Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Ridgid R968 18V Compact Combo Kit

The Ridgid Fuego 18V Compact Combo is certainly one of the most compact combos we’ve seen to-date on the market. If you measure torque vs. weight, this it has a lot going for it, especially the newly redesigned drill/driver and impact driver. The combo includes two compact lithium batteries, and like all Ridgid tools, it remains compatible with all Ridgid 18V slide-mount Ni-cd or Lithium-ion batteries. These tools also come with the insanely cool Lifetime Service Agreement that guarantees the batteries and tools for life.

Ridgid Fuego R968 18V Compact Combo Kit

The Ridgid Fuego 18V Compact Combo is certainly one of the most compact combos we’ve seen to-date on the market. If you measure torque vs. weight, this it has a lot going for it, especially the newly redesigned drill/driver and impact driver. The combo includes two compact lithium batteries, and like all Ridgid tools, it remains compatible with all Ridgid 18V slide-mount Ni-cd or Lithium-ion batteries.  These tools also come with the insanely cool Lifetime Service Agreement that guarantees the batteries and tools for life.


The kit includes the R86007 compact drill/driver, R86030 impact driver, R86447 one-handed reciprocating saw, R86920 LED light, two compact lithium-ion batteries, one #2 Phillips bit, reciprocating saw blade, heavy-duty contractor bag and operator’s manual. Where some kits give you a couple tools plus some “filler” items, this it really delivers three excellent tools and only one “filler” item – the LED worklight. We took a close look and handled each tool in the kit to get a feel for what’s going to be coming to market in a couple months.


Drill/Driver

Ridgid R968 18V Compact Combo KitVolts: 18V
No Load Speeds: 0-450 / 0-1,450 RPM
Torque: 450 in. lbs.
Clutch: 24 position

This tool is much more compact than Ridgid’s former models. They re-engineered the body and motor structure to bring the chuck further into the body, reducing tool length. If we had to sum up this year’s trend in new cordless tools it would be: compact. In that department, Ridgid isn’t losing ground to anyone.

Features:

  • Integrated chuck and gearbox allows for a more compact design.
  • Two-speed transmission for matching power to the task.
  • 1/2-inch single sleeve chuck holds bits tightly and securely.
  • LED light illuminates workspace for increased visibility.
  • Compact lithium-ion battery is lightweight and provides fade-free power throughout the charge.

Impact Driver

Volts: 18V
No Load Speeds:  0-2,400 RPM
Torque: 1,400 in. lbs.

Ridgid’s new impact driver is small. Tiny. The tool is lightweight but has enough heft to let you know it means business. With these impact drivers it gets rarer and rarer that you’ll want to opt for the larger drill/driver in your day-to-day fastening chores.

Features:

  • High torque output for tough applications.
  • 5-3/4 inch overall length making it easier to get into tight spaces.
  • 1/4-inch hex quick coupler makes bit changes quicker and easier.
  • LED light illuminates workspace for increased visibility.

One-Handed Reciprocating Saw

Volts: 18V
No Load Speeds: 0-3,500 RPM

Ridgid R968 18V Compact reciprocating sawThis saw seems like the perfect tool for anyone needing to cut piping or cut out vanity tops to drop in a sink. There are other uses as well and our minds were purring with ideas for this highly-portable reciprocating saw. The device was built well, but really did feel light enough to use with one hand – giving it a more versatile  feel and making it a tool we look forward to putting through its paces.

Features:

  • Compact size for use in confined areas.
  • One-handed ergonomic grip allows maximum comfort for extended use.
  • Tool-free blade clamp makes blade changes faster and easier.
  • LED light illuminates workspace for increased visibility.

Worklight

Volts: 18V

This is a nice “freebie” that is included with the kit. Slap a Lithium-ion battery onto an LED-based work light and you can probably leave it on all day and night (OK, maybe not, but it lasts a long time). We liked this light and its simple design, though some “snake” models seem like they might be handier since they can be hung. This model is going to be tethered to a flat surface one way or another. It’s certainly not a show stopper and it will work very well as a general work light.

Features:

  • LED light has longer life than incandescent lights.
  • 180-degree rotating head has unique barrel design to rotate to place beam exactly where needed for optimal lighting.
  • Powered by all 18V Ridgid slide-mount Ni-cd or Lithium-ion batteries for convenience.

Battery Charger

Volts: 18V output, 120V input
Charge Time: 20 minutes

The MSRP for the entire Compact Combo kit is slated to be somewhere around $329 and the estimated ship date for these news tools through Ridgid’s dealer network is March 2009.

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