Help me decide on a router?

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Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 09-28-2012 02:55 PM 1585 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days

09-28-2012 02:55 PM


OR, i could wait till Christmas and get a new porter cable combo kit for $280. (leaning towards this option but still not sure)

I will mostly be using it in a router table. Should i consider any other brands? need to be under or close to $300. ive used the PC and i liked it alot.

ONE MORE QUESTION: I can buy a low power shaper like a grizz or a craftsman with a 1/2” shank for the same price as a combo router kit and router table. what do you think about this option? Then bit changes and hight adjustments are easier, it is alot quieter, and i dont have to change the router out. and it accepts the 1/2” bits that u already have… (or does it?)

14 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 03:04 PM

Get this instead: Craftsman Professional router
Everyone likes to dismiss craftsman as junk (and I do sometimes as well), but this router is amazing. I own 2. They go on sale in the 130’s quite a bit, which is awesome for a fixed/plunge combo, and it comes with a lot of useful accessories. It is completely compatable with anything porter calbe. No adaptors or special bushings needed. Look up my review for more info. If I were Sears I would jack the price on this thing up to 250, then people may take it seriously.

Review –


View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 03:07 PM

hmm. looks like an interesting option. il look into it.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2940 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 03:17 PM

FWIW, I recently (past 3-months) found this Ridgid 2 1/4hp router on sale for $179 in HD (#R22001). At the time it was in DUAL Pak of “fixed” Plus “Plunge” bases. Not always on sale like this but keep your eyes out, they do come up on occasion.

FWIW, it looks like Ridgid has a newer model under a different number now (#R2930). They still say “buy at HD” so you might start looking out for this and any specials that might pop up. When I bought the older model, it was the only “dual pak” box sitting with three others of the same model but only in fixed base configuration.
Good luck!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2302 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 03:24 PM

I would get the PC router on craigslist. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them, if you could get it for $150, that would be a good price!

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 03:28 PM

If you are planning on using it mostly in a router table, then 2-1/4 is the absolute minimum that you want to consider (which bumps out the hitachi and PC 690 series). If you are going to dedicate it full time to a table then you probably want to go even larger than that or pursue the shaper option. Of course, you can’t always use a table and sometimes need to hand rout something. I have a PC 893 and have the fixed base full time on a router table and I use the plunge base for hand routing. I had one problem with the motor dying about 3 years ago (after 3 or 4 years of use but PC had already identified a problem with that model motor so they replaced it at no charge (and they even through in a couple of new collets free). Some folks have complained about slop in the newer PC plunge bases but I haven’t seen that with mine. Hope that helps

-- Greg, Severn MD

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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days

#6 posted 09-28-2012 03:50 PM

will a shaper except normal 1/2” router bits? or do i need to get shaper cutters?

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2227 days

#7 posted 09-28-2012 05:08 PM

Yes a shaper will take 1/2 bits, if you have the collet for it. My Delta shaper has the collet for 1/2 and 1/4 and a shaft I can exchange out if I want to run 3/4 in cutters, plus a few t-bushings for some of the others I have.

Do you have a Shaper? If so what kind is it.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days

#8 posted 09-28-2012 06:05 PM

I dont have one but im trying to decide weather or not It would be better then a router table. So far i think it would be, except that i cant afford to buy both. I think im going to start with buying a router and building a router table for it.

Im still trying to decide between the porter cable on craigslist, the craftsman, the ridgid and the new porter cable. Oh and i also saw the new bosch for $299 which looks attractive

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2603 days

#9 posted 09-28-2012 06:15 PM

@sawdust4blood; I’ve been using a 690 in my router table for almost 2 years now. No issues, but I haven’t tried to raise panels with it either.

The porter cable 890 set is cheaper on amazon, but I’d grab the bosch 1617evs kit instead.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2540 days

#10 posted 09-28-2012 06:29 PM

Let me say it again…Bosch, Bosch, Bosch

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2098 days

#11 posted 09-28-2012 06:59 PM

If you are primarily wanting a router table, and are looking to buy used, look at the delta shopmaster sh 100 benchtop table. This is out of production, but was sooo hardy they last. It is still fully supported by porter cable (delta) so you can get replacement parts. It is an induction motor, quiet and powerful, and I see them on cl on the east coast all the time. If anyone is reading this and wants to get rid of one I am looking for two of them myself, but closer to texas. If you look at the pics. that is actually the table and fence they still use on the porter cable 698 table.
Of course it would still mean picking up a hand router so for that my vote is porter cable. Got sooo many of those in sooo many styles and have loved them all. Still have them all, and they all have stood up even as crew tools, and that is the true test.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2290 days

#12 posted 09-28-2012 07:07 PM

The porter cable 890 set is cheaper on amazon, but I’d grab the bosch 1617evs kit instead.NiteWalker

Let me say it again…Bosch, Bosch, BoschTennessee

I have both and agree. The Bosch 1617EVSPK is the way to go. You can usually get it on Amazon for under $200 new.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#13 posted 09-28-2012 07:34 PM

PC690 is an older design. In the fixed base the motor twists in the
base and this can cause “steps” in, for example, grooves cut in
more than one pass. This is because the motor doesn’t stay
in the same relationship to the edge of the base at different
depths. It’s a great router otherwise, well made and
dependable and of course you learn with experience how to
work around the quirks of any tool you use.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2603 days

#14 posted 09-28-2012 09:18 PM

Loren, I have not experienced what you describe with the 690 in the nearly 2 years I’ve used it the router table. I do a lot of multiple pass cutting and I never get steps. I think the problem you mention is in theory only. The 690 locks tight, and in the same place every time.

The only quirk the 690 has that I’ve experienced is when locking the motor in place the height can adjust a bit. The solution there is to partially close the latch, make final height adjustments and then close it all the way.

That said, as much as I love my 690, I’ll be upgrading it to a bosch 1617evs pretty soon.
I recently got some bits I don’t feel comfortable spinning at 27000 rpm’s, so I’ll need the variable speed.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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