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What Next for HD and Ridgid?

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  • #16
    Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

    The R4511 was not dropped because of shipping costs. Costs them no more to ship it than it would if you took the same frame and box and filled it with feathers. It is shipped in ocean going containers from the factory, which are billed by volume, not weight. And it is shipped in HD's on semis around the country.

    The R4511 was dropped because of the price point (slow mover in a down economy) and because it was costing HD/Ridgid/Orion a ton of money in replacing broken granite etc. etc. (If it is possible to break something moving it around, the guys at the local HD will do it).

    Slapping a cast iron top on the R4511 cabinet would solve portions of the problem, but I highly doubt that a cast iron top would reduce the front end cost by more than maybe $25. Which might make a $75 difference in their selling cost. Don't think that is going to hit the price "sweet spot" in the current economy.

    Possibly going to a different design and factory could cut some cost out. Remember that the R4511 is not their design, it is Orions (Steel City) and produced in the same factory. HD/Ridgid is paying some premium for this, maybe not huge, but something.

    As for moving to a special order selling model...

    I think the majority of folks would prefer to be all touchy feely with the product prior to purchase...if possible, or if needed. But, I bought my R4511 without ever having seen one assembled. My last pickup...never even sat in it until after the paper work was done.

    Welcome to the future folks. Thousands and thousands of online transactions each and every day by customers that have not touched or even seen firsthand the merchandise. Relying on editorial reviews by trade mags and current owners of the product.

    You can rest assured the bean counters at HD are fully aware of the trend. If they can achieve 60 to 70 percent of their sell through and not inventory product in the store? That is a no brainer. Would probably cut their exposure on inventory in half or more.

    Will that work for them? Don't know. All comes down to number crunching. They are going to do whatever make the most sense for their bottom line.

    But, if they go that route (eg you place your order online or through the store), that doesn't mean they don't have product in the store for ya'll to go play with. If it were me, I would have an assembled demo unit of each tool in the store and crow about "Get it in 48 hours or less! - Ships to store for FREE!"
    Last edited by tomapple; 03-07-2010, 09:52 AM.

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    • #17
      Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

      I too, would NOT buy a tool without first seeing it and to some extent being able to handle it. At Home Depot, you can at least see it, but sometimes "handling" is a real problem.

      I was just at the Binghamton store yesterday and was looking at the new Ridgid 2-base router and the trim router. Looks good, but I wasn't able to "handle" the fixed base, as it is firmly screwed down on the back of the shelf! All too often the hand-held tools are either screwed down or on such short cords that you can't pick them up for closer observation. I think a large part of this issue is that we live in a world full of theives, and security appears to be a challenge.

      As far as the 4511 is concerned, it is my impression that the biggest "flaw" was simply the crushing weight of the thing. There have been several posts regarding broken parts, chipped granite, etc. I was told by one of the tool reps that they were informed that these things should not be stacked more than a couple high, and yet Home Depot personnel often stacked them four and six up. This resulted in an awful lot of damage claims and it just proved too costly to either Ridgid or Home Depot to handle this damage expense.

      (If this is indeed true, I wonder who would shoulder such damage claims, but I doubt that Ridgid would want the responsibility considering it wasn't their personnel.)

      I've yet to see a 4511 that I've been impressed with. Great price for sure, but I didn't like the fence, it just seemed a bit lacking/unfinished. I'm not particularly impressed with granite top-anything. Certainly not a renewable source for a mass-produced product, IMO; and, it appeared to be a manufacturing/shipping & handling problem, with chips on corners and in the miter slot areas. The weight also appeared to be a problem as none of the Herc-U-Lift mechanisms appeared to be able to handle the weight, at least on the four models that I have seen.... but then, this could be a Home Depot assembly problem. But even so, it still points to a potential problem.

      Both Ridgid and Ryobi have now discontinued their top saws, which leaves a bit of a gap in the product line. Since Home Depot seems to focus on the consumer and contractor business as it's core, I don't see where a "cabinet-type" saw fits into it's market focus. I would think, that the 3660 would be a better fit in that market than was the 4511 and with that in mind, I would hope that a 3650/60 style saw would be brought back to market with the necessary updates, like the required riving knife, quick-remove guard and even a 3-point fence. It could be a hybrid, with an in-cabinet motor, but it needs to keep the weight down to some mix of handling and solid stability.

      Perhaps the Ridgid/Home Depot exclucivity pact is at a time when it needs to end. Only Ridgid would know that. I would certainly like to buy thier products from other sources, but even in an area like Binghamton, there are not many other choices... it's either Home Depot, Lowes, or Sears. You don't want to buy from there, then it's drive to Rochester, or maybe Syracuse or else go mail-order.

