Does anyone know if Ridgid is going to expand their 12 volt line to include other tools similar to what DeWalt, Milwaukee and Makita have? I called Ridgid customer serviced they didn’t have any information, but said they usually find out once the product has been launched, not before.
I would not count on it. Ridgid makes good cordless tools in my opinion (I have several in the Octane line) but their variety of offerings has always been slim when compared to the other major brands: Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Ryobi.
I wouldn’t hold my breath either. Looking at TTI’s offerings, I think that they are putting most of their sub-18v eggs in one basket–Milwaukee. The brushed M12 drill kit seems to lack the torque of the Ridgid model, but is only $15 more and part of a platform that offers one of the largest varieties of tools and accessories of any brand or voltage. Meanwhile, it seems that Ridgid 12v is barely hanging on (possibly due to the LSA and their lineup filling a very niche market), while Ryobi is almost a non-player outside of their 18v and 40v lines (Tek4 seems dead and their other 4v tools seem to exist solely to offer an alternative to B&D).
In my view, TTI markets their cordless brands as follows:
Ryobi: completing with SB&D’s lower tiers from B&D to (maybe) Craftsman). Catering to homeowners up to frugal pros while focusing on 18v tools and 40v OPE. Offering inexpensive tools for the novice while still releasing newer technologies (brushless and large Ah batteries). Oh, and all the while keeping a battery platform that was first released in 1996! If you want an idea of how much weight this carries, search for older posts about Ryobi on the Toolguyd site: Search Results for “ryobi” – Page 16. Some of the 2010-2012 articles mention battery platforms that seemed promising at the time but have since disappeared (Nextec, FatMax, Craftsman V4, PC 18v, etc.).
Ridgid: competing with the bigger brands (Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, Milwaukee), while focusing on core construction tools. Catering to those who want professional tools that might not have all the latest frills (size, weight, features, etc.) and offering a Lifetime Service Agreement that, if properly utilized and honored, minimizes future expenses up to and including replacing dead batteries. Offering a good combination of cost versus innovation and sometimes seeming to be the test bed for future Milwaukee products (such as the router and sanders).
Milwaukee: competing with the highest tier competitors and striving to offer the largest combination of tools from subcompact drills to heavy demolition hammers. Catering to those who want or need premium tools as well as those who are simply brand loyalists. Offering some entry-level tools in a similar manner to DeWalt and other brands, while focusing on creating and maintaining a reputation as having the “best” products on the market (subjective, to say the least, but Milwaukee does seem to have their marketing strategy down) with the constant release of newer and “better” products.
If I weren’t already heavily invested in both DeWalt 12v Max and M12 tools, I’d likely go with the latter over any other 12v line, including Ridgid. M12 seems like it is here to stay, and is by far the most expansive and modern line of 12v class tools widely available in the US. Bosch and Makita lack a large store presence, DeWalt’s Xtreme series is still young and has to overcome the reputation their 12v Max line received as it sat stagnant for years, and other brands are marketed to casual users.
Yeah, that’s pretty much why I went with M12. They are powerful enough for me.
But sometimes they aren’t, and now I’m torn between DeWalt and Milwaukee for 18 volt tools. I’ll get just one or two from the line. (sigh)
I like his analogy of the three TTI brands sold at Home Depot: Ryobi = good/better / Ridgid = better / Milwaukee = better/best. For better or worse, though, Ridgid seems to get the short of the stick in this scheme. They make some good cordless tools but end users (thanks to Stuart for the insight on consumer vs. end user) seem to go for Ryobi and Milwaukee in stores. Most Home Depots I go to have a small Ridgid end cap featuring the latest Octane and a few Gen5X tools, but the 12v Max drill kits are given low priority in the aisle. Also, Ryobi and Milwaukee each get prominent floor displays throughout the year while Ridgid might get a few small floor spaces for promos or new tools.
As others have stated, M12 has been dropping in price. A little strategic timing and some good luck can net M12 tools with bonus tools or batteries that are simply a better buy than their Ridgid counterparts.
To me, battery platform is primary and the tools are secondary. Once you have the batteries, there are plenty of options in “tool only” deals. I chose DeWalt, but would have been happy with Milwaukee or Makita, though their line is not as complete.
A few years ago, I said “Enough battery madness!” and gave away or discarded about 60 pounds of batteries, chargers, drills, saws, impact drivers, vacuums, blowers, weed eaters, and anything else that wouldn’t fit the 20V Max battery platform. The industry should standardize batteries and concentrate on tools. You only need 4: 3.7v, 12v max, 20v max, and 60v max.
Thanks everyone for their responses. I truly appreciate it.