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  • Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

    Okay. I have owned my 14v 1/4 inch impact driver for about 2 years and from the very start, it wouldnt drive 3 inch deck screws for longer than 20 minutes. The torque is great, the feel is great, and I have been using Ridgid tools since 1975 so I really dont want to switch to another brand but darn it! I bought another battery thinking I got a bad one and it does the same thing or doesnt do the same thing, whatever. I also bought another impact driver, thinking it might be in the windings or bearings or something. Same thing. Does anyone else have the same issue or did I get a batch of bad ones? Oh yeah, it isnt a Lithium battery.

  • #2
    Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

    Welcome to the Ridgid forum!


    I've owned two 14.4-Volt tools (impact and drill/driver) for quite a few years now and haven't had a problem with either one. But, I can't say that I have put either tool through a lengthy "drive" test the way you have. But, I would think that continuously using the Impact might well tax the batteries, as that much torque-lugging could well drain the battery fast. But honestly, I really don't know.

    About the biggest stress I've put my 14.4-Volt drill/driver through is screw installing 3/4 ply for flooring in my attic storage area. In that particular project, I used the drill/driver to pre-drill and counter sink the holes and then go back and drive the 1-3/4 inch screws. To do all three storage areas, took me a good part of the day (each is about 8 x 10). In any case, I do recall that I changed batteries once.

    But I would think that my "project" was a lot less stressful on the tools than yours might have been and therefore less demanding on the power drain.

    I'm not a big user of the Impact Driver, as I've found that most of my drilling and fastener projects don't need that torque. Also, the "clutch" setting on the drill/driver provides a benefit, which the Impact does not. But of course, if you really have the need to lug something down, the Impact would be the tool.

    CWS

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

      Difficult to say how much drain is being put on the tool and battery because, your 20 minutes of use may be much greater than another person's. Post a number such as 100 or 200 3" deck screws in twenty minutes. I would say if you were a fast worker, and driving those long screws one right after another 20 minutes could easily drain a battery.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

        Originally posted by vimnjicki View Post
        Okay. I have owned my 14v 1/4 inch impact driver for about 2 years and from the very start, it wouldnt drive 3 inch deck screws for longer than 20 minutes. The torque is great, the feel is great, and I have been using Ridgid tools since 1975 so I really dont want to switch to another brand but darn it! I bought another battery thinking I got a bad one and it does the same thing or doesnt do the same thing, whatever. I also bought another impact driver, thinking it might be in the windings or bearings or something. Same thing. Does anyone else have the same issue or did I get a batch of bad ones? Oh yeah, it isnt a Lithium battery.
        vimnjicki, your experience sounds similar to mine. Sorry for the long post, bear with it.

        I bought my Ridgid 14.4 impact driver back in '05 for a remodel job on an RV. My prior experience with impact drivers was with a 12V and 14V Makita impact driver. I knew the Ridgid had the tiny battery (and only one for that matter) but I did not care. I figured while the battery was charging I could be doing something else. It started off as an awesome tool, awesome torque and speed but the battery life seemed very short. I figured it was a new battery, typical of NICD stuff, you had to cycle it a few times to get the battery to full power. I could drive maybe 30 or so 3" grabber screws before the battery needed charging. After about the 15th time I charged the battery, the charger would complain that the battery pack was too hot and it would not charge it. I would have to wait an hour+ for my 20 minute to recharge battery was cool enough to charge. Out came another $80 for the 2.5ah battery pack. This one would drive more screws but it had the same issue right off the bat of the pack being too hot to charge immediately. The first pack still was not cool enough to charge and I still was out of a tool till both packs were cool enough to charge. I eventually went to work for another man who did not supply me with an impact driver, this is when the problems with down time waiting on batteries got worse. I got lucky and bought 3 of the small 14V batteries from display units from Home Depot for a SMOKING PRICE. This alleviated the pain of short lived batteries, however I still had to wait on batteries to charge, and possibly could use all 5 batteries and not have a cool one to recharge.

        I unfortunately did not register my tool, and did not bother with trying to return it within the 90 days like I was thinking I should have done. Instead I purchased a Ryobi dril kit and the separate impact driver so that I could have a reliable tool that would get me by. I got suckered into keeping my 14.4 stuff when I seen the 12V Ridgid right angle impact driver. It was a display unit marked waaaay down. I bought it and discovered that my 14.4v batteries worked in it as well. It proved itself to be handy for tight spaces, and if no serious work was required, both tools used together were OK for light duty work. If I had exercised better judgment I would have either registered the tool, or returned it and bought a Makita for $40 more with two batteries that I knew would work. Dumping more money into it did not really fix my problem.


        The Makita impact tools I used I could run the driver non stop for an hour driving screws while the battery charged, it would die, grab the fresh battery off the charger, proceed to run the tool for another hour, grab a charged battery from the charger etc etc....

