Top 5 RIDGID Gen5X Tools!

RIDGID has been rapidly expanding the Gen5X lineup since it was introduced early last year, and since then we have tested/reviewed many of the tools in that line.  Starting out the a 5-pc combo kit, they have consistently performed against the competition — many times meeting or beating the performance of the premium brands.

Prior to the Gen5X tools, our experience with RIDGID cordless had been limited to a select few Gen4 tools that we had used for minor construction projects.  Coming from other top-tier cordless platforms (Milwaukee M18 FUEL, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, etc), we were not expecting the Gen5X tools to perform nearly as well — simply due to the price-point of them.  It is one of those times that you are pleasantly surprised!

There are two types of motors in the Gen5X lineup — brushed & brushless.  Unlike other brands such as the Milwaukee M18 FUEL versions (brushless only), these tools are a mixture of them.  This means that if it says “Brushless” — it is.  If it doesn’t say brushless, it isn’t.

Other than extended run-times & slightly improved power levels with the brushless Gen5X tools, the standard brushed versions still beat most of the top-tier premium brands.

With almost all of our cordless tool testing (drills, impact drivers, saws, etc), we always complete run-time testing to prove exactly how much work you can realistically get done on one battery charge.  In addition to this, since we typically run similar testing across different brands — you can easily compare two reviews that we complete & choose which tools are right for you.

Although pretty much all of the Gen5X tools have impressed us so far — here is a rundown of our Top 5 picks!

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#5 – 5″ Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander (Model # R8606B)

Sanding + extension cords are two things that no one likes — but when you can go cordless, it makes it a lot better.  The 5″ ROS will run off of any of the 18v batteries & even when using a high capacity pack, you do not get tired, since the weight is being supported by the surface that you are working on (not you).

Since this sander is a variable speed unit, it means that you can sand slow/fast with the quick adjustment of the speed dial.  It has a safety switch built in which prevents accidental startups (if you hit the on/off switch when the battery isn’t installed), and can only turn on once a battery is fully installed.

Dust collection is always a concern, but aside from the included dust bag (which works very well) — there is also a dust port that will attach to a standard wet/dry vac.  Overall the power/speed/performance of this sander meets or exceeds what you will find with corded units in this price range.

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#4 – 7-1/4″ Circular Saw (Model # R8652B)

Right off the bat let me say…..this saw is impressive.

During our initial testing of the saw, we completed extensive run-time testing.  We were shocked to see that this brushed saw actually outperformed the Milwaukee M18 FUEL!  That was our first hint that the Gen5X lineup was “pro quality“.

You might be wondering — “why not the brushless unit?”  Well…..other than run-times, they look/feel/perform almost the same.  I have been using this one longer, since it came in the 5-pc combo kit & it is normally the one that I will grab to make cuts when I am working on a project.

The balance is almost 50/50 between the front and back.  The adjustments & using the saw are extremely easy to do (bevel, depth, blade changes, etc).  In fact, the only thing that is “missing” & we would like to see on a future version is a rafter hook.

If you are looking at the combo kit & are hesitant since the saw is not brushless — don’t worry about it…..it still beats the M18 FUEL!

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#3 – Covert Air Hybrid Fan (Model # R860720B)

One word can sum this fan up — QUIET!

Lots of manufacturer have “job-site fans“…..lots of them also advertise additional uses for them such as camping, sitting on your desk, or moving air around on your screened in porch.  What they conveniently forget to mention is how loud they are.  The Gen5X Covert Air is the 100% quietest cordless fan on the market.

There are three types of job-site fans : Corded, Cordless, & Hybrid.  The first two are self-explanatory, but maybe you have not heard of the term “hybrid” yet.  Basically what that means is that the fan has two power options — you can plug it into the wall OR pop a battery in it.  Hybrid versions are the way to go….since it gives you maximum flexibility.

Run-times with this unit are unreal…..and on one battery pack, it can last you literally all day.  We actually use this fan when we go camping.  At night we still like air movement (vs air conditioning only), but hate noises.  Most cordless fans are loud (especially when you are trying to sleep).  The Gen5X is so quiet you don’t hear it running & when you get up in the morning, the battery is still going.

Fun fact — this is the only fan that we can use when recording videos.  The microphone picks up a “hiss/whine” with ALL other fans, but does not pick up any noise from the covert air.

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#2 – Stealth Force Brushless Oil Pulse Driver (Model # R86036K)

Hate loud impact drivers?  This is the solution.

It looks like an impact driver….but it’s not.  This is a completely new type of tool that utilizes hydraulic pressure to create impacts (vs a metal hammer/anvil mechanism), by doing so it is faster/quieter/more powerful.

Running the Stealth Force side-by-side with other standard impact drivers, you will immediately see the benefits.  With fasteners such as a 3″ coated deck screw — all the way up to a 10″ timberlock screw — it is MUCH faster than a typical unit.

The main benefit other than power/speed will be the greatly reduced noise levels.  It is only about half as loud as other units….and when you are working indoors or in a confined area, that really makes a difference.

The only fasteners that we found are not ideal with the Stealth Force would be very large ones (such as heavy duty lag screws).  But, for normal everyday use — this will be a much better choice — your ears will thank you.

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#1 – 7-1/4″ Brushless Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (Model # R48607K)

Why lug out a huge 10″ or 12″ miter saw to the job-site if you can get the job done with a compact/lightweight unit — that is running off of batteries!

Excellent run-times, power levels, and impressive cut capacities — not something you would expect to see on a cordless miter saw.  Couple that with the fact that this uses very inexpensive 7-1/4″ circular saw blades — if you hit a nail, it wont ruin your day (or cost you $50-$100 for another blade).

If you are looking at a 7-1/4″ miter saw, this has two features NOT found on any other unit that is currently on the market — a brushless motor & it is a dual beveling unit.  That means you will have extreme power/run-times (as we proved in the full video review) & also you will have the most options when it comes to making a cut.

As far as a cordless miter saw — for the money I don’t see how you would do better.  There are “higher end” units out there, but expect to pay AT LEAST double for them.  For the average pro, this will 100% be able to get the job done quickly & accurately.

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There are two things that you will want to keep in mind if you are considering the RIDGID Gen5X lineup :

  • Cross compatibility with the batteries
  • L.S.A. – Lifetime Service Agreement

Since all of the Gen5X tools are 100% compatible with all RIDGID 18v batteries — even if you have older packs from previous series (Gen3, Gen4, etc), they will still power all of the tools exactly the same way.  For max power/runtime, We would highly suggest going with the new 4.0ah & 5.0ah high capacity packs — which come standard in some of the kits.

Finally you will want to consider the warranty.  Right out of the box, all RIDGID cordless tools come with a 3yr warranty — but, that can be expanded (for free) into a L.S.A. Lifetime Service Agreement if you follow a few simple steps in order to register them.  (Check out the L.S.A. video & article that we made to learn more).  Once you are approved, the tools will be covered with Free Parts, Free Service, and Free Batteries — FOR LIFE!

Check out the Top 5 video to see the tools for yourself!

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