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  • Need Cordless Drill Info

    Can i get some feedback on some good cordless drills,its moslly for home and small projects,are the ridgid ones any good i've read mixed reviews on them and would like some first hand feedback from the membership

    Some say the batteries in the ridgid are not very good ,is this true if so should i maybe wait for the new lithium ions to come out.

    Thanx Nelz

  • #2
    14.4 drill and free impact.

    the old batteries did have some issues with runtime but the new ones have corrected that issue immensely. if you only need a 14.4 you can get the new 14.4 with the new batteries they are NiCad but longer lasting than any others out now WITH THE EXCEPTION OF LITHIUM ION. And when you buy the 14.4 you can also get a free 14.4 Impact driver by mail in rebate. The new ones come in smaller boxes with bags instead of hard cases. I like Ridgid drills because of the faster charge time under 30 minutes, free replacement batteries, their service agreement and they have a ridiculous amount of torque. The impact is 1400in/lb that is insane and the new 14.4 drill has almost 500in crazy.


    • #3
      Nelz, I have the Ridgid 14.4V R83001 drill/driver and find it the perfect size for my needs which I'd say parallel what you said yours will be. I've also heard reports that the Ridgid batteries are a little lacking but so far that hasn't been my experience. I recently used the R83001 to build a shed, mostly screws with few nails, and between the two batteries the drill never had any downtime because I was waiting for batteries to charge.

      I would recommend the Ridgid's without hesitation. I also have a DeWalt drill/driver and wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of theirs either.
      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.


      • #4
        I have the 14.4 3/8 Variable Speed Drill/Driver and the 14.4 Impact Driver and though not used a terrific amount (remodeling older home) the batteries seem to last me a good length of time. Of course I'm not driving several hundred screws a day, either. This is my first "cordless" set and I have found it to be conveneint and the charger will fully charge the batteries in about 20 minutes.

        If you've read through the many forums both here and on other web sites, you will find that batteries and chargers are a major complaint with most brands. For what it's worth, there are a number of users who complain about thier tools, batteries, and chargers. It is a problem, but not just with one brand or type of tool. NiCads work best if used often and fully discharged before recharging. If stored for long periods they often loose their ability to be recharged. It they're dropped or slammed around, the chemistry may breakdown, etc. Bad batteries can also short the charger.

        So with all the complaints, I was very hesitant about buying any cordless tool. However, I decided to go with Ridgid because they have a "Limited Lifetime Service Agreement" that covers almost everything, including batteries and chargers. The LLSA is free, but you HAVE to register the tool.) And, you have to understand that after the initial 90-day return policy, all service is at an authorized Ridgid Service Center, not Home Depot.

        So bottom line for me was the "Service Agreement" and I bought the Ridgid because of it. After almost a year of occasional use I have absolutely no problems or complaints. The tools work flawlessly, they seem to hold their charge for weeks of non-use and I have yet to run out of power in the middle of use. But, understand that my use is occasional, doing a moderate amount of repair and remodel work that doesn't require an abundant amount of screws. I have the feeling that the tools would hold up fine no matter how much I used them, but I can't verify that.

        I hope this helps,



        • #5
          Thanks a lot guys thats what i wanted to hear.Some of the posts i read were pretty old so i thought the problems might be ironed out by now .
          Just have to wait for a sale here to save a bit of moolah from the local hd guys.

          Can someone explain the memory issue between the NiCad and NiMh and when your suppose to recharge them(hope you understand this)


          • #6
            according to an article that i read NiCad is a better choice for portable tools over NiMh.



            • #7
              While the article may be correct in regards to the cost of NiCads vs NiMh batteries, you might want to take notice that it was written in 1999. Around that time, I had purchased eight AA cells and a charger (NiMh required a different charger than NiCads) for about $95. Today, it would cost me about $30. With regard to the other claims, I simply don't know, but in seven years a lot can change.

              Regarding the application of NiCads there are some considerations. NiCads offer about 1,000 charges vs roughly half that amount for current NiMh batteries. NiCads do offer a fairly high amp discharge rate, but it can heat the battery significantly. Hot batteries do not take a charge and therefore they must be cooled before they can be recharged.

              NiCads need to be used to a point where they will no longer drive the tool at all. Once cooled, they need to be recharged immediatly. If they are left in a discharge condition they can reverse polarity; in which case, they will not take a charge.

              When fully charged, NiCads will store better than NiMh batteries. NiMh batteries can provide more capacity per given size, but they will loose their charge rapidly, by comparison. Fully charged NiCads will hold their charge (in storage) for several weeks. NiMh batteries will start to drain immediately and within a few days will show significant loss.

              Partially drained NiMh batteries can be recharged, without showing significant loss of capacity. NiCads however, must be fully drained before recharging; otherwise, they may not fully charge. This "memory" problem can render a NiCad almost useless over a fairly short time (months), if it is continuely "topped off". For this reason, many battery chargers have a "conditioning" cycle to drain the battery before it attempts to recharge. "Smart Chargers" will monitor the battery temperature and capacity during both conditioning and charging phases. NiCads should be "conditioned" about every three or four charges.

              Neither type of battery should be left on the charger. While some may recommend the charger as a good place to store the battery, it should be realized that the charger it will continue to charge, albeit low or trickle and this will bake or harden the battery's chemistry to a point where it will no longer function. I'm not talking about an overnight situation, but leaving it on for days and weeks is going to significantly shorten the life of the battery.

