GEN5X 18-Volt Ridgid Jobsite Blower – This Little Sucker Really Blows

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When you are out on a jobsite doing a small renovation, installing a kitchen or running a little bit of trim, hauling in a compressor and dragging around an air hose can be kind of a hassle. The new generation of cordless nailers are making the portable compressor less and less necessary, and in my opinion, that is a great thing. The one thing I do miss about not carrying a compressor on to small projects is having the air blower handy. I really love being able to blow dust off of whatever I’m working on. It’s also nice to be able to take an “air shower” instead of jumping back in the truck all covered with dust! More and more power tool companies are now adding cordless blowers to their lineups. In most cases, they are sized to serve as a sort of a hybrid combination of a cordless leaf blower and something designed to clean up a jobsite. Ridgid has added an extremely compact but powerful blower to its 18V GEN5X cordless line of tools, and it’s much more suited to the jobsite than some of the larger yard/job hybrids. The size and design are unique, and it has some really nice features. Ridgid sent us one to review, so here we go!

First, it has an L-shaped handle with a variable speed paddle switch which allows you a lot of adjustability. The length of the handle let’s you sweep the floor with it, or blow dust off over your head. The handle position also serves to protect the 4.0 Amp Hyper Lithium-ion battery, which snaps on to the top of the tool, which is a little different. BTW, the battery and charger are sold separately, which makes it a relatively inexpensive addition to you GEN5X kit, if you already have one. The battery provides plenty of runtime… about 20 minutes of constant use, but that lasts me the better part of a day of intermittent use.

Padded grip and paddle switch...comfy!
Padded grip and paddle switch…comfy!

The initially-introduced Ridgid GEN5X tools do not have brushless motors, which personally, I’m okay with. It keeps the price on the Ridgid line in the “pro-sumer” price range, which keeps them affordable for hardcore do-it-yourselfers but still rugged enough for entry-level trades people.

I'm a fan of this fan.
I’m a fan of this fan.

The motor on this blower spins the fan at 0-11,000 RPM, creating 280 CFM and a maximum 100 MPH. This isn’t a lot compared to a gas powered leaf blower, but this tool is in no way designed to compete with a yard blower. The Ridgid blower features a funky jet engine turbine design that really focuses that airflow down on a focused area. This is awesome on a jobsite, because you don’t want to blow everything on the job up into the air! You want to move some wood chips, sawdust or sand away from your work area without creating a dust storm.

The turbine design really focuses the airflow!
The turbine design really focuses the airflow!

I have to say, I continue to be impressed by the new Ridgid GEN5X lineup. There is some real thought going into the design of these tools and how they interact with the user, and with the other tools in the lineup. Like the other GEN5X tools, the blower is covered by a limited lifetime guarantee, which, luckily I have not had to test. Available for a very reasonable $69 from Home Depot.

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About Rich

Rich Dana loves to build things, to tinker on things, and to grow things. After more than a decade as a historic building remodeler in Brooklyn, New York, he and his wife Ericka moved to their back-to-the-land dream home (and fixer-uper nightmare), an 1870s farmhouse on 15 acres in eastern Iowa that they call “Catnip Farm.” For the last 18 years, Rich has specialized in super-efficient historical renovations and solar PV installation. He is working to convert much of the farm into perennial food crops like nut trees and berries, and he helps Ericka out with her heirloom seed project. His latest passion is learning to sew.

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