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First time buyer of a router

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  • #16

    Stay away from that Ryobi router/table combo, it's a piece of junk.

    I made the mistake of commenting to my wife one day before Christmas while we were in HD shopping and looking through the tool section that I wanted to get a router table. We just happened to be standing on front of the display model of this router/table combo. She put it all together to mean I was interested in this item and gave it to me for Christmas. I tried it out but ended up taking it back for a refund, I was totally unempressed with its quality and features. I took the cash and looked around a bit. I ended up buying just last week the Mulecab TS extension router table and Freud SH5 fence system. Admittingly more than twice the price of the router/table combo from Ryobi but since I already had a decent router I didn't really need another.
    Now hearing that the 690 is on closeout I may pick up a second one and leave it mounted in the table if I can find just the motor or motor and standard base for a good price.

    Router height adjustment on the Ryobi is very difficult when mounted in the table and the table is designed to be used only with that one particular router. The scale is backwards from the way you would expect it to work when mounted in the table. The locking mechanism is difficult to work when mounted in the table too. It lacks power and the cheap-o plastic miter gauge should be in your 5 year olds tool box. The miter slot is non-standard so you can't substitute a gauge from your TS or BS. The outfeed fence is supposed to step every 1/32" but I found it was never in alignment and no way to zero or square it with the infeed fence. The dust collector sucks, yeah really, it sucks your work OFF the table unless you adjust the suction on your shop-vac to about half or keep the dust collector an inch or more above the work. Can you tell I think its a piece of junk

    I have the PC693 kit which came with an added bonus guide (which unfortunately the case has no room for). I like the soft start and variable speed of the PC690. I bought it last year. If the new PC router kit was out or due out soon I would have waited and picked it for more power and better depth adjustment.


    • #17
      If you're interested in using the router for both freehand and table work, the kits, such as P-C, DeWalt, etc..., are very nice, especially if you don't want to purchase 2 or more routers. With the kits, you get one motor, a fixed base, a plunge base, and sometimes an extra base for using with a table. My 691 P-C came with this setup. You can attach the extra base to a piece of 3/4" melamine (you choose the size), construct a simple homemade fence (a straight piece of stable hardwood 3-5 in. high and about 1.5 in thick) with a cut out to hide the bit if you want), and you have a router table top that is much more useable than the Ryobi table. Remove the motor when you have a non-table application. Simple clamp the top to a workbench, clamp the fence down and you're basically ready to go. You could add a blade guard (good advice and some t-track to the table or fence for holddowns, featherboards, etc... if you want to complicate things a bit. This is a low-tech, simply way to do table top routing, and you're table is completely portable and stores easily when not in use. You can also size it to fit your needs. Of course, it's not a very good substitute for some of the really nice commerical tables, but, in my opinion, it's far better than those small tables sold by Porter-Cable, Ryobi, Craftsman, and, perhaps, others. For a good demonstrate of the system I'm talking about, see Gary Rogowski's video or book entitled Router Joinery available at


      • #18
        Sorry, that website is


        • #19
          A friend of mine who has done woodworking for 30 years and owns a cabinet shop just emailed me to answer my questions about buying a first router. Told him I was leaning toward the new PC 890 series, the 894 kit in particular (plunge and "D" handle bases, but PC's own new funky vacuum-through-handle "D" style). His words "Go for it. It looks like it will do everything you want to do and more."

          I'm not set on the "D" handle, and might go with the 895 kit which has very nice height adjustment from on top of the table. No need for a lift, unless my lack of knowledge about routers is causing me to draw an wrong conclusion.

          I think PC made some nice changes on the 890 routers, and they are worth a look.

          Ought to add that on the PC 890 routers the plain fixed base and the "D" handle base are the same, the "D" and regular handle are interchangable. The micro-height adjustment from above the table thingy fits them both and can be bought separately too.

          [ 01-23-2004, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: Scott C. ]


          • #20
            It's a nice kit. I don't own a router but already scouted what I"m gonna buy when I have my next cash inflow, it's the 895. You should know that there are 3 packages. One with vacuum, one with D base, and one with adjuster included 893 / 894 / 895 I think?

            If you want the D base, you can still purchase height adjuster with special wrench for above table bit removal for around 25 bucks at Rockler or woodcraft. I think all the kits are the same price.