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Hi
I just purchased a WEN RT6033 15-Amp Variable Speed Plunge router and having trouble tightening and then loosening bits. It takes all the strength I have to tighten the bit when I have the 1/4 inch adapter in. Is it normal that the collet of the 1/2 and then the collet of the !/4 adapter both have to be REALLY tight to hold the 1/4 bit and then ten minutes to extract the bit? Can I purchase a quick change collet? It seems that having to close gaps on both collets is more trouble than it is worth.
Any suggestions? This is my first expereince with 1/2 to 1/4 adapters.
Thanks
Terry
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum! First question I have is are you using metric bits with Imperial collets? I don't know the capacity and range of the collets on the Wen unit but I just wonder if that's possibly the issue?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply David. Interesting idea.
From the manual I see it shows the ".025" Shank Adapter, so I assume WEN parts are Imperial. I imagine my 20 plus year old 1/4 bits are all Imperial as well.
Just seems strange to have tighten two separate collets. Maybe these "shank adapters" don't work very well?
Terry





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Hi, I have never had a problem with those type of adapters. The adapter should fit quite snugly on the bit's shank - a friction fit. If it is loose, you probably have the wrong size - you may have been given a 3/8 or 8 mm adapter by mistake.
Get/borrow a vernier, check the shank of your bits and the inner diameter of the adapter, as well as its outer diameter (1/2"). If all are in spec, take it back - the collet may be a dud. Don't waste time and risk damage/injury.
 

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Re-reading you first post, I realised I may not have understood your problem. There should be no need tighten two collets, there can only be one operational collet at a time. Some routers have interchangeable collets for different shank sizes, others make use of a reducing adapter.
If your router has only a 1/2" collet, the adapter (the piece to the right of the router bit in your extract from the manual) should be a friction-fit on the 1/4" shank of the bit. The bit plus adapter are then placed in the collet, and the collet is tightened normally.
If that is not the case, the advice in my first post pertains: send it back, after checking the dimensions as advised above.
 

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I have several 1/2" to 1/4" reducers and all but one work normally but the most expensive one will not quite lock a bit securely. I have, over the years come across an odd 1/4" bit a fraction oversize and one a fraction undersized, both were el-cheapos. In my experience it's obvious when one tries to fit a 1/4" bit into an 8mm reducer, perhaps some routers/reducers can cope.
 

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Harry, do you use the reducers in your musclechuck as well? I have been wondering how well such a combination would work. I don't even know why I daydream about musclechucks - getting one here would be beyond-the-pale expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome to the forum I have never had any problems with that style of adaptor.
Thanks for responses from all. Much appreciated - I hope to repay kindness in later forums. I decided to return the WEN router. Great motor, but very clunky plunge mechanism and lock and the 'throat' isn't big enough to accept the 2" flattening bit I bought to go with it. This coupled with the hassle of changing bits, made me decide to keep looking!
 

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Harry, do you use the reducers in your musclechuck as well? I have been wondering how well such a combination would work. I don't even know why I daydream about musclechucks - getting one here would be beyond-the-pale expensive.
I sure do and I consider the MUSCLECHUCK to be probably the best invention since the router itself, it's a super precision piece of gear, all three of my 1/2" routers have them.
 

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There are two types of collets. The classic Porter Cable has the collet snapped into the collet nut. The other type are like Makita uses which the collet is separate from the collet nut.

When you tighten up on any collet nut the router bit is captured in the collet by the collet being cut in a W patters or an X pattern and the inside of the router shaft is a tapered shaft. As you tighten the collet nut you are forcing the router bit and collet up slightly closing the X or W pattern onto the router bit. The inside of your router shaft and the collet and nut must be free of dust and any lubricant. It must be dry as a bone.

When you loosen the collet nut on a PC type collet the collet and bit are dragged back down the inclined plane and the pressure on the collet is loosened. You usually at first feel it turning free and then you get a point where it is harder to loosen again and then the bit just falls out. On the Makita style the collet nut is loosened but the collet and bit are not pulled down by the nut. Usually just the spring action of the collet pushed the collet and bit down. Sometimes after loosening the nut you may have to tap the collet nut, and I mean tap not beat on the nut, and the collet and bit fall out of the router.

If you collet adapter and/or collet are not holding your router bit start by cleaning it and getting any oil or dust removed. You can get 1/4 and 1/8 collets from various sources and you can get 4,6 and 8MM collets. Now the 6MM and 1/4 are close but not the same. Do not use a 6MM with a 1/4 and vise versa. The same with an 8MM never try to use a 3/8 inch imperial . There is a range for these collets for both metric and imperial but do not mix them. It is best to mark your collets with their size because just a casual look you cannot tell the difference between 6MM and 1/4".

I am not familiar with the Wen Router Collet system but elairecorp.com makes great replacement and precision collets for a wide variety of routers. Just make sure you have your model number and get the correct collet. If elairecorp.com does not have t he Wen collet try some of the other replacement parts places. I like Wen tools but they are entry level consumer tools. Generally Wen is the best of the best of the cheap stuff. I am not insulting your tools but Wen is not the top of the line. If you decide to upgrade in the future stick with Dewalt, Makita or other name brand tools. Porter Cable invented routers but they seem to have exited the router market but Dewalt and Skill are made by the same parent company Black and Decker.

Weather you buy new collets or replacements do not use a collet that loosens up with a bit installed. A bit is turning at incredible speed and you do not want to get hit by a flying bit.
 

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One thing I forgot to add was take your collet out and measure how long it is. For example if the collet is 1 inch long then you must insert your router bit in at least 1 inch. Any less and you may not get a good grab on the router bit. Also important is to not put the router bit much deeper. You do not want the router bit to bottom out in the router shaft. If it bottoms out it is going to make it hard to get the router bit to tighten up because the bit has no where to go and the collet has to rub against the shaft to tighten. So insert it in the length of t he collet as a minimum but do not insert it in too far. Both too little and too much can make your bit not fit properly causing excessive runout, rough running and hard to tighten and loosen. The length of your collet needs to be measured the 1" is just an example.
 

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Hi, I just purchased a Skil RT-1322-00 Router kit. It also comes with a 1/2” collet and adapter and works fine. I bought it to make mortise joints. Soft start and smooth plunge. Haven’t had too many Skil products but this one seems to be pretty good.
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One thing I forgot to add was take your collet out and measure how long it is. For example if the collet is 1 inch long then you must insert your router bit in at least 1 inch. Any less and you may not get a good grab on the router bit. Also important is to not put the router bit much deeper. You do not want the router bit to bottom out in the router shaft. If it bottoms out it is going to make it hard to get the router bit to tighten up because the bit has no where to go and the collet has to rub against the shaft to tighten. So insert it in the length of t he collet as a minimum but do not insert it in too far. Both too little and too much can make your bit not fit properly causing excessive runout, rough running and hard to tighten and loosen. The length of your collet needs to be measured the 1" is just an example.
Here is a PDF that I posted quite some time ago and should be of interest to all routologists. I lost the original when a hard drive crashed, it's been salvaged from a back-up.
 

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