Table of contents
- Company History
- Ridgid and DeWalt Parent Companies
- Product Line Depths
- Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
- Tools: The knockout rounds – DeWalt vs Ridgid
- Cordless Drills and Drivers
- Comparing Tool Combo Kits
- Ridgid vs DeWalt: Warranty Comparison
- Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions
It can be awfully frustrating trying to decide on a tool brand when in the market for new tools. You can read article after article, sift through hundreds or even thousands of comments on dozens of DIY forums, and at the end of it all, still not come to a proper conclusion.
Fortunately, we’ve been there. We know what it’s like, and we certainly understand that whatever it is you’re in the market to buy, you want to make sure to get the best product for your money.
In this article, we’ll do head-to-head comparisons on several DeWalt and Ridgid tools – these are tools that we’ve purchased and used, and are more than happy to share our opinion about in the hopes of making your life a little easier.
In general, we’ll say that in our experience, the two brands are quite similar when it comes to performance. Durability and battery life, DeWalt seems to have the upper hand. However, DeWalt tools tend to be a little pricier overall than similar Ridgid tools.
Read on to hear what we’ve got to say about these companies’ cordless drills and impact drivers, circular saws, and cordless combo kits. When all’s said and done, we’ll come to a conclusion on which brand we think is better, overall.
When contemplating brands and weighing out your options, it helps to know a little bit about each company’s history; where they come from, what they stand for, and where they’re at.
Both DeWalt and Ridgid were American-born companies that started out in the early 20’s. In fact, the brands were neighbors – DeWalt originated in Pennsylvania, while Ridgid started out right next door in Ohio.
Ridgid Company History
Ridgid rose to prominence through the first half of the 20th century with their industry-leading line of plumbing tools; heavy-duty pipe wrenches, pipe cutters, pliers, etc. In the 60’s they were acquired by Emerson Electric, which expanded the company’s product line – they simply stamped Ridgid power tools that they had already been manufacturing.
DeWalt Company History
The DeWalt name rose to prominence with their revolutionary line of heavy-duty stationary tools, most notably the radial arm saw, which was invented by the company’s founder, Ray DeWalt. Throughout the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, the DeWalt name came to stand for the best of the best among industrial quality tools.
Very similarly to Ridgid, the DeWalt name was acquired by Black and Decker in the 1960s. At the time, Black and Decker’s tools weren’t known for being much more than inexpensive department store toys – in order for them to jump into the pro-quality power tool market, they needed a more reputable name.
This is why they purchased DeWalt; using the same tools that they were manufacturing and selling as Black and Decker’s, stamped the DeWalt name on them, and took over the power tool industry.
Currently, both brands are still owned by the same parent companies: Emerson Electric (Ridgid) and Stanley Black and Decker (DeWalt).
Ridgid and DeWalt Parent Companies
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD)
Stanley Black & Decker, also known as SBD, is the parent company of DeWalt. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Black + Decker
Emerson Electric Co
Emerson Electric Co is the parent company of Ridgid. They own a wide variety of brands:
- RIDGID Software Solutions
- WORKSHOP Vacs
Product Line Depths
Both Ryobi and DeWalt sell a wide variety of products. Below, you’ll find what each brand’s product line consists of.
RIDGID Product Lines
Ridgid sells a wide variety of power tools, lights, stationery, vacuums, and more.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from RIDGID:
- Cordless Combo Kits
- Cordless Kits
- Impact Drivers
- Miter Saws
- Right Angle Drill
- Reciprocating Saws
- Circular Saws
- Belt Sanders
- Finish Nailers
- Random Orbit Sanders
- Jobsite Blowers
- Jobsite Radios
- Hybrid Fans
- Portable Power Sources
- Rotary Sanders
- & More
DeWalt Product Lines
DeWalt sells power tools, outdoor power equipment, lighting, generators, storage, hand tools, batteries, and accessories.
