Ridgid has recently come out with a new 12V JobMax modular tool base, and a new oscillating multi-tool to boot. I first noticed the changes made to the multi-tool tool head, but the base handle also looks a little different compared to when I reviewed the Ridgid JobMax system 5 years ago.
The new Ridgid JobMax 12V starter set, model R9700, comes with the 12V base handle, multi-tool attachment, (1) Li-ion battery, a charger, a carrying case, and a couple of oscillating accessories to start you off with.
If you don’t need or want the oscillating tool head, they Ridgid and Home Depot offer the base handle separately and as part of a no-attachment starter kit.
It’s not very clear as to what changes were made to the 12V base handle, aside from the hex grip enhanced micro-texture for secure grip and maximum user comfort. The LED worklight looks broader, and maybe the motor and/or gearing have been updated in the years since the 12V base was introduced with the JobMax system.
As for the oscillating multi-tool, the new features are quite apparent when you start looking at the product images. The new Ridgid JobMax multi-tool head features what looks to be a very unique blade change system. Pull the locking lever forward, lift it up, pop on a new blade, and reverse the lever motions to lock the blade in place.
I haven’t seen it in person (yet?), but I think I can see the advantage of this type of locking lever system. Other oscillating tools often have a single lever which must be lifted away from the tool, either from the top or side. Sometimes they can be difficult to get a hold of, especially when wearing gloves.
Although Ridgid’s new JobMax multi-tool looks to require an extra step to unlock and lock the blade change mechanism, I would think that the overall effort has been reduced. So even though you have to pull and then lift, rather than just moving the lever in one rotation as with other tools, you might be saving some time and effort due to how it’s designed.
Oscillating multi-tools, in case you’re not quite familiar with them, can be used for cutting, sanding, grinding, sawing, and scraping tasks. You can use them on wood, metal, plastic, drywall, and sometimes even other materials. Their versatility comes from their speed and the wide range of accessories that are available.
Features & Specs
- Tool-free blade changes
- 4° oscillation angle
- Variable control trigger
- 20,000 RPM max speed
- Compact shape for reaching into tight spaces
- Battery fuel gauge
- Tool-free JobMax interface with 4 90° rotation positions
- LED work light
- Universal accessory interface
I am very intrigued by the looks of the new multi-tool head, and am both surprised and optimistic to see Ridgid breath new life into their Jobmax modular tool platform.
Ridgid’s JobMax offering includes 12V, 18V, pneumatic, and AC power base handles, and a range of different attachment heads. You can check out our past Ridgid Jobmax coverage here.
Ridgid is no longer the only player in the modular tool business. Craftsman’s Bolt-On system, which we reviewed, and Black & Decker’s Matrix system, are both quite popular among homeowners and beginner DIYers who don’t want to budget or store individual single-purpose tools.
I am also somewhat disappointed that Ridgid did not come out with a standalone oscillating multi-tool with the same tool-free quick-change blade clamp as featured here. Maybe they will in the future?
Right now the new multi-tool tool head is only available as part of this 12V kit. Hopefully it will be released as a bare attachment in the future, and maybe even paired with updated corded and 18V cordless JobMax starter kits.
Knowing Ridgid, if we see any more JobMax developments this year, it’ll be right around the winter holiday shopping seasons. Fingers crossed!