The cordless power tool battle has been heating up!
On one side of the ring we have Kobalt 24V Max, which is exclusive to Lowe’s stores. On the other side we have Ridgid 18V, which is exclusive to Home Depot.
Home Depot and Lowe’s are fierce competitors – they’re both big box home centers focused on home improvement supplies, construction products, tools, equipment, and more.
Kobalt and Ridgid are also long-time competitors, representing the mid-range of their respective retailers’ cordless power tool offerings.
Kobalt launched all-new next-gen 24V Max cordless power tools in late-2022.
Ridgid has 23 new cordless power tools launching in 2023, including 10 “all-new solutions never before offered.”
The newest Kobalt cordless power tools were advertised as being up to 30% more compact and lighter than previous generation tools, and sported a new overmold grip.
Ridgid is adding brushless and subcompact brushless cordless power tools.
A search of Lowe’s website turns up more new and recent Kobalt tools, such as a modular power head for outdoor tool attachments, a tripod-style LED worklight, and a 6-inch cordless chainsaw that somehow costs less as a kit than as a bare tool.
Which brand would you choose in 2023? Kobalt or Ridgid?
Ridgid is expanding into the cordless outdoor space, where Kobalt already exists.
Both brands have unique offerings. For example, Ridgid is coming out with a hole-digging auger, while Kobalt has a cordless drain cleaning auger. Ridgid has a track saw on the way, Kobalt recently launched cordless wet tile saws – both tabletop and handheld versions.
Both brands are committed to high-efficiency brushless motors and modern Li-ion battery tech.
Some of Ridgid’s new offerings seem to be replacements for older ones, such as their new cordless router. Ridgid already has an older 18V router from when the Octane lineup was still around.
It’s harder to follow Kobalt cordless tool developments, as their PR efforts are practically non-existent these days. Their social media efforts are also far behind those from Ridgid. But, they have been consistently launching new 24V Max products, or at least it seems that way; every once in a while I check Lowe’s pages, and there are often new Kobalt tools I have never seen before.
Ridgid, I would say, is more consistently positioned in Home Depot’s power tools department. At Lowe’s, Kobalt has to share mid-range space with Craftsman V20 and Brushless RP lines, as well as Skil. Or is Craftsman more of a direct competitor to Home Depot’s Ryobi brand?
I have the same hesitations about both brands. Both have many high-performing solutions for my present needs. If I were to buy into either system, would they suit my needs five years from now?
Two years ago, Lowe’s launched a Kobalt cordless vacuum. Now, if you check Lowe’s website, you’re met with a message that says “this item is no longer sold on Lowes.com.”
A few years ago, Home Depot launched a Ridgid cordless miter saw. It went on clearance a few months later, and readers contacted us for years asking why it was never in stock. Two years ago they relaunched it as a “new” cordless miter saw.
With both brands, tools available today might not be available when you want them at a later date. This can happen with any brand, but it seems to happen much more frequently with Kobalt and Ridgid.
To put it frankly, I’m not sure either is better than the other right now. Kobalt’s higher voltage 24V max batteries can deliver more power. Ridgid’s 18V batteries allow for smaller and lighter subcompact tools.
I haven’t tested any of the new Ridgid tools, but I did test Kobalt’s, which I prefer to both brands’ previous generation core tools.
Considering everything that’s out now, I would lean closer towards favoring Kobalt. Looking at the tools that are coming out later this year, I might lean closer towards Ridgid.
You really can’t go wrong either way.
Some might point to Ridgid’s lifetime service agreement policy as an important factor, but I have heard so many complaints about readers’ experiences with this that I wouldn’t factor it into my own purchasing decisions.
Which brand would you choose in 2023? Kobalt or Ridgid?
For me, ridgid would be the winner. Having worked with a lot of brands of tools over the years, these days I prefer a tool that’s compact, light and powerful enough to get the job done. This can’t be the case all the time, but for probably 95% or more of typical tasks, the smaller, compact tools can get the job done just fine.
Both brands were a bit late to the party for me, and as I am too heavily invested in other brands, I would be unable to make a choice between the two due to never having had any interest in either. I don’t even have a clue as to what tools are offered by them.
so you know nothing about either platform. But you have to say – nothing? Yeesh
Yes, I would say that I am being clearly unclear about answering the question. So – exactly… I have nothing to say. Maybe.
