Ridgid MegaMax Review – Three Heads Are Better Than One

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (more).

ridgid megamax

What's This?This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. As my wife has thoughtfully pointed out once or twice, I’m a bit of a tool junkie. I’m always on the lookout for tools that can get the job done faster, more easily, and safer. If they also have a bit of a “cool” factor, well, that doesn’t hurt, either… Having the right tool for the job is always helpful, but as my wife has ALSO thoughtfully pointed out, acquiring all those tools can get a tad expensive. Having a tool system that can handle numerous tasks can be a great way to cut down on the expense – as well as the space needed to stow all those tools. Recently, the folks at the Home Depot sent us the latest Orange heavy-duty interchangeable tool system to check out: The Ridgid MegaMax.

ridgid megamax
Ridgid MegaMax Recip Saw, Power Base, & Right Angle Drill

Late last year, we took a look at the Ridgid JobMax. It consists of a fairly compact power head, and several interchangeable auxiliary heads. The version we got came with an oscillating multitool head, that could handle various cutting blades and a triangular sanding attachment. Other attachments available include an impact driver, drill driver, and reciprocating saw head, among others. While the Ridgid JobMax is a very handy tool, it’s not super heavy-duty. That void has now been filled by the Ridgid MegaMax.

ridgid megamax
Three of the four current offerings in the Ridgid MegaMax line.

The Ridgid MegaMax system consists of a power base and various attachments that lock into place. At the moment, there are three Ridgid MegaMax attachments available: A right-angle drill head, a reciprocating saw head, and an SDS-Plus rotary hammer head. We got the right-angle head and the recip saw head to test; we’ll tell you how they performed, and take a look at the specs and features on the rotary hammer.

The Ridgid MegaMax is part of Ridgid’s Octane line of tools. These tools are engineered to pair with Ridgid’s Hyper Octane smart batteries, to provide over 65% more power than standard batteries in high-demand applications. We’ll also take a look at the Ridgid Hyper Octane Lithium-Ion 6.0 Ah Bluetooth battery (whew!), which is the recommended power source for all this Mega-ness. But we’ll start out with this hard-rockin’ video overview from Ridgid.

The Ridgid MegaMax Power Base – Bringing The Power

From the time I started taking the Ridgid MegaMax components out of their boxes, it was clear these were made for heavy-duty use. The Power Base, which serves as the main handle, and houses the motor and drive gears, weighs in at just under 4 lbs. without a battery. Installing the powerful Ridgid Hyper Octane 6.0 Ah battery kicks it up to 5 lbs. 12 oz.

ridgid megamax
The Ridgid MegaMax power base is not a dainty thing…

The weight is a byproduct of the beefy construction on the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base. The powerplant is a robust brushless motor. For the uninitiated, brushless motors are the wave of the future. They’re much more powerful and efficient than their brushed counterparts, don’t require maintenance in the form of brush replacement, and are more durable than brushed motors.

Also packed inside the case on the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base are some sophisticated electronics. The base automatically senses which accessory is connected, and reconfigures the tool settings to match the head profile. The electronics can also detect when the tool is overloaded; when that happens, it shuts ‘er down and issues three scolding beeps (Just take it easy, will ya?!). When you release the trigger, it will reset and get back to work. If the tool or battery get overheated, the electronics will shut the tool down until it’s cooled off a bit.

ridgid megamax
Ridgid MegaMax mission control – ready for launch

The Ridgid MegaMax Power Base comes with a contractor bag to schlep everything around in. Why yes, it IS Orange and Black! The bag seems very sturdy, and there was plenty of room for the Power Base, right angle drill head, and reciprocating saw head, along with the auxiliary handle and some saw blades and drill bits. Customers who bought all three attachments say there’s room for everything in the bag, but I’m guessing it’s gonna be pretty heavy…

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax Power Base comes with a contractor bag…
Ridgid MegaMax
And with our three components inside, there’s still room for the SDS-Plus rotary hammer.

Bend Me, Shape Me, Any Way You Want Me

The base-to-head interface on the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base is die cast and tool free. All of the attachments simply rotate and lock into position on the base. But there’s a bigger twist: All of the auxiliary heads can be attached in any position at 90-degree intervals. This gives you an amazing amount of flexibility when it comes to working in various situations, many of which involve contorting your body into unnatural and uncomfortable positions.

