Makita - why an 1/8“ collet

I’m planning on purchasing the makita for my build, but why do I read so much in this forum about an 1/8" collet? Is there a big advantage I’m missing over the 1/4" collet?

1/8 tools are cheaper and get into tighter slots. Slight kerf advantage when nesting parts. Also help to manage SFM for high rpm tools (less of an issue because we mostly cut wood with a wood router), so maybe a slight advantage to burning? There is the horespower argument, but I think rigidity hits us first.

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Also, when you are cutting out a part, you remove less material, so you have to do less work.

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Thanks for the responses. Your comments make a lot of sense.

I also understand that a larger bit will cut more material in most cases ;therefore, it will require more torque and you may need to reduce the depth of each pass. That said, I would think an 1/8" not would be much more likely to deflect and therefore require a reduced cutting depth.

I am not sure how closely correlated these issues are, but if I’m correct, then it’s the argument that we would rather break a bit vs burning up a stepper or potentially damaging the cnc?

The CNC and steppers will be fine. If you push it too hard, the machine will skip steps, ruining your workpiece (probably), but not hurting the machine in the slightest.

I still think 1/8" is a good bit size. I don’t think it is a coincidence that table saws and miter saws use blades that size.

But there is a lot of evidence that a pocket (removing material in an area, not just a line) is faster with a 1/4" bit.

There is 1/8" collets for the Makita if you really want that shaft size.

And also someone told me that er11 collets fit in the Makita aswell. Haven’t tried though, I will when time has come though, or maybe someone here have the opportunity to try it out before I spend my heard earned 20 bucks for nothing? :d

And there is also bits with 1/4" shaft and thinner cutting part. Or atleast there is 6mm’s with thinner bottom…

ER11 collets do not fit on the Makita trim router. There are quality Makita clones that take ER11 collets, but they cost about $50 more than a Makita (like this one). The 1/8" collets for the Makita router are available from several places including the V1 store.

That is good to know. I’ll have to add one to the cart!

there are 1/8" bits (and thinner I believe) with a 1/4" shank, but you will sacrifice cutting depth as you have to allow for the taper of the shank to get to the cutting diameter. With a straight 1/8" shank bit, the bit can drive further into the cut as it is the same diameter all the way to the collet.

There are also 1/4 to 1/8 adapter sleeves that can be used so you don’t have to swap out the whole collet, though some are better than others (I don’t have any examples at hand), and there have been some that don’t recommend their use as you may lose clamping force and have a loose bit. I have used one with some success, but YMMV.

I’ve been successfully using ER11 collects with my genuine Makita for 2 years.

You are using a Makita RT0701C? And, you have no runout issues? The two shapes of the two different collets do not match:



I agree that they shouldn’t work and weren’t intended to work, but my 3mm ER11 with 1/8" bits have no runout or concentricity issues.


I saw this post when I was figuring out what parts to buy for my build. I ended up going with the er11 collet directly in makita because I couldn’t find any documented runout figures and it only costs a few $ to try. Never mind I had to buy a $50 dial indicator but I justified that with the idea it would come in handy for years to come.

Anyway after seeing this old tony’s youtube video on collets I decided to go for the proper collet before the dial indicator even arrived. Over 3 weeks later my proper makita collet arrived today and I’m rather pleased with it.

Lets just say I can see why some people say the er11 collet does fit and some say it doesn’t. It really depends what your definition of fit is. I found with the er11 collet, runout heavily depends on which way you hold your tongue while torquing. Forget keying, its all in the tongue. This made me very reluctant to change tool mid job since it’s such a laborious task to dial the run out every time.

So what are the numbers?
the best I did with the er11 collet was 0.17mm run out. worst is upwards of 0.4mm run out.
I put the correct collet in tonight, didn’t do any keying, tongue holding or torquing and the runout is 0.04mm straight off the bat. (using the cheapest of the cheap endmills from a rotary tool kit)

I’m pretty new to this so the only difference I’ve noticed so far is the sound. But the main thing for me is now I don’t have to worry about tool changes.

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