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Bosch Colt router has collet problems.

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Review by PatrickB posted 11-02-2015 10:53 PM 6645 views 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bosch Colt router has collet problems. Bosch Colt router has collet problems. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I thought I would add to this review due to some of the replies I have received. Every time I operated the tool I experienced an issue with either the fence vibrating loose or the bit vibrating loose. Every time I operated the tool means maybe 7 or 8 times total. It appears to me some people think “every time” to mean 150 or 500 times or whatever they want it to mean. When purchased this tool was meant to go on a cnc router build I was going to do so other than looking it over for obvious physical defects I didn’t operate it for sometime because I didn’t need it. Then one day I had a little job to do and instead of grabbing my big router I grabbed the Colt which is when I perceived an issue. I used it a few times after that and had the same two issues crop up. I hate to spoil some peoples opinion of me but I am not stupid. I researched purchasing an after market collet for this router (since It was going to be used on a cnc router) and the company I eventually found that made the collets had pretty much stated they were having difficulty with run out issues for the Bosch Colt router and did not really recommend trying a new collet but that they were having good results with the DeWalt. So I bought the DeWalt and set the Colt off to the side until this review. Most of this review was handled in a facetious (treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant) manner. I apologize to those who truly feared for my mental faculties and possibly causing injury to myself.

So my two main issues? The collet comes loose and the fence comes loos under operating conditions the few times I ran it.

THE ABOVE IS THE EDITED VERSION.

Bosch tools, should be about #3 in the lineup for tools, behind green and black and orange, am I correct in this thought process? I mean I would love to have the new Bosch compound miter saw. Oh well, this is about the Bosch Colt, not the Bosch Compound Miter Saw. I have had this little guy for 4 years now. I also have the DeWalt small router too (Bosch is why) but that’s a totally different review. Every time I have used this router the collet has gotten loose on it. Every time. I was going to buy a custom collet for it to use if I ever built a cnc router but that’s not going to happen for me because I can not justify it for me. Not what I do. When I first purchased this (as with my other two routers) I stripped off the collet and degreased it and wiped it down. Made sure there was nothing on the threads and nothing where the collet compresses and made sure all of my router bits are clean on the shaft prior to use. Does not matter, it will come loose with in 45 seconds of me starting it and using it against a piece of wood. Who wants a router bit in their leg or gut at 8,000 rpm? Not me. Of course you can tell when it’s coming loose but the issue is it is coming loose, not that I can tell but I am grateful for that though.
Thanks
PatrickB

p.s. I forgot to mention the fence. If the router bit doesn’t come loose first, then the fence does. So I shouldn’t have said every time I use it the collet loosens up.

-- Really? Really? How important is it?




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PatrickB

53 posts in 3031 days



28 comments so far

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pintodeluxe

5736 posts in 2896 days


#1 posted 11-02-2015 11:12 PM

Not good. I have the pre-cursor to the Colt, which included an offset base for laminate trimming in tight quarters. With that base you don’t use the collet, instead the bit is held in place with an allen head set screw. The first time I used it the screw came loose, and ruined the cut.

I would replace the collet to see if it’s defective. Many times there is an internal crack that is not immediately visible.

The new Dewalt mini routers are really great. I have the P.C. and Dewalt versions, and am impressed with how well the collets work. Just light pressure with a single wrench and the thumb-button collet lock works great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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DalyArcher

115 posts in 1202 days


#2 posted 11-03-2015 12:43 AM

I have mine for years, bought one when they first came out and the variable speed model when my first one was stolen. Never had any problems with it. Until 6 months ago it was the only router I owned and I used it for everything including mortises. I’d buy another tomorrow, sorry you seem to have gotten a lemon.

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

130 posts in 1315 days


#3 posted 11-03-2015 01:20 AM

Let me get this right – you have had and used this for 4 YEARS… and you have never contacted Bosch. If my new car had bad bakes I wouldn’t keep driving it w/o getting the problem taken care of. I have tools clothed in many colors and all I can say is my Bosch tools have all served me very well (including a pair of Colts) and all have proved themselves to be worth the price paid. I’d say stop using the da(#m thing and contact Bosch before you need a trip to the emergency room.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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Arcola60

95 posts in 2467 days


#4 posted 11-03-2015 01:34 AM

My first router was a bosch colt. It worked so well I bought a second one and the plunge base when it came out. Now I have fixed, plunge, and I made 6” square bases that drop in to a TS extension for box joints, dovetails, etc. I never had any issues with either of them. I would get a replacement collet and try that one.

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CooperDBM

31 posts in 2429 days


#5 posted 11-03-2015 03:10 PM

Did you make sure not to bottom out your bits when inserting them? Tightening the collet wants to push the bit further in. If it’s already bottomed out you may not be able to tighten the collet properly.

