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  • power tool problems

    As a contractor, I made the unwise decision of switching from Dewalt to Rigid 9 months ago. After spending $1500, I now have junk on my hands. The hammerdrill broke down after 5 months due to a faulty switch. Rigid actually sent me a refurbished one (after screaming at them on the phone for an hour) and allowed me to keep it while my original was being fixed. It only took 2 months to fix my drill due to the switch being back ordered. Now I have 2 drills that get stuck in forward and have to be turned off by removing the battery (Rigid better watch out for lawsuits). The chuck on both are now stuck and useless. My cordless recipricating saw has a quick change that is now broke without the aid of a screwdriver. I was interested in what Rigid's response would be when I saw the at the Remodelers show in Chicago. Same old %^*$@!!!! I was actually told to bring my tools to a service center. It kills me when they use the word "professional" and ask me to give my trade tools to a service center for 2 months. HOW DO THEY THINK I WILL DO MY WORK WHILE MY USELESS TOOLS ARE ONCE AGAIN BEING SERVICED. Has anyone else experienced the type of lovely customer service I have?

  • #2
    i have had my ridgid 4 pc for about a year now and use them almost every day. only problem i have had is the shaft on the sawsal broke but HD
    gave me a new saw with no problem. they aren't the best but are ok. need more selection of tools.
    still like my panasonic tools the best. have a couple dewalts- their ok


    • #3
      i just wonder why it will take 2 long months just to service a power tool..if parts arent available, they could have improvised by taking a part from a new unit instead..


      • #4
        I own the 4 pc combo kit and use it all the time never had a problem with any of them and i work on the water on a ship and that is where my tools are ( always exposed to the saltwater) never had a problem
        Just my opinion


        • #5
          I too have had problems with my Ridgid 18V hammerdrill. I bought it during the promotion with had a free lifetime warranty. I do not use it everyday since that is not my profession. After owning if for about 4 months my switch shorted my batteries out. I took it to the service center and they kept it for 8 weeks. During that time I bought another Dewalt drill. Since I got the Ridgid back I have used it twice because I now have 2 Dewalts. Guess what, now I have the same problem with the Ridgid. Pull the trigger and it does nothing.
          I do own a Ridgid table saw, mitre saw, and wet/dry vac and have been very pleased with them but this drill is the pits.


          • #6
            I have asked this question over and over to everyone that comes in complaining about Ridgid service and never get an answer.

            Why would you buy Ridgid an unknown over a known product? They cost about the same and if your in business using these tools why would you risk your livelihood on an unknown?
            I would love to understand the reasoning behing people purchasing Ridgid tools. I think I then might be able to understand their complaint about service.

            I could understand it if Ridgid electrical tools had a long and excellent track record or if their tools were much lower in price. But neither of these factors are true in the case of Ridgid tools.
            Rev Ed


            • #7
              RevEd---how you been?

              You and I have been asking pretty much the same question since this whole expansion started. Apparently, they've now added a line of blades---about the same prices as everyone elses---so WHY?


              • #8
                I personally can say I bought the
                Ridgid brand for several reasons.
                First I had already bought and used for some time their mitre say, table saw, and wet/dry vac. They seemed to be well built, and I still have had no problems.
                Second, I bought my drill during the promotion when they were offering a lifetime warranty on the drill and the batteries. I was under the impression that if I had a problem I would take it back where I bought it (Home Depot)and they would remedy the problem immediately. It doesn't work that way.
                Third, I liked the double charger with 30 minute charge time, and at the time dewalt didn't have a double charger.


                • #9
                  RevEd and DaveFerg,

                  I can't answer your question directly, but there is probably something in all of us that is tempted to try something new. Why not? Certainly the introduction of the tools sounded good and the fact that a "limited lifetime" warranty was there to back up the introduction, certainly made it sound like a mininimum risk deal! For a person like me (homeowner and hobbyist), it was perfect and I bought three tools; the 5-inch orbital sander, the 1/4 sheet sander, and the 1550 drill press. At 20% off, last year, I'd be crazy not to jump on that deal. I've had great experience with both Emerson and Ryobi, so from a value/quality standpoint, it was a good move. As far as I am concerned, they are now tools for life, I've had no problems so far, and if they eventually do need to be in the shop for a reasonable time, it really isn't going to kill me.

