Recently, I have had increasing difficulty in removing the collet from my router. The bit now requires a swift whack with a piece of wood to dislodge it. I have tried cleaning where the collet seats in the router, but with no real improvement.
John Swanson: If there are no felt or visible burrs on the collet, it is advisable to replace it.
Carol Reed: Replace the collet. Keeping the collet and its socket clean is the right idea, but it does need to be replaced occasionally. In the future, resist leaving a bit in the collet when the router is not being used. I also polish the collet with 600 grit silicon carbide sandpaper from time to time. Just three or four passes removes light corrosion, finger oils, and other contaminants. Then wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.
Sandor Nagyszalanczy: Woodhaven (Woodhaven.com) used to sell a router bit maintenance kit that contained an anti-seize compound designed to be applied to the inside surfaces of the collet and router motor arbor. It looks like silver shoe paste, and really does help the collet separate when you loosen the bit. By the way, don’t over tighten the bit; gorilla force usually isn’t necessary to keep it put during routing.