2 Makitas in a row that run hot...is this the new norm?


I am on my second Makita and am finding an alarming amount of heat build up. After a search I am finding people mentioning it here & there but more like it is unusual with replacement being the fix. I cannot think that this is normal as so many people are running carves that last hours! Part of the reason I opted for the 1F was that it used these routers. I was a little skeptical of it but I saw sooo many accounts of people using them with little issue. Has Makita quality in these units declined?

I am just getting this rig up and running and both routers are effectively new with about an hour of run time on the first one and the other is fresh out of the box. I just ran a 5 min carve with a 60deg Vbit and found the shaft & collet nut too hot to touch for more than a second or two. I replaced the first router after finding the collet & nut too hot to touch for several minutes after running a 15-ish minute long carve with a 1/4" end mill. Depths of cuts were made with multiple passes well under max depth ratings so I was not over straining the router.

I’ll make due with these two routers for the time being but while standing by with a fire extinguisher. I will probably upgrade to the PnwCNC 65mm 1.5kw spindle kit or possibly the 80mm 2.2kw kit, but that would entail a new the expense of a new mount & dust boot.

Hey Glenn,

I don’t know if you have a batch that is faulty, but you probably know that according to the manual, the Makita hand trim router is only allowed for short, handheld use, that if it is “operated continuously at low speeds for a long time, the motor will get overloaded, resulting in tool malfunction” and that Makita has confirmed that as soon you install it into a CNC machine, your warranty is lost.

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Appreciate the response. I know about that warning and find it hard to believe that level 4 speed would be considered “slow”. Also, I picked up these routers months apart from different HDs. It would be just my luck that I got 2 duds in a row tho…

There seems to be good air draw into the motor when I feel it at the top of the motor. I can take this latest one back but the first one is gonna be a keeper as I put a new cord on it. I just don’t feel like making multiple trips to HD till I finally find one that doesn’t seem to want to melt down.

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I read that Harbour Frieght has the same router. It even looks the same. Of coarse it is cheaper. My Makita did a 2 hour carve and i was able to grab the nut right away as i had to switch bits. An electrician could tell you if your power is ok. I know i had power issues at my upnorth home.

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@Paramoose how hot my makita and bits get are a function of my feeds and speeds. Most of the time, I get a 6°F rise with good cuts. If I see a 10°F rise, I re-cam my design.

I get smoking hot when I use the flattening bit…the one time I tried in wood (instead of mdf spoilboard) I smelled hot wood and saw 20°F rise on the body of the makita before stopping.

Most of my long cuts are about an hour. I have had no problems so far. While I have not done multi hour cuts, it reaches steady state temperature in a few minutes.

That said I just upgraded to pwncnc 2.2kw spindle. Literally just upgraded today, no cuts yet. Two things tipped me over to Daniel at pwncnc. With Yellow Friday sale, it was significantly less than me building an omron vfd and jainken spindle system. And it was breathtakingly simple l to set up. The only reason I didn’t run it after setting it up was designing and cutting a new dust shoe for it before decomming the makita took most of my morning. More time was spent swapping the spindle mount than getting the pwncnc spindle installed and tested.

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Appreciate it Mitch!
After the same concerns about feed & speed rates being too fast/slow I did a little bench top test. I took the router out and set it on the worktable and just ran it under no load at the 4 speed setting I had just run a carve with. I let it run for approximately 6-8 minutes then shut it down to check it. The collet, nut & shaft were just as hot. I like how you track your temps for safety, what are the steady state temps that you are getting?

I just got done with a sign carve that I had to beak up into x4 different files due to the bug in the controller software that apparently stacks tool paths at random with bit changes & different tool paths…but that is another gripe. So the router ran anywhere from 2 min to 17min with each file and the heat level at the end of each felt pretty consistent.

Thanks for the word on the PwnCNC Spindle package. I am gonna have to do some research on this subject. I already have a solid state (I think) VFD that is on my 220v metal lathe that is gathering dust currently and I am contemplating selling. It would reduce the cost of upgrading to a spindle but then there is the cost of a new mount and the PnwCNC dust boot is literally brand new but is for the 65mm router/spindle. Are there good 65mm 220v spindle motors out there? I’ve seen them but have not done the deep dive on their performance. Then there is the air vs water cooled debate… Lots of research and asking around in forums in my future…

Hey Glenn,

the trim routers are so-called universal motors and their motor characteristics is that they get hot the slower they run. Therefore I would run it relatively fast, in a speed setting range where first of all the mechanical load does not slow it down. It’s the fact that the mechanical load slows it down and lets it become hot that is the negative aspect of such a motor (see here for comparison universal motor vs. induction motor).


