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It’s always fun and informative when Manufacturers visit us to present new products. Last week Jason Swanson, Director of Communications , Power Tool Division for TTI, was in town to show us forthcoming tools from Ridgid and Ryobi. And we had a first look at new series of tools that feature a 4-volt rechargeable battery known as TEK4.

On the Ridgid side, the new table saw with a granite top was included in the showing. We’ve had this tool in the shop for some time and review the saw in our April 2009 issue (#175). And there is a new trim router (R2401) due out in May of this year. At $100, the router is a variable speed tool with a 1/4″ collet, a quick-release lever for snap adjustments and a micro-adjust dial for accurate and precise setup. This router includes a round and a square clear base, so getting a look at your work is there.

And what would a release be without drill/drivers? Ridgid has a couple out now or coming out shortly. First up is an Auto-shift model (R86014). We wrote about this tool in the February 2009 issue (#174). Along with that drill/driver and available now, is Ridgid’s 18-volt, Li-ion powered Fuego Compact Drill/Driver. The Fuego unit has a new integrated chuck and gearbox design that shortens the tool overall. The kit has the drill/driver, two batteries, a charger and a few extra goodies all bundled in a carrying case. The kits purchase price is $189. Lastly, a 12-volt combo kit (shown in photo) should be hitting the stores at this time. This kit includes an 18-position, 3/8″-chuck, variable-speed drill that will set you back $139. The kit includes the tool, a flashlight, two batteries and a charger. If you happen to misplace this tool, check your shop apron. It can hide in your pocket very easy.

In addition, we received the fact sheet on a new benchtop table saw that has a 10″ blade, a fence that locks at the front and rear of the table for extra support and most importantly, an integrated riving knife/spreader quickly converts from spreader to riving knife in seconds for non-through cuts. Priced at $199, it should be interesting.

On the Ryobi side of the equation, Swanson showed us a version of the Auto-shift tool and we got a look at , on paper that is , a Compact 18-volt drill/driver kit (P815). The drill/driver is a variable speed, 24-position, 1/2″-chuck tool that weighs in at 2.9 pounds. Two Li-ion batteries and a one-hour charger come with the drill. These kits are due out in October 2009 and, get this, the price is set at $159.

Ryobi also has in stores a new miter saw. It’s a 10″ sliding compound miter saw that is priced below $200. The TSS100L appears to have all the bells and whistles from nine positive miter stops to a laser guide to help aligned cuts.

Another great idea coming from Ryobi is a six-port battery Supercharger. This tool regulates the charging of batteries to maximize battery life and to charge batteries only when necessary. There’s even a carrying handle to make transportation easy. At $80, if you’re a multiple Ryobi user who has 18-volt Li-ion or One+ batteries, you had better take a close look at this.

A new line of TEK4 products (available in June 2009) was handed around the table. Some were working examples while others were produced for photography. All the units in this line use rechargeable 4-volt batteries ($13). The batteries are equivalent to 3 AA batteries and are recharged in 3 , 5 hours on a regular charger, or in 30 minutes with a rapid charger ($28). The lines is slated to have a level laser, distance measure, flashlight, thermometer, digital camera and, two things that caught my attention, noise-suppression headphones ($70) that really work and have a port for your iPod and a portable power unit that is supplied with various adaptors to attach to and power your cell phone, Blackberry, iPod or MP3 player ($20). Stay connected.

I’m sure you’ll hear more as we bring these products in for review, but if you have any questions now, please leave them as a comment and I’ll keep a close watch and make sure to provide answers.

– Glen D. Huey

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Showing 3 comments
  • Jon Johnson

    I’m not certain most of us need a six-port battery charger on steroids. How about a better STANDARD charger and scrap the junky standard dumb ones! It cannot cost more than 5 or 6 bucks for the electronics to provide a better smart charger. I for one would happily pay the premium and save the $28 extra to get what should be included in the first place!

  • Joannah

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  • Clark Eikenberry

    I have had nothing but positive experience with Ryobi tools.Most of them equal or out perform the big brand tools at 1/3 the cost.Great tools for a low budget!

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