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18 volt 4 PACK REVIEW

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  • 18 volt 4 PACK REVIEW

    Dear Friends,

    I thought I would review the Ridgid 18vlt 4-pack versus other 4pack tools I own as well Milwaukee and Bosch. Since Jan 5, 2004 I have steadily used the 18vlt 4-pack combo with demolition and remodeling work. I really tried to be objective in the review. I rank them to be 7 out of 10 for all around work. I ORIGINALLY BOUGHT THE COMBO KIT DUE THE WARRANTEE REPLACEMENT OF BATTERIES. I also need duplicate sets of tools specifically for different workers so each party is responsible solely for that set. DeWalt is not in this test due to consistent battery problems I have had in the past. Though I will say all DeWalt 18vlt tools I have owned have been excellent in performance and quality.

    For you folks that don't know me from squat I perform a lot of remodeling on my own properties and work about 30hrs a week (myself with tools) and contract out over 70 hours to subs. They get a good work out and I perform tough tasks such as mixing joint compound with the 18vlt hammer drill, cutting drywall with the circular saw, cutting pvc with the reciprocating saw.

    THE BEST FEATURE OF RIDGID IS THE QUICK CHARGING METHOD WITH FANS COOLING THE BATTERIES. NO ONE COMES CLOSE. Caveat: Yet if your on a roof and its over 105 degrees good luck on getting the batteries to charge. I bought an extra battery so I could simultaneously have two tools operating while another battery charged.

    The 18vlt Hammer Drill will outperform the Bosch and Milwaukee. Though balance, weight are an issue with fatigue over a long period of time.

    The circular saw is fairly good with the right amount of torque and it feels good in the hand. Though both the Milwaukee and the Bosch have more speed, the Ridgid was not at a disadvantage. I found the Milwaukee lasted the longest (good for the guys who due more the 50 cross cuts at a time).

    The light is decent but I wish it was xenon or an light emitting diode (LED). All brands are similar or the same.

    Ridgid reciprocating saw has much to be desired. The foot has broke off and the quick change is not too quick. But gentlemen I have to say I abused and used the heck out it and gotten my moneys worth. Milwaukee has just plain cornered this market with their hatchet saw. Bosch comes in at second with having the lightest saw. Once again the Milwaukee had the longest run time.

    Overall the set is decent with the drill being the leader of the pack. My recommendation is that these tools should be priced a little lower than counterparts such as Milwaukee or Bosch. As for the quality of the tools I think they are "good" to "very good." Right now if I were to buy a set without the lifetime warrantee, it would have to be Milwaukee due to their service (5 year warrantee) and manufacturing points mostly in the USA. A close number 2 is Bosch due to their additional FREE scroll saw. No one should be disappointed for buying the Ridgid if the hammer drill is your #1 tool.


    [ 06-19-2004, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: paul v. ]

  • #2
    I agree with you on most of your review of these products, the hammer drill is a bit heavy but is by far the best cordless drill I have used. I have to disagree on the hatchet however, I personally dont like it, it is handy for the fact that you can get into smaller places with it, but it tends to jam up or something, I am assuming it has a clutch or something. Most of the recip saws have their glitches though, the dewalt has a problem with the gearing going out on it, the hatchet I already mentioned. If I can I try to use the corded milwaukee recip, it is the best imho. The skill saws rank all about the same with me. I will add that when I bought the combo kit (ridgid) during the free battery promotion, I was suprised to see the battery at my door within 2 weeks, so as for customer service so far, I am pleased.


    • #3
      I have done a similar test with DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee and Ridgid. I used all of their 90 day warrenties and bought them all on a credit card. I did more or less the same thing you did and feel that you should have included the DeWalt. I have found from my own experiances and talking with many other people that people for some reason expect DeWalt to last longer and so say their batteries are not as good when I have never had a problem with them. But that is beside the point...It tested the tools numberous ways.

      The Light: DeWalt beats all with the snake light...not to mention you can take the light part and attach it to 2x material.(Great for under houses or in attics)

      Drill: I did two test. Drill a 2 9/16 self feed bit through 2x4 Pine. The ridgid got through the easiest but only did 18 holes on one charge. The Milwaukee and DeWalt were the next easiest to drill the milwaukee did 20 holes, the DeWalt did 25. The bosch was the worst performing with the hardest time drilling the holes and only drill 15. In addition I took a 1 3/8 hole saw and run them through 20g steel. For this test I was looking at speed. DeWalt was 1st, Mil 2nd Ridgid 3rd and bosch 4th. In terms of ease of use for this applications they were all easy.
      Verdict. 1st DeWalt 2nd Milwaukee 3rd Ridgid and 4th Bosch.

