Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

18V/20V Max Impact Drivers

Speed Under Load
Measurable Torque
Weight
Feature Set
Value
Final Thoughts

The Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver probably won't win any awards for being the sleekest tool on the market. But you also won't have to take out a second mortgage on the house to get set up with this workhorse of a tool that still has all the muscle you need to get the job done.

Overall Score 3.9 Shootout Results

Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver Review


Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver Offers a Killer Value

We recently ran 30+ impact drivers through a battery of tests for our Best Impact Driver Shootout. Our 18V division had 16 entries. Of those 16, the Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver finished in a mid-pack 11th place, but this dependable tool has a lot going for it as we pull back the curtain.

Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver Shootout Results

  • 18V Ranking: 10th place out of 16
  • Speed Under Load: 372 RPM (14th place)
  • Fastening Torque: 2246 in-lbs (6th place)
  • Nut-Busting Torque: 3300 in-lbs (tie, 4th place)
  • Decibels: 100 dB(A) (tie, 4th place)
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds bare, 4.0 pounds with 3.0 Ah Octane battery (14th place)
  • Footprint: 5.8″ head length, 8.1″ height without battery (13th place)
  • Feature Set: Highlighted one-hand bit insertion and tri-beam LEDs around the chuck (tie, 6th place)
  • Value: $279 kit with two batteries and a brushless hammer drill (2nd place) 

Takeaway

The Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver probably won’t win any awards for being the sleekest tool on the market. But you also won’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to get set up with this workhorse of a tool that still has all the muscle you need to get the job done.

Keep an eye on the price of this kit with the brushless hammer drill – it was $199 as we wrapped up our shootout. It’s an excellent value at its current $279 price, but a killer deal if drops back down.

Results as of February 11th, 2019. Check out Best 18V Impact Driver page for the most recent results.

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Performance

For our performance testing, we focused on running our impact drivers through both speed and torque testing. Refer back to our Best Impact Driver Shootout for the details of how we ran our tests.

On paper, the Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver looks like it can handle itself. It can run at a max 2750 RPM no-load speed and crank out 3,500 BPM. It’s touting a crushing 2250 in-lbs of torque to top the spec sheets of every impact driver we tested.

Speed Under Load

For Pro-level impact drivers, we really like to see tools that can run at least 400+ RPM under a moderate load. It’s important that these tools can drive larger fasteners, like ledger and timber screws, consistently and effectively. Keeping the speed high under that load means you’re getting the job done quickly as well.

You might be a little surprised that the Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver only manages 372 RPM under load with its torque rating. However, its 2750 RPM no-load speed is well under the 3600 RPM at the top of the scale. It’s well under the top-rated impact rate as well.

The good news is that while it only rises to 14th in our charts, the motor doesn’t struggle to drive our 1/4″ ledger screw and there’s no reason to shy away from timber screws and the like.

Fastening Torque

Despite the lackluster speed, however, generating torque doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue for the Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver. For the Pro-grade impact driver, we look for anything that cranks out 1500 in-lbs or more of fastening torque. It easily exceeds that number with 2,246 in-lbs in our testing, earning it a 6th place finish in this category.

Nut-Busting Torque

This Ridgid impact driver consistently loosens 3,300 in-lbs of torque (275 ft-lbs). This isn’t too surprising, considering how well it performed in the fastening section of our testing. Ultimately, it rises above most of its competition to secure a 4th place ranking in a tie with Makita’s XDT16.

 

Weight and Footprint

Ridgid can put in the work, but it doesn’t do it in a sleek, compact package. That’s one of the tradeoffs you make moving from premium, high-priced models to something more affordable. It stands at a proud 5.8″ long and 8.1″ high. With Ridgid’s new 3.0 Ah Octane battery attached, it weighs in at 4.0 lbs.

Currently ranking 14th place for weight and its footprint, Ridgid is putting more emphasis on performance than compactness.

