Earlier this year, I had a chance to test drive the new line of Ridgid 18V Gen5X cordless tools. I’ve been using them regularly over the last four months, and I’m still feeling really good about the quality of these tools. When I heard that Ridgid was rolling out a set of cordless nailers that run on the same 18V batteries, I jumped at the chance to try them out. I’ve spent a good portion of my life tethered to an air compressor, and the idea of a cordless nailer that works off the same platform as my other tools sounds to me like a dream come true! Ridgid’s new “Hyperdrive” line features a 16 gauge straight finish nailer and a 18 gauge brad nailer. Ridgid sent them our way to evaluate, and not surprisingly, we have a few thoughts.
Back when the first generation of airless nailers came on the market, a lot of my buddies bought into the Paslode line early on. I didn’t, because A) I wasn’t sold on the gas cartridge thing and B), I’m a total tightwad. I really liked the idea of not dragging a compressor around, but frankly, I already had a pile of air nailers, and I didn’t want to buy new, pricey guns and constantly have to buy cases of gas cartridges. Now, essentially all of the major tool companies feature battery-powered nailers, and many are quite affordable, but the Ridgid Hyperdrive does stand out when compared to others in a similar price range.
In May, when I reviewed the Ridgid Gen5X 18V kit, there was a lot of chatter out there in the tool-iverse about Ridgid’s decision not to make the jump to brushless motors in the new line-up. Obviously, they wanted to keep the Gen5X line in the “Pro-sumer” price category while offering a lot of new features. However, they must have heard the criticisms, because the new Hyperdrive nailers do feature brushless motors. One of the payoffs here seems to be shaving off some weight: at 7.73 lbs., the Ridgid 16 gauge nailer is a quarter pound lighter than comparable 18V nailers from other manufacturers, while providing a quicker firing pump.
Other pluses of the Hyperdrive guns include a light, magnesium frame, a bump-fire or trigger only firing option, easy-to-reach depth and power adjustments and super-nice headlights- similar to those on the Gen5X tools- that really put the light where you are working. A dry-fire lockout prevents you from firing blanks when the magazine is empty, saving wear and tear on the gun and the workpiece.
I saved my favorite feature of the Hyperdrive tools for last: They are designed to be easily maintained and repaired BY THE USER. This is HUGE, in my book. Starting with the no-tool adjustments for depth and force, the commonly worn-out parts are designed to be swapped out in 10 minutes on the jobsite. And, the Hyperdrives come with a limited lifetime warranty, which includes free seals, pistons, and driver blades for life.
Really, I’m pretty keen on the new Ridgid lineup, for the most part. The flashy “techie” appearance of the new Ridgid line is not something I’m used to, as I’ve always preferred a more sleek design appearance. Ridgid power tools are manufactured in China by Hong Kong parent company TTI, who also owns Ryobi, AEG and Milwaukee, all of which share a more “mod” look. Flashy tool design, for me, has always been a warning sign of what regular readers know I call CCC (Cheap Chinese Crap) but in the case of TTI, I don’t think this rule applies. I’m seeing good value in many of their current offerings, ranging from homeowner to pro quality power tools.
16-Gauge Finish Nailer (R09892B)
1,450 nails per charge
Fasteners: 1” to 2 1/2”
Weight: 8.15 lbs. (w 4.0 Ah pack)
Includes: tool, bag, 500 2” finish nails
18-Gauge Brad Nailer (R09890B)
2,000 brads per charge
Fasteners: 5/8” to 2 1/8”
Weight: 7.35 lbs. (w 4.0 Ah pack)
Includes: tool, bag, 500 1 1/4” brads
— HomeFixated.com (@HomeFixated) November 13, 2015