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Note re Milwaukee cordless as relates to Ridgid

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  • Note re Milwaukee cordless as relates to Ridgid

    For the last couple months, I have been debating whether to buy the Ridgid 18v.X2 combo or the similar Milwaukee Combo. About six weeks ago I bought the Ridgid set, but took it back after about three weeks. I just did not like some minor quirks on the drill. The clutch also froze a couple of times. I also was not comfortable with the "Made in China" label, even though I know logically that this is where things are going and that it may not in any way be indicative of quality. In any event, I have since been looking around at prices of the Milwaukee set until this weekend when the HD sale hit. I went down right away and got the Milwaukee set, which I really do like better. However, I was amazed to see on the drill that it is now made in the Czech Republic, and not in Germany. I realize that it is right next door to Germany, but for some reason this was a bit of a letdown. I know nothing about the Czech working environment and whether this means anything, except that it must be cheaper for Milwaukee and that manufacturing is indeed moving East and will likely end up in China like so many other companies. Somewhat of a disappointment. I even went back to HD to see if other stock were the same. They were, even the individual drills. Maybe this will tip the scales in favor of Ridgid with other buyers, all other aspects being equal. The Milwaukee and Ridgid combo sets seem to be the best values out there when looking at the drill, CS, and sawzall (taking into account warranty, versatility, specs, and performance).

  • #2
    The Czech's have always, along with the Silesia section of Poland, been a higly industrialized area of Europe. These areas have always been known to manufacture some of the best machined parts and castings in the world. Don't sell them short.

    In the 1920's the Czech weapons industry was second to none. The famous British Bren light machine gun was licensed from the Czech's developed by the Brno plant. BREN means BRno made at ENfield Lock. The Israeli Uzi, is basically a modified Czech ZB25.

    Granted, the Czechs stagnated during the Communist days, but that was more than 10 years ago.

    Today, the Czech work force is one of the most skilled and educated in the world. Many are of German descent; and excuse Hitler used to invade Czechslovakia.

    The Czechs have a long history of steel, machining, and machinery manufacturing.

    They have a century or more of experience. Compared with the Czechs, the Chinese are really late comers.

    By the way; The next time you are at Barnes and Noble or Lowes, check out the Fine Woodworking/Housebuilding Tool Guide Issue. The Milwaukee 18 volt drill and the Hatchet Sawsall received the highest Editors' Choice and users' ratings.

    Likewise, Consumer Reports rate the 18 volt Milwaukee drill at the top of the heap.

    We'll see how Ridgid rates, when the new issue comes out in May.

    [ 12-22-2003, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: SatPro ]

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info. Very interesting. I feel a bit ignorant in my lack of knowledge. It just seems that the "made in Germany" label is a positive, particulary compared to "made in China." I know this is true in the eyes of many with regard to the Ridgid tools that are made in Germany, as compared with those made in China. Nevertheless, I can't help but think that the move to the Czech Republic by Milwaukee had to be for cost reasons. Too bad. In any event, I love the Milwaukee drill. I would note though that the finish of the Ridgid is better. The rubber bumpers, metal gear casing, etc. However, for ease of use, balance, and versatility, the Milwaukee is great. Plus a 5 year warranty. I'll be sure to look at that book next time I'm in a bookstore.

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      • #4
        Sat Pro pretty much summed up the Czechs----they are up and coming getting their name out there. I was working for the city of San Francisco, when they decided to buy an entire new bus and trolley fleet from a Czech Republic manufacturer---impressive quality-----would still take them any day over Made in China .
        Dave

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        • #5
          there also is a $50 HD store credit rebate coupon on Milw. set, good till end of year plus the 20% off brought it to $347 in my area in Hawaii. What a deal that was. Really wanted it. I ended up buying instead a Ridgid 12v x2 cordless drill kit for $119. I bought the Ridgid because the lifetime warranty includes normal wear items and the batteries, the rep said. Everything seems to be covered. I didn't ask if it is my life or the drill's. One thing I have noticed on the Ridgid x2 series is the chucks seem to have very slight runout and side play while the standard series with 3/8 were precise and tight.

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          • #6
            I picked up the Ridgid 18v combo and a 14.4 v X2 to see which I liked better. I'm liking the 18v better so I'll probably take the 14.4 back. The 14.4v has no noticeable runout. The 18v had quite a bit - around .015 - so I took it back and exchanged it. The new one looks fine.

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            • #7
              I just purchased (over the big tool sale weekend) a Hitachi 4 1/2 grinder made in Ireland.It is advertised as having an 8.2 Amp motor>When I took it out of the box I found it to have a 9.5 Amp motor!

              I prefer US made products 1st,then European,then Japanese&Taiwanese,other SE Asian,then the Chinese are dead last in my book.Red Chinese Communist junk,in my personal opinion-even though I do own a "disposable" Ryobi 12V drill.

              The Czech's drink more beer per capita than any other country anyhow.

              I almost did buy the Ridgid 8.0 Amp grinder,though.

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              • #8
                The Uzi SMG is not a copy of any other design. It was an original design of one David Gal (recently deceased), and was considered a bit of a revolution at the time because of how it manages the necessary bulk of the breechblock in a blowback operated weapon at 9mm power.

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                • #9
                  Yeah, his name is Uzi Gal, not David. He designed the Uzi submachine gun in 1949.

                  The Czech ZB25 was the first to employ the hollow bolt, with the bolt hollowed out to go over the chamber and a large percent of the barrel. The ZB25 was the first submachine gun to employ the magazine well in the grip, like the P08 Luger and and the M1903 Browning Colt Automatic pistol.

                  The basic difference and improvement of the UZI is the use of a rectangular receiver to control the track of the moving bolt. The ZB25 had a longitudinally round cross section like the West Point designed US M3 submachine gun. I believe it had guide rods for the bolt with compression springs over the rods. The UZI has the same guide rods and compression springs. The UZI has longitudinal channels in the receiver to collect fouling and debris such as sand and dirt to keep it functioning in adverse battlefield conditions.

                  The blowback operated SMG is not new. The Bergman of WWI and the Thompson operate on the same principle, athough the Thompson had the Blish lock, which was of dubious functional efficiency. It was eliminated in the M-1 WWII version of the Thompson.

                  So, national pride, not withstanding, there is not much difference between the preWWII Czech ZB and the Post war UZI.

                  That's like the 1998 interview of Mikail Klashnikov that his Avtomat Model 47 was not a development of the German MP44 or SturmGewher (assault rifle) with the intermediate cartridge.

                  The Israeli Galil is, in fact, also an incarnation of the AK47.

                  [ 12-22-2003, 09:26 PM: Message edited by: SatPro ]

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                  • #10
                    So . . . it is OK that the MW drill is made in the Czech Republic? Right?

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                    • #11
                      Yeah,

                      Absolutely! The parts are the same as the ones made in Germany. The European Union will make almost all of Europe one entity. The only European country that's slow to catch up would be Yugoslavia. But, that will also change. Remember the Yugo?

                      You don't remember Japanese goods in the '60's. do you? They were called "Jap Crap!"

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                      • #12
                        The X2 12v. drill I got last weekend, very satisfied with performance. It's first task was to mix a bucket of thinset mortar. I put aside my old 1/2in corded drill, why not use the cordless with lifetime warranty? The drill stirred the mortar effortlessly like not even there, very impressive. It is just 12v. but very powerful. I think the Ridgid sale/warranty was a loss leader to get them out in the market, we were lucky to get those bonuses. I don't like made in China but the tool is well made. I looked at Milwaukee again but noticed battery warranty is one year. My old 12v Skil lasted 7 years on the original batteries, but it was USA I think. I like the prospect of having this new drill be the last one I need to buy. I also picked up the Makita classic 9.6v set at HD for $71, for lighter drilling. Very nice drill and made in Georgia, for the price I don't mind the one year warranty.

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                        • #13
                          You can get a free Milwalkee jobsite radio along with the $50 HD card as well. Check out the Milwalkee website.

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                          • #14
                            I have 2 14.4v Hammer Loc-Tor Mil.drills ,2 18v hammer drills(not loc-tor)Hatchet sawzall,cir saw,light, radio,as well as various 120v tools, and I would not trade them for any other brand. I also have PC,Delta,Bosch ,DeWalt,Makita(12v impact)too but I like the red ones the best. They design and manufacture a consistent high quality product that lasts. For example on the Loc-Tor no chuck wobble or slap noise when stopped and it has more torque than my 18v previous drills,and sounds like a precision tool when operated. I do own Ridgid shop tools but I would not trust the China cordless ones to last.

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                            • #15
                              SatPro,

                              you wrote:

                              "Remember the Yugo?"

                              I own a couple of Zastava rifles,a M48 Mauser 8MM and a 7.62X51 NATO M-76.Both are excellent quality.The other division of Zastava built what was called the "Yugo" automobile here in the US.

                              Now it is called Serbia & Montenegro.

                              You have some very interesting things to say.

                              Merry Christmas.

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