Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Buying a combo kit is a common way to get onto a particular battery platform; you can get a core group of cordless tools and a couple of batteries for a reasonable price. I spent the last month using Ridgid’s new Gen5X 5-Piece Combo Kit. It sells for about $500 and includes all of the essentials: a hammer drill, impact driver, recip saw, circular saw, light, charger, and two batteries.

All of the tools have padded textured handles that are comfortable to hold. Each is equipped with an LED controlled by Ridgid’s unique handle button, which allows the light to be operated independently of the tool motor. In an effort to hit a particular price point manufacturers sometimes put something less than their “best” batteries in combo kits. The batteries in this kit are Ridgid’s best—4.0 Ah Hyper Lithium-Ion packs. Although I didn’t perform any runtime tests, I can say I never felt the packs drained too quickly. And when they were depleted, the charger was able to fill them up in about 30 minutes.

With one exception, I think the tools are very nice. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this kit (R9652) especially given the relatively low price and Ridgid’s Lifetime Service Agreement, which includes free replacement batteries.

The kit includes: R8611503 Hammer Drill, R86035 Impact Driver, R8652 Circular Saw, R8642 Reciprocating Saw, R8693 LED Flashlight, R840095 Charger, (2) R840087 4.0 Ah Batteries, Auxiliary Handle, (2) Bits, Circular Saw Blade, Blade Wrench, Reciprocating Saw Blade, (3) Belt Hooks, Bag, and Operator’s Manuals. Price: $500. COO: China

Here’s my take on the individual tools in the kit:

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Hammer Drill Driver (R8611503). There’s no question this is a full-size tool. I happen to prefer the compact models offered by other manufacturers, so this one feels heavy to me (weight: 5.0 pounds). On the other hand, the power of this hammer drill justifies the added weight. I had no trouble using it to drive long TimberLoks in PT lumber and TapCons in masonry—tasks my compact drill struggles to complete.

I like that there are three lights in a circular pattern around the nose of the chuck; it eliminates the shadowing that can occur when the light is above the trigger or on the base of the tool.

The hammer drill has over 100 clutch settings, which to me seems a bit excessive. I tend not to use clutch settings much at all, but if you rely on them, then you’ll like the nearly infinite sensitivity of the clutch on this tool.

Specs:
Torque: 780 in-lbs.
Speed (drilling/driving): 0-450 rpm, 0-1,600 rpm
Hammering: 0-7200 bpm, 0-25,600 bpm

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Impact Driver (R86035). The impact driver has three lights at the nose and three separate speed ranges. I’m used to single-speed impacts so the lowest speed felt low to me at first. But now that I am used to it I use it a lot. It’s great for finish work like installing shelves and cabinets; I drive screws at top speed to begin with and then toggle over to slow to finish them off. At low speed I have more control and can easy to drive the head perfectly flush with the wood.

Specs
Low speed: 1-1000 rpm, 350 in/lbs.
Medium speed: 0-2000 rpm, 1100 in/lbs.
High speed: 0-2750 rpm, 2000 in/lbs.

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Circular Saw (R8652). The circ saw was the most impressive tool in the kit. It has a 7 1/4-inch blade on the right side of the motor—just like a corded model. The saw has big, easy-to-use paddle locks for the bevel and depth control; an air redirect that keeps the cutline clear; a contoured front pommel handle; and detents on the bevel adjustment (15, 22.5, 30, 45, and the max bevel 56). This saw has plenty of power and I had no issues cutting with it—even LVLs.

I do, however, have a few small complaints with the design. The safety switch is small and at times it took more than one try to engage it. The angle of the handle creates a tight spot for your smallest two fingers; I noticed it most when wearing gloves. And there’s no rafter hook, which given its power and ability to cut framing would have been a useful feature to have.

Specs:
Blade: 7-¼-inch
Speed (no load): 3,700 rpm

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Reciprocating Saw (R8642). The recip saw has two modes; regular and orbital. In regular mode it vibrates less than other cordless recips I have used. It jumps around a lot more in orbital, but that’s to be expected. The neck of the saw is padded and textures so however I held it it was comfortable to use.

The adjustable shoe has a tool-free release and blades can be changed out by twisting the blade clamp 1/4 turn. Unfortunately, the clamp isn’t spring-loaded so there were a few occasions when I had to grab and remove hot blades with pliers so as not to burn my fingers. The neck of

Specs:
Stroke length: 1-?-inch
Speed: 0-3000 spm

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit
Credit: Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

Ridgid Gen5X Combo Kit

LED Light. I am not at all impressed with the light. It has a single LED and it’s barely brighter than the flashlight that I use. For a light this size, I was expecting more illumination. It has a pistol-grip design and the head can spin to direct the light, but it only can move 180 degrees in one direction, so there were times when I just couldn’t put the beam where I wanted it. It also has no rafter hook or any other way to hang it, so it either needs to be held or set on something. It’s a functional light, but not much more than that. I wouldn’t let the light sway my purchase decision. If there is going to be one tool in the kit that’s a dud, it ought to be the light.