Ridgid Octane Impact Driver Crushes out Breakaway Torque Test
The Ridgid Octane Impact Driver is now available as a bare tool and in several combo kit configurations. We put it to the test to see how its massive power claims stack up.
- Most breakaway torque of any impact driver we’ve tested
- Power and speed improvements from Gen5X brushless model
- On the quiet side for an impact driver (99 decibels)
- Excellent value at $129 bare and multiple $379 kit options
- Still on the bulkier side
- Doesn’t drive as fast (priority is on power)
After putting the Ridgid Octane Impact Driver through our tests, several things are clear. Ridgid prioritizes power over speed and has plenty of power to spare. While it’s in the bottom half for speed, it’s no slouch and this model can easily handle anything we expect an impact driver to do.
As is the case with Ridgid’s drills and impacts, it’s a little bulkier than higher-priced models. But that’s the point–it doesn’t have a higher price tag. The only thing you really need to look out for is moving down a speed or using one of the assist modes when you’re fastening metal. There’s so much power available that you’ll shear off socket adapters frequently in high speed.
Ridgid Octane Impact Driver
Ridgid is sticking with their impact driver philosophy of high torque with a moderate speed trade-off. It maxes out at a modest 2900 RPM, which is plenty of speed for general screwdriving. Models that run near 3500 are so fast in high that I normally kick it down a mode to maintain control all by the longest screws.
Torque is the eye-popping number. Ridgid takes it up another notch from their Gen5X and hit 2400 in-lbs. That’s 200 ft-lbs! But with great power comes great responsibility and you can shear socket adapters quickly with that kind of torque.
The impact rate is more a function of the speed, so it’s a little lower as well at 3500 IPM. Like the speed, it’s plenty to get the job done well.
Keep in mind that all the Ridgid Octane line requires an Octane battery to get the full performance from an Octane tool. Other Ridgid 18V batteries work but reduce the performance slightly.
Let’s let the cat out of the bag early—the Ridgid Octane Impact Driver has the highest breakaway torque of any impact driver we’ve tested! It’s able to consistently break 4800 in-lbs of torque. That’s a crazy-strong 400 ft-lbs!
It tests slightly higher than the Gen5X brushless with 2278 in-lbs of fastening torque.
Ridgid’s latest drills and drivers tend to prioritize torque over speed and that trend continues. It maintains 418 RPM with driving a 1/4″ ledger screw into glued up OSB. That’s a 12% improvement over the brushless Gen5X but still only 12th fastest overall so far.
Despite the power boost, it’s actually slightly quieter, producing 99 decibels under load.
The Ridgid Octane Impact Driver has 6 modes available. 3 are standard and 3 are assist modes. The assist modes aren’t unique to Ridgid, but they are genuinely helpful to have onboard.
Auto-stop shuts the brushless motor down after it starts to impact so you don’t overtighten. Fastener assist is a slow start to ease into wood fastening and remove stripped screws with more control. Finally, a self-tapping screw mode starts fast and slows down to help you avoid shearing off fastener heads.
Spilling the Beans
One of the ways to improve power is to reduce resistance and Ridgid does that with copper spillways running from the motor to the battery connection. Copper is a more efficient conductor than other metals we sometimes see in the wiring.
3-LED Light Ring
We love Ridgid’s LED light ring and they stick with it on the Octane model. It does a much better job of eliminating shadows than any other light placement.
- Belt hook
- One-hand bit insertion
- Bit ejection
- Phillips driving bit
- Lifetime Service Agreement
The Ridgid Octane Impact Driver is a bare tool only right now and runs $129 as a bare tool. There are also multiple combo kit options available for $379. Here’s where some of the other guys fit right now:
- Ryobi P238: $99
- Ridgid Gen5X: $119
- Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen 3: $129
- Ridgid Octane Impact Driver: $129
- Bosch Connected Freak: $159
- Makita XDT16: $177.99
- Metabo HPT Triple Hammer: $205
With Ridgid reaching Milwaukee’s price in this class, the question boils down to two areas. Do you want to trade-off speed and compactness for raw torque? Do the lifetime service agreement and the overall pricing structure offer the value you’re looking for long-term?
Particularly on the value side, Ridgid appeals to a wide range of users even with their Octane lineup moving up in price close to other premium brands.
The Final Word… For Now
We’ve been waiting for this tool mainly because it wraps up the four core tools for the Octane line – hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, and impact driver. Toss is a light and a couple of batteries and you have the classic 5-tool combo kit and some significant savings.
There’s no official word on that kit yet, but my guess is that we’ll see it in the fall/winter update in time to catch the Christmas shopping season. The Gen 5X kit started at $499 and goes on sale for $299 a couple of times a year. I expect the Octane line to start at $599 and get a similar discount as we roll into the sale season later this year.