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PORTER-CABLE Compact Router Combo Kit

PORTER-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 durable, 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:

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:

For more information, please visit

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