Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench Review R87207B


Ridgid rocked Home Depot with a big expansion, including a new line of 18V sub-compact tools. As part of that line, the Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench drew a lot of attention, including from our Pro team. 

Pros

  • Smaller head size gets into tighter spaces
  • Lighter and more powerful than the Octane 3/8-inch impact wrench
  • Good value compared to other sub-compact impact wrenches
  • Several combo kits available

Cons

  • Awkward look with a bottom-heavy design

Recommendation

    If you can get past the somewhat awkward look of the tool, the Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench is a very effective tool with a ton of uses in nearly every trade.

    Its smaller head gets into tighter spaces and it has enough power to leave your mid-torque impact on the sideline for a good chunk of your work. At the end of the day, that’s what the SubCompact line is about, and it makes this tool a success.

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Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench

Why 18V Sub-Compact?

Most brands don’t have a deep 12V line, such as Milwaukee’s M12 system. By putting 12V size tools on an 18V battery platform, you can get the advantage of more compact, lighter weight tools without needing a different battery and charger.

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench

It’s something we saw first with Makita’s Sub-Compact lineup and followed by DeWalt’s Atomic line. The warm welcome they’re getting seems to indicate that it’s something end users like.

Firm Foundation

Let’s take care of the elephant in the room first. Looking at the full profile of the Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench, it’s a bit, well, odd.

Its genuinely compact head stands in stark contrast to beefier battery end. At first glance, it almost seems like the base undoes the compact size of the head.

A closer look reveals that the 3/8-inch square drive lines up just about perfectly with the edge of the battery. The back end of the battery sticks out behind the head a little further.

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench Profile

By the time you put your finger on the trigger, it’s really about the head size. We simply haven’t run into any situations where another 18V sub-compact profile would have let us get into a space that we otherwise couldn’t.

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench Digging Deep

The exception would be moving to a 12V stick pack such as the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Stubby has. We actually can reach deeper with that impact wrench.

Performance

Onto the good stuff! Torque is the primary name of the game and Ridgid specs this model at 225 ft-lbs of breakaway torque. On the fastening end, it maxes at 200 ft-lbs.

Testing with a 2.0Ah battery, we were able to break 200 ft-lbs but weren’t able to loosen 225. With a larger pack, such as a 3.0Ah Octane, you should get enough of a boost to get there.

That puts it right on the edge of tire changing, but we still prefer moving up to a mid-torque model to move through it quicker.

There are a whole lot of other bolts around the vehicle that its small profile helps you avoid reaching for hand tools, though.

Shifting away from automotive and into construction, it’s a great choice for timber and ledger screws. Your impact driver might have enough muscle for those, but constantly snapping 3/8-inch socket adapters gets old.

At 2800 RPM on the high side, it has enough plenty of speed to keep those bolts and screws moving forward.

The Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench packs 4 modes to control its brushless motor. There are 3 standard speeds plus an auto-tightening mode. They break the trend by putting the controls on the reverse side instead of below the trigger.

The auto-tightening mode is really handy for torque-sensitive work. It runs at high speed and stops when the impact mechanism kicks in. Whether you simply want hand-tighten or use a torque wrench from there, it prevents over-tightening.

Ergonomics

In addition to the more 4.31-inch compact head size, lighter weight is an advantage of sub-compact tools. The Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench weighs 3.5 pounds bare and a 3.0Ah Octane battery adds another 1.4 pounds.

While there are lighter options, it’s quite a bit less than the Octane 3/8-inch impact wrench that weighs 4.25 pounds bare. That model also specs just 200 ft-lbs of torque, so you’re gaining power as you lose weight.

Ridgid’s standard driver handle remains unchanged. Its larger diameter favors medium to large size hands and it’s Hex Grip overmold is comfortable and secure.

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Additional Features

  • All-metal gears
  • Belt hook
  • LED light
  • Compatible with all Ridgid 18V lithium-ion batteries

Price

The Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench runs $119 as a bare tool. It’s also part of several combo kits:

  • 4-Tool SubCompact Combo (drill, impact driver, impact wrench, and multi-material saw): $409
  • 3-Tool SubCompact Combo (drill, impact driver, and impact wrench): $309
  • 2-Tool SubCompact Combo (drill and impact wrench): $259

Check Home Depot’s website for the latest prices.

The Bottom Line

If you can get past the somewhat awkward look of the tool, the Ridgid 18V SubCompact impact wrench is a very effective tool with a ton of uses in nearly every trade.

Its smaller head gets into tighter spaces and it has enough power to leave your mid-torque impact on the sideline for a good chunk of your work. At the end of the day, that’s what the SubCompact line is about, and it makes this tool a success.

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Impact Wrench Specifications

  • Model: Ridgid R87207B
  • Power Source: Ridgid 18V batteries
  • Drive: 3/8-inch friction ring
  • Max Torque: 225 ft-lbs (breakaway), 200 ft-lbs (fastening)
  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 850/2100/2800 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0 – 3800 IPM
  • Warranty: Lifetime Service Agreement (with registration)
  • Price: $119 bare
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Chris Driver

it look like it would be awkwrd to hold