Eliminator RC Quick Change Chuck
Bit-changing speed and access
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 2-19-2007
Soon after the router was invented, woodworkers began looking for a faster, easier way to change bits, particularly in table-mounted configurations. It took a while but those forays into the land of wishful thinking have been answered in the form of the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck.
The Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck literally replaces the collet assembly that came with the router, threading onto the spindle in its place. I’d like to go into more detail on the installation process but that really is all there is to it. If it makes you feel better, installing it a couple of times might make it feel more involved.
How It Works
Unlike traditional collets, the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck has no fingers cut in the sleeve into which the router bit shank fits. Instead of squeezing the collet fingers around the shank, the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck uses a type of eccentric, operated by a single 5/32” Allen wrench. Give it a twist to the right and the bit is locked in place. Turn that same Allen screw about a half turn to the left and the bit comes right out.
Here again, I’d like to make this sound more complicated but it really isn’t. Sorry.
Rather than having individual collets for different bit shank diameters, the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck uses inserts to size the ½” receptacle down to ¼” or even 3/8”. The sizing inserts are available separately as an accessory. With so many woodworkers using ½” shanked bits exclusively, many will never need a sizing collet anyway.
Many router bases, when mounted under a table run out of adjustment travel just before the spindle can be access with a wrench. Because the operator need only access the locking screw on the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck, changing bits above the table with most router bases mounted to plates and lifts is much easier because holding the routers spindle is not required.
In the Shop
After installing the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck, several ½”-shanked bits were installed. Each bit was spun at the recommended rpm, up to 22,000 rpm with a small straight cutter. Nearly all of my bits ran smoothly with no hint of vibration.
With a 1 ¼”-diameter profile bit I noticed a small vibration that was not present with the factory collet. The instructions that come with the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck describe a fix for vibrations – essentially relocating the body of the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck in relation to the shaft - and that process eliminated the vibration on the first try.
I made several cuts with the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck installed, using several different bits and found no difference in cut quality or feed rate needed. I also did not experience sticking of the bit in the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck. Each bit released easily with about a ½ turn of the locking screw.
The only real difference noted with the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck installed is that the bit is extended about ½” further from the router spindle than with the factory collet in place. This small additional length poses a problem with only the longest of bits that exceed the routers depth-setting capabilities. Here again, for most users, this will never be a problem. And, if this scenario is encountered, unscrewing the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck and reinstalling the factory collet is relatively quick.
The biggest difference comes when changing bits. The “Quick Change” portion of this tools name is right on the money. Unless you lose your Allen wrench, changing bits is very fast.
If you are looking to speed your router bit changing, the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck may be the right tool for you. It appears well made and throughout my evaluation, worked as promised. With a street price of $52.95 for the Porter Cable version and $54.95 for most other routers, the Eliminator RC™ Quick Change Chuck is a reasonable investment if speed and access for bit changing is a priority in your shop.
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