In Brief: Milwaukee vs Ridgid
Milwaukee and Ridgid have been selling tools in the US since the 1920s. Both provide for tradespeople, with Milwaukee catering more to professionals. Milwaukee sells innovation, whereas Ridgid prizes reliability. Milwaukee boasts a wider range of saws, but Ridgid offers a lower price point. Milwaukee has a generous 5-year warranty, but Ridgid offers a lifetime guarantee.
Differences Between Milwaukee and Ridgid
Milwaukee and Ridgid are two power tool brands with a long history in the United States. Both brands make commonly used tools for contractors and DIYers.
This guide will help you understand the main differences between these two brands so that you can pick the right one for you.
|Company history||Est. 1924 in Milwaukee, WI.||Est. 1923 in Elyria, OH.|
|Target audience||Trades and professionals.||Trades and serious amateurs.|
|Product lines||Full range for trades.||Limited, except for plumbers.|
|Types of saws available||Wider range.||Narrow range.|
|Price||More expensive, fewer budget options.||Cheaper.|
|Warranty||5-year warranty.||Lifetime guarantee.|
|Repair||24/7 repair service.||Independent and Ridgid repairs.|
Company History and Roots
Let’s start with the roots of these two brands.
Milwaukee Tools was established in 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by A.H. Peterson. The company’s first product was the Peterson Hole-shooter, an innovative portable hand drill that was the first to be operated with just one hand.
Since then, Milwaukee has produced numerous new designs that revolutionized the industry. They spread across the US to Jackson, Mississippi, and have since become a global brand.
Ridgid was established in 1923 in Elyria, Ohio, by Carl Ingwer, Sr. The company’s first product was the Ridgid pipe wrench, an iconic tool with a design that persists to this day.
Through the 20th Century, Ridgid improved and refined various plumbing tools in a bid to remain at the top of their field. They fully embraced the digital boom with the turn of the millennium as early adopters of online technology.
Today, Milwaukee and Ridgid are both global brands.
Both brands specifically target tradespeople with their marketing.
Milwaukee features tradespeople heavily in almost all of their marketing, showing their tools in use on job sites by professionals. They claim that their innovations and designs are “for professional construction users” and that they are “dedicated to delivering… trade-specific solutions”.
Ridgid also targets professionals, going so far as to say it is their “mission to build for the world’s expert tradespeople.”
Their target market may be more focused on family tradespeople, though, as they put a lot of stock in legacy. From their website – “our tools are handed down from Father to Son and from Grandfathers to Granddaughters.”
Unique Selling Point
The unique selling point (USP) for Milwaukee is innovation, providing new solutions to existing problems experienced by tradespeople.
They call this “disruptive innovation”, a term that outlines their intentions quite clearly. Milwaukee continuously innovates trade-specific solutions in a bid to push the market forward.
You can see this focus in their line of cordless power tools, and the MX, M18, and M12 batteries that power them. It is also evidenced by their Shockwave accessories line, through which they say they are “Driving Performance Forward”.
Milwaukee has a long history of innovation, creating new technologies to solve trade-specific problems. It is even how the company got started.
The USP for Ridgid is reliability, providing tools that people can rely on and a lifetime guarantee to back that up.
Their online marketing stresses the “strength, effectiveness and legacy” of their tools, which alludes to the company’s long history. They make a lot of noise about their original pipe wrench, a tool that is still in common use today despite originating before WWII.
Ridgid claims to provide “the best warranty in the industry” for their “powerful,” “durable,” and “professional” power tools.
Milwaukee and Ridgid offer many of the same types of products.
- Power tools.
- Batteries and Chargers
- Instruments and diagnostics.
- Hand tools.
- Dust management.
- Site lighting.
- Gardening equipment.
- Jobsite Apparel
Ridgid does not offer any product lines that Milwaukee does not also offer.
As you can see, Milwaukee has a far wider range of product lines over Ridgid, encompassing job site products and gardening equipment as well as the standard tool lines.
The limited product range indicates that Ridgid is a smaller brand than Milwaukee. You might notice this when shopping for tools or even looking around a job site, as Ridgid tools are far less ubiquitous than Milwaukee tools.
Types of Saws Available
Both of these brands offer saws suitable for tradespeople and DIYers.
The types of saws available from each brand are listed below, with the options for each type in brackets:
Milwaukee offers the following types of saws:
- Cut off saws (1)
- Band saws. (10)
- Reciprocating saws. (9)
- Circular saws. (12)
- Jigsaws. (6)
- Table saws. (1)
- Miter saws. (4)
- Oscillating multi-tools. (2)
- Panel saws. (1)
- Jab saws. (2)
- PVC hand saws. (2)
- Hack saws (2)
- Chainsaws. (1)
- Pruning saws. (1)
- Pole saws. (1)
Ridgid offers the following types of saws:
- Reciprocating saws (5)
- Dry cut saws (1)
- Jigsaws (3)
- Table saws (6)
- Circular saws (7)
- Hacksaws (1)
- Miter saws (7)
- Wet tile saws (3)
- Grout saws (2)
- Multi-tools (1)
As was true with the product lines, Milwaukee has a wider range of saws available for you.
Whether you are looking for portable power saws, benchtop saws, or even hand saws, Milwaukee will probably have the tool you need. Ridgid might not, and if they do you will only have a few options at best.
However, the saws that Ridgid does have are enough for the average plumber who might need only limited sawing capabilities for their job.
If you are a serious construction worker or woodworker, it is unlikely you will be able to get everything you need from Ridgid and would be better advised to stick with Milwaukee (or another brand).
For circular saws, Ridgid offers predominantly mid-range products at around the same price point as Milwaukee.
The specifications for each brand’s models are comparable, too, so if you are a DIYer looking for something a little bit better than the most basic circular saw then both of these brands are suitable.
Milwaukee does offer some high-end circular saws at high-end prices and offers a greater variety of price points for the professional.
For miter saws, Ridgid offers comparable models for far less than Milwaukee. Milwaukee miter saws are priced firmly in the professional range, with the most affordable being just within budget for a serious amateur.
Ridgid’s miter saws offer a lot of functionality for a more affordable price, making them suitable for people on a budget.
Batteries for both brands come in at around the same price point, which is an important consideration for tradespeople in particular. Battery replacements happen more frequently for professionals who use their tools all day.
However, the bulk pricing for Ridgid batteries appears to be better than for Milwaukee, so if you are planning on buying a whole load of batteries at once it might be cheaper to go with Ridgid.
Warranty & Repair
Milwaukee offers a 5-year warranty across most of its power tools. If the tool has any damage caused by manufacturing defects or poor repairs by their engineers then they will replace or repair the tool under warranty.
Ridgid offers its tools under a Full Lifetime Warranty. Of course, this warranty is not for your lifetime, but the lifetime of the tool in question. Ridgid guarantees the repair or replacement of any tool that has manufacturing or material defects.
Milwaukee uses their 24/7 eService for small quantity repairs, partnering with FedEx to provide a full repair and delivery service.
Ridgid has a web service that can help you locate your nearest authorized independent service center, or you can contact them directly and to have your tool repaired at a Ridgid Factory Service Center.
We hope that this guide to Milwaukee and Ridgid has helped you understand the difference between these two established brands. Now that you have a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses, it should be easier for you to pick a brand for your next tool purchase.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the section below.