                  However, I don't use these things to earn an income; and that is where I agree with you both. I can see buying a brand new tool for all the reasons stated, but if I was in the trades, you gotta believe, this would be a "trial tool" and I would have one or two others as back up. (I use a computer to make a living, and it would be pretty silly of me not to have everything backed up there and even a couple of reserves.) My Dad spent his life in the trades, and there was never a single tool that he relied on to the point that it stopped him from doing a job. Furthermore, I don't recall him ever complaining about a tool that failed him.

                  Beyond that though, is the concern that so many people just interpreted the warranty wrong. And frankly, from my experiences at Home Depot over the last year, I blame the store for an awful lot of that. I've had the Tool Dept. manager tell me and others, that HD has lifetime warranties on all the power tools they sell... NOT TRUE! I've had other associates tell me and others, that all you have to do is bring it back to the store and we'll take care of it... NOT TRUE!

                  Last week, there was a posting about faded receipts, and honestly, I did some serious investigating and made a few phone calls to both Ridgid and Home Depot HQ. Home Depot local folks (two separate visits, one phone call, five different people) tell me it's not a problem and that I simply have to bring the tool back to the store. Ridgid service, says, "big problem" because they need that date verification for that introductory 3-month period. Back to the store and they tell me, "No problem", because they not only own Ridgid, but they own Ryobi, and TTI"... NOT TRUE! (I asked them where do you guys get this stuff?? ... and their response is only that it is "common knowledge".)

                  I then called HD Corp HQ. and they told me the receipt problem was serious, it is needed, and if a customer can pin down the date, they (HQ) will search their archives and validate the sale for warranty purposes) However, they have no clue as to why the local store doesn't know what's going on.

                  So, the bottom line here is that Ridgid gets a lot of flack for warranty problems. Some of it deserved because of faulty components, lack of parts, etc. But the store communications to the customer is disasterous in too many cases. Given all of that, I surely wouldn't want to hang my paycheck on any particular tool.

                  Just a thought,


                  [ 11-21-2004, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]


                  • #10
                    CWS---good points---first, I've been here and on other boards long enough to know there is no such thing as a HD "standard". You can be "told" just about anything and comments in the past here and elsewhere support that sad fact.

                    Thermal receipts is a BIG problem---not only for returning store items, but what about tax purposes? It seems to me this is yet another case in point about businesses screwing customers---it's cheaper for them to issue these thermal receipts---after all, it was cheaper to buy a Fax machine that printed on thermal paper---until consumers got sick and tired of fuzzy, disappearing copies. While in the current "business first" atmosphere, I doubt we'd get anything done, I for one would like to see an investigation or better still laws concerning this.

                    Back to the Ridgid issue----I suppose, for first-time buyers, it may have been a situation ----oh well, I'll give it a try. But, look at the car market or anything else, for that matter---when a new brand is introduced----do they gain a market share by offering the same thing for the same price? Heck no---they offer better features or a reduced price.

                    This lifetime warranty thing, to me, has always been a joke. I want a tool that will last and be trouble free---even if you believed that Ridgid wouldn't have a total screw-up with no spare parts or a less than helpful service center issue----when a tool is broken, it costs you money---for your time to get it fixed and for the lack of use you have.


                    • #11
                      RevEd and DaveFerd

                      The assumption you included in your question "Why buy a tool from a company with no track record" is that a company with a quality track record will stand behind its new tools. NOT SO. After using Milwaukee for 25 years professionally and being really pleased with their products, I bought two of their 18V combo kits. BIG MISTAKE. Their tools are crap and their 5 year warranty express excludes "Wear" related. From their corporate, Since it worked when you bought it, any failure is wear related. This includes switches, shafts, batteries, chargers, the works.

                      The moral to the story, A proud history is no guarantee of a proud future.


                      • #12
                        Big Thom----you missed our point (or at least mine)----we made no such assumption about buying new products from an established company. Ridgid certainly was an established company, at least in plumbing hand tools and ww'ing stationary tools.

                        The point is----when, with the sole exception of a promotional lifetime warranty, they introduce a completely new line of tools---where was the consumer's motivation to buy----the price was the same---the features were the same---why switch from proven brands/models of tools??


