Ridgid vs Milwaukee: Which Brand To Choose For Your Projects?

Ridgid and Milwaukee both have a reputation for quality products and a history dating back to the 1920s.

These two brands have competitive tools ranging from saws to impact drivers. However, the popularity of both companies’ available variety of products can make it difficult to decide which brand to purchase. The choice generally boils down to specific specifications you prefer and what your budget is.

Here is a quick comparison list of Ridgid vs Milwaukee:

  • Both brands originated in the 1920s as American manufacturing companies in the Midwest.
  • Ridgid caters mostly to electrical and plumbing trades with some general-purpose tools. However, Milwaukee has a reputation for general-use tools for the construction industry and homeowners or novice tool users. 
  • Although Emerson Electric is the parent company for Ridgid, both brands have power tools on the market produced by Techtronic Industries, which is Milwaukee’s parent company. 
  • Milwaukee tools are more widely accepted and durable compared to Ridgid tools.
  • Most Milwaukee tools are electrical and powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, whereas Ridgid also offers many basic tools, such as wrenches and hammers. 
  • Ridgid sticks to tradition with time-tested methods of producing tools. However, Milwaukee is more innovative, constantly updating and advancing its tool line. 
  • Both brands provide good warranty options that vary depending on the product. However, Ridgid has a 3-year limited warranty for power tools, but Milwaukee offers a 5-year warranty. 

Now let’s learn some background information about the two brands and compare their best tools.

My Recommendation

While both brands have a good reputation for the tools they provide, I recommend going with Milwaukee for general use and homeowners. Their products are worth the investment, built to last, and offer great power and performance. You can also easily use them even as a novice or to teach your kids how to use power tools.

Additionally, most Milwaukee tools are significantly lighter than Ridgid tools. When you need to use them for extended periods, the lighter weight creates less hand fatigue and makes the job easier overall.

Having said that, if you want tools specifically designed for electrical or plumbing use, Ridgid has a wider variety of specialty tools for these purposes. Both brands guarantee the quality of their products and offer great warranty options to back it up, so all-in-all, you won’t go wrong with any choice specific to your preference.

What to Consider When Choosing Between Ridgid and Milwaukee

Before shopping for the next tool to add to your workshop, here are some factors to consider:

1. Product Warranty

Both Ridgid and Milwaukee guarantee the quality of their products through the great warranties they provide. Most Milwaukee cordless power tools include a 5-year warranty, and some of their specialty tools have different warranties. For example, their RedStick levels have a limited lifetime warranty.

Similar to Milwaukee, Rigid offers a range of warranties depending on the type of product. They cover their power tools with a 3-year limited warranty plus an optional Lifetime Service Agreement. Ridgid also offers a Full Lifetime Warranty on all their tools for material and workmanship defects.

2. Powering Technologies

Both Ridgid and Milwaukee offer a wide range of products, including cordless tools using REDLITHIUM™ or OCTANE™ batteries. Battery life is a key feature contributing to the quality of a product. Milwaukee is known for its long-lasting batteries and also provides a warranty on battery products.

Most smaller corded products for both brands are either 12V or 18V. They also have larger products with higher voltages, for example, 120 V for Ridgid’s Hole Cutter. Make sure you select a product with the power you require.

3. Tool Weight 

Heavy tools can cause hand fatigue and be difficult to use for extended periods. Compared to Milwaukee, Ridgid tools such as their drills are bulky and heavy. Milwaukee tools are generally lighter, sleeker, and more comfortable to hold. 

Ridge Tool Company

ridgid

An American manufacturing company, the Ridge Tool Company, makes hand tools under the brand name Ridgid. Its long history dates back to 1923, when the company started by inventing the pipe wrench. It became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric in 1966.

Today, they sell over 300 different types of tools geared toward professional use. The trades they cater to include construction, plumbing, pipe fitting, and HVAC. They focus on providing quality products at a price that’s affordable to the masses. 

The company’s wet/dry vacs are produced by their parent company, Emerson. Additionally, Techtronic Industries (TTI), Milwaukee’s parent company, has a licensing agreement with Emerson to produce Ridgid power tools at stores such as Home Depot.

The Ridge Tool Company also continues to invent tools and has multiple patents in the United States. The list of over 40 patented products includes pipe cutters, hole saws, roll groovers, and batteries.

Ridgid Products

Both Ridgid and Milwaukee offer a wide range of tools. However, Rigid aims most of its tools towards professionals in specific trades, such as plumbing and electrical. Here are a few examples of the numerous popular Ridgid products.

  • Ridgid Wrenches

The Ridge Tool Company originated from the invention of the pipe wrench and maintained a reputation for providing various wrenches. Today, you can purchase offset pipe wrenches, end pipe wrenches, hex wrenches, chain wrenches, spud wrenches, and more.

  • Ridgid Impact Drivers

Rigid has multiple brushless 18V impact drivers, including 3-speed or 6-mode drivers for added versatility. Most of these tools are powerful, with over 2,000 inch-pounds of torque. For example, the 18-Volt OCTANE Brushless Cordless 6-Mode 1/4-inch Impact Driver has an industry-leading 2,400 inch-pounds of torque.

