Should I buy an 8mm collet for my existing 8mm bits, or just rebuy bits to fit my new router

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el_Pedr0

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I've just bought a second hand router that comes with 1/2 and 1/4 inch collets.

I've got a handful of bits all 8mm: Leigh dovetail kit (2 bits), and a pack of 5 from Lidl

The 8mm collet for the new router is £30 which is about the value of the existing bits (not all of which I use).

Is it handy having collets of multiple sizes, or is it an unnecessary pain?
 

robgul

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I'd just get new router cutters - having a "minority size" will always be a nuisance (there are also 6mm & 1/4" which is 6.3mm cutters - equally annoying!)

IIRC on the Axminster YT on routers last week Craig said that 8mm was pretty much dead as cutters go.
 

the great waldo

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8mm cutters are definitely not dead here in Europe " IIRC on the Axminster YT on routers last week Craig said that 8mm was pretty much dead as cutters go " I'm surprised someone could post nonsense like that. If you have a router get as many collects as you can, you never know when you might need. I moved to Austria 30years ago and bought a whole lot of trend cutters in imperial sizes with me . Im still using them which says something about their quality. It is a pain if I buy a router here to find imperial collets. Luckily because of the USA market being so big imperial collets will continue to be available.
Cheers
Andrew
 

Rorschach

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I bought a full set of collets, the collet costs less than a cutter and it's nice to have the versatility. It also means I can buy the cheapest version of a cutter later on then as sometimes the same cutter can be cheaper in a certain shank size.
 

robgul

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8mm cutters are definitely not dead here in Europe " IIRC on the Axminster YT on routers last week Craig said that 8mm was pretty much dead as cutters go " I'm surprised someone could post nonsense like that. If you have a router get as many collects as you can, you never know when you might need. I moved to Austria 30years ago and bought a whole lot of trend cutters in imperial sizes with me . Im still using them which says something about their quality. It is a pain if I buy a router here to find imperial collets. Luckily because of the USA market being so big imperial collets will continue to be available.
Cheers
Andrew

I've not watched the YT again but what he was really saying was just stick to 1/4 or 1/2 inch cutters - although he did mention a 1/8 collect adaptor for very fine engraving work. His comments were probably also coloured by the range of cutters that Axminster sells . . . about 290 1/4 and 1/2 and only about 25 in other sizes.
 

el_Pedr0

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I watched the vid after robgul mentioned it. To be fair to all above, the Axminster guy was responding to a question about 3/8 collets. And it was these that he was suggesting were phased out some years ago because they are unnecessary over and above 1/4 and 1/2 inches. Almost within the same breath he goes on to say about 8mm "which aren't used too much in the UK" but are seen on the continent and US "a little bit". My take was the sentiment about a "dead" size was probably more intended for the 3/8", but open for interpretation because both 3/8 and 8mm were mentioned in the same breath.
 

robgul

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I watched the vid after robgul mentioned it. To be fair to all above, the Axminster guy was responding to a question about 3/8 collets. And it was these that he was suggesting were phased out some years ago because they are unnecessary over and above 1/4 and 1/2 inches. Almost within the same breath he goes on to say about 8mm "which aren't used too much in the UK" but are seen on the continent and US "a little bit". My take was the sentiment about a "dead" size was probably more intended for the 3/8", but open for interpretation because both 3/8 and 8mm were mentioned in the same breath.

That's pretty much what I was meaning! As an aside, the little cabinet with the panel door etc in video is the project that you do on the Axminster router course . . . I did it at the start of last year - a good value couple of days - and I'm looking now at my cabinet on the wall in front of me.
 

Steve_Scott

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I think it’s reasonable to say that in the UK the 1/4 and 1/2” are “standard”. If I recall correctly the Festool LR 32 system uses 8 mm bits…. And forces you to buy an 8 mm collet at great expense. No doubt some of their own bits are an 8 mm shank. What does the Origin Shaper use?
 

AES

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My own experience being here in Switzerland is that 8mm definitely IS common. Some time back I found out that if you take any router (choose any make you like, it need not be black & green!) if you buy it in UK (and probably in the US too, dunno for sure) it will come with Imperial collet/s as standard. Buy exactly the same make/model here "on the mainland" and it will be Metric collet/s as standard.

Remembering that collets are designed and made to very close tolerances, it will NOT work to try, say, a 12 mm router in a half inch collet, or vice versa. Same goes for all other router sizes and collet Imp/Met sizes. And the problem is not helped by some sellers (e.g. Amazon) sometimes not stating the router shaft size in their sales/spec write ups. People like Wealden, etc, are MUCH better for that.

So as someone has already said above, it makes good sense to hold a stock of collets in all of both the Imp and Met sizes you think you'll ever need, especially if like some of us, you're likely to have "imported" an Imp Router (or bits) from UK to Europe or vice-versa.

Collets are certainly NOT cheap, but if you're likely to be in any of the above situations, they're a lot cheaper than a hospital visit/amputation because you've mounted a Met router bit into an Imp collet (or vice versa) and didn't realise it hadn't tightened up fully.
 
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JobandKnock

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Something worth bearing in mind is that an 8mm shank has about 60% more cross sectional area than a 1/4in one, so is far less likely to bend or break if (when) pushed hard.

Better to get an 8mm multi slot collet for the router which will conform better to the shape of the cutter shank than a 1 or 3 slot 1/2in to 8mm reducer which will not conform anywhere near as well and be far more prone to slippage and pull out than an 8mm collet, especially when under heavy load, when not spotlessly clean, worn, or being used with a spiral upcut bit
This might be one reason to favour Trend, deWalt, Bosch, Festool, etc 1/2in routers over products from Makita, Hitachi, Ryobi (AEG), etc routers which only offer 1/4 and 1/2in collets in the UK or 6mm and 12mm in Europe
 
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