        Recently I lost both of my Ryobi impact drivers and decided to buy the 18V Ridgid (fuego) LI-ION kit from our good buddies at Home Depot. It was a lightly used marked down return (are you starting to see a pattern here??) It had the smaller 18V battery pack in it, it started off just like my 14.4 did, STRONG!! It broke 3 new bits within a dozen screws!! After that initial display of power, the tool began to act tired. Okie dokie I thought to myself, just recharge the battery and go from there. I swear it lasted maybe 30 3" screws being driven thru 3/4 plywood into 2x3 studs. I went to see the Dept Mgr of the tool dept to discuss my dilema with him, and ask if he had any 18V LI-ION batteries from display units he would sell me. He in fact had one of the big packs, the little 18V sawzall and a charger that he sold me for $25. All new stuff! I was stoked to say the least. The new battery would not take a charge. I tried both chargers, waited 5 minutes on each, gave up. Tried again later, it finally decided to charge. The charger informed me the pack was defective, waited for it to cool, (it was very warm) put it on the charger again, it took a charge! It did not seem to have the run time I felt it should have, it went thru 2 cycles and died. I had a brand new brick. Took it in, exchanged it for another one. This one seems to work ok for now, but I have not had a chance to really put this new kit thru its paces yet.

        On another trip to HD, I was staring up at the returns black hole (lots of good deals there if you talk to the right person) and seen a 5 piece kit up there. Surprisingly enough it still had the major pieces in it and even had the portable radio that the existing kit did not have. The kit was $500 new, marked down to $375, I talked him down another additional $50. Took it home, charged the batteries up, tried using the saw to do a 4" long rip into a 2x6, was severely disappointed when it stalled 1/2 way thru the cut. I was going slow... Cross cutting it(fresh battery) seemed to have about the same amount of power as my Dewalt saw with 2 year old battery packs that have already made several cuts. Had I not got such a great deal on these tools, and not have access to getting more at bargain prices(the weekend rental returns) I more than likely would have returned everything and replaced the Dewalt stuff as it continued to die.

        Anyways, with your 14v impact I would not expect much more than what you are getting out of it. If buying an additional battery does not help you get consistant run times out of the tool, I would put it in craigslist and use that money towards another tool. You could always try sending it off for service?
        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

          I have the 14.4 impact with the smaller battery and the 14.4 volt drill with the bigger battery
          It has never let me down yet, out performs my 18 volt impact gun

          It is faster and more powerful I find
          No complaints at all
          wish they would make more of the 14.4 line, then i would make the 14.4 set my work tools but I need myu saw and hammer drill and they are 18 volts only

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

            I may not be as fast as you when it comes to driving screws but I've easily driven well over a hundred 2"-3" long deck screws on a single fully charged battery. It's not really a matter of how fast the battery discharges as it is the production you get out of the battery.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
              I may not be as fast as you when it comes to driving screws but I've easily driven well over a hundred 2"-3" long deck screws on a single fully charged battery. It's not really a matter of how fast the battery discharges as it is the production you get out of the battery.
              I will trade you guns! I loved it when I first bought it, It was like upgrading from a Pinto to a hotrod V8 Mustang. This love affair ended when the mileage went down the drain, the fuel tank got smaller, and it took longer to get to the gas station top get more fuel so I could run out again. Now this driver is in the pile of "Eh, if somebody gets their stuff ganked I will give these tools to get them by intil they can afford better tools." Shame on me for not registering the thing...
              We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

                Originally posted by masterbeavis View Post
                vimnjicki, your experience sounds similar to mine. Sorry for the long post, bear with it.

                I bought my Ridgid 14.4 impact driver back in '05 for a remodel job on an RV. My prior experience with impact drivers was with a 12V and 14V Makita impact driver. I knew the Ridgid had the tiny battery (and only one for that matter) but I did not care. I figured while the battery was charging I could be doing something else. It started off as an awesome tool, awesome torque and speed but the battery life seemed very short. I figured it was a new battery, typical of NICD stuff, you had to cycle it a few times to get the battery to full power. I could drive maybe 30 or so 3" grabber screws before the battery needed charging. After about the 15th time I charged the battery, the charger would complain that the battery pack was too hot and it would not charge it. I would have to wait an hour+ for my 20 minute to recharge battery was cool enough to charge. Out came another $80 for the 2.5ah battery pack. This one would drive more screws but it had the same issue right off the bat of the pack being too hot to charge immediately. The first pack still was not cool enough to charge and I still was out of a tool till both packs were cool enough to charge. I eventually went to work for another man who did not supply me with an impact driver, this is when the problems with down time waiting on batteries got worse. I got lucky and bought 3 of the small 14V batteries from display units from Home Depot for a SMOKING PRICE. This alleviated the pain of short lived batteries, however I still had to wait on batteries to charge, and possibly could use all 5 batteries and not have a cool one to recharge.