  • Hole-Cutting Tools

Specializing in products for specific trades such as plumbing, Rigid offers hole-cutting tools, including hole saws, core drill bits, and hole arbors. Their Ridgid 76777 Hole Cutter can cut holes up to 3 inches in diameter into steel pipes. 

  • Ridgid Circular Saws  

Ridgid has cordless circular saws and ones with cords 6 to 10 feet long. Available products range from $50 to $400, and some feature cooling technology for the motor.

For a product with the maximum cutting depth, you’ll want the Ridgid OEM R8652 Gen5X 18V. It’s durable and versatile, with an angle range from 0 to 56 degrees. There’s also an attached dust blower to clear your path when cutting.

Why You Should Buy Ridgid Products 

Are you considering purchasing a Ridgid tool? Here are reasons why you should buy them.

  • Affordable Tools

Although a reliable brand that guarantees the quality of its products, Ridgid offers a wider range of affordable tools suitable for various budgets.

  • Great Warranty

Ridgid ensures a lifetime warranty on material and workmanship defects and generally has 3-year limited warranties for most of their products. In addition, some tools, such as the GEN5X line, also include a lifetime service agreement.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation

milwaukee

The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation’s history also dates back to the 1920s, when the company started in 1924 with the launch of their quarter-inch capacity drill, the Hole Shooter. They expanded to provide manufacturing tools for the U.S. Navy in the 1930s and through World War II.

The company introduced their Sawzall reciprocating saw in 1951, and in 2005, they initiated using lithium-ion batteries in power tools. Among other products, Milwaukee has several patents for battery chargers and Lithium-battery packs.

In 2005, Milwaukee also started operating as a subsidiary of the Hong Kong company Techtronic Industries (TTI). Since 2019, Milwaukee shifted its focus from producing affordable tools for the masses to concentrate on elite and expensive power tools.

Today, they offer products of over 500 tools and over 3,500 accessories. They conduct a lot of research and development to incorporate new technologies into their tools continuously. For example, Milwaukee One-Key contributed significantly to Bluetooth tool technology.

Milwaukee Products

Similar to Ridgid, Milwaukee offers quality professional-grade tools. They also have products suitable for general use, homeowners, and novice tool users. Here are some of their popular options. 

  • Milwaukee Table Saw 

Milwaukee offers multiple table saws in their Fuel M18 family. Their cordless 2736-21HD Table Saw is also notable. It has a speed of 300 RPM and has Redlink Plus™ intelligence for performance optimization and overload protection.

Impact drivers developed by Milwaukee are versatile, durable, powerful, and technology-inspired. They make both cordless and corded impact drills that are lightweight and compactly designed.

Milwaukee has incorporated their new Fluid Drive Hydraulic Power into the M18 Fuel Surge 1/4-inch Hex Hydraulic Impact Driver. As a result, it’s one of the quietest cordless fasteners on the market. It also packs 3000 RPM of torque.

  • Milwaukee Drills

Milwaukee has cordless and corded drills in their M12 and M18 line of products. Their drills are popular due to the higher torque and wider speed range compared to competitors. These drills are also constantly improving as Milwaukee takes its customer surveys and feedback seriously.

  • Milwaukee Multi-Use Products

Milwaukee’s commitment to utilizing the latest technologies means they have multi-use products that can cross-communicate over multiple platforms. For example, the 2626-20 M18 Orbiting Multi-Tool has wood cutting and sanding abilities. It also features 12-speed settings ranging from 11,000 to 18,000 OPM.

Why You Should Buy Milwaukee Products

If you are considering purchasing a Milwaukee tool, here are the reasons why you should buy them.

  • Long-Lasting Products

Milwaukee tools have a reputation for being heavy-duty and durable. Even though they are more expensive, you can expect longer battery charges and a longer-lasting tool.

  • Updated Technology

Focusing on research and development, Milwaukee always aims to update its tools using the latest technology available. As a result, they have quality tools with lightweight designs. 

  • Great Power and Performance 

Milwaukee tools offer greater power and performance compared to competitors. Rest assured, you can complete jobs requiring high-torque applications efficiently.

Summary

Both Ridgid and Milwaukee offer high-quality and professional tools. They are reputable brands with histories dating back to the 1920s. While Ridgid focuses on tools for professional trades, Milwaukee also has options suitable for first-time tool users. 

Before deciding which brand you want to purchase, consider what specifications you are looking for and your budget for the investment. These two aspects combined with the information in this article will help you make an informed decision.

Related Questions 

  • Are Milwaukee Batteries Better Than Ridgid’s?

Yes, generally, Milwaukee batteries are known to be longer-lasting than Rigid batteries. Most Milwaukee tools use Lithium-Ion batteries, with their M18 line using REDLITHIUM™ batteries. This line of batteries offers more work over its lifetime as well as overload protection, cell monitoring, and temperature management.

For Ridgid tools that require batteries, it’s best to select their OCTANE™ line of batteries for optimal performance. However, most products don’t come with the battery included, and Ridgid battery prices can be costly.

  • Is Milwaukee More Expensive Than Ridgid?

Ridgid products are generally easier on the budget than Milwaukee’s. Ridgid aims to provide tools affordable for the masses to use in specific professional trades. However, there are some products at high price points.

Milwaukee has recently shifted its focus to producing elite, high-quality, expensive tools for its loyal customers. However, the durability and long-lasting features of Milwaukee products still make them worth the investment.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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