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Ridgid Octane Brushless Gen5x Recip Saw R8643 VS Milwaukee FUEL Sawzall 2721-20

Ridgid Octane Tools

With the introduction of the Ridgid Hyper Octane 6Ah and 9Ah batteries, Ridgid has started to increase the power of their Gen5X Brushless line of tools.  The first tool to have the Octane label is the Ridgid Octane Brushless Gen5x Recip Saw Model Number R8643.  This tool is very similar to the brushed Gen5X recip saw on the outside, but the inside is where all the changes were made to make some amazing power.  The new brushless motor is optimized for use with the Octane batteries.  While these tools can still be used with all the other Ridgid Lithium-Ion 18-volt batteries, the tool will perform better with the new Octane battery.  If you happen to forget that, the bottom of the tool has a reminder printed on it.

We tested this tool with the standard 5Ah battery and the Octane 6Ah battery and found there to be a noticeable difference in power with the new Octane battery.  Enough that if one were to buy the tool we would suggest also having the battery.  Since we have a very powerful reciprocating saw to test, why not put it up against the company that invented this recip saw that we call the Sawzall.  The Milwaukee FUEL Sawzall is the standard that most companies chase.  Just to note, there is a new Super Sawzall coming out soon and we are excited.

Fuel VS Octane

Testing two tools in the real world can be tough.  We worked to remove all the variables we could by using the same blades and replacing them often.  But when cutting thicker wood that will test the power, we would run into knots.  We worked our tests around them and in multiple places to be as fair as possible.  The testing all points to these two saws being very close in performance.  So close that we are calling it a tie.

The Ridgid Gen5X Recip Saw and Milwaukee Fuel Sawzall are shaped in a very similar form.  The length, width, and functions are very similar.  The grip on the Milwaukee is a bit more smooth and without gloves, that translates to a slightly better feel in awkward positions with high vibration.  Overall, both saws are very similar in the vibration dampening and the feel while in use.  With gloves and a blindfold, one would not be able to feel the difference when in use.


Our review and comparison of the Ridgid to the Milwaukee was to see if the two brushless models were in the same league.  We feel very confident in saying that both saws are able to perform at the same level.  We were able to push the Ridgid into a situation where we overheated the battery and the battery shut down.  We have also been able to do the same to the Milwaukee in similar situations.  The Ridgid does give you the option of using the orbital mode.  That does really speed up cuts in wood and that option will be available on the new Milwaukee Super Sawzall.  If you are int he Ridgid lineup, this new Octane Recip Saw is awesome and something that you might want to add to your wishlist!

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