Don't use the spindle lock!

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Review by Chad Hamilton posted 04-10-2011 04:31 AM 10237 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Don't use the spindle lock! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Got the PC 895 router to replace a Skil router. I have mounted the fixed base into a router table plate and will use the plunge base for any hand-held operations. When I mounted the fixed base I took a dial caliper and measured the concentrically, it was .002” out which I feel is acceptable. The soft start is a nice change and the router is quieter than my older Skil router. I still have to wear hearing protection. The dust collection that is built into the plunge base is pretty decent. The plunge action is smooth. I LOVE the above the table depth adjustment and the router rises up enough so that if I use two offset collet wrenches I can do that above the table as well. I like the power switch that stays in the same location no matter where the router bit height is set at.

WARNING!!! When I put in the very first router bit I used the spindle lock and the collet wrench. Apparently I used enough force to wedge the spindle lock pin against the spindle jamming up router and for a while not able to turn on the router. This was not a well engineered spindle lock, DON’T USE THE SPINDLE LOCK! I was able to unjam the spindle lock and thus use the router, but I’ll be talking to the Porter Cable warranty shop in my town about getting a replacement motor since I’m worried about that spindle lock pin. I’ll be using two collet wrenches with this router from now on.

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Chad Hamilton

16 posts in 3496 days

13 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4281 days

#1 posted 04-10-2011 01:03 PM

I use the spindle lock all the time… no problems. Sounds like yours may be defective.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3923 days

#2 posted 04-10-2011 03:16 PM

I also use the spindle lock all the time with no problems. However, I have heard of others having a problem with the spindle lock.

Mine is mounted on my router table. To change bits, I raise the router high enough to change the bit above the table with the spindle lock just below the table (It’s easy to reach).

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 4047 days

#3 posted 04-10-2011 03:37 PM

I agree with everyone else, my spindle lock works great, I also keep mine mounted in the table, I actually just lift out the router insert plate, and rest it on its side, then I have a big square edge that gives me lots of leverage for turning the bit collar.
Great review, Thanks

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4143 days

#4 posted 04-10-2011 04:08 PM

I have the same router too. My buddy who isn’t really a wood worker came over and we were using it. He must have overtightened it because when I went to use the spindle lock to loosen the collet it snapped right off. I’m talking about the small steel spindle lock just snapped right off. I was pretty upset but what are you going to do. Also the collet is very tight and I can’t easily put a new bit in even when completely removed from the router. It’s just really difficult to slide in and out. Not sure if there is a solution to loosening up a collet besides buying a new one.

-- LAS,

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4614 days

#5 posted 04-10-2011 09:40 PM

The pin broke on my 890 not long after I received it. I was lucky, the pin just fell out when I broke it off. I have seen where several people have had similar experiences. But, after seeing ellen having good luck with hers, I think it means that some of us are “over” tightening the bit in the collet (.... and I’m not saying that ellen is a “weak person” – but more like a smart person). I don’t think they need near the pressure that I usually apply to them. So, if you have one of these type routers, try to be easy on it and you’ll probably be ok.
- JJ

View REL's profile


86 posts in 4506 days

#6 posted 04-11-2011 02:30 AM

I also had a problem with my 890 spindle and it broke after less than a year of light use. I never use the spindle lock on my new replacement.

-- REL, North Jersey

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3541 days

#7 posted 04-11-2011 07:49 AM

I’ve had this router kit for a few years now and I see it has changed a little. The plunge base is different and I didn’t get a wrench for the router table use. I didn’t care for the plunge base because it wouldn’t hold a constant depth setting which resulted in overtightening and damage to the base. I’ve never used the spindle lock having been a longtime PC router user I prefer the two wrench method of bit changing.
Not long after purchasing the two base kit I purchased a second router with a screw base so that I no longer had to remove the screw base from my routertable. This has turned out to be a wise decision, and one that has paid off many times. I also have to report that one of the motors experienced the loosning of a screw which holds the brushes in. This was a motor that had spent almost all of it’s time in the routertable. It just sounded a little off one day like it wasn’t coming up to full power. I removed the black cover at the top of the motor discovering the screw that held the brush holder had backed out. Something to watch for. 3-4 stars, sounds about right for this router kit.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Greg's profile


335 posts in 3722 days

#8 posted 04-11-2011 07:53 AM

Overtightening of collets is a common problem. Not saying you did, but it happens all the time.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19537 posts in 4525 days

#9 posted 04-11-2011 08:37 AM

How tight is tight enough? How do you tell without a crows foot on a torque werench?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4119 days

#10 posted 04-11-2011 07:21 PM

I agree with the overtightening. We get this all the time with the circular saws given to worker’s on jobs….someone that is not too familiar with the tool….changes the blade and overtightens the arbor nut..the spindle brake is forced out of sync with the spindle slot and either the arbor jams….or the spindle lock breaks. This appears to be the same problem that you might be having.

I have always tightened the arbor nut, or the collette nuts to just a bit more than hand tight (I was taught to hand tighten…and then use the wrench for about 1/2 to a full turn more. If your collette does not hold sufficiently at this juncture it is probably defective. If you continue to crank down on the nut, you will damage the spindle lock and to degrade the collete…this creats a downward spiral….the more you tighten the collete….the more it will need to be tightened – this continues until the collete is damaged and will not hold anymore.

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

View drandel's profile


2 posts in 2601 days

#11 posted 02-08-2014 10:09 PM

Yup. The spindle lock button doesn’t take much pressure. Mine has just bent, and I’ve had to straighten it somewhat so that it would fully extract. My router is still usable, fortunately, by using two wrenches. I see that I can get a replacement spindle lock button for $5. Maybe I’ve been over-tightening … but in the PC instructions it says, “4. Place the wrench on the collet and turn CLOCKWISE to tighten. Tighten firmly.” You don’t want your bits slipping, but … how firmly?

ANYWAY … a word to the wise: the spindle lock button can cause you grief.

Here’s a link to one source for replacement:

Good wood working!

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4143 days

#12 posted 02-11-2014 02:20 AM

Good to know, Ever since mine broke I just use two wrenches. I think I’ll keep doing that as it works just fine. Thanks for the link!

-- LAS,

View mcpusc's profile


1 post in 1178 days

#13 posted 07-02-2017 07:26 AM

Add me to the two-wrenches camp – I just finished removing the lock pin from my router!

I was using care tightening the collet, as it wasn’t holding the bit properly. I gave it just a little more and the pin bent & jammed the spindle in place. I had to cut the pin to free the spindle, and then remove the armature to push the pin out to free the switch interlock. I don’t plan on replacing the pin as it clearly isn’t up to the task placed upon it. Two wrenches isn’t that much harder.

I was surprised that the upper bearing carrier is plastic. At least the brushes are replaceable units still…

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