Porter-Cable Multi-Base Router Kit Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

Porter-Cable 895PK Multi-Base Router Kit

Porter-Cable Router KitThe folks at Porter-Cable recently sent us the 2-1/4 HP Multi-Base Router Kit (Model 895PK) to evaluate and review. For as long as I can remember I’ve watched lots of talented carpenters pull out their Porter-Cable routers to create some impressive wood working pieces. So we were really excited to give this Porter-Cable router a good test drive.

Multi-Base router kits are perfect for DIY’ers and Professionals that want the flexibility of two routers built into one handy kit. This multi-base kit features a fixed-base and plunge-base that’s interchangeable with the router motor. This makes it very simple to change bases and benefit from a fixed base and plunge base in just a few moments time.

895PK Multi-Base Router Kit Specifications

This router kit features the follow specifications:

  • Porter-Cable RouterSoft-starting, 12 Amp motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the toughest applications.
  • Variable-speed control feature (10,000 – 23,000 rpm) enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications.
  • Release the motor, adjust bit height and clamp the motor from above the router table with model #75301 kit (included). Fixed base only.
  • Plunge base features machined brass bushings and steel guide rods for a smooth, free-flowing plunge stroke.
  • Plunge base offers through-the-column dust collection for efficient dust removal and improved bit and cut-line visibility.
  • Porter-Cable RouterDepth rod with 6-position adjustable turret enables stepped or repeated plunge cuts.
  • Dual-position switch allows user to cut power while maintaining control of the router.
  • Overmolded grips for greater comfort in extended use.
  • Spindle lock feature allows for single wrench bit changes.
  • Durable latch lever enables quick and simple coarse depth adjustments and motor release for transition between bases.
  • Rack and pinion adjustment provides fine depth settings to 1/128″ (fixed base only).
  • Clear Lexan® sub-base provides improved durability and bit visibility.
  • Sub-base centering gauge ensures router bit concentricity.
  • Flat side on plunge base allows user to work in tighter spaces and provides a straight reference point.
  • Collets included to accept 1/4″ and 1/2″ shank bits.
  • Motor transitions quickly between GripVac™ base (included), plunge base (included), and traditional spiral down bases (690 series).

Porter-Cable 895PK Multi-Base Router Review

Right out of the box the 895PK impressed us with all of it’s features, power and ease of use. This kit comes with some great features including the Model 75301 Height Adjuster that makes adjusting the depth of bit on router table applications much easier. The storage case is well built and has lots of room for extra bits and accessories.

Power

The 2-1/4 HP motor makes the 895PK a very well powered mid-sized router that’s likely to do most any project in the average shop. Frankly unless you’re doing major production work you will likely never need more power.

We tested this router with several bits including a 3/4″ straight cutting bit and a 3 inch diameter door stile bit. The router had no problem at all running the large bit even on a piece of somewhat hard yellow pine. We think the 895PK has lots of consistent power that’s up to most any shop challenge.

Adjustability & Controls

The Porter-Cable 895PK gets our highest praises for it’s adjustability and ease of use. For us one of the most important features in a good quality router is the ability to quickly and accurately adjust the depth of cut. Precision routing depends highly on setting up cutting bits for accurate cuts and this model really works well. Both the fixed-base and plunge base are very easy to adjust and set for a certain depth. The controls are simple and effective. We’ve used quite a few routers over the years and the folks at Porter-Cable clearly put some focus into the adjustment features.

We happened to really like the on/off switch. Some routers on the market today are difficult to determine if the switch is in the on or off position. This may seem trivial but the last thing you want to do is plug in a router while the switch is in the on position as that could be extremely dangerous.

Dust Collection

Over the last few years dust collection has been a feature that everyone expects on power tools. Recent innovations in the design of router bases has included the ability to hook up dust collection to routers. Having a functioning dust collection system hooked up to a router is a whole new experience for us and one we love!

As you can see in the photo we were able to hook up our shop vac to the router dust port. It works like a charm and makes visibility during routing excellent. If you’ve never used a router with dust collection before you’ll be amazed the first time you do. This is a must have feature on all new routers.

Overall Thoughts

The Porter-Cable 2-1/4 HP Multi-Base Router Kit (895PK) is an excellent router for anyone with a work shop of even contractors that need a mid-sized router kit. Of the routers we’ve used over the last few years this one takes our greatest praises to date. This router has plenty of power, great adjustment control and it’s very versatile with the two base options. If you’re in the market for a 2-1/4 HP router then we recommend you add this one to your list of options.

Where To Buy

The Porter-Cable 895PK router kit is available at most major hardware stores and chains. You can also buy it online at many of the major online tools stores like Amazon for under $300.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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4 Comments

  1. that is a sweet looking plunge base. The machined brass bushings and steel guide rods look quality and will no doubt make for smooth, free-flowing plunge stroke.

    Can I borrow it?????

    • Todd says:

      Rob – it’s definitely the nicest one I’ve used. They clearly focused on the adjustability of this unit. Sorry to say this one won’t be leaving my shop!

  2. John says:

    You’ve convinced me. I need one of these routers in my tool collection. Nice write up.

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