Ryobi P601 Cordless Trim Router Review

May 30, 2017 | by Ethan (email) |

This review originally appeared on our tool review site, Toolbox One.

Ryobi continues to advance the ONE+ tool lineup with the recent addition of the P601 palm router. This trim router is a great option for projects where you don’t need the power of a full-sized router, and that makes this cordless option even more appealing. We found the P601 ideal for creating eased edges, dadoes, door hinge mortising and more. Read on for a full review of the Ryobi P601 palm router.

Stuff Lawyers Made Us Say: We’re partnering with The Home Depot to provide candid reviews of tools from a wide variety of manufacturers. The Home Depot is both providing the tools for free and compensating us; however, the opinions we express here are our own. Remember, we’ll always be up front with you when we’re receiving a free product, compensation, or both. And of course we always strive for objectivity in our reviews.

First Impressions

The box contains the P601 bare tool (no battery), collet wrench and manual. The clear, square sub-base is factory installed, and you can be up and running very quickly. A Ryobi 18v ONE+ battery snaps on top and gives a nice balance to the router. The On/Off switch is conveniently placed and readily visible, and the base is standard die-cast aluminum. The GRIPZONE over mold wasn’t very helpful as we tend to grasp the base for better control. The collet accepts 1/4″ shank router bits. If you’re looking for accessories, you can purchase a circular sub-base and edge-guide separately.

Power and Runtime

Ryobi boasts an impressive 600 linear feet per charge, and most applications won’t come anywhere near that. Remember, the P601 is for specific work like a cutting a chamfered edge or decorative flutes, or trimming veneer. This router is more than powerful enough for those types of projects.

The P601 is a fixed-speed router that maxes out at 29,000 RPM (no-load). Not having a speed adjustment can make avoiding burn marks more of a challenge. Wood species, moisture level and depth of cut all come into play. Usually you can compensate by controlling how fast you cut your workpiece, and we recommend cutting a piece of scrap first.

Depth Adjustments

Making a depth adjustment is straight-forward. First, pull the quick release lever. Use the micro depth adjustment knob for small changes and depress the motor release lever to quickly slide the entire base. If you press the spindle lock, you can remove the base from the motor entirely.


An important consideration for any router is how well you can see your workpiece. We really like the integrated LED light right by the collet. This is a great feature that more and more manufacturers are starting to include.

Pricing and Where to Buy

The Ryobi ONE+ trim router cost $69 for the bare tool. This is amazing considering comparable options cost $100+, and if you’ve already bought into the ONE+ 18v battery line, this trim router is a welcome addition. Ryboi gives you a lotta tool at a great price. Buy it from The Home Depot at the link below.

Ryobi P601 Router Specs

  • Model: P601
  • Battery: 18V (sold separately)
  • Light: LED
  • Collet Size: 1/4 in.
  • Speed: 29,000 RPM (No-Load Speed)
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs. (No battery)
  • 3-year limited manufacturer warranty
28 Responses
  1. glenn dunham says:

    First, I don’t like being required to give my mailing list—I get enough junk mail already. Second, not including a battery may make the tool less expensive but it just makes one wonder what you are trying to prove by not including the battery. I know of no other tool maker that makes you buy one to be able to use the router. You just complicate purchasing the router. Do you have an in store display that tells the purchaser he must buy the battery separately? I really would like to know what Ryobi will gain by making it harder for a customer to make a simple purchase more difficult. That seems to go against any sales rules I’ve ever seen.

    • Stephanie B. says:

      I personally like that I can buy the tool without the battery. I already have several Ryobi One tools and the batteries are interchangeable.

      • Paula J says:

        I agree as I already own other Ryobi tools! Even bought a Fast Charger to get my batteries going again in 20 mins or less.

        • Robert Wilkey says:

          Lord I only buy Ryobi products as well.You can’t beat their reliability and they do charge up very quickly.They also work as good as the more pricey tools and stay charged just about the same as you’d expect from making or Dewalt tools.

