New Info On Ridgid 18V Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw R8658

Back in March 2022 we had learned that Ridgid was coming out with many new tools. One of those was the Ridgid 18V Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw R8658. You can check out the original article here. Today we received the official press release with new info of which we will dive into below.

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Ridgid Rear Handle Saw R8658

What is a Rear Handle Saw?

It’s a circular saw that looks like a worm drive circular saw but without actually having a worm drive. They are also usually battery powered circular saws. I haven’t seen any corded saws with the name. These are also very powerful cordless circular saws and are also the only way to get a left blade cordless circular saw with a 7-1/4″ blade.

Ridgid 18V Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw R8658

We now have Ridgid’s official press release with new info. They continue to say this is the industry’s lightest weight rear handle circular saw. And this is thanks to it featuring all magnesium construction. However they do not yet mention how light it is.

Ridgid Rear Handle Saw R8658 magnesium

Some corded worm drive saws are known for their use of magnesium. Magnesium is a strong yet lightweight material making it a great fit for power tools. This also means that this is by far one of Ridgid’s nicest cordless circular saws. I say that because typically Ridgid’s cordless circular saws usually have plastic lower blade guards. And if their claim of all magnesium construction holds true, then we can expect a magnesium lower blade guard and shoe as well.

Performance Claims:

Performance stats look pretty good. We previously knew that it could cut through 3 stacked pieces of 3/4″ OSB per second. Now we learn that it has a max cut depth of 2-1/2″ at 90 degrees and has a no load 5,800 RPM. It has an integrated rafter hook, electric brake, 53 degree bevel capacity, and Ridgid says you can “experience extreme performance when paired with their MAX Output EXP batteries”. It also comes with a upper blade guard side dust chute that you can adapt with a vacuum attachment for better dust management.

Not A Worm Drive

Keep in mind that though it may look like a worm drive saw, it isn’t. The Ridgid 18V Rear Handle Saw R8658 is essentially a sidewinder circular saw. As shown below, you can see the motor is behind the blade. Just like a traditional sidewinder is. Also you’ll notice that the section where the motor worm drive would be is the battery slot. And the handle fits just behind that, giving it the rear handle configuration.

Ridgid Rear Handle Saw R8658 front side profile

Availability & Pricing:

The Ridgid 18V Rear Handle Saw R8658 will launch November 2022 for $239 as a baretool.

Features & Specs

  • Maximum Performance. Longer Runtime.
  • Experience extreme performance when paired with MAX Output EXP batteries
  • Faster cutting than 15A corded saws
  • Industry’s lightest weight rear handle circular saw featuring all magnesium construction
  • 5,800 RPM
  • 2-1/2 in. depth of cut
  • Electronic blade brake stops the blade in seconds
  • 53° bevel capacity with detents
  • Integrated rafter hook
  • 100% Compatible: Works with all RIDGID® 18V Batteries
  • Lifetime Service Agreement with registration within 90 days of purchase
  • Includes: R8658 Brushless 7-1/4 in. Rear Handle Circular Saw, R840080 8.0Ah MAX Output EXP Battery, Rapid Charger, 7-1/4 in. Circular Saw Blade, Blade Wrench, Vacuum Attachment with Screw and Operator’s Manual
  • This tool will be available in tool only and various kit configurations at The Home Depot and

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  • Ecotek says:

    I can’t be sure from the pictures, but I think that since they are referring to this as a “rear handle” saw, and not as a worm drive, then it’s probably not a worm drive. Not that they are the only ones to do that. I’m interested to know why these brands are emulating the layout but not going all the way with it. Perhaps it’s because they work drives are notoriously heavy?

    • Javier says:

      That’s a good question. Yes, you are correct. It is not a worm drive. It’s a sidewinder circular saw and I added new images that show you that there is no worm drive. In the section where a worm drive would normally go is where the battery compartment is. I also updated the article as well to clarify that it is in fact not a worm drive. Thanks for pointing that out!

      The only actual cordless circular saws with worm drives (that I know about) are the ones from Skilsaw

      I’m not sure why exactly why most brands make rear handle saws instead of actual worm drives. Possibly weight as you suggest. I think that cost cutting might also be a factor as worm drives have extensive use of metal for motor/worm drive housing and the worm drive gearbox and brands are gravitating towards more use of plastic as possible.

      And possibly that new more powerful brushless motors can offer stronger cutting performance and that a user might associate with worm drive like performance, or similar to or at least give the impression.

      I know when I tried Makita’s rear handle X2 circular saw, it was their strongest cordless saw I tried. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this is Ridgid’s strongest cordless circular saw yet.

      • Hamish says:

        No company wants to make a true cordless worm drive because it is way more inefficient than a direct drive. This matters a lot when runtime is on everyone’s minds. Modern battery direct drives now cut faster (and have done since 2017) than corded worm drives anyway. It is by no mistake that the only true cordless worm drive on the market required a boat anchor of a battery to keep it fed. This, along with all the other things you guys mentioned, make it a vastly inferior choice in terms of design.

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