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I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

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  • I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

    Its been nearly 2 years since I've visited this forum after extensively researching what manufacturers tool line I was going to invest heavily in again and I thought I chose wisely, but now I'm not so sure.

    I'm a Makita, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ridgid and I'm almost ashamed to say it, a Ryobi - cordless tool owner.

    I've got what most would call a small fortune tied up in tools of all kinds and applications not just cordless. The majority of my corded power tools are Milwaukee with a smattering of Bosch, Delta, Hitachi, Dewalt.

    Let's just say I've got some power tool knowledge, but let me expound on what brought me here two years ago and why I'm starting to think I made a mistake buying Ridgid tools.I

    What drew me to Ridgid cordless tools was the lifetime warranty, not just on the tool, but namely the battery. I have other brand tools that have a lifetime warranty, but I never have had one that covered the battery, just the tool and let's face it, it's the battery that always goes titts up long before the tool does.

    My first exposure to Ridgid cordless tools was back in 2008 when I received a 5 pc cordless set as a gift. I thought the lifetime warranty was very appealing, but the tools I found lacking compared to other comparable offerings in the market place, but still that lifetime warranty I was thinking had to count for something, right?

    2009 I bought an 18v collated screw gun, probably the absolute worst cordless tool I've ever purchased and should have taken it back, but I didn't and I can't honestly answer why except I figured in the grand scheme of things I had another battery and charger I could use with my tools. And that lifetime warranty.

    2010 brought me to a bit of a cordless crossroads. I had a bunch of Makita and Dewalt cordless tools and a few Ridgid tools. My Makita tools were all 14.4V, my Dewalts 18v and the batteries were getting a little tired, besides what I really wanted was a cordless tool platform that I could go all in on that had a standard battery size and voltage with a tool for every job.

    In all honesty Makita and Dewalt most closely fit that requirement. They both offer a lot more tools to choose from, but they don't offer a lifetime warranty. Also it is my opinion that Dewalt has lost its vision and quality as a tool company so it was not hard to eliminate them from consideration.

    Makita on the other hand has always been an inivator and built a quality product and frankly they had features on their tools that Ridgids lacked in 2010. But Ridgid had what I thought was a lifetime warranty.

    Lifetime warranty ain't so! Everything on the outside of any Ridgid tool packaging plainly, clearly and albeit proudly indicates the product is covered by a lifetime warranty. As a consumer I always thought my tools were covered, but they are not unless you registered them within 90 days of purchase and sent in a copy of the sales receipt and original UPC code from the box.

    Well if you remember, my first 5 peice set was a gift in 2008 and I certainly would have never asked for a receipt for a gift, box is long gone and the screw gun box and receipt from 2009 is also long gone, which would have never helped me anyway because I had not learned about these terms and conditions until researching Ridgid tools on this forum in 2010. Let's just say that almost was enough to sour my taste for future Ridgid purchases right then and there, but I tried to keep an open mind.

    After a lot of hemming and hawing back and fourth trying to decide between Ridgid and Makita, I bought another Ridgid 5 piece set, I don't know if it was the holiday bundle with the free radio and extra battery that pushed me over the edge or what, but I ended up buying a jobmax bundle and a Fuego hand reciprocating saw bundle as well. I have to say that hand reciprocating saw is one of my favorite tools, the sawzall almost never comes out anymore because of it.

    This time I dutifully registered all my tools, sent in the receipts and UPC codes and after what seemed like an eternity got an email back from Ridgid with my LSA customer number. I never got a card as indicated in the registration process that I would receive with my customer number on it. But I was supposed to be covered for life now right?

    I have purchased more cordless tools since, but not Ridgid, mainly because Ridgid does not make the tool when the competitors are. It's been very disappointing to say the least. 2011 saw 6 Ryobi cordless tool purchases, just because Ridgid did not make the tool and I feel like I have to hide them. I'm a closet Ryobi owner.

    Fast forward to early this year, I had my first battery go bad and honestly did not know what or how to have it serviced, but I have 8 - 18V batteries so no great impact, but another month goes by and another bad battery.

