Finish guns are an essential part of any carpenter’s tool box.
While gas powered finish nailers have been around a long time I find them finicky and the gas cartridges are pricy, todays innovative engineering now allows us to consider a variety of cordless finish nailers on the job site. We took a look at the RIDGID HYPERDRIVE 18V Finish Nailer R09892B to see how it stacked up.
RIDGID HYPERDRIVE 18V Finish Nailer R09892B
The RIDGID HYPERDRIVE nailer drives 16-Gauge nails from 3/4 in. to 2-1/2 in. and can install up to 1,900 linear feet with 1,450 nailers per charge.
Currently it’s package Includes:
- R09892B Straight Finish Nailer
- (500) 2 in. 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nails
- Belt clip
- Tool Bag and Operator’s Manual
RIDGID Hyperdrive Technology
This new 18 volt nailer is compatible with all RIDGID 18 volt slide packs and is touting the “Ridgid HyperDrive technology,” which looks a lot to me like the Ryobi airstrike technology. The major difference seems to be in the lightweight, magnesium construction, durable housing package, and a brushless motor for longer life, run-time performance and durability.
Lightweight and Durable
The RIDGID Hyperdrive finish nailer weighs 6.6 pounds, and has a combination PVC outer housing with a Magnesium front cover where the motor and driving mechanism is located.
Brushless motors allow you to work faster, longer and get more power out of your tool.
Brushless motors run cooler, are more efficient because there is no friction loss from brushes rubbing against a commutator, and precision control electronics allow for higher motor and battery efficiency. The result is a motor that has more power and longer battery runtime.
One feature not noticeable is that the rear head of the R09892B easily removes to replace parts for maintenance. I’ve always appreciated when manufacturers allow us to maintain our tools easily.
LED Light and Diagnostics
Just below the trigger is a grip light that operated an LED light independently of the trigger to illuminate the work surface. The light will also turn on when the either tool trigger or the nose contact is depressed.
The LED emits plenty of light to the nose of the tool, a feature that may prove helpful in corners, closets and niches. Our testing showed the light stays on 10-seconds and it has a rectangular pattern that illuminates the tool nose as well as left and right peripheral areas – nice touch.
The LED work-light also provides user feedback on the battery pack. The LED light will flash is the battery needs charging and continue to flash for other diagnostic issues mentioned in the user manual.
Tool Free Power Adjustment
This nailer has a power adjustment lever on the rear of the tool. Its located in a protective groove and is identified with a plus and minus symbol. [see photo above]
We liked this feature as the power this tool may need is largely dependent on the size of brad nail and work piece fastening to. Moving the lever toward the plus symbol increases air power and to the left decreases it. Harder materials and longer nails mean more power, during our testing, we found that the best approach is to set your air power on high and use the depth of drive adjustment to fine tune your result.
Depth of Drive Adjustment
The large orange dial at the working end of the tool controls depth of drive. This dial worked well and was responsive with a quarter turn or less. Having the ability to control depth of drive ensured proper fastening as well as protects the work surface from over-driving and damage.
I did notice that I had to use the tool on maximum power, and full depth, on almost all fastening applications in order t achieve adequate depth of fastening. That may be an indication that RIDGID needs to give the motor and driver pin more power.
Dry Fire Lock Out
The R09892B has a dry fire feature which prevents the nailer from firing when the magazine reached five nails of less.
Tool Free Jamb Release
This is a bottom loading tool, after sliding the magazine cover open, brad nails are placed into the bottom of the magazine, and the mag cover is released with a release button.
When you experience a jam the top clamp on the nose of the tool opens to expose the drive pin channel and nail slot. Sometimes when you drive a fastener too deep into material or excess material or debris can cause the driver mechanism to be stuck in an open position.
I found this function to work well, it’s designed and works similar to other nailers with this same feature. The driver mechanism is easily returned to its normal resting position by turning the elevation screw clockwise, with the help of a flat head screwdriver.
Micro Textured Hex handle Grip
The tool has a decent amount of rubber over-mold and bumpers for resting it on surfaces. We especially like the micro bumps on the grip handle. I found them comfortable but more importantly they help ensure a solid, secure grip.
There is a detachable, right-side or left-side belt clip, and 2 non-marring pads are included with a carry bag. Battery and charger are separate but I’m sure when this tool takes off they will provide a kit.
Using the RIDGID 18 Volt Cordless Finish Nailer
I tested the RIDGID 18 Volt Cordless Finish Nailer it is durable, powerful, fast and convenient. I used it with AC plywood, Pine, Poplar, Oak and Maple and trim parts. It worked well and it was easy to determine where to place the fastener. So far I have driven approximately a thousand brads and no jambs yet.
If I were Paslode, I’d be seriously looking at this technology. Gas is out!
Ridgid has said that these nailers are backed by their Lifetime Service Agreement policy, which will provide for free seals, pistons, and driver blades, for life.
RIDGID HYPERDRIVE Video Review
The RIDGID® HYPERDRIVE™ 18V Brushless 16 Gauge 2-1/2” Finish Nailer will sell for approximately $ 350.00 online here: Ridgid-HyperDrive-Brushless-Straight-Finish