Ridgid JobMax Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools

RIDGID® JobMax System

This year we continue to see more movement in the 12 volt cordless category and multi-tool arena. Rigid sent us their new JobMax System to test which combines a 12 volt lithium-ion battery with a tool that runs several tools including; right angle drill, right angle impact driver, multi-tool head for cutting, sanding and scraping, auto-hammer head and a ratchet head.

We tested the JobMax Multi-Tool Starter Kit along with the Right Angle Drill/Driver Head and the Right Angle Impact Driver Head.

JobMax Features

  • 12V Base Unit powers interchangeable head.
  • Drilling: 3/8” Right angle drill chuck – 550 RPM/120” lbs
  • Driving: Right angle impact head– 650” lbs
  • Fastening: Ratchet head – 300” lbs
  • 12V 1.5 Ah pack for industry leading run-time
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • LED Light for improved visibility in tight spaces
  • 30 minute fast charging
  • Warranty: RIDGID® Lifetime Service Agreement. The industry’s only FREE Lifetime coverage. Free parts. Free service. Free batteries.

The JobMax System utilizes a base tool and 12-volt Li-Ion battery pack. Interchangeable heads just snap into the top of the base unit allowing you to quickly and easily switch between tools.

Right Angle Drill/Driver

I’ve got all kinds of drill/drivers in the workshop so having a right angle drill/driver in the 12 volt platform is pretty cool. The drill/driver had no problem sinking long screws and drilling holes with regular drill bits and spade bits. While the right angle/drill driver is convenient I do have one issue with this and the impact driver below. The location of the trigger is really far from the head which makes the balance a bit strange. Most cordless right angle drill/drivers on the market have the trigger up closer to the head which makes one handed use much easier.

JobMax Right Angle Impact Driver

The JobMax System also offers a right angle impact driver as shown above. Again the idea of having a right angle impact driver in your tool box is pretty nice. We tested it driving 3 inch long screws and some 1/4 inch lag screws. The JobMax had no problem driver both sets of fasteners. Again the balance is a bit strange with the trigger so far from the head but it works just fine with two hands on the tool.

JobMax Multi-Tool

Everyone needs a multi-tool in their bag of tricks! The JobMax Multi-Tool is able to cut, scrape and sand with similar attachments to the other brands on the market. In fact, this multi-tool comes with a universal adapter that allows you to attach most other brands cutting and sanding accessories. We tested the Multi-Tool cutting some sheet metal, wood and small nails. We also testing the sanding pad which works really nice for getting into tight corners. I was very happy with the chuck on this tool, it held tight without loosening like some other multi-tools seem to have a problem with.

12 Volt Lithium-Ion Battery

The 12V Li-Ion battery performed very well. It charges in just 30 minutes and lasted longer than I anticipated during driving, cutting and sanding. The battery system on this tool seems to be one of it’s real strengths. I would like to see a second battery pack be standard with tools like this although the quick 30 minute charge time does help.

Overall Thoughts

We’ve been testing lots of 12 volt cordless kits this year and quite a few multi-tools. The Rigid JobMax System combines both of these trends into one versatile system which is able to perform quite an array of tasks around the shop and house. The JobMax has plenty of power, rugged construction and an assortment of accessories to choose from.

While I think the JobMax is a capable tool I think there will be some folks that find the tools balance a bit cumbersome. Honestly if you don’t own a multi-tool and you want a cordless version then this system offers a great amount of flexibility that others just don’t offer. This system is reasonably priced and able to do the tasks at hand.

If you’re interested in purchasing the JobMax System it’s available at The Home Depot. Check out the following links for more information and pricing.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Anton Vermaak says:

    Bought one a month ago and it became more and more intermittent until it was useless. Traded it in on a new one and hoping the first was just a dud.

    • Delwin Burton says:

      I purchased a new Ridgid Jobmax, extra battery, and all accessories in August 2010. I loved this tool. Then in September it quit working. Ridgid instructed me to send it to my nearest repair facility. After a month I call the repair center and they told me they were waiting on a replacement switch assembly. I contacted Ridgid and they told me the switch assembly would not be available until January 2011. I will be without this tool for over three months and Ridgid was not willing to send me a replacement. That is the last Ridgid tool I will ever buy.

      • brian says:

        Rigid is the bottom of the barrel in tools. It’s adaquate for small home jobs, but has a limited lifespan when expected to do more than a small project. They are manufactured for wives buying a tool for the husbands birthday. I tried one of these at homedepot the other day and was not surprised. It rattled it stopped. I even asked homedepot for replacement blades so i could see the real cost and they don’t provide them. They will sell you a more expensive dremel or bosch blade.

        Please save your money and buy a multimax or bosch. You won’t be dissapointed.

        Good luck

        • Todd says:

          I actually disagree with you. I test hundreds of tools and I can say that Ridgid makes some great quality tools. While you may not like their JobMax I wouldn’t compare all their tools. They make some extremely well built, tough tools that our commercial contractors use on a daily basis.

    • Reuben says:

      My Ridgid Jobmax stops intermittently and unexpectedly. I’m a casual user and have had it one year. I’m hoping Home Depot will be standup and replace it. I can wiggle the attachment to get it to work but still intermittently. I live an hour away from Home Depot so it stinks having this fail on me in the middle of a project.

  2. RicD says:

    Todd, good review. A few years back I purchased the 18V model then added accessory heads, now have all but the drywall drill cutter. Then purchased the 12v with the new head style, and received a free head on top of that; wonderful deal. This 12V has taken the place of the 18V.

    With my testing the JobMax 12V with the 2 Amh battery it feels to have the same power as the 18V. Curious, I called RIDGID they said there is not any power difference, only runtime.

    Suggestion for your articles, at the top of the articles add the date it was written.

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