Looking to equip yourself with the best possible power tools, you are probably comparing some of the most popular brands.
Those undoubtedly include Ridgid and Milwaukee.
Both of them are known for offering a wide array of products for home and professional use. That being said, you probably want to focus on a single brand, especially so if you are looking at getting cordless tools. This article will help you pick between the two based on a variety of factors.
A Brief History of Ridgid & Milwaukee
The Ridgid brand is the name under which the Ridge Tool Company sells its tools. The Ridge Tool Company was founded back in 1923 in Ridgeville, Ohio, USA, and it then relocated to Elyria, Ohio, USA, in 1943. By 1966, the company had become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric, a massive company that owns various other brands and subsidiaries.
Ridgid is best known for its production of very distinctive and well-regarded pipe wrenches, and indeed, this company’s focus is largely on plumbing tools and equipment. It should come as no surprise that, in fact, this is the company that invented the first modern pipe wrench.
All that said, Ridgid also produces tools and equipment for the HVAC trade, as well as for construction. This brand also produces quite a wide array of power tools, with over 300 types of tools being available.
In terms of company size, Ridgid is not the largest out there. Still, it currently has around 1,500 employees. It ranks seventh among its competitors, with close to 400 million dollars in annual revenue.
On the other hand, we have the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, which started out when A.H. Peterson and Albert Siebert founded the A.H Peterson Tool Company.
The company suffered a significant setback shortly after its founding when their production facility was destroyed by a fire. At that point, Siebert bought the remaining shares and founded the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation in 1924.
What is interesting to note is that Milwaukee was the first company to introduce a lightweight portable 1/4-inch capacity drill to the market in 1918, before the current corporate entity was founded, which was named the “hole-shooter”.
At this time, as can be assumed from the name of the company, Milwaukee’s primary focus is on power tools. Also, the brand is now owned by Techtronic Industries, a large Chinese company that also owns several other brands including Dirt Devil, Hoover, Ryobi, VAX, and AEG.
Milwaukee currently has well over 4,000 employees and is ranked six among its competitors.
Ridgid vs Milwaukee: Which Offers Better Quality?
To start off, Ridgid power tools are regarded as being fairly high in quality. Not the best in the world, but still more than decent. What many people seem to like about this brand is that although the tools are not regarded as the number one choice for professionals, they seem to be very well suited for lighter-duty use including home projects and DIY.
What people have to say about Ridgid, more than anything else, is that their power tools are very durable. They can handle a lot of use, they can handle being dropped and handled roughly, and they tend to last for years to come.
On that same note, people are generally surprised by the level of quality of Ridgid power tools considering that they come in at reasonable prices. That’s in spite of the fact that most if not all of the power tools offered by the brand are made in China.
Moving on to Milwaukee, this brand is regarded as a very high-quality producer of power tools. Remember that this company focuses on power tools and not much else. Because of that, you can expect their products to be long-lasting, durable, and very functional – making them popular not only among occasional users but also professional users.
Indeed, the general consensus is that Milwaukee tools are some of the best in the world, and this is true across all types of tools, whether drills, impact drivers, sanders, grinders, and more. Considering that, it’s not unexpected that Milwaukee tools do come with a relatively high price tag.
However, most professionals and tradesmen who need long-lasting and reliable tools agree that Milwaukee is well worth the investment. After all, as the saying goes, only rich people can afford to buy cheap things.
In terms of where Milwaukee tools are made, the answer is “it depends.” The company operates several manufacturing facilities around the world.
While you may not like that many of the products are made in China, they are generally still of very high quality. On top of that, the company also has several production facilities in Europe and the USA, including in the states of Wisconsin and Mississippi.
Which Offers the Better Warranty?
In terms of the warranties offered by the Milwaukee brand, they are so diverse that it depends on the exact product being purchased. Milwaukee offers one-, two-, and three-year limited warranties on many of its tools.
A select few tools also come with full lifetime warranties and limited lifetime warranties. Some Milwaukee tools also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
When it comes to Ridgid, the warranties they offer are not as diverse. That said, they are still good – better than average, in fact. That’s because the company offers both full lifetime and limited lifetime warranties on the vast majority of their tools.
That said, some of Ridgid tools are covered by a more typical three-year limited warranty.
All that said, when it comes down to it, Ridgid does appear to offer the slightly better warranties on its products than Milwaukee.
Ridgid vs Milwaukee: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
What can be said here is that if you are looking for a big selection of products beyond just power tools, especially if you are looking for tools related to plumbing and HVAC, Ridgid is the clear choice to go with. After all, these trades are what the brand can trace its origins to and still remain the main focus of Ridgid.
If you are going for standard power tools, whether saws, drills, fasteners, or anything in between, it appears to be more or less a draw, and it depends on the exact types of tools you are going for.
For the most part, though, Milwaukee does have more variety both across different product types and within one. Let’s go over some examples to see which brand comes with a better selection.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Cordless Tools?
When it comes to cordless power tools, at this time, the Milwaukee website features nearly 250 products, whereas Ridgid has a fraction of the amount.
That said, it really does depend on the specific product category. For instance, at this time, Ridgid has 3 cordless combo kits (drivers/drills), whereas Milwaukee only seems to offer 1. However, when it comes to single tools, not combo kits, Milwaukee has many more.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Impact Wrenches?
On the other hand, in terms of impact wrenches and drivers, Ridgid appears to only have a few options available, no more than 5, whereas Milwaukee has many times more, upwards of 50 choices.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Tool Boxes?
The same trend continues for tools boxes, as Ridgid does not sell many at all (usually only kits that come with a toolbox included), whereas Milwaukee has dozens of toolboxes and storage options of all shapes and sizes available for purchase.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
At the end of the day, choosing between these two brands is a bit difficult.
For one, if you are working on a budget, you may want to go with Ridgid, as the tools from this brand are a bit more affordable, but that said, if it’s quality you are focused on, then Milwaukee is generally the better choice.
Moreover, if you need plumbing and HVAC tools, as well as a decent selection of power tools, Ridgid is the way to go, but if you are focused solely on power tools and tool storage, then Milwaukee is the better options.
If we were professionals and tradesmen, we would probably go with Milwaukee, at least for power tools, whereas Ridgid, due to the lower prices, is better for basic home use.
That said, both brands make fairly high quality and long-lasting tools, with Milwaukee having a bigger focus on a large variety of power tools.