    So I went back to Home Depot where I had bought all my tools and asked how do I make use of the warranty? I would almost swear a sales rep told me when I bought them to just bring it back to the store for replacement. I figured (or hoped) it was like Home Depots Husky tools which I don't own any of, I'm told they do a one for one exchange. But the person at the service desk said I had to contact Ridgid and take it to one of their service centers.

    I contacted Ridgid and took it to one of the 3rd party "service centers", where lets just say things went from bad to worse. First thing the guy behind the counter tells me is I have to bring in the tools and chargers for each battery that matches those item date code numbers. So I leave and return with the required items and of course they were for the tools I did not register. One battery was covered by the 3 year warranty and the other one was just out of warranty. If I had brought it in when it went bad it would have just made it in under warranty, but two months cost me a replacement. I left and they said they would call me when the replacement battery was in. It took so long, well over a month, so long I had actually forgot I had dropped off the battery, that when I got a call to pick it up I had to jog my memory what it was they were calling about. Anyway I picked up the battery and went on my merry way.

    Starting last month my batteries have really gone down hill, the majority will take a full charge, but two small cuts with a recip saw and they are dead. It's a pain to walk into a building go to use a tool with a fresh charged battery and have it die, walk out side and grab another fully charged battery and have it die, walk out for a third battery just to cut one small pipe. That was the straw that broke the camels back.

    I drove over to the service center and walk in with a bag full of batteries and that's when the attitude began. The guy behind the counter starts with you have to have the chargers and drills that go with all these batteries to test them. I said no problem, do you have a cart, they are all out in my truck. He said no, so I said clean your counter off and I'll start bringing them in. So I went outside and started bringing them in, I had 4 chargers and 3 drills, not really that much stuff, but he said what goes with what? I said I'm not sure, but here is my LSA customer number, I'm sure you can figure it out. He said that Ridgid did not pay him enough to figure it out and it was my job to tell him what went with what, but after more grumbling and his inspection he seemed to figure it out quite quickly. He then wanted me to leave all the items with him until he could get around to testing them out. I said that was unacceptable and he continued on that was how it had to be done. I rejected that solution and left with my tools.

    Last Friday another battery goes bad and now I'm down to two useable batteries, this is getting serious. So today I call Ridgid to see what can be done and hopefully get some relief from dealing with these "service centers". I contacted the LSA department and much to my disappointment found little relief nor sympathy from the woman I spoke with. I brought up the tools I had that I never registered to see if anything could possibly be done about it and got an imphatic "NO". I then asked about dealing with Ridgid directly for service and again was told no, I had to go to a service center.

    She asked me where I had gone and for my zip code, which she did not see that service center but gave me the name of another one which I had never heard of. She then said I could go to Home Depot much to my surprise. I told her I had previously done that before, but they said no. She said I had to go to the tool rental department, that it was not handled through the customer service desk. I asked her to look at my account and tell me what were the batteries I had that were covered under my LSA account and she said she did not have the time to go over that with me and she could instead email me that information. I persisted that she provide the information over the phone, but she got rather abrupt and declined stating that she had already spent enough time with me on the phone. Apparently Ridgid or this particular representative really don't care about customer satisfaction or loyality. In any event I provided her with my email address and nearly 24 hours later no email from Ridgid (not in the spam box either).

    So off to Home Depot I go with high hopes and a new sense of getting the issue resolved.

    I walk into the tool rental counter and spoke with the gent behind the counter explaining I have Ridgid batteries for warranty service. He asks me if they are registered and is I have an LSA number, which I answer yes to both. He then explains that now the policy has changed and I have to bring in the chargers and tools to test the batteries. I said no problem, they are in the truck. I thought to my self, interesting the policy changed, what was it before?

    So I haul in two bags of tools and he says that he has to get someone else to do it he doesn't really know how as the Ridgid rep was just there last Friday and that have a new procedure to follow. Ok, no problem. They call for someone else and he asks for my information which I provided and he starts matching up the date codes on the batteries, chargers and tools. Well 4 of my 5 registered batteries I brought in for exchange did not match exactly the same date codes on the tools. That is how they came when I bought them and registered them and on my account it clearly reflected that, but the guy was adamate that the codes had to match exactly or he could not exchange them and I was out of luck, but the one that did match he would have no problem exchanging. I did my best to control my blood pressure and I thought lets see how this "exchange" was going to work out.

