The Bottom Line
There are also some features that could be improved upon. For instance, the spindle lock must be depressed in order to remove the motor from the base, which is a pinched finger waiting to happen. A true variable speed mechanism (as opposed to the current nine-level variable speed) would also be a welcome addition.
All-in-all, this is a solid router kit that could be special with some refinement.
- Ergonomic, angled handles allow the operator to maintain excellent control of the router
- Plunge Depth Adjustment Knob in place of rotating turret is innovative
- LED lights illuminate the base of the router and the on/off switch
- Variable Speed control isn't truly variable speed, but a series of nine speed levels
- Bit changes in the fixed base are difficult, as the opening is small compared to the large wrench
- To change the motor between bases, the spindle lock must be depressed to remove the motor
- LED lights on the base of the router are thoughtful, but not very effective unless you're working in very dark conditions.
- T-Handle wrench for making depth adjustments above the table is a nice feature.
- Ergonomically angled handles on both bases make the router very easy to control.
- Locking arm on plunge base can be difficult to reach.
- Spindle lock allows for one-wrench bit changes.
- Long power cord with lighted plug is a nice touch.
- Bit changes in fixed base can be frustrating, as wrench is overly large and opening in base is comparatively small.
- Operator's Manual is very well laid-out and easy to understand.
Guide Review - Review of the Ridgid R2900 Fixed Base & Plunge Router Kit
The unit is easy to control and the depth adjustments are accurate. There are some innovations that have been well-thought out, such as the Plunge Depth Adjustment Knob on the plunge base. This replaces the rotating turret found on many different plunge bases, and allows for 1/64" depth adjustments with a quarter-turn of the knob.
There are also some items that could be improved, which would take this router kit to a higher echelon. For instance, if you remove the subbase from the fixed base (to use the unit in a router table), re-attaching the subbase to the fixed base requires installing the centering tool and a cone to center the subbase (as there is about 1/8" of play in positioning the subbase).
Centering the subbase becomes crucial when you intend to use a dovetail jig with a collar. A simpler solution would be for Ridgid's engineers to employ tapered bores in the subbase with tapered screw heads that would automatically center the subbase to the fixed base.
The R2900 includes a T-Handle that allows for above-the-table depth adjustments when using the fixed base in a router table. However, it would be nice if the fixed base's travel would move a little deeper for easier access to the collet above the table. Additionally, if the spindle lock were to engage when the depth adjustment were extended, the user wouldn't have to reach under the table to engage the spindle lock. These two changes would allow for much easier bit changes above the table.
The Ridgid R2900 Router really grew on us the more we used it. With some refinements, this could be a great woodworking tool.