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1/2 inch and 1/4 inch collet?

This is a discussion on 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch collet? within the General Routing forums, part of the Routers category; I just ordered my first router. The Hitachi KM12VC to be exact. After reading a ...


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Old 01-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch collet?
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I just ordered my first router. The Hitachi KM12VC to be exact. After reading a few reviews here and other places I decided on that one. I'm assuming the 1/2 inch collet is a bit more sturdy and can handle a bit more than the 1/4 inch (I'm sure I'm not saying that exactly right). So my question is what is the advantage of the 1/4 inch collet and why do router manufacturers make them? Is it just to be more flexiable for users who already have 1/4 shank bits?

Perhaps the better question is what are the pros and cons of both size collets?

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Old 01-21-2012, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Greg.
Bits with a 1/2" shank are stronger & provide less vibration. Larger profiles are also found with the 1/2" shank. You will find smaller profiles have a 1/4" shank. If I have the same profile available in both sizes I will get the 1/2". After awhile you will have bits with both sizes in your collection & each being the perfect size for the job.

If you were to want to make miniature dove tails with a jig, you will need a bit with a 1/4" shank as the 1/2" shank would be to large the fit thru the tails of the joint. The router you are getting will be able to handle any bit you need to use at the time.

I use an 1/8" roundover frequently & have one set up in a trim router with a 1/4" collet at all times. It's light & easy to handle.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1/2 shank bits whenever possible, that way I don't have to swap collets very often.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Greg

The short is you need both you may not know it now but in time you will many start off with a set of 1/4" shanks router bits and the Mfg. know that..but you will move up to 1/2" shank bits in time like most do..

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Originally Posted by JohnsoGreg2012 View Post
I just ordered my first router. The Hitachi KM12VC to be exact. After reading a few reviews here and other places I decided on that one. I'm assuming the 1/2 inch collet is a bit more sturdy and can handle a bit more than the 1/4 inch (I'm sure I'm not saying that exactly right). So my question is what is the advantage of the 1/4 inch collet and why do router manufacturers make them? Is it just to be more flexiable for users who already have 1/4 shank bits?

Perhaps the better question is what are the pros and cons of both size collets?
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsoGreg2012 View Post
I just ordered my first router. The Hitachi KM12VC to be exact. After reading a few reviews here and other places I decided on that one. I'm assuming the 1/2 inch collet is a bit more sturdy and can handle a bit more than the 1/4 inch (I'm sure I'm not saying that exactly right). So my question is what is the advantage of the 1/4 inch collet and why do router manufacturers make them? Is it just to be more flexiable for users who already have 1/4 shank bits?

Perhaps the better question is what are the pros and cons of both size collets?
Hi Gregg - I'm sure you will like that M12VC
As has been pointed out, you will end up with both. IMO, there is no reason to use a 1/2" shank for bits with a cutting diameter of 3/8" or less, shank just gets in the way of being able to see the cut. Conversely, I don't run 1/4" shanks on anything with a cutting diameter greater than 3/4" except for some small roundovers. Anything in between, I have some of both.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Different sizes are for different applications as stated above. When you get your trim router you'll have the 1/4 inch bits for light, detail, or inlay work.
Have fun on your projects!
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I figured it was somewhat of a common question but a good bit of information to have. I also ordered a MLCS router bit set...1/2 inch shanks. Figured that would truly get me started. I plan on building a simple workbench first, then router table, then a few simple home projects, and eventually a new dining room table (at least that is what my wife wants). So I'll try to post pictures along the way.
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