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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, greetings from sunny Ireland.
I occasionally have problems with collets. Cutters get stuck, cutters can be difficult to fit, and I’ve had cutters make a bid for freedom while in use. I‘ve been routing for maybe ten years, I have Makita, Bosch and Elu routers, all 1/4”. My question is - are collets something I should be replacing every so often? If so, how do I know when a collet should be replaced?

Thanks for taking time to read my query.
 

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I've never replaced any of mine...I've bought many routers used and only had the one collet and bought the second one.
 

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No, collets are not consumables. They are made from steel and have no moving parts. They should last a lifetime.
Possible reasons for your problems are ;-
1/ you are not tightening the nut enough.
2/ you are mixing 1/4" and 6 mm bits, which are not really compatible.
3/ you are not tightening the nut enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, collets are not consumables. They are made from steel and have no moving parts. They should last a lifetime.
Possible reasons for your problems are ;-
1/ you are not tightening the nut enough.
2/ you are mixing 1/4" and 6 mm bits, which are not really compatible.
3/ you are not tightening the nut enough.
Thanks. I think I’m tightening enough, I use a proper spanner, not the light stamped steel ones that come with routers. I’ll look into the sizing issue, I’ll check everything with a vernier for a while and see If I have mixed diameters.
 

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David
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's not just whether your tooling still fits and is tight, there's also the issue of increased runout and wear snapping it into the nut.

There are many references online but here's one for you - Technical - Collets & Collet Care (cncrouterbits.com.au)

David
Thank you. There’s a lot of good info there, and it confirms unequivocally that collets are consumables, they do wear out and they have a finite service life.
 

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Thank you. There’s a lot of good info there, and it confirms unequivocally that collets are consumables, they do wear out and they have a finite service life.
They are not consumables. I've used everything from Stanley and Craftsman over the last 37 years. That adds up to close to 80,000 logged in hours as a professional not including the hobby part...

I personally have 21 routers and have never had a problem.
Shelf Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Gas Audio equipment
 

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Doug
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I would disagree. Collets do wear, and in some cases break. Those little slots that contract around the bit will fatigue over time. On my porter cable routers I have had to change a few over the last 20 years, on my hitachi I ended up switching to a muscle chuck because they would fail after a few years.
 

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New one on me. Our routers were used hours on each day....

If you having problems, could be something else...

I find all this odd in cabinet and furniture world.

Unless I can see what your doing, i cant correct it...
 

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And maybe it's the difference between handheld routers and CNC spindles. Spindles have a much lower runout than routers and are under much higher loads holding to tighter tolerances and that may be why all over the industry collets are considered consumable.

David
 

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I'm out of the game now. It's all good, but if you havent seen it, or ran across this issue, it's hard to agree.

We have wore out many routers over the years. They get dropped numerous times. I've had many routers were the collet was over tightened. This is a user mistake , but not in need of replacement...

Many of my routers are 20 years old. All bought at pawn shops. None needed collect replacement..

It just sounds like user failure..
 

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How often bits are changed could be a fatigue factor.

About @JCJCJC 's troubles, I wonder about over tightening.

Often when changing collets from one size to another I will give the end of the collet (the bit end) a few hard taps on the flat of my machine vice to knock the saw dust out.
 

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I have only had one go bad and that's because I left a 1/4" bit in it and it rusted tight. It was in a handheld router and was probably in the router for 8 to 10 years. That's about how often I use a router handheld. But I would say that if you need to use a smaller than 1/2" bit on a regular basis you should just get a smaller size router.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did say all my routers are 1/4” so I’m not sure what your point is, sorry.
 

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The 1/4 collets are abused often. There small and generally taking two wrenches to remove get mangled from over tightening or in general using the wrong wrenches...

The shops I've worked for have all used PC. Either or both 310 or 7310 models without problems...

I personally have tge same routers..
 

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I did say all my routers are 1/4” so I’m not sure what your point is, sorry.
Sorry, I thought that you were talking about reducing collets. For the collet that is built into the router, it should not wear out. At least I have never had one wear out. If you are having problems then I would buy a few extra ones because when they stop making them you will be out of luck.
 
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