Ridgid R9205 18V Hammer Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (more).

Ridgid R9205 combo kit

What's This?This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. If you’ve ever made holes or driven fasteners for work or play, you know the value of a quality power tool. The Ridgid R9205 brushless 18V compact hammer drill/driver and 3-speed impact driver combo kit we received for evaluation is a pair of high torque, compact tools sure to impress even the most skeptical. If “high torque compact” doesn’t garner your attention, the two 4 Amp-Hour lithium-ion battery packs, lifetime warranty (even on the batteries), and saved greenbacks are even more reasons to give these safety orange monsters the respect they deserve.

Ridgid R9205 Combo Kit – 2 In The Hand Is Worth More Than You Pay

Ridgid R9205 combo kit
Ridgid R9205 18V hammer drill/driver and 3-speed impact driver combo kit.

The Ridgid R9205 kit contains both the R86116 1/2”, 18V hammer drill/driver w/auxiliary handle and the R86037 3-speed impact driver. You also get a pair of battery packs, the R840095 dual chemistry charger (works with all Ridgid 18V Li-Ion and Ni-Cad battery packs), 2 driver bits, 2 belt clips and a carrying bag.

The overmolded rubberized grips are perfectly shaped and sized for my average-sized claws, uh, paws. And the GEN 5X brushless motors nicely counterbalance the beefy battery packs, for tools that feel quite badass in the hand.

Bit storage
Both tools have a bit holder that grips very securely (these bits are included in the kit).

While these are billed as “compact” tools, they can still wear you out if you’re holding them up high for extended periods of time. With the batteries and belt clips attached, the hammer drill/driver weighs in at 4lbs, 11.7oz. The impact driver, 4lbs, 1.8oz. They do contain some gravity, but it’s pure lean muscle. They’ve been working out; and it shows.

Belt clip
The belt clips can be attached to either side.

Ridgid GEN 5X – Powerful Brushless Technology

R9205 combo kit
Both tools have the kind of power you’d expect from “regular sized” tools.

These beauties are part of Ridgid’s GEN 5X 18V lineup. They’re larger than a lot of compact drivers, but shorter – front to rear – than their full sized cousins. They are also powerful enough that you’ll forget you’re using a compact tool. Ridgid boasts “Best-in-class torque in a compact size“. After using them, I’m a believer.

High-powered compacts
Powerful, compact motors.

Not only are the motors relatively small and surprisingly brawny, but the brushless design yields up to 50% longer run time from a battery charge. And no brushes to wear down means they will potentially outlive traditional brushed motors by a substantial margin.

Ridgid R86116 Compact Hammer Drill/Driver

Auxiliary handle
The auxiliary handle can be attached for left or right handed use.

From Ridgid.com, here are the specs:

Volts: 18
Torque: 700 in.-lbs.
Chuck Capacity: ½”
Blows per Minute: 27300
Maximum Speed (rpm): 2100

Drilling for dowels
As you’d expect, it works flawlessly as a standard drill.

Ridgid R86116 is an upgraded version of an earlier Ridgid tool. This one has a brushless motor, which is more efficient, slightly smaller and lighter than the earlier iteration. There’s also a new chuck design.

There are three operating modes: hammer drill, driver and standard drill mode. The selector switch is accessible from either side of the motor, making it convenient for right or left handers.

2-speed gearing
2-Speed gear train. For slower speed-higher torque applications, downshift to first gear.

This unit has impressive power for its size. I was drilling 7/8” holes, 4 inches deep into the end grain of an oak stump at a pretty rapid pace with no problem. And that was with a dull spade bit. Not surprisingly, a sharp bit worked a lot better. Then again, they usually do.

Clutch ring
Micro-adjustable clutch ring gives you way more torque options than your typical electric driver.

The R86116 has a micro-adjustable clutch that’s engaged when in driver mode, giving you about 100 different settings for extremely precise control over fastener depth!

It’s Hammer Time – Parachute Pants Not Included

Swiss cheese in a few minutes.
Full-sized performance from the R86116 hammer drill/driver.

From the instant you try boring through masonry with the R86116 hammer drill, you’ll realize this is no ordinary compact driver. It easily – with no effort – pierces cinder block with a 1/2” masonry bit in, literally, 2 seconds.


