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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that i am out of school and starting to work a job with normal hours (as a carpenter), I am going to have more time do some more woodworking. I have been looking for a router for a while, and have the money to buy one, but I can't make up my mind. I am leaning towards porter cable, either the 690 series or 890 series. Anyone sway one way or the other? I wouldn't be doing anything too serious with it.

thanks in advance!
 

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I have the PC 690 and the Bosch and quite a few others. Either one will make a fine router, kinda depends on what you plan to use it for.
If I just had one I would go with the Bosch plunge.
But what I love about Porter Cable is the ability to find all kinds of accessories easily.
I also like a trigger switch better than a on/off switch, much easier to get it shut down should bad things happen, and at 20,000 rpm things happen fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't plan on heavy industrial use. I'm leaning towards the porter cable just for the accessibility of parts and templates, etc. I don't have plans for a router table yet, but that could come later on. The 690 seems to get better reviews than the 890. I thought about the bosch, but heard lack of aftermarket has steered me away.
 

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where's my table saw?
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me too

I have used the PC 690's for years and they are very dependable but lately I favor the Bosch 1617EVS. Works well handheld and in the router table.

Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router - Amazon.com
This is the one I would get and the price is reasonable, soft start and variable speed and 2 + HP, everything you could want! BTW I have many routers, but no Bosch. The 690 is a single speed workhorse, but I like the variable speed features on my other routers. PC, Freud, Milwaukee, Delta, Trend etc....
 

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I own several of both, and they are both good routers. there may be better, newer designs out there, but I have never bought or owned any other router, (other than a seventies vintage Crapsman, that deserved the name). Both have the same collets, which if you look online you can find in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch, as well as 6, 8, 10, and 12-mm. This makes them extremely versatile, and gives you the ability to buy various diameters of end mills off eBay, and the 8-mm shank bits that work with the Leigh jig, and chuck the up securely, without using adapter sleeves, which I personally don't like.

The 890 has a bit more power, and works better in a router table due to the built in adjustment system. It is also a lot newer design, with the same motor diameter as the 690.

In the 690, be sure to get the variable speed motor. If you decide to go that way.

The plunge base for the 690 has an issue with not wanting to release the motor. This is easily solved by drilling two small holes in the base next to the screw you tighten to lock the motor in the base, so you can get a small punch onto the top of the plate to tap it loose.

The 890 motor will work in the 690 bases if you remove the gear rack that is part of the height adjustment with the 890 base. So, you can buy the 690 bases for use on frequently used jigs.

Personally if I was buying one or the other I'd go with the 890. It costs a bit more, but is a newer design, with more power, and a slightly better variable speed control with soft start.
 

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John
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I don't plan on heavy industrial use. I'm leaning towards the porter cable just for the accessibility of parts and templates, etc. I don't have plans for a router table yet, but that could come later on. The 690 seems to get better reviews than the 890. I thought about the bosch, but heard lack of aftermarket has steered me away.
I'd vote for the Bosch,, not sure just what aftermarket things you are looking for. For guide bushings the Bosch offers a couple of adapters to allow use of Porter Cable type bushings, or just use the Bosch bushings. At least you don't need to change base plates to run bits larger than 1-1/4 the way you do with the PC. Edge guides and, even better, are dust collection hoods are available with the Bosch.
I'm not a big fan of Craftsman but their latest crop of routers isn't to shabby. I've got their #27683 for a little more than half the money of the Bosch. It takes the Porter Cable bushings, has led work lights (real nice for close work like inlays) and excellent dust control. You do need an optional base to use larger bits though. Same as with the 690.
My other go-to router is a Hitachi KM12VC. Plenty of power, super quiet, non-existent dust collection but very smooth to handle.
All mine are variable speed except a 30 some year old Craftsman I use for a door stop. Good Luck:smile:
http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-...p-00927683000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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I really think it depends on how you want to the router. I think someone should have 3 different routers. Actually, the three different routers are the same tool, they just have the same name and operate similar. The three routers are a small trim router, a plunge router, and a 3+ hp router for a router table. They are used different and it should be determined on how you are going to use it before you but it. Also, for your first router of and of the three, think about price and work up in quality.

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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John
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I really think it depends on how you want to the router. I think someone should have 3 different routers. Actually, the three different routers are the same tool, they just have the same name and operate similar. The three routers are a small trim router, a plunge router, and a 3+ hp router for a router table. They are used different and it should be determined on how you are going to use it before you but it. Also, for your first router of and of the three, think about price and work up in quality.

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Very good points. I could make a case for having at least 4 routers though. Right now I have seven and am in the process of thinning the herd.
I have a Bosch Colt with the installer kit and the plunge base. That combination can handle an incredible variety of tasks what with angle base, offset base, roller guides, edge guides, undercutter guide .... etc.
I think two combination kits in the midsize, 2 HP +/-, range is handy. I have run into several situation where a second plunge router all set up is a huge help.
Then, for the table a big 3+ HP tank. Not really necessary but awfully nice in there. :smile:
 

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I have one and it's my least favorite of the ones I own; but it's hard to go wrong with a 690 for a first router. It's a proven design, works well and it's already been mentioned about the aftermarket stuff. Someone also mentioned the motor problem with the plunge base, and I would add the plunge model has a shorter stroke than I often need. All that aside, it a winner for a first router.
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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Chataigner said:
Not sure if they are available in the US, but the Australian made Triton is very good value and works well in a router table with above the table height adjustment, soft start, the works ! I have two of them and I'm delighted with them.

http://tritontools.com
One of my routers is a Triton, the 3.25 hp I use in my table, and I love it.

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where's my table saw?
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John
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I guess all in all i'm looking for a well rounded first router. As far as accessories, i'm thinking along the lines of circles jigs and other things like that.
I guess in that case, I'd go back to my original recommendation of this craftsman as a good starting router. I think I forgot to mention but this one also has above table adjustments on the fixed base should you want to table mount it.
http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-1...2&blockType=G2

It comes with an edge guide that can easily be modified and used as a circle jig. Most jigs you will likely find that you will be building them to suit yourself. For sign kits, inlay/engraving kits, hinge mortising and a bunch of other add-ons take a look at the Milescraft products. They tend to be relatively inexpensive and all that I have gotten from them have worked pretty well.
Amazon.com: milescraft: Tools & Home Improvement

Good Luck:smile:
 
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