                I unfortunately did not register my tool, and did not bother with trying to return it within the 90 days like I was thinking I should have done. Instead I purchased a Ryobi dril kit and the separate impact driver so that I could have a reliable tool that would get me by. I got suckered into keeping my 14.4 stuff when I seen the 12V Ridgid right angle impact driver. It was a display unit marked waaaay down. I bought it and discovered that my 14.4v batteries worked in it as well. It proved itself to be handy for tight spaces, and if no serious work was required, both tools used together were OK for light duty work. If I had exercised better judgment I would have either registered the tool, or returned it and bought a Makita for $40 more with two batteries that I knew would work. Dumping more money into it did not really fix my problem.


                The Makita impact tools I used I could run the driver non stop for an hour driving screws while the battery charged, it would die, grab the fresh battery off the charger, proceed to run the tool for another hour, grab a charged battery from the charger etc etc....

                Recently I lost both of my Ryobi impact drivers and decided to buy the 18V Ridgid (fuego) LI-ION kit from our good buddies at Home Depot. It was a lightly used marked down return (are you starting to see a pattern here??) It had the smaller 18V battery pack in it, it started off just like my 14.4 did, STRONG!! It broke 3 new bits within a dozen screws!! After that initial display of power, the tool began to act tired. Okie dokie I thought to myself, just recharge the battery and go from there. I swear it lasted maybe 30 3" screws being driven thru 3/4 plywood into 2x3 studs. I went to see the Dept Mgr of the tool dept to discuss my dilema with him, and ask if he had any 18V LI-ION batteries from display units he would sell me. He in fact had one of the big packs, the little 18V sawzall and a charger that he sold me for $25. All new stuff! I was stoked to say the least. The new battery would not take a charge. I tried both chargers, waited 5 minutes on each, gave up. Tried again later, it finally decided to charge. The charger informed me the pack was defective, waited for it to cool, (it was very warm) put it on the charger again, it took a charge! It did not seem to have the run time I felt it should have, it went thru 2 cycles and died. I had a brand new brick. Took it in, exchanged it for another one. This one seems to work ok for now, but I have not had a chance to really put this new kit thru its paces yet.

                On another trip to HD, I was staring up at the returns black hole (lots of good deals there if you talk to the right person) and seen a 5 piece kit up there. Surprisingly enough it still had the major pieces in it and even had the portable radio that the existing kit did not have. The kit was $500 new, marked down to $375, I talked him down another additional $50. Took it home, charged the batteries up, tried using the saw to do a 4" long rip into a 2x6, was severely disappointed when it stalled 1/2 way thru the cut. I was going slow... Cross cutting it(fresh battery) seemed to have about the same amount of power as my Dewalt saw with 2 year old battery packs that have already made several cuts. Had I not got such a great deal on these tools, and not have access to getting more at bargain prices(the weekend rental returns) I more than likely would have returned everything and replaced the Dewalt stuff as it continued to die.

                Anyways, with your 14v impact I would not expect much more than what you are getting out of it. If buying an additional battery does not help you get consistant run times out of the tool, I would put it in craigslist and use that money towards another tool. You could always try sending it off for service?
                WOW, what a sad story. My only question is, since you have received consistently poor performance from Ridgid tools, why do you continue to purchase them? One of the definitions of insanity is "continuing to do the same thing and getting the same poor results, and continuing to do the same thing hoping that it will change for the better". If I were you, I would buy those Makita tools that have worked so well for you. Hopefully for x-mas someone gave you a certificate for a couple of therapy sessions.
                happy new year....Ray
                Last edited by roadrashray; 01-01-2011, 12:43 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Battery life of 14V 1/4 inch impact driver

                  Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
                  WOW, what a sad story. My only question is, since you have received consistently poor performance from Ridgid tools, why do you continue to purchase them? One of the definitions of insanity is "continuing to do the same thing and getting the same poor results, and continuing to do the same thing hoping that it will change for the better". If I were you, I would buy those Makita tools that have worked so well for you. Hopefully for x-mas someone gave you a certificate for a couple of therapy sessions.
                  happy new year....Ray
                  Hows that old saying go?
                  The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."

                  Apparently I have not learned this lesson. The last purchase of mine was mainly due to saving $300 on the stuff I bought. I would have not purchased anything if I had to pay full price. I am a sucker for a good deal, especially if I negotiate . Yes, I have been on the fence about returning what I have. I have been giving the tools an honest look at these and after a week or so of occasional use, these new tools are OK. I especially like the CFL light and the small stereo. The hand held sawzall had some BALLS for its size. I am going to throw the dice and keep what I have. I will also keep my eye peeled at the black hole and get more stuff just to have spares when or IF these guys die.

                  My Ridgid tools with cords have been AWESOME! I especially love the small (cube) shop vac. If I ever were to design a portable shop vac this would be the one I would design. I have a belt sander, large 1/2" drill, orbital sander, all awesome tools.

                  Therapy? Nah, I don't think there is help for me.
                  We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

                  Comment

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