Makita & Ridgid - Looking back to the precursor of the modern age.

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Review by vipond33 posted 08-03-2013 04:41 AM 5785 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Makita & Ridgid  - Looking back to the precursor of the modern age. Makita & Ridgid  - Looking back to the precursor of the modern age. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

In 1983 Makita came out with the model 6010D cordless drill.
I bought one.

While it was not the first to market, it was the real beginning of what we enjoy today. But what a contrast that would turn out to be.

The feature set of 83 included:

A single speed – 600 rpm.
A real long charge time with a real short run time.
A small cheap keyed chuck.
One 7.2 volt Ni-Cad battery pack
Low torque with no clutch.
A dumb charger and a real limited warranty,
A sickly blue colour and
the ongoing bugbear of all cordless tools, battery packs that quickly died and were almost more expensive to replace than buying a whole new tool.

Fast forward exactly 30 years to the Ridgid R86008K and we now have:

Two speed ranges: 0-450, 0-1650
25 min. charge time with plenty o quality work time.
Key-less chuck 0-1/2”
Two Li-Ion 18 volt packs with power indicators, 45 ft. lbs. torque,
22 position clutch, smart charger and a swanky soft carrying case.
Auxiliary handle, belt clip and a work light (that can be used independently).
A warranty to die for.

I bought two of these drills for three main reasons.

1: They were reasonably priced, some $60 less than a comparable Milwaukee in Canada.
2: The batteries would fit my existing drills, the Ridgid R8400 (originally outfitted with heavy Ni-Cad)
3: That warranty. Batteries, brushes, anything and everything – forever. We’ll see how this plays out but my experience to date with other Ridgid tools needing free service has been good.

Some finer points.

1: Smart charger. This has all the usual extra features found on any modern type, as in auto ranging, temperature sensing etc., but what amazed me was how it raised the dead. We had a bunch of old batteries in a drawer at work – they wouldn’t take a charge or wouldn’t fill up to capacity. My new tool has a 3rd or 4th generation charger and the electronics are amazing. It took three 14v types, untouched for 5 yrs. and put them back into service without a hiccup.

2: What I look for in a drill that I use daily is a sensitive trigger, a smooth drive train and plenty of power. Sometimes you want to move a buried 2” screw a quarter of a turn, just. Sometimes you need to use a 3” hole saw in a hard place without trouble.
I’m impressed by what I’ve found using them heavily in the last few months and my only complaint is that the gearing and fan are a bit noisy. I think when they’re run in they’ll be fine though.
The compact size is a real bonus on builds and installations, as is the very effective light and the rubber bumpers all round. You can set it down anywhere with no fear of damage.

3: The chuck. Although marked as Jacob’s, these are Rohm chucks from Germany, the best in the business. Any other drills I’ve owned were always retrofitted with Rohm’s ratcheting types as this is where you need a good grip with power, accuracy and long life. Comfortable to use too. $50-$75 though in aftermarket.

I’d love to be 30 yrs. younger for sure, but sadly, as a steady builder, not if it means having only a 6010D in my hand.
The new Ridgid drills are roughly comparable in size to the Makita (though heavier) and similarly priced! in adjusted dollars, but with features we could only dream about at the time.

Maybe that’s part of the trick to them charging so much for replacement batteries. Sure, there were people who soldiered on, simply refusing, or there were drills on an expense account, not caring much about price, but many of us swallowed twice & bought new and drove forward the innovations only brought about by costly R&D (as well as good management).

I think they hoped for that equally as much as for the high margin revenue stream.
Happy anniversary Makita, you’re doing much better now.
construction cranes on a building site

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3266 days

16 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3036 days

#1 posted 08-03-2013 06:15 AM

Gene, I bought the same Makita drill 30 years ago and was glad to have it then. Hatachi is my drill of choice now. I like how they feel ergonomically. I noticed they are on sale at the moment when I visited my local Lowe’s yesterday. The price surprised me. I can buy a drill and driver for less than I paid for a driver a few years ago. For me, impact drivers have been the most surprising improvement lately.

