We think the reciprocating saw is a fun power tool to use. You get to rip and destroy things, so how could it not be fun. Ridgid makes it not only fun, but practical with their one-handed reciprocating saw.
Power Tool Review– Ridgid One-Handed Reciprocating Saw
Power Tool Model – R86447
Pros: One-handed, powerful, easy to use
Cons: Back end heavy, two-handed blade change
Specifications of the Ridgid One-Handed Reciprocating Saw – R86447
Tool free blade change
No Load Speed – 0-3,500 SPM
LED Work Light
Nuts & Bolts of the Ridgid
The idea behind a one-handed reciprocating saw is very appealing. It allows the user to have more freedom and more control over a traditional two-handed saw. Now there are smaller one-handed reciprocating saws around, but most are in a 12V flavor. The Ridgid uses an 18V Lithium ion battery, so the user has lots of power to play with. This makes it very easy for the user to cut pipe and other material while maintaining control. The saw has a variable speed trigger which we found very easy to use and maintain a constant speed even when pressed down half way. The 0-3,500 stroke per minute makes it a snap to cut through just about any material with the right blade. The saw doesn’t have an orbital action setting, which to us makes sense since you are just using one hand.
The blade is easy to change. While it does take two hands to change, the locking mechanism is very similar to the Milwaukee Sawzall blade system. The clamp holds the blade in place even under heavy conditions. You won’t have a problem removing the blade either, even if you bind the blade or put a lot of stress on the tool.
As you know balance is one of the biggest items we look at when reviewing a power tool. A power tool that is not properly balanced means the user has to fit the tool more, which means more fatigue. While looking at the saw, you can understand why this is a cool idea. When you pick it up, it fits great in your hand. We did notice that the tool is back heavy, primarily because of the battery and motor in the back. Now we are not saying it is a huge imbalance, but you definitely feel it. The corded version we tried did not have a balance problem. The corded version was well balanced and fit great.
We actually used the tool a great deal. We didn’t time the battery life because we didn’t feel necessary since you get two batteries with the kit and it only takes 20 minutes to charge a battery. We do know the battery lasted over 20 minutes even with our heavy use.
We had a small demo job of removing a door frame. We intentionally tried to get the blade to bind and put stress on the tool. While we did have a hard time bogging down the tool, one thing we noticed was how well the blade stayed in place and never came out of the clamp. Even when we changed the blade, the blade came right out and didn’t stick inside the tool. There was more than enough power to saw our way around any part of the door.
For the video below, all we did was saw through a 2×4 which was easy to do. As you can see we are still using two hands, which we still recommend for greater control. If your cutting through pipe or something else, it is nice to have the option of using one hand.
This was a hard one to review. We like the idea and the concept behind the one-handed reciprocating saw. While we really do like this saw, we really wish two things were designed a little different. We really wish the tool was not back heavy. We understand that the battery is what makes it back heavy, but would have been happier if they could have even added a couple ounces to the front to give it a better balance. The other item, which is not as important is the blade system. Most manufacturers are going with a one-handed blade change system, but Ridgid still uses the old two-handed blade change system. Again not a big deal, but it does need to be noted. Other than those two items, this is a great saw. There is lots of power and the variable speed trigger is easy to control. The blade clamp system is great, beside the two-handed change. Even under heavy conditions we could not get the blade to break free from the clamp system. We tried to bend and bind the blade, but it stayed in place. After all the abuse, we turned the clamp and it was very easy to remove the blade from the tool. So we do like the fact that the blade stays in place and even under heavy conditions can be removed without a problem.