Ridgid RP 350 and RP 351 press tools
The RP 351 is Ridgid’s first in-line standard series press tool, while the RP 350 is the pistol-grip model. Both offer serious power with brushless motors capable of over 100,000 press cycles, no scheduled maintenance and a 360-degree swivel head. Jaw sizes range from 15mm (32kN) up to 50mm, and offer a hydraulic ram output of 7,200lbs.
What tradies appreciate:
- Brushless motor capable of over
- 100,000 presses
- No scheduled maintenance
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Endless swivel head
These two tools have been specifically built to work in tight spaces, and the barrel shape of the RP 351, with its unique design, reaches even further into tight-access areas. Restricted access often means not much light, and the LED work lights on the Ridgid press tools are above and beyond those found on most tools. Power is supplied by an advanced 18V lithium-ion battery and the tools produce 325 presses per charge with a crimp cycle time of only 4.5 seconds (on ¾" fittings on type L copper), and weigh in at 3.2kg for the tool only. Both tools are Bluetooth-enabled and can be registered and linked to the Ridgid Link app which can track press counts, battery life, and other performance stats. WTW caught up with plumber Bill Spoljaric. Bill’s worked with the two previous generations of the RP 350 and RP 351 and was happy to let us know his thoughts on the new models.
TEST #1: SPEED AND EASE OF USE
For our first test Bill put both the RP 350 and RP 351 to work on some 15mm copper. It was an effortless process that both tools completed with ease. “I own the previous generation of both these tools,” said Billy, crimping like a madman. “I purchased them 2 years back and have loved them. But these new editions are ahead in both ease of use with the 360- degree swivel head as well as balance of the tool and general performance. “They just feel superior across the board. “The LED lights are actually pretty bright and do a great job at providing workable lighting in low-light environments, too. The tools themselves seem quieter and smoother, and the stability of the design allows them to be used either by holding the tools or letting them stand on the work bench and holding the copper as you work.”
TEST #2: POWER AND ERGONOMICS
The agile design of the RP 350 & RP 351 provides not only excellent access to hard-toreach areas, but also gives great ergonomics. The brushless motor provides 7,200 lbs of pressure and fast crimping. “The unlimited range of the swivel head is a big advancement allowing you to position the tool into much more user-friendly operating positions,” piped Bill. “The previous editions were only providing a 270-degree range of movement, which, after now experiencing the full 360-degree range, was restrictive in many situations. “The tool feels strong and solid in the hand and activating the trigger is easy in a natural and comfortable position. With the brushless motor being rated to 100,000 activations these tools will meet and exceed the high standard and reputation of Ridgid tools. “The color-coded indicator lights, found around the power button at the rear of the tool, quickly display any important info at a glance. Things like low battery, Bluetooth connectivity or a released pin. It’s quick and important information while working on site,” said Bill.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
The fact Ridgid offers a full lifetime warranty against material defects and workmanship is a pretty solid indicator of the belief and confidence it has in its tools. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity and colour-coded light indicators for easy operation shows Ridgid’s stance on staying at the forefront of plumbing tools and remaining relevant in an industry that seems to be moving with technology at breakneck speeds.