Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Routers are one of the most versatile tools any woodworker can have in the shop. From adding flair and finish to a piece with edge routing and flush trimming or more advanced applications like joinery with specialty bits and jigs, their applications are virtually endless. Routers truly make a huge range of jobs easier, and today’s cordless routers provide even more versatility for users. Today we will look at Ridgid’s newest Cordless Router that follows their well-loved original. We will take a closer look right here, in the Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review.

A Little About the Brand-

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

I always describe Ridgid as sort of the quiet giant in the power tool world. They manufacture well-made tools that provide solid and dependable performance to both Professional users and Homeowners as well. Their original cordless router was well regarded for both its performance and the budget-friendly price point.

As power tools have demanded even more power than ever before, brands have hustled to evolve their technology to keep up to users demands. Ridgid answered with their Octane line of tools, designed to work best on their Octane batteries. The combination is a great example of technology in tools evolving to bring increased performance to power-hungry tools.

Detailed Look-

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

The Ridgid Octane Cordless Router- Model # R860443B is an updated to their original Cordless Router R86044 and uses the Ridgid 18V platform.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid includes several accessories with their router- two bases- both round and square, a detachable dust port, an edge guide, a ¼  inch round over bit, a collet wrench and a storage bag.

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This router is compatible with ¼ inch router bits, an incredibly common size.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid pairs a brushless motor with their Octane technology, as well as SOFTStart for optimal use and performance.

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The quick-release lever is paired with a micro-adjustment dial for easy and precise adjustments.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid’s included dust port is compatible with 1-1/4 and 1-7/8 inch collectors.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

The Ridgid Lifetime Service Agreement ensures you will have a long tool use life.

Value-

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid consistently provides tools at a great value. They aren’t the least expensive on the market, but their value is among the best on the market. Specifically, this router can be purchased at The Home Depot for $99.00, on sale from $129.00. This is a great value when comparing it to other cordless routers on the market. Additionally, Ridgid includes quite a bit of extras in their set that makes it an even better value.

My Thoughts-

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Cordless Routers have become more and more common in recent years, with virtually every manufacturer launching their own version. Ridgid’s first version was well-loved and with good reason. Additionally, compact routers or palm routers have a multitude of benefits, combining excellent power and versatility by reducing size and weight. You will have some limits to what you can do with this class of routers, but that shouldn’t dissuade you. Like most woodworkers, both large and small routers have their place in a shop.

Ridgid did an exceptional job overall designing this router. The small footprint of it allows easy grip and maneuverability in use. When I first started using it, I found the on/off switch slightly awkward. Its placement seems a bit odd, but once I got used to its placement though, it was not an issue at all. One recommendation I would have for users is to be sure you pair it with a smaller battery. This tool, like most compact routers, is designed to be used with slim packs, vs the larger Ah batteries. I happened to only have the 6.0Ah in Ridgid’s Octane batteries, which did make the router slightly top-heavy. This would easily be corrected with a 2.0 or 3.0 battery which is the size most manufacturers recommend for routers of this size.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

Ridgid packs a decent amount of accessories with this router too. The included edge guide, which was simple to set up and operate. Both a square and round base plate were included to cover a wider range of routing needs. As well, Ridgid includes a round over bit which will add value for some users. The big plus that a lot of users will love is the included dust port. Routing is almost always a messy job, so any bit of assistance in minimizing that is appreciated. Not only does this help keep your shop clean, but increases safety by minimizing dust in the environment.

Another feature I really appreciated in this router is the Soft-Start motor, allowing you better control at the start of use. I honestly recommend this feature for all routers and will save you a lot of headaches by preventing damage to your workpiece and is just plain safer for the user.

Ridgid Octane Cordless Router Review

The adjustments are simple to use overall too. These tend to vary a bit by the manufacturer but I thought Ridgid did a good job making them effective and easy to control which is the most important factor. Installing and changing the bits is relatively easy to do as well- the common luck button allows tightening and loosening of the chuck for quick and easy bit changes.

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I have used this Router on a slew of different projects. This size router is perfect for creating things like rabbet joints and trimming other existing joints for perfect fits and this Router is really ideal for these jobs. A question I had a lot on this Router was about its use on hardwood. I have used this router on a slew of cutting boards with wood like maple, pecan, walnut and a variety of exotics and I felt it kept up quite well. Even when used on end grain, it has done an exceptional job. My best advice for really good results on hardwoods is to go slow and steady. I also had a great experience using it on plywood too, giving smooth and consistent results.

Ridgid did a great job with this router. For light-duty users, this router is probably all one would need. For professionals or advanced users, you will find the power is solid for a compact router and is an excellent value. Ridgid certainly provides a lot of budget-friendly options for their tools, and this is a great example of making a great tool at a great price.

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