Sloppy plunge

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Review by mcase posted 04-05-2010 09:51 PM 6335 views 1 time favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sloppy plunge No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Dear Jocks,

I recently Bought the 893pk router package from Porter-Cable. The plunge base had so much slop in the slide that it was a joke. I sent the following inquiry to Porter-Cable and was automatically redirected to the stock answer page. In the common interest I wish to share the following.

To Porter Cable:

I recently purchased the 893pk router package. I discovered that the 8931 plunge base has 1/32” of slop in the bushing on the secondary guide rod. I went back to the store and discovered that all the display models also shared this defect. Your engineers have to know that this much play in the plunge guides renders this base absolutely useless for centering mortises or any other work which requires repeatable accuracy. In short, it is an unacceptable wood working tool. I consider the 890 series to have the best ergonomic design of any mid-sized router. Unfortunately, while the fixed base is fine the plunge base as it is now manufactured has no place in the wood shop. The inherent inaccuracy will lead to endless misalignment of joints and hours of wasted effort and substantial wastage of stock. I would truly love to own this product if this problem is corrected. Is Porter Cable aware of this deficiency and are there any plans to correct it?

I was then automatically redirected to the stock answer and question cue:

Here is the Official Stock Answer I received from Porter Cable:

Stock Question:

“There is an unacceptable amount of lateral deflection of the bit when plunging. How do I fix this?”

Stock Answer:

“Plunge routers typically have lateral movement where stationary units do not. When performing plunge operations use a bit that has a point. A spiral bit is also preferred over a straight-fluted bit. These bit configurations will aid in minimizing lateral deflection.”

To further minimize lateral movement, lock the unit before making the plunge. Then slightly loosen the lock enough to allow the plunge.

If you continue to experience excessive lateral movement, contact your nearest service center.

Click Here to locate your nearest service center

What nonsense. We all know from experience that Plunge routers do not “typically have lateral movement”. My Bosch doesn’t. Its rock solid. My Hitachi doesn’t. Its rock solid. The Porter Cable I purchased does. What they should say is Porter Cable (at least the 8931) has lateral movement. And think about the “lock the unit before making the plunge” recommendation! They have to be aware of the problem since they have a stock answer all ready to launch. You can decide for yourself if you want to buy this product. I returned mine.
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View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4135 days

28 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4470 days

#1 posted 04-05-2010 10:16 PM

yes, BS i agree. I had a similar problem with my Frued. I talked to them on the phone and they agreed it was too much. They replaced the plunge base free of charge. It’s not 100%, but I’d say 98%, which i can live with.

THAT response that you got is nonsense.

View Swede's profile


191 posts in 4024 days

#2 posted 04-05-2010 11:19 PM

I was going to buy a plunge base for my new 1 3/4 hp PC but not now. Thanks for the Heads UP.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 4219 days

#3 posted 04-06-2010 12:28 AM

Nothing surprises me when it comes to Stanley owned brands..

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 4028 days

#4 posted 04-06-2010 01:27 AM

Interesting the difference in experiences. I’ve owned a 895 for about 5 years now. I’ve never had any issue with either of the bases. I did have a problem with the motor but honestly there is a fair chance that was my fault for being too aggressive with the amount of material being removed at one time and yet Porter-Cable replaced the entire motor at no cost and with no questions asked. I didn’t try and contact them on line though but rather called them. I was pleased that I actually spoke with a real person in short order and they took care of me quickly. I’m curious if your only contact with them was via e-mail or did you speak with someone?

-- Greg, Severn MD

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 04-06-2010 03:49 AM

I’m with Greg. I have this router and have no problem with “lateral movement”. It’s done everything I’ve wanted it to. Over the years I’ve found Porter-Cable routers to be the most dependable overall. But everyone has different experiences which leads to differing opinions. Keeps it interesting.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4170 days

#6 posted 04-06-2010 04:00 AM

Is this brand changing, as the megaparent company juggles the brand names? I don’t know about the rest of you but I really depend on brand names to make many purchases. It is most exasperating when they reinvent themselves, especially if it is to a lower quality product. Seems to me, that someone said that Delta is going to be the premiere product, and PC is going to be a lower quality brand. Maybe that is what is happening.

