In Tools

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Tool: Ridgid 18-volt ‘Hyperdrive’ 18-gauge Brad Nailer

Manufacturer: Ridgid

MSRP: $199.99 (Without battery)

If you’re working with access to electricity, it’s easy to plug in an air compressor and run a hose to a brad nailer. But if you’re working on a site with no electric, or your compressor hose is too short for the task, well, a cordless nailer is nice to have.

This new brushless-motor, 18-volt, 18-gauge version from Ridgid (model R09890; it does not include the battery or charger) works well, with no noticeable difference in power, compared to the Senco 18-gauge air-powered brad nailer we use in our shop.

At the rear of the tool is a power-adjustment lever. I simply set it on high, then adjusted the depth of drive (with a simple twist of a knob) as I switched among different-length brads and various types of wood (the R09890 accepts fasteners from 58” to 218“). These are both quick, toolless adjustments.

According to Ridgid, the tool will shoot 2,000 brads (or 2,600 linear feet)per battery charge, but I didn’t have that many nails to waste. I switched back and forth between the tool’s single-sequential and contact-actuation modes for about 30 minutes, and the battery was still three-quarters charged, according to the indicator lights.

The major difference – quite noticeable after a half-hour – between hoseless nailers and their air-powered brethren is in weight. Though the “HyperDrive” technology replaces the company’s older “AirStrike” technology with a lighter weight PVC and magnesium housing for the driving mechanism, it’s still heavy, weighing in at 7.64 lbs fully loaded, and with the lithium-ion battery attached. The air-powered Senco is a mere 2.72 lbs.

Still, with a lot of moulding to attach on a tall stairway, this Ridgid is certainly appealing.

 


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