    He tested the battery and it displayed defective in the charger, so not much to test there at all. So he starts asking personal information questions and the same ones over and over. Turns out he said he has to do 3 warranty claims for one item. One for Ridgid and two more for Home Depot, so nearly an hour and fourty minutes later he hands me a new battery.

    On one hand I thought great, I did not have to wait for a replacement like the last time and on the other the time wasted was more then the cost of a new battery. So I asked him about the other ones and he said there was nothing he could do as the numbers did not match each item exactly and that is the protocall he had to follow. I again showed him my customer account items and they clearly showed that each item I had went together, but he was so blinded by protocall that he would not see past that. By now I was probably heme raging blood out my ears and I said he should call someone who had a better understanding of the situation. He said he was it that no one else there knew any more then him, so I insisted he call for a manager. After all, I felt I had been cheated on the tools I had not registered for warranty and I'll was going to be damned I was getting cheated on the ones I did.

    The first manager who showed up was clueless about the whole thing and unabashedly admitted it and called for another manager. The second manager knew just as little but was receptive to listening to the facts and could clearly see that the tools I had on the counter were all registered to my LSA account and the batteries were too. He asked the guy who had been doing the exchange if the system would not let him do it or if he could over ride it? The guy said that was not the problem, he said he was just told that those numbers had to match each other no matter what.

    The manager told him to go ahead and do the exchange as he could see without a doubt that everything was listed on my account. So almost four and a half hours after I walked into Home Depot I walked out with 5 replacement batteries, yes that's right 4 1/2 hours to do an exchange. At the end I got the apologies were sorry it took so long, yada yada yada.

    And I asked them now I have all these batteries that the numbers definately don't match my account, now what do I do next time there is a problem? No one knew or had the answer to that question. If anyone here does I'd be grateful to hear the answer. That is if you read this far down the post, boy it's got to be getting lengthy by now.

    Bottom line, I really wish I had never bought Ridgid after dealing with the "lifetime warranty". It honestly has to be the worst warranty experience I've ever encountered period.

    If there are any Ridgid reps in the Miami area that can help me out or anyone at Ridgid, I would really be interested in hearing from you.

  • #2
    Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools


    i don't believe the batteries will ever match the build date of the tool.

    what they should have done is to write the new battery codes onto the warranty paperwork and have them transfered to your lsa paperwork.

    the good thing is that home depot will not forget you for a long time. i suggest to copy your post and add all the names of the service people you dealt with at h.d. including the managers. then keep it in a safe spot as a reminder for when you go in the next time you need service. good chance there will still be 1 of the few left at the store.

    4.5 hours of lost labor time would have covered every battery you brought in. sort of a wash with just as much blood sweat and tears

    i had posted about a year ago that the rental department was going to be a ridgid warranty center. more of a swap out than service. i figured it would have taken the hassle out of it. i'll have to see when i get to my local store. fortunately the ridgid rep is there 5 days a week. pretty sure he will make things right if i ever needed it.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

      I'm with you BareBones on the issue of the batteries. I will buy another Ridgid product but I will NEVER buy another Ridgid cordless product again. If I receive one as a gift I would take it back.



      • #4
        Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

        For what it's worth I just wanted to let you know that I did read your WHOLE rant


        • #5
          Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools


          I'll echo Plumber Rick's "WOW"

          So, I read through every word you wrote... one thing I will disagree with is that I've never seen it say "Lifetime Warranty" on ANY Ridgid tool box that I've purchased. I sure don't have the quantity or the specifics that you do though. While I do own a dozen or so Ridgid tools, all of the boxes say, "LIFETIME Service Agreement".... in other words, you must register by following the stated rules. If not, you have a 3-year warranty.

          But you have already mentioned the realizations of not registering and the fact that most of your later purchase were registered into the LSA and you received confirmation.

