Router Woodworking

Ridgid R2401

An interesting trimmer, made in China, ~4 years in production. Small (3.5") base casting, light (<3.5 lbs), powerful (5.5 amps), & using the Compact Router handle. A soft start VS motor spinning ~20 - 30KRPM. Base casting of Aluminum, motor chassis is glass filled non-conductive plastic. Has 8' 2 wire rubber clad cord & small LED work light. The cutter and work visibility is > 1.5" x 200° , probably more than any trimmer. Its manual is above average.

The ergonomics of the castings are superb but with an oversight. For right handed use, with the strain relief to the right (outside) of the work and out of the way, where it should be, you cannot see the cutter or the substrate. The casting blocks your view. DW, Bosch, PC and Makita share this safety anomaly. Another surprise, the motor is supposed to separate from the base casting. Do not try this stunt without your truss. A spring steel clip, retaining the adjustment screw, prevents the disassembly. You simply can't get them apart. & unfortunately, changing cutters is cumbersome whilst the motor and base casting are together.
The motor lock, an over-center clamp lever, royally locks the split casting and is easily adjustable.

The on/off switch is the only trimmer switch that can be identified as on from a plug-in distance away, a strong +. It slides up/down, and by default, slides to off whence the tool is turned upside down for cutter changes. Cutter changes are facilitated with 1 wrench & a spindle lock. You cannot apply enough torque with 1 wrench. The spindle, fortunately, is ground to accept a 10 mm wrench for a 2 wrench lock up. The collet is cheap, short (5/16"!), and sloppy. My .251" go-no-go pin drops right to the bottom. I would not trust its grip on a tool shank with only 1 wrench & the spindle lock pin.

The highlight of this machine is its screw depth of cut mechanism. It is the best of all trimmers. It has a spring loaded 1/2 nut, released/pressed for gross changes, and an acme (derivative) threaded screw for the fine-adjust; and it works. There is just enough friction in my sample for precise changes in either direction. Very well done. The motor travel is ~1-9/16".

The LED, whilst thoughtful, is not significant. You need the damn thing before you start the machine, & not much whilst you're making chips, lest you rout in the dark. This one does not illuminate the work well. & in my view, they're all like this. They mean well, wire it in for competitional reasons, and then ignore the 1/2 assed result.

Router control is unremarkable. The casting/subbase is very small, leaving just ~35% of its 3.5" circle on the work whilst routing down the edge of stock. That number drops to <15% routing around a 90° turn!! You cannot hold this tool flat down on the work, (a universal router design oversight). The subbases (polycarbonate) are way above average, uniform in thickness, flat, transparent, and drilled/(cast) very accurately in a 4 screw square hole pattern. They supply a square & a round, neither will accept the PC collar guide system. The hole pattern on my casting has a misdrilled hole and as such cannot exploit the accuracy of its precision subbase. Moreover, the motor spindle center misses the casting screw hole pattern center x >.070" on my sample.
Not much of a problem for a machine that doesn't use the collar guide bush but does reflect on their QC.

Trimmers should be used as trimmers or for shallow inside templet cuts. This does both well and can handily waste a 1/4" x 1/4" tunnel pathway, (x-grain), with a sharp cutter. Its depth changer is so important to me and works so well that this tool has become my no.1 trimmer. I have about 20 hours of study and use time on my sample. I have no idea how it will perform over time. But I like it and use it, but only with my job-specific offset and oversized round subbases.


In my view, trimmers are too small to navigate around a work piece without tipping and spoiling the cut. An oversized round or offset subbase is an essential for this operator. I make 4 subbases for the R2401. 2 to accommodate the PC/DW collar guide system (round & offset). And 2 with 1-5/8" cutter holes. The Round plates are 5.0" x ~6 & 9 mm x 360°. The collar accepting plates are ~ 9 mm thick and center-able to ~ + or - .002"*. The offset plates are 7-5/16" x 9 mm thick. All plates made of cast Acrylic. All items include shipping & handling.
* Centricity depends on the collar flange diameter, best at 1.374" - 1.375".

1) 5.0" x 360° x ~6mm with 1.6" cutter hole: $25

2) 9 mm x 7.3" Offset subbase with 1.6" cutter hole: $36

3) nos. 1 & 2 : $52

4) 5.0" x 9mm x 360° adjustable Collar accepting plate Kit: $60 (Includes round plate, 4 flange button screws, 2.5 mm cushioned Tee-wrench, pliers protectors, Neoprene wrench sleeve, machined acrylic index ring and .250" centering spindle. See Precision Subbase Kit)

4B) 5.0" x 9 mm x 360° collar accepting subbase with button flange screws only: $35

5) 9 mm x 7.3" collar accepting Offset subbase kit, (includes accessories in No.4): $64

6) 9 mm x 7.3" collar accepting Offset Subbase with button flange screws only: $42

7) Nos. 4B & 5 (same $ as nos. 4 & 6) : $75

8) Inquire about combinations not shown.

Email pat@patwarner.com for purchase information or send check, cash, or money order with request(s) and shipping address to:

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Copyright © 2014 Pat Warner
Last modified: Mon Oct 6 07:21:07 PDT 2014