Ridgid 18V SubCompact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Drops Weight, Improves Performance
One-hand reciprocating saws are popular among 18V/20V max lineups because they’re a lightweight alternative that makes lighter cutting jobs more convenient. The Ridgid 18V SubCompact one-hand reciprocating saw features some helpful upgrades from their previous Octane model.
- Excellent cutting speed with 3200 SPM
- Lighter and faster than Octane
- Pivoting shoe
- Lifetime Service Agreement
- Finger choil can be uncomfortable
- Higher levels of vibration than some options
- Front grip section is wide
Ridgid 18V SubCompact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Performance
When you’re on the hunt for a new reciprocating saw, there are a few key things to look for that’ll give you a good idea of how the saw will perform. The stroke length and speed determine the number of linear inches the blade will cover in a minute. Ridgid’s 7/8-inch stoke length is standard for this class of saw, but its 3200 SPM is much higher than most full-size reciprocating saws.
Cutting through EMT and PVC, the brushless motor’s speed is impressive and the variable speed trigger is a must-have on some cuts. Even though the 7/8-inch stroke length is best for cutting thin-wall materials, it did a nice job cutting 2×4 as well with an aggressive low TPI blade. That makes it more versatile than many models that seem to take forever on material that’s more than 1/4-inch thick or so.
We noticed more vibration than models such as the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hackzall, though. The nice thing is you get a pivoting shoe on this model, so it’s easier to keep it engaged on round material and keep that vibration to a minimum.
Ridgid 18V SubCompact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Design Notes
The tool’s weight is noticeably front-heavy and can’t stand up on its battery. However, its 3.9-pound bare weight is significantly lighter than the Octane model we used previously. Plus, the lighter Max Output batteries also contribute to a serious drop in the weight department. The 2.0Ah battery that comes in the kit brings the total package to 4.9 pounds.
The textured rubber overmold runs the full length of the tool covering both the top and main handle sections. This offers an improved grip as well as some additional drop protection. The front housing is pretty wide and even large hands may find trouble finding a natural-feeling two-hand grip, though.
Our biggest gripe is with the molded plastic finger choil that resides directly below the trigger. Like a pebble in your shoe, it rubs the inner side of your index finger and isn’t comfortable. It’s possible that other hand sizes might not find it as irritating as we did, and gloves certainly help alleviate the rub.
- LED light illuminates dark work spaces
- The variable speed trigger lets you ease into the cut for increased accuracy
- Trigger lockout switch helps prevent accidental start-ups
- Tool-free shaft-mounted blade clamp
Ridgid 18V SubCompact Vs Octane One-Hand Reciprocating Saw
|Ridgid R8648||Ridgid R86448|
|Stroke Rate||3200 SPM||3000 SPM|
|Stroke Length||7/8 in.||3/4 in.|
|Weight (bare)||3.88 lbs.||4.6 lbs.|
|Tool Length||14 in.||15.98|
Ridgid 18V SubCompact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Price
The Ridgid 1R8648 retails for $139 as a bare tool at The Home Depot. For $179, you can get the kit with a 2.0Ah Max Output battery and charger.
Ridgid backs this saw with their Lifetime Service Agreement when you register within 90-days of purchase.
The Bottom Line
Our only hesitation in recommending the Ridgid 18V SubCompact one-hand reciprocating saw is the finger choil under the trigger. Give it a squeeze before you take it home to see if it’s going to be an issue for you. If it’s not, the saw’s impressive cutting speed and weight reduction compared to the Octane model easily make it worth adding to your cutting arsenal.
Ridgid 18V SubCompact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Specifications
- Model: Ridgid R8648
- Power Source: Ridgid 18V battery (Max Output recomennded)
- Weight: 3.88 lbs.(bare), 4.88 lbs. (with 2.0Ah MaxOutput battery)
- Stroke Rate: 0-3,200 SPM
- Stroke Length: 7/8 in.
- Warranty: 3-year and Lifetime Service Agreement
- Price: $139 (bare)