Router bearing issues?

I have a new-ish carbide 3d router in my cnc. I’ve had bearing issues before and had it covered by the company. I don’t run anything crazy depth-wise on passes or use the machine too frequently any more. My problem for the past year or so is that all the routers I’ve both bought and received as warranty replacement are within 2 or 3 small projects getting destroyed internally.

I have a dust collector run to my cnc, so it’s not getting gummed up, and I clean the collet of dust between bit changes. I’m not over tightening the router holder on the machine either, as I have been getting it set just to where it will not twist in the holder.

My router is revving up and down on its own. It will occasionally stall on start up, then jolt higher and lower rpms. I have replaced the brushes to make sure they are not an issue. The router when held in the hand to test will pull your arm as it revs back and forth. I went to remove the bit from the router and burnt my hand just touching the collet, which was even hotter than the body of the router. This heat was generated while running with no load other than the bit being in the collet.

I’ve been running this at 0.07" passes to level wide boards to be safe with the revving. Am I doing something wrong or is this common for these routers now? My original router lasted about a year of bad tool paths and user errors learning the systems. These new ones are on refined pathing files and sharp bits but dying within a few uses. I am genuinely tired of removing the cable guide on this machine from having to change these routers out.

Is there anything else I should be considering about keeping these routers alive?

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If it’s under warranty (12 months) — or even close to that, let us know at and we’ll take care of it.

Usually what happens is the bearings go out — we don’t consider them a user-replaceable part — either get another, or upgrade to a VFD — some folks who have a local Makita dealer have had good luck w/ a Makita RT0701 (but not it has a shorter cord, different control layout, a dial which lacks detents and my vibrate off a given speed setting, and it’s teal).

One thing is that even dust collection doesn’t seem to overcome the dust getting into the collet/shaft, so it seems likely that it works its way in a bit higher — this is why more expensive units have labyrinth seals for such parts.

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Will, thank you for your speedy response even in the evening! I have sent an email to support to describe the problem. Thank you for your assistance! Keep up the awesome work you all do!


Things to check.

Check your outlet voltage from the wall plug with a volt meter and see what you are working with. You can also check the voltage at the plug while the router is running and look for any change in the voltage. Even a 1 volt change can cause electrical components to act up as you described.

If you are using the push button router shaft lock and a wrench this could also give you problems. I use two wrenches on the collet and shaft. Also over tightening the collet nut especially when using the push lock button can cause the shaft to bend.

Check the free/ease of rotation of the router shaft it should rotate with very little or no resistance.


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William, i would like to go a bit further on the dust in the bearing subject. You may have seen me post in the past where I state that I primarily cut solid surface material. I have a good dust collection system but routers are lasting about 3-4 months. When i do a postmortem on the router I find the unit with a lot of SS dust inside and the lower bearing is bad. While changing them out under warranty helps from a cost point of view, it’s still a pain. You indicate a labyrinth seal might prevent this. Does your VFD package include a labyrinth seal in the router?

My mention of a “labyrinth seal” comes from the description of a Mafell FM 1000 WS which I purchased:

It was something of an indulgence (and also an investment, it was pricey, plus I had to get a transformer — the only reason I could justify it was that I do so many test cuts for tech support some days it felt as if I was spending more time wrenching than the machine was cutting), and I’m still working out dust collection, and it doesn’t seem to be available from the U.S. reseller anymore, but you can read the description of a similar unit at:

(but if you bought one, you’d be on your own for making a mount and working up dust collection)

No idea on the specifics of our VFD/spindle (I don’t have one, having committed to the Mafell before it became available) — check w/ the folks in Sales who should be able to provide any details we can share which aren’t on our shop page.

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