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Q & A: Router Bit Slipping


Q & A: Router Bit Slipping


Is there any reason why my router bits are suddenly slipping? I have had this router for years without any trouble.


Because you haven’t had trouble with bits slipping before, the problem is probably not with your operating technique, but rather with your collet.

Check your collet for signs of wear. Over the years collets can wear out leading to the problem you describe. Try the following method to check for a worn collet: Unplug the router and insert a long-shanked bit using finger pressure to tighten the collet. If sideways pressure at the end of the bit causes it to move at all inside the collet, then the collet is worn and should be replaced.

Also check your bit shanks for any sign of damage. This is especially true of the bits that you know have already slipped. If the shanks are marred or scratched from spinning in the collet, they should be replaced or you run the risk of scoring the gripping surface of your new collet.

Check your owner’s manual for the nearest service center. They should have replacement collets for your brand of router. Generally, you can expect to pay $10 to 15 for a new collet.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker October 1999, issue #75.

October 1999, issue #75

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