Ridgid MegaMax
The die-cast interface on the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base…
Ridgid MegaMax
And all attachments can be rotated in 90-degree increments.

The case is made of very rugged plastic, and the handle and grip areas are covered with a comfortable, non-slip rubber overmold. The large two-finger variable trigger is comfortable and easy to control. A smaller switch below the trigger activates the LED light on whatever attachment you’re using; a normal grip on the handle activates it. An LED panel on top of the base shows the status of the tool.

Ridgid MegaMax
The handle and trigger are comfortable and easy to use.

A standard push-through switch above the trigger controls the direction of rotation. Extending it to the left or right sets the tool to forward or reverse. Leaving it in the center position locks the trigger, a good habit to get into when you’re finished with the tool. Especially when there’s a 12” recip saw blade sticking out the front…Here are the specs on the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base from Ridgid:

• Octane tool functionality gives optimized performance attached to hyper octane battery
• Smart power base automatically identifies each attached head and configures tool settings to match the head profiles
• LED communication panel shows the status of the tool.
• Heavy-duty brushless motor provides more power and longer motor life
• 4-directional head positions allow user to optimize the ergonomics based on the application
• Tool-free die-cast interface makes a secure locking mechanism with release button for quick and easy head changes
• Lock-on functionality allows user to lock-on tool in chisel mode for added comfort, reduced fatigue and increased productivity (only available on select heads)
• Backed by the industry’s only lifetime service agreement.

Make BIG Holes With The Ridgid MegaMax Right Angle Drill Head

Just like in politics, having a power base does you no good if you have no minions to do your bidding. The first MegaMinion we’ll be looking at is the Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head. The Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head is NOT a dainty little tool; it looks and feels very beefy, and weighs in at almost 6 lbs., making the total weight around 11 lbs. 11 oz. with the Power Base and battery. While this is not exactly svelte, by comparison the Milwaukee Super Hawg weighs in at 14 lbs., and the DeWalt FlexVolt Stud & Joist drill just under 13 lbs.

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head, ready to go for a spin…

What makes this thing so heavy? The Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head has an all-metal chuck and a die-cast gear box. Ridgid designed the tool to tackle the bigger jobs, so they also put everything into a heavy-duty shell. Here’s a quick look at the features and specs for the right angle head:

• Octane tool functionality gives optimized performance when power base is attached to hyper octane battery
• 4-directional head positions allow user to optimize the ergonomics based on the application
• High torque output delivers the power needed for any jobsite application
• 1/2 in. heavy-duty chuck securely holds bits during high-torque applications
• On-board chuck key storage – easily store and access the custom chuck key
• Die-cast gear box adds increased durability and professional quality
• LED light illuminates the work area for increased visibility
• Weight: 5.9 lbs.
• RPM: 0 – 450
• Chuck: ½”
• Variable speed
• Includes reversible auxiliary side handle

Some friends who live in our neighborhood are redoing the kitchen in their 100-plus year old house, and are doing a lot of the work themselves. My friend is at the portion of the festivities that involves running all new wiring. He started out using a basic Ryobi drill driver. That did OK in soft, new studs, but just said Hell NO when it came to the 100-year-old hard, dry, 2” thick joists. He had switched to a corded DeWalt ½” drill. It was working fine, but trailing the cord up and down the ladder to drill each ceiling joist 10’ up was losing its appeal.

Ridgid MegaMax
A rainbow of drills to choose from…

I brought over the Ridgid MegaMax power base and right angle drill head, and an assortment of Bosch Daredevil spade bits to use. As it happened, that’s what he was already using. And they were working fine – most of the time, anyhow, as we shall see.

Ridgid MegaMax
Snugging up the Bosch 1″ spade bit.

He chucked up the 1” bit, climbed the ladder, and assumed the position. The Ridgid MegaMax drill powered easily through the hard, old studs. I watched for a few minutes, then headed for home. A few days later, I picked up the drill, and got his feedback.

He said the drill works great, with plenty of torque to easily get through all the old wood he was dealing with. Enough torque to snap the new spade bit when it hit a massive old cut nail in one of the joists, and spin his wrist around a bit. The only negative comment was that it’s heavy, especially for overhead work like he was doing. He also mentioned that there is a small amount of play where the head joins the power base. I had noticed this, too, but the connection seems very solid, and it doesn’t affect performance at all.

