We recently tested a whole bunch of corded and cordless oscillating tools in our Best Oscillating Tool Shootout. We like to take some time after comparisons like this and review our contestants individually. So, this week, we’re looking at the Ridgid 18V JobMax Oscillating Tool.
Ridgid is sold at The Home Depot and has been turning out Pro-level tools for years. Generally speaking, they’ve been doing it at reasonable prices. The cordless Ridgid 18V JobMax Oscillating Tool presents another opportunity to expand your Ridgid tool collection if you’re already on their 18V platform. It may even offer an incentive to get on board if you’re not already in possession of some batteries and a charger.
We’ll start with an overlooked area, but one that we think presents a good opportunity for manufacturers to simplify the user experience. Some of the less-savvy models still use hex bolts to keep the cutting blades in place, but many manufacturers have gone tool-free. Ridgid is an example of the latter. They use their own tool-free head design, which allows users to swap out accessories relatively painlessly. It’s not quite as simple as the Starlock system, but it still takes little time to swap blades.
The Ridgid cordless 18V JobMax uses a lever to unlock the bolt which holds the cutting blade in place. Basically, the lever slides out from the body and you pull it back. The bolt releases the old blade. The new blade settles into place, and you push the lever forward and slide it back to lock it into position.
Ergonomics & Weight
Both Ridgid models feature a slimmer handle, which we prefer. The tool fits well in the hand, and the rubber overmold offers a comfortable grip. Rather than using an on/off switch, the Ridgid 18V JobMax has a variable-speed trigger. It also has a trigger lock to keep the tool from turning on accidentally. We do wish that it had a lock-on feature for those longer cuts. Even so, we felt that Ridgid felt the most comfortable to use out of all the tools we handled. This also likely has something to do with the weight. The Ridgid cordless JobMax weighs in at a relatively lightweight 3.26 lbs with a compact 18V battery.
We tested all of our oscillating tools by plunging them into 2x pine multiple times using identical blades. We wanted to see how quickly a particular multitool could get through the material. The Ridgid 18V JobMax finished at a respectable average of 20.1 seconds. This time wasn’t the quickest, but it was far from the worst at over a minute. Realistically, the Ridgid oscillating tool should handle whatever cutting you need to throw at it pretty handily.
We did notice some significant vibration on the Ridgid 18V JobMax. While we didn’t feel that it was shaking our arms loose in their sockets, the vibration was definitely noticeable. If we could choose one thing to improve with this tool, this would be it.
Ridgid Oscillating Tool Noise Level
You know that awful, ear-splitting chattering that happens with many oscillating tools when they cut through wood? I do. The Ridgid JobMax was one of the quieter models we looked at, generating 95 dB. For comparison, the noisiest model we tested registered a rage-inducing 104 dB. While it isn’t what we would call “quiet,” it came closer than most.
Final Thoughts and Pricing
The Ridgid 18V JobMax finished in a mid-table 13th place. Vibration control held it back, and a lock-on switch for the variable speed trigger would go a long way as well.
Its final finishing place doesn’t indicate mediocrity, however. The tool actually does its job really well. It also does it for just $99 (for the bare tool). The Ridgid cordless Jobmax oscillating tool also has fantastic ergonomics. On top of that, it manages noise well, has a solid blade change design, and is no slouch in the performance department. Plus, it comes with Ridgid’s pretty fantastic Lifetime Service Agreement. If you’re in the market for a less expensive, cordless oscillating tool that still puts in the work, skip the disposable Harbor Freight. Get your hands on the Ridgid 18V JobMax.
Ridgid 18V JobMax Features
- Tool-free multi-tool head – easily swap out accessories without using a tool
- 4 degrees of oscillation for maximum cutting power
- Tool-free quick connect interface easily attach and detach the right head for the right application
- 4 directional head positions adjustable for easier access in tight spaces
- Compact head profile for reaching into tight spaces
- Universal adapter compatible with all popular multi-tool accessories
- Variable speed trigger provides more speed control to match the application
- Grip light engages LED light independently of trigger to illuminate work space
Ridgid 18V JobMax Specs
- Model: Ridgid R862005
- Power source: Ridgid 18V battery
- Oscillations: 0-20,000 OPM
- Oscillation angle: 4°
- Weight: 3.26 lbs with compact battery
- Warranty: 3 years limited
- Price: $99 (tool only)