Ridgid sent out a blast of new tool press releases today, and although many of the new products will see get some attention on ToolGuyd in coming days and weeks, the 6-mode cordless impact driver is perhaps the most interesting.
The new impact, model R86039B is introduced as the Ridgid Octane brushless 18V 6-mode impact driver, which actually tells us a lot about it.
First, it has a brushless motor, which Ridgid emphasizes gives you “extended run time and motor life.” That is usually true. With this particular impact driver, it looks to provide a boost in torque.
The new Ridgid Octane 6-mode impact is said to deliver “best-in-class” power, spec’ed at 2400 in-lbs max torque, which in my opinion is impressive for a cordless 1/4″ hex impact driver.
It has 3 variable speed (and torque) operating modes, plus 3 specialty modes.
Ridgid Octane 6-Mode Impact Driver Settings
- Low power: 0-750 RPM
- Medium power: 0-2200 RPM
- High power: 0-3300 RPM (0-3900 IPM max)
- Auto stop: prevents over-tightening or fastener spin-off
- Fastener assist: slow starts or easy removal of damaged fasteners
- Self-drilling screw mode: ramps-down the speed once fastener threads engage
Interesting, the impact driver’s special modes have different behaviors depending on the driving direction, at least if I’m understanding the press materials correctly.
For instance, in fastener assist mode, the motor starts off slow and ramps up the speed after the fastener threads engage. This should give you more control when starting screws. In the reverse direction, it pulses six times and then ramps up the speed, which Ridgid says should allow for easy removal of damaged fasteners. I am guessing that the pulses are intended to shock-loosen rusted or damaged fasteners.
In the auto stop mode, it has completely different sensing mechanisms. When driving in the forward direction, the motor shuts down after impacting, to prevent over-tightening. But in the reverse direction, it breaks fasteners loose and then shuts off after impacting is finished. So, in this mode, it turns off when increased fastener torque and resistance is sensed in the forward direction, and when fastener torque and resistance decreases in the reverse direction.
The user controls look straightforward. Cycle through the 3 special modes with one button, or the 3 speed modes with the other.
In addition to claiming that their newest impact driver has “best-in-class” power, Ridgid also boasts about its “best- in-class” intelligence. Seeing as how 2 of the 6 modes have dual functionality, they might have been able to get away describing it as an 8 mode tool. Then, they could have given it a cool name. The Octo Octane impact driver?
Ridgid says that it’s best paired with an 18V Octane battery pack for maximum performance, but doesn’t specify how the performance or specs might change if the tool’s paired with a different or lower capacity battery.
Lastly, the new impact also features Ridgid’s grip-triggered tri-beam LED worklight. It’ll activate when you use the tool, or squeeze the switch located at the bottom of the handle grip.
Price: $129 for the bare tool
For a limited time, 5/6/19 thru 8/5/19, buy a Ridgid 18V Octane starter kit for $179, get a bare tool for free. The promo includes the impact driver. The starter kit comes with a Ridgid 18V charger, and two Octane Bluetooth Li-ion batteries, with 3.0Ah and 6.0Ah charge capacities. That’s a good way to go if you want the new impact and maybe one of the other new Octane cordless power tools.
The new Ridgid Octane impact driver pushes the envelope, giving users more power and more settings.
Do we need 2400 in-lbs of torque in a 1/4″ hex impact driver? I usually do fine with less, and if I need more torque, that’s when an impact wrench comes out.
But those new operating modes? Sweet! Will users remember what the different modes do? From the product image of the controls, there’s an A, for auto stop, and graphics for general fasteners and for self-drilling screws. I think it should be straightforward. If someone needs to borrow the tool, you could either explain the modes, or just tell them to keep it in the low, medium, or high speed modes.
As for the price, $129 seems quite aggressive.