Ridgid Orbital 18V Cordless Reciprocating Saw R8641B Review

The Ridgid RO641B eighteen-volt cordless reciprocating saw features orbital action designed for faster cutting. The padded handgrip works to minimize vibration and the pivoting shoe locks in three positions or can be adjusted freely. This is a bare package, so the charger and battery are sold separately. We were more than surprised at the type of performance this cordless model offers. We definitely enjoyed testing it out and learning what this recip was made of.

Ridgid Eighteen Volt Sawzall Overview and Features

We’ve tried out plenty of saws in the past, but we’ve found that we enjoyed more and more of this manufacturer’s innovations when it came to sawing power and versatility. When we took a closer look at this saw, we immediately noticed two very important features: the adjustable shoe and the orbital switch. This is actually the first eighteen-volt cordless recip saw that we’ve come across that comes with an orbital mode. The way the manufacturer does this is by including a dial on the top of the saw, which allows users to disengage or engage the orbital action. While the orbital action takes up quite a bit more battery power, it can also result in a much faster cutting time with demo work. Anyone that’s had to do plenty of demo work will know just how essential using an orbital mode can be.

We quickly put this saw to work, tearing into old wood of varying thickness levels to determine what type of power the saw has to offer. While this type of work is usually best done with a circular saw, there are just some places a circular saw can’t get to, such as corners. So, for this type of work, we turned to the Ridgid model, and the saw’s orbital action was able to really tear wood up. Even with hardwood, the action of the blade can easily slice through it at a much faster clip than what you’ll experience with competing cordless models that aren’t equipped with an orbital mode.

The manufacturer has really delivered a ton of power into this saw. Though it features probably the smallest weight of any cordless model we’ve used, it didn’t slow down or bind up on difficult cutting maneuvers. The adjustable shoe that’s lever activated also served us well, allowing us to maintain positive contact while also limiting the blade’s plunge so it didn’t chew up any surrounding material and instead focuses solely on its target.

We also loved the grip light which worked to light up our work surface as long as we were holding the saw. Overall, this is one of our favorite cordless recips to use and it has quickly become a model we’ve come to rely on.

If you’re not familiar with orbital action, this function controls the movement of the blade. With basic saws, you can expect just a straight stroke, meaning the blade will only move straight in and out. Straight strokes are perfect for certain types of cuts such as cutting hard materials like metal or scrolling in wood. But with orbital action, the blade will move in a circular motion as it moves in and out of the material. What this feature does is allow for faster cutting time when working with soft material. It will also facilitate faster chip removal in the blade path.

The orbital action isn’t recommended when making highly precise cuts that require the blade to remain perpendicular to the work surface or when working with metal. This model is especially useful when doing demo work. Your cuts will be much faster and will require less effort.

Ridgid Sawzall Pros and Cons

Pros: This is an eighteen-volt cordless model that’s easy to handle and very powerful. The orbital action feature allows for impressively fast cutting times, while the three-position pivoting and adjustable shoe will allow for custom control as you cut. The independently controlled light provides much-needed illumination for your work area with the press of a button.

With registration, this model comes with a lifetime warranty on service and parts.

Set the shoe to adjust freely, or lock it into one of three positions for better control. The grip light will engage independently of the trigger to illuminate any workspace. The variable speed features up to 3,600 strokes per minute with a ¾ inch stroke length.

Cons: We couldn’t seem to find any real flaws in the saw’s design or functionality. Basically, the only issue is one that’s common with cordless models and that’s the battery power. Obviously, the length of cutting time will vary depending on the type of material you’re cutting. However, many consumers did report that using the orbital mode can significantly cut down on battery life, so we recommend purchasing extra battery packs, especially if you’re working on a larger project.

If you’re not a fan of Ridgid power tools, you can check out the Milwaukee 262520 M18 eighteen volt recip saw, which is designed for easy one-handed use. However, the Milwaukee recip doesn’t feature an orbital mode, which can be a deal breaker for pros looking for a serious saw that can handle demo work.

Recip by Ridgid Conclusion and Rating

This saw is so usable you’ll choose it over a corded model again and again. The power and features are where it’s at, not to mention the power to weight ratio. This saw is innovative, strong and the design just makes sense. For performance, consumers gave this saw a rating of five out of five stars. Ridgid power tools seem to be one of the best-kept secrets in the industry. Somehow, they offer top quality products at prices that are twenty percent lower than competitors. This saw excels at what it does. The extreme balance during use in addition to the zero-torque steer from either side makes cutting up even the toughest materials a breeze.

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