What is a TIG Collet? What is a Wedge collet? And why does it not have any splits?
The first tig collets were typically made from pure copper and had splits in them along with a chamfered tip that allowed them to bite down on a tungsten electrode when pressure was applied by turning the threaded back cap.
Split collets usually work just fine and the only real problem with the split copper collets is that they can get hot. Especially with air cooled torches.
You know what I am talking about. We all tend to push air cooled torches to the limit and they can get really hot.
When a copper split collet gets hot enough it anneals and softens.
Then when pressure is applied from the back cap, the collet ends up corkscrewing and often becomes useless….it won’t even bite on the electrode... and that allows the electrode to slip and even dump into the weld.
A wedge collet is a newer and different design and utilizes a wedge design instead of splits.
The wedge makes the collet cock to one side and it wedges the electrode up against the collet body.
And wedge collets are made from brass that is harder and stronger than pure copper so they can last up to 10 times longer than standard split collets.
Odds are you will lose one before you wear it out.