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The R2400 kit includes the laminate trimmer, case, two bit wrenches, and edge guide, bearing guide, 1/2" flush trim bit and the case.
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Ridgid Heavy Duty Laminate Trimmer

Small in the hand, big in the shop

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

   Woodworkers tend to think of laminate trimmers as little routers with a unique set of qualities that make them very useful in their shops. They do trim laminate very well but have other useful capabilities that extend their value to the home woodworker.
   Ridgid's R2400 Heavy Duty, Variable Speed Laminate Trimmer brings a new set of features to this class of tool that make even more useful.

Initial Impressions

   The R2400 has all the marks of a good tool. Tight fit and finish, nicely formed parts and user-friendly features that reach beyond trimming laminates. From its rack and pinion style height adjustment to the included ball bearing guide and edge guide fence, the R2400 has a set of capabilities that make it useful in a wide range of projects.

Motor and Speed Control

The controls are easy to reach and use.
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   The R2400 is powered by a compact, permanent magnet, 6-amp motor. Internal circuitry provides soft start plus senses the load on the motor during operation and adjusts power to maintain bit speed. The motor has a no-load capability of up to 30,000 RPM making a speed control desirable to safely use an extended range of bit profiles.
    The thumb wheel style dial at the top of the R2400 housing allows the user to set bit speed between 20,000 and 30,000 RPM. Though unmarked, the dial has a considerable amount of range making it easy to hit the speed you want.
   The motor has a recessed, toggle-style on/off switch on top of the housing. The switch is easy to get to, positive feeling but protected from accidental startups.
   User serviceable brushes are accessed by removing screw-in caps on either side of the motor.

Depth Adjustment

Bit height is adjusted with this rack and pinion style mechanism.
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   Bit depth adjustment is made with a finger-operated thumbwheel that engages a track on the motor housing. Loosen the clamp, turn the thumbwheel to the desired bit depth and lock the motor clamp.
   To accommodate a wide range of bit designs, the R2400 has an overall height adjustment that allows locating the end of the collet 1 5/8" above the baseplate to even with its lower surface. The length and profile of the bit will influence the actual amount of adjustment that will be available.
   A fixed depth scale is provided on the motor housing that can be used to judge depth changes.
   To change bits, the base clamp lock knob must be loosened about 8 full turns before depressing it to free the depth adjustment wheel from the geared track. The motor housing will then slip from the base for easy bit changes using the two included wrenches. This process sounds more complicated than it really is.

Following the Edge

An edge guide (Top) and bearing guide (Bottom) make working near or at the edges easy and accurate.
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   The R2400 comes with an edge and bearing guide, both mounting on a pair of bars that thread into bosses on the base. Both use the same pair of thumbscrews to secure them at any point along the mounting bars.

   The edge guide has a maximum setting of 4 3/8" from the center of the collet. It has a ¾"-tall by 4"-long lip that rides against the work piece but a pair of holes in that lip make it easy to attach a wooden extension to increase stability even more.
   The bearing guide has a ¾"-diameter ball bearing that can be adjusted for distance from the bit and height, all without tools.

In the Shop

   Throughout testing, the R2400 was easy to use and performed well in all situations. Though only available with a ¼" collet, there are a number of edge treating bit profiles available from various manufacturers, several of which were tried in addition to the included ½"-diameter flush trim bit. Regardless of the bit profile used or the speed range selected, the R2400 never seemed to lack for power. Vibration at the bit or in the housing was never an issue over the entire speed range.

The R2400 is comfortable in the hand which makes accuracy much easier to attain.
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   The shape of the R2400 is comfortable to hold and allows precise control, even when following odd-shaped edges. The wide base provides solid footing that helps keep the R2400 square to the wood when trimming or routing along edges.
   A 12-foot-long power cord makes the R2400 easier to use simply because there is more room to operate without having to move the cord. The cord is equipped with the Ridgid lighted plug that graphically shows the tool is connected to electrical power. A permanently attached Velcro strap makes bundling the cord for storage fast and simple.

Conclusions

   The Ridgid R2400 laminate Trimmer is a quality tool with capabilities far beyond trimming surface materials. Its relatively small size makes it far easier to control than full-sized routers when working with small pieces or in confined areas.
   With a street price of about $99.00, (2-5-2005) the Ridgid R2400 Laminate Trimmer can be a cost effective way to expand the trimming and routing capabilities of your shop. Quality materials and engineering insure this handy little tool will continue to serve an ever-growing range of needs for many years to come.

You can see the Ridgid R2400 at your local Home Depot or on line at www.homedepot.com.

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