ideas on a router?
Hi , I am a die hard Ridgid fan and I am thinking about buying the Ridgid router R29301, I am just wondering if any of you guys had this router and if so, if it is worth the money. Thanks guys
Re: ideas on a router?
I'm also a Ridgid fan and though I think it's not wise to focus on one particular brand, I do have to admit that one does have a tendency to go where their experience takes them. In my case, I look at tools that fit my budget, my particular needs, and also provides some sense of investment confidence. In most cases, the Ridgid brand, offers more than competitive availability, service, and warranty/service security. So, for me, if the tool offers the features I need and a competitive price, then "Ridgid" it is!
In the case of the R2930 Router Combo, I think it's performance features offer a good alternative, especially if you'll looking to add another "Ridgid" to your woodworking arsenal. So before I get into my own opinions of this router, here's a few reviews that I've read. Do a "Google" on "Ridgid R2930" and you'll find these as well as other reviews:
After doing some reading and looking at the web page and display model, I decided on purchasing the 2930 a couple of years ago. My experience to that point was limited to my 30-year old Craftsman 3/4 hp single speed 1/4" router (made by Ryobi) and the 3-base Ryobi combo that I had purchased in the prior year (2004). All of these are relatively inexpensive units. The old Craftsman router had an absolutely terrible collet, but very nice micrometer type height adjustment, handle mounted trigger, and even an illuminated housing. The much newer Ryobi 3-base has some nice features, but a swelling motor case and ill-designed base assemblies that made swapping a real bear if you aren't careful. (The swilling motor case was fixed under warranty, so I'm much happier now.)
In any case, my objective was to set up a router table with which to handle some of the foreseeable needs I had with renovating an old home and also future "woodworking" ambitions. To that end, the R2930, with it's power, easy above table height adjustment (with the supplied T-handle), and other "useful" features seemed to be a good fit for me. I do have to admit that the LLSA and the "Ridgid" brand had a significant bearing on my choice.
The R2930 has an electronic-controlled speed function which goes to some extent to monitor and hold the speed setting. It also has soft-start, is comparatively quiet, and I particularly like the speed control with it's meaningful RPM markings. Many routers simply have a non-descript 1-2-3 or A-B-C graduation. On the negative side, the on/off switch, like too many routers, is located near the top of the motor housing where it's not reachable (by me anyway) without removing one hand from the base-mounted grips.
The two-bases supplied are nicely machined from magnesium and the hand-grips are ergonomically positioned. In that position they are comfortable and offer good control and the motor is vibration free. While the overall assembly is rather tall, it's balance is nice. The only problem I have is that the locking lever on the plunge base is a bit out of reach for me. It's doable, but the similar lever on my Ryobi 1802M is positioned better. The height adjustments on both bases is easy and I like the incremental adjustable pad on the plunge router. As previously mentioned, there is a "T-handle" wrench that is supplied for use in the router table, it is a significant feature allowing for easy above table adjustment.
The bases are precision machined with no "slop". They lock securely in place with the adjustable latch and yet are easy to remove and/or exchange. Both bases have clear acrylic baseplates which are interchangeable. One is designed to mount the almost universal Porter-Cable-type guide bushings, and, though I'm not sure, I believe the other baseplate will mount the Bosch-type guides. One of the first accessories I added to the router was a nice set of guide bushings that I purchased from Lee-Valley.
The base will also take the Porter-Cable edge guide that Home Depot carries. I know that early on, there were some negative posts as to why Ridgid did not include, or make available, an edge guide. From my point of view, it was a needless concern as Home Depot stocks this "compatible" only a few feet away on the router accessory display. (I think TTI/Ridgid's design team did a good job in recognizing the need for some level of compatibility with existing Porter-Cable accessories.)
I almost exclusively use my R2930 in my router table. Of course, I've played with both bases "in-hand" and really like the illumination provided by the two LED's located in the motor housing. Excellent for use in the shop where the base will otherwise shadow the cutting area. In-hand, the operation is smooth and very controllable. The soft-start minimizes the start-up torque that might otherwise catch you off guard.
I should mention that I use a Rockler table top. They now list the R2930 in their compatibility choices for a mounting plate. They also have some nice accessories that facilitate the functionality and safety of router table operation.
I haven't used the dust-collection attachments that are supplied with the combo, but I have read that though they are functional, they could stand some improvement. Although I don't have first-hand experience with that, I do have to mention that it seems to be a common complaint with many brands, not just the Ridgid. I do use a Rockler dust pick-up attachment on my table and it is efficient when attached to my shop vac.
Another nice feature with the R2930 is that they include two complete collet assemblies; one for 1/2-inch and the other for 1/4-inch. Many routers that I've seen come only with a single collet assembly and use an adapter for 1/4-inch. Although I'm no expert, I think the collet design and precision machining is excellent. There is no slippage and the design incorporates a release function which alleviates "frozen" bit shanks.
The access opening in the base is not as "open" as I would have liked. My first few uses provided some fits on my part as I become frustrated with fitting the two supplied wrenches into the narrow opening. But at this point, I'm used to it and no longer have any problems. There is a locking pin built into the motor housing, that allows use of only one wrench, but I prefer using two wrenches as it seems more comfortable for me.
I know that many veteran woodworkers appear to stick with the traditional brands like Porter-Cable (and others); and in doing so, may not give the R2930 it's due. I'm also sure that you might well find advantages in these long-standing brands and models. Certainly they have a history and well-earned reputation of being at the top of the market. I do have to admit that I have a tendency to march to my own drummer, so to speak. Perhaps its just my naive tendency to be too independent. But, I'm happy with my choice of the R2930. It works well for my use and it fits nicely into my budget and long-term service/repair/low-cost maintenance requirements.
I'm trying to think if I missed any features, but I think I covered the few negatives that I've experienced. Either way, I think this is a good router with nice features and only a couple of drawbacks. If your desire is to stick to the Ridgid brand name, I don't think you'll be sacrificing anything to do so.
I hope this helps, and if you have any particular questions, just let me know,
Re: ideas on a router?
I am in the same boat trying to decide on which router to get like the bosch 1617evspk or the ridgid r2930 and I think I will probably go with the ridgid r2930 for the fact of the features and the warranty. My opinion on the whole thing is your budget, how it feels in your hand and if warranty is an issue. To me all machines no matter who makes them have there disadvantages and advantages and you have to weigh them out. I have to admit I have bosch, craftsman, dewalt and ridgid and I really like my ridgid tools and have not had a lick of problems with them. As far as warranty I have had things that from reputable companys a have had problems with getting warranty covered. So far I have not had to use ridgids warranty, but when the time comes I will find out how they do.
Re: ideas on a router?
Like CWS, I wouldn't recommnend buying any tool based on brand name alone...especially when there are many excellent choices from competitors. Ridgid has some good tools and values, but the emotional attachment is one sided, and can blind us to the best tool. Buy the best tool for you and your needs, that makes the most sense, that you like best, and that you get the best value from whether Bosch, Freud, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Craftsman, DW, PC, Makita, or Triton.
The Milwaukee 5616-24 kit would be on my short list...it happens to also be owned by TTI and is considered by them to be their top professional line if that helps your loyalty concern. It's built like a tank, has an excellent Body Grip feature, and an excellent plunge base.
Last edited by hewood; 06-28-2009 at 10:25 AM.
Re: ideas on a router?
This website was given and it really works nice. That is the set you are looking for, but it is reconditioned, I don't know how you are with those kind of tools.
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