          The battery "testing" issue is well known, but I do consider it a total pain-in-the-A$$... surely you can test the battery and find it to be either good or bad. And I understand that part of the testing should be to also test the tool and charger. But must that be done on everything, or should it be done only on batteries that seem to fail prematurely. As you mentioned, you have a ton of tools... and I think to have to bring them all in, with their chargers, and then half to leave them there is quite unreasonable. Maybe on a second "premature" failure you might have to do that, but again I think Ridgid is a bit demanding in that requirement.

          Worse (IMO) is that customers seem to be fed a constant stream of false information from Home Depot. In some cases a store may well take care of their customers by handling warranty/service claims, but many of Home Depot stores will NOT! Likewise, all Home Depot stores do NOT have a rental desk... my stores in Binghamton and Corning areas do NOT! And, I've come to know full well that it is very rare indeed that you can believe much of anything that the "orange-aprons" tell you in these stores. There are some exceptions, but I've heard some pretty "tall" tales and it makes me wonder where these people get that stuff.

          Personally, I've had pretty good luck with my Ridgid brand tools and I like their performance, but I do NOT like the sales tactics, the display, and the almost complete lack of knowledge that the typical Home Depot sales associate exhibits. In my particular area, service centers are rare indeed and so far over the last eight years they've changed twice.

          The LLSA is certainly attractive and a good incentive to purchase a Ridgid branded tool. But my concerns for "service" has been growing steadily over the last couple of years.

          Regarding the battery numbers. It is my understanding that upon receiving a new battery, the customer is supposed to call Ridgid Customer Support and provide them the new ID number so that it can be registered into the system and assigned to the proper tool or tool combo. At least that is what has been posted a couple of times here on the forum.

          Good luck,



          • #6
            Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

            Yeah, it sure looks like what I had hoped to be a public service announcement and simple question about what to do about my LSA registered numbers changing turned into quite the rant.

            Sorry for the lengthy post.

            Anyone have any idea what I should do or am supposed to do about updating my LSA account? I logged into my account and don't see anything that even remotely hints at doing this.

            Oops, CWS posted while I was posting.

            Thank you for the info. Do you call customer service and navigate to any perticular menu item? When I called the only choice close to where I hoped I could get answers before was for information about the LSA and finally got a live person after several menu prompts.

            As for the "lifetime warranty" / "lifetime servive agreement" wording, I don't have any printed in front of me at the moment, but when I did enquire what the "lifetime service agreement" ment, I was told by Home Depot that was what Ridgid called their "lifetime warranty". Play on the wording how ever you want, it's meaning still implies and references the tools coverage to be "lifetime" or as long as the company is still in business.

            Home depot rep also told me under the way things are handled for Ridgid service at Home Depot now, you have to go to a store that has a tool rental center. Only those stores can do service or battery exchanges. I hoped to pass that along if anyone was interested.
            Last edited by BareBones; 08-22-2012, 07:25 PM.


            • #7
              Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

              The worst sex i ever had was still great! In other words yeah that issue sucked but you got 5 new batteries, no other company does this! Thats $540 dollars, and they will be covered for life again when you call and give new serial numbers! No other company does this!


              • #8
                Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                Originally posted by pesciwasp View Post
                The worst sex i ever had was still great! In other words yeah that issue sucked but you got 5 new batteries, no other company does this! Thats $540 dollars, and they will be covered for life again when you call and give new serial numbers! No other company does this!
                So like it or leave it what you are saying. Well sometimes its not worth the aggrevation and you're better off with a tool system that offers more tools at half the price. I have Ridgid tools and I have some Ryobi tools too in those tools tha t Ridgid does not offer and they work fine. I have not a battery fail yet after 4 years on either brand. Ant TTI could care less which one I buy, but then again they probably like it when I buy the Ridgid tool with the higher markup and profit even after sharing the spoils with Ridgid for using their name.

                And yes you are correct, not many companies have such poor customer service and are so slow to update product registrations. Ridgid is number one in that area for sure (lackluster CS), at least when it comes to those tools that TTI markets under the Ridgid name.
                Last edited by Bob D.; 08-23-2012, 03:42 AM.
                "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



                1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


                • #9
                  Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                  I just got off the phone with Ridgid customer support. I don't know exactly how I got a live person after navigating the menu system but once I got an operator and explained why I was calling she was able to help me.

