Safety Tips for Handling Precision Spindles

Machine tool spindles are precision components that require the highest level of care and handling. When performing repair and maintenance or sending a spindle in for service, follow these essential safety tips to protect your investment.


  • Disconnect electrical power when performing maintenance
  • Do not place the spindle assembly or its components on an unstable surface.


  • Improper lifting of a spindle assembly can damage equipment and cause bodily harm to personnel.
  • Locate the weight of the spindle assembly on the outline drawing or the shipping container. Ensure the rated lifting capacity of the hoisting equipment is greater than the weight of the spindle and is in good condition.
  • Ensure the lifting fasteners on the spindle assembly are securely fastened and match the outline assembly drawing.
  • Pad all sharp edges of the spindle assembly that might touch lifting straps to ensure the lifting straps are not damaged.
  • Never lift or transport a spindle assembly by any of its rotating components.
  • Cartridge and flanged cartridge spindles typically do not have provisions for lifting and transporting. The proper way to move these spindles is by lifting straps around the housing and a crane or forklift. Position the strap to balance the spindle and ensure it won’t slip off once you start lifting.

Liffting Spindle 2 1 300x169 1When moving spindles with a motor drive package, do not lift the spindle assembly using the motor frame eyebolt only. Make sure the strap placement provides a balanced and stable load.


Take care to protect your spindles even when not in use. It is possible to damage a spindle by improper storage. Store the spindle where there is no risk of collision or excessive vibration. Vibration can cause severe bearing damage when the spindle is not rotating. Use internal and external lubrication to protect against corrosion. Storage areas should be clean and dry, with a stable temperature of 65 to 120 degrees F (18 to 49 degrees C) and at a non-condensing humidity level. This will help prevent contamination from entering the spindle assembly.

NewBeltDrivenBoringSpindle 1 300x294 1We recommend using a log to keep records of the maintenance of the spindle assembly. Rotate spindles by hand several revolutions each month. For a more detailed look at spindle storage, see our article entitled Proper Spindle Storage Preserves Your Investment on the Setco website resources page.


Only operate the spindle assembly at speeds above its nameplate rating. If overspeeding occurs, the spindle may fail due to excessive heat. Do not operate the spindle assembly at rates lower than its nameplate rating. If under-speeding occurs, the spindle may perform poorly. If you ever need assistance with a spindle of any make or model, you can contact the SETCO service team for help.

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