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Rigid 2900 vs 2901

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  • Rigid 2900 vs 2901

    Well this seems like the right place to ask a few questions about Ridgid Routers. I'm not a big woodworker but I have a few projects to do and needed a good general purpose router.

    I've read a lot of reviews for Bosch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Hitatchi, etc., each with their own pluses and drawbacks and settled in on the Ridgid 2900, in no small part due to the excellent warranty only to find it had been replaced with the 2901. I did some hunting and found one 2900 in kit form (2930) left at a local HD and bought it today, figuring if I had erred I have the 90 day satisfaction guarantee to fall back on.

    From what I've read the 2900 has a better collet system and the extra 1/4 hp rating while being a little taller than the 2901. In my experiences newer is not always better and I figured snapping up the 2900 was in my best interest.

    I wouldn't say I was second guessing myself but there's nothing wrong in benefiting from folks with more knowledge so my questions are, what do you think of my choice for a general purpose router and is there any consensus for a preference on the 2900 vs. 2901?
    Thanks Much!
    Last edited by GMach; 06-13-2010, 02:06 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901


    Welcome to the Ridgid forum.

    I have the R2900 and have examined the newer R2901, in an attempt to catch what the differences are.

    I didn't notice any difference in the collet design, perhaps I missed something.

    The new base seems to incorporate a lot more clear acrylic (if that's what the material is) and therefore I think you can observe the cutter action a bit better perhaps.

    The 2900 is okay, a bit tall and the plunge base locking lever is a bit of a stretch for my thumb. If you have large hands, it won't be a problem. The springs are quite stiff, IMHO but still quite workable.

    I mostly use the fixed base in my router table, where it performs quite well. The motor is not as noisey as some that I've heard. Not an awful lot of room in there, for the rather sizeable wrench, but I'm getting used to it.

    I'm getting a bit of chafing on the bit shanks, Nothing that is "feelable", but you can see it. Still, the collet appears to hold the shank quite well and I like it's release function, though it took some effort to understand what was happening. I think the manual could have been written better and certainly there's a lot to be said about such things that simply aren't mentioned in the manual.

    But, I do have on "big" complaint... I really do NOT like the magnesium motor housing. Humidity oxidation and it takes constant care to keep the thing from turning into one gray fuzzy-looking cylinder. I've waxed it, WD40'd it, and it's simply a PIA... and customer support is absolutely no help whatsoever!



    • #3
      Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

      CWS thanks for the reply, I'm certainly not locked into this purchase and don't mind making a change if I went wrong. Here's what I read on the collets.

      "The R2930 model is now the R29302 model and instead of 2 1/4 HP and 12 amps it has 11 amps and 2 HP. The collets that were full assembly collets has been replaced with 1 collet assembly and one insert, and what was once an optional 2 wrench or spindle lock and one wrench combination is now just a spindle lock and one wrench setup."

      Another review compared the collet lock on the 2901 to a that on a laminate router.

      The corrosion problem could be a deal breaker. I have done a little research since reading the post and the commercial methods for protection are of the not for home use variety. This could be a stupid question but has something like a thin coating of polyurethane been tried?


      • #4
        Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

        Why do you want a Ridgid router? I am intrigued as to what specific features made you want that router. I was not impressed at the ones I looked at. Seemed like just a slightly better Ryobi build , and a lot of plastic parts in areas that could break off with use.
        DeWalt , Bosch , Milwaukee, Freud and some PC's are all better. Some tools are not made very well by certain manuf. Ridgid is not known for their routers as a sought after powertool. They appear to be reducing the build quality to lower the price, I suppose. I do not know why one would want specifically a Ridgid router only .
        Look at DW618 kits, even recon.[usu less than $140], or Bosch. I have 2 DW618 3pc. kits and a CM/Bosch older 2 pc. The best overall hand held plunge is a DW621 . That is my favorite. As far as warranty, do not let that make your decision. I have over 10 routers and moderate use, never had a breakdown . The RE600 Ryobi[when they made good quality powertools before TTI buy out] I have is over 20 years old,used more than any I have in a table, only needs compressed air to clean out as service.


        • #5
          Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901


          Thanks for the link, which I just read.

