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Porter Cable’s NEW 890 Router Series

Porter Cable’s NEW 890 Router Series
By Mark Woodlief, Product Line Manager

What is the single most versatile power tool to a woodworker? Your answer is likely a mid-size router. And who makes the best mid-size router? If you are not sure already, take a look at our new 890 Router Series which deliver the best combination of power, size, balance, comfort grips, speed controls, and accurate height adjustments for both free-hand and router-table applications. As Senior Product Line Manager for Porter-Cable’s Woodworking Team, I am convinced that these new 2-1/4 HP mid-size routers completely address the various needs of today’s woodworkers.

Porter-Cable spent many hours listening and watching hundreds of router users explain their frustrations to accurately adjust bit height in a router table. We observed woodworkers of all skill levels struggle with changing router bits. We heard router motors bog down while routing raised panel profiles. And, with the router bit spinning at full speed, we noticed woodworkers holding their breath as they released one hand from the tool to reach the on/off switch often located at the top of the motor. In summary, we found a lot of problems with current routers. So, we eliminated the problems.

Power - The muscle of the 890 Router Series comes from a Porter-Cable built, 2-1/4 horsepower, soft-start motor. With adjustable speeds from 10,000 to 23,000 rpm, this powerful motor handles most routing tasks from raised panels in a router table to rounding the edge on a tabletop. Smooth routing performance is guaranteed by utilizing advancements in electronics that feedback and maintain a constant rpm, even under heavy loads.

Accuracy and Convenience - After quickly positioning the motor height using the macro by-pass lever, fingertip adjustments to 1/128” are accomplished by rotating the dedicated micro-height adjustment knob.

Router Table Controls - All adjustments for a router table are up top where the bit is clearly visible and easy to measure bit height. From above the router table you can release the 890 motor from the base, make all height adjustments, change bits, and clamp the motor back down to begin routing.

On/Off Switch - The dual-position dust proof switch, which is accessible with both hands securely on the handles, features a secondary position located at the top of the router motor. Linked together, the top switch always extends past the top of the router motor in the “ON” position for easy access in and out of a router table and from multiple hand-gripping positions.

Bit Changes - The auto-engaging spindle locks the shaft when the motor is lowered (free-hand) or raised (router table) to the position where the collet extends fully through the bottom of the base for single wrench bit changes. To prevent accidental start-up during bit changes, the switch is locked into the “OFF” position while the spindle lock is engaged.

Compatibility - For existing Porter-Cable router owners, the clear, 2-1/2” large opening sub-base is interchangeable with sub-bases from the popular model 690 router series. The 890 Router Series accepts existing Porter-Cable edge guides. All models include Porter-Cable’s premium ¼” and ½” self-releasing collet system for easy bit removal. Most importantly, with the easy removal of the rack on the 890, the powerful 2-1/4 horsepower motor will spiral into 690 series bases, thus offering additional expansion opportunities and unique jig and fixture set-ups.

Storage – Includes a multi-functional carrying case with bit and accessory storage that detaches into a pedestal for placing the router between cuts.

Educational - Includes an interactive CD-ROM that highlights tips and techniques for getting started. Rick and Bob Rosendahl of the PBS series “The Router Workshop” present step-by-step instructions with easy to follow video clips on how to construct a router table for the 890. Valuable discounts to woodworking publications, additional woodworking projects, owners manual, and links to accessories are also included on this value packed CD-ROM.

Versatility – With a quick release motor and three different bases (fixed, plunge, GripVac), the 890 Router Series offers multiple options for accomplishing routing tasks. Additionally, there are five models to choose from- 891, 892, 893PK, 894PK, 895PK. All “PK” models include the 890 fixed base with motor, as well as a full featured plunge base with machined bronze post bushings, quick motor release, thumb rotating depth stop, templet guide sized sub-base, removable springs, and built-in dust collection. A single-hand GripVac handle attachment replaces the standard handle on models 891 and 894PK, thus offering through-the-handle dust extraction when joined to a top mounted vacuum hose.

Dependability – Like most Porter-Cable woodworking tools, the 890 Router Series is manufactured in Jackson, TN. To ensure maximum life and performance, the routers feature metal bases and motor housings, premium brushes and bearings, and a dust proof switch. Two screws on the motor cap allow full access to speed control, brushes, and cord for easy serviceability. All Porter-Cable tools carry a one-year warranty.

So, back to the original question - Who makes the best mid-size router? With the new 890 Router Series, Porter-Cable clearly offers the best router for woodworkers. You can find the new 890 Router Series wherever Porter-Cable tools are sold at Woodworking Stores, Home Centers, and On-Line retailers. For more information, visit the Porter-Cable website at