Ridgid MegaMax
This is what happens when mega-torque meets mega-nail…
Ridgid MegaMax
Making the 100-year-old chips fly. The LED light helped in the dark joist bays.

The Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head is clearly overkill for small projects, so I wanted to give it a more challenging workout. I chucked up a 2-1/2” hole saw, and made a couple of holes in a piece of 2X material. It breezed through them so easily I swapped it out for a 4-1/8” hole saw. Once again, the drill powered through easily, with no struggling or stalling.

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax had no trouble burying the 4-1/8″ hole saw…

For its next mission, I used my 1” ship auger bit. I’m still in the process of wiring my new shop, and much of the wiring has to pass through 6X6” posts. The ship auger bit is ideal for this kind of work, and the Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head easily spun it through.

Ridgid MegaMax
Getting ready to run more wiring…

This is the type of work the Ridgid MegaMax right angle drill head is ideally suited for. It has plenty of power to make big holes in framing members and floors to run plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Having the ability to lock the head on at any of four 90-degree angles makes it easy to find a position that gives the best comfort and leverage.

Ridgid MegaMax
My chuck key needed minor modification to stay in its hidey-hole.

The only problem I had while using the Ridgid MegaMax with the right angle drill head attached was with the chuck key. It’s very sturdy and it works fine, but it fell out of its storage slot several times while I was using the drill. Unless you don’t ever plan to change drill bits, losing the key would likely put a damper on your day. I put a little piece of duct tape on one side of it, and that seemed to give it just the right amount of friction to hold it in place. You could also use a sturdy rubber band or pony tail band to hold it in.

The Ridgid MegaMax Reciprocating Saw Head

Next up is a tool that’s a staple in the tool kit of every renovator and remodeler, and anyone else who does demo work. Not to mention most plumbers and electricians, and a good percentage of DIYers. A good reciprocating saw is worth its weight in decapitated studs, pipes, roofing…you name it, and with the right blade, a good recip saw will demolish it.

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw head, ready to tear it up…

The Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw head has most of the features found on high-end standalone reciprocating saws. A large orange dial lets you easily switch between regular and orbital action, handy for faster cuts in wood and softer materials. A tool-free adjustable shoe lets you control the depth of cut when plunging into walls, or move up to a fresh chunk of blade when the teeth near the base start looking a bit raggedy.

ridgid megamax
A big dial makes it easy to get into orbit…
And a quick lever flip lets you adjust the front shoe.

Blade changes are also tool-free, and very fast and easy. Simply twist the spring-loaded knob, drop the blade in, and release the knob. Since blades can be inserted in either orientation, and the head can be installed in any of four positions, you’ve got a LOT of flexibility in how you use the Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw head. The entire reciprocating saw head is covered with a rubber overmold, which helps reduce vibration and improve grip.

ridgid megamax
Just twist the collar and slide blades in or out.
Ridgid MegaMax
All bladed up and ready to slice.

Here’s the feature and spec list for the Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw head:

• Over 65% more power in high demand applications when paired with OCTANE™ battery and MEGAMaxTM Power Base (R86400B)
• 4 directional head positions allow the user to optimize ergonomics based on the application
• The industry’s most powerful reciprocating saw with the power to handle any jobsite conditions
• Cutting speed 3,100 SPM (Strokes per minute)
• On/Off Orbital Action to allow the user to match the cut to the application
• Sight Line Blower directs debris away from the cut line for increased visibility
• 100% Compatible: Works with all RIDGID 18-Volt batteries
• Weighs just under five lbs.

The Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw head comes with a Ridgid 6” wood-cutting blade, to get you started. When our package arrived, three Diablo blades had hitched a ride, so we used them when we tried out the saw.

Ridgid MegaMax
A blade for every occasion…

First up was the Diablo Demo Demon 9” pruning blade. I inserted the blade, and headed out to remove a few unruly branches from a tree in our back yard. With the aggressive teeth on the Diablo blade, the Ridgid MegaMax recip saw made short work of it.

Ridgid MegaMax
Payback for smacking my face once too often…

Next it was up to the driveway, where a couple of oak limbs that had come down in a recent storm were patiently waiting to be sliced and diced. Even with a short rain break, I quickly had the branches right-sized.

Ridgid MegaMax
Right-sizing the downed oak branches…

To up the ante a bit, I swapped out the pruning blade for the Diablo Demo Demon general purpose 9” blade. I grabbed a wet pressure-treated 4X4” post, turned the orbital action on, and got to work. The Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw chugged steadily through several cuts, with no binding, stalling or bogging down.