      CWS
      Last edited by CWSmith; 03-07-2010, 03:30 PM. Reason: Typos

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      • #18
        Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

        Originally posted by tomapple View Post
        Maybe go to a riving knife? They have no choice. Any new saw is going to have a riving knife.
        Agree! and then I ask myself, "why doesn't the R4511 have a shorter riving knife attachment that doesn't have a bulky plastic blade guard on top of it?"

        I suppose I could go to Steel City and order one from them. shouldn't there be two sizes? one for thin kerf blades and another for full kerf?

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        • #19
          Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

          Cisco, I bought the one from leeway. It is cheap, it works well and you indeed do have the choice of thin or full kerf.

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          • #20
            Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

            I have owned a 3650 for about 4 years and have given it moderate use. I recently upgraded the original saw blade to a full kerf freud 50 tooth combo for general use. While making a new ZCI I decided that I would check the saw’s alignment. I found the rip fence was just where I set it up some 4 years ago (about .002 inch out of parallel with the toe away from the blade). I had replaced the mitre gage several years earlier with an Osborne 3 which was also in perfect alignment. The table is as flat as ever. Admittedly the dust control is not as good as it could be and the motor hanging out the rear sometimes gets in the way. These things are more than offset by the ease of moving the saw thanks to its nifty lift mechanism.

            Put a riving knife on this dude and there is nothing out there even close to it. However, if I couldn’t feel and play with a real one before I buy it I wouldn’t even give it consideration. I like the idea of having one demo of each of Ridgid’s large tools in a kiosk somewhere in the store and promising free delivery to the store within a reasonable time after purchase. Seems to me that would be the best of both worlds. The store would not have to inventory them locally and the customer would not be able to resist purchasing one if he could put his hands on a demo. At the same time he would probably leave with a basket full of hand tools, screws an other stuff. All this at the expense of around 100 square feet of floor space off in some corner of the store or outside in the paarking lot in one of HD's precut cedar tool sheds.

            Bill

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            • #21
              Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

              Yep - I gotta say, im kinda touchy feely myself when it comes to buying expensive tools.
              In my area there has only been one HD that has ever had a 3660 on display and that didnt last long. (but I got to check it out tho.)
              so when I decided to buy one I had that under my belt.
              I did alot of looking at every major brand, and compaired prices and features.
              then they went on sale ! you can guess what I bought ! the table saw isnt my only ridgid tool tho.

              whats really great tho is I have Five HD's in my area.(actually more,but Im not going that far)
              It doesnt matter where my job may be, if I need something its no more than ten minutes from the jobsite.

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              • #22
                Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                I hope the Ridgid folks read these posts and get the message. This is, afterall, their forum with the Ridgid logo at the top, and "Contact Us" at the bottom. Maybe even somebody at Home Depot reads them too.

                I think the idea of a display area and fast free shipping is a good one.
                "non illegitimis carborundum"

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                • #23
                  Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                  Originally posted by tomapple View Post
                  have an assembled demo unit of each tool in the store and crow about "Get it in 48 hours or less! - Ships to store for FREE!"
                  That's what they should have done from the start, AND have an actually Ridgid employee put the tools together. I've seen some display models that looked like they were put together by monkeys (really smart, mechanically inclined monkeys though).

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                  • #24
                    Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                    Originally posted by erngum View Post
                    That's what they should have done from the start, AND have an actually Ridgid employee put the tools together. I've seen some display models that looked like they were put together by monkeys (really smart, mechanically inclined monkeys though).
                    If an actual Ridgid employee was required to set up just 1 unit in every HD store nationwide, this unit would never have started out costing 600 bucks.

                    I still don't think there's much in the marketplace at that price point that meets the specs & features of the 4511. I think one of the biggest mistakes made with this offering was the near total lack of coherant set-up instructions. This forum is littered with "help me" posts from the best way to get this monster out of the truck or to take the top off or not, to what happened to the shims, to my lift doesn't lift, to I can't get the wings level etc etc etc.

                    All of this could have been averted with either a clearly written set of instuctions or with a installation video put up on YouTube detailing every aspect of installation from beginning to end. That costs next to nothing.

                    I suspect the warranty and after the sale costs associated with this unit caused it an early death and most of these costs could have been avoided with some intelligent forethought.

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                    • #25
                      Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                      In the two stores that I regularly attend, they have these fairly good-sized, two-story utility/garage buildings setting outside on display. Purpose of course is to the building quality of whats available for customers interested in such buildings.

                      I always thought it would have been a good idea to actually setup a woodworking shop in these. It would not only free up the main floor, but would have these tools out there for demonstration purposes and would also show off the utility of the building.

