My first order of business with this and every product review is a disclaimer: I am not a professional contractor. I am a farmer and a fine furniture maker. When it comes to construction and renovation projects, I’m a DIYer and weekend warrior. That said, I doubt many professional contractors will be reading my tool reviews. My goal in reviewing tools and products is to provide honest feedback based on my own use and experience with these tools to other regular folks like me- wanting to get their hands dirty, try new things, and get the best value for their hard earned dollars.
Let’s Talk about the Ridgid 18V Octane Cordless Jig Saw
For those interested in a good all-around tool, a jigsaw is a pretty decent option for several reasons: they are relatively safe to use, they can cut curved or straight lines, and they can be used on a variety of materials including wood, particleboard, plastic, metal, even some kinds of ceramic tile- just make sure you pick the right blade for the job. If you’re looking to cut a straight line, clamp a board or straight edge along the line you’d like to cut. Simple jigs can also be made to cut fairly perfect circles as well. During the testing process for this review, this particular Cordless Jig Saw earned a permanent spot in the toolchest. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know I’ll sing odes to cordless tools all day long. Seeing as my whole farm has basically been a construction site for the last four years, and lugging cords around the farm is the bane of my existence, I wish I’d had this tool a long time ago. This saw offers plenty of power, a long battery life, enough fine adjustment options with the line start, variable speed dial, variable speed trigger, and adjustable orbital action that, with a fresh blade, it can even be fine tuned enough to pinch hit for the bandsaw when needed. It’s brushless motor runs nice and cool, so no hot hands while running the tool, and these brushless motor tools brag a 50% longer motor life.
The place where it’s really come to shine, in my shop at least, is in stock preparation. Folks who follow my fine woodwork closely know that grain selection is an integral part of every project I do. Being able to grab the jigsaw with no need for a cord, and a quick connect spot to attach a vacuum hose to break down stock and cut the best parts out of each board for ideal grain selection, something I used to do on the bandsaw, is a real time and energy saver. I also really like the lock-on button, because finger fatigue is a real issue for me, as I’ve started to develop some early onset arthritis in my hands.
This bare tool costs $129. Is it worth the money?
Since I’ve already got several other Ridgid 18V Octane tools and batteries, this one is a no-brainer add-on. Ridgid tools are contractor grade at an approachable price. Just like all other Ridgid tools, it comes with a lifetime service agreement, as long as you remember to register it within 90 days of purchase. And like all the tools I test, it’s gotten dropped, left in the rain, dragged through the seattle mud, and hauled all over the farm to do all kinds of rugged work and has stood up well to the challenge.