As a kid I remember seeing the RIDGID name one heavy duty pipe threaders and monkey wrenches in my dad’s garage. Seems to me that back then RIDGID was was not a major player in the cordless power tool industry in the same way I recall seeing names like DeWalt and Makita. Nowadays you can’t hardly throw a rock in a hardware store without hitting one of their many cordless tool options (no I do not support throwing rocks in hardware stores lol).
Today I want to turn your attention to the latest generation drill and impact driver combo kit from RIDGID. In short, the impact driver has the most grunt in it’s class of compact drivers at a bolt breaking 2,250 in-lbs and the 700 in-lb drill driver may be one of the few on the market with the bomb-proof Jacobs brand chuck. Suffice to say, these tools are intended for some serious work.
When I got this kit I really figured the impact driver would be the meat and potatoes out of the two but I’ve come to respect each of these tools pretty equally across the board. The main reason for that is the inclusion of the Jacobs brand chuck on the drill driver.
If you are not familiar with the Jacobs brand chuck, that’s OK. I bet it’s safe to say however that you are familiar with the frustration of bits coming loose from your run-of-the-mill 3 jaw chuck. I’ve had my hands on more drills than I can shake a stick at and have seen many-uh chucks manage to work loose somehow or another during a drilling operation. Admittedly, I don’t have the hand strength that a lot of you brutes are walking around with so I may be at a disadvantage when it comes to putting heaps of torque on the chuck to ensure my bit stays put. That’s where this chuck goes to work.
Yes I’m carrying on about the chuck…bear with me. A.I. Jacobs patented his first drill chuck in 1902 which completely replaced all previously designed chucks in American production shops. He was the guy that got tired of busting his knuckles over slipped spanners on conventional drill chucks so he developed what we now recognize as the “keyed” chuck. Safe to say it was a hit, which is no real surprise considering the simplicity and effectiveness of the design.
Since developing the “toothed sleeve and key” we’ve all come to know as the industry standard for stationary drills, Jacobs has supplied innovative ratcheting chucks to the hand tool industry as well. In the early days, DeWalt was first to market with a Jacobs chuck (if memory serves me correctly). Nowadays, we are fortunate enough to find them on other drills such as this RIDGID unit we are discussing today.
So, as you may guess, the chuck is certainly my favorite feature of the drill itself. Now it’s not all down hill from there by any means. This drill offers an aggressive hammer feature for concrete and mortar work, a micro adjustable clutch for driving screws, and a 2 speed metal geared transmission coupled to a brushless motor.
The drill looses points in only one minor area for me; the position of the built in work light….which may sound like a trivial detail but valued by some nonetheless. The work light has an independent switch built into the lower portion of the grip. Press it once and the light remains on for 10 seconds. Because the light is positioned down near the battery, it shines upward at the workpiece, inadvertently casting a shadow on the top side of your workpiece which is less than ideal. The impact driver is arranged differently however with three lights positioned around the center of the 1/4” driver head. This results in nice even lighting all the way around the workpiece and eliminates shadows.
If we look at the impact driver, it’s hard to carry on about anything other than the raw power this thing puts out. Yes it’s ergonomically comfortable, reasonably light weight, and it has a three speed metal gear box. But the part really worth sharing is the current class leading torque. I mentioned above how this cordless impact will easily lay down 2,250 in-lbs of torque; spread that out in units of 12 in-lbs to every 1 ft-lb and it amounts to 187.5 ft-lbs which is a bit easier to conceptualize.
If you’re into tools, this torque number should kinda freak you out. Freak you out in a good way since it’s just staggering in my opinion that we’ve come to the point where we can go to The Home Depot, purchase a drill and impact combo kit, and easily employ the impact driver to torque down axle and lug nuts in the shop. It seems like it was just yesterday that if you did not have a good air compressor and an Ingersol Rand or Matco impact driver, guess what, you were turning the sockets the old fashioned way lol. Nowadays, impact drivers are not coming off the tool truck for a steal of a deal at $600 and the rights to your first born, but instead are attainable at the hardware store for just over $200.00 if you’re purchasing as a kit. Sign me up!
The torque is very noticeable on this unit compared to other models on the shelf. If you put the driver in gear 3 and plan to drive lags or screws into solid wood like I have, you’ll need to pay close attention to not strip the hole and turn the wood to saw dust. The lower gears help with that scenario but finding the sweet spot of lower gears limits and the target fastener torque can be a bit tricky and will only come with time in the saddle.
All and all I feel like this is one tough kit to beat at the moment when we are considering drill and impact combo kits. The kit comes with the two drivers, two 4.0 Ah batteries, hanging hooks, the aux handle, and a carrying bag. Not to mention RIDGID is the only brand offering a lifetime service agreement that covers parts, service, and batteries. Simply provide proof of purchase to RIDGID and you’re in the club….it’s a no brainer, especially if you demand a lot from your tools.
That pretty well wraps this one up. Thanks for stopping in to learn more about this powerful little combo kit. This review was provided in support of the ProSpective Campaign sponsored by The Home Depot. They supply the tool and I supply an opinion. If you are interested in purchasing one of these units, consider using this link or one from above. These are affiliate links and provide a small kick-back to the website which helps to keep the wheel turning. Regardless, I genuinely appreciate your support.