                        • #13
                          This whole power tool problem has me a bit baffled. Perhaps it is just the internet thing where we can voice our displeasures, I really don't know. But there just seems to be an awful lot of folks who have serious problems with their tools, and the so-called warranties that they come with. How can a company produce a tool and put a warranty on it that says it doesn't cover "wear-related" failures? Does that mean that once it passes final inspection, the warranty no longer applies? That if you take it out of the box and pull the trigger and the motor turns only two revolutions and then fails, that you are "up the creek", because it worked once and must have just worn out? Strange world we live in I think! If I was refused warranty service during the declared period of time, you gotta believe that the president of the company would know my name, first hand. Even things as simple as a micro-switch has a given number of operations, MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure). If it fails within that time, it IS defective.

                          But that said, you certainly cannot expect anyone to replace or service for free, any tool that is abused; and perhaps that is where some problems exist. If you return a tool for service, it shouldn't look like it's been kick'n around the back of your truck for 50 years.

                          I spent my career illustrating and writing manuals for tools and heavy machinery; so service, product liability, and product expectations are a keen part of my mindset. While my personal trade experience was limited to my teen and early 20's, I do come from a big family of tradesman! My Dad, my uncles, my cousins, have all spent their entire lives in the trades, as have a lot of my friends. Frankly, I can't recall much discussion of power tool failures! Certainly there have been conversations about the cheap way a particular tool was assembled or the cheap chuck that was employed(don't buy that #%@$&*); but never something that just out and out broke down or burned up.

                          Maybe it is just the tools of today, the quest for competive pricing or the lack of parts because almost everything is imported. I have a couple of drills, circular saws, a belt sander, sabre saws and a wealth of hand tools that are over thirty years old. All the power tools are Craftsman (made by either Ryobi or Emerson Electric). I don't take particularly good care of them and they show the scars of years of work and not too careful storage. But they've never failed me and I've done all kinds of work with them. Heck, I hate the trigger mechanism on my old Companion 1/4 inch drill, it's a rotten design, but it works. I don't like the tough-to-adjust screw on my belt sander, but it works. And I wish I had the lower guard on my RAS, but it wasn't available when I bought it either. But it works, and works very well. The only power tool that I've ever had that proved worthless was a little router with a poorly designed, almost worthless collet. Unfortunately, it was an unused gift that sat well beyond its warranty before I decided to even give it a try.

                          The point is, if the darned tool is junk, then we need to make that declaration early on and get our our money back. If it appears to be a decent tool, then understand your warranty and your rights to timely service for the period designated. And, above all, if you need to make money with the darned thing, don't gamble on an unknown model. I can understand that an expensive tool like a compressor or big table saw would be something that you really need to depend on. But I find it difficult to comprehend that, as cheap as most hand power tools are, the failure of a drill, saw, or other small power tool would be allowed to put your project in jeopardy. Surely it wouldn't make me happy, but I've always got a back-up!

                          Just some thoughts on the subject,



                          • #14
                            CWS, I agree and think that this site is an attraction for people who need to vent on occasion. Do enough work with any brand of tool and it will eventually need repair.
                            IF your RAS is a Craftsman like your other tools that lower gaurd may be attainable for free Emerson Recall


                            • #15
                              CWS and wbrooks---good discussion. But, I don't believe it simply happens to ALL tools, particularly if you're a hobbiest, who doesn't abuse tools. Some time back, I lost everything I owned in a moving company storage fire. When replacing the tools, I bought a load of Craftsman, some B&D and Skill-----starting a year after I bought everything, 5 of the 7 hand power tools---(Ryobi made Sears) had crapped out. My Emerson-made Craftsman table saw is still going strong with no problems. My B&D corded drill (old Professional model)---I've replaced the power cord--and of the Skill tools (bought before they started selling the cheap line) one crapped out and the other still going strong. So, of my tools--5 out of 6 bad tools were Ryobis one a Skill----So, it's by no means all brands, under moderate duty. Since that time, I've also bought several DeWalt and Makita tools---again, none has given me a bit of problem.

                              And, from this board, there is a very clear indication of where the problem tools are----you hardly ever hear about problems with their corded hand tools---stationary tools----a few models seem to get all the complaints. But I don't think by any means, the complaints are from whinners or tool abusers. On non-mfg. forums, you get ones or twos of complaints on the top brands, but the lion's share of complaints is generally with the ususal suspects.