June 20, 2013

Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter - Review

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Construction happens fast these days. Communications between client, contractor, designer, subs, and architect go back and forth like a bouncy ball in a shoebox. Part of this is due to the 'cover your ass' mentality that relies on email for the digital paper trail. Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. I used to work with a project manager who would literally send hundreds of emails each day. Most of them just asking a single follow-up question to a previous email. Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes. But anyway, my point is that even crusty construction workers need constant access to a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and for them, there's the Ridgid 100-Watt Power Inverter.

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This is a great little item and at $24 and easily had at any Home Depot, it's a no-brainer. It's a little gadget that plugs into your cigarette lighter (are they even called that anymore?) and delivers power to a standard 120v outlet and two USB ports. It's clean power too, so you'll have no problems plugging your laptop or tablet into it. With what this thing offers, you can sit in the front seat of your truck and charge a tool battery and your phone while emailing some change orders out to the client.

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The inverter is about the size of a mass market paperback and comes with a rubberized 'glove' that fits around it. The glove sits a little too loosely, but it's really no problem. It does it's job. Other than that, the only downside to the power inverter is the horrific smell that you get when you first take it out of the packaging. It's a really thick, really nasty plastic/rubber smell, probably from the padding. It dissipates in a day or so, but it's totally intense at first (enough so that I felt it was worth mentioning.)

But that's all minor. The bottom line is that this could be one of the most useful items you toss in the glovebox.

At Home Depot

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 20, 2013 6:09 AM

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Recent Comments

G- yeah, contractors should be sensitive to how the clients wants to communicate. My experience is with a construction company that takes on massive residential projects (5-30 million), so I when I wrote that, I was thinking more along the lines of internal communications between the project team and the subcontractors. Sussing out the style of shower waterproofing shouldn't take 4 days and 20 emails.


Posted by: toolsnob at September 19, 2013 7:46 AM

"Another part is that people no longer seem interested in the more efficient method of, well, just picking up a phone. [...] Fella, just pick up the phone and it will be all over in about 3 minutes."

Hm. I wonder if this is part of the reason why the builder working on my house seems to regard email as something he should have, but not something he should use to communicate.

See, if he'd email me when he needs to get in touch, I could check the email, think for a while, and send a complete response that would take 5 minutes to go over. If I am too sick to talk on the phone, I can still usually get out at least a halfway coherent email.

Instead, he calls, and either I can't talk at all, or we end up discussing the question and then getting chatty, and it takes an hour. Email would be SO much more efficient.


Posted by: G at September 18, 2013 11:11 PM
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