Ryobi 2HP router for $50: Good deal?

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Forum topic by Dan Lyke posted 03-06-2008 12:59 AM 8391 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4326 days

03-06-2008 12:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question router

For handheld tools, I’m a Festool junkie, but between a Domino, a DeWalt 735 planer and a Leigh dovetail jig, I’ve spent my tool budget for the next few months.

However… my (home made) router table router is currently running with an ancient single speed Craftsman with a 1/4” collet, my Festool router only goes to an 8mm collet, and I’m looking at doing some raised panels. Yes, I know, good bits for that are gonna cost me close to a hundred bucks a pop, but a “Ryobi 2HP router”, the one with the switchable plunge and fixed bases, list price appears to have been $150 in 2004, has popped up on Craigslist for $50, and it seems to have the basic requirements: Variable speed and a 1/2” collet.

First choice would be to spring for a Triton, but for $50 I get something variable speed that should swing the larger bits. I don’t necessarily see power as being a big deal, because getting a good cut with a router involves taking off lots of little cuts at a time.

The Fine Woodworking Review says that it’s noisy, on the other hand I asked my neighbor if he’d heard our power tools, and he said he hadn’t, and I wear hearing protection in the shop.

The potential issues I can see are runout, although I can’t find any mention of this as a problem with this router on the net, and lack of a lift, which I’m getting along pretty well without right now.

Should I jump on this?

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

9 replies so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3969 days

#1 posted 03-06-2008 01:02 AM

I’m not so sure but i know that Ryobi is a decent brand. i love my Dewalt that i reviewed here about a month ago.

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3943 days

#2 posted 03-06-2008 01:32 AM

I think you have yourself a pretty good deal there. I just want to let you know that Ryobi and craftsman are both made by some chinese manufacturing company. If you do some searches for part numbers for a craftsman item, ryobi comes up with parts on google, and vise versa. If you look on Ryobi’s website, there tablesaw with the colapsable stand (the one I have) is exactly the same as the craftsman. It only has one diffrence, and that is color. I belive that if you didn’t like your last router that mabye you shouldn’t get it, but on the other hand you said it was “ancient” so that could be the reason you didn’t like the old one. I have a craftsman router that I got for about $59 that was regularly about $100, and it is absolutely awsome. It is only a single speed, but it does the job pretty well. I might have a posted review on it some time. So, with this said, since ryobi and craftsman are made about the same, with some minor diffrences, I know that what you would get is a fine machine for a great price. If I were you I would get it.


-- Tyler, Illinois

View dlgWoodWork's profile


160 posts in 3955 days

#3 posted 03-06-2008 06:43 AM

If you do buy this router to make raised panels, make sure to cut the raised panels in a few passes. Do not try to cut away all the wood in one pass. $50 for a router sounds like a good deal if it is in good shape. What I am learning from other woodworkers, routers are kind of like clamps, you can never have too many. :)

-- Check out my projects and videos

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4326 days

#4 posted 03-06-2008 05:32 PM

DGunn, yep, one of the reasons my Festool router is the little one is that I’ve learned to take small nibbles with the router. Routers are violent little devices, if taking a 3/8” deep 3/4” dado in a single pass can burn wood (and take the temper right off a bit), swinging a 3” wide cove bit can not just overheat, but can also throw wood and cause otherwise unanticipated violence. My Dad’s got a few short fingers ‘cause of a tablesaw accident, and a router table’s like a tablesaw, except that it’s got a larger dangerous area…

I’m going to go look at it tonight, and I’m torn between knowing that it’s not a Bosch or a Porter Cable (or a Kress…), it’s just a low-end router, and being okay with that, and also knowing that almost every time I buy a cheaper tool I end up getting the higher end version later. And then I’m also realizing that having a number of routers so that I’m not constantly trying to recreate setups could also be a good thing…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View JasonK's profile


56 posts in 3996 days

#5 posted 03-06-2008 05:51 PM

I’d be cautious with the Ryobi. I’m in the same boat as you are right now; new Festool router, new Planer and new Leigh Jig so, I understand that it can be hard to pass up a “good deal.” My new Festool OF1400 is actually replacing a Ryobi multi-base. I had a lot of trouble with the fixed base. The bits would not hold the position they were set at. Over 1’-2’ the bit could rise up as much as 1/4”. Very frustrating!
Just remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for!”

-- Measure once; Cut Twice, Three Times, Four Times...

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4299 days

#6 posted 03-06-2008 10:35 PM

Dan, I waited and got the better router. I popped for the $60 Ryobi 1 hp last year. It has some nice features like a screw adjustment and LED lights to light the work surface. It is great for the smaller jobs where a fixed base is great. But I waited until I had some real money to spend on my big router. I weighed my options about a hundred times before finally deciding to just blow the $300 on a PC 7518. In the end I am really glad I did. I have only had it for three or four months but I feel it was a pretty darn good choice. If you just have to have it now and you can’t wait, then the ryobi wouldn’t be a bad choice, but just plan on upgrading later. A router table needs as much power as you can give it and I just don’t think a 2hp will meet your needs for very long.

-- Rob McCune

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4326 days

#7 posted 03-07-2008 05:13 PM

We had a bike club meeting last night in the town where the seller of this router lives, so we were going to drop by there before our get-together. On the drive down I laid out the pros and cons to my wife, and she said “every time we’ve bought a cheap tool we’ve regretted it. We’ve got at least a month or two before we need to cut the panels, so let’s just wait and get the Porter Cable or something else with a built-in lift.”

So I called the seller and said “sorry” and we went straight to the meeting.

Thanks for the advice, in the end as y’all pointed out it was probably under-powered for the table, the loudness and vibration that various people have mentioned probably wouldn’t have been an immediate issue in a table, but speak to a general lack of engineering and manufacturing expertise, and if the height mechanisms don’t lock super solidly for general routing then using this in a router table is asking for all sorts of issues.

Anyone else interested, it’s still on Craigslist…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3954 days

#8 posted 03-07-2008 07:28 PM

I am not a fan of the RYOBI brand. The one I had liked to creep one me. This was not something you want when you are spinning a biy at 10k. Variable speed is needed for the larger bits. I f it was me, I would pass on it as I would rather save my money for one that will hold up for many years to come.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 4014 days

#9 posted 03-08-2008 02:26 AM

PC , or bosch . I killed a ryobi’ and a skill at work , yet the same bosch from 1986 still runs like new and I’ve used it ten times longer than the ryobi . Now don’t get me wrong I do see on e bay woodworkers like them. So it really all depends , how you treat your tools , do you love your tools, and how long you’d like to wait to buy another one? .... which ever you get always look at the hp . and safety. I think it’s a great buy for home projects , and small projects, just not for work, or long term cabinet work. I’ve heard they are trying better quality control in china with ryobi , But personally , I’m trying to spend the extra to buy american. Or as american as possible. TOOLS is one of those things where for sure””” You get what ya pay for ! I’ve learned the hard way ! bought a german assembled chinese parts , band saw it was horrible….

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

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