I chose Kobalt over Ridgid in 2020 but 90% of my decision was based on how cheap the batteries could be purchased. They were selling for $10/AH. Yes a 2ah was $20 and a 4ah was $40.
If I had to do it all over again I would have gone with Milwaukee.
Lowes has WAY too many battery tool options and Kobalt is probably the fall guy when they need to cut costs. They are fully invested into the Craftsman lineup although I think the kobalt tools are better built.
I believe Ridgid is more entrenched with HD but only by a small margin. They are full in with Milwaukee and Ryobi. The east cut will be Ridgid when it happens.
I have seen few new offerings from Kobalt in their tool lineup and it’s impossible to see what they have coming up in the next year or so. The one new tool I was looking forward to was their nailer but they want $250 for this! Craftsman nailer on the other hand is $139.
Kobalt needs to step up their game in many regards before they become Kmart.
If these are my only options it’s no debate: Ridgid all day.
“It’s harder follow Kobalt”.
Shouldn’t it be, “It’s harder to follow Kobalt”?.
Thanks for the hard work in this article, and have a great rest of your day!
Thank you, *fixed*!
I would take Ridgid over Kobalt (and everyone else) for two reasons… 1- Their 18V batteries are all interchangeable, whether it’s an old NiCad or new Max Output Li-Ion. No trying to find obsolete batteries or having to replace tools because the batteries are no longer available. 2- Their Lifetime Service Agreement, which includes the batteries.
On first thought, I’d go with RIDGID. I’ve seen people in the trade using them, and I own a brushless circular saw, hammer drill and a flex light. Haven’t used them much since I got equivalent Milwaukee tools, but they worked fine.
I had bought a KOBALT lawnmower two years ago and returned it. Don’t remember if it was 24v or less. It didn’t do the job and wasn’t built tough. It also wasn’t expensive, so I don’t fault the company. You get what you pay for. If I was suggesting to a home owner which brand to get, I’d probably pick RYOBI first, because of the extensive tool line up, and Dewalt or Milwaukee as upgrade choices. My choosing RIDGID over Kobalt is only because I haven’t tried KOBALT tools, nor do I know anyone that has them to try out. I suspect that they are all good enough for the demands of their target buyers.
I had a Rigid LED light fail. A single short phone call to their warranty number and a new one was on the way. It was quick and simple.
The light registered with their warranty program.
Pretty indifferent to both brands and I’m sure they’re both totally acceptable. I’d go with kobalt just because the Home Depot near me is a nightmare compared to Lowes.
I use Kobalt powertools (got the 6 tool set on clearance) and have tried some Ridgid. I think both are quite good for a majority of people who dont need the most powerful. Personally I would go with Ridgid due to the subcompact line, which I don’t think Kobalt has an equivalent. Also Ridgid tools regularly can be had for cheap during the sales at DTO so it’s easier on the wallet to keep expanding your tool set.
However, if not tied to just those 2 options, but had to choose a brand in a similar tier, I would go with Metabo HPT. I’ve been impressed with their offerings
Hitachi – the forebear of Metabo HPT tools (before the KKR buyout) was always sort of the shy (but not weak) sister of the power tool world. They did back then (an continue now) to produce solid tools – some even outstanding ones. We relied on their pneumatic nail guns – some being best in class when they were issued. Today I hope that they (and Metabo – Germany) are able to continue and thrive. I’m not sure, however. how committed KKR is into further investing into the brands – as it has been widely reported that KKR has been trying to divest them from its portfolio but haven’t been able to find a buyer willing to pay what KKR wants.
I recently moved into Metabo HPT’s Multivolt line and have been happy. The KKR thing scares me a bit, but I like the 18v-36v seamlessness, AC adapter, ergonomics, light weight, quiet tools, and ergonomics. The line isn’t big, but I think it has some real gems and some high quality and creative engineering.
One cool thing, the chargers have a USB port that can either pull from a battery or the plug. This is a very nice “bonus” feature, and something that other companies want to sell you an accessory to accomplish.
I’d prefer not to choose either, but if forced too I’d probably choose the Ridgid. Reason number 1, brand recognition. Reason number 2, the home depots that I shop are typically pretty decent, while Lowes near me is a nightmare.
