Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router Review

Tool Box Buzz rating:

Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router

Manufacturer: ridgid
Model number: R86044B
Price: 99.00
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.

Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router

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
  • Wrench
  • ¼” edging bit
  • Bag

Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router

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!

Testing Procedure:

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.

  1. Use approximately a 5-7 second per foot, feed-rate
  2. Route 8-feet of board
  3. Rest tool 2 minutes.
  4. Continue for 5 sets
  5. Rest tool 10 minutes
  6. 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.

Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact 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.

Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router

How Much?

The Ridgid Brushless 18V Compact Router will come as a bare tool for $99.00.  Look for it in late September or October 2016.

Overall Impression

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



About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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  1. Thom Schwetye

    is the battery and charger not included?
    Do these have to be bought separately?
    If bought separately, how much should I budget?

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Thom – This will be sold as a bare tool. They are still working out final pricing but I believe it will be in the $130 range.

  2. Ken

    Any idea when this will be available? I was looking on the Home Depot website and they showed it at $119, but I looked a few days later and they no longer list it.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      It will be rolling out soon…no definitive date…just this Fall.

      1. Ken

        Thanks Todd, I’ve had the product page open on Home Depot constantly, hitting “refresh” every few days to see when it comes in. It popped up as available on Tuesday but I was out of town on business so I just bought it to pick it up this weekend. On my way to get it this afternoon!!

  3. leahciM

    As Ken stated this 18v compact router WAS on the HD site but it no longer.
    I was able to special order it when it was on the site from the store but with it now being no where on the HD site, even the HD folks are having a difficult time figuring out the status.

    Called up Ridgid directly and the person could not give me any information about it. Could not even look it up. Kept asking what the model and sku number was to me. I said it is YOUR product, can’t you find it and tell ME? That was the whole reason I called Ridgid. Befuddling.

    Should be out by mid October because when it was on HD’s site and HD tool rep could look it up 3 were ordered slated for mid October.

    Ridgid did say I could special order it since they had a few in stock at Ridgid but the whole special order experience has not gone well as the two delivery dates they given me have come and gone with difficulty in tracking the item down. Not HD’s fault as the people who have been helping me have been helpful but also confused to what is going on.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Just spoke to someone from Ridgid. It’s now available for order online. It will be available in select HD locations later this month.

  4. Lancelot Xu

    Hello Todd, there is some thing wrong with the picture on the homedepot webpage for the product, the transparent sub-base should be a round one instead of a square one in the accessory, current webpage shows it is a square one in the accessory.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      The base is indeed square.

  5. leahciM Michael

    Mine came with both a round as well as a square transparent sub-base.

  6. Cathy

    I just found this review. Great job. I have this router and i am still trying it out. It kicked back and slammed my thumb but luckily for me the bit didn’t get me. I love how light weight it.

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