Full disclosure here, I’ve never used a router before. Ever. But since Home Depot sent me one to test out I’m going to try my hand at woodworking.
I’ve seen people use these on jobs where they’re trying to bevel the edge of woodwork, so I know what they are used for. As an electrician, I have zero use for this tool. Rather than pretend I know what I’m talking about I’m going to talk about the features of the tool and allow you to decide on it’s quality.
The tool comes inside of a zip-up nylon bag, which I really like. As a tradesman I often have dozens of different power tools so I love when each one comes with it’s own compact carrying case. This tool has several attachments so the ability for everything it comes with, to fit into a single bag, is really nice.
This router feels rugged, like most of Ridgid’s line of cordless power tools do. The tool has a quick-release lever that allows you to very easily set the cutting depth of the bit. This is great, there are no extra tools or wrenches needed to adjust your depth like a lot of tools have. There’s even a knob near the battery that allows you to adjust your depth by 1/64th of an inch for better accuracy without having to unlatch and latch the larger depth setting. Precision, it appears, was integral in the design of this tool.
As with most power tools these days, this router comes with a dust chute to help evacuate sawdust while it cuts. The SOFTStart Technology this router uses helps you not gouge your work surface when introducing it to the material. Some routers kick and jump to an immediate high RPM which can cause it to gouge your material when you first start out. Some extras that come in the kit are a square base, a round base, and an edge guide that helps keep the bit on a straight path with the edge of the material you’re cutting.
Info from HomeDepot.com
RIDGID introduces the 18-Volt OCTANE Cordless Brushless Compact Router with 1/4 in. Bit, Round and Square Bases, and Collet Wrench. The OCTANE Brushless Compact Router features high performance brushless motors and advanced electronics that provide best-in-class power and intelligence. While providing increased performance with all RIDGID 18-Volt batteries, OCTANE tools provide maximum performance in high demand applications when paired with OCTANE batteries (not included). Paired with an OCTANE battery (not included), this tool delivers up to 15% more power than the previous model, making it perfect for DIY jobs around the house and for professionals. With registration, this tool is backed by the Industry’s Only Lifetime Service Agreement: FREE Parts. FREE Service. For LIFE. The 18-Volt OCTANE Cordless Brushless Compact Router includes a square and a round base, a detachable dust port, an edge guide, a 1/4 in. bit, a collet wrench, and an operator’s manual.
Up to 15% more power than previous models (R86044B, RIDGID 18-Volt Cordless Brushless 1/4 in. Compact Router with Fixed Base and Tool Free Depth Adjustment)
Vacuum Dust Chute: Eliminates sawdust on work piece when properly attached to 1-1/4 in. or 1-7/8 in. sizes
Quick Release Lever and Micro-Adjust Dial: 2-ways for easy depth adjustments
SOFTStart Technology helps prevent gouges on work surface and extends motor life
Extended runtime compared to previous models (R86044B, RIDGID 18-Volt Cordless Brushless 1/4 in. Compact Router with Fixed Base and Tool Free Depth Adjustment)
Lifetime Service Agreement with registration within 90 days of purchase
Includes: (1) R860443 18-Volt OCTANE Brushless Compact Router, (1) square base, (1) round base, (1) detachable dust port, (1) edge guide, (1) 1/4 in. bit, (1) collet wrench, and operator’s manual
RIDGID: Powerful. Durable. Professional.
Since I am not an experienced router user, I’m not going to give this a star rating because I would be bullshitting you. This thing seems very well built, as a tool in general. It appears to be well thought out and designed for professional use. I just don’t know about it in comparison to other routers, so I’d rather allow you to make your own comparison.