Good starter router, but could do better

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Review by NewPickeringWdWrkr posted 03-10-2010 05:13 AM 4605 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good starter router, but could do better No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

As a beginning wood worker on a budget, I have opted for purchasing Ryobi products to fit the bill as the need arises. I’ve been mostly happy with this choice as I find it to be a pretty versatile router. I’ve had it for about a month now.

The good:
- it takes 1/2 or 1/4” router bits
- variable speed that’s easy to adjust
- comfortable
- powerful enough. I’ve never had it bog down even when a ‘little’ too agressive
- micro depth adjustment allows for more precise setups.
- easy changing of bits with a spindle lock

The bad:
- the bushings in the main body that the base slide into are a loose fit. When plunging into a workpiece, it can bind or cause the axis to sway off centre causing as much as 1/16” lateral movement in the bit. This is not a problem when locking the height down with the lever.
- The locking lever is cheap and I have had to reposition it twice now so that the body of the router doesn’t get in the way of good clamping pressure.
- limited accessories available. Ryobi’s site lists some, but getting them within Canada is a pain (special order through home depot cost extra $10 on top of the list price).

All in all, I’m pretty happy with it with the exception of the plunging issue. Good for the price, but it’s that whole “you get what you pay for”

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

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338 posts in 3819 days

6 comments so far

View Newfounlandwood's profile


63 posts in 3841 days

#1 posted 03-10-2010 03:29 PM

Thanks for the review. I agree, Ryobi gets the job done when you’re on a budget. Most things woodworking are hard to come by in Canada!


-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4038 days

#2 posted 03-10-2010 06:52 PM

I’ve got plenty of Ryobi stuff. I used to have an R161 fixed base router which was a decent router for being 1/4” only… I haven’t seen the newer plungers in store. My local HD never seems to have them in stock… That review is pretty helpful actually…

FWIW, I’d take that particular router back. That much slop isn’t normal in Ryobi products… Everything of theirs I own is tight and accurate…

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View Viktor's profile


470 posts in 4224 days

#3 posted 03-10-2010 06:54 PM

I’ve been using this router for several years now. I agree with what you said. Bushings are little loose. I did not have 1/16” lateral movement in the bit, more like 1/64”. I inserted thin wax paper (yes, paper!) into the bushings, it wraps around the axis (post). Somehow it stays there without jamming or sliding out despite repeatable plunging movement and makes a snug fit. I was looking for a thin copper or brass foil to replace wax paper, but could not find the right thickness.
Other than that the router is great. I got it, because in several side to side comparisons it produced the most repeatable cuts (least vibration) among budget routers.

View AaronK's profile


1511 posts in 4270 days

#4 posted 03-11-2010 04:09 AM

I agree – take it back and get a new one. I had an issue like that with my Freud, but by the time i got up off my ass to do anything about it Lowes wasnt carrying them anymore. Freud took the base back and gave me a new one that is much better (still not slop free, maybe 1/128th, maybe i should try wax paper!).

so if your store carries them, bring it back. that’s WAY too much slop.

View Jayp413's profile


69 posts in 3816 days

#5 posted 04-20-2010 01:55 AM

Thanks for the review. I’ve been eyeballing this model.

View furiouswoodsman's profile


1 post in 2085 days

#6 posted 11-24-2014 10:58 PM

Hi Viktor. Exactly how did you wrap wax paper on post? I have the exact same issue.


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