Why Choose RIDGID?
Ridge Tool Company made a name for itself by inventing the modern pipe wrench in 1923. Since then, hand and power tools sold under the RIDGID brand name have become synonymous with quality, reliability and durability. RIDGID power tools are used around the world by professionals in the pipe fitting, construction, plumbing and HVAC trades because they can withstand dirt, mud and extreme temperatures, and now the company’s premium products are available to everybody on websites like Amazon and The Home Depot. RIDGID prides itself on the quality of its products, and the company lives up to its promises with one of the industry’s best warranties.
Most companies that grow to become industry titans have humble beginnings, and Ridge Tools is no exception. Some businesses start with a great idea and then rest on their laurels, but RIDGID has been innovating continuously for almost a hundred years. Let’s take a look at some of the twists and turns this innovative company has taken on its remarkable journey.
Founding and Milestones
RIDGID’s story began in 1923 when a man named Carl Ingwer, Sr. invented the modern pipe wrench. The iconic red tool is still the industry standard, a sign that the company was meant to continue as an industry leader. Its first tools were manufactured at a small facility in North Ridgeville, Ohio, but it soon became clear that more space would be needed.
The Great Depression hit U.S. manufacturing hard, and it caused RIDGID to place its expansion plans on hold. The outbreak of World War II and the flood of government orders for everything from hand tools to aircraft carriers changed everything, and executives soon realized they needed a lot more capacity to support the war effort.
RIDGID opened a much larger factory in Elyria, Ohio, in 1943, and many of the company’s products are still made there. The Elyria facility is also the company’s world headquarters, training center and service hub. The company went global in 1946 when demand for quality tools skyrocketed following the end of the war. RIDGID tools helped to rebuild the world’s infrastructure, and their popularity ushered in the company’s golden age. In the decades that followed, RIDGID routinely changed the way tradespeople work, and many of the company’s innovations were truly groundbreaking. Some of their most notable milestones include:
The first powered pipe threader: Moving into a state-of-the-art facility paid off quickly. Just two years after it opened the Elyria facility, the company introduced a power drive that revolutionized pipe threading. The RIDGID 400 Power Drive made short work of what had previously been tedious and slow work, and it was soon being used in every part of the country. In 1950, the company added the Model 500 Threading Machine to its lineup, which cut, reamed and then threaded pipes automatically.
Oil-less threading: Construction has always been a crucial part of the economy, but it has not always been kind to the environment. RIDGID has been a leader in sustainability for decades, and the oil-less threading machine the company introduced in 1998 was a paradigm shift. Eliminating oil from the threading process made the job easier and cleaner, and it has significantly reduced worksite carbon emissions.
The information superhighway: Many companies in the 1990s viewed the World Wide Web as a passing fad that would never take off, but RIDGID saw the internet’s potential. The company was an early adopter of online technology and launched its first website in 1997. Early websites were usually little more than online business cards and brochures, but RIDGID bucked this trend with a site that allowed feedback and encouraged communication.
Power tool versatility: Power tools have made life easier for tradespeople everywhere, but they are rarely able to carry all of the tools they need. RIDGID addresses this problem with tools like the RE 6 that are capable of performing more than one job. Introduced in 2014, the RE 6 allows electricians to punch boxes, crimp lugs and cut wires with a single tool.
Production and Manufacturing
RIDGID’s most famous product is still the red pipe wrench that was introduced in the 1920s, but it has gone from being the company’s sole offering to just one item in a range of more than 300 hand and power tools. This section will focus on the company’s extensive range of power tools, but it also manufactures:
- Pressing equipment
- Pipe fabrication and threading tools
- Wrenches and other hand tools
- Wet/Dry vacs
- Drain cleaning equipment
- Electrician’s tools
Professionals who count on their tools to make a living choose RIDGID products, which tells you all you need to know about the company’s commitment to quality and performance. Another thing that speaks volumes is the RIDGID Lifetime Service Agreement, which provides free service, parts and batteries for life. RIDGID power tools are engineered to be the best in the business, which is why they can be found on just about every worksite in the world.