          I'm sorry to read that they knocked the 1/4-inch, separate collet out of the combo and now have just supplied an insert. I thought the separate collets were a nice plus, as was the option to use either two wrenches, verses a single wrench and the lock mechanism. But, they did redesign the lock so that it is easier to manipulate.

          As far as a better router is concerned (AndyM), I'm sure there are... but like with most products, there's ALWAYS something better in someone's eyes.

          I disagree about the build quality being only slightly above that of Ryobi. While they are both made by TTI, you might want to know that so is Milwaukii! But what's more important is that I don't find that anything on the Ridgid is "cheap" or poorly done. It all works quite well and the three reviews that I read at the time of it's release gave the combo nice remarks. (Google "Ridgid R2900 Reviews") I don't see the "plastic" that you are referring to. But then I don't have nearly the number of routers that you have to compare to. But "plastic" is NOT by anymeans a sign of poor quality, at least not in my experience. There's plenty of high quality grades of plastic materials and in this age, we're as likely to see as many poor quality metals as there are plastics.

          As I mentioned earlier, the only reall negative I have is their choice of "magnesium" for the motor housing. Oddly, I do not get any oxidation on the interior of the bases. The outside is painted of course, but the inside diameter appears to be bare, as is the exterior of the motor housing. Perhaps that is simply because the inside of the housing is less exposed, as is the portion of the motor housing that is inside the housing. Only the exposed area of the housing shows oxidation.

          I've not tried to coat the housing with anything other than the previously mentioned WD40 and non-siliconed paste wax (Butcher's). Anything else would add to diameter and probably interfere with adjustment, or else simply scrape off.

          However, I've taken to NOT leaving my router in the table and now rebag it and those extra steps have greatly inhibited further oxidation. Here in NY State, the humidity is ridiculouse during most of the warmer months. But, I have had no difficulties with aluminum. Iron and steel tools require regular treatment and care of course, but not to the extent that the magnesium seems to require.

          Not long ago, someone suggested a spray treatment used for alloy wheels. I haven't browsed throught my local AutoZone to see what they offer... but that may be a source for some level of protection.

          In any case, the R2900 has some nice features for the price. It also has an outstanding warranty/service agreement plan. Obviously it's by no means perfect, but if you're looking forat a two-base combo, it deserves a look at that price. But as you say, there are a lot of other choices out there and I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the top brands.

          Last edited by CWSmith; 06-13-2010, 11:44 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

            I didn't start out looking for a Ridgid router and after all the comments I've read concerning the magnesium case it's still in question. For a router purchase, I've started from a position of ignorance. One great thing about the Web is all the user reviews.

            So far there isn't a single router, be it Hitatchi, Porter Cable, Bosch, Freud, Trition, Dewalt, Milwaukee, ect that I have investigated that hasn't had some negative comments from users.

            The Ridgid certainly has those too but most are less polarized, not the I love it from one user to I hate it (or I hate this feature from the next) and for the Ridgid I've read many reviews that I would classify as positive.



            The warranty seems head and shoulders above what any one else offers, but as said earlier the jury is still out and I'm happy to hear any comments. If I don't make a stellar purchase, I'd sure like to make at least a good one.


            • #7
              Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901


              I just happened to be looking at my latest Rockler catalog, last evening and noted that the Porter-Cablee 2-base is about $80 or so higher in price. Not sure where some of the other 2-base router brands stand with thier prices.

              An Internet friend, recently purchased a Triton and he seems to be very pleased with it. Some nice features, but I haven't seen one yet or am I familiar with the price. (Just to mention one other brand... lots of choices for sure.)

              Making a "stellar choice" as you mention is certainly difficult, and all any of us can do is make a choice that "fits" best for our individual needs and desires. One thing for sure is that you'll find some things that you really like and a couple that... well, could stand improvement.

              One thing that hasn't been discussed with regard to the Ridgid, is it's compatibility with commonly available accessories. For example, the product got seriously slammed for NOT having or including a Ridgid-brand edge guide or for guide bearings.

              Funny part about that was with such concerns and complaints; only a few feet away on the router accessory wall, was the Porter-Cable edge guide, which fits the Ridgid perfectly! Likewise, P-C style guide bearings are available from several sources; and I have a nice set for both the router base and the table, which I have purchased from Lee-Valley.

