Ridgid 18V Brushless Combo Kit Review

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Ridgid 4-Piece 18V Brushless Combo Kit (R9225)

When we recently got to test the Ridgid 18V Brushless combo kit on the job site we had a lot of positive takeaways and a few feedback items. The timing was great since we were in the middle of a large residential remodel project. We use the 4-piece 18V kit to cut trim and drywall, drive countless screws into stud framing, and drill ample electrical pass through holes among other tasks. These are all standard tasks done day in and day out on the jobsite. They gave us a chance to run through the batteries and use the tools in a variety of positions and lighting environments.  So read on to check out our tool-by-tool breakdown on some of Ridgid’s newest 18V brushless tools.

What’s Included | Ridgid 18V Brushless combo kit

  • 1/2″ Hammer Drill and Driver – R86115B
  • 1/4″ Impact Driver – R862311B
  • Reciprocating Saw – R8647B
  • Oscillating Multi-tool – R86240B

18V 1/2″ Hammer Drill & Driver | R86115B

The first tool we grabbed from the Ridgid 18V Brushless combo kit was the Ridgid R86115B Hammer Drill & Driver. The hammer drill is an irreplaceable tool in out cordless arsenal. It allows you to perform universally required drilling tasks in a huge range of materials. The Hammer action sets it apart from a standard drill. It introduces a back-and-forth impact motion in conjunction with the spinning bit motion. This allows a hammer drill to drill through tough substrates such as concrete or brick with relative ease. Ridgid’s R86115B didn’t disappoint. It delivered many of the industry-standard specifications and features we’ve come to expect from our PRO-level, cordless tools.

Specifications & Features

Specifications:

  • Chuck: 1/2″ max dimeter, tool-less
  • Torque: 800 in-lbs
  • Gearbox: 2-speed (0-500 RPM / 0-2,100 RPM)
  • Motor: 18V, Brushless
  • Weight: 3.13 lbs (bare tool)

Features:

  • Longer runtime when paired with MAX Output batteries
  • Integrated LED light
  • 20% weight reduction / 35% more compact **
  • Lifetime service agreement w/ registration within 90 days

** when compared to R8611508 Brushless Hammer Drill

Power & Performance

We were pleased with the overall power and performance that the R86115B offered. It wasn’t the most powerful Hamer Drill we’ve tested, but also delivered sufficient power to handle every task we threw at it.  We found that it seemed slightly underpowered in the low (setting 1) setting so we used it almost exclusively at the “2” setting.  The main exception was when we tested out the hammer drill mode by drilling anchor holes in a concrete slab. While the higher motor speed mode (setting 2) delivers a faster spinning bit and is ideal for softer materials (like 2x4s), the low-speed setting delivers increased torque and is optimized for harder materials like our 3000PSI concrete floor. It’s easy to expect the drill to always spin rapidly and knock it if it can’t but the torque tradeoff is a discussion point with nearly all Hammer Drills we’ve tested out.

 

Battery Performance and Functionality

We also found the battery life to be very good for the R86115B Hammer Drill. The R9225 4-piece 18V kit came with a 2Ah and 4Ah battery MAX Output. We only used the 4Ah battery with the R86115B since we dedicated the 2Ah battery mostly to the R862311B 1/4 in. impact driver (more on that next). On average, we got about 6 hours of use off a fully-charged 4Ah battery with consistent use throughout the day.

We also appreciated that Ridgid designed the R86115B with an integrated LED light that you could activate without having to spin the bit. This helped us use the light while still aligning fasteners and made the LED feature more helpful. We were a bit disappointed with the LED brightness though. It was adequate for basic tasks but lacked different settings and was not as bright as LED lights integrated into other Hammer Drill’s we’ve used.  We put it in the good not great category for these reasons.

Final Thoughts | R86115B

Overall we liked the R86115B as a basic no-frills Hammer Drill. It had adequate torque and performance and offered a solid battery life and featured a removable and left/right side positionable auxiliary handle for stability when Hammer drilling or when sudden bit twist was a safety risk. The R86115B also integrated an LED light and gave us some basic setting options (plus a variable-speed trigger) to offer a range of bit speed and torque settings. It combined these key features in a decently low cost and ergonomically-comfortable drill. So far off to a good start!

18V 3 Speed 1/4″ Impact Driver | R862311B

Next up was the R862311B 1/4 in. impact driver. Of all the Ridgid tools we tested in the R9225 4-piece combo kit, the R862311B was near the top of the list. This is partly because we LOVE 1/4 in. impact drivers. It’s also partly because the R862311B impact driver again provided a no-frills, reliable PRO caliber impact driver.

