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Common Ridgid Orbital Sander Problems & DIY Fixes

Ridgid Orbital Sander Problems
Written by Willie Osgood

One of the leading power tool manufacturers, Ridgid products are always reliable. But nothing is perfect and even the best have their flaws.

Here we will look at some common issues that people face when using orbital sanders from Ridgid and what you can do to fix them.

Ridgid Orbital Sander Problems – A Quick Look

Model Name Problem(s) Reason(s) Solution
Ridgid R2601 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander Sander loses power or stops functioning when applied on the surface Defective sleeve and bearing assembly Change the bearing assembly
Worn down motor brushes Replace the motor brushes
Defective motor Replace the motor
Variable speed dial doesn’t function Variable speed dial is blocked Clean the variable speed dial
Variable speed dial isn’t clicking Replace the speed dial
Sanding disc came off Loose or missing screws If there are any missing screws, get new ones and re-screw the loose ones
Faulty brake pad Change the brake pad
Dust collector falling off Perhaps the dust collector isn’t set right or it has become loose Make sure you’ve set it right and if the problem still persists, use a vacuum
Device spins out of control Blocked bearing Clean the bearing and then put some lubricant on it
Ridgid R2611 6-Inch Orbit Sander Sanding disc gives up Sanding disc heats up due to excessive use Replace the disc
Motor stops running Dust blocking the motor Clean the motor and from next time use a vacuum instead of the dust bag
Ridgid 18V 5 in. Random Orbit Sander The sanding disc doesn’t spin full speed The rubber brake pad’s fins won’t let the sanding disc spin up to full speed Trim the fins with scissors

Ridgid R2601 5-Inch Random Orbit Sander

Problem 1: Sander loses power or stops functioning when applied on the surface

Possible Reasons:  

Defective sleeve and bearing assembly

Solution: Take away the padding on the bottom and check to see whether the bearing assembly is sealed correctly below and if every ball bearing is in place. If not, remove and change it.

Worn down motor brushes

Over time, the motor brushes may get worn down and could cause the sander to lose power.

Solution: Replace the motor brushes.

Defective motor

Solution: Take the motor off and use a voltmeter to check if the problem is with the electrical connection, or if your extension cord is loose. If any issues are found, replace the motor.

Problem 2: Variable speed dial doesn’t function

Possible reason:

Variable speed dial is blocked

Solution: Remove the top cover and check if something is blocking it internally. If any blockage is found, clean it.

Variable speed dial isn’t clicking

This means the dial is worn out.

Solution: Replace the speed dial.

Problem 3: Sanding disc came off

Possible reason: 

Loose or missing screws

Solution: See if every screw is correctly put into place. If there are any missing, get a new one. Re-screw any screws that are not in place or not tight.

Faulty brake pad

Solution: Unscrew the screws from the hook and loop disc assembly. Then, remove the hook and loop assembly device. Finally, take out and change the brake pad.

Problem 4: Dust collector falling off

Possible Reason:

The dust collector is not set right or it has become loose.

Solution: Make sure you have set it right and if the problem isn’t solved yet, use a vacuum.

Problem 5: Device spin out of control

Possible Reason: 

The bearing behind the sanding disc can get blocked by grease and dirt. It will increase the random orbital motion and cause the sander to spin out of control. As a result, your wood will get burned.

Solution: Unscrew the four screws of the sanding disc with a screwdriver and then remove it. Take a paper towel and clean the bearing. Then put some lubricant on it and make sure it is spinning freely.

Ridgid R2611 6-Inch Orbit Sander

Problem 1: Sanding disc gives up

Possible reason:

If you heavily use the sander and put a lot of pressure on it, then the sanding disc will start to give up. This  happens because the sanding disc will heat up due to excessive use and melt the plastic side of the Velcro.

Solutions: Replace the sanding disc.

Problem 2: Motor stops running

Possible reason:

The dust accumulated in the dust bag can block the motor and stop it from running.

Solutions: Clean the motor and use a vacuum instead of the dust bag  from now on.

Ridgid 18V 5 in. Random Orbit Sander

Problem 1: The Sanding disc don’t spin full speed

Possible reason:

Behind the sanding disc, there is a rubber brake pad with fins on it. The fins stick up just high enough to rub on the back of the sanding disc. As a result, it puts a lot of unnecessary friction that may prohibit it from spinning to the full speed.

Solution: Trim the fins with scissors.

Other common issues

Problem 1: Sander Won’t Turn On

Possible reason:

Dust is hindering the power switch 

Dust can be stuck inside the power switch.

Solution: Unscrew the top cover with a screwdriver and then remove it. After that, clean around the power switch by blowing gently to remove dust.

Defective power switch

Solution: Replace the power switch.

Faulty power adapter

Solution: Replace the power adapter

Problem 2: Sander stops spinning

Possible reason:

The bearing inside the sanding disc is faulty and won’t spin.

Solutions:  Replace the bearing.

About the author

Willie Osgood

An Avid Metalworker

Willie doesn’t really consider himself an artist, rather a craftsman involved in practical trades. Yet, most of his projects require him to make interesting and fine objects. Being the eldest son of a carpenter, his background is 100 percent rooted in crafting. He found the art of blacksmithing quite appealing since his teenage years… that fire, the sound of swinging hammers, and those long and shiny blades that came out as a finished product. Soon he literally became obsessed with metal – the way it moved, worked, and changed when heated or cooled.

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