Thanks for the reply! Power isn’t an issue as far as I can tell…house is only 2 years old and in the suburbs, but that doesn’t guarantee all is well. If running these small routers is going to be problematic in the long run I would just as well upgrade to a spindle. Makes me shake my head reading about & seeing multi-hour carves with these routers with no apparent problems and I seem to get the problem ones…LOL

Thank you for the info! I knew just from woodworking experience that these routers were light duty, but a large number of people are using them. That is where my researched kinda stopped…

Hey Glenn,

of course there exist work conditions in which a hand trim router performs well. The question is how much the user runs it in such work conditions. Users can use their machine for quite different tasks, with very different bits and bit sizes, and mill very different materials, and at very different speed and feed rates. This would in my opinion explain the very different user ratings.

And that you could have a bad batch is also not impossible. But when you use the router in a CNC, you cannot complain about a defect, as the manufacturer does not allow such use.

I have been using Harbor freight Bauer router and have at least 30 to 40 hours with no problems. And it holds the speed and only cost less than $100 with two year warranty.


Roaming around the forums, etc. on this topic I found a consensus in the chatter about it being abnormal and “something is wrong with it”. I will have to do some more work with it, adjust speed rates, etc. and see what happens…while keeping a fire extinguisher near by.

Appreciate your answers and obvious knowledge. I have read several of your posts in here and do appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge & experience.

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I use a IR thermometer to check the material surface, bit, and collet nut. Lately my shop has been about 74°F. Bit and collet are usually about 80°F. Did some acrylic today. Bit hit 85°F and plastic chips were pushing 95° almost immediately. I lowered the RPM from 3.5 to 2 on the dial and the temp dropped back to 80°F. I forget the RPM in CAM, but Fusion 360 post process to give me a dial setting with a run-time pop up so I don’t have to convert rpm to dial.

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It’s a trim router. Let me say that again. It’s a trim router. IMO, that’s the start and end of it.

Would anyone put a trim router into a router table?

Silly for OneFinity to market their new Elite systems at all to use a trim router. They shouldn’t even offer a 65mm mount, IMO and should absolutely have a spindle/VFD on their site bundled with the systems.

Its a stepping stone. For me im glad there is the option to use the router. I bought my elite with the 80mm but picked up the sleeve for the 65. but can upgrade to the spindle down the line.
It also provides future back up if the spindle goes down for some reason. Sleeve. Router… back in business.

Nothing is ever a one size fits all.


Just had to buy my second makita after two years of using the first one. Never got hot. This new one gets hot after about 5 minuets. Regards of speed, feed or what ever just think it is the nature of the beast…

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Seems odd I just used my Makita for 2 jobs today! I thought of you and checked when I was switching bits. All 4 bit changes, no heat at all. A total of 2 hours and 30 minutes total. I was able to grab and hold the nut, as I had to change my collet back and forth from 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch.

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Hey Dave

It’s these kind of stories that I read all the time that is making me wonder. I had a 15 min carve yesterday that left the collet, nut and router shaft too hot to touch for several minutes minutes when I went to change bits. Both of the routers I have are the same way. I had a significant carve I had to do to complete a sign that ran for x3 hours. I babysat the process while doing other things around the shop to make sure the damn thing didn’t go nuclear on me. Things went fine and at the end of the cut it was pretty much the same temp as the shorter run. I guess I will just keep cautiously using the Makitas until I can get a 65mm water cooled spindle…

2 more projects today, seems odd. 1 hour 20 minute for first project with no bit change, nut and collet cool to the touch. 1/4 Inch end down cut in red oak. Next project Black Walnut, 45 minute v-bit. Collet and nut Luke warm. Do you have a good shopvac sucking air through dust boot?

My Makita router is late 2021 vintage, don’t know if that’s relevant. Early on, about burnt it down with a too aggressive surfacing operation on the spoilboard. Since then, I’ve done 12+hr carves with only breaks to change bits. At any point, the router base is cool to the touch and never so much had a warm collet nut. Just saying, my experience. Has the manufacturing quality of newer generation routers declined? I do have the Suckit dust boot hooked to a Harbor Freight dust collector by 2 1/2” hose. Maybe as others have surmised, the additional air flow helps in the cooling process. Once the Makita finally dies, I will invest in a spindle. Until then, I see my Makita running many, many more hrs.