RIDGID 18-Volt X4 Circular Saw Review
RIDGID 18-Volt Cordless Circular Saw on the ACC Job-site
As a professional I spend as much time hauling my tools to and from the work site as I do using them, so the cordless revolution has saved contractors and remodels time, money, and many a broken back.
We tried out the RIDGID 18-Volt X4 Circular Saw here on the Concord Carpenter and overall we rated the performance of the saw to meet the needs of the pro contractor and serious DIY-er alike.
Out of the Box Impressions
First and foremost this tool comes bare but go with the 18V 4.0 AH slide battery to ensure that you can get the performance and longevity you need on the job-site. With a battery you’ll need a charger.
The duel chemistry charger, which allows you to charge a slew of RIDGID battery packs from NiCad to Lithium Ion and from 9.6V to 12V to 18V batteries, is idiot proof. The number of displays on the charger makes it easy, without reading the manual, to understand what’s going on with your battery.
The Saw itself is lightweight and comfortable to hold. The levers are easy to access and manipulate to adjust the saw depth and bevel. The auxiliary grip is a bit undersized but the saw is so small and light I usually find myself just holding back the guard and guiding the front of the saw in that position.
Nice to have Features
The saw has a grip activated LED light that I found unique on a circular saw, but since the saw is so light and small I can see it finding its way into dark or under-lit workspaces. The reference base is distinctively marked for lining up a 90-degree and 45-degree cut which made the first few cuts easier to get that money cut with little time with saw.
The 4.0AH 18-Volt Lithium Ion Battery also has a built in LED lit meter so at any time you can determine the juice left in your battery, helping you avoid dead batteries on busy job-sites.
The saw boasts a blower port to clear dust and debris from your line, but what we suspect is that the blower is circulating that debris back into the blade cavity and results in dust and material grit shooting back at the operator.
The main issue we noticed using this tool was the debris kick back during operation. But this tool was convenient and accurate for plenty of remodeling and traditional carpentry applications.
The saw is lightweight enough to easily use it on a ladder for cutting a clean line on clapboards for window remodeling. The tool weighs in at under 10 pounds and feels comfortable in your hands. The trigger is responsive and with a battery powered tool you don’t have to wait long for the blade to stop spinning to re-adjust your grip, change the bevel, or change the depth of cut. And it was perfect for cutting our PVC stair trim skirts. (The final product doesn’t look so bad if I don’t say so myself!)
The inevitable limitation with cordless tools is the high strain applications that shut down the fragile electric motor. Although we used this tool to demo a kitchen counter, it wouldn’t normally be recommended for heavy duty jobs. But this saw applied appropriately is a solid option for a homeowner, serious DIY-er, or a professional contractor for flexible and reliable use.
I love the idea of the cordless options making me a faster carpenter, this tool can definitely save you time by bypassing a power source and the light weight saw can be used anywhere from under a deck to high up on a roof. If you have the popular RIDGID drill driver set I would definitely invest in this tool you’ll be happy you did next time you need a circular saw for a quick cut.