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When you’re pulling up a hill and your truck needs more power, the transmission drops to a lower gear to compensate — a common occurrence for a vehicle, not so common for a drill.  But Ridgid’s AutoShift drill driver does just that.

When you pull the trigger, it starts in high speed. If it starts to bog down, the drill downshifts to low speed for more torque.  You can also lock out the AutoShift feature so the drill stays in high gear.

The rest of the specs are pretty standard: 18V Li-ion batteries, 1/2” chuck, LED light, soft case, 0-450/1,450 RPM speed ranges, 450 inch-pounds of torque, and a 24-position clutch.

The kit includes two different capacity batteries — one is 3.0 Ah, the other 1.5 Ah.  You can plug in the smaller battery for tight spaces or when weight is an issue, such as working overheads.

Ridgid covers it with their free Lifetime Service Agreement, which promises free parts, free service, and free batteries for life. That sounds like a good deal, but we haven’t checked the fine print.

This drill is sold pretty much exclusively at Home Depot, where it’s listed for $230.  A promotion running until November 15th offers a free Ridgid impact driver with the purchase of the AutoShift.

AutoShift [Ridgid]
[Home Depot]


11 Responses to Automatic For The People

  1. fred says:

    I think that the Ridgid was originally the brand name of the Ridge Tool Company – who made pipe wrenches etc. – at one time exclusively in the US. When Emerson Electric acquired Ridge Tool the brand name came with the acquisition. I heard that Emerson wanted to fill out their tool line – which at the time included them being the OEM for many of the Sears Craftsman stationary power tools. When Sears decided that they should source the stationary tools to some others – throwing Emerson over – I heard that Emerson cooked up a deal with Home Depot to offer them exclusivity and apparently the use of the brand name. I think that Home Depot now puts the name on several different products like drill bits and hole saws out of Kennametal, shovels and garden implements supplied by Ames, and some portable power tools supplied by TTI. Maybe a look at the UPC’s on some of these would give you a clue about the OEM.

    All of this being said, I’ve not been a fan of those Ridgid-branded tools (other than plumbing tools) that we’ve bought in a pinch from jobsites that were close to a Home Depot. Lifetime warranties sound like a good deal – but in commercial use I’d much prefer a tool that stands up and doesn’t need replacement. I also try to buy most of our tools from a supplier that also provides support and factory authorized repair services

  2. KevinB says:

    thats a pretty sweet deal with the impact thrown in,but I think I would have to see a review or test it before going out and spending cash on new technology. Gotta make due with the Ryobis & corded Milwaukees for now.

  3. Shopmonger says:

    Fred, Although most of the time i agree with you, this is not one of those times.

    Ridgid has become major player in the tool world as they become more and more professional in thier tool line. They have made leaps and bounds over the past few years. Thier wookdworking line has become a mainstay (although not they are still behing delta).

    This company now ranks as a major competitor to some of our “old” standby companies.

    Every Ridgid tool has been better and better

  4. Shopmonger says:

    OK ooopps I should not say “every” but most of thier tools have been very relaible and sturdy, even at pro level use….

  5. fred says:

    Re Shopmonger says:

    Maybe we need to give them another try.

  6. fred says:

    Re; Shopmonger says:

    By the way, I have no way to compare Ridgid stationary tools to Delta – so your newer information is useful to have.
    Our 2 Unisaws are at least 30 years old – and our Delta 12 inch Jointer is probably older.
    We used to have an old Delta woodworking bandsaw – but sold it in favor of a Laguna.
    For job-site saws – we moved away from Delta contractor saws and are now using Bosch portables – where we like their riving knife and nifty stand. On really big sites we sometimes move out one of the Unisaws and a Laguna band saw. We still have a big old Walker-Turner (Delta predecessor) drill press with a Morse taper chuck – that sits in our metal/pipe fab shop – and a Rockwell (Delta) drill press in our wood shop.

  7. RT says:

    You like that Bosch table saw stand?

    I designed that stand…. Even five years later, I still do not see anything better out in the market.

  8. Coach James says:

    I read in a trade magazine that the split between Sears and Emerson was due in large part to the lawsuits filed over the blade guards on the radial arm saws made by Emerson for Sears.

  9. fred says:

    RE Coach James Says:

    It might well be. Radial-Arm saws used to be a very big seller at Sears.

    I never bought one – but inherited a big old Dewalt when I bought out another business.

  10. rally9x says:

    I just picked this up since I’ve been thinking about getting a Ridgid to upgrade from my 19.2 Craftsman for about a year now and it seemed like Toolmonger was very impressed with the 18V Ridgid. I was trying to decide between gettiing the display model Bosch 12V impactor and the 12v Ridgid when I saw this on my way out and even though I’m pretty much broke figured that this was the time to upgrade since getting the Li-Ion battery and an Impactor would be about the same as getting this.

    I was surprised by the 2 differnt battery sizes but it actually was something I liked since it makes the impactor close enough in size/weight to the 12v to make me happy.

    Please be aware that the Impactor is a mail in rebate, not something you get in store. I’m about as new to tools as a guy can be (I got my first drill when I got married July of 07 and hadn’t really picked up a power tool until about 6 months before that but I’ll post if I have anything interesting to say.

  11. Nick says:

    I have had it less than 6 months, and the low torque quit on me (high still worked, but as soon as it needed low torque it would die). HD service guy gave me a new one off the shelf in exchange (it was the last one as they no longer make this) I think this idea of auto shift was a good idea but that is prone to failure. Wish I would have bought the straight up one

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