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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With variable speed and soft start routers these days, has any found one that is reversible so that 1/2 inch shank shaper bits can be inverted and run backwards?
 

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I doubt that a bidirectional router will ever happen, there are too many issues with the concept.
People having problems with bits climbing in collets are more common than most would like with the collet thread optimised to tighten with normal rotation, when you reverse rotation, the collet would want to release and throw bits.
The armatures are normally advanced relative to the the field windings for better efficiency and more power in the normal direction of rotation, attempting to operate in reverse direction with the same timing in the armature would lower efficiency and output power.
The motors are fan cooled with a fan integral to the armature, the blades being set to exhaust air toward the bit to try and keep dust clear and improve user view of the task, and also to avoid drawing dust into the high speed, minimal air gap motor. Being able to reverse the motor would suck dust into the motor and clog it fairly quickly.
Users often find themselves confused about appropriate feed direction differences between working on external surfaces vs internal surfaces, being able to operate the motor in reverse would add greatly to this confusion by adding another pair of potential scenarios to consider.
Finally, what diameter bits would you want to be running, could the variable speed systems slow the motor enough to retain a safe tip speed while maintaining torque to do the job, overall efficiency and adequate cooling? Do you really want someone trying to run a router with a heavy bit hand held?
Manufacturers potentially could make a dedicated reverse rotation model with timing, collet threads, fans etc optimised for the reversed rotation, but that would be a very limited market in comparison to the regular models sold worldwide, and potentially a further source of confusion for those not knowledgeable about routers.
 

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Reversing the direction would probably end up loosening the collet. It doesn't take much to do that because the difference between a loose and a tight collet is in thousandths of an inch. And the majority of bits are milled to cut in one direction only. They would easily bind., jump out of the collet and do major damage as it careened from on object to another in the shop, including you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I doubt that a bidirectional router will ever happen, there are too many issues with the concept.
People having problems with bits climbing in collets are more common than most would like with the collet thread optimised to tighten with normal rotation, when you reverse rotation, the collet would want to release and throw bits.
The armatures are normally advanced relative to the the field windings for better efficiency and more power in the normal direction of rotation, attempting to operate in reverse direction with the same timing in the armature would lower efficiency and output power.
The motors are fan cooled with a fan integral to the armature, the blades being set to exhaust air toward the bit to try and keep dust clear and improve user view of the task, and also to avoid drawing dust into the high speed, minimal air gap motor. Being able to reverse the motor would suck dust into the motor and clog it fairly quickly.
Users often find themselves confused about appropriate feed direction differences between working on external surfaces vs internal surfaces, being able to operate the motor in reverse would add greatly to this confusion by adding another pair of potential scenarios to consider.
Finally, what diameter bits would you want to be running, could the variable speed systems slow the motor enough to retain a safe tip speed while maintaining torque to do the job, overall efficiency and adequate cooling? Do you really want someone trying to run a router with a heavy bit hand held?
Manufacturers potentially could make a dedicated reverse rotation model with timing, collet threads, fans etc optimised for the reversed rotation, but that would be a very limited market in comparison to the regular models sold worldwide, and potentially a further source of confusion for those not knowledgeable about routers.
Thanks for exposing all the obstacles in the way of the concept! You must have thought or read about this yourself!
I can't imaging a good reason much less safe one for this to be done.
There are two types of tool users: Those who use what's available and imagine something better and those who accept them as they are....
 
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