Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw Review
Ridgid 18V Cordless Sub-Compact Barrel-Grip Jigsaw (Model R86346)
Ridgid 18V Sub-Compact Barrel-Grip Jigsaw (R86346)
Model number: R86346
Power source: Cordless
Motor size: 18V
Weight: 3.9 lbs
So they always have a place on our job sites. We were curious to see how the R86346’s lighter weight and smaller size would affect the saw’s overall performance. Another key aspect we focused on was the overall ergonomics and value. So keep reading to see all the details.
Specifications & Features
- Grip style: Barrel grip
- Dimensions (HxWxL): 7 3/8 x 3 1/4 x 11 1/8 inch
- Bevel Range: +/- 45 degrees
- Strokes (SPM): up to 3200
- Stroke length: 1 inch
- Motor: Brushless
- Chuck: Keyless for T-shank blades
- Speed Settings: Automatic + 1-6
- Orbital Settings: 0ff + 1-3
- Power switch: Locking slide switch (left side only)
- Dust blowing integrated with motor operation
- Single LED light
- Vacuum attachment compatible with 1-1/4 in. and 1-7/8 in. attachments
- Lifetime Service Agreement with registration within 90 days of purchase
- Keyless blade change and onboard Allen wrench for bevel adjustment
Overall Power & Performance
This Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw features ample power for most standard carpentry applications. We primarily tested it on 5/8 in. plywood and 3/4 in. poplar boards. it cut through boards without hang ups or overextending the battery. Ridgid’s website lists the R86346 as running for approx. 150 linear BF on a single 4.0 Ah, 18V Li-Ion battery. This proved true in our field test with a mixture of substrate materials to cut through.
Orbital Settings & Performance
We also saw a distinct difference, as expected, on the edge cleanness vs. cut speed based on the orbital setting. Cranking the orbital setting to the max setting of 3 made a significant difference on material removal speed while leaving an acceptable rough but workable edge. We were impressed with the average crispness of the edge with the orbital setting on 0 which demonstrates an acceptable tight blade to guide clearance. However, there was no tear out insert for this saw. Also of note, the ‘integrated blower feature’ (a standard on many cordless jigsaws) worked decent but not great. We still had to blow some dust off the cutline to maintain an unobstructed line of sight. But it wasn’t a deal breaker.
Adjustable Speed Modes
This jigsaw also has a variety of speeds measured in strokes per minute (SPM) plus an automatic sensing mode. We adjusted the speed modes based on the material to be cut. Be aware that the R86346 has a set on/off switch vs a variable speed trigger. Once you set the speed its either on or off at that speed. But this also means that all of your grip and attention is on the saw body and not a mix of handle and trigger. It’s just a conscious design feature so if you need maximum mid-cut adjustability the on/off switch design may not be for you. This is similar to a paddle switch vs. a sliding switch on an angle grinder… it’s really just a user preference!
Overall Cut Accuracy
The last area we looked at was the average squareness of cut. And overall, this Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw maintained a uniformly accurate cut. It was within 0.5 degrees when set to square and within 1 degree (on average) when set to a max bevel of 45 degrees left or right. Most of the time the tolerances were even closer than that. Bottom line is that for the rough carpentry applications we used it on it was more than accurate and consistent enough for reliable and repeatable cuts.
Ergonomics & Design Features
Grip design & Feel
This is where the Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw really shined; ergonomics. The overall handle and head shape are great. It made for a very natural and comfortable grip angle which had us nicely centered over the tool. This meant less fatigue and chatter over extended use. This was further aided by having full grip on the saw body (see switch notes above). The only real improvement we noted would be for Ridgid to add a thicker and softer rubber over-mold grip. The barrel handle provides a solid grip but it is a bit on the harder side.
The Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw Shines When It Comes To Ergonomics – Great Handle and Head Shape Make It Comfortable to Use
Another feature the R86346 includes is an integrated LED light. But there is a minor drawback to the LED design; it’s recessed too far behind the blade change lever to provide maximum line-of-sight lighting in front of the blade. The lighting is good from the blade contact point to about 1 inch in front of the blade though, which makes this a minor note. Ridgid should consider lowering the placement of the light or mounting it on the front vs. inside of the saw body to allow for better overall luminescence.
Adjustability & On-Board Storage
We appreciate the common tool-free blade change lever and its easily accessible placement. While the lever worked fine, we noted a bit of play. The molded polymer lever also feels less-than-sturdy and may become an initial failure point over jobsite or daily use. But it did not break, crack, or fail at all during our test.
We were also glad to see that, even though the shoe bevel angle requires an Allen wrench to adjust, the Allen wrench storage is integrated into the back end of the tool for onboard storage. We hate when a required tool can’t be securely stored on the tool itself. So, this wasn’t a real knock on the R86346. The rest of the dials and switches were located in ergonomically-friendly spots where we could easily reach. Be aware that if you are a left-handed user though the switches are located with a right-hand centric design in mind (i.e. the power switch is only on the right-hand thumb side of the tool).
Final Thoughts | Ridgid R86346
This Ridgid 18V Barrel-Grip Jigsaw is a basic yet comfortable barrel grip jigsaw that performed solidly. It was not as light as other sub-compact jigsaws we’ve used but the well thought out grip design was worth the size trade off. The orbital and variable speed features worked without any issues. However, the automatic sensing setting seemed to only initially sense the material resistance/hardness and didn’t adjust throughout the rest of the cut. The vacuum attachment and integrated dust blower worked fine, while the LED light was placed a bit too far inside the housing to provide max light along the line of sight. At $179 it feels a bit overpriced for an entry level PRO jigsaw. But if you already own other Ridgid 18V tools then this is a great addition!
Ridgid Ridgid 18V Sub-Compact Barrel-Grip Jigsaw (R86346)
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