Ridgid have revamped their line of cordless tools for ease of use and we have their new 18V brushless drill and impact driver running on our test track. Can these new, more compact tools match the performance of Octane and others? We decided to pit Ridgid Brushless against Octane. Even better, we grabbed their impact driver and drill to test the two lines against each other.
With this release, Ridgid Brushless replaces Octane with a Tier 3 target. Brushed tools cover your entry into the 18V platform, while SubCompact brushless tools cover small size and mid-range performance needs. However, their 18V brushless tools offer the highest power and speed. The rotary hammer and impact driver we tested today are part of this high-performance line.
In this Ridgid Brushless vs Octane test, we run both the Octane and an 18V brushless hammer drill through the classic drill test track. It features drywall screws, a ½ inch twist drill bit, 10 holes with spade bits and another 10 holes with auger bits. Finally, use two sturdy hole saws on the rear end to complete the course. As for the impact driver, their course includes the same drywall screws, self-tapping bit test, drilling with a twist bit, and then wrapping it all up with 10 quarter-inch assortment screws. Is Ridgid taking the next step with these new 18V tools? Will Octane leave them in the dust and keep its Ridgid crown? Find out in this episode of the PTR Time Trial!
where to buy these tools
- RIDGID 18V Brushless Hammer Drill and Impact Driver Kit – https://bit.ly/31ujwuz
- Octane Hammer Drill – https://bit.ly/3sBEX9a
- RIDGID OCTANE IMPACT DRIVERS – https://bit.ly/39qM0Kh
With this release, Ridgid is now targeting 3 different levels. Brushed tools cover your entry into the 18V platform, while SubCompact brushless tools cover small size and mid-range performance needs. However, their 18V brushless tools offer the highest power and speed. The rotary hammer and impact driver we tested today are part of this high-performance line.
Despite the name, they are lighter and more compact than their Octane counterparts. The hammer drill drops over 3/4 inch and is only 7.6 inches long. It also sheds more than 12 ounces at 3.1 pounds.
The reduction in impact drivers is not as dramatic, but still notable. It's about 1/4 inch shorter and lost a little over 4 ounces, to 2.3 pounds on our scale.
There are also some notable differences in performance. The 18V brushless hammer drill hits 550 RPM on low and 2100 RPM on high – both a bit higher than the Octane. However, it gives up 500 inch-pounds of torque, down to 800. That's still a relevant power level, especially for this size — but it's a big drop, and it could take its toll on the test track.
Like the Octane, the 18V Brushless Impact has 3 speeds to 900, 2000 and 2900 RPM. It only makes the Octane a tad faster at high and mid speeds, and spins a little faster at low speeds. It also drops some torque – but only a little. This model is rated at 2300 in-lbs, just 100 in-lbs less than the Octane model.
Testing Ridgid Brushless Drills vs. Octane Drills
Without further ado, we are testing with the recommended 2P batteries for both sets of tools. This is a 6Ah Octane battery for Octane models and a 4Ah max output for 18V brushless tools.
The Ridgid Octane Hammer Drill got off to a slow start. Its size and weight make it more difficult to control when driving smaller fasteners at high speeds.
Its power is showing though, as it's melting with that ½ inch auger bit – that's too fast! The chips were flying fast and furious, and it didn't look like it was slowing down.
Turning to the auger bit, we can see the smooth side of the bit speed, and it's no surprise to find that it's still at high speed.
On the first hole saw…well, it didn't take long! Confidently maintain high gear on the 2 1/8" hole saw and it ended up being a really good time! It will take an impressive effort for the new 18V brushless hammer drill to surpass that.
There it's chasing octane. It's much faster than it looks in the first installment, and it's lighter and smaller in size, making it easier to drive with control.
Make changes to the twist bits and do that part really fast. Will there be any displeasure?
Even with the increased load, it looks like it's keeping the Octane in its line of sight through our spade bit section. I don't know which is faster.
Now to the auger bits, it's a similar story. Might be a little faster…maybe not…either way it's doing the job confidently.
The first hole saw is coming through and resisting any binding. If it doesn't stay high, though, it loses any edge it gains. There's a little bind, but no shifting. There is a breakthrough!
Testing the Ridgid Brushless and Octane Impact Drivers
Well, let's take a breather before we get into the impact driver and see how it goes. The former Ridgid flagship – the Octane Hammer Drill – finished in 2 minutes and 41 seconds.
The 18V brushless max output hammer drill did go through the drywall screws by a big margin and gained time with the twist and spade bits. It gave up some time on the auger, backed off a little on the first hole saw, and was about a second behind on the last hole saw.
Even giving up 500 inch-pounds of torque, it did it in 2 minutes and 22 seconds, beating the Octane by 19 seconds for 5 spots and 4th overall!
Well, now that we've switched the test track for the impact driver, the Octane started again, running smoothly through the drywall screws without any issues.
As expected, it had fun with the self-tapping device, although its bulky head seemed to come into view of those little screws.
It gets through the twist bit section pretty quickly and starts to have more impact. The more force an impact driver has to apply while drilling, the slower it will go.
Now coming to the final part, Octane can flex some more of its muscles. It's not the fastest we've seen, but it's certainly confident. It's a brilliant job and I gotta say how much I love those triple beam LEDs. Let's see if the 18V brushless impact driver can keep up.
Despite the lower top speed, the 18V Max Output Brushless drives those original screws and looks fast. In this section, it hasn't even started to make an impact, it's more like a drill.
Switch to nut driver bits for self-tapping screws and cut down on your work time. Sounds like no effect there either.
Going on…the ridiculous Holy Sugar Plum Fairy! Do we have a slow motion of that shot? I have never seen such a fast impact driver drill with a ¼ inch twist bit.
Finally made it to the last section and made it through. It's going to be a great time. Can Ridgid really challenge Makita for number one?
Well, that sure got my heart racing. kind. Well, let's see the results. The older Ridgid Octane finished in 2 minutes and 25 seconds. But what about slightly less powerful and slightly slower maximum output impact?
2 minutes – 1 second slower than the Makita and just shy of the record set on the PTR impact driver test track!
Let's unpack that first. We went back and did some follow-up testing, and sure enough, the impact driver didn't strike until the final test. This makes it one of the most versatile models available, as it can handle lighter drilling with a more drill-like drive, and then act like an impact driver as the load increases.
Although both tools are rated for lower power, the new Ridgid 18V Brushless Hammer Drill and Impact Driver both showed faster times than their Octane counterparts and earned Ridgid a spot on our list. For impact drills in particular, the Octane's Torque may still be the better choice if you're regularly faced with very tough tasks. But for most of us, the newer models offer the convenience of a more compact design without giving up any performance.
What do you think—is Ridgid knocking out these new tools? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for watching!
about the author
With wild creativity and a fervent love for baseball, Austin is primarily responsible for all the fast and furious action via the Pro Tool Reviews Youtube channel. He loves being behind the camera, and the PTR team loves how good he makes them look in front of the camera!