A router is one of my favorite tools. A router can turn any woodworking project into a master piece, it's like the icing on a cake. Considering there are hundreds of bits on the market, you can finish off your master piece with pretty much any design. However, in order to create these beautiful finishing touches, you need a solid router. I have always been a fan of Porter Cable routers for my big boy routers. When it comes to compact or trim routers, I have fallen in love with the Bosch. Now as good as these routers are, I am always dealing with the cord getting in the way. Not that it's a huge deal because I am used to it, but I would rather focus on my work and not a cord getting in the way. Recently I found out that Ridgid might have a way to solve my problem and that is with the new Ridgid 18V Router. Very cool, a cordless router. While I loved the idea of not having a cord, I was still a little skeptical because this is the type of tool that needs power and some fancy options to go along with it. So I wasn't sure how this router would stack up compared to other compact or trim routers.
Ridgid decided to break the mold and design the first ever cordless router. The router runs off their popular 18V battery platform, so you can expand into more tools down the road. When they designed this router, Ridgid started from the inside out and designed this router with a brushless motor. Starting the router up, the first thing I noticed was the soft start. I love when companies design routers with soft starts. Not only is it easier on your wrist, but it just feels like a quality router. Now I know what you're thinking, how much work can be done with a cordless router? Well with a Ridgid 5Ah battery you can cut up 400′ of laminate, not too bad.
The on/off button might take a little getting used to. Normally I am used to a push button on/off switch. With the Ridgid, you have to pull a button out to turn on the machine. When you are done with your work, just push the button in. I'm kind of digging this set up because as soon as I am done, I can move my thumb up and turn it off. On the back of the unit, there is a dial which allows you to adjust the speeds from 17,000 rpm to 25,000 rpm.
Making adjustments with the router is pretty much like any other router. There is a quick release lever on the front. Besides the quick release lever, there is a micro adjustment to make those fine tune adjustments. The dial is smooth and really allows you to fine tune the depth of the bit. The built-in LED light does a decent job of showing you your working area. Along with the LED light, the unit has a dust ejection port which also helps keep a clear line of sight.
I have to admit that when I first saw this router I was excited, but then the idea of having a cordless router set in and I really wondered how well this unit would perform. After using it, I have say this thing has plenty of power and a long run time. I love how all the dials feel solid. Nothing seems cheap on this router. While I would have loved to seen a hard case, the provided soft case is decent. I love the fact that they included a round and square plate, plus an edge guide. If you don't believe how killer this router is, just check out The Home Depot and see what others have said about it.
Ridgid 18V Router Specifications
- Collet size – .25″
- Router Size – 7″
- Weight – 2.4 lbs.
- Variable Speed – 17,000 – 25,000
So is this going to replace your bad boy big router? No. It's not meant to be a replacement for the bigger routers. But for a trim router, this router rocks. I think when Ridgid designed the first ever cordless router, they didn't hold anything back. This is smooth and powerful. The Ridgid 18V router has all the bells and whistles you will find with other compact routers. Everything on this router is smooth, from adjusting the variable speed to adjusting the depth. Bottom line, if you are looking for a great compact router and want to lose the cord, this is the router to have. I will put this against other corded trim routers all day long. With a life time warranty, it's hard to beat.