At 6 lbs. 9 oz., RIDGID’s “Fuego” reciprocating saw is the lightest, most compact saw in this group. The R3002’s narrow body, contoured two-finger trigger and rubber overmold bears some physical resemblance to the Makita saw, as does its rubber-covered blade clamp. But, while the clamp doesn’t lock open, it’s always useable regardless of blade stroke position — nice. Its pivoting foot takes the prize for the greatest number of adjustment positions at six. Unfortunately, its plastic locking lever felt flimsy and didn’t lock the foot firmly.
For aggressive cutting, the RIDGID’s orbital blade action worked well and was selectable via an easy-to-turn dial atop the body. But when I put the saw through my pedal-to-the-metal 2×8 cutting test, the R3002 turned in a third-worst time of 19 seconds. Despite the saw’s small 9-amp motor and short 3/4″ blade stroke, I’d expected faster cutting performance due to the saw’s blade orbit and high top speed of 3,400 strokes per minute (SPM). Most of the other saws have a 2,800 SPM maximum. What the higher SPM did do was create a lot of vibration, which made this saw relatively uncomfortable to use.