previous
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Classic Cabinets
    Classic Cabinets
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
next
Pin It

Dedicated Collets vs. Collets with Inserts

One type is easier to use; the other is easier to lose

The following was originally intended as a sidebar in Gary Katz's survey of plunge routers, "Taking the Plunge," in the December 2001/January 2002 issue of Fine Homebuilding. Regrettably, we had to cut this sidebar from the article for space reasons, but we're happy to be able to present it on the Web.

Most small routers are equipped with only a 1/4-in. collet, but most routers 2 hp and larger are equipped with 1/2-in. and 1/4-in. collets, or a 1/2-in collet with a 1/4-in. insert (see the photo above). If you frequently change between 1/2-in and 1/4-in. router bits, consider buying a router with separate collets, such as the Makita RP1101, Bosch 1613EVS or Porter-Cable. The Porter-Cable and Bosch collets are connected to the nut with a c-clip; when the nut is loosened, it pulls the collet with it. No messing with frozen collets. On the other hand, the 1/4-in. inserts are smaller, easy to lose, difficult to install and they can be poorly machined; I even cut my finger on Hitachi's insert.

Gary M. Katz is a carpenter and writer living in Reseda, California. He is the author of The Doorhanger's HandbookPhoto: Charles Bickford