Ridgid for me- if nothing else, the rear handle saw is the clincher. They have more of what I want to see, options-wise, right now as well.
Recently my 6-7yo 18v DeWalt drill died on me. So I dug in and looked at pretty much everything on the market. For me, the features offered by Kobalt for the price put it ahead of even a comparable DeWalt. The drill has a steel chuck, which you have to spend at least $60 more to get from DeWalt these days. I also liked the idea of the extra power from the 24 volts. I found that for $10 more I could get both the drill and driver, well that sealed the deal. So far I have no regrets. The drill is much more compact and light than the old DeWalt, which is nice. The driver has 3 speeds, and 2 modes controlled electronically, I particularly like the slow speed. I definitely see myself getting more of the 24v line.
For industrial use, choose Milwaukee, Dewalt, or Makita. DON’T choose Ridgid. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a Ridgid power tool in the trash bin. For home use…seems to me to be a toss-up.
Exactly. And neither of these “brands”, as far as I know, have ever had any professional sales outlets whatsoever.
Pretty stupid to throw a tool in the trash bin that has a Lifetime warranty.
I’m fully invested in makita, but if I had to start over, the ridgid warranty would win me. Yes it’s not really set up for a seamless replacement for the tradesman, but for a weekend warrior who uses many power tools, I think it’s well worth it.
Replacement batteries are crazy expensive, I would put up with the warranty hurdles to not have to shell out more good money to keep my tools going.
As Stuart opined “I have reservations about both brands”.
Neither brand is something for me or my gift-giving – but I’m (and my usual gift recipients) are alread invested in Makita and Milwaukee.
If you are a first-time buyer or moving up to c new cordless too platform and want to choose between them then some questions might help you decide:
Do you like or trust HD more than Lowes to continue to support and extend the brand or vice versa? Both do seem to vacillate about what other brands they carry and how they promote them.
Does one brand offer a specialty tool or tools that you want right now or expect to buy in the near future? Is there no equivalent in the other brand? (e.g. I find the Makita X2 Earth Auger handy – and Ridgid’s may also prove its worth for some users.)
Does Lowes promoting Craftsman suggest that they might continue to downplay Kobalt – perhaps into oblivion for power tools if sales falter? ( on the contrary – Craftsman power tools might falter, and Lowes will reinvigorate Kobalt.)
Does HD promoting Milwaukee suggest that they might downplay Ridgid in the future – perhaps if the new batch of Ridgid offerings don’t meet sales expectations?
Is there an attractive pricing package on a bundle you want from one brand that’s not matched by the other?
What do extra batteries cost? Is there an advantage between brands right now?
Is there some tool in one of the higher-end lines (like Dewalt, Milwaukee or Makita) that you see a need for now or in the near future.?
Is there some tool or tools in a more DIY-oriented lineup (like Ryobi) that suggest that that brand might meet your needs better?
Have you had a chance to visit HD and Lowes to see how the primary tools you will be using from Kobalt versus Ridgid (or other brands) feel in your hands?
As for the Ridgid lifetime warranty, I read if you purchase Ridgid on Amazon you can’t register the tool( Not sure, just what I read). The Lowes near me closed, I have numerous Home Depot’s surrounding me. I have been amazed by the Ridgid tools that I have. HD’s buys of the day recently featured a Ridgid battery combo deal. An 8ah, 6ah, 4ah, 2ah battery combo for $279.00 as I remember. The 8.0ah usually sells for $199.00 alone. Really love the Ridgid 3000 lumen spotlight paired with a 6ah battery. HD also has a four 6ah battery deal for $249.00( currently out of stock). I don’t have a fast charger, but I have many regular chargers. So I can charge quite a few at one time on separate chargers.
Your service agreement (not warranty) is only good from an authorized retailer, which for Ridgid power tools is either HD or Direct Tools Outlet, and not the reconditioned models.
The Ridgid 18v sliding miter saw is available at HD website. Only complaint is it should be offered in 10 inch like the Milwaukee.
The saw was launched in 2016 and then re-announced in 2021. It was available for only a few months, and I received many inquiries about it between 2017 and 2021. Ridgid said it was “temporarily out of stock” over the span of several years, but it was unavailable every time I checked on readers’ behalf..
Similar has happened to other Rigdid and Kobalt SKUs far more than I’ve seen it happen with Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, or other brands not tied to specific retailers.
