Ridgid Octane Circular Saw Cordless Saw Reviews

Cordless Circular Saws

Cutting Performance
Accuracy
Movement
Feature Set
Ergonomics
Value
Final Thoughts

The Ridgid Octane circular saw is clearly a step up from the Gen5X brushless model when you pair it with an Octane battery. It doesn't reach as high in performance as some of the other brands, though. Without a kit option to add some value, the current pricing is close enough to some of those other brands to make it worth considering spending a little more to reach the upper tier. Keep your eyes open for sales to kick your value proposition higher. If you already have Octane batteries, though, this saw is a worthy upgrade to your Ridgid cordless tool arsenal.

Overall Score 4 Head-to-Head Results

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw Review | R8654


Ridgid Octane Circular Saw Boost Performance with Advanced Design

The Ridgid Octane circular saw is at the high end of the popular budget-friendly pro brand’s lineup. Taking advantage of an advanced motor/electronics package and pairing it with an Octane battery, we tested it head-to-head against other advanced cordless circular saws.

Pros

  • Solid upgrade from the Gen5X brushless circular saw
  • Vac connection port included
  • Excellent sightline to the blade
  • Excellent handle design and offset

Cons

  • 0º and 45º notches are slightly off on the shoe
  • Guard action hangs on some cuts
  • One of the heaviest cordless sidewinders
  • No kit option currently available

Recommendation

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Ridgid Octane Circular Saw Testing

Cutting Performance

As we tested our elite group of cordless circular saws in stacked 3/4-inch OSB subfloor, the saws separated into three distinct groups of power level.

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw

Ridgid was in the lowest group, but let’s put that into perspective before you write it off. When you bring in the broader group of cordless circular saws and include the standard models, Ridgid performs quite well.

If you don’t take any issues with saws like Milwaukee’s 2731 or DeWalt’s DCS570, you’ll be quite pleased with the Ridgid Octane circular saw’s cutting power.

Ridgid does a decent job of dust and chip removal as well. On its own, the saw keeps your cutline reasonably clear and ejects it down and out the rear of the guard.

If you want a very clean cutting experience, attach the included dust port and connect a vacuum. With even a moderately-powered cordless dust extractor, the saw does an amazing job of removing dust and chips from both your cutline and work area.

Accuracy

Moving onto the accuracy of the saw, we started by checking the sight line straight to the blade. There’s nothing impeding your view at all. Aided by its LED, it’s one of the best in the group if you prefer to watch your blade rather than cutline notches.

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw

For those of us that are more likely to rely on the shoe notches, there’s cause for concern. With a Spyder 7 1/4-inch framing blade, the notches were off at both 0º and 45º. It’s not a ton, but being off by 1/8-inch matters on some cuts.

We noticed a little bit of wandering in the tracking as well, trending slightly away from our rafter square on crosscuts. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, it’s just not as tight as some of the best saws we tested.

Movement

Some shoe coatings create additional friction against material as you’re cutting and slow down your progress. That’s not the case with the Ridgid Octane circular saw. The coating covering its magnesium shoe glides beautifully over surfaces.

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw

The guard action leaves room for improvement, though. Plastic in the lower guard construction, it lacks the design to easily slide over material on some cuts.

We found thin shave cuts to be the most problematic, causing the guard to hang. Depending on your angle of attack, some miter and compound cuts also cause the guard to hang.

You can complete any of those cuts by moving the guard manually with your free hand and the larger handle on it makes that easier.

Ergonomics

Of the sidewinders, the Ridgid Octane circular saw in one of the heavier models. It weighs in at 9.5 pounds without a battery and 12.0 pounds with a 9.0Ah pack.

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw

While that’s hefty, we didn’t find that it inhibited our ability to make the cuts we were after and it’s still lighter than all of the cordless rear-handle saws.

We really like the handle design of the saw. Between its design, offset, and Hex Grip overmold, it’s comfortable and secure to cut with.

Additional Features

Ridgid hits all of the major options we expect to find on a high-end cordless circular saw. The only thing it lacks is rail compatibility, which is certainly not a standard feature in today’s landscape.

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Pricing

Ridgid typically targets a compelling price point and at $169 for the bare tool, it’s the second-lowest price model that made it into our advanced group.

The least expensive was Kobalt’s XTR, coming in $20 less.

But this saw is closer in price to the premium brands than their normal offerings. Seven of the eleven saws we tested are under $200.

Looking for kits that include batteries and a charger start to separate the group, though. Batteries such as DeWalt’s FlexVolt and Milwaukee’s High Output can run much more than Ridgid’s Octane.

Still, Ridgid doesn’t offer a kit on this saw. However, we’ve seen frequent sales and deals running at Home Depot to entice you. At the time I’m writing this, none are currently running, so you’ll need to add an Octane battery or starter kit if you don’t already have them.

The Bottom Line

The Ridgid Octane circular saw is clearly a step up from the Gen5X brushless model when you pair it with an Octane battery. It doesn’t reach as high in performance as some of the other brands, though.

Without a kit option to add some value, the current pricing is close enough to some of those other brands to make it worth considering spending a little more to reach the upper tier. Keep your eyes open for sales to kick your value proposition higher.

If you already have Octane batteries, though, this saw is a worthy upgrade to your Ridgid cordless tool arsenal.

Ridgid Octane Circular Saw Specs

  • Model: Ridgid R8654B
  • Battery Size: 18V
  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 in.
  • Blade Location: Blade Right
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Max Speed: 5,600 RPM
  • Bevel Capacity: 56º
  • Max Cut Depth at 90º: 1.8125 in.
  • Max Cut Depth at 45º: 2.6875 in.
  • Construction Material: ABS
  • Height: 9.14 in.
  • Depth: 15.32 in.
  • Width: 8.98 in.
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds without battery, 12.0 pounds with 9.0Ah battery
  • Warranty: Lifetime Service Agreement
  • Price: $169 (bare tool)

For more information about the Ridgid Octane Circular Saw, visit the Ridgid site by clicking here.

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Wray BREEN

I appreciate the accessory/features provided with this saw, such as rafter hook and vacuum exhaust port, but I was surprised that RIDGID did not include a simple edge guide. Every circular saw I’ve ever purchase included an edge guide. The manual refers to an edge guide and the saw provides the mounting brackets for the guide, but does not provide a part number identifying the guide or provide any information how to order or acquire the edge guide. Can anyone provide that information? There is a similar mounting bracket on the top of the sole plate in the back left… Read more »

BOB

Do they offer rd hand and left hand