RIDGID has developed one of the only oil-pulse drivers on the market, and although it looks very similar to other impact drivers (including the brushed & brushless Gen5X models) — internally it is completely different. “Oil Impulse” technology is one of the newest innovations in impact driver technology — which basically creates impacts through hydraulic pressure -vs- the normal “hammer & anvil” that almost all of the other brands currently use.
The two main advantages that you experience with the Stealth Force are greatly reduced noise levels when using it, and also noticeably increased speed installing/removing fasteners. In fact, the first time I used it — I thought something was defective, since I didnt “hear” the impacts & the 3″ screw sunk below the surface almost immediately. After a handful of screws & reading more about it, I realized that this is normal & the Stealth Force is designed to do what others cannot — combine “quiet” technology & faster speeds.
Installing and removing thinner screws or lags is extremely easy — including 3″ coated deck screws & even 10″ Timberlock screws (for landscape timbers). It sinks them with ease & if you arent careful it will continue to force them deep under the surface. The runtime is excellent (even with the 2.0ah compact batteries that come in the kit) & into stacked pressure treated 2x10s — we got through 270 coated 3″ deck screws on one charge!
If you are looking for extreme runtimes, it is also compatible with all the other RIDGID 18v batteries — so the 4.0ah or new 5.0ah high-capacity versions would have hundreds more screws per charge over the included batteries! When using a larger battery however, you will have extra weight…..so most likely keeping one 2.0ah on the charger & using the other until you need to swap them will make the most sense (to prevent yourself from getting tired/sore after extended use).
One thing to note would be vibration levels. With thinner/smaller fasteners it feels like any other impact driver. However, with thicker ones (such as lags), you will notice a lot more “feedback” coming back into your hand and arm as you use it. In the video you can see exactly what I mean, but a rule of thumb for us would be to use the Stealth Force for building decks/normal construction uses —- not for running lags all day everyday. If that is what you are primarily doing, we would suggest looking at the standard Gen5X brushed or brushless models (for less vibration with larger fasteners).
Working inside a customers house, office building, or even in your own garage — the GREATLY reduced noise levels will be your favorite feature. Literally these make about the same amount of noise as a drill —- and they do not sound anything like a regular impact driver (which can cause a headache very fast).
Unlike some of the competition, the Stealth Force also has 3 different speed/power modes. This allows you to “fine tune” the amount of power being applied. Coupling that with the variable speed trigger, you can be sure to have excellent control of the amount of power going into the bit — and it prevents accidentally damage caused by over-driving or snapping off a screw/lag.
Keep in mind that this is not ideal for automotive uses (specifically lugnuts/suspension parts/etc). Although you could use a 1/4″ hex to 3/8″ or 1/2″ adapter — it will not perform the same way as an impact wrench (automotive-specific tool primarily used with sockets). For smaller interior bolts or smaller ones in an engine bay for example — it “will work”….but I would still suggest using the right tool for the job -vs- grabbing an adapter.
The LED placement allows for full illumination as you use it, and it can be activated two different ways. First, anytime you squeeze the trigger, the LEDs will light up during the entire time you are using it. Secondly, they have included a separate “LED switch” at the base of the grip — when you squeeze it, the LEDs will come on (without the chuck spinning) to let you use the impact as a flashlight. Both ways have the same 10-second delay after you release them, and there is no need to hold in on the switch the whole time — just press it once & you have light for 10 seconds.
Included with the kit is a reversible belt clip — which can easily be moved with one small phillips screw. I typically install them for right-handed use, but if you are left handed — in roughly 30 seconds — you can swap it to the other side for left handed use. Some people (including me) also use those clips to hang the tools upside down from tool carts, tool boxes, or even on the wall — so even if you dont plan to hang it from your belt, keep the clip in case you want to use it for something else later on.
Overall I think that the Stealth Force is a tool that many people will benefit from — especially those working indoors or around other people. The extreme sound reduction is the best feature in my opinion, and the power levels actually increasing over a typical model was a surprise.
Like all RIDGID Power Tools — this qualifies for the RIDGID L.S.A. “Lifetime Service Agreement”. As long as you register it within 90-days of purchase — you are covered with Free Batteries, Free Parts, and Free Service — For Life!