Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router Review
Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router
Model number: R86044B
Power source: 18 Volt
Motor size: Brushless
Weight: 3.1 lbs
Ridgid Gen 5x Brushless 18V Compact Router R86044B
Compact Routers, like the Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router offers woodworkers a number of features for operator control and ease-of-use when performing a variety of router applications.
As a carpenter, I use a compact router to make my own window sills when trimming windows, easing edges on decking and trim, creating champers, installing built–ins, and sometimes to make on-the spot moldings.
When I first started using compact routers, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d be using a cordless router. The Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router is a first for me.
The specs on the Ridgid router are pretty much what you’d expect out of a compact router.
- Collet: ¼”
- Volts: 18 Volt
- Weight: 3.1 lbs
- RPM: 17,000-25,000
- Softstart motor
- Variable speed dial
- LED light
- Micro-adjust dial
- Quick release lever
What’s in Box
- Router – bare tool
- Edge guide
- Round and square base
- ¼” edging bit
Lightweight and Powerful
The new Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router is a lightweight powerhouse. At 3.1 pounds this router is comfortable to use and surprisingly NOT top heavy.
Powered by the Ridgid 18-volt battery, the routers brushless motor has a soft start and variable speed dial that allows you to choose speeds between 17,000 and 25,000 RPMs. Using a brushless motor allows Ridgid to get the power and runtime needed to bring forward a cordless router.
We tested the Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router and found it to easily route poplar, pine, mahogany, and oak stock.
Runtime is impressive to say the least. I tested the Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router in my shop and was able to route 248 lineal feet of ¾” pine stock with a ¼” round-over bit.
To a finish carpenter that equates to 31 half-rounded, window sills 48” long, on a single 5.0 Ah battery. That’s more windows than I can trim out in a day – that’s for sure!
I wanted to simulate a real carpentry application for our run time testing. I chose a window sill routing procedure, where I typically would use a 1/4 round over bit and rout two sides of a boards edge.
For the test, eight lineal feet of routing basically equaled a 48″ wide window sill, routed on both sides. My testing procedure was based on the following:
I used a 1/4 round over bit with a bearing, and 8′ Pine boards.
- Use approximately a 5-7 second per foot, feed-rate
- Route 8-feet of board
- Rest tool 2 minutes.
- Continue for 5 sets
- Rest tool 10 minutes
- Repeat until unable to complete procedure
The reason for resting the tool was to avoid heat build up in the battery or brushless motor. I also wanted to simulate a real life carpentry application.
Typically I would rout a window sill or several sills and then go off and install them, including the window casing trim. It’s rare that I would mill up an entire house at one time, and if I did I would probably do that in the shop on a table mounted router.
Easy to Adjust
One real nice feature on the Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router is the micro-adjust dial for adjusting the depth of cut and Quick Release lever for removal of the base housing.
I found myself using the Quick release lever to move the housing into a approximate depth setting and then fine tuning my depth of cut with the micro adjust knob.
The Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router has a pull out to turn on, and push in to turn off. I found the switch awkward to use and only slightly better as I used the tool over time.
There is an LED light located at the working end of the tool and illuminates only half of the collet area. I did not even notice the tool had a light while using it in the shop. I’m sure it will provide some usefulness in dim lite areas.
There is a plastic shroud on hale of the base plate that helps keep the dust chips away from the cutting area. I found this useful for viewing my routing application as well as a safe spot to place my fingers.
The router has very comfortable mid-grip and I did not experience any hand fatigue during the test.
The Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router will come as a bare tool for $99.00. Look for it in late September or October 2016.
WOW” is my overall impression. I’ve always said that the Ridgid brand is a hidden gem in the tool industry. Ridgid consistently produces powerful, durable and especially well-priced tools.
If you’re currently running the Ridgid battery platform you’d be a fool not to get this tool!
If you’re looking for a cordless router – well here it is!!
Ridgid 18V Compact Router Video Review
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