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Thread: Router Bit coming loose when attached to router table

  1. #1

    Router Bit coming loose when attached to router table

    Hi All,

    I'm curious to get your opinion on this. I have a Ridgid router which I've attached to a Ryobi router table. I've used it probably about 15 times (bought used) but in the last 3 times I used it the router bit has come loose during use. Both times was a 1/4 inch shank. I tightened the bits a fair amount (put some effort into it but didn't put my whole body weight into it). The first time I figured maybe I just didn't tighten it enough. I could hear the router struggling and when I stopped the router the bit actually had come off. The second time was today where I heard it struggling so stopped immediately and sure enough it was a bit loose (not loose in a wobbly way but I could remove the bit with my fingers out of the collet). I re-tightened it and was fine the rest of the time.

    Is this just me not tightening it enough or could the 1/4 in collet potentially be damaged? Before all this happened one of my bits had become pretty tight in the collet to the point where I had to use a lot of force to take it out.
    Last edited by Luis Reyes; 01-04-2022 at 3:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    I had a loosening situation like this awhile back and I ended up cleaning the collet and making sure to take shallower cuts and my problem was resolved. If that hadn't worked, I would have replaced the collet (and continued taking shallow passes) as a next step.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Stevensville, MT
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    I also keep the collets clean. I did a few years back make the move to only 1/2 inch shank router bits. I also bought and use a couple of correct size open end wrenches to tighten the collet nuts. Much easier to use than the thin supplied wrenches.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
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    605
    Man up and tighten it up (after making sure it is clean). Not just snug or tight, but it won’t go any more tight.

    And no offense, but cheaper tools seem to have cheaper collets with less slots in them. An old Crapsman I have never would get tight enough to keep from slipping. Never had a problem with Dewalt, Bosch, or Porter Cable (no new versions, old good stuff).

    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    6,629
    collets do wear out

  6. #6
    I use heavier stuff like someone else said, if you bottomed the router bit when you put it in that might have caused it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hahr View Post
    Man up and tighten it up (after making sure it is clean). Not just snug or tight, but it won’t go any more tight.

    And no offense, but cheaper tools seem to have cheaper collets with less slots in them. An old Crapsman I have never would get tight enough to keep from slipping. Never had a problem with Dewalt, Bosch, or Porter Cable (no new versions, old good stuff).

    Dan
    This. Of all the things in my shop that need tightening, the router collet by far needs it the most. Even an unworn, clean collet needs to be TIGHT.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
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    7,536
    Don't drop the bit shank all the way into the collet. Lift it off the bottom.
    Tightening a collet will push the bit into it, preventing the collet from tightening.
    Never, under any circumstances, consume a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
    Posts
    1,561
    Warren Lake and Myk Rian have an interesting comment regarding bottoming out the router bit.

    I've had the same problems that others have mentioned. I wonder if the problem is related to the bit being bottomed out and also - - heat from the router motor or bearings expanding the collet and nut through differential heating ??

  10. #10
    Thank you for all the replies! I'll definitely tighten the collet more than I have been. I just checked the collet and there was a small wood chip in a gap plus some dust so the comments about it being dirty definitely applied! I'll have to try again and see how it goes. The bits that were loose were the cheap amazon kind to start off with and see which ones I use the most. I guess I'll be buying more 1/2 in shanks as those have worked well and I really like them so far.

    I usually lift the bits off the bottom a bit but I wonder if it bottomed out because the collet wasn't tight enough so it slipped down. Definitely learned something today so thank you all!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
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    5,120
    When you finish cleaning it, find a rubber grommet small enough to fit loosely in your collet. Drop it in and drop the router bit on top. Tighten and the grommet will give a bit, allowing the bit to tighten. Auto parts store should have the grommet.

    Just leave it in the collet.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    The wood chip in the collet is always bad. I had that happen once and it took me a little while to find the problem. Also some collets are better than others. I have a middle-aged Makita router that I mostly use and a Craftsman that I use occasionally, and the collet quality is vastly different.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    MT
    Posts
    506
    Good answers all here. You can also put an o-ring around the shank to keep the bit from bottoming out.

    Having a router bit move, much less come, out can be dangerous and obviously ruin your work. If the collet is suspect I would replace it.
    Regards,

    Kris

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    151
    I used 8 or 9 different bits from Infinity in my router with never an issue. Then I tried a bit from MLCS, tightened in the usual way and the bit pulled out just seconds into the first cut. I have four bits from MLCS: 2 are good and the others just too undersized to stay in the collet without using bad mood 300 lb human strength.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,888
    Definitely change the collet. They wear a bit like an hour glass on the inside bore. Replacements are not expensive.

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