74 holes
74 1/2” holes through cinder block in only 3 minutes, counting the time it took to move from one to the next!

After 74 1/2” holes through block, the battery’s charge indicator was still at four bars, just about to dip to three.

What’s Up, Chuck? How About A Little Extreme Testing?

Keyless chuck
A solid, well-made chuck.

The R86116 hammer drill/driver has a 1/2” ratcheting keyless Jacobs chuck that does a great job of grabbing and holding onto bits. The only time I had it come loose was once during some abusive testing, which we’ll get to in a moment.

If you’re not used to a ratcheting chuck, it may feel weird at first. But it quickly becomes a familiar friend. When the jaws first cinch, the collar pops into ratcheting mode. Then, as you continue to tighten it, you hear and feel the teeth kicking in, clinching the jaws like a vise.

Toothed jaws
The jaws have teeth that help grip onto the bit. There’s this set of teeth and another deeper inside.

The only thing I don’t like about the chuck is that the fine knurling can make it hard to get a good grip if your hands are a little oily. Luckily, it takes little force to sufficiently tighten and loosen, so that’s generally not an issue. However – if you forcefully overtighten it – it can be difficult to break loose again with your bare hands.

Mercilessly Testing the R86116 Hammer Drill/Driver

Abusive boring
Boring holes with ease!

For sport, I popped in a fully charged battery, chucked a super-cheap, slightly-wobbly-shafted, dull 7/8” spade bit and decided to see how it fares against a really hard white oak stump. I would not normally do this (and neither should you). But, you know, I’m impressed with the tool so far. So let’s push things more than most users do and see what happens. Keep in mind that Home Fixated-style testing is not covered under warranty.

Testing with a junk bit
This crappy bit started out bad and only got worse. It was dull and shiny. Now it’s galled over and burnt.

During this worst case scenario, I purposely applied too much downward force on the drill (more than you normally would). I ran the bit and driver – mostly in hammer mode – really hot (a lot hotter than you should) and with only a few brief breaks. I definitely abused it. Don’t try this at home. I was willing to risk it for review purposes only.

Fuel gauge
The batteries have onboard fuel gauges.

Even with an already-damaged, bottom of the barrel bit – combined with too much heat and force and super hard end grain wood – I was still able to plow through 20 holes (4-1/4” deep) before the battery was exhausted. If your real-world usage matches those absurd conditions you might be doing it wrong.

Loosening after “purposely” over-tightening.

The excessive pressure I applied in hammer mode loosened the chuck once. So I cruelly over-tightened it in response. The only problem I had as result was that it was difficult to loosen again. So I enlisted the aid of a soft jawed vice. It didn’t take much force, just a bit more than I could manage with the grip of my hand alone. Use yours properly and you shouldn’t have this problem.

Ridgid R86037 Impact driver – 2,250 in-lbs Of Torque In A Compact Frame!

Both tools from R9205 combo kit.
Impact driver (left) and Hammer drill/driver (right).

Quick specs:
Volts: 18
Torque: 2,250 in.-lbs.
Chuck Capacity: 1/4”

The other tool in the R9205 combo kit is Ridgid’s R86037 impact driver. Sure to make a huge impact on your workload, not your wallet. It uses the same powerful GEN 5X brushless motor but has a 1/4” bit holder instead of a chuck. The hammer drill delivers 27,300 striking blows per minute along the axis of the bit to help break through hard materials. The impact driver, on the other hand, packs its oomph into rotational energy, for a whopping 2,250 in-lbs of torque.

R86037 impact driver
Staring down the barrel, flanked by three LEDs to reduce shadowing.

The R86037 only does one thing: it twists in the forward or reverse direction. But it does so extremely well. Screws that make my other drivers cry for mommy call this baby daddy.

R86037 bit ejection
Pull on this ring to eject the bit.

Unlike the bit holders on some 1/4” drivers, this one is incredibly easy to operate one-handed. To insert a bit (use only impact rated bits having a locking groove), simply push it into the holder and it locks securely in place. To remove it, pull on the collar and the bit springs out into your hand. I doubt it could get any easier than that.