That said, the Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver does have a great feel to it, though. Like their other tools, the grip is comfortable, with enough room for larger hands. Even for a bigger and heavier tool, this impact driver feels well-balanced.

Decibels

We tested the sound levels of all of our impact drivers to see which would blow out your eardrums the fastest. The Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver generated only 100 dB(A). That probably sounds like a lot of noise (and it is) but it still remains one of the quieter models we’ve seen outside the hydraulic models. It currently sits in a tie for 3rd place.

Sustained use of any of these tools will require some hearing protection with as loud as they are.

Feature Set

Three speed/power settings adjusted by a simple, mechanical switch

We really prefer this setup to the blister buttons that have come with a lot of the newer Pro models. These blister buttons have a tendency to crack and split apart after a few years or in the extreme cold. While, most of the time, this cracking won’t render the function useless, it looks and feels kind of ugly. The mechanical switch is tried-and-true and in it for the long haul.

Tri-Beam LED light with separate trigger

Rather than tying the LED function to the throttle, Ridgid puts a toggle switch at the base of the handle. The placement feels natural to your grip, the light is bright enough that this tool can double as a flashlight in a pinch, and we love the tr-beam design to take care of shadows that other placements give you.

1-handed bit installation and ejection

For whatever reason, this feature isn’t all that common in the impact drivers we test, and it’s a shame. We love not having to put the tool down to change out the bit. Pulling the collet pops out the old bit onto your work surface, and installing a new bit only requires you to push the bit in.

Other Features

  • Brushless motor
  • Micro-textured Hex Grip
  • Removable belt hook
  • Lifetime service agreement

Value

The Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver tops the value rankings for our Pro-level models and only gets beat out by Hercules and its sub-$100 kit price.

In a two-tool combo kit, you get the impact driver, a brushless hammer drill, two 4.0Ah batteries, and a charger for $279. Home Depot had the kit at $199 for a while, so keep your eyes open to see if they drop it again. It’s an excellent value at its current price, but a killer deal on sale.

As a bare tool, you can pick up the R86037 for $119. What’s more, all Ridgid tools come with free parts and service for the life of the tool with your product registration.

 

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The Bottom Line

The Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver probably won’t win any awards for being the sleekest tool on the market. But you also won’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to get set up with this workhorse of a tool that still has all the muscle you need to get the job done.

Ridgid Brushless Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Ridgid R86037N
  • Power source: 18V
  • No Load Speed: 0-2,750 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 2,250 in-lbs
  • Impact Rate: 3,500 IPM
  • Bare Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Weight with Battery: 4.0 lbs
  • Length: 5.8″
  • Height: 8.1″
  • Warranty: Lifetime service agreement
  • Price: $119 (bare tool)

 

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MattPatrick KuslerMatt BockMark Griffin Recent comment authors
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Matt
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Matt

This is admittedly an extremely trivial complaint, but I wish Ryobi and Ridgid would change the design of their belt hooks to be more like what’s on the Milwaukee M18 line. The belt hook on the Milwaukee has a closed off loop in it that allows me to hang it upside down from a pegboard or screw in the wall. The U-shaped hook on Ryobi and Ridgid tools makes this impossible.

Patrick Kusler
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The Rigid Stealthforce impact at this point is old technology but still put up a good fight against most current day impacts. It’s reliable and powerful. I really hope they introduce an updated version soon.

Matt Bock
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Ridgid seriously makes some of the worst tools, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new craftsman of skil tools are better

Mark Griffin
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Ridgid is a descent impact if you want to invest in a battery line that doesn’t have much else to offer. They are 20 times behind Milwaukee or dewalt. It’s ITT middle line up and if they made much improvements to the battery line it would take focus away from ryobi or Milwaukee. Ryobi being the cheaper line with everything to offer the DIY and Milwaukee being the superior line with everything to offer the pro. Their lifetime warranty is helpful though when they want to honor it. In all honestly it’s a pain trying to warranty anything with ridgid.… Read more »