Porter-Cable's 1-3/4-horsepower router is popular with woodworkers for good reason. It's reliable, powerful, and exceptionally smooth running--not to mention versatile. Although the 691 comes with a D-handle base, the motor is interchangeable with Porter-Cable's excellent plunge base or two-handle fixed base. Both matching bases are available separately for much less than the cost of a new router, and switching bases for different applications is a quick and easy operation.
We really appreciate Porter-Cable's new autorelease collet design, which prevents bits from getting frozen in the machine. It'd be great if Porter-Cable could come up with an alternative to needing two wrenches for a bit change, but this minor inconvenience is far outweighed by the tool's overall quality. In fact, Porter-Cable's focus on simple, quality engineering is the reason for this model's long-lasting success. The router doesn't offer electronic variable-speed control or enough power to effectively double as a shaper, but it is among the smoothest-running routers we've tried, producing consistently clean results. For most applications it offers all the versatility and muscle you could ask for. --Brian Trinen