      Recipsaws: I did two test here. I took a fulling charged battery and using the same type of recip saw blade for each I cut 2x4s and 1" conduit. I found across the board here DeWalt cut the most followed by milwakee bosch and then ridgid. In terms of speed i found that milwakee and dewalt were first followed by Ridgid then bosch.
      Verdict Tied DeWalt and Milwauke 3rd Bosch and 4th ridgid

      Circsaws. Feel Milwaukee was the most comfortable followed by Ridgid, DeWalt, Bosch. I have heard about but not seen a new DeWalt circ saw that is suppose to look more like the milwaukee. Speed Cuting 3/4 osb I found the DeWalt and Milwuakee to be equally as fast followed by Ridgid and then Bosch
      Cutting 2x4s DeWalt cut 114 times, Milwaukee cut 84 time Bosch cut 80 and Rdigid 64
      Verdict 1st milwaukee 2nd dewalt 3rd bosch and 4th ridgid....if DeWalts new saw is better designed then They may sneak ahead of Mil.

      With all that said I returned my Bosch, Ridgid and Milwaukee and kept the DeWalt. If I could not choose DeWalt i would go with Milwaukee Ridgid and then Bosch. To be honest with you I would go to corded tools only before buying the bosch. The one thing that this test could not test was battery life. I have had no problems and it has been 4 months now.


      • #4

        DeWalt, Mikita and Hitachi needs some feedback.

        I agree with Bo, DeWalt is making good products but in my experience I have over 7 dead 18vlt batteries in 2 years. Though DeWalt products still work with some severe drops and hard use.


        • #5
          I've had my DeWalt 18V XRT drill for about a year now and put it through some rough use, it's a tough and strong drill but the batteries are mediocre. Not bad, just average. They don't seem to hold up any better under prolonged use against the Makitas I own. Nothing to really gripe about though, and the drill otherwise is first class.


          • #6
            The "XRP" is a beast...if they had NI-Mh batteries like the Panasonic it would blow away any competition..

            I'm probably more of a Milwaukee fan than any other tool....due the the legnths of service I get from them


            • #7
              Hi Paul, yes, my XRP is a monster of a cordless drill...most people who see it and pick it up on the jobsites always say wow, that's a hefty sucker, lol. Almost TOO heavy in fact. The one thing I really don't like about it is it won't stand up on it's own....when you sit it on it's battery it will tip right over, only cordless drill I've ever had that does that. When you set it aside you must lay it on it's side.....a real pain if you are on a ladder and don't have a drill holster on your belt. Otherwise it's a fantastic tool and I'd highly recommend it.


              • #8
                I have a 5 piece Bosch combo. I went with Bosch because of the jigsaw. I returned an excellent Dewalt 4 piece combo to get the Bosch. So far I have found that the Bosch tools are excellent,they seem to be very well made,with one exception. The reciprocating saw has a dual stroke switch,which on my saw is about to go. It has a "spongy" feel and often can't be moved.
                Some of you have tested various combo kits,In your testing did you test the tools after the battery break-in period was over? (usually several charge cycles)If you didn't your test findings may be inaccurate. When I first used my Bosch hammerdrill,it didnt seem that powerful and the Motor and battery got hot after a few big holes were drilled. After a few cycles,it seems like a different drill. Right now It definitely rivals the Dewalt in power.
                As far as combos,you can't go wrong with Dewalt,Milwaukee,Bosch,or Makita. Dewalt,has upped the torque on the new XRP drills,and has an imoroved circular saw. This improved Dewalt combo may not have hit the stores yet. I like Milwaukee,but the only extra they throw in is a radio (I want a tool),I chose my Bosch combo because of the jigsaw. Besides,can your drill survive a 46 foot fall on concrete and still spin?


                • #9
                  Good question about when the test where done. I "played with the tools for a month. Using all sets and recharging the batteries about 15 times before the test. I did test day after I got them and the test were pretty similar...but felt after breaking them would be a better test.


