembled and ready to use. Simply insert your drill chuck arbor and slide this into the tailstock of your lathe and you are ready to go. Be sure that when you first receive the chuck to remove all the protective/packing grease with an appropriate degreaser before use. This will ensure few problems with bit slippage and provide the best grip possible on the bit. You might also want to slightly rough the surfaces with steel wool for an even better grip.

The full metal construction of all chuck components makes the chuck itself quite heavy... definitely heavy-duty-grade in terms of durability too.

The three jaws on the chuck operate in unison when tightened or loosened to ensure the drill bit is well centered when fully tightened, which should help reduce drill bit "wobble" at the tip caused by miss-centering of the jaws. A well centered and true-running drill bit also keeps accuracy levels high when drilling, ensuring a bored hole is the exact diameter of the drill bit itself. Each jaw features a triangular tipped design, with the apex ground down flat for more surface area grab on the bit. When fully tightened without a bit inserted, each jaw met with its neighbor perfectly (to the naked eye), again displaying a high level of chuck machining quality.

Tightening or loosening the chuck simply involves holding the upper collar with one hand while rotating the lower sleeve with the other. This either extends and closes the jaws or retracts and opens them. Either 13mm or 16mm drill diameter capacity is possible, depending on the specific model chuck you purchase. Cross-etched grip areas help get a better grasp on the body of the chuck to tighten it firmly, or release it later on.

In Use
I mainly used both twist drill bits/brad point bits and smaller forstner bits in the chuck when drilling on the lathe. I drilled pen blanks of all sizes, holes for specific chucks mounts and clearance for salt/pepper mills, among others. The keyless chuck exhibited no signs of letting go or loosening of the drilling bit as I progressed the cutter into the workpiece, advancing the tailstock. Remember to retract the bit often to remove debris and shavings for best drilling results.

For around AUD$60, the Torquata DCAK series keyless drill chucks are well worth the price in my opinion. They are very high quality, very solid and durable and keep a firm grip on the bit, even during heavier cuts. Plus, no fumbling around for that missing chuck key or using up time tightening the three points on a keyed chuck.

If you are looking for a drill chuck to use on the lathe, this chuck is definitely worth considering if you are hunting for a keyless option.

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In Australia

Torquata DCAK Keyless Drill Chucks

Torquata DCAK-132 Photos
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The DCAK series keyless drill chuck.

Self-centering jaws are accurately machined and assembled.

Etched grip areas allow easier tightening of chuck jaws.

Chuck assembled in the tailstock with bit inserted.

Drilling a pen blank using keyless chuck on the lathe.


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