What is the difference between expanding mandrels arbors vs. sleeves?
An expanding mandrel arbor is a tapered bar that grips a workpiece, so it can be machined on a lathe or a grinder.
An arbor is a stand-alone component.
Expanding Mandrel Sleeve
A sleeve is a component of the mandrel that rotates freely while retaining concentric and lateral relationship to the arbor.
A sleeve cannot be used independently from an arbor but can be purchased separately.
Expanding mandrels are made of steel and commonly used when machining metal. They can be used on plastics or really any material that is machineable.
Expanding Mandrels Benefits
This workholding tool is incredibly useful and precise:
Precision ground arbors and sleeves provide accuracy of 0.001″ (0.025mm) or better. A large bearing surface minimizes wear.
Expanding mandrels are so indispensable to machinists that they are making their own home-made units:
Tonight's late machining job. Making some temporary expanding mandrels out of bits from the scrap bin to hold a soft copper 70mm diameter tube for machining. OK, it's really two and three-quarter inch and 16 SWG. Found some ends of ally bar and unidentified engineering plastic pic.twitter.com/gGEVc7gUDc
— Neil Smith (@g4dbn) July 31, 2019
Note to Mr. Smith: K.O. Lee expanding mandrels are affordable, of high utility and don’t require home assembly!
K.O. Lee Expanding Mandrels Arbors + Sleeves
Now that you have an idea what expanding mandrels arbors vs. sleeves are and why these tools are important, refer to this page for different sizes of arbors, sleeves and complete mandrel and sleeve sets.
The regular sets range from a 3/8”-to-2 ½” (9.53-63.5mm) hole while the heavy-duty sets accommodate a 11/16”-to-5 ½” (17.5-138mm) hole.
LeBlond does offer a 10% discount on sets which are our most frequently requested mandrel item.
We look forward to hearing from you!