Powerful Tool In a Small Package

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Review by Jim posted 01-28-2014 03:04 AM 9703 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Powerful Tool In a Small Package Powerful Tool In a Small Package No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For Christmas I received this little router and finally got a chance to put it to use today. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the big routers and their potential for beautiful work, and great damage. I’ve always felt like I was wrestling a runaway chainsaw. This compact bodied router still has power to do most of the work I need, yet doesn’t feel like it’s going to get away from me like my full body router. I also noticed that the smaller body made it much easier to balance the router on the work piece and keep the profile consistent.

This is actually the newer model of the other two reviews already posted for Ridgid Trim Routers. They boosted the motor an additional 1/2HP on this model. Other than that, I’m not 100% certain of differences from the R2401 model. Based upon those positive reviews I chose this over the Bosch and Porter Cable routers and couldn’t be more happy. Now I can leave my full-size router in the table and use this for non-mounted applications.

For $99 you get:
1 1/2HP Trim Router, Soft carry case, Clear plastic circle and square base plates, bit changing wrench, edge guide, and a 1/4” trim bit.

One of the cons listed on one review mentions the switch being on top. It is still the same on this model, and at first I found it odd but after a few runs I found I rather liked it there. Nothing made me more nervous when using the big routers than fumbling around trying to hit the power switch, while trying to keep the bit from cutting into my project (or me). This setup allows me to hold the router with one hand on the nice rubber grip, while using the other hand to pop the top of the router and it’s shut off. The depth adjustment is very easy to control and a quick-release to allow you to quickly move the bit for large distances, while the fine adjustment allows you to zero in on exact depths.

Overall another great Ridgid tool in my workshop, only changes I’d like to see would be a hardshell case rather than the softshell but it’s not a deal breaker. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s tired of wrestling big routers around or small pieces to work on and no router table available.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

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150 posts in 4132 days

19 comments so far

View Brady's profile


80 posts in 2389 days

#1 posted 01-28-2014 03:53 AM

I have been using mine in the shop this week as I bought myself one for Christmas. I figured out that the switch is on the top because while it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to unplug the router when changing the bit, how many of us actually do that? When the router is turned over while you are changing the bit, it is highly unlikely that the switch will accidentally turn on. While it was unusual, I really like this feature just for this reason.

-- Brady, Texas,

View Ottacat's profile


517 posts in 2661 days

#2 posted 01-28-2014 01:20 PM

I have this router and while overall I’m pleased it does have one glaring design flaw. When the one of the bases is screwed on, the wrench is too wide to use in the opening to tighten the collet. You wonder if they ever use the tools they design. Fortunately using your own wrench with a smaller sized handle fixes the issue.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3058 days

#3 posted 01-28-2014 01:34 PM

Ottacat, I’ve found a large 17mm offset wrench works awesome for loosening and tightening the collet. I agree the included wrench is a problem


View Julian's profile


1592 posts in 3500 days

#4 posted 01-28-2014 03:10 PM

I have the same router and have used it a few times in the past year. My one negative comment about this router is that the collet requires too much force to securely hold a router bit. I had two instances when the router bit came loose during use. I have not used any other compact/trim router to compare.

-- Julian

View Furnitude's profile


380 posts in 4316 days

#5 posted 01-28-2014 04:55 PM

nice review. I’m interested in a trim router for a million reasons. This model looks like a great tool for a reasonable price. one of the main things i would do with it is remove material for butterfly keys. i am wondering if i could do that with a router like this one that doesn’t have a plunge base. the plunge makes that action easy, but I’m wondering if i could either adjust the router to depth while it is running or otherwise introduce the router safely without tearing out a bunch of wood. does anyone do that kind of thing without a plunge base? thanks for comments.

-- Mitch, Also blog at

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4053 days

#6 posted 01-28-2014 04:56 PM

I have been using mine for about 2 years. Still like it a lot. I find the switch on top to be an excellent design.
Not only does it ensure it is off when set upside down for bit changes but when I go to turn it off, no fumbling to find the switch. Just give the top a pat any it is turned off.
After a lot of use, I agree with the comment about the collet wrench too wide. I find it a pain when using it through the side opening. Either the base casting is too narrow or the wrench is to wide as it is difficult to tighten or loosen the collet with the lock depressed. I think I’ll be looking to modify the wrench or the base casting.

And agree looking at the PC and the Bosch colt the Rigid has much better depth adjustability.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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118104 posts in 4386 days

#7 posted 01-28-2014 05:10 PM

Thanks for the review.


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3441 posts in 2607 days

#8 posted 01-28-2014 06:45 PM

I’ve looked at the Colt and would consider this Ridgid. What’s been holding me back is that I have intentionally bought almost only 1/2” router bits over the past 6 years or so, and I don’t want to have to buy a bunch of duplicate bits. BTW, the Colt is now $69.99 on CPOTOOLS—they don’t have any routers on the CPO Ridgid site.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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39 posts in 2631 days

#9 posted 01-28-2014 07:41 PM

I agree with most of the above reviews. It is a good tool for the money. And I did have the same problem with the wrench. Not a big deal. I mostly either adjusted the base or angled the wrench to get it to fit, until I modified it. A simple trip to the grinder and a couple passes of spray paint and it works much better, but this should not be necessary…

View Ron10's profile


31 posts in 2509 days

#10 posted 01-28-2014 09:45 PM

Thanks for the information on the rigid router. I was looking to purchase one and have been doing some research today. While doing that I came across an article on 17 Router Tips which may be useful to some.


View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3106 days

#11 posted 01-28-2014 10:02 PM

I’ve always wanted one and thanks to these comments I ordered the Bosch ‘remanufactured’ for $69 + $6 shipping. I don’t have a giant need for one so price won me over. I even considered the Harbor Freight on until I actually saw and held it. Looked downright dangerous.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3858 days

#12 posted 01-29-2014 12:51 AM

I Have the same router for many years, I lke it very much.
I just wish that we had a plunge base for it.

-- Bert

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3603 days

#13 posted 01-29-2014 02:29 AM

I like mine as well. I marked my wrench where it contacts the base and ground off a little on each side.
I use this router more than any of the 4 that I have.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3397 posts in 4247 days

#14 posted 01-29-2014 02:31 PM

i picked up this unit last summer after my rotozip rotary tool burned out. First time I had actually decided to use it. For anyone considering a rotary tool, do yourself a favor and get something like this small router instead. It will do the job that a rotary tool does with cutting bits and also act as a nice little trim router too. And it should last a while longer I’d imagine! Besides a rotary tool is only good for cutting and it really does a poor job of that. My use was cutting along walls in sheetrock to add wiring in a house remodel. The rotozip burned out after a couple of hours.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3386 days

#15 posted 01-29-2014 08:07 PM

I love this trimmer!
So much that I have three of them lol!

The LED, compact grip and ease of turning it off (just slap the top) are my favorite attributes other than the reliability and power.

About changing bits and the wrench being too wide, I always remove the motor from the base when changing bits. No wrench size issues. ;-)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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