Makita Router not holding the bit

I am having trouble with my Makita RT0701C router not holding the 1/4" bit in the collet. The collet nut is tight but the bit will slip sometimes during a cut. Any ideas on how to fix this problem. I did buy a new 1/4" collet but the bit will still slip.
Thanks Steve

Are you by any chance using China bits you got off Amazon? Some of them I’ve found are labeled as 1/4 but are Metric and just a tiny bit narrower. While they are GREAT bits I use a lot of them since they are cheap, you have to make sure they are a True 1/4 or get a metric collet for the router.


Thank you for the feed back over my problem. The bits that I am using are Whiteside router bits and they are measuring out at .249 to .2495.
I guess that could be the problem.

Whiteside are great bits that are very reliable, and .2495 is way close enough to work. Have you looked into the hole after you pull the collet out? Maybe there is a bit stuck in there not allowing the bit to seat all the way???

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Hey Steve, hey Alex,

if it is the case with your bits (sliding caliper to check), forum members had no problem to find metric collets, see here. Also always use the two wrenches to tighten the collet, avoid to use the red shaft lock button. The latter is only there because the trim router is a hand tool and usually you can only hold one wrench since in the other you hold the trim router, but the right way to tighten a collet is to use two wrenches. You can use the shaft lock for the first turns of collet nut until bit stays in collet, but to tighten use the two wrenches. See also here.

Also numerous workpieces wasted due to wandering bits inside collet were reported because of compressed wood dust inside collet. Clean collet regularly. Industrial spindles have sealing air to prevent wood dust entering the collet.

Then they are 1/4" and inside tolerance. Look at tightening and dust inside collet

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Take the nut off and check up in the collet seat to make sure there is not saw dust of broken bit or other obstruction.


The hole is clear at the bottom, so I am at a loss as to what could be going on.

Alex what size of metric collet would you suggest?

I do not use the stock Makita collets I got mine from Elaire Corporation see the link here and the discount I got the forum for shipping. I’ve never had a bit slip a bit with their collets. I own both the 1/8th and their 1/4" AWESOME product… tons of Forum folks use and love them too.



I had just called the Elaire Corporation and talked to someone and they suggested that I look at the collet cap and make sure that it will tighten up all the way on the router without the collet in, he thought that it might not be going on all the way to pull the collet down. So will take and look and maybe order a new cap from Makita. Thank you so much for your help and suggestions.

Steve Strong


Hey Steve,

suggesting Jim’s advice, with his focus on

  • cleaning also the seat of the collet,
  • making sure bit is fully slid into collet, and
  • finally tightening very firmly with two wrenches:

[…] the way the Makita collet is made.

I think what Jim means here is that unlike ER collets, which clamp the bit shaft over a longer length, the Makita collet just clamps the bit on the beginning of shaft (see length of conical part on picture, it is extremely short on Makita):

Makita collet


ER collet

This would be a good justification for both tightening the Makita collet more than a ER collet and for having to loosen the Makita when not in use (strong clamping force on a small conical surface would deform steel more and earlier than on a larger surface)

Here a cleaning tool with leather strips for cleaning the collet seat inside axle


I agree with what was already said… This is what I’m using. The 1/8 bit collet for the Makita, and … the others are for the odd metric bits I use… and yes, they work fine!

Hi Gerry,

How do you use the ER11 collets with your router? Do you have a picture using the ER11 collets?

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Which Elaire collet is the correct model? 6mm or 1/4"?

Are there other options, I see comments about ER11 but searching nets alot of different brands - could someone suggest a reputable company/source? Thank you

I had a similar issue that was resolved when i replaced an old dull bit with a new one. It was like the dull bit pulled loose from the collet.

Elaire is a reputable company. You choose the collet size to the bits you use. The makita factory collet is 1/4" so I’d recommend at least that one as it should fit most of your standards bits if they are also 1/4". Measure your bit, is it actually 1/4 or is it actually a 6MM? If you like that bit, buy collets that fit that.

Elaire has bit sets just for makita routers. They make it easy. You can always call them and I’m sure they will answer your questions. All they do is collets. So they should know.

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thanks, I understand the measurement portion. I was confused because it doesn’t like the RT701C as a supported router. And the elaire collets look like a 4 “finger” design, as opposed to the ERxx series which has multiple contact points. I wasn’t sure if there was much advantage over the oem one.

I’m not sure you can change to an ER collet on a Makita Router, they are typically for spindles. Elair may be able to explain if there are options. The link above is collet options for the router you have.


thank you. I’m blind somedays. and this disclaimer didnt help my confidence lol.

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I’ve had problems with my Amana bits slipping. My solution was to take a lighter cut and to slow down the feed rate. I wasn’t aware of the difference between the Makita and the ER collet. Might have to see if I can get an ER collet to replace my Makita one. Thanks for the tip!