July 10, 2007

Ridgid Lithium-Ion 18-Volt Compact Drill - Review

drill_top.jpgBecause Lithium Ion batteries are so much lighter and more powerful than standard batteries, tool companies have a lot more leeway as far as design is concerned. The problem is that most of them are still intoxicated by the technology, focusing on creating the "lightest ever" or the "most powerful ever" tools. The small little screwdriver-style drills are handy and the 36-volt tools are total overkill, but what about that middle range? What about having a nice, reliable, no-frills, 18 Volt drill? If you feel the same way, look no further than Ridgid's new 18-Volt Compact Li-Ion Drill.

The drill is very light, 4.5 lbs. to be exact. It's interesting, but when compared directly to the Makita 14.4, which is about 4.6 lbs, the Ridgid feels much lighter. We figure that this has something to do with the fact that two thirds of the weight is no longer in the battery and the balance is much more even. The Ridgid feels solid in the hands and once we put it to work, we were not let down at all.

As far as power goes, the drill had absolutely no problem driving 3" screws into some really damp pressure-treated wood. Again and again, we expected the drill to give out. But it was on day two of use that we finally killed the factory charge on the first battery. We're not saying that we were using the drill constantly for 36 hours, but we were using it enough to be impressed with the longevity of the Li-Ion battery. And what they say about the Li-Ion is true; when they die, they die. That's it. One screw goes in with no problem and on the next screw, the drill is dead.

But no worries, Ridgid's drill comes with a nice 30 minute charger, so it won't be long before you're back in action. The charger is nicely designed with a two light indication system and a easy to understand key to decipher what all the blinking means.

And speaking of blinking, Ridgid's drill comes equipped with a little light at the base of the chuck that lights up the work area when the drill is in use. Before we ever used this feature on our Makita impact driver many moons ago, we thought it was pretty dumb idea. But now, we're converts and are very happy to see it on this drill.

The one thing that we didn't like about Ridgid's new drill is the bag that it comes in. It's a little duffel, the same one that their Fuego comes in. For the circular saw, the bag is no problem. All you ever have in the bag is the circular saw. But with a drill, the bag doesn't work out. There's no way to contain the loose change of drill bits, driver bits, screws, and everything else that seems to find it's way into the average drill case. With a standard hard case, at least these things are easily seen and retrieved. With the bag, they might as well be lost. So, unless you get a nice small drill bit index (which you probably should do anyway), it won't be long before you've got a lot of clutter kicking around the bottom of the bag.

But, as always with Ridgid's tools, this complaint is a minor one and hardly detracts from the tool and its value. This is a very nice drill. It's powerful, lightweight, and perfectly balanced. We see this drill in the hands of everyone from the contractor to the occasional diyer. It's so light and easy to handle that even if you're not used to using a drill, you won't be intimidated.

The drill retails for $189.00 and comes with two batteries, the charger, and the bag. When compared to other Li-Ion drills is a real steal (The Hitachi is almost $300).

We assume that, like most of Ridgid's power tools, this drill is available at Home Depot, but we can't find it on their website or in our local store.

Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 10, 2007 5:40 AM
Recent Comments

This drill looks awesome! I just read a blog post on ridgid tool parts at http://eliteplumbingatitsfinest.yolasite.com/how-to-replace-a-circular-saw-blade.php and this one was a must have! Def a favorite!

Posted by: Amy Everpean at October 3, 2013 1:42 AM

Ridgid tools are absolute garbage. They rope homeowner's in with their "lifetime warranty". They are not a contractor grade tool. Period.

Posted by: Jon at February 22, 2013 1:44 AM

I am like Cooter and repair these fine power tools. It is important to note the proper use of these new batteries. They should not be completly drained of power. They should be charged at the first sign of power loss. They should be charged often as there shelf life is not as extensive as there older relatives. thus infrequent users or highdemand users might be dissapointed when picking it up after 3 months of sitting on the shelf or draining the battery down after screwing a house together and expecting these things to be 100% for you.

My advise is to first refrain from buying a Rigid... they are good at making plumbing wrenches.

The second is to know your tools and maintain them properly.

I personally like the old batteries. They got the job done, they were reliable and worked my triceps in the process.

Good luck all. I hope this helps
Cooter T Johnson
Tool Repairman
Hillbilliesville USA

Posted by: aviator at November 27, 2011 2:59 AM

I have been very disappointed with the batteries and RIDGID's response to their defective products.

