Q & A: Router Bit Slipping

Q & A: Router Bit Slipping

Q:

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

A:

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

Purchase this back issue.