Tool Comparison Test #1 11/03

RIDGID R83001 14.4-volt, 3/8-inch chuck cordless power drill/driver

OUR FINDINGS:

Drill has a nice, solid feel. Compared to the other drill/drivers, this one drove a relatively high number of screws (228) per battery charge. We appreciated the convenience of the 20-minute battery charger. Battery disengages easily. The auxiliary handle removes quickly with the twist of the wrist. Driver head fits into niche in handle…not a great spot because it can misalign and scratch or poke your hand when being operated. Battery lost charge in increments, holding steady at one level then dropping rapidly to next level down. Instruction manual reads well and is very straightforward.

* We ended up using this drill to do all screw removal for subsequent drill tests because handle provided extreme ease.
* At vertical, screws felt a little wobbly without use of auxiliary handle, accentuated by slight kick at activation. The brake packs a kick too. When the handle was attached, the drill felt very smooth and swift—this breathed new life into using the drill.
* Battery lost power very rapidly at the end of the test (on last 2 screws).

Test checklist:
Retail price: About $169.00
Specifications: 400 in/lb. torque, 24-position adjustable clutch, up to 1,400 RPM
Weight of driver with battery:
5 lbs. with handle attached; 4-5/8 lbs. without
Battery attachment/ removal: Feels a little clumsy. Slides onto bottom of handle, really needs a firm push for it to feel comfortably attached.
Screw head visibility maintained at close proximity to wood? Yes—tip of chuck well-tapered so screw head stays in sight lines even as it nears wood's surface.
Variable speed trigger? Yes—variable at both speed 1 and speed 2
Warranty: Limited 3-year warranty and 90-day satisfaction guarantee policy
Languages offered in manual: English/ French/ Spanish
Number of 2-1/2-inch deck screws driven through doubled 2x4s on fully charged battery: 228
Well balanced at vertical? Horizontal? Feels a little heavy at both angles, but well-balanced. With addition of auxiliary handle, feels extremely solid, balanced, and easy to control.
Stiffness of trigger: Stiff, springy, and comfortable
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Relatively loud
Components included:

Case: Hard plastic with metal clasps. Instruction manual, registration and parts chart nicely tucked into a slit in the lid. Heavy-duty charger and drill fit nicely into their own compartments. Drill with auxiliary 360° handle attached. Two-headed bit fit into notch on stock. Two batteries.

—Gabriel Vandervort
www.NewToolNews.com

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