The Ridgid R82233 right angle impact driver is a compact driver designed for close quarters work. It has a long slender body with a variable speed 0 - 2200 rpm motor powered by a 12 volt battery. It comes equipped with a single Philips head bit, a 20 minute charger, and case. A non-slip rubber coating covers part of the battery, the top of the body or grip, and the head. This is the first cordless impact driver I have used and I am remarkably impressed with how well it operates.
The tool has a very satisfying heft in the hand, I'm sure it has lots of durable metal in its construction to account for this. The hole nose and part of the body is housed in metal. The drill is very well balanced and has a very sturdy feel to it. The head area is very low in profile, only 2.75 inches from tip of collet to the top of the head and the bit is only 1.0 inches from the side. This, plus the height of the bit ought to allow the R82233 to be able to access even very small areas.
The collet accepts only ¼" 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. The trigger is a large paddle and easy to vary the speed.
When removing or driving fasteners, the impact action comes into play once the faster 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 out of the fastener. This is exactly why a close quarters right angle impact driver makes so much sense. Quite often, one cannot apply sufficient downward force to prevent cam-out anyway. Having to use almost no down-force on the driver makes removing or installing fasteners in these conditions a breeze..
Again, because of how the force is applied, an impact driver is really great at removing troublesome fasteners. I have removed several fasteners with this drill that just would not come out with a conventional drill. Some even after I had buggerd up the head with the other drill. As it turns out, 700lbs of torque turns out to be quite handy to have. The only down-side to this is that small screws (like #4's and maybe #6's) can be over-powered if you aren't paying attention.
The battery charger will revive a dead battery in about 20 minutes. In addition to being fairly quick, it will also work with 14.4v and 18v batteries as well. A nice thought if you have several Ridgid cordless products.
In the interest of full disclosure Ridgid provided this product to facilitate this review.