PC Router Rant

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Forum topic by tnwood posted 02-08-2010 05:39 PM 1742 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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247 posts in 2505 days

02-08-2010 05:39 PM

In setting up my new shop yesterday after our move, I unpacked the PC 890 series router I bought several years ago and installed it in the base which is bolted to a Woodpecker router table plate in a Norm – clone router table. Upon trying to raise and lower it, I find that the two little 1/8” screws that hold the geared rack to the motor house are loose and stripped and no obvious way to repair it. I gave up on the PC and redrilled the plate to take my old Ryobi RE600 router and it works fine. It seems PC has gone the way of most of the tool makers. I had a 690 that I used for 25 years before it gave up the ghost but the 890 was recalled once and has never worked well since I bought it. Lesson learned – don’t buy the bargain brands although the PC wasn’t exactly a bargain even though it was on sale at the time. By the way, with the exception of the old AP-10 planer, the RE600 is the only Ryobi tool that I’ve had good success with over the years. The little detail sander had an electrical fault that shocked me with 120 v every time I used it and the BT3000 lost the arbor bushings or bearings after a couple of years of moderate work.

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 02-08-2010 05:43 PM

I have always had good luck with my PC routers although I have never owned a 890.

-- Custom furniture

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 2555 days

#2 posted 02-08-2010 10:53 PM

I think just after the 890 came out is when all there problems started.

-- Rick

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 2450 days

#3 posted 02-09-2010 04:17 AM

If my memory hasn’t completely failed me, the T1 890 routers were one of the worst problems we ever encountered at the recon shop. Within weeks of the release, we got swamped with ‘em. Mind you, I wasn’t on the router team, but I did have to jump in and help out. Seems like it was designed, in part, by the marketing folks. The sleek shape, and all the little extras(spindle lock, Vac handle, etc), all helped make the original machine a real POC.I’ve got one that I built out of parts from four different units, that works well, but it’s no hoss. The 690(Jackson, TN model) was the pinnacle of the light routers from PC.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Rick7938's profile


3 posts in 2447 days

#4 posted 02-09-2010 06:34 PM

Does the 890 motor housing not have the same adjustment pins as are on the 690? If so, can you use the base for the 690 to mount the 890 to your router insert?

-- Rick, NC Sandhills, USA

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 2617 days

#5 posted 02-09-2010 06:44 PM

How many times did you use the detail sander?

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View tnwood's profile


247 posts in 2505 days

#6 posted 02-09-2010 08:03 PM

The 890 uses a rack and pinion gear system on the plunge base that won’t work on the 690 even though the size of the motor housing and bases seem to be the same. The problem is with the rack attached to the motor housing of the 890. It is attached with two 1/8” long screws that have only one or two full threads and they or the motor housing hole threads are stripped. While it is probably possible to locate screws to replace them or to rethread the housing, the whole system jams and another failure is almost inevitable. It isn’t worth the hassle to me. It was a poorly executed system and of poor quality.

I used the detail sander a few times but it did not see heavy use nor was it abused.

Perhaps Ryobi quality has improved but I’m not taking any chances in buying any of their tools at this time. The same applies to PC, Delta, and the remainder of that conglomerate. Once these companies become part of a larger group, the focus is cost cutting with a reduction in quality. I am fortunate that I have a lot of older tools and equipment that is generally of fairly good quality. And I’m getting old enough that if something breaks I may do without or try and repair it.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


224 posts in 2764 days

#7 posted 02-09-2010 09:22 PM

You are right on the PC. I own the combo kit. The original motor was ok, then they had the recall and replaced the motor. My new motor got really hot every time I used it and died 11 months after the recall. PC was good about it and replaced the motor since it was only 11 months old. I have not been happy with the plunge base though. It is very sticky. I much prefer the Milwaukee 3.5hp I put in my router table. I will eventually buy a dedicated plunge router, but not PC.

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