                      It would take very little to power the buildings and would provide for a complete demonstration area for anyone to see how any of this stuff works. I realize of course that you just can't have people going out there and switching this stuff on all by themselves, but it could have establishied operating/demonstration hours and have an employee actually do the demo/sales pitch.

                      As it stands now, the buildings are just there, empty, and too often overlooked... while in the stores, the equipment is all croweded into a corral where you really can't see much of it, and it is subject to having parts damaged and/or stolen.

                      Still think it's an idea worth exploring, but I don't know if these buildings are at every HomeDepot or just in my area. But here, there's no interest and it may simply be a liability problem, or just a lack of interest.

                      CWS

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                      • #26
                        Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                        Originally posted by Mr.D View Post
                        All of this could have been averted with either a clearly written set of instuctions or with a installation video put up on YouTube detailing every aspect of installation from beginning to end. That costs next to nothing.

                        I suspect the warranty and after the sale costs associated with this unit caused it an early death and most of these costs could have been avoided with some intelligent forethought.
                        Having a set of You Tube videos on assembling the saw would be really useful.

                        It would also help to see the saw up close, as there are so few displays. I actually would have bought the 3650 sight unseen after reading a lot of reviews [and was planning on it until they couldn't find the box with rails at Mohegan Lake], it had the features I wanted, at a price I could afford. I lucked out in that Fishkill actually has power tool displays, when I went there to buy it the next day.

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                        • #27
                          Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                          Having a set of You Tube videos on assembling the saw would be really useful.
                          As I was assembling my R4511, After finding out first hand how useless the manual was, I contemplated producing an assembly video based on the help I found here and the schematic diagrams. Based on the fact that I was putting together a discontinued item, I decided not to, since there wouldn't be many, if any, to take advantage of it. If I would have purchased one of the first saws, I would have definitely made a video to help others. I don't think I would have posted on YouTube though, (and no, I would not recommend baking soda or salt to get out of a jam .

                          Now if (or when) RIDGID introduces a new model, they should seriously consider including a DVD (produced in the USA, not China) along with the assembly manual in the package.

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                          • #28
                            Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                            Originally posted by tomapple View Post
                            Maybe go to a riving knife? They have no choice. Any new saw is going to have a riving knife.
                            I agree but there's not much chance of that because it would require a redesign of the entire trunnion assembly. Not an easy deal when you figure that they would have to re-tool. I found a site that sells retro-fits for upgrading to a riving knife. I apologize that I can't find that site for any who have a non-Ridgid saw. I don't look for a saw from Ridgid anytime soon. Neither they nor HD seem too interested.
                            Later,
                            Chiz
                            https://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...lies/frown.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...es/redface.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...s/rolleyes.pnghttps://www.ridgidforum.com/core/ima...lies/smile.png

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                            • #29
                              Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                              I think we've about beat this horse all we can.

                              It's time for someone from Ridgid to reply to this; assuming they read the posts on their own forum.
                              "non illegitimis carborundum"

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                              • #30
                                Re: What Next for HD and Ridgid?

                                Originally posted by Laflaone View Post
                                I think we've about beat this horse all we can.

                                It's time for someone from Ridgid to reply to this; assuming they read the posts on their own forum.
                                Well it's been just over a year and nothing from RIDGID to indicate they even read this thread.

                                I bet that IF it were possible to separate the impact on sales from down-turn in the economy from that of taking the display models off the floor we would find that the latter (no display models) had a bigger impact on sales than the economy or at least as big a factor.

                                There have been a number of good ideas tossed out here but one that sounds good on the surface may have pan out in real life. That is using a storage shed or similar outbuilding to display the big power tools in a shop setting. This is a great idea in that you can see and touch and maybe even get a chance to use (if power was available, but big liability issue) the tool you are looking to buy. I know a problem in my area would be humidity. These things would rust up fast around here in an unheated space with little TLC (based on how well they tended to the tools when they were inside). Hence they would not present a positive image of the tool if it had a rusty top say on a CI table saw.

                                Another problem could be security in some areas. The building would have to be alarmed and have video surveillance to house a few thousand dollars worth of tools.

                                I like Bills idea of trading floor space for virtual inventory. If I had a choice I would prefer to be able to see and touch the tool in exchange for waiting for it to be trucked in to the store or drop shipped to my door (buyers choice). Drop shipping would be a huge advantage for both sides. The buyer does not have to figure out how to get in home in the back of their micro car and the store never has to handle the item so no expense with stocking, inventory, etc.

                                I would be nice to hear from Ed M. or ProBrand or someone else from Marketing with their thoughts and comments on this thread?
                                Last edited by Bob D.; 03-13-2011, 05:43 AM.
                                "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                                https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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