With proper technique, removing bearings from router bits can be a safe and straight-forward procedure. Removing shaft-mounted bearingsfrom a bit is easiest – simply loosen a set screw in the locking collar and slide off the collar followed by the bearing. This is easy because the set screw is perpendicular to the shaft.
End-mounted bearings are a different story. They are secured with a screw along the axis of the shaft and are usually tightened quite well. To remove them, you need a way to prevent the bit from rotating without damaging the shaft – that means no Vise-Grips!
The best solution I have found is also the simplest. When I figured it out, it was one of those “why didn’t I think of that sooner?” moments. Hint: it came with your router. That’s right – the router collet. Install the bit into the collet on the router, then use a wrench or spindle-lock pin (if your router has one) to immobilize the router bit. Now it’s simple and safe to use the hex key to remove the screw securing the bearing.
3 thoughts on “Removing Router Bearings”
Thanks for the tip Chris. I’ve hesitated to remove the bearings because I was unsure how to do it without damaging the shaft. This is almost too easy!
Coincidentally, too, Woodpeckers has a limited-run tool on right now that is a router-bit vice for exactly this reason. Are you in kahoots with Woodpeckers, too?!?! :)
I am new to routing anything beyond chamfers etc. but you bailed me out with your common sense but lost on me solution.
So, thank you, thank you.