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Customer Rating

  • VERSATILE
  • PRECISION
  • PRICE

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Simplistic

CONS

  • Single-speed motor
  • Peculiar switch position
If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful router, the Porter Cable 690lr might seem like a worthy investment. Quite a lot of people get carried away by aesthetically pleasing units without checking their specifications and capabilities. Consequently, most of those individuals end up with a pretty-looking machine that simply isn’t capable of meeting their expectations and requirements.

In order to avoid similar unpleasant scenarios, take a moment and check our review out. It will help you when it comes to comprehending the full potential of this particular model. Contrary to popular belief, this affordable piece of equipment is suitable both for devoted professionals and DIY enthusiasts. When it comes to versatility, the Porter Cable 690lr is among the best.

What is included?

This model comes with a standard set of included parts. Those are – 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets, a wrench, fixed base, motor, and the user manual. The unit might need some assembly, but it’s nothing you can’t solve in a matter of minutes. The easiest way to do it is to read the user manual and follow those few simple steps.

The Design


The most notable thing about the design is its simplicity. However, a simple design is not necessarily an indicator of poor quality. In fact, it has nothing to do with the overall quality of any machine. The ergonomics of this model is quite similar to most Dewalt’s units. Therefore, it features two rubberized hand grips, a cam-lock lever, and an auto-release collet system. Every single one of these mechanisms has its purpose.

The hand grips are cushioned meaning the amount of vibrations is at a bare minimum. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any vibrations whatsoever, bear that in mind. Furthermore, the cam-lock lever allows you to make adjustments easily and without any tools. Many people don’t like wasting time on fine-tuning their units with other tools, and that’s why this cam-lock mechanism is appreciated by almost every DIY enthusiast as well as professionals.

Dust-sealed components are becoming a standard of modern routers. More and more of these machines come with integrated covers that protect the switches and some inner parts of the model from flying debris and fine dust. As you may know, dust is probably the number one enemy of every mechanical unit and can cause severe damage by clogging and blocking vital parts of a router.
As far as the durability goes, it’s quite good. The aluminum motor housing is sturdy and reliable. Apart from reliability, aluminum also offers a decrease in weight making this model one of the lightest ones within its category and price range. Speaking of price, it’s one of its biggest advantages because it’s affordable and accessible to people who are on a tight budget.

Stability and comfort are at a satisfactory level. You cannot expect an impressive amount of stability and convenience due to the affordable price and a slight lack of some standard features, but it’s more than enough for DIY tasks and non-demanding projects.

The Features


The sheer power is what makes this model appealing and worth checking out. It features an 11-amp motor with 1.75 HP. It is able to deliver up to 27500 RPM which is more than enough to tackle any project without breaking a sweat. It is indeed a single-speed motor, but that can’t be considered a disadvantage, especially in the low-price category.
Close up view at porter cable 690lr
The cam-lock lever allows you to make quick changes without using any additional tools. It’s a great way of handling the height adjustments, even though not many people recognize the full potential of this benefit. The auto-release collet system comes in handy for easy bit removal.
The safety elements are okay. There aren’t any notable safety features that you should think about; it’s a set of standard precautionary measures. However, the on/off switch is located on the body of the machine instead of being on one of the hand grips. It doesn’t make much of a difference, but it is a potential safety concern.

What we liked about it

There are plenty of things to like when it comes to the 690lr model. The first thing we liked is the sheer simplicity of the design. We weren’t optimistic about it at first, but it proved us wrong. Contrary to popular belief, the complexity of the design doesn’t affect the overall functionality of the machine. In simpler words, it doesn’t mean the router is worthless if it features a simplistic design.

The other thing we liked a lot is the price. A lot of people are reluctant when it comes to buying power tools because they tend to be quite expensive. However, this one is budget-friendly and affordable. As far as we are concerned, it’s a worthy investment.

What we didn’t like

The single-speed motor isn’t the best possible solution, to say the least. Even though it’s functional and does the job well, we would like to see multi-speed motors in the future integrated into these affordable products. However, it won’t happen soon because those motors cost a lot.

No speed variations can also be considered a slight downside, but it’s nothing you can’t get used to. On the other hand, if you’re planning on tackling super-demanding projects, you might want to avoid single-speed motors.

Conclusion


Porter Cable is a well-known brand, and they usually offer decent power tools. The 690lr model offers more than enough of features to handle any small to mid-sized project. If you’re looking for something more suitable for devoted professionals, check our other reviews out, this model might struggle with large tasks.

This router is all about consistency and efficiency in tough situations. You can rest assured that it won’t let you down in the middle of a project and make you lose time, money, and most importantly – nerves. Adjusting is easy, and it doesn’t require any additional tools thanks to the cam-lock lever and auto-release collet system.

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