-- Big Al in IN

View PASs's profile


600 posts in 3867 days

#2 posted 08-03-2013 11:53 AM

Nicely done review.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3163 days

#3 posted 08-03-2013 12:25 PM

Having grown up around some of these cordless neophytes, I shunned them for their lack of capacity and short runtimes. My father’s last one is a ryobi 12v model that he still has and uses. I only recently became a convert with the 18v makita hammerdrill/driver combo kit. I have used it regularly for cabinet work, mixing stucco, grout, drywall mud, drilling holes in concrete, etc. It can nearly outlast me during a workday, which I find impressive! Long live Makita :-)

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View Dwinkel5's profile


36 posts in 3144 days

#4 posted 08-03-2013 12:29 PM

Great Review…. Enjoyable read.

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5169 days

#5 posted 08-03-2013 12:44 PM

Yes a great review. It’s nice to read the history in out hobby.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Spoontaneous's profile


1338 posts in 4098 days

#6 posted 08-03-2013 01:04 PM

I remember the days before cordless drills/drivers when my hand would cramp driving 2” screws into 2×4s for garage shelving. I always felt like the person who invented the cordless drill should been honored with some international award.

(I have always been fascinated with those construction cranes.)

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3694 days

#7 posted 08-03-2013 07:45 PM

I still have a few of the 7.2v Makitas lying around, complete with their metal carrying cases…

Milwalkee is now my cordless choice.

Thanks for the review.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4077 days

#8 posted 08-04-2013 03:59 AM

Cordless drills sure have come a long way. My first one was purchased in 1973…it was a Black & Decker…in fact I had two of them because the charge time was several hours and a charge didn’t last long.
Over the years I have owned Dewalt, Ryobi, Craftsman and Makita cordless drills.
I currently have 2 Makita 18v lithium drills and love them.

View sgv's profile


266 posts in 2661 days

#9 posted 08-04-2013 10:52 AM

I also still have my Lovely blue drill with case and two batters I like dewalt

-- Tite Lines, May the wind be at your back

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3266 days

#10 posted 08-04-2013 02:21 PM

Boxguy and Spoontaneous: I too was happy to have anything at all instead of driving screws by hand. My right forearm muscles thank the inventors profusely.

Now, many manufacturers make a very fine tool these days; there’s hardly anything to choose between them on features alone.
“This is my drill. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My drill is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my drill is useless. Without my drill, I am useless”.
(with apologies to Stanley Kubrick and the Marine Corps).

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4456 days

#11 posted 08-04-2013 08:08 PM

I still have my 9.6v Makita with the “foot’ long batteries that I got back in the 80’s or early 90’s. Still runs great and the batteries are tired, but still in use when needed..

I won’t be buying anymore batteries however.
They’re now going for $44-$60 +++ for Ni-Cads : (
Nice review, Gene. I’ll be trying out the Ridgid drills after my Makitas and Porter Cables, and DeWalts, and oh, yes, my Craftsman 18v give out. Might be awhile though : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 3083 days

#12 posted 08-05-2013 01:53 AM

I have gone from the Craftsman to the Ryobi 12 and 18v and now I own the Makita 18v. Li set and Love it. Even if it does look like a tennis shoe, I still love it.
The Dewalt is a bit heavier, and the Milwalkie is a bit pricey for me.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View pimpson's profile


73 posts in 3637 days

#13 posted 08-06-2013 12:22 AM

My father in-law has a Makita drill still kicking around even uses it in a pinch. I think he keeps it for sentimental values

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3562 days

#14 posted 08-06-2013 01:03 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3817 days

#15 posted 08-08-2013 10:15 AM

I bought a set of Rigid cordless tools about a year ago after reading a review on LJ , and I am very happy I did.
The price was right and they work fantastic.
(In fact I bought two sets: one for me and one for my step son)
All the most used tools in my shop are Rigid.
I had a R4511 but I sold it for something like $300 more than I bought for new.
In my opinion Rigid tools offer the best value on the market.

-- Bert

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