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Performance comparison of 9 18V drill/saw combos

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  • Performance comparison of 9 18V drill/saw combos

    In April of 2003, Workbench Magazine did a comparison test of 8 18V drill/saw combos. Ridgid was not included (not out yet?). I wondered how the Ridgid 18V combo would stack up. The magazine tested on 3 criteria:
    1) Number of 2x4's cutoffs on a single charge
    2) Number of 1" auger holes on a single charge
    3) Number of pilot holes/screws on a single charge

    to reproduce the test, i used my brand new never used Ridgid 3 piece 18 V combo set. I conditioned the battery the same way they did their tools (5 chargings/dischargings) prior to testing.

    However, the text of their article did not specify what diameter pilot hole and what size screw they used. because of this, i opted not to include this criteria in my home test.

    2x4 pine for all tests
    a new Irwin 1" auger bit
    factory blade on the saw

    The wood for the saw cutoffs was measured and marked every 1"

    The saw was then used to cut as many pieces as it could until it died.

    The holes were drilled into (2) 2x4's stacked on top of each other as done in the article

    the resulting mess

    The results from the article in Workbench Magazine:
    Brand 1" Holes Cutoffs
    Milwaukee 43 139
    Bosch 37 98
    Makita 38 136
    Porter Cable 33 112
    DeWalt 29 148
    Ryobi 22 72
    B&D n/a 62
    Skil n/a 38

    My results:
    Ridgid 44 112

    The Ridgid 18 V excelled in 1" auger holes but was at the low end on 2x4 cutoffs. I theorize the high number of 1" holes may be a result of the high torque of this drill.

    A more scientific approach to this test would have been to use the same saw blade in each of the saws. A better blade will definitely increase battery life and give more cuts. I don't know if that would have helped or hurt Ridgid in this test, it just would have been more fair to all the saws in comparing apples to apples.


  • #2
    i should have clarified the criteria of the units listed in the article. they basically had two groups, professional grade and consumer grade. the Ryobi, B&D, and Skil were considered consumer grade (for price/performance reasons).

    When i stated that Ridgid fell on the low end of 2x4 cutoffs, i was factoring out the consumer grade tools which left us with 6 possible tools. Based on those tools, Ridgid tied for 4th (out of five since there was a tie). Coming in 4th out of 5 is the low end.

    I don't think it would be fair to try different Ridgids of the same model to see if the results change. The article didn't use 3 DeWalts and average their performance. Likewise with other consumer tests, only one item is tested and the results are based on individual performance (Consumer Reports).

    Testing multiple tools of the same model is a QA/QC test which is not the focus of this trial.



    • #3
      So we should be able to cut enough studs and plates to do about 150' of wall on a charge...I can live with that..

      Is yours a hammer drill..if so did you have it on hammer...I found mine works better with a spade bit if I use hammer mode...I was drilling holes in studs for wiring and I found I didn't have to push as hard....


      • #4
        112 cutoffs is plenty when you consider you will have a fresh battery in 1/2 hour.

        RM, auger bits are a ton quicker for drilling large holes. the bit actually pulls itself in and requires much less effort and the large grooves in the bit pull out the wood efficiently.



        • #5
          Due to the high number of nails I kept running into I wasn't going to use more that a $1.50 spade bit...of which I broke 3 before I was done Not counting how many times I had to sharpen them after hitting a nail..

          By the way that's how I happen to be in the market for a new drill...I was using my 20 buck no name 18V drill and hit a nail just right and broke one of the gears in it...Now that bring up a point that people make about drills having a all metal gear box, this drill did have one I broke a metal gear...Not wanting to take a chance and breaking my 12V Makita my main work horse I switched to my old Craftsman 3/8" corded..but quickly got tired of that dam extension cord. Went to HD to buy another cheap drill and saw the new Ridgid display...Came home and check out this site..Sounded like a good drill and life time warranty..Went back to HD and bought the 18v X2 drill. By the time I got home with it I had changed my mind and went back to HD and exchanged it for the 4 pc I wanted a cordless RS and that was the only way I could get one...and for $200.00 more I got the RS,CS and a flashlight!!

          By the way for a clown you do a good test...thanks


          • #6
            Thanks to Caspian for his effort. One thing it confirms for me is that no one company has the best tool in every catagory. My decision to buy should be on "best" value for my usage and the RIDGID combo fares pretty well in this line up.

            One question though, didn't the drill fail at least once and have to be returned for service during your test? (sarcasm off)

            Between this project and your "Thief" photo you're proving to be a pretty creative poster.