Here are some of the specific types of products you can purchase from DeWalt:
- Drill Drivers
- Hammer Drills
- Jump Starters
- Cable Cutters
- Dust Extractors
- Angle Grinders
- Impact Drivers
- Oscillating Multi-Tools
- Finish Nailers
- Air Hammers
- Air Sanders
- Combo Kits
- Rotary Hammers
- Orbital Sanders
- Track Saws
- Table Saws
- Miter Saws
- Circular Saws
Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
Here we’ll go over the reputations and cost of the tools of each brand.
RIDGID Reputation and Tool Affordability
Let’s go over arguably one of the most important sections of this brand comparison. Brand reputation and cost of tools. The general consensus is that Ridgid tools are high quality. Even though this is a smaller company in comparison to other power tool companies out there, they do seem to focus on making products that are built to last.
What really seems to stand out about Ridgid products is there durability. The tools are usually built with high-quality materials, have high impact resistance, and good internal parts that aren’t easily impacted by dust or moisture.
Ridgid tools are tools that you want on the job site. However, I would like to mention that even though Ridgid tools are known to be tough, you have to make sure that you take care when using them. This is especially true for big jobs. Some Ridgid products don’t have the power needed to perform certain tasks that require heavy-duty tools. They’re good tools but may not be for heavy-duty use.
Overall, it’s agreed that Ridgid tools are very functional. They’re comfortable to handle, they work well, and they don’t cost much. In fact, this is one of the things that people are most surprised by. How affordable Ridgid is and the quality you get for the price.
DeWalt Reputation and Tool Affordability
The number one thing that can be said about DeWalt products across the board is that they are likely some of the best out there. The general consensus about DeWalt tools is that they are fairly high end, maybe not the very best in the world, but certainly up there with the best of them. What most people say, what we agree with, is that DeWalt produces tools and all sorts of products that are ideal for professional and heavy-duty use.
In general, these are the kinds of tools that a tradesman would use on a daily basis for big jobs, and not have to worry about them breaking down. Indeed, DeWalt tools are well known for being durable and long-lasting, often using top of the line materials and components in the construction of their power tools and other products.
Now, this is not to say that non-professional people, such as hobbyists, DIYers, and people looking to do home repairs cannot use them. They are of course more than good enough for occasional and lightweight use.
That being said, DeWalt tools are not exactly cheap, which is why hobbyists and people who just need them for occasional use may not buy them. The flipside of that is that you do get what you pay for with DeWalt, and here you do get a whole lot of quality. Overall, DeWalt tools are recognized for their durability, longevity, comfort, functionality, and ability to deal with big jobs.
Tools: The knockout rounds – DeWalt vs Ridgid
Alrighty then, now it’s on to the good stuff – the tools.
As we said, we’ll do head-to-head comparisons of the tools that we have experience with. Of course, more often than not, the major buying point for most consumers is the price – we’ll be sure to weigh that in heavily to our overall considerations.
Cordless Drills and Drivers
Being that it’s what we have experience with, we’ll be considering the following cordless drill/impact driver combos for each company:
R9600 X4 18V Cordless Ridgid Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit
DCK240C2 20V DeWalt Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit
Cordless drills and impact drivers are commonly purchased together in these 2-piece kits. (Quick note – Ridgid has recently come out with their Gen5X drills/impacts. We’re reviewing the Gen4 here, but we haven’t heard too many great things yet about the new Gen5X).
Price-wise, the DeWalt comes in a little cheaper than the Ridgid combo, so it’s an advantage for DeWalt right off the bat. Now, we’ll just go ahead and say that in our experience, the DeWalt performed better and felt better overall than the Ridgid – it’s hands-down our recommendation between the two brands for drills and impact drivers.
For starters, both the DeWalt drill and impact just felt better in the hand. Both brands are pretty bulky/heavy tools, but the Ridgid just seemed to cross the line with excessive weight. Typically we would prefer a little bit of bulk and weight as it usually signifies quality, but the Ridgid just felt like cinder blocks – we couldn’t imagine using them for a long six or eight-hour day.
Performance-wise, differences between the two were honestly negligible, although we will say that DeWalt’s batteries were noticeably longer-lasting than Ridgid’s. (We didn’t do any sort of head-to-head challenge or anything like that, but after months of normal/interchangeable usage, it was obvious that the Ridgid batteries drained quicker than the DeWalt).
