Hyperdrive 16-gauge nailer.
Ridge Tool Hyperdrive 16-gauge nailer.
You can tell from the exploded view that like a pneumatic, the gun has a cylinder and piston.
Ridge Tool You can tell from the exploded view that like a pneumatic, the gun has a cylinder and piston.
16-gauge nailer (without battery)
Ridge Tool 16-gauge nailer (without battery)
18-gauge brad nailer (without battery)
Ridge Tool 18-gauge brad nailer (without battery)

Ridgid has just released a pair of 18-volt Hyperdrive cordless nailers, an 18-gauge brad gun (R09890B) and a 16-gauge straight finish nailer (R09892B). The tools use compressed air to power the driver so the nailing experience is akin to that of a pneumatic. The technology is similar to that of the Ryobi Airstrike guns; a motor compresses the air behind the driver assembly (driver, piston, and O-rings) by pushing it towards the top of the cylinder. Once there, the piston is held in place by a magnet. Squeezing the trigger releases the magnet and the driver comes down, driving the nail with the kind of pop you get from a pneumatic. At the end of the drive the motor raises the driver assembly back to the starting position.

Ridgid’s hand-held power tools (including the Hyperdrive) are produced by TTi, which owns Milwaukee and Ryobi. I asked a TTi spokesman how the new Ridgid guns compare to Ryobi’s and was told they contain a beefier version of the same mechanism. You can tell by looking that the tools are related. Both brands have a lever at the back to edge of the housing that is used to adjust the power of drive. It does this by changing the holding power of the magnet. Less holding power means the air is compressed less as the driver and piston are “cocked” against it. More holding power means the air is under more pressure, so the driver has more energy behind it.

According to the manufacturer, the 18-gauge pinner can drive 2,000 brads per charge and the 16-gauge gun 1,450 nails per charge. The length isn’t specified, but even if these are the shortest they can drive (5/8” brads and 1” nails) that is still a lot of fasteners. Given the way most people use finish guns, they could drive half that number of longer fasteners and you’d be hard pressed to outrun the charger if you were charging a spare.

Both models have two modes of firing, sequential (single shot) and contact (bump). Features include a belt hook, LED light, tool-free depth-of-drive adjustment. The guns have dry-fire lockout and brushless motors, and come with a lifetime service agreement that includes free seals, pistons, and driver blades for life.

16-Gauge Nailer (R09892B)
Fasteners: 1” to 2 1/2”
Height: 12.20”
Length 14.12”
Weight: 8.15 lbs. (w 4.0 Ah pack)
Includes: tool, bag, 500 2” finish nails
Cost: $269

18-Gauge Nailer (R09890B)
Fasteners: 5/8” to 2 1/8”
Height: 12.40”
Length: 14.12”
Weight: 7.35 lbs. (w 4.0 Ah pack)
Includes: tool, bag, 500 1 1/4” brads
Cost: $229