                  I first had to give my LSA customer number then she asked for the CS numbers of all the batteries I had replaced.

                  Once she had those then she asked for the model number and CS number for each new battery. Some of the new battery CS numbers are pretty long now and do actually look like an actual serial number.

                  Anyway the whole process only took a few minutes and she said my account would be updated within 24 hours, relatively painless compared to the actual exchange process.

                  I have yet had the occasion arise to need a tool serviced, I can only imagine how bad that might go.

                  Albeit my feeling has not changed much; if it were not for the "lifetime warranty", Ridgid would not be my personal tool choice with the number one reason being the lack of tool options. As a professional tool user it is important to standardize my tool systems. As an Army Veteran, it's important to see uniformity in my tool ranks.

                  The tool quality is not bad, but it's not superior either. Some features that were missing in 2010 that other tool companies had that I would have liked to seen are now available starting in 2011, like the belt clip on the drill and driver and a battery level indicator. You can laugh all you want about that belt clip, but on a ladder it's damn usefull.

                  One gripe they addressed but only half fixed was the LED light on the drill and drivers. My 2010 model you have to squeeze the trigger and actually start the tool before the light will come on, releasing the trigger the light goes off. On Makita tools, you only have to slightly squeeze the trigger enough for the light to come on, but not start the tool; when you release the trigger the light also stays on for a few seconds after that; very convenient.

                  Ridgids answer was to add a second switch on the front of the grip to activate the LED light. I'm thinking another contact point to fail, but I have not used one in the field to say one way or the other if it's an improvement or not.

                  My other gripe about the LED on Ridgid tools is the location. For some reason that I can only speculate on as to why they placed the light on the toe of the battery port and not under the chuck like every other tool manufacturer is beyond me. The ONLY logical explanation I can perceive is someone thought putting it there would eliminate the possibility of the chuck casting a shadow on the work area. Well the problem with that reasoning is the LED is so far from the work area that the work area is so dimly lit that it's horrible and almost useless. Makita is far superior with this feature.

                  Bottom line is there a "perfect tool line or manufacturer" out there right now and the answer is NO. Are some better then others? YES

                  If not for the "lifetime warranty" on the batteries would I have ever become a Ridgid user in the first place? The answer is most definately NO!

                  Given the degree of difficulty I have encountered using that warranty would I purchase another Ridgid tool again in the future? I'm honestly not sure at this point.

                  There are tools Ridgid has I genuinely like, for instance the Fuego one handed recip. saw and the compact flouresent work light that came in my 5pc. set.

                  It's not my intention to bash Ridgid or sway a readers opinion one way or another towards a specific tool brand with my posts, but instead to educate and inform the reader of my personal experience as a Ridgid tool owner so they may make a better informed decision when considering making a Ridgid tool purchase, especially a professional who is looking to tool up, either for the first time or updating their tools.

                  And most importantly to relay to my fellow Ridgid tool owners the potential hoops and hurdles you can expect to jump through to make an LSA claim.

                  Stay safe out there and have a great day.


                  • #10
                    Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                    4 ½ hours? That is way too much time ... Some patience right there.


                    • #11
                      Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                      believe it or not the led lite and delay feature on the makita is protected by a patent. may also be the lite placement too?

                      i have some new milwaukee bandsaws and the led is built in near the blade holder. wish all my tools had lites.

                      seems simple to add a lite to the battery pack with an on off point.

                      phoebe it is


                      • #12
                        Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                        two quick points, seems most peple have home depot, or auth tool repair center issues more than RIDGID issues. That being said they are auth by RIDGID so that makes it their prob too. Most people are more knowledgeable than depot employees. Second why any one would stand and wait for 4.5 hours is beyond me. No offense.


                        • #13
                          Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                          When I started out I had no idea it would take that long.

                          In for a penny in for a pound is what I thought standing there at the counter and I planned to get satisfaction.

                          It took an hour and fourth five minutes to do the first exchange for one battery.