Here are some of the reasons why RIDGID power tools are trusted by tradespeople the world over:
- Power: If you flip through a RIDGID power tools catalog, you will notice that all of the company’s cordless tools are kept running by durable 18-volt lithium-ion battery packs. These batteries provide great run time and unparalleled performance, and they are engineered to keep the tools they power running in the soaring heat of summer and the deep cold of winter. RIDGID avoids hype and misleading claims in its marketing, which is why the company brands its batteries with their nominal voltage of 18 volts instead of the maximum voltage of 20 volts. The power output of an 18-volt and 20-volt battery are the same, so don’t be fooled by advertising that implies otherwise.
- Brushless motors: RIDGID power tool brushless motors have fewer moving parts and generate a lot less heat, which means they last longer and deliver consistent performance even when their battery packs are almost depleted. The brushed motors used by other manufacturers are cheaper to make, but they do not hold up as well and tend to fade when they heat up.
- Smart batteries: RIDGID’s OCTANE batteries have a detection system that instantly recognizes the tool they are connected to and adjusts power output accordingly. That translates to no wasted output and fewer recharging trips. RIDGID power tools batteries also feature fail-safes that protect tools by preventing damaging power draws.
- Ergonomics: Even powerful and dependable power tools can become tiresome to use if they are heavy and cumbersome. RIDGID engineers have managed to avoid this problem by developing a range of SubCompact power tools that are up to 30% lighter and 35% more compact with no sacrifices in performance or durability. They also have advanced ergonomic designs that prevent arm and shoulder discomfort even if they are used all day.
RIDGID offers a large range of corded and cordless power tools that all meet the company’s strict quality standards. If you already have an OCTANE battery, you can use it with any RIDGID cordless tool. If you don’t, you can purchase a RIDGID power tools kit that includes a battery and charger. If you would like to learn more about RIDGID’s wide range of durable products, you will be able to find the information you want on our main power tools page.
RIDGID’s diverse line of hand tools and pipe threading machinery is still made in the company’s flagship manufacturing facility in Elyria, Ohio. The vast factory boasts an impressive 715,000 square feet of space and is packed with some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment. Its TXcell automated grinding cells use robots to create rotary cutting tools that meet or exceed aerospace standards, and robots can also be found on many of the plant’s other production lines. The Elyria plant is also a connected factory, which means its machines work together to optimize production and are capable of diagnosing themselves and each other.
RIDGID power tools became so popular that even the huge Elyria factory could not meet demand, so the company signed a licensing agreement with Techtronic Industries in 2003. Techtronic Industries, which is also known as TTI, is a global company that makes power tools for brands including Milwaukee, Ryobi and Hoover, as well as RIDGID. TTi is based in Hong Kong and has a large manufacturing plant in the city, but the company also operates production and research and development facilities in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. RIDGID chose TTi to manufacture its power tools because of the company’s experience in the power tools sector, strict corporate ethics and reputation for engineering excellence.
In addition to producing powerful and dependable power tools, RIDGID is taking steps to help the tradespeople of tomorrow learn the skills they will need to thrive in their chosen occupations. Construction companies around the country have reported a shortage of skilled labor in recent years, and RIDGID has responded to their plight by launching apprenticeship programs that aim to bolster their payrolls with skilled and enthusiastic professionals.
RIDGID is not taking on this challenge alone. The company works with a broad spectrum of industry groups, including the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the National Electrical Contractors Association and SkillsUSA to provide scholarships and continuing education across the country. The company also provides training through its own apprenticeship program in Ohio, which is certified by the state.
The RIDGID apprenticeship programs augment 1,000 hours of classroom learning with 10,000 hours spent on the job. This gives trainees the opportunity to put their new skills to the test in real-world situations. The classroom sessions are held at Lorain County Community College, and RIDGID covers the costs of supplies and tuition. The curriculum is revised frequently to reflect changes in manufacturing and construction technology, and it now delves into areas like automation and robotics.
Tradespeople and avid DIYers can also benefit from RIDGID’s progressive approach to training by visiting the company’s website and signing up for online webinars that each last about 30 minutes. During these sessions, industry experts explain how RIDGID’s latest power tools can improve efficiency, save time and prevent accidents.