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax chugging happily through a PT 4×4…

Reciprocating saws routinely get called on to rip through pipes, including PVC, copper and steel. Naturally, we had to see how the Ridgid MegaMax reciprocating saw would do. The general purpose blade I had used on the 4X4 claims to be able to cut embedded nails, and steel up to ¼” thick. Sounds like a challenge! So before changing out the blade for the metal-cutting blade, I turned off the orbital feature, and introduced it to a heavy piece of 1-1/2” diameter steel pipe, cutting off a couple of chunks. It tore right through it, actually seeming to cut faster in steel than wood!

Ridgid MegaMax
Yipes, pipes -The Diablo Demo Demon general purpose blade tore through the steel pipe.

Once again I swapped out the blade, this time inserting a Diablo Steel Demon 9” metal cutting blade. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Once again, the Ridgid MegaMax recip saw zipped steadily through the pipe. The saw felt like it could play this game way longer than I could…

Ridgid MegaMax
Making more tiny pipes with the Diablo Steel Demon blade…

The Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer Head

The one attachment we didn’t get to lock & load was the Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer head. For those unfamiliar with the breed, an SDS rotary hammer is what most ½” drills wanna be when they grow up. Their goal in life is to ventilate or destroy concrete. Here’s a quick peek at the feature and spec list:

• Octane tool functionality gives optimized performance when power base is attached to hyper octane battery
• 4-directional head positions allow user to optimize the ergonomics based on the application
• Lock-on functionality allows user to lock-on tool in chisel mode for added comfort, reduced fatigue and increased productivity
• 3-mode selector gives rotary hammer, drilling and chisel modes for versatility on the jobsite
• Mechanical clutch minimizes torque reaction when the bit binds, helping protect the user and motor
• Impact rate 0 – 5,000 BPM
• Chuck: SDS-Plus
• No-load speed 0 – 1,400 RPM
• LED light illuminates the work area for increased visibility
• Auxiliary handle with adjustable depth gauge locks in any orientation
• Weight: 4.75 lbs.
• Variable speed

Ridgid MegaMax
The Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer head, ready to meet and beat the ‘crete.

The Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer head can operate in any of three modes: Rotary drilling (like a standard drill), hammer mode, and chisel mode. Switching modes is simple – just twist the dial. The head will accept any SDS-Plus attachment, which have slots near the base of the shank and just push into the chuck. Naturally, there are masonry bits for drilling holes, but the Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer head is capable of lots of other feats of construction – and destruction.

Ridgid MegaMax
Drilling holes in concrete is just the beginning…

When used to drill into concrete, the Ridgid MegaMax SDS Rotary Hammer head uses both rotary and hammer modes. Using the selector switch to turn off rotary mode allows you to use “chisel” type bits, which use only the hammer mode. There are bits available for breaking up concrete, scraping up flooring, and breaking up and removing tile, among other things. Ridgid says the MegaMax rotary hammer is the only SDS in the industry capable of locking on in hammer mode.

Ridgid MegaMax
There are chisel bits available for scraping…
Ridgid MegaMax
And other specialty bits, like tile chisels.

Getting Hyper With the Ridgid MegaMax

Along with the Ridgid MegaMax system, Ridgid recently introduce its 18V Hyper Octane Bluetooth-enabled 6.0 Ah battery. Using engineering magic, Ridgid managed to fit its 6.0 Ah battery into a footprint the same size as their 5.0 Ah battery.

ridgid megamax
The 6.0 Ah Ridgid Hyper Octane battery is the same size as the 5.0 battery.

The new battery has electronics that allow it to communicate with Ridgid Octane tools, and provide an extra jolt of juice when the going gets tough. It will also work in any non-Octane Ridgid 18V tool, but you’ll have to get your extra kicks elsewhere. Here’s the feature and spec list:

• Maximum performance and intelligence when paired with a RIDGID OCTANE™ tool
• 4X more runtime when compared to standard 1.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries
• Bluetooth® technology enabled offering industry leading intelligence
• Over 15 different push notifications such as battery is fully charged, low battery, and maintenance is needed
• Security features such as locate your battery, lock your battery, and disable your battery when out of range
• Battery status features such as estimated charge time and total hours used
• 100% Compatible: Works with all RIDGID 18-volt tools
• 3-Year Limited Warranty