By the way, I bought a Bosch 1617 EVSPK recently, it seemed to top all the reviews, that’s why I bought it as an emergency replacement, and I have no complaints. I got more than I thought I was buying. No slop in the plunge, if anything it is a little tight.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View deeman's profile


380 posts in 4087 days

#7 posted 04-06-2010 04:11 AM

Thanks for the review, I was considering this router very seriously.

-- Dennis Trenton Ohio And life is worth the living just because He lives!

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4135 days

#8 posted 04-06-2010 04:41 AM

Sawdust and rsmith,

I have subsequently been told that Black and Decker recently took over Porter-Cable. That may be behind this. I’ve had some really nice Porter-Cable stuff in the past too and this really bummed me out.

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 4010 days

#9 posted 04-06-2010 04:53 AM

Festool. The first purchase will be your last.

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View ColonelK0rn's profile


13 posts in 3989 days

#10 posted 04-06-2010 06:47 AM

Thanks for taking the time to put this information out there. It does concern me when a manufacturer gives their customers a stock reply, especially one where you’re questioning the quality of their parts. Considering that the parent company of B&D is behind their ownership, and the majority of their tools are sold at Walmart, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if their quality goes downhill as well.

My $0.02.

-- Common sense is not common practice.

View PeteMoss's profile


214 posts in 4476 days

#11 posted 04-06-2010 12:54 PM

I have the old version of this plunge base, the one that had two columns of the same size. It has a lot of lateral movement, making it almost useless. When they came out with the new style base that has the single larger column I assumed they were doing this to correct the problem with the previous version and I had considered buying the new base to replace my old one. Now I think I’ll just save up for a new router.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View michstairguy's profile


21 posts in 4250 days

#12 posted 04-06-2010 09:02 PM

I have experience with this router and compared to the old trusty 690 its a P.O.S. .I dont know where P.C. is coming up with their designs of their new tools but they are not what they used to be. Another good example of this is their newest circular saw the”MAG” what a piece of junk its not square it feels like a toy and the tooless blade changing mech on the nut is garbage. I have been in this field for 20+ years and have seen lots of awesome tools that last forever turn into nothing better than the 39 dollar specials with different enclosures. I have posted several comments on every msg board I belong to about Porter Cables decline they have definitely taken a wrong turn when it comes to quality control and engineering. It is a real shame that all of us serious wood workers are going to be forced to live with second rate crap unless we spend thousands extra on german or austrian machines. I dont own any Festool yet but if things dont change for the better I may have to start

-- There is no growing in knowing where your going

View D1st's profile


291 posts in 4046 days

#13 posted 04-07-2010 12:33 AM

I like my Hitachi its smooth and no lateral movement. It takes the many beatings give it daily.


View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4829 days

#14 posted 04-07-2010 12:40 AM

It a shame PC was my tool of choice 20 years back the stuff they put out now is just plan trash and it hurt to say this because I still have plenty of great PC tools in my tool chest.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4276 days

#15 posted 04-07-2010 02:56 AM

I have a hitachi, a few very old porters, a Milwaukee and a bosch. I recently acquired a Festool EQ1400 (used) and am planning . Of all of them I have to admit the Festool is hands down the best quality – though each one has it plus’s and minus’s.

I have been hearing horror stories about the new Porter stuff and some of the new Delta. As I would never buy black and decker…craftsman…Ryobi..and the other “Weekend Warrior” brands. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a tool snob…and those brands have their place for folks that do not make their living from their tools as I do…and they are great for those that use them occassionally or perhaps for someone to get used to prior to deciding on a higher value purchase.

I too get worried when I hear of these tool company mergers and acquisitions of other companies…especially when the buying company is one of the the “LOW” quality cheapo brands. Right now, it seems that Festool is getting my money for replacement items I am buying (I hate the hit to my bottom line…but I am tired of having to return junk…call tech departments…get replacement parts…etc… time is way too valuable to diagnose these companies quality control problems.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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