Anyone else kill a Dewalt 611 on your X-Carve?

You should generally be running your router at a low speed and at that speed it is quiet enough that you will be able to hear the arcing of brushes when they are about to go. It’s a ticking that grows louder and quicker as they wear out more. Another sign I just learned about is the that the arcing brushes can actually interfere with the Arduino causing jobs to stop.

Good info! I generally run the 611 at speed 3 for most jobs but with a shop vac running it was hard to hear much… well that and I was working on another project in the shop so my table saw and dust collection was going at the same time.

Hey Mike, I suspect that DeWalt didn’t design the 611 to run continuously the way we run our CNC machines. I rarely run a hand held router more than 10 minutes, and even in the router table, 30 minutes would be a really long run. But on the X-Carve, I’m sure we all have had jobs that ran 5-6 hours or more. Before the X-Carve, my routers failed because the switches failed or my students dropped them.

I haven’t had the 611 apart yet, but I’m betting you made a good move by ordering both the cartridge and the bare brushes. Now you can refurbish the old cartridge and keep it on hand as a quick change spare for next time.

And maybe it will be 2 or 3 years before we need a thread on how to turn commutators…knock wood.

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Yeah, I know what you mean, I wear headphones when in the shop, but when starting a new cut I always take them off and turn on the router before the vacuum so I can hear it running.

These routers definitely were not made to be used like this. I run mine for many hours every day, my last router only lasted about 3 weeks. There is another thread about the brushes and someone said that they are only rated to last 100-150 hrs if I remember correctly. Which pretty much fits with my experience.

I blast mine out with the air compressor all the time to keep the dust out of it.

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Mine completely burnt out and only after 8 hours. I am pretty sure I just had a lemon. Where would I get an hour meter from as I think it would be great to get estimates on jobs I have carved.

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A well built small high speed universal motor has an expected life span of about 150 hours due to brush erosion. Here is what most do not know is that brushes need to be changes before they go bad because brushes at the end of their life have less spring tension on them making poor contact with the commutator causing excessive arcing and in turn reduces commutator life.

How is that wired to the Dewalt?

Brush singular. Times 4. Got them for $16.99 free shipping from Ebay. But yeah, just down the street and in hand beats a 4 day wait any day.

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If brushes are wearing out in 8 hours, there are more problems with the router than just the brushes.

What may well be the issue here is that a trim router is not really designed for continuous use. The smallest router that is designed for continuous use in the likes of a router table is 690. And that is a lot bigger than a 611.

Brushless spindles are probably the way to go. A lot more power for the weight. But a large one, not the 300w engraving job, thats only 0.4 HP. It would need to be 2KW or so. Those are readily available from EBay at not ridiculous prices but… quality might be an issue.


It ran with only 1 of the 2 brushes connected?

Yes… mine just died after two months!! It’s definitely not brushes…suspect the armature is shot. Not very impressed!

My bad :grimacing: Did some further testing and found it was a brush problem!

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As a trim carpenter i have used a router often. May need to check the brushes. They wear out and can be replaced, simple fix. If that dosent correct the issue may take it to a tool shop. Usually its an easy fix.

Here is a reference picture for what dead brushes compared to new ones look like!


Mine went tonight, too. Original circa Nov 2015. And I was talking about ordering new brushes last week.

Anyone know where I can get brushes on a Saturday in Wisconsin? Or another 611?


Amazon prime?

With more research on speeds and feeds, I am finding that I rarely have any reason to turn up the speed on the DeWalt 611 past level 1. We did change out the brushes this summer, but the router has been getting hard use, 8-10 hours per day during the school year. Conservatively, I’d estimate that we got well over 500 hours out of the factory brushes.


Mine died and destroyed a 36" piece of cherry. I replaced the brushes, but it ran for like 30 seconds a now is completely dead. Won’t turn on. Any ideas, or is it fried. Had since 2015 and this is only my second set of brushes needed. We only make about 10-15 jobs a week.

Any help appreciated.