Rated 1 out of 5 by ezski1 My opinion on the front clip problem
Tonight I was using my sander and i couldn't help but think how great it was (at first). The paper is easy to change, it came with a case, and IT DOES COME WITH A HOLE PUNCH!
Then i started having the front of the papers pop out of the sander. At first i thought it was fluke but then it started happening all the time even with new sheets.
I went online and googled the problem and came to the review at this site. Yes the reviews are correct you will eventually start to have this problem with the product. I have had my sander a while and some people say 10 hours before the problem starts to happen. I can't say if it is 10 hours but it will start to happen. I am sorry rigid, for that reason, this is a product defect. Read on to find out the cause....
I couldn't understand why a product would work fine for so long and then just start letting the front of the paper go. There had to be a reason, and, here is what i think it is....
1. IF you pull the front clip open as far as it can go you will see that where the clip contacts the paper it looks rough and maybe white and hazy. From repeated use the soft plastic clip starts to get very rough which leads to point 2.
2. I notice (IMO) than when the front clip is worn and rough it actually pushes the paper away from the clip when it tries to clamp down. This little push causes the paper to move forward and the clip does not have as big a "bite" on the paper any longer. It is the rough edge of the clip pushing the rough side of the paper forward. When the clip is newer it slides over the top of the paper. Perhaps the spring is a little stronger but read on to see a work around. Read point 3 for THE band aid FIX!
3. Yes i have sort of a fix for this, that is until i get this sander in for service. Given that the clip used to be smooth and the sandpaper rough i needed to find a way to make it that again. What i did (more to test my theory) was to take a some black shinny glossy duct tape and cut a strip about 1/2 inch wide. I then taped over the tip of the sand paper with the tape on both the front and back of the sand paper (folding it over at the end). You only need to do this on the front of the paper. Now 2 things seem to help in doing this. a.) The paper is a bit thicker perhaps addressing a weakened spring and b.) the clip now making contact with the smooth shinny tape slides on the paper and does not cause it to push the paper forward any longer. I have used this workaround on at least 8 quarters of paper and it has not let go once.
This clip issue is a big problem and if i had to buy a sander again i would look for one with 2 clamp clips like the rigid has on the back of the sander. Sure my fix idea slows down paper changes but and no contractor is going to cut little pieces of duct tape for each piece of paper. I do it cause it works and lets me still use the sander. I will still be contacting service to test out this "legendary" Rigid warrenty
About the comments on the dust collection. It is true this little bag does not catch much dust at all. The fan of the sander seems to blow more air out the side of the sander than in the bag causing softer woods to make dust everywhere.
The truth of the matter is that i like the way this sander feels in my hand and its performance. That is what the rep sold me on when i bought it and to that effect it lives up to those two qualities. I generally use a vacuum on mine so the bag doesn't bother me as much and i don't know what other sanders perform like but with a vacuum attached there is little to no dust on the project. It does get annoying when i get into tight spots and i have to take the hose off.
I own many rigid and dewalt products. All of my rigid products are great with the exception of this one. I would buy any of them over again with the exception of this sander. The shame of it is that if this sander did a better job with the dust and holding the paper it would be a 10 out of 10 for me.
oh and PS if any one from rigid is reading this, every one of my orange tools has a case except your belt sander. YES it matters.
Thanks for reading
May 25, 2016
Rated 1 out of 5 by Jarred420 Same issue as all the others
I purchased this product to replace the DeWalt model I borrowed from my father. Never have I been so unhappy with a RIDGID product. The front sandpaper holder is WORTHLESS, it holds coarse grit sandpaper OK for a while but it wont hold really fine grit paper AT ALL. Now its down to being very little better than a corded paperweight. I will be replacing this with a different brand very soon. This is very sad as I tend to be very loyal to RIDGID in all my tools i.e. Currently owned, Belt Sander, Random Orbital, 1/4 sheet pad, 3 piece air compressor, 1/2 inch 18 volt compact drill, 1/2 inch 18 volt hammer drill, 18 volt X4 impact driver, 18 volt X5 impact Driver. I feel that RIDGID needs to make a design change ASAP for the hold down or they wont be able to sell any sanders at all.
March 18, 2016
Rated 1 out of 5 by dsoro78 Avoid - Faulty Product
As per all other reviews here, this sander works great for a few hours of use. After 10hrs or so, the front clip will stop holding sandpaper rendering it essentially useless.
A secondary, but minor, issue is the sawdust collector. It doesn't work at all.
The sander did perform well before this issue, but DO NOT BUY, as the front sandpaper holding clip is essential.
This sander is now a useless piece of equipment, and I'm hoping it will be replaced, as it's clearly a design defect.
For reference: My entire tool collection is Rigid. All other products I own from the company are excellent. I've also used them 10x more than this sander, and they are bombproof. This is the ugly duckling of the product line
January 10, 2016
Rated 2 out of 5 by billyfaith Same problem as most people the sand paper will not hold in the front clip anymore.
I would like rigid to respond to all the complaints about the sand paper not holding in the front clip anymore. Is this a defect? Will they stand by their product and send out a complimentary replacement part? Thank you.
December 15, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by tiabos front clip doesnt hold sand paper
we used the sander about 3-4 years ago for about 10 hours.
we decided to use it again this year and it won't hold sand paper on front of unit the back holds well but not the front.
start sanding and it kicks out the paper.
also you can't find any paper with holes.
I have a Makita and they gave you a hole punch for the sander.
this one didn't give you that.
October 30, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by whereisthesandpaper Nice idea, poor execution - no one carries perforated sand paper - not even Ridgid website!!!
Nice idea of a sander with perforated sand paper. Worked great for the 3 sample sheets...
Lowes doesn't carry more sand paper for this with perforations in it...
Home Depot doesn't carry more sand paper...
Ridgid's Own Website doesn't list any...
WTH What the heck is going on????
Disappoined and project undone...
March 18, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by davehal9000 Forth one and still fails me
I first encountered Ridgid's non-plumbing related power tools during a stint working at Home Depot. They got outstanding reviews from customers so when it came time to buy a sander I grabbed this model.
It worked great for about a year, then it wouldn't hold the paper anymore. Tried various tricks of the trade but eventually nothing worked.
Being a Home Depot employee I was able to take it back and get a new one. The new one didn't last as long as the first. I took it back and got another. I'd bought several other Ridgid power tools on the meantime and figured the sander was a fluke. In short order this sander failed as well.
Luckily I'd saved the box and all the needed paperwork this time. I moved and wasn't working at Home Depot anymore so I had to handle things the "right" way. Our new local Home Depot made arrangements to have it repaired at an approved repair facility. Once again it lasted about a year.
Tonight it failed me for the last time. I'm going to look briefly online to see if there's a real fix at this point but I'm done with Ridgid sanders. I won't buy another and wouldn't recommend anyone else do so.
December 7, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by tonzellia Great sander.
I had this sander for several years it is a great sander, but the sandpaper occasionally comes off; this is a problem with several different Palm sanders I own because the spring don't have enough tension. I gave it a 4. Star because ridgid is my favorite brand and I just roll the end of the sandpaper and tuck it and it works great for hours.
November 29, 2014