As a cabinetmaker, I use sanders almost every day. I was recently checking out the random-orbit sanders at the local home center when the 5-inch Ridgid R2600 caught my attention. Ridgid is new to the hand-held power tool market, so I looked it over carefully and decided it deserved further consideration.

The R2600 has cushioned grips that felt great in my hand immediately, which is important in a tool that you might use for hours at a time. It also has a good bit of weight, which for many tools might be a minus but for a sander makes it more comfortable and easier to use. The only potential problem was the eight-hole sanding pad. I've always...

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