              Rockler now mentions the Ridgid router model in it's selection of a table mounting plate (same as the P-C 890, IIRC).

              Finally, for in-hand use the R2900 and 2901 has that nice long cord with it's lighted plug and those two LED's in the base to illuminate the cutting area.

              So while you will always find someone who is willing to spend our money for us, "You really need to buy BRAND X!!!"; the key is to just find what works for you and your budget. If you do buy the Ridgid... well you've got 90-days to fall in love with it or to discover that it wasn't the best choice you've ever made. Again, Ridgid seems to have given you another advantage. It's tough to find these kind of features/benefits with some of the competition.

              I hope this helps,



              • #8
                Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

                CWS, you're echoing my thoughts. I had read that the Porter Cable 690 accessories (guides, ect) worked on the Ridgid. While it's annoying to have to buy those accessories it's less annoying than trying to buy more power, i.e. 2 1/4 hp as compared to 1 3/4. It's the best general purpose router (within reasonable financial constraints) that I'm looking for.

                I do realize this is a slippery slope, bit's, guides, make or buy a router table so I'm not even set up to give it a workout but what's a fellow to do? You have to start somewhere.


                • #9
                  Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901



                  • #10
                    Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

                    I'm still looking, interrupted by an auto problem I had to address. The Milwaukee 5616-24 has some good press and a 5 year warranty.

                    The Dewalts appear to have some issues with speed control failures, the Bosch's with switch failures, many switch failures which they obviously knew about for years and may (or may not) have recently solved.

                    PC's really seem to have the love / hate thing going. Some folks love them, some can't wait to throw them under the bus. Some love the 690 series but wish they had the features of the 890's while (some) 890 owners wish for the solidity of the 690 or the features / reliability of some other brand.

                    The short warranty routers really give me pause when reading about items like burnt out motors or speed controller failures that cost nearly as much as the router to repair. To ignore warranties doesn't seem reasonable unless the history of a piece dictates a low risk.

                    I can echo this sentiment for home appliances, I recently emailed the customer service department of one of the two major appliance manufactures asking why they only offer a 1 year warranty on the sealed systems for their refrigerators, their answer "because we found that most failures occur in the first year". My reply, then offer a multi-year warranty since it won't cost (you) much and will inspire consumer confidence! I didn't get a answer back.

                    Build a good, well engineered piece of equipment offer it at a fair price and back it with a warranty that says someone was proud to make it and I believe consumers will beat a path to your door. It doesn't have to be the cheapest on the market but don't build in glitzy bells and whistles to up-sale a piece of junk. (Hot button! )
                    Last edited by GMach; 06-17-2010, 11:04 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Rigid 2900 vs 2901

                      Warrenties are a real issue for me too! That is what usually makes me give second thoughts to buying Craftsman power tools. They certainly offer the greatest variety and I fully understand that Sears doesn't manufacture anything... but they do often set the specs and then use manufacturer's like Bosch, Emerson, Ryobi, etc.

                      But why would anyone buy one of these tools under the Craftsman brand, when the original manufacturer has a better warranty; ie: Ryobi has a 2-year while the Ryobi-made Craftsman has only a year!

                      But, to each his own I guess; and in the case of Craftsman, perhaps the reason is simply because the retailer is usually only a short drive away.

                      Whenever and wherever I make a purchase, I always inquire about their "return policy"... so many places today want to charge you a restocking fee, which is ridiculous from my point of view. Other retailers simply expect you to take care of any "out-of-box" problems via the manufacturer's warranty. I absolutely refuse to do that!

                      My reasoning being that if I buy a product, I fully expect it to work and to work well for a reasonable time period. If it doesn't work or it fails within a few days, then the darn thing is simply defective... and I don't want it repaired under warranty! IF I'm going to buy a "repaired" product or one that needs repair, then I expect it to be at an extreme discount... who in their right mind would buy anything that needs immediate repair, especially paying the "brand-new" price for it.

                      Similarly, I don't buy stale food products or those that don't taste good... I fully expect to get my money back for such purchases and I strongly feel that if the average consumer would also make such demands, the quality of products and services would increase dramatically.