Ridgid’s new 18V 6.0Ah “Octane” battery packs have recently hit the market, boasting power boost and runtime benefits.
The new battery packs have not yet been officially announced, but we sent over some quick questions to our Ridgid contact anyway, to get some answers for the questions readers have been emailing in with.
What size battery cells are the new 6.0Ah battery packs built with? 18650.
But aren’t the larger 5.0Ah battery packs built with 20700 or 21700 cells?
I mean, the packs are physically larger than the 4.0Ah battery packs.
When I reported about the new Ridgid 18V cordless miter saw, I posted added details about the 5.0Ah battery pack.
There, I mentioned larger cells in the 5.0Ah battery pack. Was that something that I was told, or did I just make the assumption?
Well, I was WRONG.
After a few late night and early morning emails, Ridgid informed me that the 5.0Ah battery pack is larger to accommodate a monitoring board and different cell spacing for pack efficiency.
I wasn’t completely convinced, so I opened up a battery pack to see what’s inside.
Yep, those are definitely 18650 cells. LG HE2 cells, to be more precise. The battery cells are staggered.
From the spec sheets I found, they’re rated to 20A continuous discharge, which is about as high as 18650-sized 2.5Ah capacity cells can go.
Most 10-cell battery packs have the cells stacked vertically.
15-cell packs have a staggered orientation, making them longer, but they save on space.
Ridgid’s 18V 5.0Ah battery pack might just be the only 10-cell battery pack that is larger or longer than lower capacity 10-cell battery packs of the same product family.
It’ll be interesting to know exactly how this changes battery pack performance. Ridgid’s 4.0Ah battery packs are built with 2.0Ah cells, which in my experience have higher on-paper power delivery specs.
There’s a big heat sink at the end, placed over large (power?) transistors that I don’t recall seeing in many other battery packs.
What all this also means is that the new Ridgid 18V 6.0Ah Bluetooth OCTANE battery pack is engineered with 18650 cells, despite what seems to be a larger 5.0Ah-like size, unlike the Dewalt 6.0Ah battery pack and Milwaukee M18 High Output 6.0Ah battery pack.
Milwaukee announced a 6.0Ah battery pack a few years ago, at the same time their 9.0Ah HD battery pack was announced but I don’t think I have ever seen it released. Now, their newer 6.0Ah battery pack sports larger 21700 cells and “High Output” distinction.
The new Ridgid Octane battery pack is said to deliver “up to 65%” more power” when connected to their 18V Octane power tools, although it’s unclear what this is in comparison to.
I asked Ridgid about this briefly, and they said:
You will have a noticeable performance increase with non-Octane tools and even greater with Octane tools. The range will always vary based the amp draw and usage.
I don’t know how Ridgid is able to deliver extra power from a 6.0Ah 18650-cell battery, at least compared to say their 5.0Ah battery pack, but it could just be that new Octane tools are designed to squeeze every bit of available power performance, while treating older 18V battery packs more conservatively.
It’s going to be a challenge, to go through my older posts for any and all instances where I might have included the Ridgid 5.0Ah battery pack in discussions about Li-ion battery packs with cell form factors larger than 18650.