Ridgid WD0319 Review
Pros: Dust crusher, high airflow, tons of suction power
Cons: Touchy float ball, shoddy floor attachment, bulky
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ridgid WD0319 is a singular machine. It forgoes so many of the design considerations that earned its competitors accolades. However, it put all its eggs into the airflow and suction basket, and as such, we could not simply disregard it as a poorly designed machine. Is the Ridgid easy to store? No. Does it have a streamlined design? Absolutely not. Does it have a prolonged battery life? Not even close. But — and this is a significant but — this vacuum eats sawdust like the end of the hose is the event horizon of a black hole.
The dry work evaluation rendered mixed results for the Ridgid WD0319. This model's wide diameter hose, combined with the high airflow and suction, makes it great at grabbing light materials or those with a lot of surface area. As such, this vac did very well at taking up sawdust, washers, and bolts. It did so-so at pulling a 100-gram calibration weight and smaller machine bolts. It couldn't take up the small but dese lag screws at all.
As you might imagine, this machine's unique characteristics make it particularly well suited to dust collection. No kidding, this sucker gobbled up 9 cups of sawdust in a mear 8 seconds. The average for the group is 15 seconds! Unfortunately, this machine is a bit of a one trick pony, which became evident in the subsequent crevice test. The bulbous crevice tool could only penetrate our test slot 5 ¾ inches, though its suction had a reach of an additional ⅝ inch, which is top-notch.
The wet work tests hammered home just how different this machine is when compared to its peers. In this metric, we look at how well the machines will move water uphill, how well they can clean-up wet sawdust, as well as their ability to remove liquids from a linoleum floor. We also looked at how much of a known quantity of water the vac can pull out of a wet carpet. Finally, we measure the suction of each machine with a water lift gauge.
The Ridgid dominated the entire class in wet sawdust clean up and the suction tests. No other model even came close. However, the machine's performance fell off sharply in all other sub-metrics. Regardless, its execution of the sawdust and suction tasks was so exceptional that its wet work score was well above average for the class.
Battery life is a key metric and one that shouldn't be taken lightly if you have prolonged work in mind for your wet/dry vac. To put it bluntly, the WD0319 is one short-lived machine. To test this, we take a freshly charged battery and plug it into the vacuum. We then run the machine on a healthy diet of air until the charge runs down, and the machine shuts off. The interval between a fully charged battery and a dead one is the runtime.
So, what was the Ridgid's runtime? A pitiful 15 minutes. Dividing the runtime by the battery's amp-hour rating for comparison to other models, we find that it's just 3 minutes and 45 seconds. To put that into perspective, the class average is almost 6 minutes. Yowzers!
The convenience metric is essentially an assessment of how easy — or hard — it is to use the vacuum. While the Ridgid didn't crush this evaluation, it didn't flop it either. What held the machine back from a higher score is its size and the noise it produces. Because this model foregoes any attempt to provide storage for its hose, it has much larger outer dimensions than its competitors. Additionally, at 83 dBa, it's way the heck louder than the competition.
It's not all bad news for the WD0319 though. The machine is relatively light at 8 lbs, 3 oz. Additionally, the hose is just about average in length, stretching from 27 to 92 inches, and it is resistant to being crushed by a folding to the side when weighted.
While the Ridgid WD0319 has some pretty impressive suction and airflow stats, the areas in which they prove useful are narrow, to say the least. Moreover, some machines perform at a much higher level overall for an equivalent sum of money. From this perspective, this machine doesn't offer much value. However, if you need a dust-busting cordless shop vacuum, you can't do much better than this puppy. If you fall into this category, then this machine will be well worth the money to you.
The Ridgid is essentially a specialty tool. It excels at moving large quantities of loose debris at a rapid rate and little else. While this is what most people use wet/dry vacuums for, more rounded machines can tackle a much wider spectrum of tasks. As such, we recommend this machine for people who primarily have sawdust clean-up in mind for their shop vacuum.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer