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  • Why the fast approach?

    I'm curious why Ridgid took the fast approach into the power tool market?

    As a young plumbing apprentice almost 5 years ago, Ridgid Hand tools were impressed upon myself and my class mates almost right away. If you didn't own Ridgid Pipe wrenches you weren't a Plumber as far as I and many of my classmates were concerned. At the shop in our Piping/Plumbing program class, virtually everything is Ridgid - from tubing cutters to the few 60" pipe wrenches they have. I picked up many look a likes but nothing hand the feel or balance my 18" aluminum Ridgid Pipe Wrenches I bought and still have. I make a point to try and only buy Ridgid hand tools when I can and my tool boxes are chalked full with many Ridgid products. And I don't think Ridgid built their hand tools by name, but by reputation. Ridgid has been around a number of years as many of you know. Ridgid and Plumbing are like brother and sister.

    Now comes their power tools. As a young apprentice I knew it was the industry standard where I lived to not only supply most of your own hand tools, but you also needed a cordless drill. So I started gawking at some of the Ridgid cordless drills which were few and far between at Home Depot. They were a little heavier than the Dewalt XRP's, but as a young apprentice I felt the heaviness was attributed to being heavier duty. So I was dead set on getting a Ridgid cordless drill at the time. I even came to this site to do some investigating. Well the unfortunate thing, is on the Ridgid forum, this is what deterred me from buying a Ridgid Drill, but instead a DeWalt XRP 14.4 Drill at the time. I guess this is unfortunate. And as someone who appreciates the right tool for the right job, and someone who loves to talk about and use different power tools, I have watched the evolution of Ridgid power tools into the market since their introduction and I guess some people said it best - you have to classify their hand tools, and their power tools completley seperately.

    Why is this? I find this quite unfortunate. As a company that built their reptuation on quality, their reptuation for power tools is sort of the opposite, at least from the impression and what I've seen on the job sites from the guys I talk to that own their stuff. They have become the Home Depot go to brand for relatively inexpensive power tools for the homeowner maybe looking for a step up from a Ryobi, yet a professional looking to step down from a DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee or Bosch power tool. And I guess you can say Ridgid's power tools have done a good job at exploding onto the scene. I can understand wanting to cash in on the power tool market and take advantage of what may be a certain Niche, but why would Ridgid, go this way?

    I find it ironic that Ridgid, which tries to build as many hand hand tools for the Plumbing Professional as possible with some pretty good innovations and tools of theres I have bought over the years that work well, haven't built specific cordless power tools that appeal to the market. I find it weird that they wouldn't target the market they invented first - i.e. Plumbers. For example why is there no cordless right angle drill? No Ridgid self feed bits (at least I haven't seen any?), nor is the local plumbing wholesaler which carries a strong selection of Ridgid hand tools, not stocking Ridgid power tools?

    I guess it takes a long time to build a reputation but Ridgid could easily have worked off of their hand tools reputation from the beginning with their power tools but they definately didn't go that way.
    Last edited by Scott K; 10-08-2008, 12:23 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Why the fast approach?

    Scott....Welcome to the forum.
    Your question...........
    "I'm curious why Ridgid took the fast approach into the power tool market?" The short answer is because in today's business environment everything is about "maximizing profit". A company's name and reputation in the marketplace is something to be utilized for maximum profit. This business concept leads to the following facts to provide a partial answer to your question.
    Ridge tool company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerson Corp. which is an enormous conglomerate.http://www.emerson.com/en-US/Pages/Home.aspx I'm confident they continue to sell products under the Ridgid name because of the strong positive reputation that the Ridgid name enjoys in the marketplace. They have a reasonable assurance that people such as you and I and many others will strongly consider purchasing Ridgid products because of their reputation and extensive history of providing high quality tools.
    As a part of their "product mix" Emerson has added many products to the Ridgid line that have no connection with the core products that are so valued in the plumbing field.
    The power tools are a case in point. I'm not quite sure who was the partner in manufacturing and marketing power tools in the 90s, however I can provide some insite into the current arrangement.
    Ridgid power tools are currently manufactured in China by TTI under a licensing agreement from Emerson http://www.ttigroup.com/general/home.php and distributed exclusivley(almost)under contract through Home Depot. Emerson is paid by TTI for the use of the valuable "Ridgid" name and TTI has a strong marketplace presence through Home Depot without the necessity of hiring, training and supporting a sales force to sell Ridgid power tool products to all the independent channels of distribution including power tool stores, plumbing reatailers, lumber and carpenter supplies, et all.
    So in the final analysis TTI has a name(Ridgid) which has instant positive recognition to many consumers and helps to provide a basis for strong power tool product sales. They are assisted by the powerfull leverage of premium exposure in several thousand Home Depot stores located throughout the US, Canada and several other countries around the world. There are many other details to this story, however I hope I have answered most of your questions..........Ray
    Last edited by roadrashray; 10-08-2008, 11:37 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Why the fast approach?

      Scott.......Actually I only answered part of you question. You also have some opinions regarding Ridgid power tools reputation in the marketplace.
      It is my impression that considering Ridgids comparative "newness" in the power tool marketplace they enjoy a fairly strong presence against strongly entrenched competitors who have been in leadership positions for decades. This includes Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Makita, DeWalt and others.
      I talk with many other contractors including some others who use Ridgid and hear positive reports regadring their products. Do I see more contractors using those other brands? Of course I do, however considering how many users bleed Milwaukee red, DeWalt yellow, or have had a strong relationship developed over years with other tool mfgrs I see Ridgid gaining market share.
      I believe our company is a case in point. We started with cordless tools with Makita and their 9.7V tool line. After DeWalt introduced their 14.4V line we saw enough positive benefits so we switched to their tools for a few years.
      With the introduction of the Ridgid 24V and 18V lithium ion tools that can be shared across both batteries in many cases AND supported by the very attractive Lifetime Service Agreement which includes replacement of the very expensive batteries(we had been replacing the DeWalt batteries every two years on average) we decided it was a powerfull cost consideration to give them a look. Ridgid helped by providing a no questions asked 90 day trial for their tools.
      We now have over 50 Ridgid power tools including an extensive array of cordless tools and their performance has been excellent. They are not always the "very best" tool but are always among the best and after almost two years of working and abusing them on a daily basis I continue to vote my approval by purchasing them. Bought a new Ridgid compressor yesterday to suppliment the Porter Cable and DeWalt compressors that have been in our inventory for years.
      With regard to this forum and some of the negative opinions expressed regarding Ridgid products, I find that a powerful plus for Ridgid. I tend to feel positive about a tool mfgr that has enough faith in their tools that they will provide an open forum that will allow such honesty regarding their products. I don't know of any other manufacturer that does that......Ray

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why the fast approach?

        IT is also my understanding at one time Emerson electric was making sears Craftsman tools tools and some where that relationship was nearly dissolved, and the old sears line I believe was the first Ridgid line, marketed through Home depot,

        New Ridgid Woodworking Machines
        You may have noticed a new brand of woodworking machines, it is called Ridgid. The Ridgid name goes back a long time and is known for pipe wrenches and pipe threading tools. The Ridgid brand name was added to these machines by its parent company Emerson. Emerson supplied Sears woodworking machines under the Craftman label for many years until Sears and Emerson disolved this relationship in 1998. http://www.woodworkingtools.com/Editorials/ridgid.html
        I my self never classified the craftsman tools as truly professional or commercial duty but have considered them to be a excellent DIY tool and a low end professional in there higher grades,
        (there was and may still be a time where they re-brand a true professional tool tho, as one time they hand the Skil 77 worm drive saw under the craftsman label)

        I do think that Ridgid has improved on the line tho. and moving it more in the professional line, but part of that is most of the other lines I think have dropped in quality as well,

        as the same company that manufactures Ridgid tools makes many other lines as well,
        Our brands

        Our brands

        Milwaukee

        AEG

        Ryobi

        Stiletto

        Homelite

        Hoover

        Dirt Devil

        Vax

        We believe powerful brands are performance- trusted. End users trust the products to perform; to work. Brand names like Milwaukee®, AEG®, Ryobi®, Stiletto®, Homelite®, Hoover®, Dirt Devil ®,Vax, are destination brands possessing the equity and the power to draw end users into retailers in multiple markets.
        http://www.ttigroup.com/business/bra...0a69b3b7551f01
        Last edited by BHD; 10-08-2008, 01:25 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Re: Why the fast approach?

          Because Home Depot wanted a house brand tool line that they can make 4X the margin by guaranteeing distribution. Remember this when the Home Depot associate recommends Ridgid tools. Home Depot makes a ridiculous amount more per tool on Ridgid sales then say DeWalt sales. Home Depot makes more money, stock price goes up. Odds are that associate has Home Depot stock as well.

          The Ridgid brand name was strong so they made it happen. Orange color was convenient too. If the Ridgid name wasn't available or was not perceived as professional quality, you would see all of the same tools today but just under a different brand.
          I don't work for Ridgid and I don't work for Home Depot but I likely know more about both than someone who works at either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why the fast approach?

            Originally posted by 36volt View Post
            Because Home Depot wanted a house brand tool line that they can make 4X the margin by guaranteeing distribution. Remember this when the Home Depot associate recommends Ridgid tools. Home Depot makes a ridiculous amount more per tool on Ridgid sales then say DeWalt sales. Home Depot makes more money, stock price goes up. Odds are that associate has Home Depot stock as well.

            The Ridgid brand name was strong so they made it happen. Orange color was convenient too. If the Ridgid name wasn't available or was not perceived as professional quality, you would see all of the same tools today but just under a different brand.
            That's a significant margin (4X)which I find very unrealistic. What kind of documentation do you have to support such a claim?
            I have purchased a lot of tools from Home Depot over the years including many Ridgid and also Milwaukee, Bosch, DeWalt, et all. I have never gotten the impression that a sales associate was pushing Ridgid over other brands. In fact some of the ex trade guys will have a tendency to push whatever brand was their favorite brand when they were working in the trades.
            I don't think the average Home Depot employee purchases much stock on pay of $8.00-$12.00 per hour depending on location.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why the fast approach?

              I dont see a problem. Their power tools are good tools. Most people who buy them like them.
              www.TheWoodCellar.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Why the fast approach?

                Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
                That's a significant margin (4X)which I find very unrealistic. What kind of documentation do you have to support such a claim?
                I have purchased a lot of tools from Home Depot over the years including many Ridgid and also Milwaukee, Bosch, DeWalt, et all. I have never gotten the impression that a sales associate was pushing Ridgid over other brands. In fact some of the ex trade guys will have a tendency to push whatever brand was their favorite brand when they were working in the trades.
                I don't think the average Home Depot employee purchases much stock on pay of $8.00-$12.00 per hour depending on location.
                Next time you are HD ask someone to do an item lookup. It should show the HD cost. Compare the points they make on Ridgid vs. DeWalt. People here in the forum work for HD and can easily find this information.

                Not all stores push Ridgid equally.
                I don't work for Ridgid and I don't work for Home Depot but I likely know more about both than someone who works at either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why the fast approach?

                  I wonder why your screen name is 36volt, you don't like dewalt do you? Besides I'm sure HD associates are all professional stock brokers right? Can one of the Forum members who actually works at Home Depot let us know if there is any truth to Mr. DeWalt Man, or I mean 36volt's claim on profit margin. By the way Ridgid isn't a HD House name like Craftsman is for sears, Makita and Milwaukee are only sold at HD as far as Big Box stores go as well, doesn't mean HD does anything other than sell the merchandise, but whatever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why the fast approach?

                    Originally posted by Ru&Lins_05 View Post
                    I wonder why your screen name is 36volt, you don't like dewalt do you? Besides I'm sure HD associates are all professional stock brokers right? Can one of the Forum members who actually works at Home Depot let us know if there is any truth to Mr. DeWalt Man, or I mean 36volt's claim on profit margin. By the way Ridgid isn't a HD House name like Craftsman is for sears, Makita and Milwaukee are only sold at HD as far as Big Box stores go as well, doesn't mean HD does anything other than sell the merchandise, but whatever.
                    Without splitting hairs, Ridgid and Ryobi power tools are pretty much a HD house brand. You can't buy NEW, CURRENT Ridgid and Ryobi power tools anywhere else. Reconditioned? Sure. Older model stock? Occasionally.

                    Makita and Milwaukee are touted as Home Depot exclusives but a more accurate description would be home center exclusive. Not at Lowe's (or Ace I think). You can still get all the Makita and Milwaukee you want from Amazon.com and any industrial tool supply.

                    Makita and Milwaukee are playing a dangerous game. Putting all your eggs in one distribution channel is suicide. In a few years HD will demand a bigger discount 'or else'. They either give in or go back to Lowe's and hope to get back in where they turned their backs a few years ago.

                    I don't need to convince anybody of margins. Someone will look it up and confirm.
                    I don't work for Ridgid and I don't work for Home Depot but I likely know more about both than someone who works at either.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why the fast approach?

                      Makita and Milwaukee are sold at the local independant tool stores where I live, as well as several online sources that are tool powerhouses.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why the fast approach?

                        A couple of disjointed comments, While Craftsman power tools may not always be the best answer, I believe their hand tools compare with anyone else out there. Perhaps that parallels the OP’s comments. Without going back to get the quote, I think it was “orange was convenient”, and without going downstairs to look at my pipe wrenches, I think the Ridgid cast iron wrenches are red, as opposed to the power tool orange, which I assume has to do with HD. .02 cents worth of dribble.
                        Steve.
                        Last edited by Stevan Sweeney; 10-12-2008, 06:50 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why the fast approach?

                          [QUOTE=Stevan Sweeney;181793]Ridgid cast iron wrenches [QUOTE]

                          since they bend and not break, my guess is there cast steel not cast iron,
                          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                          attributed to Samuel Johnson
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why the fast approach?

                            Hey, give me some credit, at least I knew their red wrenches aren’t aluminum. At that, I am only guessing!!
                            Steve.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Why the fast approach?

                              [quote=BHD;181804since they bend and not break, my guess is there cast steel not cast iron,[/quote]

                              Sorry, it looks like the red Ridgid pipe wrenches are cast iron:

                              Straight Pipe Wrench
                              Models 6 - 60


                              Features Sturdy, cast-iron housing and I-beam handle with full floating forged hook jaw, featuring self-cleaning threads with replaceable hook and heel jaws.Heavy-duty pipe wrenches comply with federal specifications GGG-W65IE, Type ll, Class A.

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