RIDGID cordless power tools are backed by a three-year limited warranty that protects against defects in materials or manufacturing, which is pretty much what you would expect from a power tool manufacturer. However, RIDGID does not stop there. In addition to the standard RIDGID power tools warranty, the company offers its customers a Lifetime Service Agreement at no charge that provides free service and covers wear and tear items like chucks, gears, motors, brushes, cords and even batteries.
The Lifetime Service Agreement is only offered to the original purchasers of RIDGID power tools, and they must register their purchases within 90 days to obtain the extra coverage. Registration can be completed online in a matter of minutes, or you can register RIDGID power tools by mailing your name, address and telephone number, along with a copy of your receipt and the model and serial numbers of the tool you purchased, to:
RIDGID® Service Dept.
PO Box 1427
Anderson, SC 29622
When a serialized piece of equipment like a motor or battery is replaced under the RIDGID Lifetime Service Agreement, the tool will have to be reregistered to keep the coverage. This must be done within 90 days of the repair, but it only takes a few minutes. RIDGID owners can re-register their power tools by calling (866) 539-1710. You can read more about the RIDGID Lifetime Service Agreement here.
RIDGID Power Tool Parts
Most of the people who buy RIDGID tools will never have to worry about buying parts because even items that are expected to wear out will be covered by the company’s free Lifetime Service Agreement. However, individuals who are not covered by the agreement because they purchased their tools used or require parts to repair damage caused by misuse or abuse can find what they need by visiting the RIDGID parts website at https://store.ridgid.com/. This is also the place to order RIDGID power tools and accessories.
RIDGID replacement parts are made to the same high standards as the company’s power tools, so you can be sure that they will perform reliably for years. Tools that require work can be taken to an authorized repairer, or they can be mailed to RIGID’s factory service center in Elyria, Ohio.
Check Out More RIDGID Content From 360 Power Tools
You will be using RIDGID power tools to do important work, so choosing which one to buy is serious business. To make this task just a little bit easier, we have compiled some information that could help you to narrow down your choices.
RIDGID Product Reviews
RIDGID makes more than 75 power tools, so determining which of them fits your needs the best can be difficult. Reading our reviews is one way to simplify things. We will let you know the advantages and disadvantages of each tool, and we will also tell you what people who have bought RIDGID tools think about them. Our reviews may not make your mind up for you, but they will give you a lot of useful information.
RIDGID Product Roundups
Keeping track of motor speeds, maximum cut depths and oscillations per minute can give anybody a headache, so we take the stress out of evaluating RIDGID power tools with product roundups that present technical information in an easy-to-read format. In addition to the nitty-gritty, our roundups tell you about key features and the little details that make RIDGID tools great to use.
RIDGID Press Releases
A product line as large as RIDGID’s is updated all the time as new products are added and older models are retired. Keeping up with all of these changes is important because you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money and then find out that something better has either been released or is on the horizon. We keep track of all RIDGID announcements to make sure that does not happen, and you can find out all about them on our press release page. This is also the place to come to learn about rebates, promotions and special deals.
RIDGID tools are manufactured to the highest possible specifications, so they don’t get recalled very often. When problems are found, our recall page is the place where you will learn about them. We will let you know the nature of the problem and how serious it is, and we will give you the model numbers and production dates of the tools being recalled. We will also tell you what steps RIDGID is taking to make things right. When RIDGID has recalled products in the past, consumers were usually offered a free replacement tool.
Where To Buy
If you have decided that RIDGID tools are right for you and you have narrowed down your search to a specific model, here are some links to online sellers that have reasonable prices and usually keep plenty of power tools in stock. These links will take you directly to the seller’s RIDGID store page so that you will be able to check prices and see what is available.
While you always get great value with RIDGID tools, it’s also nice to get a special price. Check here when you’re looking for deals on RIDGID products.
RIDGID products are well-made and reasonably priced, but they are not your only option if you are in the market for quality power tools. Our reviews tell you all you need to know about RIDGID power drills, saws, sanders and multi-tools, and they also give you useful information about tools made by other leading manufacturers. Before you make your final decision, you may want to compare the RIDGID tool you are looking at with something made by one of these brands:
RIDGID was one of the first power tool companies to have a website, so it may not surprise you to learn that they have a large online presence. Here are some useful links:
If you have questions about RIDGID power tools that only the company can answer, you have a few contact options to choose from: