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Power Tools owners? What do you do? A bit of a rant about warranty too

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  • Power Tools owners? What do you do? A bit of a rant about warranty too

    Just curious who the power tools owners are out there and what your expieriences have been?

    I am a plumber by trade (3rd year apprentice). I own several Ridgid hand tools for the work I do and I swear by these plumbing tools as do my bosses and co-workers (on top of their threaders, etc.). At one point over a year ago I contemplated purchasing a Ridgid cordless drill but I heard mixed reviews about them and opted for a more proven brand in a Dewalt 14.4 XRP Drill/driver which I had good expiereinces with, both from a warranty point of view (had it into the factory centre for a warranty repair - turn overtime 3 days), on top of tool performance, etc. I am on here for the plumbing forum's to a degree and for the power tools forum to a degree. My next moves in the power tool market are toward a lithium ion set. I am leaning towards the Milwaukee 28 Volt lithium ion set of which I will add their cordless right angle drill to when it comes out. But I am going to wait until DeWalt unveils their 36 volts just to give them a fair "screeing" if it's fair to say.

    I am a bit put off by some of the expiereinces some of you have had with your Ridgid power tools, specifically the cordless tools I seem to see a lot of controversy about. First off I understand warranty is a huge thing. It is nice to know tools are backed by a good warranty, but it looks to me like people are buying tools blind too. It seems like some haven't read the warranty or don't understand the specifics involved. It's great to have a good warranty but I can tell you that it sucks when you have down time and this is more what I would research before buying. So did anyone actually take the time to investigate what would happen/down time/repair time/what's covered, BEFORE you purchased a Ridgid tool under their lifetime warranty? Or did you just buy it blind thinking HD would take care of all issues? I knew about the DeWalt factory outlet when I bought my drill. I had heard some people's expiereinces with little down time and no hassle service there. That really helped. And I had good expiereinces there first hand. Perhaps some advice for those contemplating buying a tool with a warranty is investigate the warranty. Think of what could break or what could happen and make some phone calls or some inquiries from people, perhaps get it in writing if possible, as to where you take it, what to expect for down time, how long it usually takes for repairs, parts, etc. and maybe this will save you a lot of grief. Also, what is your down time worth to you? Do you have back up tools just in case? Stuff to ponder I guess...and I suggest you look into it before you buy your tools.

  • #2
    Did you also research the turnaround time at the service center that a contractor receives vs the average Joe off the street? If you really think that its first come first served at the service center and that contractors' tool repairs don't get pushed ahead of everyone elses, you don't live in the real world. One ticked off plumber/carpenter/electrician/etc on the jobsite can do far more harm to a service centers business reputation than a single homeowner/hobbyist could ever think of doing.

    I totally agree with you that, when it comes to buying tools, the availability of service for that tool should be a factor for some in thier buying decision. However, for the non-professionals who don't use their tools everyday, the availability of service is important but not critical.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3

      I agree with BadgerDave, I just had this happen at HomeDepot on some bathroom appliances. I got the royal runaround, excuses, sorry, we'll reorder, etc., etc. My contractor then went with me to the store and we had everything the NEXT DAY! We live in a world where money talks, and as mentioned, "contractors" have a lot more clout than the ordinary shopper.

      But that said, I approach purchasing any product in the same way I do an automobile. What and where do I have to do or go for service; and NOT just any service, but good service? For instance, I have a particular dealer within a mile of me, but his service is I'll take my business 20 miles away. But as much as I might admire Honda's, I'll never own one, simply because my nearest dealer is 60 miles away and that is certainly not convenient for service.

      My nearest Ridgid Dealer is probably 120 miles from me. With UPS or FedX, that's not a big deal. But I don't need to depend on my tools and a quick turnaround to do a job. I also make sure that I have other tools that will work should any particular high use tool require service. Things like saws, drills, sanders, etc.; would put a project on hold, if it weren't for back-ups.

      I used to depend on a computer in order to do my work. Probably the most unreliable thing in the world. It only takes one failure to realize that altenatives need to be in order. Since the first failure, I always have had a back-up system or two. Overall, I think that anyone who depends on a particular tool, vehicle, or whatever needs to work with some sort of "alternate" plan. It certainly takes the stress out of having to deal with slow parts deliveries or overloaded service personnel.


      [ 12-20-2005, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]


      • #4
        Scott, I can't help with your questions about warrenty service. I have a lot of tools for all purposes. I have never had a need for service on any of them. The only service that I have done outside of normal cleaning and lubrication was to replace the brushes in an old Milwaukee hammer drill. I understand your reluctance to buying some tools because of negative posts and reviews, but all brands have the same problems at sometime or another. A lot of times you can read about someone having trouble with something and that is the only post they ever made here or at any site. If you were to count the number of complaints and post where people rant about what kind of junk a certain brand is, and compare that # to the Millions of tools made and sold each year you will find it to be a very small percentage. Less than 1 percent of the tools made ever have a problem. I had one occurance myself, when I bought my PC pancake compressor set it developed a knock the first day in the comp. I took it back and got a new one. No problems now in over a year. I know of quite a few times that people have complained that certain tools were junk, and the fact is they never touched one,.They were just repeating what they read somewhere else. You also have to consider the misuse/abuse factor in tools or anything. Like the one guy recently posting about how he had 5 drills in a row go out on him. That is not a drill problem, but a user problem. Daves statement about service people and companies taking priority at the tool shops is dead on accurate. I dropped off a milwaukee Mag drill to be repaired for work. They had to order the parts, got the drill back in 4 days. Went into the same shop and ordered those brushes for my hammer drill and it took 2 weeks just to get the parts. Really, your only concern about any brand should be if there is service available in your area.
        info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


        • #5
          Scott K,

          I can understand wanting to wait to try out the new 36 volts coming out next year. My field is in the pipe trades also. I have 2 of the 28 volt Milwaukee drills and all I can say is ""wow"". Since you are in the trades you already know Milwaukees reputation for their tools relating to our work. They have a 28v band saw, this thing works as advertised. Their 28v sawzall really does act like it has a cord. They are on sale 20% off at the HD store. There are other 28V tools in the pipeline designed with our trade in mind.

          Like you I own and use many of Ridgids tools and pipe machines and have found them to be the best available. Their cordless tools only have their name on the side, they are not really made by Ridgid and as I understand, Ridgid gets a "cut" of the sale of each tool thats bares their name but has no other connection to them.

          Like Marcus Welby MD. He was not really a doctor, he just played one on TV. Ridgid cordless are not made by Ridgid, they just wear the name in the store.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.


          • #6
            The Ridgid tools are made to Ridgid specs. Just as the Milwaukees are. Where Ridgid still owns thier name, wilwaukee is owned by the company that makes both of these brands and several others.
            info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."