Specifications & Features

Specifications:

  • Torque: 2,300 in-lbs
  • Gearbox: 3-speed (0-900 / 0-2,000 / 0-2,900 RPM)
  • Motor: 18V, Brushless
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs (bare tool)

Features:

  • Longer runtime when paired with MAX Output batteries
  • Tool-free quick release bit retainer collar
  • Integrated LED light
  • 20% faster driving **
  • 10% weight reduction / 10% more compact **
  • Lifetime service agreement w/ registration within 90 days

** when compared to R86039 Brushless Impact Driver

Power & Performance

The R862311B had great balance and power for a compact impact driver. We could find no faults with its ability to drive a variety of fasteners into a wide range of materials. It took a beating and kept producing consistent performance and results. The R862311B features the same increased power output as the rest of these tools when paired with a MAX Output series battery. The tool has a microchip and recognizes the battery type and allows the motor to run at close to 100% power. That translated into strong performance for the R862311B more obviously than some of the other Brushless tools in the R9225 combo kit.

 

Battery Performance and Functionality

the battery performance of the R862311B was also strong. On a single 2Ah battery we got about 3.5 hrs of life out of a single charge.  This was mostly while driving fasteners into 2×4’s (building a framing wall or securing anchors into studs). We liked the factory settings for the power levels “1-2-3.” Power level “1” allowed a slow approach to driving fasteners to ensure screw heads were just past flush on highly-visible drywall. Power level “3” delivered all the power and zipped 3″ screws flush into 2×4’s or PT 2×6’s no problem.

Again though, we were left wanting more with the LED design. We just didn’t like the single LED angles up from the base. We would have loved to see multiple LEDs located in a ring around the bit collar. It would eliminate shadowing and allow for brighter overall lighting. The R862311B also seems to have ample battery life to support a couple extra LEDs.

Final Thoughts | R862311B

The R862311B is a good 1/4″ impact driver. Can it be improved?  Yes. But again, we viewed it as a no-frill impact driver and it didn’t disappoint from that perspective. Most importantly, it delivered consistent power and performance in a compact design. It is comfortable and feels rugged. It will definitely get the job done.

18V Brushless Reciprocating Saw | R8647B

Next we tackled the R8647B reciprocating saw. This was our favorite of the 4 tools. It felt sturdy and seemed like the most PRO-level of all the tools. We used it primarily to cut out old stud members. We also tested it out on some scrap PT 2×6’s we had lying around on the job site. First though, let’s check out the Specs and features…

Specifications & Features

Specifications:

  • Stroke length: 1 1/4″
  • Motor: 18V, Brushless
  • Weight: 6.75 lbs (bare tool)

Features:

  • Longer runtime when paired with MAX Output batteries
  • 20% faster cutting **
  • Orbital blade action
  • Integrated rafter hook
  • Tool-free blade changing
  • Tool-free shoe adjustment
  • Lifetime service agreement w/ registration within 90 days

** when compared to R8643 Brushless reciprocating saw

Power & Performance

The R8647B was a joy to use. It cut extremely well and delivered great overall performance. We had zero binding issues through our week of usage, even when cutting through old screws or nails when removing framing. The variable-speed trigger was extremely responsive and allowed us to start cutting slow and dial up the power very easily. The battery life was decent, not great for the R8647B, even when paired with a 4A battery. This seemed on par with other cordless, brushless reciprocating saw we’ve used on the job site.

 

Adjustability & Ergonomics

We loved the feel of this saw.  The molded, front soft-rubber over-grip is great. It was surprisingly effective at absorbing excessive vibrations (as much as can be expected for a recip saw). We also appreciated the battery placement. When we loaded up a 4Ah battery the saw felt nicely balanced. This was especially noticeable when cutting at an overhead angle. Next, the mechanism for locking on the adjustable shoe was decently designed. We liked that it was flush molded into the front of the saw and held the shoe in place very firmly. One thing we didn’t love though was the lack of retainer or “max expansion” line on the shoe alignment arm. We pulled the shoe out a few times when adjusting it. This is a very minor recommendation though as after the initial set-up we didn’t have a need to adjust the shoe very frequently.

We also really liked the integration of a rafter hook onto the R8647B. It worked great and was a nice upgrade from previous Ridgid models (i.e. R8643) that didn’t have that feature. It folds flat to easily stow out of the way.