I was able to pick up Ridgid 18v cordless miter saw at HD back in early 2017 on clearance for $149. At that time it only came in a kit which included a 5Ah battery and fast charger. The saw has been perfect for small jobs and was probable the best deal I ever scored at HD.
The Ridgid brand wins for me. I have a number of their specialty tools – SeeSnake, locator, signal generator and other plumbing tools. For probably no other reason to have brand loyalty. However, I’ve had a few Kolbalt hand tools and they are fune as well.
Flex intrigues me the most right now with pouch batteries and 24V platform. I’m elbows deep with Milwaukee though and have to support my hometown guys up in Wisconsin. Hopefully, big red will have some pouch batteries soon. Any word on this?
The Flex 24volt 1/4” impact has 2500 inch pounds of torque. This Ridgid 1/4” impact has a torque rating of 2300 inch pounds. A lot of torque for a Ridgid model that’s currently on special! https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-18V-Brushless-Cordless-1-4-in-3-Speed-Impact-Driver-with-18V-Lithium-Ion-4-0-Ah-Battery-R862311B-AC87004/317443418
This battery isn’t the Max Output battery that they recommend for maximum performance!
Not all the Ridgid – brand tools come from the same OEM. The Plumbing tools come from Emerson (owner of the Ridgid brand name/trademarks). Sales of Ridgid plumbing related tools are widely available at retail and wholesale outlets across the country.
What Stuart is talking about are the small hand power tools that HD sources from TTI under with brand name used under license from Emerson. These and other Ridgid-brand items that Home Depot has made for themselves – are just that: mostly sold legitimately at HD.
I believe that Lowes owns the Kobalt trademarks/brand name and sources their small hand power tools from Chervon . Lowes sources other Kobalt brand tools from other OEMs. Sales of Kobalt tools seems to be exclusive (except for grey market resellers) to Lowes.
Thanks for pointing that out. Many might not realize that rather large disconnect.
Many of the ridgid specialty plumbing tools arent made by the same company/factory that makes the common power tools. Although the battery compatibility is a plus.
Most of the Ridgid plumbing hand tools (like wrenches) are made in North Ridgeville (from whence the Ridgid name derives) Ohio by the Ridge Tool Company – an Emerson subsidiary.
Most of the Ridgid brand (under license from Emerson) small power tools are made by TTI (a Hong Kong based company) in China. TTI also owns Milwaukee Tools and produces Ryobi tools (under brand license) for sale at Home Depot. Some TTI-Ridgid power tools look similar to ones that TTI produces in China for sale in Europe under the AEG brand (under license to Electrolux of Sweden)
Like many other folks, I’m invested in a very few brands of electric tools, corded and battery. My experience with Ridgid was not a pleasant one, experiencing hoops and loops attempting to have an in-warranty tools diagnosed and repaired. That one ride along an onerous process ensured I’d never buy another Ridgid tool and convinced me to purchase a Dremel tool in its place – a company that supplied a still-operable and reliable tool for two decades. Each of us have our own preferences that suit our needs, and any toolmaker that produces utile and dependable tools will reamin in business. Ones that violate our trust won’t get our money.
Stuart, isn’t Ridgid a step up from Kobalt? I would see Kobalt more in line with Ryobi
Having used some(but not a lot or frequently) of both I think they are very comparable. I got a kobalt set with a recip and impact driver and was surprised and impressed by the apparent quality. Id guess it wont last as long but find the recip. to be comparable quality in use to my 1st gen mke fuel.
Ronald H Frederick
I dropped my rigid half inch impact in the lake adjusting my boat lift. I dove to the bottom and found it dried it out and it never missed a beat this was 2 years ago. As far as people complaining about warranty we have never had a problem getting batteries or tools replaced.
If I had to chooses between the two, Ridgid.
I’m already biased to TTI, owning Ryobi and Milwaukee products, but the real reason is that Ridgid has a deeper and older battery system.
The chance that a battery system will get orphaned is a major consideration when buying into one. You want to have the more established system for a number of reasons, including:
– more tools on offer
– more product availability
– higher likelihood of new tools being released
– more secondhand availability
What’s more, I don’t like the idea of store brands for as big an investment as a tool system. One of the reasons I steered clear of Craftsman is that it was inherently tied into the (failing) health of Sears.