Posted by: Zach at August 23, 2011 3:38 PM

I have to agree with all of you Rigid 18 volt batteries are junk. That was a waste of good money

Posted by: John mccabe at June 11, 2011 10:16 PM

What can I do but echo all the comments about what crap these orange and grey paper weights are. The 3 years are up on my battery purchase and true to form after recieving a number of free ones on warranty another has died after about 6 months of infrequent use. Now I am stuck with the choice of sinking another $100+ into a battery that probably will not last or trying to sell the drill and impact driver plus remaining working battery and charger to some sucker who believes like I did that Ridgid products have some quality. I think I know the next course of action the money from that sucker will go buying anything but a Ridgid product

Posted by: Rob M at April 23, 2011 2:19 PM

My Rigid 18 V power drill batteries lasted one building project. I bought the drill to have a second cordless drill. My other drill is a 7-8 year old 12V Ryobi that maybe doesn't have the Rigid's power but is still going strong. The batteries recharge while the Rigid's batteries quit charging within 18 months. I've talked to Home Depot and online with Rigid and got no where with my warranty and customer service. I decided to bring in my batteries to Home Depot where I bought it after talking to a salesman there about buying new Rigid batteries...he suggested bringing in my existing batteries and charger and we'd test them with batteries and the a Rigid charger he had there on the floor. Today when I called that Home Depot store to talk to a floor salesman before I brought in the Rigid...the hardware salesman said "he didn't have anything to test them on....and he wouldn't open any of the Rigid product to help me". Rigid told me online that my batteries weren't covered by my warranty because it had run out. The Home Depot salesman told me that if I registered the drill (which I did) it had a life time warranty which was why I bought the Rigid in the first place. Sooo, I've had a non-working very expensive Rigid drill now for 3 years and it hasn't worked for the past 1 1/2 years. Total run around at this point by both the manufacturer and the store that suggested that I buy the Rigid because of "the great warranty"!. Not sure where to turn...can't find a trusted source that actually backs their product or their word here. Frustrating. I would not recommend buying this or any other Rigid products with this kind of lack of customer service.

Posted by: Terry Wilson at April 10, 2011 3:06 PM

I bought this thing in good faith when my wife and I were moving to our new place. I needed to do some work on the place while we were moving. I noticed that the charging became sporadic over a period of the first 7 months. Then one battery died completely. Then the drill just drops torque and just refuses to turn. It is beyond infuriating. I will never never never ever buy a product from this company again. My wife's old black and decker still works fine but I cant work with that.

Posted by: Reynald at March 9, 2011 3:01 PM

Got a rigid 18v lith ion drill for a gift from my wife. It has been the biggist piece of junk ever. Not sure if it is the batteries, charger, or drill but from very first somthing has been wrong. The batteries will not hold or take a full charge. I even tried buying a new battery and it did not work either. The worst part of all is I contacted rigid and they acted like they could care less. Do not waste your hard earned money on this junk.

Posted by: Todd at March 6, 2011 11:45 AM

I have 6 LI Ion batteries less than 2 yrs old each. Total time use on each of the batteries less than 1 hour of use per battery.
They are all junk.

I'm so pissed I'm thinking about making a u tube rant. Ridgid should have a class action over the junk batteries they sell.

The power tool seem to be OK, but then I have have used them very little, thanks to the junk batteries.

Posted by: bruce at October 30, 2010 8:32 PM

Yet another victim of the "LLSA"... (Looks Like yer Stuck w/ Another piece of junk).

I work in commercial construction, and now I know why you never see Ridgid cordless power tools on jobsites! Purchased a "LIon-Combo Kit" a while back, and the tools worked fine, mostly- (Drill/Hdrill, Impact, Circ saw, Recip saw, charger, bag, 2 batteries). All for home use.

The Drill and driver worked great, but the saws ATE batteries faster than they could be charged, and were reduced to about half power shortly into a fresh battery's life (like 5 minutes!)

Enter this spring, when I needed to drive some screws- One of the batteries wouldn't take a charge- at all! Kept reading "defective" on the charger. Fine, I've jumped through all the hoops for my "LLSA". I go about the arduous process (even in the "information age) of finding a somewhat "local" service center, i.e.- one within 500 miles or so. Of the 2 I have to choose from, I go to the closest. Walking in I felt like I was in a Rob Zombie movie, wondering when some power tool wielding maniac was going to abbreviate my visit. I survive long enough fill out my claim ticket, assured that I would be taken care of in short order. That being said, I still had to leave BOTH batteries, my drill, and the charger with Cooter to get "served"...

That was the first week of April/2010. Well, a couple aggravated phone calls later, we find out that Cooter had put my paperwork in the wrong "pile", and he overlooked ordering the new battery.

