There are two types of ‘cheap’ tools in this world.
One type is the type that just works. You pick it up for the first time and it glides through the material that you’re trying to cut into, plunge into, or screw into. It makes work that was previously laborious seem utterly simple and easy and you wonder why you never got it sooner. It just works. Better yet, this type of tool also tends to work for a long time. We’ve all had routers or jigsaws – even cameras – that just stand the test of time and survive multiple falls and drops and outperform themselves at every opportunity.
Then there are the tools that are a little more ‘difficult’. These are the tools that don’t quite work right when you first get them out of the packaging. They require extra set-up, they’re surprisingly fiddly, they keep jamming… maybe they ruin the wood you’re trying to cut through. And in less than a year, you find yourself looking for a replacement! These are the ones that lead people to say ‘well, you get what you pay for!’.
So now the question is: which type of tool is the Black & Decker RP250 plunge router? It’s certainly affordable but can it punch above its weight?
What’s included in the Package ?
This is a plunge router with handles on either side and that has an almost anthropomorphic design that is very likeable. The device has very visible suspension for the plunging action and a large body so that the two handles look like arms and the springs look like legs. It is nicely made with lots of curved edges and plenty of shine and the black, orange and grey colorscheme is nice too.
As a plunge router, this allows you to punch perfect holes into your surface, or to start from the middle of a piece of wood. This is some great added versatility to what is already a very versatile tool (everyone should have a router). The plunge depth is 2-1/4 inch, which is also very decent. The router also offers a decent amount power thanks to a 10 amp motor and has all the usual features to allow for cleaner and smoother cuts. For instance, there is the gradual start function and the electric feedback.
Also included in the package are a 1/4inch collet and wrench and an adjustable parallel edge guide for making nice straight cuts.
To use, this is an absolute joy. The two handles are very ergonomically designed and the router is easy to move around on your surface. The power is also decent bearing in mind the price and size of the device and you shouldn’t have any problem cutting through most surfaces. It also has a few nice extras and features. Speeds are variable for instance, which is great for finding the right setting to work with whatever material you’re cutting (8,000 to 27,000 RPM to be precise). Then there’s the ‘sightline base’ which is designed to give you better visibility (we didn’t massively notice this in our review but had no problems with visibility), an easy-to-use depth scale for ensuring accuracy, a spindle lock for easy bit changes and a safety-conscious trigger switch.
Advantages & Disadvantages
This is a tool with a fair amount of features and decent performance considering the price and size. It performs well and will surprise you in terms of just how nice it is to use. But it is a low-end router and it’s important that you keep this in mind before you make your purchase. There is no way to attach guide bushings for instance and it can be tricky getting a straight cut. It’s also obviously not the powerful tool in the world – but you knew that already!
Overall, this is a great beginner tool for those just learning the basics and is not suitable for advanced or even mid-level DIYers. But if you get this thing now, you can rely on it to do a good job and it might just surprise you occasionally. And one day in the distant future, you will find it lying on the floor and be pleasantly surprised to see it still works. This is one of the good kinds of budget tool!
Continue with your purchase on Amazon.