Ridgid Octane Cordless Compact Router Review R860443B
Having reviewed the Ridgid cordless trim router some time ago, we became intrigued when they released an updated model. The new Ridgid Octane Cordless Compact Router (R860443B) remains fully backward-compatible with all Ridgid 18V batteries. It does, however, offer some additional power when combined with new Ridgid Octane batteries.
- Decent run-time
- Plenty of power for corner beads, cutting in hinges, and basic routing needs
- Easy rough & fine depth controls
- Not yet sold as a kit
10-Second SummaryThe Ridgid Octane Cordless Compact Router gets the job done. There was a time when the Bosch Colt router was the only game in town. Now, everyone makes routers—and several make cordless models. With a brushless trim router priced at just $99 right now for the bare tool, however, Ridgid draws attention by providing unparalleled value.
Ridgid Octane Cordless Compact Router Features
The Ridgid Octane cordless compact router has everything you’d expect in a compact router. The collet takes 1/4-inch bits and it includes both round and square bases that swap easily with four Philips screws.
You get a detachable dust port and edge guide. The dust port does a decent job collecting material, even when using lighter-weight vacs like the Ryobi cordless shop vac. It can connect to 1-1/4 in. or 1-7/8 in. hoses.
Ridgid R860443B 18V Router Depth Adjustment
Adjusting depth on routers seems almost standardized at this point. The Ridgid R860443B certainly works as we expected. A quick-release lever handles large adjustments before you use the micro-adjust dial to fine-tune your depth. We had no problems setting proper depth for avoiding ledges on corner rounds or when configuring the router for cutting in hinges and locksets.
Using the Ridgid Octane Trim Router
Because of the soft-start motor, the Ridgid Octane trim router eases into its 30,000 RPM top speed. This helps prevent the router from jumping when you turn it on. Anyone who’s ever put a gouge in a workpiece due to sloppy router handling knows this well. It also extends the life of the motor.
Ridgid does make some specific power claims. In particular, the tool delivers up to 15% more power than the brushless Ridgid R86044B when using an Octane battery. That might let you handle slightly larger bits. It most certainly feels more confident when putting edges on denser, harder materials. The bit doesn’t slow down as easily when you bear down into a longer cut.
We gave the Ridgid Octane router a bit of a workout when cutting in dozens of hinges on 6-panel replacement doors for a recent condo renovation. In conjunction with a Ryobi 1/2 in. Carbide Door Hinge Template, the router blew through the work as expected.
We also used the router freehand to prepare recessed locksets for all those doors. The size and ergonomics of the tool make it easy to control. I got through the work quickly and my hands sat comfortably around the tool while I worked.
It used to be that cordless routers were amazing. Now, enough models have come to market that most of them seem to act and feel the same. This router compares well to the prior Ridgid brushless model. It does feel a bit more powerful and certainly, the newer Ridgid Octane batteries allow it to make more (and more powerful) cuts.
The real win here has to do with price. At $99 for the bare tool (discounted from the normal $129), Ridgid users can pick up a cordless router on the cheap. It’s almost too good to be true. Compare this to the other models on the market:
- Ridgid Octane Brushless Router – $99 (bare tool) [$129 regular price]
- Ryobi ONE+ 18V Trim router – $69
- Makita 18V LXT Brushless Router – $129
- DeWalt DCW600B Brushless Router – $179
With registration, Ridgid backs this tool with their Lifetime Service Agreement. That means free parts and service for life. If that doesn’t get you to the store, I’m not sure what will.
Ridgid Octane Compact Router Specs
- Collet: 1/4-inch
- Motor: Brushless DC soft-start
- Bases: Square & circular
- Depth adjust: Quick release + micro-adjust dial
- Vacuum dust chute
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 7.25 x 3.5 x 5.9 in.
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
- Includes: R860443 18V Octane brushless compact router, square base, round base, detachable dust port, edge guide, 1/4 in. bit, collet wrench, and operator’s manual
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