    • Benjamin says:

      It is done this way because majority of people that buy the starter kits or combo kits that include a battery or opt to by the LED Hicaps which are not included in those kits. Honestly a good portion of the one+ tools are like this, and personally it’s the right way to do it for a business like home depot where contractors pick up tools.

    • Fred says:

      Glenn – We will update the field to say “email” and we never send junk mail. Sometimes we contact commenters individually to provide more detailed answers to questions they ask. You could put in a fake address (some people do) and we wouldn’t know. We need the email also if you subscribe to comment-replies (A feature some people like).

      As for the battery – Ryobi makes 70+ ONE+ tools. It simply doesn’t make sense to own 70 batteries, or even 10 batteries if that’s how many tools you have. You can make do with 2-4 batteries and just swap them around as needed. If you’re an individual carpenter, owning the extra batteries just adds unnecessary cost and weight to your toolbox.

    • Bill R says:

      I’m a fan of not including the battery. I have seven of the 4 Ah batteries thanks to the 2-packs going on sale. I’d much rather not have a battery included than including a lower-capacity battery that I’ll only use in one of my flashlights.

    • Don blenn says:

      I actually like that it comes without a battery, the ones the normally bundle with a tool are low mah which is ok but I have a dozen different ryobi tools so bought the 4 Mah batteries for longer life.

    • Roger Cupps says:

      I like the fact the tools are sold without the battery and charger. I have 8 batteries and two chargers at home and I really dont need any more right now. If you are a die hard Ryobi tool user as I am the bare tool concept works well.

    • Jimmy G says:

      The Ryobi 18 volt ONE+ system is very well advertised at the Home Depot display, I think you need to pay a little bit more attention before you put the item in the cart. The system has been around for quite a while now and I have never heard anyone complain about the system or the performance of the tools. I appreciate a company that looks out for the consumer, it doesn’t happen often.

    • Jim D. says:

      Sounds like there’s a lot going on against you making this purchase if this is a singular purchase for you. I, like others posting here, already have a complete compliment of Ryobi tools – and this will add to about a dozen tools I already have to begin with. I have a six battery charger w/ all spaces occupied, so if you are already using DeWalt, or Milwaukee tools… you may want to stick with those brands.

  2. glenn dunham says:

    It took me several times to get my “Mail” address right.I understood “Name” but I misunderstood “Mail”. Maybe you should change “Mail” to “E-mail” in your “Leave a Reply” form.

  3. ray long says:

    have been running ryobi tools since they first came out at home depot will never change brand used on construction jobs

  4. Local Dad says:

    I’m a contractor and I’ve been using these tools for years.
    After burning through Dewalt, Makita and Bosch sets of battery tools, I bought a set of these Ryobi tools in frustration, not knowing which company to buy, after having the top 3 go tits up in 20 years.

    Well, surprise surprise, they held up. Not only did they hold up, they put performed like crazy. At half the price. Nuff said about Ryobi in general, on to the router.

    If this tool is anywhere as good as the previous battery operated trim router they put out (yes, there IS a previous model) I’ll be purchasing at least two of them for my shop, to replace the one I was able to finally burn out a few months ago, as well as the one that still works, but is so old and well used that I actually don’t remember how much work it’s done.

    So, a few comments on the new router; aluminum base-better! The last one had a plastic base, which worked well, but was destroyed by UV and was cracked and falling apart. It worked a LONG time, but it just wasn’t as well built as it should have been.

    The single speed is something I hope they improve for the next model, it’s a detriment.

    The grip? Not sure why they would put it where it is…makes no sense.

    All in all, I’m going to,pick one of these up this week. I’ll wait for a sale to pick up a second or third (you don’t change bits in a wood shop, you change routers. We have at least 12 of different sizes)

    I’d say buy this if you have a specific use for a trim router AND you own the Ryobi system. It’s not worth setting up an entire battery tool system to try one tool. Their drill/impact driver set is often on sale for $99 and worth every penny.

