PORTER-CABLE Compact Router Combo Kit

By Robert Robillard on Tool Reviews

PORTER-CABLE Compact Router Combo KitPORTER-CABLE 495PK Compact Router Fixed / Plunge Combo Kit ~ Review

The folks at PORTER-CABLE recently sent me their 1 1/4 hp router fixed/ plunge combo kit [495PK] to evaluate.

First Impression:

I have used a PORTER-CABLE  router for 18 years.  Recently my 1- 1/4 hp router burnt out after 15 years of reliable use so this review came at a good time as I was looking for a replacement.
Right out of the box the 495PK impressed me with all of it’s features, power, small size and ease of use.   A low, contoured gripping surface lowers the center of gravity of this router and allows the router to be manuevered easily.  The unit is super light at six pounds and is ergonomically designed to feel more like a laminate trimmer than a router.  The major difference is that this compact router delivers the same power as a mid-sized router with the ability to plunge cut.  Well done PORTER-CABLE!
The Porter-Cable 495PK was easy to adjust and it’s size was amazingly comfortable in my hand.   The most important thing to mention is how quickly and accurately I was able to adjust the depth of cut.  Precision routing depends on accurate adjustments and PORTER-CABLEe got it right. The plunge mechanism delivers a smooth stroke for control, and the five-step adjustable turret stop enables stepped plunge cuts for excellent accuracy.   A clear sub-base adds visibility and durability, and the lightweight design provides excellent mobility and control during routing applications.  The router collets accepts a 1/4″ router bit shank.
I’m not a huge fan of the soft storage bag and feel that power tools should have a duPORTER-CABLE 495PK Compact Router Fixed / Plunge Combo Kit ~ Reviewrable, hard case but so far that was all I could find to criticize.

Using The 495PK Router Kit:

The 495PK router has a real nice soft start motor and a variable speed that was super easy to dial in.  It was super comfortable to use.

Testing the Porter-Cable 495PK in the shop and on the job site was fun.  I  used it to make a ton of round overs on one project and cut some dado’s for a custom built in bookcase project.  The router never even blinked at this work and had plenty of power and control to cut everything I put it through.
I cut dados in Maple and as long as I kept a steady speed the tool cut great. I then cut a long 3/4 deep by 3/4 wide dado along a 2x4x8 stud.  I ran the router down the entire length  of the stud just to try to get it to bog down.  I went at a steady speed and it plowed through.  No issues.
For fun I then mounted the plunge base and tested it in the 2×4 stud and Maple stock.  The plunge base was easy to use, adjust and worked very well.   Changeover from the fixed base to the plunge base was simple and the locking snap ring was simple to operate.  I was impressed.
 Making round overs, champhers and nosing was simple and fun with this router.  I am going to enjoy this tool.

495PK Router Specifications:

  • Compact, lightweight design enables comfortable and assured control in any routing application
  • Durable 1.25HP motor delivers the power to meet the toughest applications
  • Soft-starting motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the cutporter cable 495pk compact router
  • Adjustment ring enables controlled bit depth changes to within 1/64″
  • Large, low-pressure spindle lock button allows for comfortable, single wrench bit changes
  • Multiple shaft-lock detents enable quick and simple bit changes
  • Depth ring and clamping mechanism combine to ensure motor remains locked in position
  • Plunge base incorporates fine-tune adjustment rod for precise depth setting
  • Motor can be transitioned quickly and easily between fixed and plunge bases
  • 5-position adjustable turret enables stepped or repeated plunge cuts
  • Up to 1.5″ of depth travel with standard base and 2″ with plunge base
  • Over molded rubber handles provide a comfortable and secure grip (plunge base only)
  • Aluminum motor housing and base construction provides long term durability
  • Large 4″ diameter sub-base accepts universal template guides (fixed base only)
  • Large plunge base platform provides added stability for heavier applications and sub-base accepts universal template guides
  • Extended 8-slot 1/4″ collet maximizes surface contact with router bit shank for a tighter grip

Overall Impression:

The Porter-Cable 1-1/4 HP Multi-Base Router Kit (495PK) is an excellent router and is perfect for trim jobs and custom cabinet work. I highly recommend this router to anyone needing a router.    It’s a compact router that delivers mid-sized routing performance and power.  The 495PK  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 1-1/4 HP router I recommend you add this one to your tool box.

Bottom Line:  This is a tool that every pro should have ~  plain and simple!   Unless you are doing production routing this router delivers all that you need.  The price alone would make me buy it, it’s a steal!

How Much And Where To Buy:

The Compact Router will retail for $129 and the Fixed/Plunge Base Combination Kit will retail for $189. Both come with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract and 90-day money-back guarantee.

I found it online for $169.00 here:  Porter-Cable-Compact-Router-Plunge

PORTER-CABLE accessories:

  • A dust adapter for the fixed base(45003),
  • A dust adapter for the plunge base (45004),
  • A straight edge guide for the fixed base (45006),
  • A straight edge and circle cutting guide for the plunge base (42690),
  • template guides (42000)
  • A centering cone for sub-base alignment (45005).

For more information, please visit http://www.deltaportercable.com.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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