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MsDebbieP's Company Tours #12: Techtronic Industries

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 2389 days ago 1881 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Steel City Tool Works (Part II) Part 12 of MsDebbieP's Company Tours series Part 13: Toronto Woodworking Machinery Expo »

On the weekend, I attended the Woodstock Wood Show (see blog entry for more information) and during my time there I had the opportunity to speak with a few company representatives – including Keith Potts, Trainer, from Techtronic Industries North America, Inc.

Ridgid Tools Interview

“TTI” is the umbrella organization that produces product lines including Ridgid, Ryobi, and Milwaukee Tools. The head office for TTI is located in South Carolina.

The History
Amongst other product lines, TTI acquired the Ryobi brand for North America in 2000, launched the RIDGID professional tools for The Home Depot in August 2003, and in January of 2005 they acquired the Milwaukee brand.

Although Keith and I didn’t talk a lot about the different lines of tools I think the following may be of interest to woodworkers. The Ridgid tools have a life-time warrantee; the Ryobi line is high-end tools but priced more for hobbyists, and the Milwaukee line comes with a five-year warranty.

The Future
With being “the fastest growing tool company ever”, the goal for the future is to continue to invent innovative products that meet the needs of woodworkers, with the “best tools” and the “best warranty”.

One of the new tools to look for is the Ryobi nailer that will be part of their 18-volt line of tools. In this series, one battery style is used with many different tools.

Favourite Product
This question usually has people pause and think but they always have an answer! Keith’s favourite products are the sanders (because there is no vibration) and the saws because they are designed so that the motor is out of the way and the base is designed to maintain its accuracy.

What Makes the Company Unique
According to Keith, what sets this company apart from others is that it is the fastest growing tool company due to its innovative engineers. Keith states that the extensive product testing includes prototypes being given to woodworking groups to test and provide feedback. Products can go back to groups several times as the improvements are identified and tested. They keep going through the process until they get it right and only then does the product get ready to be marketed.

As an example, they are, now, just coming out with a 3-blade thickness planer. Why? Because they wanted to maintain the quality results that their 2-blade was already achieving. They needed the 3-blades to maintain the sheering action needed and nothing else would do. The process was not about adding another blade just to sound good, but to create something that was guaranteed to do what it was supposed to do.

Resources
The Ridgid website currently has an online forum and more resources are in development at this time.

Misconceptions
One key piece of information that Keith wanted to clarify was the ”life long warranty”. It is FREE to the original owner of the tool. This means that if the tools breaks down, they will fix it. If the O-rings go on the nailer: they will fix it; if the brushes die on the drills: they will fix it; when the battery life is over and is no longer rechargeable—yes, they will replace it! It’s all part of the warranty.

Tips to Woodworkers
When asked about tips for woodworkers, Keith quickly responded with the word “Safety”. He also said that his tip will raise a few eyebrows as he recommends not using earplugs. Why? Because as you get to know your tool you can hear when it starts to not work right. You will hear a problem before something happens and you can react to the sound before something goes wrong.

On a lighter note, Keith shared a tip on sanding: move the sander 1 inch per second and you will get a beautiful finish. You shouldn’t have to work at sanding. The tool is build to do the job for you. He also said to not use a tack rag because it leaves stuff behind. Vacuum the dust off instead.

Thank You
Thanks to Keith Potts for taking the time to talk to me about the products available as well as the woodworking tips he shared with us.

-MsDebbieP

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)



11 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34796 posts in 2900 days


#1 posted 2389 days ago

Thanks for the interview Debbie. It’s interesting about the movement on the sander.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2536 days


#2 posted 2389 days ago

I’m impressed with their warranty. The battery warranty is insane! I wish Dewalt had the same. I’ve spent more on batteries than I did on the tool. Thanks for the entry, Debbie.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2660 days


#3 posted 2389 days ago

that’s what I thought !

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Fingersleft's profile

Fingersleft

71 posts in 2396 days


#4 posted 2389 days ago

Debbie,

Thanks for the insight. Ultimately a tool is as good as the manufacturer, I think. Most specifically the support a manufacturer will provide.

I’ve taken a look at the Ridgid line of stationary tools (gives me something to do whil my wife is prowling around Home Depot looking for curtain rods or light bulbs or something.) And I’m somewhat positively impressed with the prices, while not particularly impressed with the tools themselves. A guess I’ve got to learn to compare apples with apples. It’s unfair to compare a $350.00 machine with a competitor’s $650.00 machine. The fact that Ridgid offers a Lifetime Warranty says a lot. Don’t know how that Warranty operates in real life when you have a claim..

I do own a Ridgid ossilating sander station. For the $300.00 I paid, I like the machine a whole lot and find it easy to set up and use, so I use it more often. Don’t know about the rest of the Rigid line.

Keith’s comment about ear plugs is interesting. I wear hearing protectors when I use some of my louder tools. But I understand that you will pick up the beginnings of a problem earlier based upon the sound of a tool.

-- Bob

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2660 days


#5 posted 2389 days ago

you are so right: words are one thing and reality is another. It sure is nice to know what to look for, though.
Prior to the interview I searched LJ.com for discussions about Ridgid products and the one discussion was about the ease of getting a a product fixed (some years after purchase if I remember correctly)...
The stories by owners really help with buying decisions.

We have the Oscillating Edge Belt/Spindle Sander and so far.. it’s a great machine.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2799 days


#6 posted 2389 days ago

Thanks for the great article Debbie!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

373 posts in 2798 days


#7 posted 2389 days ago

I’ve been 50/50 with Rigid tools so far. My bandsaw had some vibration problems, but my ROS works like a dream. I agree with Bob, you get what you pay for. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the bandsaw, and a few adjustments and modifications have it running fine. If I’d have bought a “better” brand maybe I wouldn’t have had the problems to begin with. That said, I’ll still consider Rigid next time I make a purchase.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2587 days


#8 posted 2389 days ago

I just got rid of my Rigid tool set… The drill broke and it took 3 months to fix it. The battery warranty is crazy… however the main reason I moved… was the new set I got from Makita is torquier and lighter… by a lot.

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2479 days


#9 posted 2389 days ago

Hi Ms. debbie;

Great article!

Thanks for the info.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2660 days


#10 posted 2388 days ago

good information everyone!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2660 days


#11 posted 2388 days ago

I received an email from Keith today thanking everyone for their feedback.

he also wanted to correct the information on the nailer: One thing, the Ryobi is coming out with a pneumatic nailer kit. Not battery powered, we do have an 18 ga nailer in the line up already from Ryobi. We also have several new nailers such as the Coli Framer, Palm and Pinner from Ridgid set to hit stores in Canada as of November. These are great and all all the features of our other nailers. Woodworkers and carpenters alike will love them!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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