Ridgid’s unique Octane battery-to-tool communication system continues to expand with the Ridgid Octane 18V Brushless Jig Saw under review today. We’ve already seen good things from the Octane Megamax and Octane Grinder (review coming soon!), but will their brushless jig saw follow suit?
- Excellent value
- Dust port attachment
- Tool-free bevel adjustment and blade release
- Line start mode
- Lock on button
- No major drawbacks
The Ridgid Octane Jig Saw doesn’t give you any major reasons to shy away. It’s a solid bet for any Pro who’s looking to cut the cord without reaching up into premium prices. [/alert]
Dust Port Attachment
A feature that’s starting to pop up more on jig saws is a dust port with a corresponding attachment and Ridgid is on board with it. While the cutline blower might work against it some, it’s a nice feature to have, particularly for fine finish cutting and fiber cement board.
Lock On Button
If you’re making longer cuts or working around a complex series of cuts, the lock on button is a fantastic addition. The ability to not worry about keeping the trigger down and just focusing on maneuvering the saw is a win in my book.
Variable Speed Dial
Variable speed dials aren’t new to jig saws, but Ridgid nails it with their placement. It’s on the top of the D-handle and uses a forward/backward motion, so it’s very easy to adjust on the fly.
- Performance boost from Octane batteries paired with Octane tools
- Brushless motor
- Line-start mode starts slowly and increases speed once the material is engaged
- 3 orbital action modes plus off
- Sightline blower
- Tool-free blade change
- Tool-free bevel adjustment
When I think of a jig saw, I think of control and finesse. It has the ability to cut curves, remove very small amounts of material for proper fitting, and cut through just about any material with the appropriate blade.
The Ridgid Octane 18V Brushless Jig Saw has all that in spades. First, the Line Start Mode found on the variable speed dial creates a controlled, soft start. Starting slowly, it ramps up to full speed as it detects the blade in contact with the material. It’s excellent for precision starts and you don’t have to worry about feathering the trigger.
With 3,500 max SPM, Ridgid’s cutting speed is right in line with the Ryobi brushless model, as well as DeWalt’s new model (stayed tuned for that review!).
However, the Milwaukee is quite a bit faster than the rest of the field even though it sports the same 3500 SPM and 1-inch stroke length.
Overall cutting speed is a function of the orbital action mode. If you’re looking for straight-up speed, the most aggressive action if where you’ll turn. However, you’ll want to dial it down or off completely when you’re looking for a better finish.
When comes to vibration, it’s roughly the same that we’re getting from Milwaukee. On the other hand, DeWalt’s new model does a little better job controlling it.
The Ridgid Octane Jig Saw’s handle and grip feel reasonably comfortable in the hand. Admittedly, I’m a fan of a barrel grip instead of the D-handle style, but Ridgid holds its own against its major competition. The Hex-Grip overmold offers an excellent grip and the handle’s shape is comfortable.
All the handle controls – the variable speed dial, lock-on switch, trigger, and LED light trigger (near your pinky finger) are easy to access with your hand.
At 6.3 pounds with a 6.0 Ah Octane battery, the saw is easy to maneuver as you push it along on its no-mar base. Its weight sits in the middle of the newer brushless contenders. Since the vast majority of your cutting is on top of your material, weight isn’t as big of a concern as it is with other tool classes.
The Ridgid Octane 18V Brushless Jig Saw is priced competitively at $129. Here’s how some of the competition shakes out with their bare tool prices:
- Ryobi 18V One+ Brushless P524: $119
- Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2737-20: $199
- DeWalt 20V Max XR DCS334B: $169
- Makita LXT 18V XVJ02Z: $269
- Bosch 18V JSH180B (brushed model): $149
As usual, Ridgid competes very well against the other major brands’ pricing. What’s interesting is how close the gap is to Ryobi’s price at $119. Given the results of our review of the P524, it’s more likely that Ryobi is reaching up in performance than it is Ridgid reaching down.
The Bottom Line
Ridgid Octane 18V Brushless Jig Saw Specifications
- Model Number: Ridgid R8832B
- No-Load SPM: 0-3,500 SPM
- Stroke Length: 1 inch
- Product Weight: 6.3 pounds with Octane 6.0 Ah battery
- Warranty: Lifetime Service Agreement
- Price: $119.19
I have this jigsaw and find it hard to use as there is no visibility to the sightline of which you are cutting. The blade is mounted so far in you can’t see anything. I find it almost useless for accurate cuts.
Nice! I’ve been wanting to go cordless for my jigsaw, but all my (home) cordless power tools are 18V Ridgid X5, and so I didn’t want to get the X4 jigsaw, cause the figured the X5 wouldn’t be too far out, I’m glad I waited.
I’ll be picking one of these up very soon. Merry Christmas to me! :)