              For these reasons, NiCads need to be used often. Us "weekend warriors" who may go weeks before using a cordless tool, may find that NiCads have a relatively short life. Batteries are expensive to replace, often costing almost as much as the original tool. Up until this past year, I felt a "cordless" wasn't worth the long-term cost, at least for my occasional needs. I reasoned that my 35 year old corded drill works as good as ever and extension cords are cheap. However, I fully understood how important "loosing the cord" was to a lot of people. But in the end, Ridgid's LSA made the jump easy for me, at least with regards to the drill/driver.

              Hope this helps,



              • #8
                It sure helped me! Thanks CWS. With all the posts on Not fully discharging the batterie, I thought I was totally off base concerning my 12v Dewalts that I have had for a number of years, but see that I have experienced what you have described. I am one of the "Weekend warriors" but my 5+ year old batteries still get me through building a deck, etc. Having 2 chargers and 4 batteries makes it possible, although I use more than 1 tool at a time.
                Last edited by Gofor; 05-21-2006, 07:07 PM.
                Practicing at practical wood working


                • #9
                  If the smaller drills are anywhere near as good as my 18v hammer I'd say get the Ridgid.

                  I've only had mine in the shop once in 2 years. That's good for me. Lifetime warranty is good too.


                  • #10
                    Well thanx again guys its off to get me a new drill,CWSmith thankyou for the explanation on the recharger issue.I now Know what not to

                    Last edited by nelz; 05-21-2006, 08:01 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CWSmith
                      While the article may be correct in regards to the cost of NiCads vs NiMh batteries, you might want to take notice that it was written in 1999. Around that time, I had purchased eight AA cells and a charger (NiMh required a different charger than NiCads) for about $95. Today, it would cost me about $30. With regard to the other claims, I simply don't know, but in seven years a lot can change.

                      I did not even realize that the article was that old I should pay more attention in the future especially since the dates are listed right below the article.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CWSmith

                        NiCads however, must be fully drained before recharging; otherwise, they may not fully charge. This "memory" problem can render a NiCad almost useless over a fairly short time (months), if it is continuely "topped off".

                        This is absolutely incorrect; the problem you state was overcome at least a decade ago, following your instructions will significantly shorten the battery life of modern cordless tools. Today’s battery technology prevents the memory effect and if you peruse the manual on any modern NiCad tool you will see it states to charge as soon as any noticeable depreciation in performance is detected.



                        • #13

                          I'm not so sure I was totally incorrect, but I must admit that my statement:

                          "NiCads need to be used to a point where they will no longer drive the tool at all."

                          should have been stated as, "used to a point where the tool's performance is seriously degraded." Draining the batteries to zip would unduely stress the battery, for sure.

                          However, while some manufacturers provide circuitry in thier chargers that would properly monitor the battery, recondition and recharge, not all chargers will do that. There is a lot of written opinion on the proper care and use of NiCad batteries and most of it states that NiCads should be discharged before recharging:







                          However, I grant you that this may well be dated information. It has however been my practice to discharge batteries before recharge and I have had NiCads in use for as long as eight years; but, this is for photographic and radio communications purposes and not power tools. My Ridgid manual only states that the battery should be recharged immediately after it is "discharged".

                          The following link is from an article about power tool usage and it does agree with your statement:


                          Also, for anyone wishing to get to the technical aspects of any type of battery, the Battery University sight has some very good information. Here are two links on specifics, appying to our subject. The first catagorizes the usage and the best battery for that application. Further down the page you will find the subject of batteries for power tools:


                          On the same site is the subject of NiCad memory:


                          In conclusion, I do want to thank you for jumping in with your opinion. It is always good to be prompted to check up on the latest.



                          • #14

                            I wasn’t trying to jump in your stuff; I was just attempting to prevent someone from prematurely shortening their battery life. Several times I have seen someone running their tool with a rubber band around the trigger and when I ask them why it is always the same type answer, something to the effect of: I’ve always done it that way, that is the way I was taught to do it to prevent them from obtaining a memory. And when I ask if the manual instructs you to do that, the reply is always “Don’t know, I never read it”. You obviously did your homework; here are some excerpts from some tools I have experience with.



                            Important Charging Notes
                            The battery pack should be recharged when it fails to produce sufficient
                            power on jobs which were easily done previously. DO NOT
                            CONTINUE to use under these conditions. Follow the charging
                            procedure. You may also charge a partially used pack whenever
                            you desire with no adverse affect on the battery pack.

                            Never completely discharge the
                            battery pack. MILWAUKEE battery
                            packs do not develop a "memory"
                            when charged after only a partial discharge.
                            Taping-on triggers or leaving work lights on
                            for extended periods to completely discharge
                            the battery pack will reduce its life by upsetting
                            the electrochemical balance and can
                            result in short-circuiting of the battery.
                            MILWAUKEE battery packs will operate for many years and/or hundreds of cycles when they
                            are used, charged, and stored according to these instructions. Properly using, charging, and
                            storing your battery pack can greatly extend its life.

                            Tips for maintaining maximum battery life
                            1. Charge the battery cartridge before completely
                            Always stop tool operation and charge the battery
                            cartridge when you notice less tool power.
                            2. Never recharge a fully charged battery cartridge.
                            Overcharging shortens the battery service life.