The days of running extension cords to get power to your trim router are over. Better yet, there is no more need to stop in the middle of routing an edge profile just to untangle your power cord. Ridgid has addressed these issues with their 18 volt cordless compact router. Let’s take a look at the Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Review.
Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Overview:
Ridgid is a company who has really been pushing some of the unique cordless offerings lately. This recent release is something many people in the woodworking world will really enjoy as soon as they get the opportunity to work with it.
This tool is referred to as a compact router, a trim router, or a palm router. As the names imply, its a smaller router that can be easily held and operated in your hand. Since this compact router is so easy to handle, it’s a great option for not only the seasoned woodworker, but those who are new to the craft as well.
Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Review Features:
Ridgid only truly made one major change to this router compared to other routers and by now, you probably can figure out what that is. Instead of plugging the router into a standard outlet, you can run cord free with any of the Ridgid 18 volt batteries.
Whether you are using one of their 2Ah compact batteries or one of their Hyper Lithium 5Ah batteries, this unit will give you the power to run any of your 1/4″ shank bits.
Ridgid added a brushless motor to this unit which gives it a longer run time, more power and a longer life than if they would have gone with a brushed motor.
This router has a variable speed dial which controls the speed at which the router bit spins. The spindle will rotate from 17,000 RPM to a top speed of 25,000 RPM.
On top of having a macro adjustment to set you bit depth, the Ridgid 18 volt compact router has a micro adjustment. Just push down on the silver button shown above and turn the dial to achieve your final depth. There are also very handy arrows to indicate which way the bit will travel when you turn the dial. I found that to be extremely handy.
The one feature that I found most interesting was the power switch for this tool. Ridgid mounted this power switch on the side of the unit near the battery. Now, that isn’t the interesting part. The thing that threw me for a momentary loop was how the unit is turned on. The power button has to be pulled out to turn the unit on and pushed back in to shut it off. It makes sense when you think about it, but it’s just not how I am used to operating a router.
One more feature to note is the single LED light that helps illuminate your cutting surface. I find you can not have too much light when working with power tools.
Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Review Performance:
I am extremely pleased with how much power this router has. There was no discernible difference between this and my other palm routers. I was able to complete several edge profiles and cut multiple juice grooves into cutting boards that I was making with ease. I never once had to stop to untangle a cord which pleased me quite a bit.
Battery life on this tool is better than what I would expect. Even though this tool is rotating a cutter bit at 25,000 RPM, it does so for a very long time on one charge.
One thing that I would like to note…..when you do start to run out of battery, you will be able to tell. The router starts to bog down and cutting begins to be difficult. This decline in performance happens pretty fast. Once you see the drop in perfomance, you will know its time to change out the battery.
Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Review Value:
Ridgid in my opinion is one of the really unique tool brands. Some tool brands I consider for homeowner use only, while some other tool brands I would classify as purely professional. Ridgid on the other hand spans both extremes. Since they are priced at a very reasonable price point, a home owner can justify the cost for a really good tool and with the Lifetime Service Agreement, a professional can have the confidence that they won’t be buying a new tool every 6 months.
The Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router stays true to what I feel the Ridgid brand is. Priced at approximately $119 (Bare Tool), this is a no brainer tool if you are already into the Ridgid battery platform. If not, it might be a good reason to jump into the line.
Ridgid 18 Volt GEN5X Compact Router Review Final Thoughts:
A few years ago, I heard a saying “Find something that annoys you and fix it.” Its something that really made sense with me. It looks like Ridgid was thinking the same thing when they designed their cordless compact router. They have eliminated the one thing with palm routers that always seemed to bug me and they were able to do this without sacrificing power. Nicely done.