New Ridgid tools at HD

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Stopped into Home Depot today to pick up a new battery for my dewalt cordless drill and saw the new line of Rigid power tools. I didn't buy any as all I needed was a battery. I see that they are having some real nice incentives to get people to buy their new line of tools. The HD guy said that they are offering free replacements of batteries for the lifetime of their cordless drills. That seems like a nice feature in addition to their normal warranty. It also looks like you get a HD gift certificate with each purchase. If you are thinking 'bout a new power tool, give them a look.
Alas, I didn't take the plunge. I just got a replacement pack. I am curious if the Ridgids will be worth anything or not.
Frank BTW, I thought I read somewhere that those batteries can be reconditioned. Anyone have this done? Costs? Thanks
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Now that sounds like a heck of a good deal..
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 03:31:10 GMT, "Leon"

It really does.
I wonder if "lifetime" is ours, or the life of the sourcing agreement with each manufacturer? <G>
Barry
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B a r r y B u r k e J r ., decides to chip in.

It means when the company is sold, the warranty is null and void. So this company could be getting sold just in time to offer this great deal only to be void in less than a year. What a deal, what a rip off.
Rich
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I would make sure to get that in writing if it were a deciding factor in a purchase.

Some battery packs (eg. some Hitachi, Porter Cable, Milwaukee) are held together with screws. If you want to replace the cells, unscrew them, get similar replacements from Digikey, etc., do a little soldering (or spot welding if you have the equipment), then reassemble. No big deal. But if you have to pay money to a company like Batteries Plus to do the work, then it may not be worthwhile. Other battery packs (like those used by Dewalt) are glued together and opening them is difficult (and not worth the trouble in my opinion).
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There is a time limit on that offer. I beleive it is either the end of this month or the end of this year, its one or the other. The new drills look pretty good, all steel chucks instead of the plastic ones on the older series. Get one if you need one, the battery deal is a winner. I went ot buy an 18V battery for a Ryobi circular saw I have and it was $129.00. They had a Ryobi cordless handvac with 18V battery for $79.00! Go figure...

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Frank Ketchum, decides to chip in.

I mentioned this in an earlier post and folks thought I had been out of touch. Glad someone else saw those orange and black drills completely taking up valuable shelf space.
Rich
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Think about that for a moment... "...offering free replacements of batteries for the lifetime of their cordless drills."
Again... "...offering free replacements of batteries for the lifetime of their cordless drills."
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The software said it ran under Windows 98/NT/2000, or better.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlinknospam.net says...

crib employee that these Ridgid cordless tools are/were designed by Bosch and Panasonic. If you pick up a cordless tool before the end of the year, battery replacement will be free for life (whatever the lifetime warranty ends up being).
Tools are built by ITC - the same people who build Ryobi, Crafstman, and a few others. Specs were written by Bosch (tool guts) and Panasonic (battery technology).
I don't work for HD, and I can't confirm whether this info is true or not. Just what I gathered from my last trip to the Borg.
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Rick

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Well, I just picked up the Ridgid14.4v X2 cordless drill. It was bought to replace a several year old B&D 12v firestorm. The B&D is still working fine, I just needed something that could stand up to daily use a little better.
I like it so far, the battery charger has a fan that cools the battery pack while it's charging. The drill has torque to spare and is very quiet. I'll have to use it for a few days to decide if it was a good purchase.
Wayne
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They look like very reasonable quality tools in general. The only worry I'd have it how to get parts if/when HD changes suppliers. The cordless drills are all custom jobs. Corded tools are just repainted Metabos.
Hmm, a fan on the changer? Charing a battery so fast it generates enough heat to need a fan sounds like it would hurt the lifespan.
GTO(John)

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GTO notes:

Oddly enough, several NiMH battery chargers for small batteries (AA) used in digital cameras and such use fans to allow higher speed charging. The newest batteries have reached far enough into the milliamphour stratosphere that charging times are ridiculous even with last year's fast chargers. A 2200 mha AA can take much,much, much longer to charge than a 1400 or 1600 mha AA, so the chargers are getting more sophisticated, working harder to keep the batteries cool. Rayovac now has a 15 minute charger for their new batteries.
Presumably, the cooling power of the fan prevents deterioration from heat, which is said to be the primary cause of battery failure. If you hear a lot of screaming in 6 months, that's not totally true.
Charlie Self "Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common." Satchel Paige
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On 31 Oct 2003 00:51:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

But it is true!
Oddly enough, leading battery technology is often found in the radio control industry, mainly _competitive_ electric cars, boats and planes. (NOT Radio Shack or Toys-R-Us stuff! <G>) Some of these folks gladly pay hundreds of dollars for a successful battery pack. Cells are tested and matched, based on discharge statistics, before being hand assembled into packs.
Forced air cooling, before and during charging, has been in that realm for 5-6 years.
Barry
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"B a r r y B u r k e J r ." < wrote in message

Not all that odd. I used to build and fly RC airplanes. After spending a hundred hours building a plane and hundreds of dollars in engine, controls, and radio receiver, you don't want a 99 battery cell going dead and the whole thing just keep on flying into the wild blue yonder. It is especially disheartening when flying near large bodies of water and the fuel tank is full. ;( Ed.
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wrote:

Me too. Did you ever fly at Woodstock Airport or Mansfield Hollow?
Barry
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in message

I've flown at Woodstock in real (Cessna 150, 172) planes. It is about 3 miles from me.
I used to fly RC when I lived in Philly. Our runway was the one at the Phila. Navy Base. The airfield was built in the 1940's but has not been used for many years. Flat, no trees, paved runway. Great place to fly, but I've seen a couple get away and get lost going over the Delaware River.
Keeping on topic, we used a lot of balsa wood. Everything was Neander. No bandsaw, just an Xacto knife and sandpaper. Ed
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wrote:

Me too! The "Miss Woodstock" maybe? Is Rudy still alive?

