Ridgid’s Corded Reciprocating Saw Boasts Compact Design But Lags In Performance
Competition on the compact side of the corded reciprocating saw sector is pretty fierce across the board. Size, weight, and price are premium targets, but high-performance isn’t just an afterthought. We put the Ridgid R30022 reciprocating saw up against the best we could find in the 10 to 12-amp class in a head-to-head classic.
- Lightest in its class
- Compact design
- Under $100
- Slow cutting speeds
- Vibration control needs help
Ridgid only has two corded reciprocating saws in its lineup with the R30022 being the more powerful. While it’s light and compact, its performance lags behind what other brands have to offer. Ridgid seems to be putting most of its effort into cordless development, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on an update anytime soon. With their Octane 18V cordless model cutting nearly twice as fast in all materials, Ridgid fans may want to cut the cord.
There’s no sugar-coating it, the Ridgid R30022 reciprocating saw is the slowest-cutting saw in its class. That might not have been the case when it was first launched, but other brands have moved well ahead.
In our nail-embedded wood test, Ridgid’s 10-amp motor drove it to an average of 22.93 seconds to make it through the 2 x 10 PT with five framing nails in it. It wasn’t the slowest, though. That title belongs to Milwaukee’s 12-amp Sawzall (28.86 seconds). On the fast side, Metabo HPT’s CR13VST blew away most of the field with a 12.86-second average.
The result is somewhat surprising for Ridgid. They include an orbital action mode on the saw that we expected to boost its performance more than it did.
The saw shifted to the bottom of the heap for both of our metal cutting tests. In 2-inch EMT, it needed 10.92 seconds per cut – a far cry from Milwaukee’s 6.36-second average.
Shifting to thick metal, this Ridgid reciprocating saw took 18.74 seconds to cut through #5 rebar. That’s more than twice as long as Makita’s JR3050T that averaged 8.23 seconds.
Part of the reason for those results falls on the stroke. With a 3/4-inch stroke length, its 3500 SPM stroke rate doesn’t make up for the speed the other saws are getting from their slower, longer strokes.
If you’re a fan of Ridgid and their lifetime service agreement, you may want to go ahead and cut the cord. The Ridgid Octane reciprocating saw posted cutting speeds nearly twice as fast across the board.
Ridgid covers the feature set basics well by including orbital action and a tool-free adjustable, pivoting shoe. The orbital action is an easy-to-rotate switch on top of the tool and an equally easy lever to release the shoe. Both have a design that you can work easily with gloves on.
Aside from those, we like the two-finger trigger the saw has over one-finger designs that tend to fatigue your trigger finger more quickly.
- Variable speed dial
- Lever-action blade release
- Rafter hook
- LED light
- Active blade ejection
- Smart controls (found only on Milwaukee’s One-Key Sawzall
Size and Weight
The Ridgid R30022 maintains a reasonable footprint at 18.5 inches long. None of the saws in this class are overly large, with the longest measuring 19.2 inches. You can get more compact, though. DeWalt (17.5 inches) and Makita (17.8 inches) both come in under the 18-inch mark.
Weight is where Ridgid makes up significant ground. At just 6.8 pounds, it’s the lightest in this class and the only model to make it under 7 pounds. If you’re willing to deal with slower cutting speeds, the weight might just kick this saw into your cart.
Despite some shortcomings, this Ridgid reciprocating saw still has a decent value score of 86 points. You can pick it up at Home Depot for $99. That seems to be the sweet spot in price with several other brands matching it and a couple of saws that go higher. There are also a couple of legitimate options on the lower side, too.
The Bottom Line
Ridgid only has two corded reciprocating saws in its lineup with the R30022 being the more powerful. While it’s light and compact, its performance lags behind what other brands have to offer. Ridgid seems to be putting most of its effort into cordless development, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on an update anytime soon. Considering their Octane 18V cordless model cuts nearly twice as fast in all materials, Ridgid fans may want to cut the cord.