Porter Cable 891 router


Can someone with this router give me a real world pros/cons review? This would be for use in a table mounted situation primarily.
I have used a PC 690 for years and have been fairly satisfied except for wanting more power in some uses and the on/off switch being a bit inconvenient. The newer 89x series look interesting.
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You won't get much more power but you will have at least another 1" of motor travel. Can be wrench operated through access holes in your top. Good speed control, soft start, but not for big (>2") cutters. Essentially, 890 = a modern 690. http://www.patwarner.com (Routers)
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wrote:

Here are a few comments found on the Amazon website. Pretty self-explanatory.
My opinion now. I would suggest you the Milwaukee Bodygrip 2 1/4 HP router for your intended usage. Perfect for table use, perfect hand held, perfect anywhere and very easy to adjust.
I have 3 routers. the PC 7529 which is far from great but I cannot be happier with my 2 Milwaukee routers: Bodygrip 2 1/4HP and their big 3.5HP which is unbelievable and far superior to the PC7518. PC is far behind in terms of routers nowadays.
Greg D.
Quotes from Amazon: ======================= Poor construction from a good company November 15, 2005 Reviewer: Bob (Morristown)
The motor clamp handle has broken twice in one year on my 895 router. The part costs $1.00. There is to much play in the height adjustment. When you clamp the motor closed the motor moves way out of line, and is virtually worthless when making doors with cope and stile bits. The plunge base is extremely hard to plunge. Try another brand as Porter-Cable has failed miserably with this router.
======================= Disapointed in product and support October 24, 2005 Reviewer: Daniel Meyers (Olympia, WA)
The locking mechanism and adjustment is disapointing in actual use. The one plus is that it is quiet. Unfortunately, it became too quiet.
At 13 months (one month out of warranty) the variable speed control failed after only about 1 hour of total run time. The repair at the local service center was $104. After several contacts and complaints, PC is unwilling to make any concession. With PC, Delta and Dewalt all owned by the same company, is this what we have to expect from American companies? Next purchase, (won't be PC) I will look for a manufacturer with a longer warranty. I guess I will have to buy all Japanese tools!
======================= Awful product from a company that had a great reputation September 3, 2005 Reviewer: BarryO (Banks, Oregon)
I bought this combo primarily on the strength of the PC reputation in routers. I should have listened to the people in the store where I bought it, who were trying to talk me into getting the Bosch combo instead.
As others have reported, excessive lateral deflection in the plunge base, even when locked, make it essentially useless for the vast majority of woodworking applications. The plunge base is nothing less than garbage. Even my old, cheapo Royobi plunge router worked better.
And yes, the amount of backlash in the fixed-base makes the fine adjustment capability unusable.
Maybe those who use it for router table use mught think it is OK. But something like my Milwaukee 5625 3.5HP fixed-base router is a much better choice for table use.
Avoid this model of PC router. Get the Bosch or the Dewalt instead.
======================= Sad product for a good name July 25, 2005 Reviewer: Laurence E. Giglio
I have had the PC 893 Router for over a year. the plunge mechanism is awful, it slips, and its not reliable. The depth control in fixed base mode is awful, it binds, then releases, moving a lot more han what you want. The last straw is that the speed control has suddenly started to go from 16,500 RPM to like 5000 RPM in the middle of a cut, or it starts at 5000 RPM, and doesnt get to speed. Turn it off, and on, then it works, until it decides to slow down. Reliability isnt visible here. I am in the market for a new router, and it will NOT BE a PC brand.
======================= Get a 1617 instead. July 14, 2005 Reviewer: Michael Fowler (New Orleans, LA)
Wow. I am in shock. Zero stars would be a better option.
I picked up the Porter Cable 890 series router, specifically the 895pk, after reading a lot of good reviews. I really needed the 1/4" and 1/2" collets, variable speed, softstart, and 2-1/4hp. The above-table height adjustment reeked of convenience - no $300 lift or even $90 RouterRaizer to install. After ordering the PC890, I stumbled across a scathing review of it which pointed out several major problems, mainly:
1. lateral deflection in the plunge base 2. backlash in the fixed base height adjustment 3. low-grade bearings in the motor 4. motor windings not varnished
I got a bit concerned, but decided to hold off on forming an opinion until I'd actually used the router.
After it arrived and I began using it, I started to notice things. First problem: as noted in the review I'd read, the plastic bushing on the non-locking shaft of the plunge base allowed an intolerable amount of movement, both vertical and horizontal. Second problem: due to the backlash in the height adjustment mechanism on the fixed base, the depth of cut would change during use. Third problem: when changing bit height the motor shifts in the base, causing between 1/32" and 1/8" in horizontal movement of the bit as well.
This is completely unacceptable. Even the most ameteur woodworker would find this to be a hindrance, and outside acceptable tolerances for a tool in this price range.