-- Dave, Ottawa, ON

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2193 days


#6 posted 11-03-2015 03:29 PM

If the good advice about not bottoming the shank doesn’t fix your issue, are you aware that replacement collets for this router are ~ $8?

http://www.grainger.com/product/3TXD8?gclid=CNj3quTI9MgCFYsTHwodQ64E3w&cm_mmc=PPC:GOOGLEPLAA-_-Power%20Tools-_-Routers-_-3TXD8&ef_id=VUFFgAAAAfHZtu79:20151103152843:s

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HerbC

1779 posts in 2942 days


#7 posted 11-03-2015 03:30 PM

+1 on questioning why you did not get problem resolved by contacting Bosch support? No attempt? or bad experience there?

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2206 posts in 1305 days


#8 posted 11-03-2015 03:41 PM

I have a Colt (about the same vintage). I really like this router but it has had several issues. WRT the collet, the first thing to break was the spindle lock. My guess is this soft metal piece sheared off internally. The fix was to grind down a 10mm open end wrench so I could use the two-wrench solution with the collet nut and narrow flat on the shaft.

I bring this up because I am leery of the spindle-lock/wrench combo being good enough to secure a bit (I like things tight). This all started with a 1970’s Craftsman router with the famous ‘auto depth adjust’ feature (the bit would creep out of the collet).

Anyhoo, you might not be getting the collet tight enough with the spindle lock versus two-wrenches (assuming all other mentioned potential faults are checked out).

The other issue is the depth collar lock lever. If it is adjusted to properly clamp the depth adjustment down, when released it is still too tight to allow the motor to slide up/down in the base.

View Albert's profile

Albert

512 posts in 3672 days


#9 posted 11-03-2015 03:42 PM

I have had similar problems with my Triton. It is ok with 1/2 inch bits but a lot of problems when using the 1/4 inch adapter, the thing wants to loosen up. I will be interested to see if you find a ‘fix’ for this problem. Meanwhile make sure to wear your safety glasses.

Paul

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waho6o9

8293 posts in 2660 days


#10 posted 11-03-2015 07:02 PM

My Colt is a POS as well.

View PatrickB's profile

PatrickB

53 posts in 3031 days


#11 posted 11-04-2015 03:51 AM


Let me get this right – you have had and used this for 4 YEARS… and you have never contacted Bosch. If my new car had bad bakes I wouldn t keep driving it w/o getting the problem taken care of. I have tools clothed in many colors and all I can say is my Bosch tools have all served me very well (including a pair of Colts) and all have proved themselves to be worth the price paid. I d say stop using the da(#m thing and contact Bosch before you need a trip to the emergency room.

- OnhillWW

Gee, do you really think I am that dumb? Did you notice the blurb in their about the DeWalt I purchased? I use the DeWalt exclusively, even have a special collet for it, plunge base, the whole nine yards. I love that little router. In my mind I just labeled it a failure and let it sit on the shelf. Got the DeWalt and haven’t looked back. I did some research when I got the collet for my DeWalt and the people who make the collet say there is a lot of problems with the colt’s. Issues with run out and lack of concentricity. That’s what they said, not me. And I like Bosch tools, I wish I had the money for their new compound miter saw. Plus the fence is a pos, height adjustment is very poor compared to the DeWalt too. As far as I am concerned the DeWalt small router is 10 times what the Colt is and is what the Colt should be!!!
Pat

-- Really? Really? How important is it?

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mondak

71 posts in 2484 days


#12 posted 11-04-2015 03:53 AM

To set the record straight, I have not used any other small routers. I do own the bosch colt and wouldn’t trade. It has worked flawlessly for me for pushing 10 yrs., and it is my go to router…......always.
A friend purchased a colt about the same time and did not have the spindle lock lined up when he was changing bits. He stripped the lock. Bosch replaced his colt with a new one.
This is not my only bosch tool…......and they are all good.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2282 posts in 2398 days


#13 posted 11-04-2015 11:56 PM

I had the same problem with a router collet not gripping the bit … After I lost one and it zinged across the shop and lodged in the wall, I started to ask around … A fella at the woodworkers store told me to drop a space ball in to the collet … never had another one come loose.
It works for me.
Now all 5 of my routers have space balls … no comment on gender …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2193 days


#14 posted 11-05-2015 07:38 PM

A fella at the woodworkers store told me to drop a space ball in to the collet

That’s an excellent idea! I almost always have Space Balls around, but never thought of that.

For those who might not have Space Balls on hand, I’ve used rubber o-rings, a small bit of pink foam, even part of a foam earplug. All these things do is prevent the bit from bottoming out in the opening below the collet, leaving a bit of expansion room for the bit as it heats up.

Some bits are hard to hold as you tighten, so they drop all the way to the bottom, especially as the collet passes through tight / loose / tight cycles as it closes.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2282 posts in 2398 days


#15 posted 11-05-2015 08:03 PM

OggieOglethorpe You are spot on. But I would like to point out that it is really not the bottoming out of the bit that causes problems.
It is that the bit starts to flare out at the top and if the bit is to deep, the shoulder of the collet grips at the flare and only has a very narrow “foot print”.
Now if you raise the router bit a wee tad, the collet will grab the entire shank solidly and be stable with a wide “foot print”.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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