Comparing Tool Combo Kits
Cordless combo kits are a great way to get into a cordless toolset if you’re just starting out and don’t have anything to build off of.
You’ll hear a lot of people say to avoid the combos and to purchase tools individually so that you get the best buy for each individual tool, but we think this is baloney. If you’re using cordless, you’re much better off having the same battery/charger platform for all your tools, than to have three or four or five different sets of batteries for each specific tool. Just our humble opinion.
For the Ridgid and DeWalt combos, we’ll be reviewing the following:
R9652 18V cordless 5 Ridgid Tool Combo Kit
DCK590L2 20V MAX 5 Dewalt Tool Kit
Both kits come with a drill, impact driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, LED light, two batteries, and a charger.
We’ve already declared our verdict on the Ridgid vs. DeWalt drill and impact driver, so now it comes down to essentially the sawzall and the circular saw. (Who cares about the LED light, really? Although they are admittedly super handy).
In our experience, (and we think you’ll find a similar opinion among the majority of woodworkers), cordless circular saws just aren’t really there yet – they drain too much battery and can’t supply the power you need for a long enough time to be effective.
That being said, we actually liked the Ridgid saw a little bit better than the DeWalt – it’s a little heavier, but it seemed to move down the plane better and have a little more bite and precision than the DeWalt did.
As far as the reciprocating saw, we really love the DeWalt and get a ton of use out of it. The 20V MAX batteries seem to supply more than enough juice for it, and it just feels better in your hand and feels more controllable and comfortable than the Ridgid.
Regarding price, the DeWalt kit is a little more expensive than the Ridgid.
Is it worth it?
Mmm, in our opinion, yeah. Really what you’re most concerned with in these combo kits is the drill, impact driver, and battery performance – all of which the DeWalt hands-down is superior to over the Ridgid.
Ridgid vs DeWalt: Warranty Comparison
Here is a quick overview of both Ryobi’s and Makita’s product warranty.
Ridgid offers several types of warranties for its products. They range from 3-year to full lifetime coverage. Which one you get will vary depending on the kind of product you purchase. The company also offers a free Lifetime Service Agreement on some items as long as you have a registration and proof of purchase.
DeWalt does a pretty good job on the warranties for their tools and other products. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their tools. It also offers three-, seven-, or lifetime limited warranties depending on the specific tool you purchase.
So who’s the victor?
Overall, based on what we experienced with performance, comfort, durability, and overall value, we’ve got to say that we recommend DeWalt over Ridgid under the majority of circumstances.
Now, don’t let that be a knock on Ridgid – they’re certainly fine tools. At a similar price tag though, for us it’s got to be DeWalt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are DeWalt and Ridgid the same company?
No, DeWalt and Ridgid are not the same company. Ridgid is owned by Emerson Electric Co, which is the parent company. They own a few different brands. DeWalt is owned by Stanley Black & Decker. They own a variety of different brands.
Is Ridgid good quality?
Ridgid is often seen as one of the best tool brands that you can purchase today. They offer both brushless and brushed options, and the quality is great for DIYers and home use.
Are Ridgid tools worth buying?
Some Ridgid tool tests have found that their tools underperform when compared to other top tool brands. However, Ridgid offers incredible value for its tools.
Are Ridgid tools as good as DeWalt tools?
For the most part, Ridgid has several tools that are right on par with DeWalt tools, but there are some DeWalt tools that are of higher quality than the Ridgid version.
Is Ridgid better than Dewalt for cordless hand tools?
There isn’t a direct answer to this question. Dewalt tools are good quality and perform well. Ridgid tools are cheaper but can get the job done. However, one is technically better performance-wise. But Ridgid may be better for you if you’re just performing tasks around the house. DeWalt makes excellent tools for heavy-duty projects and jobs, but if you don’t need that, why pay the extra money?
Do DeWalt batteries fit Ridgid?
Although DeWalt and Ridgid are in the same market space, they each have their own accessories, including batteries, to fit their tools. This is how companies ensure customer loyalty.