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How to remove a stuck bit

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Loose nut, stuck bit

Loose nut, stuck bit

Arm-wrestle it free
If you've loosened the collet nut but the bit won't release, apply a few drops of penetrating lubricant, such as WD-40 or Liquid Wrench, and let it seep into the collet around the bit shank. Next, hold the spindle with a wrench (or spindle lock, if so equipped). Then, with a thick work glove on your other hand, grab the bit and twist back and forth to free it as shown in the top photo.

Tap in to pop it out
If that doesn't work the bit loose, remove the bearing and washer from the end (if so equipped). With the router standing base-up on a solid surface, hold a hardwood scrap against the bit end (to avoid damaging the threads) and tap it lightly with a mallet or hammer. Although driving it deeper into the collet seems counterproductive, a small amount of movement just might free the bit. If that doesn't loosen the bit, strike the block a little harder as shown in the bottom photo.

Continued on page 2:  Stuck nut



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