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Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

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  • Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

    OK, so our favorite retail home center is having their annual tool clearance sale. Several stores have both the R29301 and the R29302 on clearance sale for $129. I can't for the life of me, tell the major differences between the two models, other than the fact that the model number on all of the components (motor, fixed base, & plunge base) are different. The R29301 comes with R2910 Fixed Base, R29201 Plunge Base, & R29001 Motor, while the R29302 comes with R2911 Fixed Base, R29202 Plunge Base, & R2901 Motor.
    Clearly there is a difference in the advertised motor specifications (the R29301 is listed as a 2 1/4 HP, 12A, and the R29302 is "downgraded" to a 2HP, 11A. The included accessories are all the same, but it looks like the new model (R29302) did away with a seperate 1/4" collet and went with a 1/2" to 1/4" collet adapter instead. It also looks like the collet nut on the new model is much smaller than the older style 29301 (looks like 1" vs 1 1/8"). Both are made by One World Technologies and both are listed as being able to qualify for the "Lifetime Service."

    Anyone have any insight as to which unit I should pick up?

  • #2
    Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

    only difference i know of that you didnt mention was the button to lock the collet is a square on the newer model. Its much easier to depress and no indent left on your thumb

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    • #3
      Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

      "Improvements" on the R29302 include the modified collet lock button as PesciWasp previously described. Other improvements that I have observed is that the fixed base is modified to improve vision of the cutter area.

      Cost improvements seem to be supplying only the single 1/2-inch collet with a 1/4-inch collet adapter, instead of the original's separate 1/4-inch collet. I would prefer the latter, separate collet.

      I'm not sure what is supplied with the R29302. With the R29301, you got a centering cone with a double-ended collet fitting. Also included were a T-handle (for above table adjustments) and a dust-removal shield, as well as shields for both fixed and plunge bases. Also a zippered full-size bag of course. These items may well come with the newer model, but I haven't varified this.

      At $129, both are spectacular buys. I'm not sure the horsepower difference is anything at all to consider, as it's very slight. I would however prefer the separate collet, if give the choice. If there are any other "cost cuts" then I'd probably choose the earlier model, but I think I'd want to examine the newer model again, just to make sure that there are no other control enhancements, like the locking button or base visual modifications.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

        Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
        "Improvements" on the R29302 include the modified collet lock button as PesciWasp previously described. Other improvements that I have observed is that the fixed base is modified to improve vision of the cutter area.

        Cost improvements seem to be supplying only the single 1/2-inch collet with a 1/4-inch collet adapter, instead of the original's separate 1/4-inch collet. I would prefer the latter, separate collet.

        I'm not sure what is supplied with the R29302. With the R29301, you got a centering cone with a double-ended collet fitting. Also included were a T-handle (for above table adjustments) and a dust-removal shield, as well as shields for both fixed and plunge bases. Also a zippered full-size bag of course. These items may well come with the newer model, but I haven't varified this.

        At $129, both are spectacular buys. I'm not sure the horsepower difference is anything at all to consider, as it's very slight. I would however prefer the separate collet, if give the choice. If there are any other "cost cuts" then I'd probably choose the earlier model, but I think I'd want to examine the newer model again, just to make sure that there are no other control enhancements, like the locking button or base visual modifications.

        I hope this helps,

        CWS
        CW...thanks for that insight. The accessories are the same for both units...I have both models sitting in my workshop (since I couldn't make a decision and I didn't want the deal to pass me by). One will be going back for a refund.

        After looking at both units, it also appears that the R29302 unit (with the R2901 motor) has a milled and polished housing (either that or the Magnesium housing on the R29301 has begun to get a bit of surface corrosion...as it's a dull grey compared to the new model (we're talking Mag wheel sparkly). Control on both units appears to be the same, speed control via dial settings. Given that the only major difference appears to be the collet design (and I kind of prefer the insert over the dedicated collet as I believe this will make bit swapping much faster and also less likely to accidentally cross-thread the collets..due to not being removed as often), I think I've made my decision to keep the R29302 model.

        Tony

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        • #5
          Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

          Tony,

          Given your preferance for the "adapter" vs a separate collet, I think you've made a good choice. Your points and concern for "cross threading" are well thought out, in my opinion.

          The grayness vs the shiny mag-like appearance is oxidation. At least that is my experience. I'm located here in NY State's southern tier and during most of the we have a humidity problem. My shop is in the basement, so even more so during the warmer months. "Oxidation" is a definite problem with this tool and I've taken great pains to protect the motor housing, to no avail. (Waxed, WD-40, dry-lube, etc... nothing seems to work.) I keep a de-humidifier going in the basement shop, and generally the humidity never rises above 60%, but that doesn't stop the oxidation; and from what I've been told, magnesium has a problem in that respect. I now keep the router upstairs when not in use.

          I talked to customer support about this issue, but frankly that was fruitless, as the individual that I talked to told me the motor housing was made of aluminum which of course it's not. Oddly, the inside of the two bases have shown no signs of corrosion, only the motor housing. None of my aluminum tools or accessories suffer from this and even my iron tools survive quite well, with a slight oiling.

          Other than the oxidation, I've been really happy with my R29301.

          BTW, welcome to the Ridgid forum. This is a great place with lots of very experienced and helpful members. Please feel free to join in.

          I hope this helps,

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

            There are a few more differences that have not been mentioned. I started with the newest R29302 model and exchanged it for the older R29301. The older model allows you to change bits with two wrenches or the spindle lock vs. spindle lock only on the new model. That could be a convienience beceause sometimes it is hard to unlock the collet with only one wrench. The R29301 does have the square button for the spindle lock as well, not the round pin like the original model. Also, the collet nuts on the R29301 are the same size as Porter Cable collets - using a 1 1/8 inch wrench. I have another PC router, so any wrench I have around will work on the collets. The other advantage to this is that you can buy an offset bent wrench from MLCS for the Porter Cable router and use it to get above the table bit changes on the Ridgid. This is a huge advantage IMO. I don't know if a bent wrench is availble for the newer model collets size or not. All this with the extra bit of power and two high quality collets makes the R29301 a better router IMO.
            Last edited by Sawatzky; 01-19-2011, 11:56 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Router Differences: R29301 vs R29302

              Sawatsky,

              Thanks for the post. I knew that the R29301 has a lot of compatibilities withe the Porter-Cable, like using their edge guide, P-C standard guide bushings, etc. I didn't realize that the collet nuts were the same size too.

              Thanks,

              CWS
              Last edited by CWSmith; 01-19-2011, 09:04 PM.

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