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Bits coming out of collet

2955 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jnam
Hello all;

I have an old Craftsman 1/4 inch collet plastic router from Craftsman. (red and black housing). I have it mounted to a table and it does pretty good most of the time. However, sometimes, but not all the time, when I am routing a groove or dado, the bit will start to come out of the collet. It has never come all the way out, thank goodness, but I am a bit fearful that it might. I have noticed this using a stright bit, spiral bit and with either a flat bottom or rounded bottom.

The collet is still tight around the bit's shank. I cannot move the bit when I have the router locked as to remove or replace a bit. This seems to happen mostly if I have the bit set just a bit too deep. Too deep seems to be more than about an 1/8th of an inch.

If I am making a rabbit or rounding over, this doesn't happen. It only seems to happen when the bit is completely surrounded by wood. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Dan Harriman
Orange, Texas
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

I had a similar problem with the bit working loose. I solved it by cleaning the collet. This may work for you. I used a small, cone-shaped brush that is sold for cleaning dental partial plates. It's just the right size for a ¼" collet.
Thanks, I will try that!

Make more sawdust,


I am having the same problem. Did the solution suggested work for you? I ruined some good wood with a dado that started out at one end at 3/8" and 1/2" at the other due to the bit lifting.
If cleaning the collet has not helped....make certain that you are not inserting the bit too deeply into the collet. In other words make certain the collet is tightening onto the straight shank of the bit and not where the shank starts to flare out just below the cutter head.

Hello Dan,

Check your Collet to make sure it is not cracked, bad or damaged.
Just a thought, perhaps even a dumb question..but.... are you sure that the bit is coming out and not the router height adjustment is loose? I have the same router and often I dont quite tighten the clamp hard enough around the body of the router that locks the height adjustment. It seems that the vibration frequency of the router can move the base so that it winds up making it seem as if the bit is being raised. Perhaps that's not the case just thought I'd chime in.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
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