October 30, 2015

Ridgid Hyperdrive Cordless Brushless Nailers - Review

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Is anyone else sitting around thinking that the era of the corded power tool is coming to a close? It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? These days finding an outlet and unraveling an extension cord just feels so....2013. The latest pieces of evidence in this ongoing evolution are the two new Hyperdrive brushless nailers from Ridgid; the 18-gauge brad and the 16-gauge finish. I've been testing them out for the past couple weeks and here's what I think...

Obviously, cordless nailers are nothing new. Paslode has been rocking this house for probably a decade now (at least). But Ridgid's guns are part of a massive (and easily available) battery platform (ever heard of a Paslode screw gun...me neither). While this adds to the convenience because you no longer need dedicated batteries and a charger, it also has cost benefits as well. Got a Ridgid 5-piece combo set? Well, just get the nail gun as a bare tool.

The Ridgid guns have all the pops and buzzes that one would expect on a nail gun; tool free depth of drive, bump fire mode, and non-marring tips. Because they're battery-powered, they're heavier than a pneumatic, but because of the nice balance, it's not like lifting a cinder block or anything like that. They also have cool little trigger-controlled LEDs.

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As for power, I've really had no issues. Every once in a while I need a hammer to tap a nail flush, but that kind of thing happens with pneumatics too. Accurate nail placement is easy too and I liked the belt hook for ladder work. I didn't run any specific battery life tests, but days and days and days went by with me working off a single battery. I don't think anyone is going to have any issues in that department.

One slight negative is that the trigger of the finish gun feels slightly "off." I think it's a little too small. For some reason, my finger always ends up at the bottom ridge of it and not nested in the curve, which gets a little uncomfortable after a while. It's a fairly minor point though. The brad nailer has the same trigger, but it doesn't bother me there.

Other than that, the convenience of grab-and-go nailing is just excellent. Once you get used to it, the idea of dragging around a 45 pound compressor and a tangled mess of hoses feels pretty cro-magnon. As an example, I had some repairs to do on my chicken coop, which is waaaaay across the property. My options were to hand nail, get about 200 feet of air hose, or grab the Ridgid nailer. Hmmm....tough decision.

These guns are also backed by Ridgid's lifetime service agreement, which covers "seals, pistons, and driver blades."

At Home Depot

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 30, 2015 9:10 AM
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