Fast forward to 5 pm yesterday. My phone rings, and it is Cooter, saying my new batt was there. I go back the the "House of a Thousand Dead Tools", find my loot, and beat a hasty retreat.

After getting the package home for inspection, I find that Ridgid sent a LESSER, NiCad battery as my replacement... Tried calling their various customer service lines from both my manuals, and their new "improved" website, and all numbers "cannot be connected as dialed"...

NEVER AGAIN!!! Anyone looking for a deal on some Ridgid stuff?

Posted by: Brad at August 11, 2010 3:10 PM

Bought this drill because of the warranty, hoping to never have to use it! WRONG! The first battery died so I had to take the drill, charger and batteries to an authorized service center. They kept my drill for a month and returned it with the bad battery!
I finally got a replacement battery and now BOTH of the new batteries are about to go. I drive about a dozen screws and the the battery goes dead. I will NEVER buy another Ridgid tool in my life. Stay away from this piece of s--t.

Posted by: John at June 23, 2010 12:30 PM

I bought this drill based on the lifetime battery replacement warranty. What a joke!!! When the first battery went bad, it took 6 months to get a replacement. Now another battery is bad and they are saying there will be no replacements until the last of July or middle of August. I might as well not have a lifetime warranty, this will be the last rigid tool I purchase.

Posted by: Steve Woody at June 7, 2010 12:28 PM

I have the 18 volt lithium battery driven drill driver/drill kit and have been using it frequently and hard around the house for a year and a half now. It is an absolutely fantastic combination - and was a bargain purchase to boot. It only takes 30 minutes to recharge. The only problem I had was when I go to recharge a battery, I must check its status at about 2 minutes after inserting it the first time. However, regardless of which battery I am charging, it shows the battery is defective (red and green lights flashing). I then remove the battery until only the red (power on) light is on and then reinsert the battery - 30 minutes later I have a fully charged battery ready to go. I took it to the service centre near our home just yesterday and determined that it works just fine and I will continue to use it the way it is.

I would highly recommend these Rigid tools to anyone interested getting new ones. By the way, I also have the Rigid belt/spindle sander (for three years now - also on sale) and it works wonderfully. Yet another winner.

Posted by: Robert at March 13, 2010 11:15 AM

I guess I'm having very similar issues with most of these people that think the Rigid tools are JUNK! I bought the tool kit because the price was completely amazing. I got and impact driver, autoshifting 1/2" drill, radio, flashlight, 2 - 18V lithium ion batteries, and a rapid charger all for $200. I paid more than that for my previous Makita 14.4V set minus the radio. I really loved my Makita set and was reluctant to part ways with it, but did get more than 50% of the money I paid for it back when reselling it on Craigslist. Anyways, the Rigid was really nice at first until I started to do heavy work like drilling into concrete or using the 1/2" drill to mix paint in a 5 gallon container and other heavy tasks. It killed one of my battery and it refuses to charge anymore. My 2nd battery is working, but won't hold a charge very long. My NiMH batteries on my Makita never had any of these issues like my LI batteries. I'm thinking of selling off my Rigid set and buying the Makita Lithium ion set again. I should have never stray away from something that was obviously better. The experiment is over and Rigid is a huge disappointment.

Posted by: DeweyK at March 5, 2010 5:15 AM

Well I have had all of the tools and manuafatoures above and I find the Ridgid JUNK! I have exchanged the drill twice, now 6mths in trigger dosnt work, I have a makitta 9v Old one it runs forever!! I called about warranty surprise they didnt get my copy of the reciept so I am reduced to a three year warranty from LIFE TIME!! the rip package I purchased comes with a large and small one, Id be better off with an axe, what happened to there quality? NEVER EVER AGAIN will I buy there tools, pay more get better

Posted by: Randy at January 21, 2010 1:57 PM

I had bought an 18 volt auto-shift drill with the impact gun, flashlight, and radio from home depot back in feb. of 09. I was laid off a week later. out of work for three months. it was not until the end of sept. when i needed to use my drills again. The auto shift drill was the fist to go bad. it would not shift manually and would stick in low. I returned it to home depot and they sent it out for repair. Not even two weeks later the impact just stopped working. now thats two tools with less than four months of use just take a dump.the drill was maybe used 15 hours, and by the way when i did use the drill the battery life was extremely short. the battery lasted longer with the impact. Even with the warranty I would not recommend rigid to anyone. and yes i have used dewalt, makita, milwaukee, and ryobi, and its sad to say the ryobi has outlasted them all, without having to be repaired.