  5. Working man says:

    Nowadays even the cheaper tools like Ryobi and Rigid work really good, but if you’re going to be using it as an everyday tool in your line of work I would recommend shelling out the extra money to get the higher quality tools with more features, power, and durability. We had a Ryobi orbital sander at work, it worked great, but the tiny screws holding the Velcro pad that holds the sandpaper discs kept coming loose and we had to buy another more costly brand of sander. The Ryobi sander lasted about a year, it was used about four days a month (5-8 hrs on those days), it was a little less powerful than he yellow brand. Also the fact that it doesn’t come with a battery isn’t to hide anything, like one poster above said, one (two for construction) battery is enough, if all their products came with batteries you could end up with more than five batteries in your tool kit, who needs that many?

  6. Danny Lopez says:

    I own several Ryobi tools and 4 batteries. I rotate them from tool to tool. Doesn’t make much sense to buy a new tool with a battey. I believe the whole Ryobi concept is their batteries fit all + tools. Great job Ryobi!

  7. D.Combs says:

    First time user of Ryobi tools won`t have 10 batteries! After using DeWalt tools for years, plenty of batteries plenty of cost. For me Ryobi is a local company. If we dont have any Ryobi products with batteries, there should be a incentive to buy it with a battery at a cheaper price than the competitors!

  8. Roger Cramer says:

    I have almost every tool they have made and love them all. The improvements over the years have added to there value and utility. They are a cost effective solution to the market and frankly in most cases as good or better quality and durability then the higher end Dewalts and Makita’s. I hope they keep up the good work and continue to provide the quality and affordability of their past.

    FYI, my favorate is there newest skill saw offering, well balanced and great performance! I just completed a 1,500 sf house primarily using this tool and it never let me down.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Bill R says:

    Great overview of the router. I saw that it was available a few weeks ago and have meant to check it out. I switched most of my portable go-to tools over to Ryobi when they moved over to Lithium-Ion and have been very satisfied after several years now. I do wish they would come out with a new version of the One+ wet-dry vac; it would drain the NiMH batteries, but I get good enough run-time with a 4Ah battery. I’d buy another one right away, because my wife keeps taking mine into the house! One request, it would be great to have an accompanying video t see the product in action. Great stuff!

  10. Some tools should come with battery. Think. I bought wife the glue gun. It has no battery. Now think. Would a wife have a bunch of othere batteries laying around? No. Bye the way if any of you people have a spouse that uses hotmelt glue guns this is absolutely the best there ever was or is. It truly is fantastic, the battery base allows it to stand upright never looking for a spot to set it!! gmc

  11. Jim says:

    I do not own a roybi tool but after reading the review I might give ithem a try. It seems like they are a good dependable tool with lots of options. I have a workshop loaded with Mikita, DeWalt and Milwaukee tools. I have been very loyal to the these brands having grown up Iin the construction field.
    But it is always good to keep options open. At worst I will go back to my tried and true. I really like the router and plan to start there.

  12. Larry Pettyjohn says:

    I think Ryobi makes solid tools. I have used them working in the construction field. Working with companies that supply tools, there is a need for a battery with every tool. If I’m using a sander in one room, a couple of other workers in another room with drills, and another elsewhere using reciprocating saw and flashlight then we all need a battery for the tools we are using. I agree you should not have to purchase a battery if you don’t need it but they could offer a price break on a battery when purchasing a tool that does not come with a tool don’t you guys think so. Also not everyone owns a Ryobi tool but could be interested in one of their told but might not want to purchase the tool and also have to buy a full price batter. I own a few Ridgid tools and they do the same with their tools so my opinion is that Ridgid could do the same.

  13. John O says:

    I’m glad a lot of people have had good luck with Ryobi, I’ve had varied results. Burned up two saw-zalls, the first one lasted a long time and I abused the hell out of it, died on plate steel. Got the “revised” replacement and killed it in 2 hrs. I’ve got 3 dead battery packs that are now useless, circ saw bearing noisy, Leaf blower bearing noisy, one sander just died, for cheap alternate I like them but they don’t seem to last.

  14. Scott H says:

    I have found over the years that Ryobi makes tools that look good but just aren’t well built. I’ve never had one last long.

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