Airfields are awesome for r/c. I used to fly at P&W in East Hartford, until we got tossed when the construction of the new UConn stadium commenced.

I used a small band saw, jigsaw, drill press, and my contractor's saw (w/ zero clearance insert). The power tools are excellent for shaping plywoods, birch, spruce, and maple.
One of the best hobby hand tools I ever used was a Master Airscrew razor plane.
Barry
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KEYWORDS ridgid lifetime warranty ridgid cordless tool problems and praise home depot HD
hi all, i bought the following tools a month ago, 5" ridgid orbiting sander ridgid jigsaw 4 pack of ridgid 18volt cordless tools, here is some real world expierence for you to consider in your quest to find information
the orbiting sander is very smooth, has been used alot. i would estimate 10 hours in the last month and a half. it comes with 2 sander bases, one for sticky discs, another with velcro for the hook and loop pads, this has performed excelent! i am a big time dewalt fan for 10 years, but figured i would give ridgid a try considering i know they make some excelent heavy duty tools. the sander has a soft start feature that definately helps to not stress the motor, this soft start feature is also seen in my jig saw, very good idea!
the next item is the ridgid jig saw, it has been used in 4 projects and i would say it has been used for a total of 30 minutes continous timed running over a month. i have had no major problems with it, but a minor problem i found is the clear plastic cover used to keep wood or dust contained does come off sometimes, and i find it is sometimes easier to just leave it off when cutting. but other than that, i like it alot.
then i bought the 4 pack of cordless tools, the circular saw. the drill, the flashlight and the reciprocating saw. i will start with the flashlight, the flashlight is quite rugged, it has seen several 8 foot drops and the battery popped off once during one of those falls. i use the light alot, and finally burned out a bulb after a month of heavy use. they do include a spare bulb under the lens, but it is tricky to remove, i broke my spear bulb trying. i bought a 2 pack of 18V dewalt bulbs from HD and they work fine. ok now on to the circular saw.... it is smooth and quiet, but seems to get bogged down easily if the saw gets slightly twisted or the battery is less than half charged. i have not used it alot as of yet so thats all i have on it. next is the reciprocating saw, this saw has been thru some heavy duty abuse and has performed flawlessly during all of it. i put on an 8 inch blade and started hacking up a orange tree, over the course of the day i sawed off about 1/2 to 3/4 of the tree, and the saw acted normal the entire time, i do want to say that a fully charged battery pack would last about 10 minutes of continous hard sawing. more on the battery packs later. finally the cordless hammer drill, this drill has performed very well, under some various uses, the selectable gear range is great, it works great as a hammer drill, i bought a 5/8 cement bit and have done alot of hammerdrilling, no complaints there. i have one complaint tho......i was doing alot of slow and medium speed drilling, and the drill was getting quite warm in the upper handle area, i should have stopped to give the drill a break i suppose, but in the true nature of the tests i have been doing, i continued hot drill and all, well after about 20 minutes the drill stopped running slow, and now will only do a slight variable speed from about 75% to full output, i cant get it to creep anymore, when you squeeze thr trigger it jumps right up to 75% speed and ifd i fully press the trigger it goes full speed. i believe the problem will be a PWM control (pulse width modulator control) i intend to take it back to home depot.
finally the batterys... the lifetime warranty is the deciding factor in me buying the cordless kit, 18 v batts are expensive, so heres what i have observed from real world battery stats.. if the battery goes dead, and is about room temperature, it will charge in about 30 minutes. now if the battery is fairly hot, say from heavy tree cutting with the reciprocating saw, the charger will cool the battery with internal fand first by blowing air thru the battery, then it will charge, this process can take as much as an hour to cool the pack down and then the 30 minutes to charge giving you a full charge in 1.5 hours. that bugged me but i have learned to deal with it. overall i am very satisfied with my ridgid tool and might buy more, i have been looking at the angle grinder.
jackofalltrades
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Good review. I'm not usually an off-brand tool fan, but you can't go wrong with the Ridgid angle grinder. It (and the big random orbit sander and jigsaw) is made by Metabo in Germany, renowned for the best grinders in the world.
GTO(John)

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One thing that may be worth looking at is what you have to do to get the new batteries? Do you just walk into HD and get a new battery? Or do you have to mail the old battery to the manufacturer, etc.
One time I bought a disposable lighter with a lifetime guarantee. At that time, I think the other dispoables were less than a buck. This one with the lifetime guarantee was $5.00, but it specfically included running out of lighter fuel as something for which the lighter could be returned.
I lost the lighter before it ever ran out of fuel.
The guy at the pipe store laughed and said, "There's no differnce I can tell between the 'lifetime' lighter and the regular lighter. I think the manufacturer just realized that almost everyone loses dispoabel lighters before they run out of fuel. So they sell the lighter for an extra $4, and very occasionally have to give one away."
That made me realize that the real cost to the manufacturer of a warranty really depends on how likely they are to have to honor it.
If you have to ship the old battery back to Rigid, they may figure that most people need a new battery when the old one wears out, so they can't wait 4-6 weeks for a replacment in the mail. So they figure that what happens is, I discover the battery had gone bad, so I go buy a new one. Then the old one sits in the bottom of the toolbox. Once I have the new battery, I would probably forget/decide it's not worth the hassle/shipping is too expensive and the battery will sit in the bottom of the toolbox until I dispose of it.
Is the warranty a "take this to HD if it's broken and get a new one free", or is is a "ship the broken one to Rigid with a copy of the original receipt, pay shipping both ways, and we'll send you a new one in 4-6 weeks"?
Mike
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