The new Gen 5x line of tools has delivered the quality that I’ve come to expect from RIDGID’s cordless tools. These tools are currently only offered as a 5 piece set, which includes a heavy duty tote bag, hammer drill, impact driver, 7 1/4″ circular saw, reciprocating saw, flashlight, 2x 4.0Ah lithium batteries, and a charger. An awesome benefit is that the Gen5x & Gen4x batteries are cross compatible; and just like the Gen4x batteries, the Gen5x have a charge indicator so that you know if it’s time to change the battery before you head up a ladder.
In an effort to not painfully repeat myself through this review, let me just say that as a whole, I’m very impressed with the quality of this set. There are LEDs on each of the tools, which makes lining up a cut or drilling right on target a breeze. Accompanied by the super comfortable overmolded grips and long list of features, these tools stand out as a great asset in my shop.
So let’s dig in. My personal favorite in this kit is the impact driver. Maybe I’m just giddy because I’ve never owned one of these gems, but this tool has made a huge impact (no pun intended) on assembling projects and driving hardware. What makes it great? Well for starters, the open frame motor that delivers 2000 in-lbs of torque doesn’t hurt. Match that with the tri-beam LEDs found at the front and you’re in business. But, the fact that an impact driver won’t torque your wrist like a standard drill sure makes it an ideal tool to have in your arsenal. A few other features I love about this tool are the 3 speed settings and the quick-load bit holder. The ability to change bits with one hand is so convenient, I could write poetry about it.
My second love in this set is a close race between the hammer drill and the reciprocating saw. Since I don’t think it’s right for a tool parent to choose favorites, we’ll just call it a tie. The hammer drill is indeed a featured packed tool that is teaming with awesomeness. The most obvious flash of awesome is the illuminated drill chuck that provides 360 degrees of shadowless light. How the engineers at RIDGID pulled that one off while still making the chuck super smooth to adjust yet stout, I’ll never know. Now lets take a look at the features that make this drill really worth that fancy lit up chuck. The clutch on this monster has 100 different torque settings so that you can make a science out of dialing in just the right setting for driving hardware. Unlike most hammer drills, which only allow you to switch the hammer function on of off, this unit let’s you switch between the drilling, driving, and hammer functions independently of your clutch setting. What this means is that you no longer have to dial the clutch back and forth between drilling and driving operations. How sweet is that!?
So the reciprocating saw… This one will make you feel like a boss for sure! There’s not too much to say other than what it does, it does well. There’s this “orbital” setting that is hard to describe untill you see it in action. Let’s just say that a 2×4 is your worst enemy and your mission is to vanquish him… Well, you’re in luck compadre, ’cause this reciprocating saw is a demo day’s worst nightmare! The orbital setting is ideal for cutting through wood and similar materials, but what if you’re cutting pipe though? No problem, just turn that feature off and have at it. Aside from feeling like John Rambo in First Blood while using this tool, there are a few additional features worth mentioning. One, toolless blade changes always makes my day, and two, there’s the ability to adjust the depth cut, which is great when you’re cutting holes in drywall.
Now, last but by no means least, is the 7 1/4″ circular saw. Just the idea of a cordless circular saw made me laugh before. I’d always just had this notion that anything aside from a jigsaw or reciprocating saw needed to be a corded tool. Well, my initial impression of this tool before even making the first cut was very high. It has a thick aluminum base that’s substantially more tough than most corded saws I’ve used. The next thing that jumped out at me was the scales on this saw. The depth of cut and angle dials are so easy to read that other tool companies need to take note. Additionally the detents for common angle settings really make life easier. So here again, great, but how well does it work? I had my chance to test it out when I needed to make a few full length rip cuts from a 4×8 sheet of 3/4″ MDF. She’s a keeper for sure. There was no complaining from this saw whatsoever and the performance was a great surprise! Check out how easy that scale is to read.
Pair all these great tools with the super tough tote bag and a crazy bright LED flashlight, and you’ve got a winning combination. I like to think I’m generally pretty even tempered about life and maybe just a little on the giddy side when it comes to woodworking and tools, but I’ve gotta say each of the tools in this kit exceeded my expectations and I’m thrilled to have them in service. I’d absolutely recommend this kit to every one from the weekend warrior to professional contractors.
So what’s the best part of all this? You can enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a GEN5x Combo Kit!