Just accept it….you need a lot of power at an affordable price with a killer warranty….RIDGID has you covered with this bomb proof 18-Volt GEN5X Cordless 1/2 inch Impact. From the friction fit anvil to the automatic torque limiting motor control, this impact driver is one rowdy tool that feels velvety smooth in it’s control. Make no mistake, it’s ready for work too. It has an average of 5 out of 5 stars from 93 reviewers on The Home Depot’s website. These users range from Johnny-come-lately lawn mower mechanics to real deal knuckle busters. It should come as no surprise that RIDGID is killing it with this tool; their warranty is top notch. Thankfully, if you drive it like you stole it and it happens to break, simply bring it in for a free replacement for the life of the tool….easy peasy : ) Here’s the skinny:
The first thing I noticed about this cordless impact was the cir-clip which is snapped onto the end of the anvil. I later learned this is known as a friction anvil and the cir-clip is designed to impose just the tiniest amount of friction to the inside of the 1/2” drive socket. I feel like it’s an interesting approach compared to the spring loaded steel ball coupling we are all familiar with. The “ball plunger” coupling works well but at times it works too well in my opinion; as in, it won’t let go of the damn socket when I need to take it off the anvil lol. The spring cir-clip doesn’t concentrate all of it’s coupling efforts into one small profile like the ball plunger, but instead spreads it out over several contact points. It’s noticeably smoother when pulling sockets off the anvil.
RIDGID made a good call with the three nose lights. There’s a handful of drill and impact driver manufacturers who place the work lights in bizarre locations which ultimately amount to more shadows around your work than even lighting. With the lights arranged in this circular pattern, you can get even lighting all the way around the workpiece.
When you grab hold of the pistol grip you instinctively feel the need to put the 450 ft-lbs of bolt breaking potential to use. The grip is over-molded with highly texturized rubber that does what it should…grip. Lol. Built into the lower portion of the grip is a low profile switch that turns on the three lights I mentioned above. The lights will stay on as long as you depress the light switch or the trigger. If you need to use it as free standing light, the light will stay on for 15 seconds after the switch is released.
The directional switch is no surprise in it’s design and is easy to move from one direction to the other with a lock position in the center. The sneaky squirrelly cool points come from the variable trigger; unlike some other variable triggers I own that simply vary in “steps”, this trigger is progressively smooth from zero to a max RPM of 2600 revs. The trigger really offers precision control over the brushless motor making you feel very much in control.
The transmission is built from die-cast gears for increased durability since RIDGID knows you’re gonna beat the crap out of this thing. There are 3 speed settings with an additional “auto” setting. The auto setting will save your butt (and your bolts) if you’re not terribly comfortable with controlling all the ponies this thing has under the hood. In the auto setting, the motor controller will retard the torque once it reaches a certain threshold keeping the user from over-torquing fasteners. Personally, I think its a better idea to just get to know the tool and your target torque rather than let the machine do the figuring…that’s just a personal preference though.
With a 5.0 Ah battery installed, this little pig weighs in at 6.1 lbs and feels well balanced in the hand. The smaller batteries will certainly make the unit feel top heavy which is something to keep in mind if you’re slinging one of these around all day.
Since I’ve had it, I’ve used it on a handful of small tasks just to see how well it performs. Can it break a lug nut loose on a truck?? – Absolutely. I was surprised at just how easily this impact effortlessly broke the lug nuts loose on Cody’s truck. And yes, the lugs were torqued back down before completing the testing. Knowing the impact could easily turn the lugs well above 400 ft-lbs, the auto setting was used just to gauge its effectiveness. Interestingly, it stopped the torque at just about the same torque as the rest of the lugs installed during the last tire rotation.
Once again, this tool will fit well in the hands of anyone between an average home owner to the die hard, greasy nailed technician. Admittedly, the latter of the two would probably be way more jazzed over the impressive tech behind the meat and potatoes of this tool….450 ft-lbs of cordless torque is nothing to joke around about : )
Thanks for dropping in to check out this impact from RIDGID. If you’re interested in learning more about this product feel free to use this link or one of the links from above. This review was provided in support of the ProSpective Campaign sponsored by The Home Depot. They supply the tool and I supply an opinion. The links in this review 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.