The business from whom I purchased the 895PK has been very helpful in dealing with this. They agreed to take the router back, and I selected a replacement - the Bosch 1617EVSPK. While Porter Cable seems to see fit to ignore the problems with the 890 series, Bosch has addressed the earlier known issues with the 1617. I'll be sacrificing the above-table height adjustment for now, but the 1617 is compatible with the RouterRaizer, and Bosch has a new base with a height adjustment feature.
======================= Not even good enough for jonnie homeowners March 17, 2005 Reviewer: Benjamin D. Reed
Well after 3 days of use this "heavy duty" router is pretty well shot. granted we were cutting oak flooring but one would expect more from a $ 260.00 machine. the HOLLOW PLASTIC screws that hold the motor brushes in place shake loose and are EXLTEMELY FRAGILE and EASY TO BREAK so if you own this thing BE CAREFUL!! we were nice to it as well, we cut in 1/4 " increments with a 1/2" shank and 1/2" shank bit. we have it set up in a semicircle jig so we have done our best to keep it together till the job is finished (don't want to have to redo the whole 24 foot jig, yah BIG project) but it is getting ever more difficult. the bearings are about to go. i have to say Porter Cable has slipped below Craftsman Power tools (still love craftsman hand tools) on this one, sorry guys this isn't even good enough for JONNIE HOMEOWNER.
======================= Nothing but trouble February 4, 2005 Reviewer: D. Shumaker
Have had my 895 just over a year and it's now in the trash. It has spent more time in the truck (back and forth to the service center) than my wife has been in the truck.
First time I used it the screw on the height adjustment fell out and I had to pry the motor out of the base. Took it to the service center and they gave me a hard time about the screw that I replaced it with and voided the warranty ... 7 days after I bought it! Had to replace the variable speed control 6 months later. Last night it started spitting flames and smoke while I was cutting a raised panel.
Porter Cable calls this "heavy duty" but don't believe it.
======================= Base is cracked upon receipt June 21, 2004 Reviewer: "new_river" (New River, AZ United States)
Well...ONE star. I bought this model based on reviews on various woodworking forums and for the above table adjusting feature. While waiting for this to arrive I built my own router table for this model. As mentioned by a previous buyer, the spindle lock was cracked, except mine came that way. So I cant really rate the performance. Not sure at this time If I will go with a replacement unit or just return the whole thing and get something else. I really wanted the above table feature but the finish on this really leaves a lot to be desired. I will update with performance if I get a replacement.
======================= Useless router May 12, 2004 Reviewer: new woodworker (Minnesota, United States)
I just bought this piece of %#*&%*# about 3 weeks ago. When I opened the box, I was so disappointed about the finish and the material used. It seemed like that it was made in a cheapest labor country using the cheapest aluminum and plastic. The plunge locking lever, the clamp, the height adjustment seem will break down soon with a little use. The plunging action is stuck most time, and the locking mechanism hangs up. After only a couple of times of changing the bits, the spindle lock bend, cracked and stuck there. Now the router can not be used until it gets fixed. Some other guys said better not use the spindle lock, but for making the dovetails, there is no room there for using two wrenches. From the crack, you can tell the material used for the spindle lock is a cheap metal. Also the spindle lock itself is too small to stand a proper torque.
Overall: the plunge base is useless. That means one fourth of its value is gone. The material is cheap, and the finish is poor. Some parts will break down themselves sooner or later with a little use. Some guy may think I am expecting too much. Come one, this is a more than $250 router. And what router's plunge action should be stuck most time, and the locking mechanism hangs up sometimes? What I expect is that it should do the job it is supposed to do. I think there shuld be some better routers out there in the market.
======================= Poor design of the plunge base March 9, 2004 Reviewer: James Feller (Milwaukee, WI)
I agree fully with a previous reviewer in that the router with fixed base gets 5 stars but the plunge base gets at best 2 stars. It seems unbelievable to me that PC would design such a mediocre plunge base for such a fine router. The problem is in the poor design of the bushings and posts which allow for an unacceptable amount of lateral deflection of the bit when plunging. It does tighten up when the plunge us locked but a small amount of deflection is still allowed. The poor design also tends (at least with my unit) to cause the plunge to bind when raising or lowering, especially when trying to raise after the plunge has been locked. I did try lubricating which helped some but it still tended to bind. It just makes it very difficult to use as a plung router. Considering all this I would consider the plunge base to be almost usless for doing any kind of precision work.
I might have been persuaded to believe that my plunge base is unusual and is defective in some way other than in design but I've heard similar comments by other people which would tend to support my comments.
Again I have to say that the router and fixed base are fantastic but I have been very disappointed with the plunge base.
Hope this helps.
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I have my 89x router mounted in a router table. It is handy to be able to move the bit up and down from the top of the table. The switch gets clogged with saw dust at times; unclogging can be tedious and time consuming. I don't think is has enough power to swing the big bits, but that ought to be obvious to anyone.
Mine does everything else quite well. No tool is perfect. Jim
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