Router Forums banner

Porter Cable Collet too tight

4618 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Mike
Most of my bits are 1/2 inch but I went to use a 1/4 inch bit and find I cannot get it into the collet and none of my other bits will fit either. With some WD40 I can coax it in about an 1/8 of an inch, but that's it. (and we are cautioned not to put the bit too low because of overheating!! LOL) Anyone else run into this problem? Any known cures?
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Hi dadsalmon

Most of the PC have one collet for the 1/2" bits and one for the 1/4" bits.
Pull the 1/4" one out all the way a take a good look at it, to make sure it's NOT damage,that's to say the collet is not cracked.
Once you have it out on the router slide a 1/4" bit into it ,if it will not just side into the collet replace it, if it sides in all the way take a look inside the router shaft for any wood chips inside the arbor, if so take a pocket knife and remove them and then take some 000 steel wool and clean out the inside then try it one more time if it still will not just slip in nice a easy replace the 1/4" collet.
Rockler will have a replacement or your in town PC server center will have one.

Bj :)

Just a note about over heating the bit, if you place a rubber grommet at the base of the collet nut the heat from the motor will not transfer to the router bit so to speak or the bit to the shaft it will act like a heatsink.

Definitions of heatsink
This is a device that is used to conduct heat away from its source and "spread" the heat over a larger surface area.
This will help to dissipate the energy faster, ensuring that the source of the heat is kept cooler.
See less See more
Thank you Bob for your attempt to resolve my problem. I have both collets. The 1/4" one has never been used due to the problem outlined. There are of course, no wood chips to remove. Inspection has shown the collet not to be cracked, it is just poorly sized. The ID of the collect is .247, while the diameter of the bit is .248, thus you can see what the problem is. I just wondered if anyone else had encountered this and had solved it without replacing the collet. BTW, having been in the electronic industry in many capacities, I am well aware of what heat sinks are. They are typically constructed of metal. I don't think I would use a rubber grommet to disperse heat, as rubber burns when it gets to hot. My comments were of a sarcastic nature since I can barely introduce the bit into the collet, much less bottom it. If I force it too far I have to drive it out. I guess the only solution is to actually check the collet against my bits for fit before purchasing a new one. My next router will be a Hitachi, not another Porter Cable.
See less See more
Just a note*** many of the router bits are .244 but some are .247 to .252 (the cheap ones) you may want to check your routers bits.
And I'm sure you know .250 is 1/4" but again many mill them smaller so they can side in easy.
And you're right about the heatsinks but the rubber will help. it's not that hot or to say it should never get that hot.

Bj :)
Do not allow a faulty /defective collet to taint your view of PC. This can happen to any brand of router. You can try to expand the collet bushing slightly by inserting a taper punch and lightly tapping from both ends. A collet that has been over tightened can collapse making it too snug. You will not harm it by expanding it a few thousandths. Once your bit slides freely into the bushing clean off any oil and give it a whirl. Placing a grommet or o-ring under the bit does create a thermal break, but more importantly it will allow you to quickly set your bit to the correct height in the collet. If you are generating so much heat that your motor bearings are in jeopardy something is wrong. The most likely cause: a dull cutter.
Mike Thank you for your suggestion of a taper punch. I think part of the problem is the ring on top restricting the expansion of the collet. I am looking for a plunge router to replace this one which has very little use, for one with variable speed and have been looking at the Hitachi series. I note in early episodes of the Router Workshop this was the brand used. If PC made a cordless plunge router with variable speed....I might consider it. I don't forsee any problem with setting the depth of bits. Most of the bits I own were purchased from Oak Park. The one bit that was purchased from Whiteside was found yesterday to have a rusting shaft. My shop has a dehumidifier that runs all the time and this was the only bit to have rust on the shaft. Makes one wonder.
The Hitachi routers used on the show were 3-1/4 HP. Let me point out that Hitachi was sponsoring the show, so of course they supplied what the guys used. Recently PC sponsored the show so that is why the change in brands. If you are looking for a new plunge router please consider Bosch. Both the 2-1/4 & 3-1/4 HP models are top rated in independant comparison testing. 3 of the 4 moderators on this site use Bosch. This is not to say Bosch is right for everyone. Go with what feels right to you.
As far as your rusting Whiteside bit, there are many reasons that could of caused this. This brand is always the top rated, highest quality again by independant comparison testing.
If your only reason for replacing your router is variable speed control check out the aftermarket speed controllers from Sears, Rockler, Harbor Freight (The brand I have) and others. After market controllers are physically larger, and since heat is the nemises of these components should last much longer than built in units.
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.