Very hard to remove the bit from my router

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Forum topic by bmontz posted 02-20-2013 08:21 PM 1993 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bmontz's profile


4 posts in 2310 days

02-20-2013 08:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

Hi All,

I’m pretty new to woodworking and have a question about my router.

After using the router it’s almost impossible to remove the bit. The router is new (it’s a Ridgid, don’t remember the model). Any idea’s on how to correct this issue? It’s gotten so bad I to the point where I dread using the router.



13 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3269 days

#1 posted 02-20-2013 08:29 PM

You bottomed out the bit in the chuck. Remove the nut completely and tap on the side of the spindle with some tool, while pulling on the bit. Don’t push the bit all the way down , but keep it 1/8” from bottoming and tighten the nut. Some routers don’t grip bits firm enough, allowing the bit to slip down.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 02-20-2013 08:35 PM

I don’t know about Ridgid tools but on my PC 690’s (2 piece collet) I split the collet and push the bit out from the back…it’s only a few more turns with the wrenches and PC’s are easy enough because the housing spins off the motor very easily. Better than trying to grab it with a pliers!

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2136 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 08:42 PM

I have a PC laminate trimmer that has the same problem. I don not bottom the bit out. The only way I can remove it is to totally remove the collet and then tap on it with something. In any case it it is a problem and I don’t use the tool very often.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Kazooman's profile


1030 posts in 1978 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 08:53 PM

I have an Elu router and it developed the problem over time. For me the issue was wear on the collet nut. There is a lip on the inside of the nut that locks over the end of the collet and engages a groove. With the collect and nut in hand off the router you can insert the collet in the nut and feel it click into place. You have to push pretty hard to get it back out to change collet sizes. When you back off the nut after using the router, the lip grabs the collet and pulls it up, freeing the bit. Lots of mechanical advantage in a screw mechanism! However, with the worn nut I would unscrew the nut and it would just come completely off leaving the collet in the router with the bit tightly held. Then it was a problem to try to free up the collet (the bit was not bottomed out and I confirmed that there were no scratches on the router or collet). I finally had to resort to grabbing the collet with a pair of needle-nose vicegrips and then pounding on the side of the pliers. Not good for the router.

I purchased a replacement nut and instantly all was well again.

I suffered through that one for far too long before I figured it out.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3311 days

#5 posted 02-20-2013 08:54 PM


Have you removed the collet nut completely? I have a Porter Cable router that if you loosen the nut you can not get the bit out without beating on it…..........until I found out if I backed the nut off a couple more turns it will feel like it’s beginning to tighten again and then it will pop the bit loose. Don’t know how or why, but I’ve heard from others that some of the other manufacturers does the same thing.

-- John @

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3674 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 09:00 PM

you router might have what is called a “SELF RELEASING COLLET”.

when you first release the collet it’ll loosen up, at which point the bit cannot be removed just yet. if you continue to undo the collet nut it will feel like it’s tightening up again, and then it’ll simply come free at which point you can remove the bit with 2 fingers.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2710 days

#7 posted 02-20-2013 09:01 PM

just an observation…you WANT the bit to be a PITA to remove…loose fit would show up in your work.

View JayT's profile


5675 posts in 2237 days

#8 posted 02-20-2013 09:01 PM

My router has that two-stage release that huff and Lev refer to. I have to make sure to loosen the nut past the second stage and the bit comes right out.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3184 days

#9 posted 02-20-2013 09:03 PM

Many router collets act like John said, where you have to untighten it “twice.”

Otherwise, if the bit isn’t bottomed out, loosen the collet and tap the bit IN. The bit should release and fall out.

-- jay,

View Kazooman's profile


1030 posts in 1978 days

#10 posted 02-20-2013 09:08 PM

I agree with the “untighten it twice” comments. That’s how mine always worked. the nut loosens, then a bit more turning and the lip and groove I mentioned above meet up and you need to turn more with the wrench to have the nut pull the collet free. You don’t need to remove the nut and collet, you should be able to pull the bit out once it is loosened.

View bmontz's profile


4 posts in 2310 days

#11 posted 02-20-2013 09:12 PM

Thanks for the help so far.

I checked and it’s a Ridgid R29302. It doesn’t have a self releasing collet. I’ll have to put a bit in, route something, and try some of the suggestions to see what works.

I have tried loosening the collet nut as far as I can (till it hits the end of the bit) and that hasn’t allowed me to remove the bit without seriously beating on it.

I’ll have to try taping it in as Cosmicsniper suggested.

Thanks again,


View unisaw's profile


92 posts in 4158 days

#12 posted 02-21-2013 04:06 AM

Gentle tapping with a heavy open end wrench should work (emphasis on gentle). In the future, put the bit all the way in and then back it out 1/4 ” so it is not sitting on the bottom. Sorry to repeat.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2701 days

#13 posted 02-21-2013 04:46 AM

I have an older Craftsmanfrom the days when they used a Commercial label. If has a collet that sticks through the nut. there is a groove for a snap ring on that part. When the nut cushes on the ring the collet pulls out of the router. Do you have such a groove? This works very well.

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