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The new combo pack

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  • The new combo pack

    I notice that Rigid has a new combo pack out for their new line of power tools, at Home Despot. The smaller combo has a 6.5" circular saw, a hammer drill and a flashlight. It's priced in my market for $379.

    As I'm not a tool expert, it seems kinda funny to me that the so-called "combo pack" is priced like it is.

    Why wouldn't I just buy the nicest and largest hammer drill and nicest and largest circular saw for $159 and $119 respectively (for a total cost of under $300)? I never intend to do any woodworking in the dark, so the flashlight isn't a big selling point for me. It's a purty light, very bright, but $80 worth of light? Um, "no". Can someone clue me in?

    Just how important is "cordless" for a home user with access to a good power cord and a socket?

    I am dreaming of some woodworking projects: a small raised deck, a custom roof, a stepstool. Given a general lack of knowledge and expertise, am I wasting my time getting quality tools? Or, will I bless every penny spent on them? Is it better to screw up a cheap tool?

    Can you live with only a circular saw, or is a table saw mandatory?

    Is that super sexy hammer drill with the "pulse" mode just too much for a guy doing four anchors in concrete? Will that drill make concrete as easy to drill as wood? Is it good for wood, too?

    I know that these questions are pretty general and fairly ignorant, but that's what is on my mind.

    Thank you for any responses!
    --<br />Farlo<br />Urban Fey Dragon, Eater of Cookies

  • #2
    The advantage of the flashlight is that it shares the same battery/charger setup as the other tools. That's about it.

    Given your list of construction projects, a corded circular saw would do fine. Unless you are real anal about the stepstool (a thought that doesn't merit much parsing) you don't really need a tablesaw for anything on your list.

    You can build anything with a circular saw if you have enough time and patience (and FWIW the new Ridgid CS was looking very nice indeed). Table saws become a necessity when doing precision work, but are a nicety for deck construction.

    For your roof, you would probably be better served with a compound miter saw, and better yet a sliding compound miter. BUT, if you have a small project and plan ahead, you can rent the miter saw and the hammer drill as needed. You may also be looking at power nailers... at least after the first day. Rent. Homeowners like us just can't make hammer drills pay for 'emselves.

    Given your project list, "cordless" only makes sense for the thing you didn't mention... the basic drill/driver (preferably with the two batt charger). Get a 14.4 or 18v to blast those deck screws, in addition to the corded circ (CS), and see where it all leads.

    [ 09-22-2003, 01:19 AM: Message edited by: Mark IV ]


    • #3
      I use cordless anytime I don't need the power of corded. Power cords are a big pain in the rear. I use my milwaukee hammer drill when drilling into masonry or concrete, my cordless would barely scratch the surface in these applications. I also use the milwaukee when I have to drive a large amount of screws( such as when building a fence) and I don't want to drill pilot holes. The corded always delivers constant power, cordless slowly decreases. But this is just me.


      • #4
        Hi Farlo, I will try and help you with input on your dilemma. First of all the projects you have in mind wouldn't need the hammer drill. And after having tested the new Ridgid cordless tools, The 3/8" 14.4v drill has the feel and torque of my Dewalt 18v Hammer drill. I use that drill every day. You forgot about the battery charger in the kit too. After you have had to drag a cord around with you one time you will wish you had the cordless. Other than the battery charger, I built a 14 x 12 deck with out any corded power tools. When you are up on that roof and want to cut off your over hung pieces you will wish you had a cordless circular saw.

        Now your determining factor will be how hooked on this woodworkin stuff do ya wanna git. LOL

        And according to the ridgid/ryobi rep if you buy before jan 1 2004, you get lifetime warranty on the tools, and even the batteries, so dont worry about your batteries losing power.

        good luck and happy woodworking

        [ 09-24-2003, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: hammerman ]


        • #5
          Cordless hammer drills are basically light duty. Forget about getting into bricks with it.

          My brother and I both have the dewalt cordless kit with the big 3 & light. Last year we built a 12 x 12 shed out in the field. 300' or more to the nearest power source. We were glad to have them at that point.

          Serious tool uses appreciate all the different flavors of tools available. Even at that, you need to pick and choose wisely on what you will actually get use out of for the cash output.

          Another consideration is length of use. You can't cut all day long with a cordless cir. saw. But it's handy if you don't have to drag out 100 or 2 feet of cord to make a few cuts.

          Purchasing a table saw should be a once in a lifetime deal. Choose wisely, and it will make your life alot easier for many years to come for alot of different projects. The job site unit could very well suit alot of home owners needs with easy out of the way storage, yet power and versatility when needed. Use of the flip top stands will aid greatly for cutting large stock.

          Personally, I could spend my next 5 years wages on tools in one weekend, and still not have all I want. So I control myself with the "NEED" factor. As I'm sure 99.9% of us do.
          John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


          • #6
            Will someone tell me what it is in the universe that requires that cordless circular saws (I call them trim saws, though some are getting quite big and heavy) are only sold in "combo" kits? It must be something about the alignment of the planets, since virtually all manufacturers only make the cordless trim saw available as part of a "combo," and now comes along this new venture, starting from scratch and bent on doing things better than its competitors, and they do the same thing. Coincidence is hard to accept.

            I have a benchful of drills, corded and cordless (and one that runs on air), big and little. I have two Sawzalls. I have lots of lights. But I have encountered any number of situations in the past few years when I needed to make just a couple of small cuts, usually in confined spaces, where the cordless circular saw, which I don't have one of, would be perfect.

            Brandman: a suggestion: make the cordless circular saw available as a standalone product.

            (Black & Decker has a low end cordless circular saw as a standalone product and, while I tend to buy heftier tools, I've been close to buying one more than once and may succumb in the near future.)


            • #7
              It is the same thing that makes them put these bad flashlights in combo kits and mark them up about 80 to $100


              • #8
                Honestly I have had (before it was stolen) and 18V Makita flashlight as part of a combo set and I wouldn't have trade it for the world. It could light a whole room and throw a spot 50 yards.

                Currently I have a 12V Makita flourescent and it will light a large area better than a spot type.

                One reason you don't see circ saws sold individually very often is that by the time you pay for batteries, charger and case, you've already committed a significant amount. Having a few tools available makes it easier to swallow. IMO anyway.