PORTER-CABLE 690LR Fixed-Base Router Review

Devices like the PORTER-CABLE 690LR Router (which at first glance looks like a coffeemaker) is known to be the most versatile woodworking power tool since routing has so many applications. It’s only really outdone with the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router, which implements computer programs to do its precise routing work.

The original hand tool router hasn’t quite gone the way of the dinosaurs, but it nevertheless has been supplanted by the electronic version of it. In certain areas of woodworking and construction, workers still use the hand tool thanks to its few advantages over the power tool, but for the most part the modern spindle router is the device of choice for hollowing out most any material, especially wood and plastic.

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Powerful and Efficient

As for the PORTER-CABLE 690LR Fixed-Base Router, it utilizes a truly impressive and impactful 1.75 HP motor to generate over 27,500 RPM, which is one of the most powerful RPM rates you’ll ever see on any handheld device or at least as far as routers are concerned. This ensures you that you’ll only get the most precise of plunge cuts and routing action from this device.

This fixed-base router really makes perfect use of all the horsepower it has to deliver revolutions per minute that could make short work out of any workpiece used for furniture repair, woodworking, and construction. It’s so potent and mighty that it requires not one but two ergonomic handles to control its might. Don’t worry about losing control of the router, though; the handles are strategically placed to ensure perfect control.

Stamina and Durability

The Porter-Cable 690LR really delivers the goods in terms of how ergonomic its handles are. They’re so comfortable that they make routing easier to do than it usually is with inferior routers and their excessive shaking that can really take a toll on the stamina of your arms and hands. With the 690LR, you can do routing work all day because vibration is minimized and your hands are placed at a natural and comfortable position.

Your stamina will be conserved. Speaking of which, the PORTER-CABLE 690LR is in and of itself quite durable. It needs to be in order to keep up with any all-day jobs for years on end. Both you and your Porter-Cable690LR are protected when dealing with extensive work that last all day and all night long.

PORTER-CABLE 690LR Specifications

  • Rugged construction with Dust-sealed components
  • Single-speed 27,500 RPM. 75 HP and 11-AMP motor
  • Spiral can design and cam-lock lever
  • Fast and precise coarse adjustments
  • Ensures precision cuts on all sorts of wood
  • Easy bit removal via auto-release collet system
  • Handles a wide variety of jobs and then some
  • Micro-depth adjustor that’s 0.0078 inch accurate
  • Includes 0.25 and 0.5 inch shank bits accepted by router collets
  • Motor release and coarse height adjustments via cam-lock lever
  • Base and motor housing is made of precision-machined aluminum
  • Shifts from D-handle to plunge bases with its quick fixed-base motor release
  • Consistent, steady performance from its cam-lock’s course height adjustments

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The main thing I approve of when it comes to using the PORTER-CABLE 690LR is how quickly it shifts from D-handle to plunge bases. This is important when making cabinets, chairs, tables, drawers, and other furniture that isn’t made of particle board like from a certain ready-to-assemble furniture company from the Netherlands.

This ensures me that I’m in full control while I’m making the toughest and most dependable wooden furniture around as it lets me do plunge cuts and routing work in every which way I can. I was skeptical when it claimed it has optimum precision, but once I figured out how to use its micro-depth adjustor, I knew the truth. That’s why it’s a 9.5 out of 10 for me.”

Things to Improve

The PORTER-CABLE 690LR does have some faults and get certain complaints from even its staunchest of supporters. While most routers of this brand and model can last you at least two decades, there are people claiming that the newest Porter-Cable models being made right now aren’t as durable as their predecessors.

There’s at least one customer who ended up with routers that had armatures giving out within the year. The old ones are simply better than the newest ones, particularly in terms of winding quality. It’s the hope of the loyal patrons of Porter-Cable that they have not compromised on quality for the sake of quantity and more sales.


The Porter-Cable 690LR is the most powerful and precise router of its class. It’s a must-have router for any woodworking shop dealing with an emphasis in cabinetmaking and routing-based woodwork. Many woodworkers prefer the 690LR due to its perfect storm of cost-efficiency.

You’re simply getting more benefits (as outlined in the specs) per dollar you spend on it compared to more expensive routers that have comparable or even better specs but can really take a hit on your budget (which isn’t the working class way of doing things). This is because with the 690LR comes durable, capable, and simple devices that can easily make use of commonly used bits and production setups, thus lowering spending on it significantly.

Learn more about the best and top notch wood routers here.

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