PC 690 vs 890 series - new guy needs guidance (again) - Router Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Default PC 690 vs 890 series - new guy needs guidance (again)

Hello all,

I'm a relative neophyte woodworker, but I'm currently looking to expand my range a bit. I currently have a Freud FT3000VCE mounted in a wing of my tablesaw, which I'm quite happy with. BUT . . .

I find myself with the need for a smaller, hand-held router. I'm specifically looking to be doing some dados using a sled (I'm going to build the one from ShopNotes #76). It needs to be small enough to be appropriate for this kind of work, but powerful enough not to leave me wishing I'd gotten more. Reliable would be nice too...

I've narrowed things down (I think) to the PC 690 or 890 series, mainly due to their industry-standard nature and all the bushing, guides, and accessories available for them. So, the question:

Which would be a better buy for this purpose? Why? Am I on the wrong track here, and should consider something else?

Thanks in advance for the help, especially because I'm probably the 8 millionth newb to be asking this question!

Thanks
-Ron

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 11:44 AM
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Welcome, I have 2 Porter Cable routers and am pleased with both, but I find myself looking at the Bosch 1617 series (I think is the number) just to dedicate to a dovetail setup plus the plunger would come in handy ....Reason is after looking at the schematics of the Bosch and PC the Bosch looks like it is built a little better ....Good luck I think You will be happy with either choice

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 01:51 PM
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My old 690 plunge router is a great tool, but no soft start or variable speed.

The 890s I have are good routers, I really like the fixed base on them.

My 890s are all the original style, I don't know how the new plunge bases work. Some folks had a little trouble with the original style plunge bases, but I never did.

I'm not sure if the new 690s are variable speed, but that's one thing I'd look for.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 02:05 PM
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890, whilst more powerful, is top heavy and more difficult to control x hand.
First time out with a hand router? Then 690.
Soft start and VS important? The 690LRVS.
Endless durability? 690 with +25 year track record.

Dados? They are power demanding; hard on the cutter, hard on the router.
200$ to blow? Then the all around DW 621, that machine can stab at depth changes in stages, easy on the cutter, safer too.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 02:25 PM
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Hi

Just my 2 cents...I have many of the PC 690 and they are great router the new type of PC are great also the DeWalt 621 is the last one on my list I would buy,why buy a router with just one base when you can get two for about the same price..

I'm a big fan of the PC routers but have switched over to the NEW Craftsman routers combo's ,they are the same as the PC in many,many ways and you get them for 1/2 the price of a PC and the DeWalt.

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The DeWalt is a over the pond router design with many of it's down falls, if you like that type of setup go for it..
like they say I can show you the water but I can't make you drink..

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Last edited by bobj3; 08-10-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the helpful replies.

I have done some freehand routing, with the big ol' FT3000 no less, so I'm not so much worried about that, but its good to know that the 890s are top-heavy. Is it bad enough that it makes fine control difficult, or just something minor to be aware of?

Bobj3, do the Sears routers take accessories designed for the PC (or for the Bosch or some other common router), or are they going to be a pain to find that kind of stuff for later down the road?

Thanks again,
-Ron

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 07:46 PM
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The Bosch 1617 is an industrial quality router that will outlast the others mentioned and is the easiest to use in my opinion. Since you already have a big router and want one for limited hand held use the Craftsman BJ suggested is sure a bargain. I own many PC tools but the only router from them I like is the 7518.(and I own one) Set ups are so much easier on the Bosch! All the routers mentioned will do the job.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 04:28 PM
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For hand held routing, I prefer my Bosch Colt. It is smaller than the 690, which makes it a lot easier to handle. (I have both.) The variable speed and smooth start is a real plus over the 690. It however is limited to 1/4" bits. The similar DeWalt compact router is available with both fixed and plunge bases. It has LEDs that illuminate the cut.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 04:42 PM
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Hi

You may want to take a hard look at the 611pk router combo below.
I will say I have both, the Colt and the DeWalt 611 and the 611 will put the Colt to shame..(you get a plunge router in the combo kit) plus you can get Vac.pickup tubes for both bases..that's a real plus in my book.

http://www.routerforums.com/portable...side-side.html

Amazon.com: DEWALT DNP615 Compact Router Dust Collection Adapter for Fixed Base Routers: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: DEWALT DNP616 Compact Router Dust Collection Adapter for Plunge Base Routers: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: DEWALT DW6913 Router Edge Guide with Fine Adjustment and Vacuum Adaptor: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED's: Home Improvement

Video Tool Review: DeWalt DWP611PK Compact Router Kit

===

Quote:
Originally Posted by FixitMike View Post
For hand held routing, I prefer my Bosch Colt. It is smaller than the 690, which makes it a lot easier to handle. (I have both.) The variable speed and smooth start is a real plus over the 690. It however is limited to 1/4" bits. The similar DeWalt compact router is available with both fixed and plunge bases. It has LEDs that illuminate the cut.


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Last edited by bobj3; 08-14-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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I got a 890. Piece of junk. I have the 690. Way better but no frills. Unless they have improved the 890 I would not get one. Height thing didn't work at all. things actually fell off. There was a spindle lock there at one time and then I looked and it was gone. There is a 690 variable speed. that would be good I think.

KR
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