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Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

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  • Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

    I'm new to this forum and have found it enlightening and appreciate your expertise and advice. I've been reviewing several threads recently and would like your input.

    I previously had a lower red brand 14.4 hammer drill, being a first time homeowner thought it was sufficient, however keeping the batteries and chargers up got too costly. Now I'm looking to step up and I really like the LLSA on the Ridgid line. I'm on a small budget, primarily looking to start off again simple and build from there. I know I need a drill, prefer cordless, for most handy work but am also specifically looking for a jigsaw for making cuts on engineering wood floors. I've read that I should target some tools for cordless and more power tools for corded (looks like I won't need those corded power tools immediately like a recip saw and I have a working circ saw)

    My immediate questions are:
    1) is it risky to buy reconditioned and not get the LLSA or should I not be concerned with the Ridgid line? I wouldn't be using these tools extensively so based on my past experience, my hesitation stems from the batteries and charger.
    2) trying to save some money, can you advice if the following is a good start (wish I could find a way to use my gift cards towards this purchase though):

    otherwise I was looking to find a R3120 (German made) jigsaw or R3121. I've found them out of stock online and no success at my local HD B&Ms.
    3) Perhaps it's a typo but I've also found an R31211 (extra "1"). Does anyone know about that one?
    4) Should I try to wait until closer to the end of the year for a sale or don't hold my breath waiting for a better deal?

    Thanks for your time and expertise.

  • #2
    Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

    Here's my take on your questions;

    1. I have had good luck with buying recon tools, all non-Ridgid, so recon tools can save you some money. To date, none of my recon tools have required any service other than normal maintenance. That being said, the cost of one replacement battery or service center visit will easily wipe out the difference in cost between a new and a recon tool.

    2. If most of your usage will be done in your home or shop than you can save mucho $$$ by buying corded tools over cordless. A cordless drill/driver is way to handy not to have one but other tools corded versions are a much better buy over their cordless cousins IMO.

    3. The R3120 was the made for Ridgid by Metabo jigsaw and the R31211 is the newer made in China version.

    4. Sometimes, good things come to those that wait. Other times, not so true.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

      i agree with Badger Dave on the recon tools. i bought several recon tools from porter cable, because i could pick them up in a 3 hour radius of my hometown. i have never been unsatisfied with any porter cable tool. then i started to buy some dewalt tools and i still think my old dewalt 18volt drill is the best ive ever used. i also agree with Badger Dave on the fact, if you wait long enough, you can get a better price. for some tools like my recip saw, my corded pc will suit me for a long time.i do like a cordles drill and my dewalt cordless jigsaw. truth is, the cordless dewalt jigsaw is the best ive used and so convenient. this is my main statement," i think all of us have to find their own way of buying tools, whether recon or what. i do think whatever brand you buy, you will be better satisfied if you spend the most you can for the tool you buy. im not a fool for products like festool or lamello, but buying good brand names is the key to being a satisfied woodworker over one who struggles with projects. im a relative newbie here, but i do know the ridgid 3660 tablesaw is a fine machine i bought it over the delta with a biesemeyer fence that i wanted. im glad i chose the ridgid. its one helluva tablesaw! im only a novice here, but i think you cant go wrong with ridgid, but more important you cant go wrong listening to people like Badger Dave and Dave T and Bob D. they may think i ask stupid questions, but they never refuse to help me. you cant get that from some tool salesman at hd or lowes or anywhere else you ask.


      • #4
        Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

        I agree with BD and levon just wanted to add I went through two Craftsman cordless drills due to bad batteries when I found out about Ridgid’s lifetime warranty on the batteries. I went out the next day to buy one. Also consider used tools when and if it fits for you. I recently bought a Ridgid TS 3650 for 275.00. The top needed a good cleaning but otherwise great condition. So for half the price of new it was worth it to me not to have the LLSA. Hope this helps. Pat


        • #5
          Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

          I bought a Ridgid corded jig saw and a Ridgid ROS recon and both are great tools. The jig saw doesn't see lots of use, but it's nice to have when I need it. The sander gets used at least weekly. The jig saw replaced a very old and cantankerous Craftsman (all metal) jig saw that just wasn't holding the blades any more. The new Ridgid feels like a Cadillac in comparison. I'm very happy with the recon tools, even without the LLSA. I've got lots of other Ridgid tools I bought new from HD, and these 2 are the only recon ones. For the money, I got a good deal and I'm very happy with them.

          I don't think I'd buy cordless recon though. The beauty of the LLSA with batteries is that when the batteries die (and they will), you get new ones. That in itself makes the Ridgid cordless worth the money.

          Still, I'd rather save the money on the jig saw and such. It's not such a hassle to use corded tools like a jig saw. The drills, though, are just too handy not to go cordless. One of these days I'll have cordless circ. saw and a good Ridgid set of drills. For now, I'm ok. And my budget is ok.
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


          • #6
            Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

            Good luck finding any new old stock of German made power tools wearing the RIDGID name. As Badger Dave posted they were made some time ago under special contract with Metabo. Today TTI makes the Ridgid power tools (hand held) and they come from China. This doesn't mean they are junk however. At one time Metabo made for Ridgid several corded drills including a hammer drill, a really nice 4-1/2" angle grinder and a nice jigsaw. It's too bad things changed.

            For serious users I really wish Bosch would get the message and do a cordless jigsaw very much like their fine corded model 1590EVSK.

            As for reconditioned, in corded tools if they are factory reconditioned, they should be fine tools. I don't have any by Ridgid but I do own several Milwaukee corded reconditioned tools and they were very close to new tools. I think some are actually new tools that got dinged up a little. Others are display or returns and I'm sure some were used at trade shows. What matters is who does the reconditioning work. If done properly you'll have a fine tool.

            Personally for someone starting out new, I would look into getting good hand tools. Without them you'll be hard pressed to get much work done.

            Please note that there is one tool which really must be at the top of your list. A very healthy money tree.

            When it comes to cordless tools they are handy but for the $$$ to buy quality ones, I really still prefer corded.
            Last edited by Woussko; 09-30-2008, 12:34 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

              thanks for the feedback - it's greatly appreciated!


              • #8
                Re: Power Tool Rookie, looking for advice

                So, I visited a local HD yesterday and found an 18v 1/2 cordless RIDGID (R840011) in an original torn open box and they priced it at $95.00, down from $189.00. Another customer said this was a fantastic buy for the price-he has the 24v model.

                I asked the checkout guys to open it up to view what was included and all the pieces were there (2 batteries, charger, drill, bag, instruction/warranty package). I noticed there was scuffing on the battery and asked if this was considered refurbished and they said no and if I noticed any problems with RIDGID I could just return/exchange it there for the same/similar item as long as I had the receipt. He said it's just like Sears with Craftsman tools-good for life.

                Anyway, it looks like I have all I need for the LLSA so I'll register at (just in case ).

                One down, more cordless/corded equipment to go!