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Router Bit Not Fitting Into Your Router? – Common Beginner Mistake

– Today's quick video addresses a common problem that some beginner woodworkers have, and that is that their new router bits don't seem to fit into their new router. The solution to that problem and more in today's video. There are two main reasons why a new router bit will not fit into a new router. The first and most obvious is because the router bit shank which is this part here, is actually too large or too small for the collet, which is this part here. The collet and the collet nut are what hold the router bit tightly to the spindle or to the shaft of the router. The shank size and the collet size have to be the same in order for them to work together correctly. There are many different collet and router bit size options out there, so this could very well be the issue. To rule this out, simply double check to make sure that the shank size and the collet size are the same. After you've ruled that out, the second reason that the router bit will not fit into the collet is because the collet is actually a self extracting collet. Most new routers nowadays come with collets that extract the bit for you, instead of the older collets that sometimes require a little force to get the bit out. For example, my old DeWALT 625 doesn't have a self extracting collet. So sometimes after heavy use, even after the collet nut has been removed almost all the way, the bit gets stuck to the point in which I have to use some force to get it out. My trim router on the other hand has a self extracting collet. So when you turn the collet nut to loosen the bit, it actually extracts or helps push the bit free from the sidewalls of the collet. However, self extracting collets can actually be the cause of the problem of the bit not wanting to fit in. Let me explain. When you first get a router, the collet nut is normally tight. But even when you spin the nut counterclockwise to loosen it, it spins a little, but then stops. So it's easy to think that the nut is loose and you're ready now to install the bit. But as you can see, when I try to install the bit, no matter what I do the bit doesn't wanna go. As you can see, it's very easy for someone to think that there's something wrong with the router itself. But in fact, wow, but in fact, what's wrong is that the collet nut is just not loosened enough. Self extracting collets are characterized by the collet nut, that moves very little, meaning that from what appears to be tight to what appears to be loose, it's a very short distance. See how little it turns. In order to release the collet, you must use the wrench and loosen the nut beyond what you had previously thought. So once the nut meets resistance, you must go a few turns more and then the collet will loosen enough, allowing you to install the bit. Then once the bit installed, you can tighten the nut back down and use the router. Once you're done using the bit, use the wrench to loosen the nut. And as before, you will feel the nut loosen and then tighten back up. At that point, if you tried to pull the bit out, it wouldn't come out, again because the collet is still holding the bit because you haven't turned it past the point of extraction. With a few more turns to the collet, it loosens and the bit will come out easily. Now that we've talked about why new router bits don't fit into new routers, let's take a quick second and talk about why older router bits may not fit into older routers. One of the most common reasons why this happens is because of sawdust buildup, either on the collet itself or around the shank of the router bit. Now, doing regular maintenance on our tools and on our accessories, isn't always that fun but it allows some of our stuff to get too dirty or too dull or both. So what happens here is the wood resin builds up over time around the shank and around the collet. And if it builds up enough, the bit will have a hard time fitting into the collet because of the already tight specifications. Likewise, this can also be the cause of some router bits not wanting to stay tight in the collet. Both of these are an easy fix. All you have to do is get a good bit cleaner and thoroughly clean the shank and the collet and the collet nut. Once clean, everything should be fitting as intended once again. If you'd like more information on these topics, please consider signing up to be notified when we launch our first beginner online woodworking course, which will be on handheld routers. You can find the link to that down in the note section and I'll also pin it in the comments section as well. Well, I hope this video has been helpful. If it has, let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching, God bless. (upbeat music)

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