Ridgid  R922 18v Cordless Combo Pack

Description
The Ridgid R922 five piece Cordless Combo Kit combines several of Ridgid's popular cordless tools into a collection; kind of a "contractor in a bag" sort of concept; or at least a contractors tools anyway. The kit consists of a small circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a hammer drill, a flashlight, a dual quick charger, 3 batteries, and for a time, an impact drill. All these items including some blades are contained in a large color matching canvas bag with pouches.
Ridgid Cordless Combo Pack

 

Charger

Power
Of the entire kit, the feature that I think is most important is the power system (batteries). The kit includes three separate high capacity 18 volt batteries and a charger with two ports capable of quickly replenishing them. Many other combo kits only have two batteries and a single port standard charger. Having three power packs and a dual port quick charger at ones disposal should ensure that work can basically continue uninterrupted. THAT, is after all what the kit is for. A weaker power system would mean that work will be interrupted time to time while batteries are being topped off.

The charger has two status lights for each dock and a sophisticated method for determining when and at what rate to charge the batteries for optimum performance. The charger will work with several different battery voltages from 9.6v to the 18v in this package and takes about 30 minutes to completely re-charge a battery. Many other makes use 1 hour chargers so this is a definite plus to the system as a whole.
Hammer Drill
The hammer drill seems to have good ergonomics for my hand and aside from being heavy (as one would expect), it is very maneuverable and controllable. The drill has a high torque 2 speed gearbox and multi position clutch with a " keyless chuck. It's no-load speed is 0-400 rpm and 0-1600 rpm in the two range settings; the high range being comparable or even above some corded drills. In fact, I've found it to be a suitable replacement for my corded drill for at least 75% of what I use it for including a pocket hole jig which needs a high rpm drill to work best.

The hammer drill is basically the same as a standard drill but has a special gear box that can impart a blow to the bit as it rotates. The clutch has a dedicated setting for hammer drill operation with the hammer imparting up to 25,600 bpm at the highest speed with a maximum of 580 in/lb of torque.

 Hammer Drill
The drill includes a depth stop and second handle typical of such drills, both of these are quickly adjusted or detached if need be. This drill should not be confused with purpose built hammer drills (like the Ridgid R5010) which are heavier and more robust but it is quite capable of many tasks that leave conventional drills (corded or otherwise) largely ineffective such as drilling holes in masonry or other heavy duty drilling.
Circular Saw
A cordless circular saw is sort of a dream come true. When one doesn't have to wrestle a cord around all the time, many cuts become safer and much more convenient. Until somewhat recently, cordless circular saws were too underpowered to be useful for very long. Once voltages reached up into the 18v level and beyond, they became endowed with enough torque and longevity to become partners on the job site.

The circular saw is just like a standard corded circular saw with the exception of an extra interlock trigger, a smaller blade (6 1/2"), a lower rpm, and obviously - the battery. The saw has all the standard features one would otherwise expect, a base plate with a cut indicator, blade guard, and a small edge guide for ripping; everything except a dust port for a vacuum.

Circular Saw
The no-load blade speed is listed at 2500rpm, about half of what a regular corded tool is. The saw can cut up to 2 1/8" stock at zero degrees and 1 5/8" at a 50 degree bevel. Enough for cutting 2-by stock. The saw is still a little underpowered compared to a corded saw but adequate enough none the less for many tasks; the tradeoff here clearly being convenience for torque. This is quite easy to appreciate the first time you pick it up for a quick cut-off job without having to fool with a cord.
Reciprocating Saw
The reciprocating saw is typical of most with a long body and D-handle. It's no-load speed of 0-2500 spm and 1.2" stroke make it comparable to Ridgid's corded model. There really isn't much to a recip saw, this one has a large rubber over-moulded grip and the front and what has become pretty standard, a tool-less blade change which is absolutely simple and quick to use. Three blades are included with the kit. The foot is also adjustable. Like the circular saw, the tool has an additional interlock switch that must be depressed to engage the trigger.
Recip Saw
A reciprocating saw isn't a typical fine woodworking tool due to it's rough cut but one can be quite useful in demo's and installations. Both metal and wood cutting blades can be used to handle whatever comes it's way. In addition, these saws can be equipped with many special blades, even very long ones that can be used for cutting small tree limbs. I happen to think of and use a recip saw more as a problem solver. I wouldn't build a project using one but it can solve problems or help with remodeling. It's one of those tools you don't know you need until you have one.

Impact Driver Impact Drill
This impact driver is a like a pocket battleship, it's no load speed of 0-3200 rpm and 0-3050 bpm make it quite powerful. In fact, a user will have to take care sometimes in order to keep from overdriving fasteners with this brute. Maximum torque is listed at 1450 in/lb. The collet accepts only " hex bits so in order to be used as a drill, this type of shank must be used. The impact action is not continuous full time; only under load will this come into play. When drilling wood, I had to really lean on the drill to get the impact to work so basically, when drilling small holes the drill operates like a normal drill.

When removing or driving fasteners, the impact action comes into play once the fastener encounters any real resistance. An impact driver has a rather unique benefit when it comes to this. The driver imparts a force into the fastener without requiring very much in-line pressure from the operator. With a conventional drill, the operator must apply a significant amount of pressure to keep the bit from camming out. With an impact driver, energy is directed in the rotation instead of wasted attempting to climb off of the fastener.
Flashlight
There isn't much to a light, this one is basically a modern version of those old lanterns with the boat anchor 6v batteries (did I just date myself here?). The light uses a Xenon bulb with a latching trigger switch. A spare bulb is located behind the reflector. The rubber over-mould on the bottom of the battery comes in handy as it provides the non-slip base for the light.

The lens has a focus ring to turn the beam into a spot or flood and the head can be rotated 180 degrees when it is needed as a work-light. The beam is a little less bright than my big D cell Mag light but far more useful when working because you can set it to illuminate as desired and then work with both hands. I found the light will last about 3 hours in normal usage.
Flashlight
Summary
At the 18 volt level, tools are primarily intended for some heavy duty and long term use. The saws are a little underpowered compared to corded models (as one would expect) but a great deal more convenient and portable. Although a little heavy, the drills are quite impressive and seem (to me) as powerful as their corded counterparts without the hassles of a cord.

The Ridgid R922 five piece Cordless Combo Kit is an amazing collection of capabilities. If you don't own any good cordless tools, buying in a combo pack is the way to go. You usually end up getting at least one tool for free compared to buying separately.   What it all boils down to is this, a cordless tool is like buying convenience. However, they are only as good as the power system. The Ridgid includes three batteries and a very good fast charger to keep you going. And that is why you are buying the tools to begin with.

 

In the interest of full disclosure Ridgid provided this product to facilitate this review.