This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. After testing the Ridgid Impact Wrench (GEN5X Brushless model), I feel like I’ll never hand tighten any bolt with a ratchet again. You know the drill, reaching around, trying to find the nut with a crescent wrench at best, or, more likely, a pair of pliers or channel locks, while you hand-tighten a 5/8” bolt through a tight pre-drilled opening of a truss you are trying to fabricate. All while 16 feet in the air on a sketchy ladder, the 2×6’s pinching. You cuss as you reach for your hammer to punch the bolt through the wood, barely hanging on to the ratchet, wrench, washers and bolts. It gets better. Read on…
The RIDGID GEN5X Brushless 18V 4-Mode Impact Wrench is the newest addition to the RIDGID Brushless 18V Line. With 4-Mode Settings including an Automotive Mode feature for those pesky lug nuts, this unit can match any jobsite application. RIDGID brushless motors offer up to 50% more runtime and longer motor life. And with 450 ft.-lbs. of torque this unit will bring all the power needed. This unit is covered for life with Registration under the Industry’s Only Lifetime Service Agreement.
• Brushless Motor Technology delivers over 50% more runtime and longer motor life
• 4-Mode settings provide adjustable power and speed for the most demanding jobs and precision work
• Maximum torque output of 450 ft. lbs. of torque for heavy-duty applications
• Tri-beam LED around the front housing helps to eliminate shadows
• Automotive mode setting automatically shuts the tool down when it begins to impact to prevent overtightening
• Die-cast gear box for increased durability and professional quality
• 1.2 in. friction ring anvil is compatible with popular impact-rated sockets and allows for quick socket changes
Ridgid Impact Driver – That GEN5x Bold Look & Feel with Solid Ergonomics
This bad boy is designed to drive fasteners with power and ease. The high impact molded shell on the Ridgid Impact Wrench fits nicely into the hand and the hex grip microtexture delivers user comfort, reducing the vibrations and softening the blows of the maximum 3500 impacts per minute at the maximum speed of 2600 rpms. The powerful brushless technology is encased in a die cast gearbox for increased durability and professional quality. It feels powerful in the hand before even pulling the trigger.
At 3.75 pounds the GEN5X arrived as a bare tool. Add on an 18v Hyper Lithium Ion 2.0 Amp Hour battery (1.25 pounds) and a 3/4” impact socket, the working weight comes to about 5.5 pounds total. That weight adds up to sheer power as the tool delivers a maximum of 450 foot pounds of torque. The dimensions are proportional, feeling good in the hand, and the ergonomics ease fatigue while setting multiple fasteners. The height is 8.4 inches, the length is 7.7 inches, and the width is 3.5 inches. I don’t know who measures in 10ths of an inch, but that’s the specs from Home Depot website! It comes with a belt clip which I found very handy driving 4 inch x 1/2 inch lag bolts atop 2 stages of scaffolding.
Ridgid 1/2” 18v Cordless Brushless Impact Driver Yields Powerful Performance
As part of this review, I wanted to field test the Ridgid Impact Driver in various applications across multiple job sites. It is important to note that impact rated sockets are required for use with this powerful tool. I started with a few 1 1/2 inch x 1/2 lags, attaching a post and beam bracket. I used non impact rated 3/4 inch sockets for this, and while it’s not recommended, it didn’t seem to damage the socket. Over the long term, I suspect it would start to round out the 1/2 drive receiver of the socket, or just shatter the socket completely.
I moved on to bigger and better fasteners. For this, I bought myself an 8-piece set of deep, impact rated sockets. For a free hanging overhang, I sank 3/8” x 3 inch lags to set the corner brackets to receive the all thread that was hanging the weight of the awning. No problem. Kinda like driving a 3 inch torx head screw with an impact driver. Easy peasy.
Next, we set a 20 foot LVL beam package onto the steel hangers with 1/2” x 4 inch lags. I might add that for each fastener, we pre-drilled with the appropriate diameter bit. These 4 inch lags slid into the wood like a hot knife into butter. Wow, that is cliché… but the lags did install amazingly easily with the Ridgid GEN5X Impact Driver. Until very recently I’d been using two opposing crescent wrenches, or perhaps a 1/2 ratchet with Channel Locks to back-up the opposite nut, and hand winding all nuts and bolts. The Ridgid Impact Driver has been a game changer for my productivity. Liken it to driving a wood screw with a hand held screwdriver, and you’ll get the picture.
Ridgid Impact Wrench – GEN5X Endurance Testing
Lastly, I wanted to test the tool with repetitive fastening to see how long the battery lasted. I had a set of trusses from a burned out cabin that I salvaged and I needed to tighten up every nut and bolt across each connection: 12 bolts each on 12 trusses. I had been putting it off, but now that I had this powerful cordless tool, I figured I better get to it. Again, the tool worked effortlessly. Each rust-encrusted bolt loosened from oxidation’s grip and spun against the washer in seconds, pulling the truss brackets back into shape and restoring some structural integrity.
In fact the hardest part of the job was unstacking the trusses so I could get to the nuts and bolts. The 2 amp hour battery (which was 75% charged) lasted through tightening up all the bolts and the washers (that’s 144 connections total if you’re doing the math). And it snugged up all 60 half inch x 8 inch, 3/4” bolt heads in a matter of minutes, the battery never faltered.
Next I loosened and tightened all the lug nuts on my vintage 1971 Cardinal trailer, with the Ridgid Impact Wrench set to the Automotive setting. It backed the lug nuts right off, then drove them right back, automatically stopping to avoid over tightening.
Overall, this tool is an amazing and powerful addition to the tool chest. Time saving, and ever useful, it will rattle away until every single fastener you are installing is locked tight. The time and energy saved makes this tool immensely worth the $150.00 retail price (battery runs about $40 and charger at about $50 both sold separately from the bare tool).
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
Featured Image – Ridgid