Craftsman router won't turn on

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Forum topic by Turmfalke posted 07-29-2016 01:40 AM 363 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 92 days

07-29-2016 01:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question router

A couple of years ago I bought a Craftsman router and table, model # 320.17541. I was new to using a router. I chucked in a round over bit to test the router out. When I touched the spinning bit to a piece of 2×4, the bit flew out and the router stopped. It would not turn back on. I put it on a shelf and forgot about it.
Now, I have much more experience and I would like to see if I can get the router working instead of dropping cash on a new one.
Any ideas of why it won’t work? Is it busted forever?

12 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile


872 posts in 1861 days

#1 posted 07-29-2016 02:45 AM

No idea why it won’t run. First thing I’d do is check the brushes.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View oldnovice's profile


5656 posts in 2792 days

#2 posted 07-29-2016 05:38 AM

If this is the model with the trigger in the hand grip and a cable to the top of the body, it could that the switch located in the top may have moved away from the cable … this is the voice of experience.
After looking at the picture it is not the same model …. !

I would be more concerned about the bit coming out of the collet!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View becikeja's profile


620 posts in 2237 days

#3 posted 07-29-2016 10:33 AM

I would start with the switch, then the clean brushes. The way you describe the incident, it took a shock and I bet something came loose inside. Probably just needs a quick wire job.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View WhyMe's profile


575 posts in 985 days

#4 posted 07-29-2016 01:59 PM

I’m sure you checked that the spindle lock isn’t engaged.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


1015 posts in 137 days

#5 posted 07-29-2016 02:53 PM

does the switch move on and off or is it locked ???


View Kirk650's profile


272 posts in 173 days

#6 posted 07-29-2016 03:49 PM

I had a router quit on me. It was the switch. You might try taking the switch out and blowing the dust out of it.

View splintergroup's profile (online now)


739 posts in 646 days

#7 posted 07-29-2016 04:17 PM

Speaking of the bit flying out, I have one of those Craftsman routers (late 70’s) with the “self-adjusting” depth.

The collet could not hold a bit tightly unless really cranked down on. The symptom was/is trying to route a groove and the groove depth tapers deeper towards the end of the cut.

As to the no-workie, I agree that the shock from the bit launching probably loosened something up inside.

I’d start by removing and re-installing the brushes and then checking the switch. It may even turn back on after you give it a thump on the side.

View Lazyman's profile


618 posts in 811 days

#8 posted 07-29-2016 05:17 PM

Can you turn the shaft by hand? If not, that is the problem. Perhaps it has a shaft lock that for some reason engaged when you were using it. My theory based upon the description of it stopping and the bit flying out at the same time is that something jammed to stop the motor suddenly and that happened with such force that the collet nut unscrewed itself. The shaft turns in the same direction as you turn the collet to loosen it so the nut’s inertia would probably loosen it. If my theory is correct, that much force may have caused some serious damage. Whatever could bring a router spinning at 25k RPM to a complete stop would like be in pretty bad shape. I suspect you are going to be buying a new router.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View oldnovice's profile


5656 posts in 2792 days

#9 posted 07-29-2016 08:58 PM

  1. Unplug the router, connect an ohm meter on the plug prongs, and flip the switch on/off.
  2. If you don’t get continuity it could be the switch or the power cord or the brushes.
  3. Leave the ohm meter connected, turn on the power switch, and wiggle the cord at the entry to the router and at the plug end.
  4. If you get momentary continuity it is the power cord.
  5. With the same set up as in step 3 above, turn the router shaft if possible.
  6. If you get momentary continuity it is the brushes.
  7. If don’t get any continuity readings, on any of the above steps, your back to the switch, power cord, or brushes and all that is left is to disassemble the router and check each of the three items by themselves.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Turmfalke's profile


4 posts in 92 days

#10 posted 07-30-2016 01:15 AM

Thanks for all of the help. The spindle turns and is not locked and the switch flips back and forth. This model has an LED work light on it that does not come on either. I will open the router up and work on the switch and brushes first (easiest and cheapest) and go from there.

View Turmfalke's profile


4 posts in 92 days

#11 posted 07-30-2016 01:17 AM

The bit coming out of the collet was probably due to me not putting it in right. I have used other routers since and have learned that lesson. I hope this router will get working again.

View Turmfalke's profile


4 posts in 92 days

#12 posted 07-30-2016 01:28 AM

SUCCESS!!!! I opened it up and a wire came off of the switch. The router turns on and so does the light!! It seems like such a small issue, but I probably would not have opened it up without all of your advice and direction.
Thank you all!!

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