Review- Ridgid 18V Li-Ion Drill/Driver Combo

<http://www.homedepot.com/buy/ridgid-18-volt-x4-hyper-lithium-ion-2-pieces-cordless-combo-kit-396609.html> RIDGID 18-Volt X4 Hyper Lithium Ion 2-Piece Combo Kit
I bought this package this week and have used both tools quite a bit. Bottom line is I'm very pleased with the quality, performance and especially the value. You just can't touch an 18vLi-ion drill/driver combo for $179, except for the disposables. I still have to register for the lifetime service and read the fine print, but I'm exited about the prospect of getting free batteries, once these wear out. Speaking of batteries...
The batteries are really cool. They have an LED level indicator bar on the front with a button you push to light up the LEDs. No more wondering how much charge is left.... and no more wondering how much longer they need to charge. Speaking of the charger....
The charger is really nice, too. It's a smart charger that won't charge the battery if it's too hot or cold. It also switches to maintenance charge after the quick charge tops it off, so it doesn't just cook the batteries like older chargers. It charges *any* voltage Li-ion or NiCad Ridgid battery, too. That has to be convenient for people with other cordless Ridgid tools.
The drill and impact driver with batteries are much lighter than I'm used to using and I like that a lot. I know that's where the technology is going for all brands, but it's new to me. The torque on the impact driver is ridiculous, as is the speed. It's almost too fast. my only complaint is there isn't enough travel in the variable speed trigger between slow and fast. It seems like the slow range is the first 25% of travel and then the last 75% of pull is full speed. The only other weird thing, which might be common to the technology, is that it gets pretty darn hot after moderate use. My only complaint with the drill is that I'd like to see the lowest torque-clutch setting a little lower than it is.
They have LED lights down where the battery connects. Most lights seem to be up on the collar of the chuck. These point up from below the handle and are more 'flood" than "spot." Different.... perhaps better.
Both drill and driver fit very well in the hand. They have rubber gripping everywhere you'd think you'd want it without being bulky. They feel very solid without being heavy. They both have belt clips and I don't know how I've gone this long without those! I've test driven all the other brands at the different hardware stores, and these Ridgids stand up to all of them. We'll see how they're doing a few months or a year from now.
For the price and Lifetime Service, including batteries, this was just a no-brainer for me. If it weren't for the price of batteries, I'd probably still be using the Porter Cable cordless tools I bought almost 20 years ago. :-)
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-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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