3 Speed/Torque Ranges – Ridgid R86037 Impact Driver

3 speed/torque ranges
Speed/torque selector switch.

There are 3 speed/torque ranges to choose from, depending on the job at hand:

* Low (0-750 RPM @ 450 in-lbs.)

* Medium (0-2,000 RPM @ 1,500 in-lbs.)

* High (0-2,750 RPM @ 2,250 in-lbs.)

Medium and high speeds each drove standard 3-1/2” deck screws into pressure treated 4×4 – without pilot holes – like it’s nothing. That’s no easy task. Before this, the most powerful driver I owned gets them halfway (or less) before taking its ball and going home. Are my old impact drivers just wimps or is this the new playground bully? Apparently, it’s a little of both. And I’m OK with that.

Major torque action
Sinking these 3-1/2” screws into pressure treated lumber without the benefit of pilot holes requires a heck of a lot of torque.

Without pilot holes or countersinks, these screws take quite a beating and I knew I’d have to throw them away after this test. The R86037 impact driver clearly had plenty of power to sink them flush in this scenario. I used the driver for some more typical tasks and, as expected, it had absolutely no problem.

Variable Speed, Reversible Tools – With Dual Triggered LED Lighting?

Dual grip switches
The lower trigger activates the lights only.

There’s one more common feature I’d like to point out: the dual grip switches/triggers. Both tools feature variable speed triggers and switchable speed ranges. They are both reversible and have trigger locks. The triggers activate the LED lighting, which stays active for about 10 seconds after being released. This is all fantastic.

Hand grip
The light switch is operated with your pinky finger.

I really love these tools and how well they perform. But I dislike the lower grip button, the one whose sole function is to turn on the LEDs. In my opinion, it should be rendered inactive when the motor trigger is locked, as it’s easy enough to turn on the lights by squeezing the trigger; even locked.

Built-in lighting
The impact driver has three LEDs surrounding the bit holder.

Some may like the presence of this oddly located, redundant feature. Personally, I find it mildly annoying and unnecessary. It’s almost impossible to pick them up by the grip without inadvertently powering on the lights. And in the storage bag, things – such as the charger – are prone to initiating the lights far too easily.

Light on base of hammer drill.
Due to the new all metal chuck design, the hammer drill/driver has its lighting on the base.

I understand why they have the light switches. But I wish they were located elsewhere, where you can activate them if and only if you actually want to. A bit overzealous with the lighting situation? I think so. But a deal breaker? Absolutely not.

Ridgid Really Bagged A Good One – R9205 Combo Kit

Carrying bag
Included carrying bag.

You can bag a great deal with this kit. Unfortunately, the included carrying bag is just meh. I guess it’s true what they say about great things coming in plain, divider-less carrying bags that don’t keep things separated or prevent the charger from constantly pressing the LED light triggers. Wait, that’s not what they say? Well, maybe they should.

The unboxing
Don’t expect things in here to ever be this tidy again. There are no internal dividers.

At least you get a handsome padded, zippered carrying bag; that counts for something. Right? In fairness, if you put only the tools with attached batteries into the bag, it works just fine. Or you can detach the batteries and stuff the bag as full as you’d like.

Ridgid R9205 Brushless 18V Combo Kit – Our Final Word

R9205 combo kit
R9205 combo kit (included auxiliary handle not shown).

For high-powered tools on a compact budget, it’s hard to go wrong with either of these drivers. They are truly powerful beasts. All Ridgid 18V tools are compatible with all Ridgid 18V batteries. And when you register your purchase online, you get free service, parts and replacement batteries for life. That’s a epic warranty that can’t be beaten. I’ve actually used their warranty to get replacement casters for my Ridgid R4512 table saw after owning it for nearly 6 years. It was painless and hassle free.

When you depend on your tools, you can trust these to get the job done. Despite my few minor complaints, I can’t help but admire them for the great tools they are.

The R9205 combo kit can be had for only $249!

Stay tuned, because we’ll also be giving away one of these Ridgid kits on Home Fixated soon too!

Buy Now - via The Home Depot

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.

Photo of author

About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get access to free prizes, product sneak-peeks, reviews, how-to's and much more!

More Info | Email Privacy

3 thoughts on “Ridgid R9205 18V Hammer Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.