Cordless Grinder Reviews & Sanders

Cordless Sanders

Pro Rating
Final Thoughts

If you like the cost-effectiveness of a sheet sander's sandpaper, Ridgid has the best cordless model currently available. It matches Ridgid's corded model in performance and takes advantage of the increase in power transfer efficiency of the Octane system. Fine woodworkers and carpenters are still going to want their circular and delta pad random orbit sanders, but the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander has plenty of appeal for the everyday Pro.

Overall Score 4.2 Pro Review

Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander R86064B Review


Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander Cuts the Cord on Popular Electric Model

A quick look at the spec sheet on the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander might leave you thinking they swapped the cord for a battery and called it a day. While that’s not a far stretch from a performance perspective, there are some differences worth pointing out.

Pros

  • More form-fitting to your hand than the corded model
  • More Hex Grip overmold
  • Matches Ridgid’s corded model in performance
  • 3 speed selections

Cons

  • No kit option available

Recommendation

If you like the cost-effectiveness of a sheet sander’s sandpaper, Ridgid has the best cordless model currently available. It matches Ridgid’s corded model in performance and takes advantage of the increase in power transfer efficiency of the Octane system.

Fine woodworkers and carpenters are still going to want their circular and delta random orbit sanders, but the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander has plenty of appeal for the everyday Pro. 

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Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander Performance

High Octane Performance?

With the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander, Ridgid is creating a replacement for their 2.4-amp corded model. 288 watts isn’t a tall task for a cordless tool, so what are we really gaining by making it an Octane tool?

Most likely, we’re going to see efficiency gains over a Gen5X brushless version and certainly over a brushed model. Keep in mind the Octane battery/brushless motor combination has improved electronics and power availability. Even though this sander doesn’t need to call on all of the available power the system offers, it has a more efficient energy transfer from the battery to the motor.

That said, you can use any Ridgid 18V battery with this sander, but the efficiency of the energy transfer will drop, meaning you’ll see a difference in power, too.

Using the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander

The Ridgid R86064B sander matches its R2501 corded counterpart with 14,000 RPM and 1/16″ orbital action. In practice, it’s excellent at material removal in applications that a rectangular pad works well.

The corded version has a simple on/off switch, but the Octane gives you three modes to work with. You can thank the brushless motor’s electronic controls for that addition. Once you turn the power on, it cycles from high to low with a separate mode selection button. When you turn the tool off, it defaults to high when you turn it back on.

If you’re just finishing bare wood surfaces, that might not be a big deal. However, rounding off corners and edges on softer woods, flushing up any glue that squeezes out of your joints, and evening out fillers can all benefit from lower speeds.

Dust Collection

Ridgid sticks with their AirGuard dust collection system that does a decent job pulling dust into the collection bag. The bag itself is a bit smaller to accommodate Octane batteries. However, dust collection is better if you connect a vacuum. You can use a 1-1/4″ or 1-7/16″ hose right out of the box or a 2-1/2″ hose with the adapter that comes with the sander.

Sandpaper

It’s easiest to use pre-punched sandpaper, but that’s not always what you have on hand and the pattern might not be the same. Ridgid includes a paper punch with an outline of the pattern for those times.

Installing the sandpaper is pretty simple. Just use the clamp in the front to hold one edge and set the back edge using the wire clamp (the release tab is on the front). They’re conveniently labeled “1” and “2” in case you’re not sure what order to use them.

If you prefer PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) sandpaper, you can use it. Just be sure to line up the front edge carefully to get your flush sanding right.

Pro Tip: Take PSA sandpaper off as soon as you’re done sanding for the day. Leaving it on will let the adhesive set up more and make it tougher to remove.

Weight

Weight isn’t a huge concern unless you’re sanding material that’s already in place overhead or vertically. That said, the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander is pretty light on its own. A good chunk of the weight comes from the battery you choose.

The bare tool weighs 2.6 pounds including the dust bag and right at 4.0 pounds with a 3.0 Ah Octane battery. I definitely prefer the 3.0 Ah pack over the heavier 6.0 Ah and 9.0 Ah batteries regardless of what I’m sanding just to help keep it maneuverable.

If you’re keeping a scorecard at home, the corded model weighs 3.5 pounds.

Price

As a bare tool, the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander runs $79 at Home Depot and there’s no kit option at the moment. There’s not a lot of competition, with most cordless sanders opting for a circular or delta hook and loop pad. Ryobi has a brushed model for $39.97.

Of course, that begs the question of why go this route over a hook and loop rectangular pad random orbit sander?

I think there’s still an appeal to a clamping style sander. You can go pick up a pack of paper, cut it to the size you need and get on with your work without a hard hit to your wallet. Hook and loop is easier, but it’s more expensive.

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The Bottom Line

If you like the cost-effectiveness of a sheet sander’s sandpaper, Ridgid has the best cordless model currently available. It matches Ridgid’s corded model in performance and takes advantage of the increase in power transfer efficiency of the Octane system.

Fine woodworkers and carpenters are still going to want their circular and delta pad random orbit sanders, but the Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander has plenty of appeal for the everyday Pro.

Ridgid Octane 1/4 Sheet Sander Specifications

  • Model: Ridgid R86064B
  • Voltage: 18V
  • Hose Sizes: 1-1/4″, 1-7/8″, and 2-1/2″
  • Pad description: 180 grit
  • Speed: 14,000 RPM
  • Weight: 2.45 lbs
  • Depth: 5.8″
  • Height: 5.7″
  • Width: 6″
  • Warranty: Lifetime service agreement
  • Price: $79

 

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