Ridgid Octane 18V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Review

Ridgid Octane 18V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Tops the Charts in Cutting Speed

The Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw is the first we’ve seen designed around the extra performance advanced batteries have to offer. It’s also the only one in the one-hand class to include orbital action. The combination makes for a saw that out cuts some of the biggest names in reciprocating saws.

Pros

  • Outstanding cutting speed
  • Only saw in this class with orbital action
  • Steel wire shoe offers much better visibility than other designs

Cons

  • Vibration control needs help
  • Biggest and heaviest saw in its class

Shootout Results

There’s no question about it—the Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw targets high performance and trades off some size, weight, and minor features to get it. Buy it if you’re looking for top-tier cutting speed. Pass if you’re looking for a more compact design and lower vibration. 

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How Fast Does the Ridgid Octane One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Cut?

According to the spec sheet, Ridgid delivers 3000 strokes per minute with a 3/4″ stroke length. The rate is among the best for the one-hand class and the stroke length is right on par.

What Ridgid does differently is add orbital action. It’s an unusual move because one-hand reciprocating saws are traditionally used to cut PVC, EMT, copper pipe, and other thin materials. The shorter stroke length makes them less helpful when you’re trying to cut 2x.

Ridgid Octane 18V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Review

Orbital action makes a difference, though. In our baseline 2 x 10 nail-embedded wood test, Ridgid made it through in an average of 23.41 seconds. Only Kobalt’s 24V Max model had a faster time and these were the only saws in the class to finish under 30 seconds. The worst of the group took nearly two minutes!

Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw

On 3/4″ EMT, the Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw took less than two seconds to make the cut. Once again, though, its impressive 1.89-second average was slightly behind Kobalt at 1.79 seconds.

Bosch Vs Ridgid Compact Reciprocating Saw Thursday Throwdown - EMT Cutting

Switching over to 3″ PVC, Ridgid finally earned a well-deserved win. With an average of 4.50 seconds, it was the only one-hand model we tested to beat the 5-second mark.

When we crunched the final numbers, Ridgid has the highest overall rating for cutting speed. It’s a beast on thin materials and has relevant wood-cutting abilities. We wouldn’t want to use it as a primary wood-cutting saw, but it can get you out of a tight pinch better than most models and is a great option to pair with a pruning blade for landscaping duties.

How Much Vibration Does it Have?

All of Ridgid’s cutting speed comes with more vibration. After having our testing each independently rate each saw for vibration control, the Ridgid Octane finished near the bottom, earning a score of 66 out of 100.

Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw

You can help manage the vibration by keeping the shoe firmly engaged against the material you’re cutting. A pivoting shoe really helps with that. Unfortunately, Ridgid’s steel wire shoe is fixed, making it a little tougher to fully engage.

The good thing about it is that it offers much better cut visibility than the other models in its class.

Ridgid Octane 18V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Review

How Big is it?

The Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw is the largest in its class. It’s 15″ long, making it 2.6″ longer than DeWalt’s Atomic.

 

It’s also the heaviest in the class. Bare, it weighs 4.6 pounds and the 3.0Ah Octane battery bulks it up to 6.4 pounds.

None of that is a huge surprise, though. Ridgid’s tools tend to be bulkier and heavier than its premium Pro counterparts. We also have to keep in mind that while it’s not the only brushless model, it is the only one designed to take advantage of advanced batteries’ power potential. Some of the other models in this class can use an advanced battery, but their tool electronics don’t tap into their higher power benefits.

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What Else Should I Know?

As from having a brushless motor and being the only model in its class with orbital action, the only other key feature is an LED light. It has a separate trigger if you’d like to light it without the blade moving in addition to coming on when you pull the main trigger.

Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw

There’s also a sight line blower, but we didn’t find it to be a huge advantage over other models in this class.

With this design, it really looks like Ridgid targeted top-tier performance without adding a lot of bells and whistles to the package. That’s not an unusual move for one-hand saws. Most of the other features we see are spread out without much universal adoption.

Missing Features

  • Tool-free adjustable shoe (Metabo)
  • Pivoting shoe (Milwaukee, DeWalt Atomic)
  • Rafter hook/belt hook (DeWalt Atomic)
  • Spring blade ejection (Makita)

How Much Does it Cost?

You can pick up the Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw runs $129 as a bare tool at Home Depot. There’s no kit option available and it’s not part of any combo kits at the moment. If you don’t have Octane batteries yet, there’s a $199 starter kit with a charger and two 3.0Ah batteries.

At the time I’m writing this, it’s on sale for $169. There’s also a 6.0Ah and 3.0Ah pack on sale for $99 (no charger).

The pricing is in the middle of the pack. It’s an unusual place for Ridgid to sit considering their tools are normally on the value side. When you consider its advanced design, it’s still a good value if you already have Octane batteries.

 

The Bottom Line

There’s no question about it—the Ridgid Octane 18V one-hand reciprocating saw targets high performance and trades off some size, weight, and minor features to get it.

Buy it if you’re looking for top-tier cutting speed. Pass if you’re looking for a more compact design and lower vibration.

Ridgid Octane 18V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Specs

  • Model Number: R86448
  • Motor Type: 18V Brushless
  • Length of Stroke: 0.75″
  • Strokes Per Minute: 3000
  • Construction Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime Service Agreement, 90-day return policy
  • Price: $129 (bare tool)

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