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Thread: PC 690 router replacement

  1. #1
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    PC 690 router replacement

    I'm down to 2 routers and need a couple more. I have read the 690's aren't what they used to be. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    The Bosch 1617 is in the same mold as the PC 690's and 890's
    https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/pro...evs-0601617763

  3. #3
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    Can't beat the Bosch 1617 as Ed recommended for quality/utility/price. I use one in my router table and another handheld. Excellent soft start and speed control regulation. You'll think you're in the fast lane after that PC 690.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    I'm down to 2 routers and need a couple more. I have read the 690's aren't what they used to be. Suggestions?
    They aren't what they used to be because they have not existed as a product being sold for many years now! The 800 series more or less replaced them but those are also gone now, too...there are no PC branded routers available on the market other than a battery operated one that comes in a consumer tool kit sold at places like True Value. When Stanley Black and Decker bought the brand, they deprecated it in favor of DeWalt at the top end and Craftsman as the value brand.

    That said, the DeWalt DW618 is an excellent router and is also available as a kit with fixed, D-handle and plunge bases. The DW611 series is more like the PC690, but I recommend the 12 amp DW618 series for best general utility. Similar nice routers (and kits) are available from Makita and Bosch if you prefer those colors. Milwaukee has some options, too, although they are favoring battery powered more and more.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Bosch 1617 or DeWalt DW618 are going to be your top, non Festool picks. I have a Bosch 1617 and my only complaint is base. The base is designed to work with proprietary bearing guides, instead of the more common PC style. And they work fine. It's just they're not compatible with the PC style bearing guides that some jigs want to see. It's an easy enough fix if you want to swap out the base. And if you do, you can address my other complaint with the base, in that it's not clear. Neither are big deals for most people. But something worth knowing in advance.

  6. #6
    Compact routers are very handy. I have some with dedicated bits, and one set up in a mini router table.

    Use them half the time or more and have more in number than full size ones.

  7. #7
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    Jimmy mentioned about replacement bases that support P-C style bushings. They're very common and that design is used by 3rd party device manufacturers. I made my own, 3/8" clear plastic, 2 Forstner bits and a vix bit to mark the mounting holes using the factory sub-base as a pattern. It wasn't hard or too time consuming. The reason I used 3/8" instead of 1/4" plastic is twofold. First, by the time I made the holes for the P-C bushing there wasn't much 'meat' left in the 1/4" plate. The second reason is that I counterbored the mounting holes and made the thru holes slightly oversized. That way I can adjust the base plate a tiny bit to exactly center the bit in the bushing. I was concerned about the base plate shifting due to the oversized holes but so far I haven't seen a problem.

  8. #8
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    Maybe I can use the bases from my dead 690's

  9. #9
    Bosch makes a piece for for the base to hold guides. One of the pieces that fits in it accepts PC style guides. Cost about 15 bucksI believe.

  10. #10
    Acme Tools has the Bosch MRF23EVS on sale right now.

    Bosch makes a piece for for the base to hold guides. One of the pieces that fits in it accepts PC style guides. Cost about 15 bucksI believe.

    Darrell, do you happen to know the part #. I didn't see it on a quick glance of the Bosch web sight.

  11. #11

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    Maybe I can use the bases from my dead 690's
    That's pretty doubtful, unfortunately. The sub-bases that screw on the bottom, yes, but not the actual fixed or plunge bases. I don't think they are going to fit other manufacturers' routers, but I certainly could be wrong about that.

    BTW, the DeWalt DW618 will work with "standard" guide bushings. Some routers may require using an aftermarket sub-base or an adapter from the manufacturer. I can use the "standard" guide bushings with both of my Festool routers, as a matter of fact.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-31-2024 at 8:07 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    I think every 690 I have, which includes one with the Rockwell name on it bought new in the 1970's, has a dedicated job. I don't think I've ever used any one enough to wear out any part of it. If I reach for one when a bit needs to be changed it's a Milwaukee, but I forget the model number. I'm not missing any of the major manufacturers in the lineup here.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    They aren't what they used to be because they have not existed as a product being sold for many years now! The 800 series more or less replaced them but those are also gone now, too...there are no PC branded routers available on the market other than a battery operated one that comes in a consumer tool kit sold at places like True Value. When Stanley Black and Decker bought the brand, they deprecated it in favor of DeWalt at the top end and Craftsman as the value brand.

    That said, the DeWalt DW618 is an excellent router and is also available as a kit with fixed, D-handle and plunge bases. The DW611 series is more like the PC690, but I recommend the 12 amp DW618 series for best general utility. Similar nice routers (and kits) are available from Makita and Bosch if you prefer those colors. Milwaukee has some options, too, although they are favoring battery powered more and more.
    I refuse to buy Dewalt for that reason. Porter Cable had a line of professional tools that were industrial strength, and many that have just disappeared from the marketplace. I have almost all of them, and they are wearing out, but then, so am I.

  15. #15
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    I ordered one of the Bosch Routers - I'll get a couple more if I like it.

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