A free mobile app is available for the Ridgid Hyper Octane battery. After installing it on your phone and synching it with the battery, you can use the app to get a variety of info on the battery, including temperature, percentage of charge remaining, total hours used, number of charge cycles, and more.

ridgid megamax
The app lets the Hyper Octane battery talk to its home planet…
ridgid megamax
Everything you ever wanted to know about your battery’s secret life…

Perhaps the handiest feature is the “Find my battery” function. If you hit the “Locate” button, the battery will emit a series of beeps. Hitting the map point icon shows you a zoomable map, pinpointing where the battery was last seen. You can also use the app to lock the battery, if it goes missing. Here’s a quick video overview from Ridgid:

If you have an 18V Ridgid charger, it will work fine to charge the Hyper Octane battery. If not, one option to keep it topped off is the Ridgid Dual Port sequential charger. It will charge any Ridgid battery in less than an hour, and has two USB charging ports, to keep your MP3 player or cell phone topped off. It can be wall mounted, and has electronics to evaluate the batteries and show their status.

ridgid megamax
The Ridgid Dual Port charger keeps your batteries well fed…

Ready To Take It To The MegaMax?

When I heard there was a multi-function tool coming to evaluate, I was prepared to be underwhelmed. Seems like much of the time, products that are designed to do several things don’t do any of them particularly well. The Ridgid MegaMax system is an exception.

ridgid megamax
The Ridgid MegaMax system is rugged and performed very well.

The Ridgid MegaMax system is well designed, built from quality materials, and works very well. Ridgid backs the tools with a three-year limited warranty, and if you register the tools within 90 days of purchase, they’re covered by Ridgid’s Lifetime Service Agreement. The Home Depot’s return policy gives you a chance to be a demolition man or woman for 90 days risk-free.

At the time of this review, every customer review online has given five stars to the Power Base and all three attachments. The word that crops up most frequently in these reviews is “Beast.” I concur. If you’re looking for a new reciprocating saw, right angle drill, or rotary hammer for yourself or your crew, head over to the Home Depot and see if it clicks for you, or you can purchase through the links below.

ridgid megamax

Buy the Ridgid MegaMax Power Base from the Home Depot for around $99

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Right angle drill head around $99

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Reciprocating saw head around $69

Buy Now - via Home Depot

SDS Rotary Hammer Head around $119

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Hyper Octane Bluetooth battery 6.0 Ah $129

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Ridgid Dual Port Sequential Charger with USB ports $79

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Bosch DareDevil Spade Bit Set around $19

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Diablo Carbide Tipped Pruning Blade around $9

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Diablo Carbide Teeth Demo Demon around $12

Buy Now - via Home Depot

Diablo Carbide Teeth Steel Demon around $16

Buy Now - via Home Depot

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Photo of author

About Phil

Phil’s path to the pinnacle of success as HomeFixated’s Senior Writer was long and twisted. At various stages of his life, he worked as a framing carpenter, attended motorcycle mechanics school, served as an Army MP, did a hot and itchy stint installing insulation in Phoenix, owned and operated a small contracting firm doing residential renovations, and worked as an employee of a major airline (Motto: We’re not happy ‘til YOU’RE not happy). He is currently semi-retired, but continues to take on little projects, such as the total renovation of an old farmhouse. Yes, he is a slow learner. Future projects include a teardown restoration of his 1965 BMW motorcycle, and designing and building a kick-ass playhouse for his grandsons. Phil loves spending time outdoors, hanging out with family and friends, cool tools, and a cold IPA when beer o'clock rolls around.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get access to free prizes, product sneak-peeks, reviews, how-to's and much more!

More Info | Email Privacy

3 thoughts on “Ridgid MegaMax Review – Three Heads Are Better Than One”

  1. I also had problems with the key storage in the right angle drill. Hopefully it’s a standard size and I can find one that can be securely attached (hole or a “T” type to secure with a cord.

    Overall, all three attachments have worked great — haven’t had any lack of power and the heads install and can be removed easily (unlike some of my JobMax heads.)

  2. Awesome stuff! And I’m really impressed by the things the new batteries can do. When I first heard about them, I was skeptical (really… wifi-enabled tool batteries?). But when I learned about the “find-my-battery” ability, I realized it just might be a game changer.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.