                          After the managers getting involved and authorizing the other exchanges it took the rest of the time to exchange the other four batteries, approx. another two hours and fourth five minutes. So he did get faster and he did explain that he had to do three separate exchanges for each battery, so there was a total of fifteen computerized exchanges he had to fill out for five batteries.


                          • #14
                            Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                            I have been in the peanut gallery reading the various exchanges. I purchased my first Ridgid battery powered tool in 2005.
                            During the past seven years I have accumulated almost every 18v tool. I did not duplicate except for the impact driver.
                            I like the the first generation but the second generation is much better, thus I have two impact drivers.

                            During the past seven years none of my tools failed. They are all properly registered, documented, and are in the
                            LSA program. I even moved into the Ridgid line of pneumatic tools. They are also in the LSA program.

                            I also take care of my tools!

                            When I started out they offered a dual charger and Ni-cad batteries. My Ni-Cad batteries after about 6 years
                            finally bit the dust...I could have taken them to a service center for replacement but why? They are heavy, and have a limited
                            Amp-Hour rating....Around this time Ridgid offered a new improved 18V Lithium-Ion battery. I also upgraded my charger
                            and batteries. Today I have the X-4 charger which is the best unit yet [fourth generation charger] and the 18V 3AH X4 battery.

                            When I read posts from folks who whine and cry and complain about Ridgid tools...I have to wonder.....

                            Did they read and understand how to use the tool and it's limitations?
                            Did they read and understand their responsibility to ensure their new tool is properly registered and what The
                            warranty does and does not cover? You get two and one option..... You get a 90 day a three year warranty and
                            depending upon the tool the LSA program

                            Lifetime Service Agreement that is not a lifetime warranty...go ask a lawyer!
                            They are different!!!!!!

                            Yes tools fail, break, and may even have a manufacturer defect due to a production glitch
                            This usually will happen during the first 90 days of ownership.....
                            Then the three year coverage will kick in...the design engineers and marketing folks all know the
                            MTB rating..."mean time before failure" rating thus expect few warranty repairs....
                            The three year warranty does not cover abuse rather manufacturing defects and recalls.

                            Enter the LSA....when properly registered when you break your tool they will fix it free...[grief included]
                            This also is a marketing ploy and likely 80% of tool users will never register it within the allotted time period.
                            This is similar to sending in those stupid rebate offers that take forever! One misstep and you do not qualify!

                            So it's the tool's owner responsibility to register it in a timely manner as delineated by don' loose!

                            Lets discuss tool failure......stressing a drill will damage it. You can't mix drywall mud with a 3/8 drill!
                            throwing the tool into the back of a pick up truck and have roll around will damage it, not Ridgid's fault!
                            Improper care and maintenance of any battery is not the fault of Ridgid but the fault of the tool user!

                            When you get a tool, two thirds of the operating manual tells you how to care for the tool and
                            what not to do with the tool.

                            You buy a LCD TV you get a 90 day must pay for an extended warranty if not properly
                            registered you won't get any service

                            so guys stop being cry babies and take some responsibility here.

                            And to be fair YES tools will break and Ridgid will take care of you but it's really embarrassing
                            to see a 250lb man with tattoos and a baseball cap on backwards crying at the service counter
                            because his battery quit working!

                            Cactus Man


                            • #15
                              Re: I'm Really starting to wish I had never invested in Ridgid Tools

                              There has to be a better way.

                              One thought: Maybe in the future, ridgid will affix a removable barcode sticker to tools and batteries that qualify for the lifetime (or otherwise) warranty. Then using the enclosed registration postcard, the customer can stick those onto the card and send it in. There would be no question which tool or batter is linked to the customer when service is needed.

                              Another thought is something like a "MyRidgid" site where you can manage your tools. The site would have your information and a My Toolbox section for inventory. I could envision an "add" feature where you can add new tools with serial numbers, UPC, date of purchase, receipt number, etc. If you sell it, just remove it from your Toolbox. For service, Ridgid can call up your MyRidgid account and verify the tool against what you have in your Toolbox. Each tool can have its service tracked as well.