Tips you take for granted?

I was just putting a bit into my big plunge router and i use a technique i learned long ago to tighten the bit in the collet. (I’ve had a bit almost work itself free once and now i’m extra careful to make sure things are tight):

Instead of tightening or loosening with two hands (one on each wrench) i put the wrenches on so i can loosen or tighten by squeezing the two wrenches together.

Another thing i do without thinking is i always turn a screw backwards until i feel that little bump that means the two threads have engaged and then turn the screw forwards. Avoids most stripping situations (works for wood screws going back in the same hole too)

So i thought i’d ask…

Are there little things like this you do without thinking that maybe would not be obvious to someone else?


Always touch ground before doing anything w/ delicate electronics.

Always count to ten on fingers whispering to oneself and mentally reviewing the entire operation and forces involved before switching on a power tool and reminding oneself one wants to be able to repeat the count so after the cut.

Apply beeswax to fasteners going into wood.


I really like the count to 10. I have started using it.

I think i am more careful than i really am (like most people think they are better drivers than they really are) so taking 10 extra seconds to think is a really good piece of advice.


When installing / removing a cutter that rotates at several thousand rpm DO NOT depend on software or switches. Unplug it.

See Will’s comment about counting your fingers.

After setting X,Y, Z (and especially Z) I always use the rapid position options under the jog menu to verify I did it correctly. For those of us that use the Imperial system a 1/4" thick setup block works well for the Z+ 6mm check. It should just barely touch the end mill.



When jogging to get the tool either within reach of the BitZero surface or near the surface for the old fashioned way, slow down the jog feed rate and don’t use the fastest two speeds.

Otherwise, you will eventually bury your bit and lose steps. Trust me.


I have a Dewalt 611 Router. I use a short 5/8" inch wrench and the anchor button to tighten my collets. I chose the short wrench to keep from over torquing the collet. If you use a long wrench you can get too much torque applied and then have problems loosening your collet nut.

On my Porter Cable table mounted routers I got two wrenches that are about 1/4 inch thick to tighten the collet. These thicker wrenches help me tighten the collet without the flexing of the stamped steel wrenches that came with the router. From what I have seen the Makita and Carbide3d routers have the stamped steel wrenches. If possible see if you can get some replacement wrenches on ebay or another source, it might make tightening your collet easier.


Excellent point on the collet wrenches — I use an Asahi low profile 13mm and vintage stubby Craftsman full polish 22mm on my CCR — we have some notes on sizes/options at:


I think this is a great tip: (i have no idea how to quote/link a different topic)

@Able wrote:
“buy a cheap feeler gauge set off Amazon and take it apart and use the needed gauge behind the HD mount to get the perfect tram in the Y axis.”

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