Ridgid Octane 18V Tools and Batteries
The first Ridgid Octane 18v tools and batteries are now available in Home Depot stores. With more power available than before, we wanted to know what makes the new system different compared to the standard Ridgid cordless tools and battery packs.
Jason Swanson from Ridgid came by to pay us a visit and shared some insight into the latest Ridgid power tool technology.
What is Ridgid Octane?
Essentially, Ridgid Octane is an additional layer of communication between the tool and battery. When you pair a Ridgid Octane battery with a Ridgid Octane 18V tool, the tool tells the battery exactly what it is connected to. The battery then adjusts the power available for the tool to access.
Why it Works
Standard Ridgid cordless tools have built-in fail-safes. For example, the battery has something similar to a governor that only allow a certain amount of current draw no matter what tool is asking for it. It’s all about avoiding potentially abusive draws.
With the new communications system, the buffer zone that protects “dumb” batteries isn’t necessary since the battery now knows exactly what tool is connected and how to power its specific torque curve most effectively.
Not only does the electronic communication allow Ridgid’s current brushless motor to ask for more power, it also gives them the ability to use larger brushless motors. One that you’ll see coming soon is the MegaMax – a multi-head tool that boasts a bigger brushless motor similar to what cordless mowers are currently using.
Ridgid is finding up to 65% greater performance when you make the connection between a Ridgid Octane tool and battery. The automatic assumption is that they decided to move to 20700 or 21700 lithium-ion cells. However, that’s not the case.
According to Jason, there’s still at least one more step 18650 cells can get to before you really need to change to the larger cells. Staying on the current cell means that you won’t see as big of a price difference as you do with some of the other manufacturers. While there may be some changes to the pack itself, the performance boost is primarily coming from the ability to communicate.
Ridgid Octane batteries have 3 flavors available now and in the near future – a 3 Ah compact, 6 Ah standard, and 9 Ah high capacity. We can assume that those numbers will bump up at the point Ridgid makes the jump to larger cells.
There’s also Bluetooth communication in each of the batteries. While there are more than a dozen functions that come along with it, one of my favorites is the battery status. Not only do you get feedback on the battery’s health, you can see a countdown while you’re charging so you know exactly how much time it needs to get back to 100%.
Read more about the battery here:
Ridgid Octane Tools
Right now, the only Ridgid Octane 18V tool at Home Depot is the new brushless reciprocating saw. That will be changing soon as the MegaMax starts making its way into stores shortly and a full-size hammer drill that boasts 1300 inch pounds of torque follows a little later. Of course, that’s only the beginning.