Yes, the brand can be sold off, but that’s no guarantee of backward compatibility with the new IP holder’s tools.
In addition, as far as I know, TTI makes the same tools available under AEG for other markets. I don’t believe Chervon’s other lines are compatible with their Kobalt 24V tools.
Many years ago when I started buying tools “as needed”, I started with Craftsman and was quite pleased with their tools. When cordless technologies came around, I gave up on Craftsman due to their declining quality and eventually started buying Makita – used power tools at first, but then new. Some Dewalt items snuck in there, but then I converted to Milwaukee cordless power tools and have stayed with them since.
Note that I’ve constantly looked at Ridgid, Kobalt, Ryobi and the other big box products as I stroll through the stores, but they just weren’t equivalent to Milwaukee, Makita and Dewalt, so I avoided buying them. However, my son started showing an interest in power tools years ago and I started him off on a Ridgid 6 power tool combo set purchased during Black Friday. Why Ridgid? My perception which remains today was/is the consumer level Ridgid power tools were/are a step ahead of (i.e., better than) Kobalt and Ryobi, but less than Milwaukee, Makita and Dewalt. Plus, Ridgid’s cost point, quality, value and no-questions-asked warranty program fit right in with his use-them-once-in-a-while needs. To date, his Ridgid power tools have performed flawlessly. I’m not knocking any brand since they all fill a niche market.
I got on the Kobalt 24V platform a while back and have had a very good experience with their tools so far. A couple things that I think are noteworthy about Kobalt power tools:
– They have a surprising number of more niche tools and therefore are a good supplement to my primary cordless platform
– Warranty on tools is 5 years and batteries is 3 years
– Warranty is fulfilled in the store (exchange) and is very convenient
– One year money back satisfaction guarantee, fulfilled in store
– The above only applies to the 24V line which is made by Chervon (same as FLEX)
– the 40V and 80V Kobalt tools are made by a different OEM (Greenworks, I think) and are lower quality compared to the 24V line IMO
I also think it is notable that Lowes seems to run consistent promotions on the 24V tools, making them less expensive than Ridgid IMO.
Ridgid all the way, over RED or YELLOW. The new process to register the tools is a breeze. Online all the way. If you attach a electronic copy of the receipt to the tool, you can sent them an email if the online process does not work and it is updated two or three days later. As a DIY guy, I don’t know how many ridgid tools I have bought on clearance at HD, but it is a lot. A new tool comes out, twit three months later HD clearances them out if they don’t move quickly. I have used the replacement process to get eight new batteries over the last 10 years. Now it is a dream, call number, tell them what charger show, they ship you a new one, shows up in 3 or four days, you call back and they update the serial number for the battery. Easy pezzie pumpkin squeezey.. I have had a radio replaced 3 times in 10 years, one grinder, and one drill. They replaced a 15 year old hammer drill with the latest and greats model. Also the impact wrench that was octane might be the best for power on the market, according to the Torque test channel. Got on clearance as a tool only for 129.
Please tell me your secret because I’ve had a very different experience with the replacement process. Registration is definitely easy couldn’t agree more, but service is another story for me. My drill was having issues and I was on hold with customer service for 3 hours before someone picked up and they told me they couldn’t help me and to go to a service center and that home Depot wasn’t a service center but can act as a middle man for me. Needless to say I was less than impressed with it.
I do most of my contact by email. On the drill replacement I had to drop it off at the Home Depot, pay $19 or $29, at the tool rental desk. They sent if off, 4 weeks later they called and said it was back. When in and took them an hour to find it, it was under the desk. Morons at the desk are horrible btw, they then refunded my money back to the card. Since I have 4 impact drivers, x3, x4, octane and stealth, five drills, one being out of circulation for a month was not a real issue. I got most of the extras when I bought the x3 and x4 sets at clearance for less than 100 each, just wanted the batteries (I think one had 2 2ah and 4ah, other had 2 3ah)so that they would be lifetime registered. Best purchase was the 6 inch floor jointer I got for $100. I have drill press, bandsaw, jointer, planer and table saw. Did not get into Ridgid early enough to get lathe though. Best worker is the old hulking corded sawsall, R3020 cicr 2009, thing is a true beast, I cut RR ties with it and a 12 inch pruning blade.
