|Review by Chris Campbell||posted 07-14-2012 01:20 PM||3288 views||0 times favorited||17 comments|
Bottom line up front – pretty nice little tool for moderate use with a few limitations for a good price.
Some caveats: I am fairly new to woodworking and don’t have deep experience with a lot of tools. I gave this product 4 stars based on the fact that I think it works well, but I feel like five stars should be reserved for “the best of the best.” (Like grade inflation and such). So, four is a pretty good rating and means I would recommend it to a friend, even a good friend.
I also have a Bosch 1617EVSPK which is mounted in my router table. Originally I was going to just use that for everything and just take it out of the table for edge routing, dadoes, etc. That didn’t last long. However, I do have experience with more than one router.
I have used the Ridgid for flush trimming, rabbeting, roundover routing, dadoes. It’s gotten a good deal of use in the last three months, so this is not a “hey look how shiny this is out of the box” review. It’s based on use.
Price: $99.00 from Home Depot – based on comparisons of ostensibly similar products, I think this is reasonable.
- Bit changing is very easy – the whole bottom housing slips right off, then you engage the shaft lock button and only use one wrench to loosen/tighten the collet.
- Work light is still going and provides a little bit of extra visibility.
- Clear baseplates – one square and one round. It’s good to be able to see through them and changing is again very easy. Also, I use the square base as a sort of “bushing” for my exact width dado jig. Instead of installing a bushing, I just make the guide the width of the baseplate and set the router right in it. Will post that project soon.
- Good power – I have not had any problems yet with this router being unable to do its job. Have routed birch, pine and oak.
- Carrying case is nice.
- Edge guide is easy to use/install.
- Depth adjuster feels solid and has good markings on it. When you lock it there is no play up or down, at least not in mine.
- Speed control. I like the option.
- The overall quality of the unit seems to me quite good – finish, fit, solidity etc.
- Power switch location – right on top. The power switch pops up at the top for “on”, which means that unless you are paying attention it is easy to accidentally shut the unit off during use.
- Seems to heat up fairly quickly. I have been mostly routing at a very low speeds which I have since learned is not necessary for such small bits. But for really extensive work I don’t know if this would be the best. May not have as much heat problem when I speed it up. Also, it’s been 100 degrees or so here for the last two weeks in my workspace.
- I wish the baseplate openings were a little bit bigger.
- I don’t like the fact that the edge guide goes down more than 3/4”. Means you can’t use it on a 3/4” piece resting on a workbench. Maybe this is common among edge guides – I still don’t care for it.
So, again, I would say that this router sees moderate use in various roles, and fills them quite well for the enthusiastic amateur for a decent price, with limitations that one can certainly live with.
-- Chris, Minneapolis