PC Plunge Base

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Forum topic by bilyo posted 10-22-2019 06:39 PM 241 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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887 posts in 1647 days

10-22-2019 06:39 PM

I have a PC router with only a standard base. I am considering the purchase of a used plunge base for it. On line reviews are generally good with a couple of exceptions. Some say that the plunge travel is not smooth and some say that the locking mechanism is flimsy and fails easily. Any comments here?

I haven’t had a opportunity to see the one for sale yet and local stores don’t have any in stock to look at. I’m curious about how the motor mounts into the plunge base. Of course, it fits into the standard base by “screwing” into some spiral grooves in the base barrel. Pictures of the plunge base don’t show the spiral grooves. So, I’m wondering how it goes in.

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5812 posts in 3038 days

#1 posted 10-22-2019 07:06 PM

If you’re asking about the venerable 690, I have one. The motor just slides in to plunge base, then there’s a clamp that tightens against the side of the motor to keep it in place. Now I remember why I sold the fixed base to mine, changing the motor back and forth was never as easy as it is on the later models of almost all makes, for combo I went with Milwaukee. The clamp gets jammed…in fact I took mine out of the base to answer this and had to use a pin punch to knock the clamp dog out after removing the screw. Please note, mine a very old one…it even says “made in USA”! If you asking about a different model, my apologies. Here’s the manual:

If you want to search for a manual, that lunge base is the 6931 base.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View cmacnaughton's profile


131 posts in 189 days

#2 posted 10-22-2019 07:23 PM

+1 on Fred’s comments. The hex bolt lock on that plunge base gets stuck…a lot. A fair amount of tapping, wiggling and jiggling will free it, but it does stick. Plunge travel is also not terribly smooth, but It’s not unusable. I’ve had my 690 kit with both bases for about 20 years. Other than me dropping it last week and jamming the 1/4” collet into the mouth I’ve never had a problem with it. I leave the fixed base on the router table and use the plunge base for all freehand applications.

While it’s been a venerable piece of equipment for me, I’m looking at replacing the whole kit with a couple new routers. I’d like something with variable speed for the table, and something smaller for trim work.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View Bill_Steele's profile


597 posts in 2276 days

#3 posted 10-22-2019 07:43 PM

Are you talking about this base?

If so—I can provide some feedback. First, here are some instructions on how to mount the plunge base (see figures 5 and 6).

I have an old PC690—probably 20 years old—that I use with this base.

My opinion is that the approach to locking the motor to the base is not exactly skookum, but it works. I rarely take the motor out of the base so I’m not sure how much of an annoyance it would be if you had to do that often. I install bits with the base installed.

The plunge action is ok, but don’t expect “Festool-like” smoothness. The plunge action seems to be smoother with the router turned on than off. Perhaps the motor vibration helps release/ease stiction? To plunge or move the motor up/down you have to use your thumb and push the plunge lever. If you release the lever the motor locks at the current height. I would prefer to be able to plunge freely and then lock—rather than unlock in order to plunge. Does that make any sense?

The height adjustment works—again it’s not “Festool-like”—but it works. I actually like that it has several steps (6 I think – 3 fixed and 3 variable).

No dust collection ability, but there is a little plastic shield so you can see the bit cutting and it will block debris.

It’s tough to see the cut sometimes—especially if you are mortising. I bought a simple bore light like this and attached it using magnets. It works ok—better than nothing.

View Andybb's profile


2174 posts in 1148 days

#4 posted 10-22-2019 07:53 PM

It depends on how often you see yourself switching bases. The PC base removal is a pain compared with the Bosch 1617. The first time I went to remove the base I thought I was doing something wrong. I had a the Bosch in the table but switched it with the PC because I also have the Bosch router guide. As far as the actual operation of the plunge mechanism it seemed to work fine. I have a cheap HF VSC that I can use to slow down the PC but so far full blast hasn’t been an issue.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View bilyo's profile


887 posts in 1647 days

#5 posted 10-22-2019 09:26 PM

Thanks very much for the instruction sheet. That helps a lot and I really didn’t think to look for it myself. I can see why you would want to just leave the motor in all the time. The motor clamp mechanism is not very convenient. I’ve had this 690 for a long time and it works well. I’ve never had a plunge base for it. So, when this one came up for sale on local Craigs list, I thought I might get it. It sounds like the plunge base is not quite perfect but, if I can get the price down I may go for it. Like most others, I’ll probably just leave the motor in the plunge base.
I appreciate all the comments.

View JimDwight's profile


12 posts in 585 days

#6 posted 10-22-2019 09:38 PM

I have 2 PC690 motors and 4 bases. One is a plunge base and a motor generally stays in it. The other motor is usually in a fixed base but there is a special edge trimming jig with a base attached it sometimes goes into and the D handle is screwed to an extra router table in the side table of my old table saw.

I agree with the other comments but I find the plunge base works fine. It’s easy to hit the on off switch with my hands on the handles. Plunge lock is similarly well placed. I may get a DeWalt plunge router, the old design that used to be Elu, because of the built in dust collection. But other than making a normal router mess, I like my PC690s includimg the plunge base.

View JackDuren's profile


506 posts in 1504 days

#7 posted 10-22-2019 09:39 PM

When you have a plunge base option it opens the door for a lot of different routing options that would be awkward without it..

It’s not that hard to put in or take out…

View therealSteveN's profile


4177 posts in 1119 days

#8 posted 10-23-2019 05:39 AM

When you have a plunge base option it opens the door for a lot of different routing options that would be awkward without it..

It s not that hard to put in or take out…

- JackDuren

This is the truth. I view a plunge router as a must have, so much so, if the old router is a 690, I’d buy a D handle for it, and just get a plunger, or a combo kit to do the other work. I have a bunch of plungers, and usually wish I had more old 690’s and D handles for them. B$D can keep the new 690’s though.

-- Think safe, be safe

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