Final Thoughts | R8647B

18V Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool | R86240B

Oscillating Multi-tools are an essential jack-of-all-trades tool. They allow you to easily flush or plunge cut trim without needing to remove all the substrate. They let you easily and accurately complete drywall cutouts. Multi-tools are also great for spot sanding with a spade sanding attachment. So we were pumped to test out the R86240B Brushless Multi-tool. Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long. This was our least favorite of the 4 tools in the combo kit for a few different reasons. First though, lets look at the baseline specs and features…

Specifications & Features

Specifications:

  • Oscillations / min: 0-20,000
  • Blade Angle: 3.6° downward
  • Motor: 18V, Brushless
  • Weight: 2.44 lbs (bare tool)

Features:

  • Longer runtime when paired with MAX Output batteries
  • Variable-speed oscillation dial
  • Tool-free blade changing
  • 15% more compact and lighter weight **
  • Lifetime service agreement w/ registration within 90 days

** when compared to R862105 multi-tool

Power & Performance

The R86240B  Oscillating Multi-tool has a decent power base. We felt that the variable speed motor provided enough juice to handle all the cutting and sanding tasks we threw at it. So then why the low rating? We felt like the overall performance suffered greatly from some basic design choices. First, we did not like the on/off switch. While it’s nice to have the variable speed dial, we really wanted to see that paired with a trigger-style power button. Ideally, this would be a variable-speed trigger like the other 3 tools featured. Even a paddle switch with an integrated safety lever would be an improvement over the simple on/off thumb switch.

We also had significant issues with the provided sanding spade attachment. We used it to sand the edge of a piece of ripped 3/4 in. plywood. Unfortunately, even this basic task was too much. The thin aluminum spade attachment bent within 30 seconds of starting the task and popped free of the attachment clasp. We are also not in love with the attachment clasp design on the R86240B. On a positive note, it is a tool-free blade changeout design. But it requires you to first flip a locking lever up on the back of the tool. Then you have to slide the center locking clasp to the side before pivoting it 90º to an unlocked position. The bottom line is that it’s not as user-friendly and is more complicated than other locking designs we’ve used (and prefer).

   

Additionally, there is no cutting depth stop or LED light integrated into the R86240B. As already covered, this is a change from the other 3 tools covered. The R86240B certainly seems to have the battery platform to more than cover an LED light or two. And a cutting depth stop (as featured on other models we’ve tested) is a nice safety feature when your not sure how much space there might be to a hidden wire or pipe behind the drywall you’re cutting. We also noted that you couldn’t stand the tool upright, even with a battery, due to the battery mounting angle.

Final Thoughts | R86240B

Will the R86240B get the job done? Yes. Does it have decent power? Yes. But with the solid upgrades featured on the other 3 tools already covered, we had high expectations for the R86240B and it just didn’t live up to them. These are some obvious and relatively simple changes that could be done to the R86240B to make it a true PRO-level and great tool.

18V Battery Charger |AC86093N

The AC86093N battery charger was adequate at charging a battery. But it left a lot to be desired. We appreciated the flat base and easy wall mount options; this made it easy and as sturdy to sit on a bench as to wall mount. But we weren’t fans of the thin charging cable (we were hoping for a more robust lamp wire thickness vs. a cell phone charger thickness. We were also turned off by the larger plug-in brick (as opposed to a smaller standard 2-prong plug. Why? Because a charging plug-in brick takes us multiple spaces in an outlet or power strip and with plugs sometimes at a premium on the job site, this didn’t seem like a very PRO-level design.

   

Final Thoughts | Ridgid 18V Brushless combo kit (R9225)

Overall we were very pleased with the Ridgid 18V Brushless combo kit (R9225). It is a great baseline kit for any high-end DIYer or entry-level PRO. The reciprocating saw (R8647B) and 1/4 in. impact driver (R862311B) stood out as the 2 best tools in the kit. The oscillating multi-tool (R86240B) was definitely the weak spot in the group. Ridgid is making strides in increasing overall power and performance with their newest top-line Brushless tools. It is a noticeable upgrade from the previous high-end line, the Octane line-up. We hope Ridgid considers some of the suggestions we have made to continue meeting the needs of their PRO-level customer base. All in all, this is a combo kit well worth the money.

About the author

Ben Fecteau

Benjamin is a former project manager, CNC-designer, and AWS-certified welder with experience running a commercial and industrial steel design and fabrication company. Before making the jump to commercial construction, he spent years renovating houses and building furniture where he became skilled in the art of home wiring, flooring, siding, and custom tool modifications. Benjamin has a Masters Degree in Education and is passionate about sharing his love of design with his sons and through community-based outreach. He resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and enjoys spending time with his family, in his workshop, and serving as an Air Force Officer.

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1 Comment

  1. Tony

    The R86240B oscillating tool has an integrated LED light at the nose of the unit. It can be seen in action on the promo videos and some of the youtube reviews. Like the other LEDs in the new units, it doesn’t seem very powerful or broad.

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