5-in. Random-Orbit Sander R2600 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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5-in. Random-Orbit Sander R2600

Ridgid - 5-in. Random-Orbit Sander R2600

Ridgid’s 5-in. random-orbit sander features a variable-speed motor and built-in dust collection

$80 (As of 7/1/2006)

(3 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor Choice-Best Value

Editor's Review:

by Andy Engel

review date: July 1, 2006

The Ridgid sander is easy to control but moves the workpiece a bit. To measure the sander's aggressiveness, Engel sanded a poplar board for five minutes and measured how much wood was removed. The Ridgid sander removed eight grams of stock over the five minutes and the same amount when a vacuum was attached.

In addition, Engel sanded clear Plexiglass to compare the sanders' scratch patterns. The Ridgid sander had a good scratch pattern. Engel found that the machines with the most uniform scratch pattern tended to be the most aggressive. With vacuum attached, the sander collects 73% of external dust.

Reviewed by Tom Begnal on 2/1/2004 when the tool won Best Value

As part of a new line of power tools, Ridge Tool Co. has introduced the Ridgid R2600, a 5-in. soft-start random-orbit sander. Its 3-amp permanent-magnet motor has a variable-speed feature that lets you adjust the speed of the spinning disc from 7,000 rpm to 12,000 rpm. As the disc spins, it moves in 3/32-in.-dia. orbits to create the random-orbit pattern that keeps sanding scratches to a minimum.

The permanent-magnet motor, usually found only on cordless tools, impressed me in a couple of ways. Compared with other random-orbit sanders I’ve used, the Ridgid R2600 ran with surprisingly little vibration. Also, no matter how much downward force I applied, I couldn’t bog down the motor when it ran at full speed. Granted, we don’t operate sanders while sitting on them, but I came away with a sense that the motor had plenty of power to spare.

The R2600 accepts both hook-and-loop and pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) sandpaper discs. Using 80-grit paper, I sanded maple, cherry, and butternut boards. Under close examination, swirl marks were hard to find, and they showed up only on the soft butternut. Any vestiges of those marks disappeared after further sanding through 220-grit paper. Only the slightest amount of dust showed up on the board, and the dust collector filled quickly, evidence to me that it worked pretty well.

This is a solid, serviceable sander at a low price. Dust collection was about average, and the dust port accepted either a vacuum hose or the easily removeable bag. The top grip was excellent, but the waist was too squat and bulky for comfort.

Pros: Price, dust collection, pad brake, 12-ft. cord, case with both hook-and-loop and PSA disks included.

Cons: On/off switch was prone to accidental contact; variable-speed dial is recessed too deeply.

Editor Test Results:

Dust Collection Effectiveness Average or 63%
Location of Controls Prone to accidental contact
Vibration Rating Good
Noise 88 db.

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Ridgid
Manufacturer's Web Site www.ridgid.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-474-3443
Tilt N/A
Dust Collection Yes
Horsepower N/A
Amps 3 amps
Volts N/A
Speed 7,000 rpm to 12,000 rpm
Stroke N/A
Abrassive Component Size 5 in. disc
Maximum Capacity N/A

I used this tool for some heavy sanding over several hours. I would agree with the review comment that the on/off switch is prone to accidental contact but other than that minor problem the tool has been great. I connected the tool to my shopvac and very little dust was released by the sander. The sander does a great job and has two nice extra features that show the designers were trying to solve everyday small problems. The plug has a light to show when the power is on. No need to turn on/off to the tool to make sure the extension cord is plugged in. Also there is a nice velcro strap to marshal the generous power cord. Simple items that could have been omitted but make the tool nice to user.

Excellent, smooth running, well balanced tool. I chose it over the other brands because it is reasonably priced, and has an excellent warrantly. The dust collector is screw on so it won't fall off with vibration. It's also easy to empty, easy to connect to external suction. The case is excellent as well.

This is my fourth ROS. I have one Bosch and One Porter Cable 333 that are "under the weather" and one other Porter Cable 333 that was my first ROS. The first Porter Cable did not have a brake and the add on brake( installed by the local service center) gave out. But the sander still does a good job.I bought the Rigid because it was rated as a good machine and so far it has outlasted the Bosch and the second Porter Cable 333.It is a nice fit in my hand, so is comfortable to use, not fatiguing. Noise is acceptable.The dust bag does a good job and so I use it for touchups without a mask.(risky I guess)I have not attached it to my vac yet.I use very good velcro sanding paper and am quite satisfied with the job that the Rigid does.Ed

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