Rigid R2601 Random Orbital Sander

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Review by JetDriver posted 03-12-2016 07:47 PM 3369 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Rigid R2601 Random Orbital Sander No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I received my Rigid Orbital sander for Christmas this year and since then have had a chance to put it to good use on several projects. It’s my first Orbital Sander so I can’t compare it to other models based on personal experience but my choice was based on internet research that showed it to be among the best on the market at this time. Overall I would say it has fulfilled my expectations and I think my old Craftsmen palm sander is likely to start collecting a lot of dust in the future.

The first question of course with a sander is how well it performs its intended task and in my judgement it’s a very solid performer. The variable speed control and soft start features allow you to use it on a wide range of materials from pre-sanded plywood that only needs a mild touchup (and which is very easy to sand through) to course construction grade materials where you have to do a bit of work before you have a smooth surface. I do find that on rough or uneven material it wants to take off a bit but I suspect that is a characteristic of an orbital sander.

I have found that even after using it for an extended period my hand doesn’t feel numb or tired. It’s not of course 100% vibration free but on the whole I find it remarkably smooth. The Power on/off switch is nicely recessed in comfortable molded top. It well works well and only once have I inadvertently switched it off while in use.

The dust collection is good even when not hooked up to a vacuum and very good when hooked to a shop vac. The performance of the dust collection system might just be this sander’s best attribute.

Overall I am giving the sander 5 stars. It is not only a very capable sander but its comfortable and has excellent dust collection.

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22 posts in 1908 days

7 comments so far

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4240 days

#1 posted 03-13-2016 02:31 PM

I have two of these, the older one had a lightup cord so you know when it’s plugged in. It’s hard to find replacement pads for it, but overall, I love them, which is why I have two of them. I’d give them a 4.5 because the pad issue and I’ve notice that the latest one the dust collection piece doesn’t’ lock onto the sander as well as the original one did.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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3107 posts in 2833 days

#2 posted 03-14-2016 01:09 AM

Thanks for the review. I have several ROSs, none of which are wholly satisfactory. I will be checking this one out.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Tango's profile


105 posts in 4361 days

#3 posted 03-14-2016 02:35 AM

Nice sander. Mine gave up after a couple of years of moderate use. Some bearing got loose and after the soft start the speed kept going up and up. Out of warranty, bought a similar one. This one is still working fine so far…

View Tango's profile


105 posts in 4361 days

#4 posted 08-26-2016 02:29 AM

Ok…the second sander has now the same problems than the first one…Ridgid warranty is a total scam. They claim a Lifetime warranty but you must keep the original box because the require you to submit the ORIGINAL BAR CODE from the box…and if you did not registered your tool on Ridgids website…then forget about warranty…and if you did not kept the original receipt…guess what…forget about warranty….
Never again…I better spend my money in some other brand.

View PlanBWoodworks's profile


168 posts in 1290 days

#5 posted 06-24-2017 02:29 AM

I purchased this sander in August of 2016. Today, I was using it to sand a router table that I am working on. A few minutes in, I noticed that it was making a strange whistling sound. Shortly after that, the sander became very jerky and then the sanding disc would grind to a halt when placed on the work piece.

I registered my sander when I purchased it, and received the lifetime warranty confirmation from Ridgid. I went to their website for details on how to have the sander repaired or replaced. They state to take it to Home Depot for service/replacement. I plan on doing it tomorrow.

I have read some horror stories about Home Depot charging $20 for the warranty claim and also have heard that Home Depot has even told some people that Ridgid is lying about HD handling service claims.

After reading the comments regarding keeping the box and original receipt, I do not have high hopes that I am going to be returning home happy with the outcome of my warranty request.

I am not going to pay anything for a “lifetime warranty” request. $20 bucks to service a $60 sander is crazy. In addition, if the service is as bad as I have heard, I’ll chunk the sander and scratch Ridgid from any future tool purchase considerations.

I’ll update my response after I go to HD tomorrow.

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

View PlanBWoodworks's profile


168 posts in 1290 days

#6 posted 06-29-2017 01:44 AM

I wanted to make sure that I was taking the correct steps to ensure that my sander was repaired under warranty. I went to the Ridgid website and filed a claim on Friday. In the claim I asked for verification that I should take it to HD. I also asked that they verify that I should be charged a fee. I received no response, despite the fact that their customer service department was still open.

On Saturday, I took my sander to HD for repair. I wanted to make sure that I took as much of the original packaging as I could. Since I didn’t have the box, I dug out the bag that it came with and lo and behold, the receipt was in the bag!

I went to the tool rental counter, and the guy behind the counter took a look at it. He said that he has had several issues with that particular sander. He told me that he needed to order parts for it. He did charge me an $18.95 (plus tax) service fee, that will be refunded once the warranty is verified. He told me that I should have it back in a couple of days.

Not feeling overly confident that I would see my sander in working condition again anytime soon, I went ahead and purchased a new R.O. Sander. It is the Makita BO5041 (awesome so far!).

Fast forward to today (Wednesday) and I FINALLY received a response from Ridgid “Customer Service.” In the response, the agent recommended that I ship the sander and all of its components to the nearest authorized Ridgid repair center – as there is not one within 100 miles.

I responded that I had already taken the sander to HD, as recommended by the Ridgid website, because I had not received a timely response from Ridgid. I also stated that I had not heard anything on the status of the repair. I concluded that the deciding factor in originally purchasing Ridgid was due to the warranty that should make any necessary repairs quick and painless. Due to the lack of timely response and repair, I was questioning that logic for future purchases. Yet again , I am awaiting a response.

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

View JR545's profile


24 posts in 1995 days

#7 posted 07-15-2018 07:36 PM

The pad brake on the Rigid is a wear part. Replacements are available on Amazon for a reasonable price. I’ve owned this sander for approx 2yrs and I’ve gone through multiple pads and brakes. Decent utility sander for the money but I’d like something a little more refined with a different pad brake system that doesn’t need replacing constantly for proper operation.

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