If oscillating multitool reviews happen to bring a smile to your face, prepare to start grinning like an idiot. Not only have we covered the best corded and cordless oscillating tools in our Best Oscillating Multitool Shootout, which you can check out here, but we’re also about to dive headfirst into taking a look at the corded Ridgid JobMax oscillating tool.
Multiple Power Sources
The Ridgid JobMax is unique in the oscillating tool space for several reasons. One is that you have multiple options for a power source. You can go with the 4-amp corded model we’re looking at now or go cordless with an 18V or 12V model.
Most oscillating multi-tools owe their design foundations to grinders with a similar handle style, variable speed dial, and an on/off switch. Ridgid moves away from the design and gives you an elongated variable speed trigger that still lets you work with multiple grip positions. The downside is that there’s no lock on button, so you’ll need to hold the trigger down.
Most corded oscillating tools skip the LED light, but the Ridgid JobMax oscillating tool has one.
Job Max Heads
The Ridgid JobMax’ greatest strength is in its versatility and it brings the multi in multi-tool to a whole new level. Aside from oscillating blades and sanding accessories, you can also add a ton of different heads. For a remodeler or even Prosumer that doesn’t work with these tool classes enough to warrant buying a dedicated tool for each, the system can you give you access while saving you space and money.
- Multi-Tool Head (included)
- Jig Saw Head
- Reciprocating Saw Head
- Right Angle Drill/Driver Head
- Right Angle Impact Driver Head
- Rotary/Drywall Cutter Head
Swapping the heads out is simple. Just pinch the two tabs on the side of the power head, slip the head off, and press your new one on until it clicks. Most of the heads have a lock/unlock slide switch. It’s for the trigger, so slide it to the unlock position to be able to use the head.
The Ridgid JobMax oscillating tool features a tool-free blade change system that works effectively. Basically, you’ll slide the JobMax lever out front the front of the tool, and then pull back on it. This will release the clamp on the bottom of the tool, allowing you to switch out the blade. When you’ve got the new blade in place, locking it in place is as simple as pushing the lever back forward and sliding it back into place. It’s one of the easier systems available, earning 4.3 stars and coming in a tie for 11th place.
Put simply, I love picking up the Ridgid JobMax. Going with the trigger design, they were able to shrink the diameter of the housing significantly and make a tool that fits in your hand much more comfortably than most. As one of the lighter models we tested, it weighs in at just under 3 pounds. Considering the overall design ergonomics, the Ridgid JobMax ranks highest of all 25 tools we tested and earns 4.8 stars.
The Ridgid JobMax sports a 4-amp motor that can put 20,000 OPM. It has a 4° oscillation angle, which is a little higher than the standard 3.6°/3.7°. In our cutting tests, all of this translates to an average plunge cut speed of 17.5 seconds through a 2x piece of pine. This is good enough for 8th place and earns 4.4 stars.
Vibration is a weak area for the JobMax. The narrow design likely hurts the ability to add much vibration control, so it’s a trade-off you have to make to get the handle ergonomics. Ridgid earns just 2.8 stars and comes in 23rd place.
While there’s not really a “quiet” multitool on the market, some models make a good bit more noise than others. The corded Ridgid JobMax falls solidly into the middle of the pack at an operational noise level around 98 dB. This winds up being 6 dB louder than the quietest model we tested, but 6 dB less than the loudest, earning 3.8 stars and settling into a tie for 6th place with 4 other models.
The corded Ridgid JobMax presents a fantastic value with a $99 price tag for the kit. When you factor in the whole package from performance to features, it comes in with a solid 4.8-star value rating and ranks 4th in this category.
- R2851 power base
- R8223406 tool-free multi-tool head
- Segment blade
- 1-1/8 in. wood cutting blade
- 2 drive gear covers
- Sanding pad
- 5-piece sandpaper
- Universal multi-tool adaptor
- Operator’s manuals
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the corded Ridgid JobMax finishes in a mid-pack position – 15th place, earning 78.1 points. It earns high marks for ergonomics, cutting speed, blade changes, and value while settling into an acceptable rating for noise level. The only area where it really suffers is in vibration control. With a $99 price tag and the ability to add so many different heads to the system, the vibration is something you’ll be able to overlook for Pros that only use a multi-tool a few minutes at a time. DIYers and Prosumers that are willing to pay a little more to get out of the DIY class will find the versatility of the system incredibly useful as a primary tool.
Ridgid JobMax Multitool Features
- 4 position head is adjustable for better access in tight spaces
- Tool-free multi-tool head and easily swap out accessories without using a tool
- 2 finger variable speed trigger offers maximum comfort for extended use; provides more speed control to match the application
- LED lights illuminate the work area for increased visibility
- Hex grip micro texture, grip enhancing micro texture for maximum user comfort
- Compact head profile for reaching into tight spaces
- Universal adaptor to be compatible with all popular multi-tool accessories
Ridgid JobMax Specifications
- Model: Ridgid R28602
- Motor Size: 4 Amp
- Oscillations: 20,000 OPM
- Oscillation Angle: 4 degrees
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Length: 16.97″
- Warranty: 3 years limited
- Price: $99