Every user of a modern router hates the way the bits are installed and the cumbersome way you have to loosen the bit with two wrenches under the router table, or you have to pull the router out of the table and balance the whole thing on the table with a big hole in the middle and try to get the bit to the right depth in the collet. A few years ago I ran across a tool that promised to end this madness called the Eliminator chuck. Unfortunately the Eliminator had a few short comings and often the bit would loosen because it used a cam to hold the bit exerting all the pressure on one side of the bit. It was better than the two wrench method, but this chuck could easily damage the shaft on your router bits.
The Eliminator ultimately fell out of favor with many craftsmen who were not happy with the cam problems. Now John DeRosa is a great guy who felt a need to design a better collet. One unlike the Eliminator which would not slip or damage the bits. Introducing the Musclechuck™, called by Martin Godfrey of WoodRat fame an essential luxury. I am inclined to agree.
Our testing started out checking if the chuck added any run out, finding it did not. Next we wanted to see if the new chuck would hold the bits well and it does. It even holds the smaller shaft bits with the reduction collars without slipping at all. I have used and abused the Musclechuck™ for the better part of 12 months now and use them in all the routers they make one for. It is sorely missed when I have to use a router without a Musclechuck™. If one were to be lost or stolen it would promptly be replaced. I do keep extras in case one fails which has not happened in the 12 months I have tested the chuck. The design of this chuck is patented and the owner of the patent is John DeRosa. Despite the other party’s attempt to steal his design and claim it was just an improvement on the Eliminator Chuck the Patent Court saw right through this as an attempt to rob Mr. DeRosa of his innovative design.
So what makes this chuck so special? The compact design extends the shaft of the router just enough to allow all your router bit changes to be done from above the table.
This major breakthrough replaces the two collet wrenches by a little hex T-wrench not included but easily available from tool stores. I got mine from WoodRat in the UK.
You simply hold the bit to the desired height and then with the other hand tighten the bit with the t wrench. Nothing could be simpler. The Chuck is balanced and adds no vibration to any of the routers we have tested them on. The Musclechuck™ is essential to those who hate making bit changes. No more fumbling with the collet wrenches, in fact the last time you use a collet wrench could be to install the Musclechuck™. Our rating system asks a lot of questions that have simple answers if a tool is a good value for the dollar. I would buy this chuck at twice the price so it is well priced, and I would not want to be without it so it is necessary in my shop. It preforms as well as the manufacturer said it would so a plus there, and finally would I recommend this tool to my friends? Another yes.
The Router is often called the most versatile tool in the shop. With the right accessories it surely is a powerhouse. I first got a Musclechuck™ for my WoodRat because to be able to change bits this easily on the WoodRat is a key to the ease of use for that tool. I am giving the Musclechuck™ 5 stars on my star scale because it is a vital part of my routers. I use this chuck every single day I don’t hate changing bits in my routers any longer, The cam free lock system has not slipped on me yet. You can buy these direct at musclechuck.com or in the UK at Woodrat.com Be sure to buy the nice T-handle wrench, you won’t regret it.