Routers -- are Porter Cable the standard

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Forum topic by callbr549 posted 11-05-2013 11:41 PM 4125 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1956 days

11-05-2013 11:41 PM

i read a magazine review of a Craftsman router (#27683) that sounded very good. However, it seems like when I’m browsing woodworking supply stores they always make comments like “Fits all routers with Porter-Cable style sub-bases.”

So, if I buy a Craftsman router will I be limited in the number of accessories available?

13 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 11:47 PM

In my opinion they have been the standard because there are many parts and accessories easily available for them.
Depending what your use for your router is going to be there are many brands that may do the job,but out of the thrity some routers I have, I always reach for one of my PC 690s with the “D” handle for doing operations with a hand held router.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2833 days

#2 posted 11-05-2013 11:57 PM

The later model Craftsman routers will accept Porter-Cable style template bushings. Mine does.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3848 days

#3 posted 11-06-2013 12:24 AM

The PC template system works well and you can get guide
bushing sets for less than a single bushing for some
other router formats. The hole is however kind of
small at about 35mm so some larger bits will not
fit through it.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4325 days

#4 posted 11-06-2013 12:54 AM

Even my Festool router has a Porter-Cable guide bushing compatible insert. You can almost certainly an insert that lets you use the PC bushings, and you should probably get that when you buy the router.

Other than that, except for a router lift (which you’ll probably buy a specific router to fit) or router table plate, you’ll end up using the baseplate to drill out your own custom plates for the various jigs you build. So there’s not a whole lot of additional stuff that needs to fit the router.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2096 days

#5 posted 11-06-2013 01:19 AM

Craftsman stopped carrying serious woodworking tools long ago. I don’t even look at their stuff when I go there to buy a wrench or whatever. The reason I quit having any interest in their routers is because they are odd balls that generally only work with the chintzy accessories Sear’s has available. A PC 690 is a great place to start with routers. I also like Dewalt routers a lot, the 625 series router is a hoss.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2124 days

#6 posted 11-06-2013 02:23 AM

My last Craftsman router was horrible, I think I heaved it out I into the yard. Porter Cable 690 is kind of the standard but the last one I had while balanced and smooth compared to the Craftsman it had issues with warped based and other quality issues. Still it was a Ferrari compared to the Craftsman. Today I highly prefer the pistol grip Milwaukee router.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


601 posts in 3107 days

#7 posted 11-06-2013 05:01 AM

Plus one on EXACTLY what Jim said.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5285 posts in 1921 days

#8 posted 11-06-2013 05:28 AM

Craftsman makes (or perhaps made?) one very nice router. It is a fixed base “professional” model and it’s made by Bosch, just different color plastic. The two handles are large round spheres that have been turned from a light colored hardwood. No idea what the model number is.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View dawsonbob's profile


3097 posts in 1955 days

#9 posted 11-06-2013 06:02 AM

According to all I’ve read, the Bosch 1617 seems to be the standard. You do have to buy an adapter to use the PC fittings though.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View b2rtch's profile


4865 posts in 3248 days

#10 posted 11-06-2013 10:21 AM

I like Bosh and Milwaukee routers, just a question of preference. I never had a Porter Cable.
I believe that in everything they do, Bosh is the best or to close to the best but you have to pay for.
Their routers have an excellent reputation. I have one 25 years old which still runs like a champ.
Rigid has decent routers too.
I read that Porter Cable today is no longer what it used to be.
People like Triton routers too.
Read reviews before buying.

-- Bert

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5175 posts in 2693 days

#11 posted 11-06-2013 12:33 PM

Along the lines of what Bert said, the PC routers were at one time (IMHO) considered the standard. Their bushing size is what you normally see referenced when another make mentions it’s “compatible” with them. But I think PC has lot a lot of the respect with multiple changes in ownership and the accompanying confusion with parts availability and customer service. For a while it looked like whoever owned them was making the PC brand the basement level and moving the Dewalt brand to the premium status (maybe they are still doing it). Anyway, with all the other excellent routers (and other tools) now available from Bosch, Milwaukee, and several other brand names, I think PC has lost a lot, maybe most, of it’s luster.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5285 posts in 1921 days

#12 posted 11-06-2013 01:08 PM

+1 to what Fred said about ownership changes driving down quality. This goes for many brands, I used to repair Milwaukee, not to mention several other brands, the good tools came from Brookfield, WI. Some of the drills were from Germany, they too were of high quality, the Chinese stuff is junk. DeWalt started doing the same thing, the US built tools are decent, the stuff made in Mexico, not so much. Porter Cable seems to have suffered the most, they were the benchmark for a very long time, then they jumped ship and the stuff is well. . . . what you’d expect in a big box store. The European makers seem to be profiting from this the most, Fein and Festool stuff is expensive from the start, but your getting a tool with a reputation. It beyond unlikely that you’ll soon see a stick that says “Made in China” on either of these makes! BTW, I don’t own any tools from either.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2567 days

#13 posted 11-06-2013 01:22 PM

Bosch 1617EVS


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