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Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in. Drill/Driver R8701 Review

Solid drill for most tasks, but has some trouble in challenging driving tasks
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Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in. Drill/Driver R8701 Review
Credit: Ridgid
Price:  $100 List
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Manufacturer:   Ridgid
By Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Mar 7, 2024
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 23
  • Drilling - 35% 8.9
  • Driving - 35% 5.6
  • Battery Life - 20% 9.2
  • Convenience - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in. earned a strong final score in our comprehensive testing for a good balance of drilling ability, battery life, and convenience, although its driving abilities left a little to be desired. Although the price for the tool alone is more modest than other top-tier models, those models offer better overall performance. If you are just starting out building a set of power tools, and doing most of your shopping at a Home Depot, then the Ridgid may be an okay option for you, but we feel stronger alternatives exist that deserve your consideration.
REASONS TO BUY
Ratcheting chuck
Includes a bit holder with a Philips/flat head bit
Long runtime
Compact
REASONS TO AVOID
Cuts out when torquing screws slowly
Ridges on chuck are rough

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $100 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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35
Star Rating
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Bottom Line Limited driving performance kept this model from doing better overallBattery life and solid performance make this a good choice for average homeowner tasksA great budget drill for a homeowners or DIYer and has more than enough power for moderate to light-duty tasksOur favorite compact 12-volt drill when considering overall performance and priceThis drill isn't great, but can speed up driving screws through prefabricated furniture at a low price
Rating Categories Ridgid 18V Brushles... Bosch 18V Compact B... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Drilling (35%)
8.9
7.6
6.6
5.8
4.1
Driving (35%)
5.6
4.9
6.2
4.5
3.2
Battery Life (20%)
9.2
8.8
4.4
3.2
2.6
Convenience (10%)
7.0
6.7
6.0
5.8
4.6
Specs Ridgid 18V Brushles... Bosch 18V Compact B... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Bosch 12V Max Drill... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Included Battery Pack(s) Tested with 2.0 Ah 2.0 Ah 1.3 Ah 2.0 Ah 1.5 Ah
Battery Voltage 18V 18V 20V 12V 20V
Max Chuck 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8" 3/8"
Battery Chemistry Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
Drill Model Tested R8701 GSR18V-400 CMCD700 PS31 LDX120C
Box Model (Kit) Tested Tested tool-only, no kit GSR18V-400B12 CMCD700C1 PS31-2A LDX120C
Manufacturer Stated RPM Low: 0 - 400
High: 0 - 1750
Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 1900
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 350
High: 0 -1300
0 - 650
Manufacturer Peak Torque 400 in-lbs 400 in-lbs 280 UWO 256 in-lbs Not Listed
Measured Length 6-1/4" 6-1/4" 8-1/4" 6-5/8" 7"
Measured Weight 2.97 lb 2.80 lb 3.44 lb 2.17 lb 2.68 lb
Measured Charge Time 59 min 63 min 58 min 85 min 210 min
Battery Indicator Location Battery Battery Battery Drill N/A
LED Location Above the battery Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


A nice compact option with decent performance overall.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Drilling


Our initial and one of our most critical test metrics, comprising 35 percent of the final score for each model, assesses drilling abilities. The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in. exhibited commendable performance overall. It efficiently drilled a hole through a solid wooden door measuring 1 ¾ inches thick using a 5-inch hole saw in a swift 22 seconds. This was achieved in the high-speed lower-torque setting. In our second evaluation for the drilling tests, this model successfully drilled a 1-inch hole through a 2x12 using a spade bit without encountering any issues. It made significant progress in the high-speed setting, but ultimately required the low-speed high-torque setting to complete the task easily.

ridgid 18v brushless cordless sub compact 1/2 in. drill/driver r8701 - more strong drilling performance.
More strong drilling performance.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in. demonstrated excellent performance in drilling holes through 16 gauge sheet steel. It was able to make a ¼-inch hole in approximately 1.22 seconds and repeated this impressive performance in our ½-inch drilling test, which only took 3.19 seconds. The Ridgid proved to be a capable brushless drill of up to a wide range of drilling tasks, with performances rivaling top models.

Strong drilling performance form the Ridgid
Credit: Austin Palmer

Driving


Also constituting 35 percent of the total score of each drill driver is our driving test metric. The metric comprises two practical assessments. The first is to attempt to completely sink a 5-inch lag screw into dimensional lumber through a 13/32-inch pilot hole. The second is the task of setting 3-inch number 9 countersunk deck screws flush with the surface of the dimensional lumber.

In a departure from the excellent drilling performance, the Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in offered some lackluster performances. It made about one and one-eighth of an inch of progress driving a 5-inch lag screw before our testers had to switch to the high-torque low-speed setting. Unfortunately, even in this setting, the Ridgid tapped out with ¾ of an inch of the lag screw exposed. It offered a similar level of performance, setting 3-inch countersunk deck screws flush with our test material. While the screws were mostly flush, achieving perfection was somewhat challenging.

The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in would cut off while trying to creep the screws flush at such a low speed incrementally. Whether this is a safety feature to protect the motor or it just has an inadequate amount of torque unless spun up with the full depression of a trigger is unclear. What is clear is that this model is not as proficient at driving as other top models.

This model is less proficient at driving than it is at drilling.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Battery Life


The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in offers impressive battery lifeand very closely rivals our top models. Our tests utilized a 2 AH battery that allows you to handle an exceptional number of tasks before needing to be recharged. Recharging also only takes 59 minutes before a full charge is achieved.

The battery life of the Ridgid rivals top models tested.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Convenience


As its name suggests, the Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in is a sub-compact model. It has an overall length of 6 ¼ inches and a 2 pounds 15.5 ounces weight with a 2 amp hour battery. The Ridgid includes typical features, like a belt clip, work light, and bit holder. We found the large battery tabs made it exceptionally quick and easy to swap batteries.

ridgid 18v brushless cordless sub compact 1/2 in. drill/driver r8701 - convenience and good ergonomics come in a compact package.
Convenience and good ergonomics come in a compact package.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Should You Buy the Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in?


The Ridgid 18V Brushless Cordless Sub Compact 1/2 in is a good drill with a high level of performance and great battery life, but lacks the power to get certain jobs done. Therefore, we can't recommend the Ridgid over other stronger options.

What Other Drill Driver Should You Consider?


We strongly urge those who are starting out buying tools to consider the Kobalt XTR 24-volt 1/2-in Keyless Brushless Cordless Drill KXDD 1424A-03 kit. The kit includes a tool, battery, and charger, and it is a top-performing model in our comprehensive testing. The DeWalt 20V Max Compact Brushless Drill/Driver DCD777C2 also stands out as a solid choice for a complete kit. However, if the highest level of performance is what you demand, you'll want to take a look at the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2" Drill Driver. However, it is expensive and costs as much for the tool alone as many complete kits.

Austin Palmer, Benjamin Hickok