I’ve never had any issues getting anything serviced or replaced under the Ridgid lifetime service agreement. I had the motor burn up on my cordless reciprocating saw. I sent it out via HD and it took me 4 or 5 months to get it back. That was right at the beginning of covid so that was to be expected. Other than that, its usually pretty fast, the last few batteries I had replaced in a few days with just a phone call. My 1st Ridgid power tool I ever bought was back in 2003, before the “lifetime service agreement” it was a lifetime guarantee. To this day they still honor that warrantee.
I would avoid both as they bring little to the table vs Dewalt or Milwaukee. House brands are almost always best avoided for durables. If someone is nonetheless so inclined, in the US HD has about 25pct more stores so for access to a house brand Rigid gets the “win”. But why someone would buy into either platform is a mystery to me. They seem to exist for retailer gross margin and to fufill a silly good better best strategy that retail buyers think works.
I suggest that you go onto Home Depot’s website, start reading all the 5 star Ridgid tool reviews. That might give you some insight as to why anyone would want to buy these tools.
That may well be but my experience with reading those consumer reviews is very different. Many seem to be unrelated to the actual tool they’re listed under. AKA wrong tool for the review and to me that calls into question any of their reviews.
It was the reviews that convinced me to give Ridgid a try.
The key word in my comment is platform. Both platforms are orphans. The tool offerings are directed by the retailers not the market as they are sole source captive brands so thecassortments will be perennially laggards. That the individual tools are good is not consequential in cordless tools. It is the platform, vision of the manufacturer and ability to execute.
@xu lu I have to ask, after what seems like 2+ years on the site, I have yet to see you post a single positive comment in favour of any kind of capitalist venture. Whether that be a tool brand, or a branding strategy, or even a retailer’s offerings.
You have repeatedly bashed the tool companies as “Cheating” the consumers, and also called into question the sanity, and/or competency of all us ToolGuyd readers who actually buy tools from any said companies.
I have to ask this particular question: Why are you commenting on ToolGuyd at all, if you have such a distain for the economic system the owner, and majority of readers, live under? And I’m not bashing your posting, it’s just… I would like to know if you’re here for a certain purpose, perhaps you have a philosophy or insight you live by that underlies your posts as a whole? Or, perhaps, much like myself, there is an aspect of the tool industry that you regret exists? (For me it’s Marketing. Market-Speak and Non-Technical public interactions bug me. It’s inefficient. I’m wondering if there is an aspect you oppose like I do. I’d find it interesting to find out/discuss with you.)
It would be nice to just return a Ridgid tool directly to Home Depot for repairs.I think that would be a big plus for the customer.
I was recently out visiting family in Southern California and they were having significant house remodeling performed: new floors, bathroom work, etc.. The crews were mostly using Ridgid power tools and when I asked them about them, in a mixture of my poor Spanish and English, they were very happy with all of them.
I would say neither, but if I had to choose, Rigid.
If there’s an ‘Orange TTI’ tool that Home Depot does not bother importing, you can always order the AEG branded version from Europe, Australia, etc.
The AEG catalogue tends to be deeper than what Rigid sells, as Milwaukee is not nearly as dominant elsewhere around the world. This is why Rigid quality is not necessarily worse, just different.
I’m sure Chervon also sells the Kobalt tool designs internationally, but I do not know where, or under what name. Likely it is not an English speaking country. Either way, it seems you’re more likely to be limited to what Lowe’s imports.
Did I read somewhere, possibly a post here by Stuart, that Ridgid is looking at ending their LSA warranty?
Home Depot or Emerson switched suppliers to Delta, and the LSA doesn’t apply to those tools. https://toolguyd.com/ridgid-next-tools-home-depot-lsa/
Longevity of Brand.
Under TTI ownership.
Tied to Professional Plumbing tools.
Has pretty much any tool you could need.
Locally sourced via HD.
And better color scheme.
Sounds like good reasoning – but maybe not for everyone.
LSA – may be great for some – but it was only a second or third order consideration for me when I was involved in running businesses. We always considered warranties as perhaps an indication of the manufacturer’s/retailer’s willingness to stand behind their product That’s a good thing. But they were not of much value if a tool failed in the middle of a job resulting in loss of productivity and time wasted seeking a replacement. A homeowner, small contarctor or others may indeed really appreciate TTI-Ridgid’s LSA
TTI does make the Ridgid small power tools for Home Depot – but HD could in the future throw them over (probably not too likely) for some other OEM.
