Ridgid Launches Long-Awaited 18V Cordless Rear-Handle Circular Saw
Ridgid has been on a run fulfilling the requests of its user base. First, it was outdoor power equipment. Today, we’re getting our hands on the Ridgid 18V cordless rear handle circular saw. Was it worth waiting for? Let’s find out!
- Excellent cutting speed and power
- Smooth guard action
- Incredibly lightweight for a rear-handle saw
- Excellent value
- High-contrast depth and bevel markings
- No significant drawbacks
Ridgid 18V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw Performance
Ridgid turns to a brushless motor to drive this saw’s blade speeds up to 5800 RPM. It’s one of the first products we’ve seen specifically designed around the 8.0Ah Max Output EXP battery with members of the OPE line also using it.
The big deal is that this battery provides not only higher capacity, but also even more power output than the original Max Output packs. Like all Ridgid 18V tools, this saw can use any Ridgid 18V battery. However, you’ll see better performance with a Max Output battery and the best performance with a Max Output EXP pack.
All of that translates into blade speed and torque that exceeds what 15-amp worm drive models can produce. The cutting is confident and we weren’t able to stall the blade, even when pushing it hard. Like most saws, you can stall it if you’re cutting without regard to cutting accuracy, but that’s not realistic on the job.
The cutting depth is right where we expect it to be: 2 1/2 inches at 90° and 1 7/8 inches at 45°. The saw also has the standard 53° maximum bevel.
As you would expect with an advanced circular saw, the Ridgid R8658 has an electric blade brake to stop the blade quickly.
Ridgid 18V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw Design Notes
Aside from the performance, this saw’s weight is a really big deal. Thanks to an all-magnesium construction, the bare tool weighs just 9.5 pounds (10.1 pounds with blade and dust port).
With its 8.0Ah battery and blade, the Ridgid R8658 has a working weight of 12.4 pounds. That’s a hair under Makita’s XSR01 at 12.5 pounds with its 5.0Ah battery loadout which was the previous lightweight champ. However, it’s not as light as Metabo HPT’s 36V model which has a working weight of just 10.6 pounds.
Compare that to Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel rear handle saw that weighs 10.3 pounds before you add the hefty 12.0Ah battery that comes with it and 13.7 pounds fully loaded.
Blade depth and bevel adjustments are standard with an all-metal clamp lock taking care of security. Both have high-contrast white markings against black that make the measurements very easy to see.
The bevel range has built-in detents to hit the 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45° marks you commonly need.
There aren’t any surprises when you need to change the blade. Just be aware that you do need to remove the diamond knockout on new blades and that the blade-left orientation means you’re using a reverse-thread arbor bolt to secure it.
- Removable dust port accepts 1 1/4 or 1 7/8-inch hoses without an adapter
- Integrated rafter hook
Ridgid 18V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw Price
You can get your hands on this saw at your local Home Depot or homedepot.com for $239.00 as a bare tool. There’s also a kit that comes with an 8.0Ah Max Output EXP battery and charger for $349.00.
As usual, Ridgid offers a Lifetime Service Agreement on your purchase if you register within 90 days.
The Bottom Line
Ridgid did it right with the design of its cordless rear-handle circular saw. It’s lightweight and ergonomically sound with excellent cutting speed and power. While there are a couple of minor feature trade-offs compared to other options, the R8658 has the performance Pros need with the value you’re used to getting from Ridgid.
- Model: Ridgid R8658
- Power Source: Ridgid 18V battery
- Blade Size: 7 1/4-inch
- No-Load Speed: 5800 RPM
- Max Cutting Depth: 2 1/2 inches (1 7/8 in @ 45°)
- Max Bevel: 53°
- Bare Weight: 9.5 lbs
- Working Weight: 12.5 pounds