Carbide Compact Router Collet Issue

I have been having the worst time with these collets! I have the precision collets–3 of them–and every one is having the same problem. For most bits it is just too tight. Specifically the 201, 201Z, 251, and well all my V Bits with the exception of the cheap Chinese bits. I’m not talking about a little bit too tight, a minor inconvenience. No, I’m talking about having to put the collet on then grip the bit with my hand next to its cutting edge and slam the collet end down on the work table repeatedly to get it to the right place. Taking it off…oh man, that’s a fun one. Four cuts later I finally wised up and put on some gloves.

So, what’s my problem? User error? I’m up for that. I just don’t see it. I’m gentle with my bits and collets and whatnot, use both wrenches–new ones, better ones than what came with the Poko–and in general take care of my stuff. And I don’t over-tighten. So, any ideas? Suggestions on what I could do to alleviate my pain and suffering?

Okay, rant over. It IS a minor inconvenience, I suppose, but man it’s annoying. :slight_smile:

Which 3 precision collets do you have sourced from where?

Could you post a photo of them?

I just have 3 of the same collets, all from Carbide and they all look exactly as a collet should. I don’t have the ability to post a photo now, but I can tell you it won’t show you anything helpful. They look like a collet.

I’m only speaking of the 1/4" here. My 1/8" collets are fine.

You should have two 1/4" collets, one stock included with the machine (usually dark/black oxide finished, not as nicely machined) and one precision collet which should match the stock 1/4" collet — if you’re having trouble with the latter let us know at and we’ll get it sorted out.

I too have noticed that my 1/4" precision collet (as came with the Compact Carbide router – purchased through the C3d store) is rather tight with some bits. The C3d ones (again, purchased through the store), some Yoncio ones I have, as well as some Whiteside branded ones. But not ALL of my 1/4" shaft bits are this way. The ones that aren’t too tight see just right, sufficient friction to hold themselves in place.

However not so tight I can’t use it. I have an old spark-plug boot puller with rubber jaws that works perfectly for gripping the bits over the cutting flutes without damage to me or the flutes. So not a big deal. I’m assuming that after the first thousand or so bit changes it will break itself in.

The 1/8" precision collet isn’t this way on any bit I’ve tried (C3d supplied and other ones I have).

I’ve not bothered to use the original 1/4" collet from the router, just swapped immediately to the precision ones.


Howdy brother! New here first post. My 1/4" precision collet is dang snug too, but in a good way. My 201, Amana’s all fit really nice. The snugness is comforting. I do have issues with some off-brand bits fitting the 1/4" collet. My off- brand surfacing bit I had to actually use the supplied collet to fit it because there was no way it was going into the precision collet. When I mic my bits, they all are coming in at .2495/7 ish. It would be good to mic your bits to see what is really happening. I realized that if only some bits are tight and some are not, it’s a bit issue. Embrace the snugness! :slight_smile:

I also have their (Carbide3D) collets and mine are tight, BUT I intentionally (carefully) squeeze them with my Knipex pliers so that that ARE tight (New they offer a nice slip (not loose) fit. I do this because I set my tool length so that I can swap tools without resetting my Z…So I need to ask…Paul…did you perhaps squeeze them?

Some one that is familiar with the Carbide3d/Makita Collets can jump in and correct if I am wrong. I have a Dewalt router on my Shapeoko and many more routers in the shop. The collets consist of a nut and the sleeve the bit gets tighten in. At the bottom of the collet nut the collet sleeve snaps in and the collet sleeve has a W pattern cut into it so it can be squeezed and the diameter gets smaller in the incline plane inside the router shaft. There are two positions inside the router shaft that the collet sits in. As you tighten up the collet nut you are pushing the bit inside the W shaped collet up an inclined plane. This tightening forces the bit and collet sleeve to move slightly up inside the router shaft securing the router bit tightly. When you start to release the collet nut there is a point where you feel and/or hear sort of a pop. This is the collet nut pulling the bit and sleeve down the incline plane to the point where the sleeve releases tension and the bit is more or less loose in the collet nut/sleeve.

My question would be are you loosening the collet nut enough so that you are not already squeezing the collet sleeve and making your router bits feel too tight. However if you take the collet off and insert your bit and it is too tight then the diameter of the collet sleeve may be too tight. If you look at most router bits there is a slight champher or relief at the insertion end of the bit to aid in getting the bit in the collet sleeve.

The Makita collets are simpler than most.

There’s a large (22mm) nut which holds the collet in place, but the collets are simple cones w/ a cylinder and do not snap onto the nut:

(which is kind of nice from a cost perspective — filling out my ER-11 Nomad collets, and it’s a pain in the wallet to have to buy a matching nut for each collet, esp. when I didn’t realize in my first order that nuts were separate)

On Makita/Carbide3d collets what causes the collet and sleeve to be pushed down and loose. Is it just the spring action of the sleeve? Can the collet nut not attached to the collet like on Dewalt and PC collets cause the bit to be stuck in the inclined portion of the router shaft if over tightened on the Makita/Carbide3d routers? Just wondering.

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The CCR/Makita collets don’t have much spring to them — if they don’t just drop out under gravity usually one can carefully grab them and remove them.

I don’t see how they could be attached to the nut — the bottom is flat and the nut is not machined to retain them.

After reading a prior thread… I wonder if any 6mm collets have somehow found their way into the C3D’s stock of precision 1/4" collets?

Hopefully not — we don’t order/stock them, and I don’t believe the shop we have make them turns out other sizes for anyone else.

Naturally anyone who has a collet which doesn’t work properly should contact us at and anyone who wants a 6mm collet should contact Elaire Corp.

Will thanks for input on Makita/Carbide3d router. My Dewalt collet nut and sleeve are attached so when loosened the bit is dragged down and released. My Shapeoko was used and came with Dewalt. Except for lower speed of Makita the Dewalt has performed well.

The post about how the bit is secured in the router shaft by collet nut and sleeve is true for most routers. The Makita collet and sleeve are not attached to each other like the Dewalt and Porter Cable style collets.

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