Just not the same anymore.

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Review by hobbylogger posted 03-31-2008 08:06 AM 9281 views 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Just not the same anymore. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have been using the porter cable 690 for over 20 yrs. About 4 yrs ago I was at a Home depot, and they had them for $99.00. I thought, what a deal, so I bought two. “Well”, I got them home and packed them away to use as backups because my old ones still ran great, but eventually I did need them, and the first thing I noticed was the poor fit and finish. The threads on the collar were rough and did not feel the way they used to, and after about six or seven months of normal use, the motors started to wine and squeal. It was of course too late to return them and even though they were packed away for some time, technically, the warrenty was void. mormally I might overlook something like this as a fluke but this was both routers, and unfortunetley I got the same results with the 3×21 belt sander. I’m so disappointed.

-- Daniel, Tumwater, Wa U.S.A.

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21 posts in 4513 days

22 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4866 days

#1 posted 03-31-2008 09:22 AM

Thanks for the review Daniel. I’m in the market for a hand held plunge router and although the 690 isn’t a plunge (I don’t think anyway) I might just have to pass on the PC brand – I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews on PC products lately.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View FloridaUFGator's profile


39 posts in 4813 days

#2 posted 03-31-2008 03:17 PM

Well that explains a lot. I just bought their new 24” Dovetail Omnijig while I was at the Atlanta woodworking show and they threw this router in for free (D-Handle and all). I was thinking I was getting a great deal. I haven’t even opened the box yet. Thanks for preparing me. Maybe I should sell it on eBay and use the funds for a Festool. It seems that is the only company that isn’t cutting corners these days. I know they are extremely expensive but every Festool tool I own is superb and I think worth every penny.

SIDE NOTE: I’ve already told myself I will NOT buy from PC again. When I bought the Omnijig the PC salesman emphatically promised me it would be on my doorstep in one-week (2 at the very most were his exact words). I bit hook, line and sinker. 5-weeks later and no Omnijig. After several phone calls and emails I finally received it. I will say it is a very impressive dovetail jig but it will be my last purchase from this company (sorry Norm).

-- ...and remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses - Norm Abram

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Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4571 days

#3 posted 03-31-2008 03:28 PM

That’s too bad. They are both doing the exact same thing? For the past 6 years, I’ve only bought PC 690 (4 of them) and they all run great and I’ve never had a problem with them.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5114 days

#4 posted 03-31-2008 10:03 PM

I’ve had the same experience! Belt sander and router…and air guns. Never again!

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5200 days

#5 posted 03-31-2008 10:19 PM

My PC 690 works great 2 of them. I bought 3 used 890’s and they all seem to be great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4788 days

#6 posted 04-01-2008 03:11 AM

I’m glad that I haven’t had that problem. I have 4 of them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4783 days

#7 posted 04-01-2008 06:03 AM

my 690 is over ten years old still running strong

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View pinkiewerewolf's profile


42 posts in 4525 days

#8 posted 04-01-2008 09:11 AM

All my tools were stolen a few years ago and with them was my trusty 690. I had used it on 4 log homes for mostly freehand straight routing to protect and run electrical wire and to round over trim. It was a workhorse.
Home Depot was having a sale a couple of months ago with a bundle package that included a free random orbit sander. Since that was stolen also, I opted to buy the package.
Both have worked well.
I think this shows that PC needs to step up the quality control a couple of notches.
Consistancy needs to be the standard, not the exception.
I’ve been hearing some of these tales lately too and I can’t remember where my old 690 was built, but this one was created south of the border. (Motor & base)

-- John, Nor-Cal,

View hobbylogger's profile


21 posts in 4513 days

#9 posted 04-01-2008 09:32 AM

“wow” This has really hit home with some fellow wood workers, on both sides of the fence. those of you like Dan, and others who are loyal to your 690s, trust me, I am very pleased that your machines are performing as expected. I to still have a 690 that has been my trusted friend for 15 yrs and the only thing I have replaced is the brushes. I use it still. I have used P.C. belt sanders that are older than me that ran like champs, and I’m pushin 50, my point is not to bash P.C. products, but my latest experiences with these valued commodities, has shown a trend not exsclusive to P.C. That trend unfortunetly, is that the days of products out lasting us is coming to a close, and a new genaration of borderline disposable products is rising, why?....”well”, thats just the way it is. It’s just not the same anymore. thanks you guys for expressing your opinions, It shows that we do care about the same things after all, and thanks to L.J. for giving us this platform.

-- Daniel, Tumwater, Wa U.S.A.

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 4669 days

#10 posted 04-01-2008 06:15 PM

This is an interesting Bog. I think we all know the profit is not a dirty word and that’s why the tool and many other things are disposable. Most of us purchase things, wood, tools, rags ect. and we are all looking for the least expensive for our hard earned monies. This is what happens to Corperations. They are working for our dollars by making their products cheaper. Most of the time cheaper is losting some thing, and thats a product that is no long built to last. That simply means the bearings are not ball bearing any more there oil lite bearings. The cases of some routers care plastic. The switch is not going to stand up to as many on off cycles. The base is of plexiglass not polycarbonate. You can go on and on. This is how a manufacture get business by lowering the cost to win the Purchase order. Did you note that the old router are srill running well and the owners love them. And the new routers are crap. This is why. Next time you purchase a tool look at where its made. We all know. NOT IN THE GOOD OLD USA. Will I spend $380.00 for a sander. NO. But I don’t use a sander every day. The other reason you don’t want your tools to last forever is that tools change. I’ve had an old electric Miluwkee drill for 20 years but always pick up my battery Drill first.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5099 days

#11 posted 04-01-2008 07:07 PM

My PC belt sander is a piece of junk, & I bought mine quite a few years ago, thinking it was the best.

The fan blades are made of plastic, that was when it had blades.

I recently bought a cheap one at Harbor Freight, & I like it.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4623 days

#12 posted 04-02-2008 01:39 AM

Well fellowworker it use to be PC was all I would buy as well …I’m not sure of the time frame but most of the housing and some of the motors are now made overseas not in Jackson Tenn…so if you own a five year or older PC keep it and cherish it because the newer ones just don’t compare….Blkcherry

View RonPage's profile


58 posts in 4500 days

#13 posted 04-14-2008 06:48 AM

This is just a shame. Over the years, things just keep getting cheaper and cheaper. What’s unfortunate is that there’ll be a new crop of woodworkers coming up who’ll think what they’re buying is great…the same people who think McDonald’s makes a fabulous hamburger only because they don’t know any better.

They’ll look back twenty years from now, think how much better the tools were in 2008 and they’ll be right. It’s only going to get worse.

My stationary tools (band saw, drill press etc) are Craftsman from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I could go on all day about how great they are but wouldn’t recommend any new Craftsman tools.

Now Porter Cable? Wow.

-- Ron, Bakersfield, CA. Measure twice, cut twice anyway.

View RonPage's profile


58 posts in 4500 days

#14 posted 04-14-2008 06:53 AM


I used an old Milwaukee drill to drive screws on a fence today. It has so much torque, I had to lightly feather the trigger.

That thing would twist your head off!

-- Ron, Bakersfield, CA. Measure twice, cut twice anyway.

View kjverlanic's profile


56 posts in 4450 days

#15 posted 05-29-2008 05:41 PM

So far all 3 PC 690 we have gotten in the last year or so have been great! We haven’t had one problem with any of them. I agree with some that excellence needs to be the standard, not the exception.

-- “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper … and the buyers who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin

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