Trashing Router Collets


It has to be me. I'm about to replace three collets on Fein, Bosch and Makita routers. I don't think I am over tightening them, but what else could it be? I have soaked them in that green stuff, to no avail. Is there anything I can do to restore them. (Even though I think it obvious, I should spell out the problem with the collets is that I can't remove the bits without a drift and hammer, and yes I do try rappin the nut.) Thanks in advance.
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wrote:

Not all self ejectors work the same way. The collets on my P-C routers are absolutely great; I never have a problem getting a bit out by simply loosening the nut. My Bosch, on the other hand, has to be loosened, then continue loosening past another "tight" spot before the bit is freed. My Hitachis are the same way.
The "rappin' the nut" technique is principally a solution for collets that aren't self ejecting, like on the PC-310.
--
LRod

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Like the Bosch and Hitachis, my three Makita routers require one to loosen the collet past a "tight point" and then the bit is freed. Never have had a problem with either the 1/4" or 1/2" Makita collets and they're used quite often doing solid surface countertops. On the other hand, I don't go crazy when tightening the bits. A moderate amount of pressure on the wrenches ensures that the bits won't come loose.

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TEF wrote:

loosen
Huh. Same on my Freud router: 1st twist of the collet nut you need the wrench to unloosen it, then you can spin the nut a couple times just w/ your fingers, THEN you hit the tight spot where you need the wrench again; once past that, the bit is free.
Never thought this was a "feature."
-Chris
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Unloosening means to make tighter. I thought we were talking about removing tools.

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CW wrote:

Yeah-yeah, my bad. "Loosen."

I thought we were talking about removing the collet nut; that's part of a tool, not a tool in-and-of itself ;*)
-Chris (who's quite capable of nit-picking, too)

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The goal was to remove the router bit, a cutting tool.

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LDR wrote:

My neighbor had a 1/4" router from some unknown source that was corroded past taking a bit at all. We removed the collet nut and uses a brass .22 rifle cleaning brush to clean the collet. Worked fine, and I was holding very tightly to the brush with vice grips. Joe
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Multiples of thousands of router bit re and re's... I have yet to damage a collet. PC, Htachi, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee. I couldn't 'make' that happen if I tried... on any of those routers. I don't get it.
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snipped-for-privacy@BULLtopworks.ca says...

I don't get it either. I honestly don't believe I am overtightening the nut, but to have the problem with three different makes may suggest otherwise. Even when the nut is completely off, I still need to bully the bit off. I do appreciate everyone's advice and will try today to clean it better. I did learn something about the "tight spot" on the nut, very interesting because I always wondered about it. Best thanks to everyone who responded.
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wrote:

Perhaps this is a stupid question, but what exactly is "that green stuff"? I know there are several rust removers on the market that you could try, and then soak the freed collets in wd-40 or some 3-in-1 oil. This is assuming, of course, that the problem is some rust on the inside of the collet.
My other guess would be that you may have cheap router bits, and the collet is cutting into the shank a little bit and getting lodged there. I know I've got a set of "tool shop" carbide bits I got with my first router, and they have that problem all the time. When you look at the shanks, they have small divits in them where the collet pinched the steel. I usually just use the wrench that came with the router to gently lever them out of the collet, and they come out fairly easily that way- but almost nothing else seems to work.
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snipped-for-privacy@business.org says...

I'm in my bathrobe right now so excuse me if I don't go downstairs to read the label, but the "green stuff" has been mentioned many times in other threads as a successful cleaner upper of tablesaw blades. I have never seen rust and the bits are well known brands. Good questions, though, and I appreciate your interest.
I think my problems stemmed from over tightening, when I was less familiar with the routers, and leaving bits inside them. Actually, the Makita router collet is okay, the Bosch very annoying but not really bad, the two Fein absolutely worthless.
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No problem.

Leaving the bits in the router does seem to do that, doesn't it. That's why I was wondering about rust (or perhaps oxidation is a better term here- it doesn't have to look like rust to bind up a screw thread)
Anyhow, good luck!
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I try to be tidy so with the idea of finishing off this thread, mia culpa confession time: I broke down yesterday and went to a Fein dealer to replace the collets and learned actually accidentally that the reason the collets didn't work is I never inserted them properly. Unlike American and Japanese and even German (Bosch)collets, they do not come with the locknut or are held on with a lock ring. I always wondered why they didn't fit snugly and discovered they in fact do if pressed in. What can I say, you just don't know until you know, and failing to have wiser friends showing the way, the wreck is a wonderful proxy mentor. Thanks everyone for your input.
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