The tie to Ridgid plumbing Tools is a bit tenuous. They bear the same name but come from totally different OEMs. The plumbing tools are mostly USA -made and distributed much more widely. Ridgid pipe wrenches still seem to dominate the US professional market.
Breadth of power tools offering for what TTI produces under the Ridgid brand is probably more than adequate for homeowners and many professionals – but lacks many of the specialty tools in the Dewalt. Makita and Milwaukee lineups. I don’t know enough about what’s included in the Kobalt lineup – but take your word that there are fewer tools on offer.
I personally like the HD sourcing versus Lowes – but others may feel just the opposite.
Ridgid is AEG overseas and is backed by TTI….who’s backing Kobalt?
Chervon who makes Flex and SKIL as well.
Too invested in Craftsman to jump ship now, but I would say Kobalt would be my go to if I started over again since Lowes is my main Big Box store.
Craftsman against Ryobi = Ryobi winner. Too much variety with quality.
Kobalt against Ridgid = I’d call this an honest tie.
Flex vs. MIlwaukee = Flex is a better performer, but Milwaukee is too big to lose.
Both stores carry exclusive Dewalt stuff. I’d give HD’s Makita the nod over Lowes Bosch 18v or Metabo HPT. Although Lowes has more brands to choose from.
At the end of the day, both stores have quality tools for the consumer. Everything else is just power tool tribalism.
Also shout out to Lowes finally carrying the Kreg Track Saw in store. It’s about time they offered one. Probably prompted by HD getting the Ryobi one in stock.
Maybe once Ridgid brings theirs out Kobalt will drop an XTR version?
I have to go for Ridgid for a few reasons. I’m already on the platform, but if I had zero tools and had to choose between Ridgid and Kobalt, the former would still be my choice.
Ridgid, like Ryobi, has maintained battery compatibility as they’ve updated their tools. One+ has been around for over two decades, but the Ridgid Gen series and their more recent offerings have been around for quite some time as well. From what I understand, the newest Ridgid 18v battery will work on a fifteen-year-old tool, and vice versa, if you can find an old Ni-Cad battery that still works. Kobalt? Well, they had their 18v tools up until 2014 or so, replaced those with compatible 20v Max tools, then tossed that platform to the side a few years later for the 24v Max.
Name recognition probably helps too. I know there is little to no relation between the TTI-owned Ridgid power tools and Ridgid Tool Company, but the latter is well known for their plumbing and other tools. Finding an old, but still perfectly serviceable, Ridgid pipe wrench for cheap is one of the highlights of stopping by a garage sale or flea market. Kobalt? I remember when their hand tools were first released in the late ’90s. Made by Williams and from what I recall Lowe’s got in trouble for basically saying they were Snap-On at a much lesser price. Since that time, Kobalt has only become more synonymous with Lowe’s as the “house brand”, and now that Craftsman is out, the brand seems to be flapping in the wind as an oddball. You could say the same about Ridgid at The Home Depot, but again, name recognition and overall, a more prominent placement in the stores make the brand seem less like an afterthought in a store full of cordless tool brands (DeWalt, Craftsman, Black+Decker, Skil, Flex, MetaboHPT, Bosch), and more like a legitimate alternative to the other four major HD cordless brands–Milwaukee, Makita, DeWalt, and Makita.
Yes this is true, Ridgid power tools first came on the scene at Home Depot in 2003. The 18V battery has never changed, the most recent Max Output batteries will work in all 18V tools, back to the beginning. At one time they did have 9.6V, 12V, 14.4V and 24V batteries, which all have been long discontinued. Most of the 24V tools will work with the 18V batteries.
So, twenty years… If I’m not mistaken, Ryobi’s One+ has been around since 1996, making TTI’s two “lesser” brands probably the longest lived cordless platforms out there.
Rigid has a longer span of time being considered a quality tool but you honestly have to try a newer kobalt to understand its value. Especially the XTR line. You’ll have the yellow and red guys speechless. It’s up there and much cheaper. Batteries are very affordable too. The concern is flex and craftsman(the new stuff stinks) competing with kobalt at lowes now. Should have just focused on one brand and go all in. My advice though, try a kobalt