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If the collet was tightened without a bit in it, it may have been squeezed so it is too small for the bit shank. Completely unscrew the collet from the router and see if the bit will go into it. If not, you can try forcing an old bit in using your vice, and then using as hammer and punch to remove the bit, but most likely you will have to get a new collet. Just search "Porter Cable router parts to find a source.
Do you have the collet upside down? It should fit in nicely and the lock nut fit over the top, no problem, If it doesn't, something is wrong. They only make 2 sizes of collets for router bits, 1/4 and 1/2 , if they get their parts from somebody who makes just collets, you could have easily gotten a different size in there. See if a router bit will fit the hole, then go to the store where you bought the router and ask them to try it in your router and see if it fits, they might have collets on the shelf. Check it out.
The fit is just a little more snug than you expect. The collet is springy, and will expand to fit your bits, even if they were oversize (which is very unlikely). Put on a leather glove and just push the shank of the bit into the collet. Do not try to file down the shank of your router bits, you will only make them run eccentric. You don't need to remove the collet. Just loosen the locking nut about a half turn after it is easy to turn.
Good luck. Thanks for using FixYa.
On my older Sears router there is a lever on the base near the collet nut that you slide to engage the motor shaft to lock the motor shaft for bit changes. On newer models you may have a button or different mechanism to lock the shaft. After the shaft is locked you can use a small wrench to loosen the collet nut, usually by turning it counter-clockwise (viewed from the base). Once the nut is loose the bit should slide out (sometimes the bit is stuck in the collet and the nut may need to come all the way off to get them apart). Just replace the bit with a new bit with the same shaft diameter, tighten the nut, and you are set. If the new bit has a different shaft diameter than the old bit you may need to change the collet also (in general, different collets are used with different bit shaft diameters).
could be a couple things. First how is the shank on the bit e.g. is it worn down, second is it the right size for the collet being used (have to ask) and what is the condition of the collet and collet nut. What I would do is make sure there is nothing to prevent from completely tightening the collet nut. Also make sure if the collet locks into the nut that it is properly installed. Lastly make sure that you use the wrenches provided to tighten the assembly. If this doesn't help please provide the model number and brand and I will do some more research.
hello- had same problem with similar model-- problem is definitely DUST INSIDE THE SWITCH, it must be blown out with compressed air- i had this done at a repair shop (for free) so i don't know if they had to disassemble anything- hope this is helpful