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ridgid cordless drill - replace or repair?

6718 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  toolie
I have a Ridgid cordless drill. Its a 14.4 volt nicad model about 5-6 years old. The batteries are showing signs of wear (less power, not holding a charge for long). I signed up for the lifetime warranty, but I am not sure what to do. Hopefully you guys (or gals) can point me in the right direction.

With the new 18v lithium models being lighter and more powerful, would I just be better off picking up a new one and then selling the old one on Craigslist once I get the new batteries?

For those that have ordered replacement batteries under the lifetime warranty, how long did that process take?
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I replaced the cells in my 14.4v B&D drill. It cost about $20-$25 and required some soldering. The capacity of the new cells is greater than the old ones, so it was a benefit all the way around. I recall there were some good descriptions of the process on the instructables site.

More recently, I've dropped the drill a few times and the case of the battery is cracked. I think that my next move will be to one of the new the lithium models. I'll probably go with the lighter 12v though, and stick with a corded drill for more heavy duty jobs.
I see cordless tools pretty much like consumer electronics. After a few years, they're going to begin having issues (often the batteries) and the new products will have enough improvements to make repairing the old stuff problematic.

Yeah, I know that back in the old days tools were lovingly used, maintained, and passed along to the next generation. Unfortunately, this ain't your grandpa's world - or your father's. Hell, it ain't even the world I knew as a youngster. - lol
If you properly signed up for the Limited Lifetime Service Agreement, you should have received from Ridgid a member number for the LLSA. All you need to do is take this number to the nearest authorized service center to receive your free battery(s). When you go there, bring along the drill, battery(s) and the charger. They will need to check all of the components to make sure that the problem really lies with the battery(s). Also, if this drill came in a kit with other tools you'll need to bring them in too. I know it's a lot of hoops to jump through but better forewarned than have to make a second trip to the service center.
I have some Makita cordless impact drills I have had for 12 years now. I use them almost every day. I just had the batteries rebuilt for the first time. These are 9.6 volt NICADs. Drills seem to hold up well. NICADs are rugged batteries. I doubt any NIHM or lithiums will last 12 years like my NICADs did. Oh yes it cost me $22 to have each NICAD rebuilt at the local battery Joe's.
I think you can carry those back into the store where you got them and they will give you a new one. I would take my card with me. I got a little plastic key chain card when I registered my drill.
I also have the lifetime warranty. What you do is find a 'service center' and call them up. Take your entire kit and paperwork with you. I've already been through the cycle once, and they gave me two brand new batteries no questions asked.
Problem is, the closest ones to me are about 1.5 - 2 hours away. All of them look like small engine repair shops, not tool places. I'll probably send it in, but it would be nice if I could just send one battery at a time. If I have to send the drill, charger, and everything, I can't really do without it for more than a week or so. Looks like I will be buying another drill also.
Yeah, I drove over an hour to the nearest service center, it was out in Amish country. As I wandered around farm roads I wondered where am I going, there can't be any place of business out here. But sure enough, in the bottom floor of a barn, there was an electronics repair shop. Like I said, no testing, no questions, they just gave me new batteries.
If you're gonna buy a new drill, look at the Makitas. I had DeWalts for years, and the batt replacement was eatin' me alive. I went to the L-ion Makita 18 volt (lightweight). Love that little fella.
The only cordless drill to buy is Ridgid… Its as good as all the rest but has one thing all other cordless do not have. "LIFETIME WARRANTY INCLUDING BATTERIES" I have used this twice so far on my 14.4 drill. I had dewalt, porta cable, craftsman professional and all one problem when batteries weaken they cost as much as new drill. I just got 2nd set of nicads took two weeks. Service center 1/2 hr from me ordered them no cost at all. If drill breaks they will also fix it no charge. No reason to ever buy a drill again… Ohh this goes for all RIDGID PRODUCTS. Just 2 step process. Register online then send in paperwork. Easy enough then just let them replace or fix when needed at no cost to you… What else can u want. A RIDGID fan
I've got the Ridgid 12V version and also got one for my son-in-law. Registered both, when batteries didn't keep their charge, over the counter replacement at the local independent, but factory-authorized, service center. About 5 miles from the door.

It's the main reason I bought this brand. Been through 2 Makitas, half of a Metabo, and a Hitachi still working. I always found it cheaper to replace the kit than buy or refurbish two batteries.
I also have a Rigid 18v drill. I have gotten three new batteries for it. It is a pain because the repair shop is a little over 1/2 hr away. But they fix it for free and mail the replacement batteries to my home.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the drill is only 5 years or so old. I got it with two batteries so I have not been without the drill so far. But really should three of the batteries go out in that short a time.

My newest is a Dewalt 12v package with the drill and the impact driver that I got at the Woodworking Show last year for $140 as I remember it.

I recently bought a makita lithium hammer drill/impact kit and I love it. i cant speak for longevity but the batteries last forever on a charge. I used the impact to drive 170 1/4 lags into 2×10s with no pilot hole on a single battery
You may want to look for trade-ins. KMSTools had an offer for up to 100 dollars off on Milwaukee or Bosch cordless drills for trading in any old cordless drill.
I bought a Ridgid 18v cordless drill. After a short time, it would cut out. It quits before the battery should be run down. I took it back to Home Depot and they would neither check it nor send it in for me. I bought it at the Muskegon Michigan store. They told me I would have to take it back to their facility in Grand Rapids over 70 miles away. I told them it would be cheaper to throw the drill away at the gas prices today. I don't want anything more to do with Ridgid. What should i look at?
I can't justify Festool, but need something better that Ridgid.
My 12V Ridgid drill will run circles around the 18v for battery although Ridgid batteries just don't go very long on a charge. I never get too far away from a charger.
did the HD you went to have a tool rental dept.? a friend who is a HD employee confirmed to me that, HDs with tool rental depts. now accept ridgid tools for repair under both the 3 year new tool guaranty and the LSA. they merely facilitate transport to a repair center, but it should help reduce the effort needed to get a tool fixed.
The HD didn't have a rental department that I know of and certainly not a repair facility.
I found much better pricing on Ridgid batteries at CPO online.
I believe the batteries you get with the new tools from HD don't have as a high amperage hour rating as the replacements.
I checked with Batteries Plus and didn't see that they had Ridgid battery replacements.
Sometimes you can have the batteries rebuilt with higher amperage hour cells.
Is there anything to having to replace the thermistor when the battery is rebuilt?
I believe the batteries you get with the new tools from HD don't have as a high amperage hour rating as the replacements.

that's largely correct. it appears to be part of their marketing strategy. i've bought ridgid combo kits with 1.5 AH batteries and seen 3.0 AH batteries as accessories for sale. i bought two 18v nicad combos about 4 years ago and one kit had 1.5 AH batteries and the other had 2.5AH batteries. i couldn't kill those 2.5s. they are great.

The HD didn't have a rental department that I know of and certainly not a repair facility.

then if it were my tool, and it was still under the new tool guaranty or the LSA, i'd find a HD with tool rental dept. and have them facilitate the repair. i'm personally opposed to paying for something to be repaired that a manufacturer has guaranteed.

if you are intent on having those batteries rebuilt at your expense, i've heard good things about these guys:
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