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I have it, unfortunately I haven't used it as much as I would like, because my shop is sort of in transition. However, from what I have seen and used, I'm quite happy with it. I looked at both bench-tops as well as many of the other Craftsman, Delta, Jet, and Gizzly brands. I also looked at the offerings from the local Farm and Tractor-type stores. The latter are mostly metal working machines, I think. I haven't seen the Grizzly, live and in person (just catalog), but compared to the "fit and finish" on all the others, I was impressed with the Ridgid enough to make the purchase.
The only negative that I have seen "questioned" was that it needed a larger motor. The 1550 has a 1/2 HP induction motor and from what little I have used it, it seems to have plenty of power for me. Perhaps time will tell me different, but I don't think so. You could search the site for other comments and perhaps some more experienced members will offer thier opinions.
Oh, I should add that for the slightly less than $300 price, this seems a pretty good machine. I think Craftsman and Grizzly units may be slightly cheaper though. Depending on your needs, the Ryobi 12" (a benchtop DP) isn't a bad unit either, I was seriously looking at that, but at the time, the Ridgid 1550 was only about $50 higher (I bought it on sale, in late 2003). I do think that you will find more capacity and versatility to a full-size floor model.
I had concerns about the ½ horsepower motor and had decided to purchase a comparable Grizzly model, then the 03 Xmas blowout occurred and I picked up the Ridgid for $180. I suspect that my concerns were ill founded since it has performed admirably and I would be happy if I had paid a $100 more for it.
Thanks for the replies everyone. I will probably purchase this DP but I will try and hold out until it goes on sale... sounds like you can get a good deal if you are patient. Anyone know when it will go on sale again!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Probably the best you can hope for it taking advantage of one of those 10% sales that HD occasionally announces on specials, like getting their credit card or some other special they do every now and then. At Christms 03' the HD had a terrific 20% sale on all power tools, but they did not repeat that this year... instead just had battery-operated stuff.
When I purchased mine (and I see a couple of the other guys mentioned it in price) the price of the DP was $250 so the 20% off took it down to $200. Also at the same time, they were closing out the "grey" color units as the new "orange" color scheme was coming in with the new line of power tools. Those gray units often went for a really good price! At $300 though, I still think the DP is a very good buy, but I haven't seen any markdown in some time. Just keep your eyes and ears tuned to the HD and ask around the store... these things always seem to come as a surprise.
Use this info as you will - I have a Grizzly DP, couple years old - Floor standing model (sorry don't have model number handy, but I think it is the G7944). It's ok. I cracked the cam that tightens the belts when changing speeds and I've had problems with the chuck not allowing me to tighten down enough on bits. Granted I was drilling into metal with some pretty large bits (3/4" - 1"), but the chuck kept slipping on the bits. I also have the Ridgid TS3650 and Ridgid 12" CMS and love them both - no problems whatsoever. Like I said - for what it's worth....
I bought a floor display model that was the last HD before the color change. I got it at a significant discount but don't remember exactly how much I paid, but I believe it was around $210. Actually, I wasn't sure I needed a DP but when I saw it discounted I thought I'd better move on it.
Not much use, but no complaints. The relatively small motor might be a problem somewhere along the line but not yet.
I have used the ridgid Dp a lot since I bought it. I had a craftsman that I returned and then bought the ridgid. This is one of the only DP I could find for the price that would drill through a dimensional 4x4 in one pass. I have done a lot of 4x4 drilling with this thing and it works perfectly. Since I have drilled through 4/4" purple heart, rosewood, lyptus, and paduk without any trouble at all. I have also tapped holes in hot rolled steel and a few other types of metal and the dp has performed without hesitation.