                  • #10
                    Yes these sets batteries have been broken in. the shortest period pof 6 months - over 1 year. Remodeling and demolition in my opinion put the tools throught a large range of stated in my first post I need the various sets to be with a particular helper so they will be responsible for those tools.

                    Truly I think that Milwaukee, Bosch and DeWalt run neck in neck. Individuals may have preferences with grip and weight.

                    MILWAUKEE IS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE. I HAVE NEVER BEEN LET DOWN IN SERVICE. I live in a town of over 1 million.

                    Milwaukee has the best battery performance by far, almost double the life. I like the hatchet saw-zall some people don't.

                    Bosch owns the service end with a 5 day turn around guarantee. I heard more complaints from friends in the field that Bosch battery life is Mediocre. We have had 2 hours of continuous use from drills or saws. I think thats "very good" performance.

                    DeWalt dominates the amount of tools in a line and accessability to buy certain tools. The XRP line really has cranked up competition a notch. I will have to purchase another set soon. I have an old set that has been given to a relative.

                    Ridgid performs well. The batteries last a long time and they are tough. I've already droped the circular from 10 feet and the drill from 2 stories. Their service needs much to be desired.

                    If a new person is reading this thread. Buy your first set of tools that are corded...sounds funny but corded power tools are very difficult to wear out especially the first three brands.

                    I did not rank Makita. I really believed in their tools years ago. Recently I replaced two full combo sets in one year of use. I still have 2- 9vlts drill units that are over 10 years old. I think their quality now is poor for cordless tools. Their corded tools are fantastic for quality, especially the ones built in Japan.


                    • #11
                      David M.

                      I dont understand why your 18 volt Dewalt XRP wont stand up on its battery, because i know they do, i use one regularly. But i know the 9.6 volt dewalt wont stand up, i use one of these also.
                      - and to all of these "tool testers," why no mention of porter cable? I own the 19.2 volt drill and circ saw and love them. the drill is almost as powerful as my millwaukee magnum corded, and the sawboss circ saw is awesome and i use it more than my corded.


                      • #12
                        Porter Cable has great corded tools...

                        Their cordless have less to be desired due to the constant battery changes and charges that you would have to keep with you. In 3 years thay have 3 different charging systems for 12vlt batteries and 2 for 14.4...end of story...they are just not consistent...With Makita 10 years same charger different batteries but they work..Milwaukee 8, Dewalt 6 yrs respectively.


                        • #13
                          ditto what paul said.
                          My first cordless was a Porter Cable. When the charger and battery failed 5 years later, they were on to another interface. So I replaced it with Bosch. Then their interface changed. After 7 years the drills are going strong but the batteries are weak. I'm not going to pay good money for a battery that's probably been on the shelf over 5 years. You can be sure its completely dead and probably won't give anything close to new performance. So I went with Ridgid. At least they'll buy me new batteries. MESSAGE TO RIDGID - IF YOU WANT TO REALLY PISS-OFF YOUR CUSTOMERS CHANGE YOUR BATTERY INTERFACE.


                          • #14

                            As an addition to my last post. I did not mean to blister Porter Cable. The Tiger Saw I have has served me well and their corded circulars in my opinion are A1. I'm sure the PC tools have served you well. Please review them for us.

                            Have they addressed issues with chargers? Are you happy with the charger or older tools that you have?

                            In my humble opinion PC has chased the woodworking and air tool markets. Their compressors and air tools are top notch for contracting purposes.


                            • #15
                              paul v.,

                              I understand that you are giving your opinion of porter cable tools. And i completely respect that, and appreciate the feedback. I would just like to take this opportunity to say that i am only 14 years old, but i have worked to get a woodworking shop that i am very happy with (16x24 feet). In my quest to learn the art of woodworking (im in about my 4th or 5th year) i have studyed hard to get the best quality tools i can, and i am happy with my tools. I got the porter-cable 19.2 volt kit for $200 at a PC-Delta service center. It was labeled as refurbished but was brand new, so the salesman gave it to me for the refurbished price. I thought this was a good deal. Since i had to work hard to earn the money for these and all of my tools, i try to get something that will last. These 2 tools have exceeded my expectations, and i love to pick them up and use them. If you would like more info about me, my shop, my tools, or anyhing just let me know. Ill review these tools more if youd like.