Posted by: Ryan Carns at December 13, 2009 7:03 PM

I bought Rigid because of the warranty they give.
Everything I got, cirlce saw, drills, sawzaw, two chargers,6 batteries, jig saw, radio, bags.
The only items that were somewhat good were the jig saw and the radio! even the bags are to small.
OH,, the batteries and chargers are junk and do not hold a charge at all. Now that the weather got cold it is even worse, now they wont start charging until they get to room temperature!!!
What a dissapointment. I am going back to Home Depot and demanding ALL my money back this week.

Posted by: Russ at December 6, 2009 2:18 PM

I bought this drill reconditioned with two (used and beat up) batteries from Amazon for a great price. I've used it for various home handyman uses, including drilling cable holes in block walls and building a utility trailer. I haven't been spoiled by Makita or other high-end, high-priced tools -- I'm willing to believe they have other advantages for their price -- but for less than half the price, I really like this Ridgid, especially compared to the brands I've been using for the past 50 years. I've never before had a hand chuck that I didn't have to hold from turning with my other hand while tightening. I've never had a cordless last as long on a single charge. One of my used batteries gave up the ghost today after a year's good service, and I don't begrudge it at all.

Posted by: CD at October 17, 2009 10:49 AM

Interesting. I had an experience much more like David's, above. I bought a whole kit, Hammerdrill, Circular Saw, Recip Saw, and found the tools completely worthless. The drill would barely drive four or five long screws into some damp, tough wood, the saw only made two and a half 24" cuts through the same. Only owned them for about four hours. Returned them to Home Depot, took the money to Lowe's and got a Makita kit which perform like champs, still using them today, five years later.
I have to wonder if Rigid is having Quality Control problems. I have a friend who has a newer Rigid Driver/Drill and it seems to work well for him. Very curious.

Posted by: John at September 23, 2009 12:10 AM

I received this drill as a birthday present and absolutely love it. Right now, the package also includes an impact driver and Home Depot had a power tool sale where you could knock another $25.00 off the purchase.

I was working on a roofing project and had it just in time to screw down sheeting. Granted, the sheeting is thin and the screws are only 1 5/8, but the house is old and I was drilling into hard maple 2x6s. I ran it an hour and a half straight (no pauses, just drive drive drive) before I lost juice and had to swap batteries. Shortly after working off the 2nd battery, the 1st was already charged again.

Just for giggles, I ran 3 inch screws into a pallet I had outside for a couple years. The wood was nearly petrified and didn't experience any issues driving it.

For the two that had issues with the drill, I would recommend making use of Ridgid's warranty and taking it into a service center. The refurb should be good for the traditional 3 year warranty, the other should be good for life (provided ou filled out the LSA form). I would have preferred a different case then the duffel, but I won't quibble. This is a great drill.

Posted by: David Craig at September 20, 2009 12:48 AM

I bought this Ridgid drill instead of the Dewalt. I have NEVER been more disappointed in a product. I have an old Makita 9.6v that will work circles around this drill. If you want some advice about Rigid battery powered drills, DO NOT BUY A RIGID, YOU WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED. The Ridgid Lithium 18 volt is a piece of JUNK!!!!!!!

Posted by: Bill at September 18, 2009 10:24 PM

I am at this site because of a rebuilt 18v lithium ion drill set that I bought last month at the Prime Outlet shop in Williamsburg, VA. Understanding that Rigid has a right-respectable 18v system, I bought this tool and several other rebuilt gas and 110V tools. I still have to use the latter tools.
So, about the drill: upon first use all three batteries OR the charger were inop. When charging I soon got both red and green blinking lights. Assuming that there would be no problem in arranging a trade with the store, I drove back to Williamsburg (a 150 mile round trip) only to be told that i had ONLY a seven-day window for a trade - that I had to contact Rigid directly to learn where and how to get satisfaction. To the store managers credit, he did exchange chargers with me, but when I arrived home again, nothing had changed.

Now, coming to your website to get warranty-replacement information, I don't see any avenue for relief other than this "feedback" section. Will this get results or do i have to look further, elsewhere?

As I told the store manager, I was not buying tools: I was buying holes-in-wood, and so far it looks like some other manufacturer could sell me one hell-of-a-lot of holes for much less money and agrivation.

Posted by: David Timm at August 9, 2009 3:40 AM

This drill,(18 Volt!), was a huge dissappointment for me. The drill has absolutely no power and the batteries run out with a quickness! Even pre drilling with the appropriate size bit, in fir, if I did'nt drill the exact depth of the fastner the drill would not do it. It would just stop. A huge difference compared to the Makita 14.4!

Posted by: armando at June 29, 2009 10:54 PM
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