If you want to buy some tools, whether as a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, you will inevitably come across a few big names - DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Black & Decker, and others. These are all good brands, but one more good brand has been making headlines because of its high-quality tools at affordable prices - Ryobi!
Ryobi tools are not the first choice of many professional contractors or DIY-ers, but that can change if they only try learning more about them. Most Ryobi tools come with all the great features you would expect to find in professional-grade tools but at half the price. Often, an entire line of Ryobi power tools will cost as much as a single tool from the abovementioned brands.
That said, there are also a few significant disadvantages that Ryobi tools have. But today, we are here to discuss one main question - is Ryobi a good brand? To answer that question, I will tell you more about the brand's history, reputation, tools, quality, innovative techniques, costs, and everything else you need to know to determine if these are the right power tools for you. So, let's get right into the guide!
Ryobi - History and Reputation
Ryobi is a company that has been in the power tool market for a while. This company has been a part of the global market for decades. It was first established in the 1940s in Hiroshima when it focused on creating die-cast products. It was not until the late 1950s that it started creating power tools.
The change to power tools helped Ryobi make a name for itself. By 2000, Ryobi tools were sold in various markets across North America. Two years later, Europe and Oceania also got on the bandwagon and started selling them.
Since then, Ryobi tools have received several significant updates, while countless tools have been added to the tool lines. For example, the widely known One+ line of power tools has been in the making since 1996. New tools have been added yearly to make the 260+ impressive power tools line.
As for the reputation of the company, it has been steadily rising with the creation of new tools. There are many power tool brands, but we need a different price-to-performance ratio than we keep seeing from Ryobi. The price and quality keep buyers returning for more while attracting many new buyers. You can take it upon yourself to read some Ryobi reviews, but I assure you that the company has received nothing but positive reviews.
Who Makes Ryobi Tools?
The same company that currently owns Ryobi is the same that manufactures the majority of the tools. That is a company called Techtronic Industries, a Hong-Kong based company that owns a few other power tool companies. Among them are Milwaukee, Vox, AEG, and other power tool brands.
Most of the parts used on Ryobi tools are manufactured in the US, but some parts are also manufactured in China, Vietnam, Germany, Mexico, and the Czech Republic. TTI has factories in each of these countries, whereas the tools are also sold in the countries and across the US.
As for the availability of the tools, Ryobi tools are currently sold exclusively at Home Depot in the US. They are available in many chain markets across all other continents. For those who do not have a Ryobi store close by, there is also the option to buy the tools directly from the company website. There, you can learn where each tool and its parts were made.
Product Quality and Innovation
Many people do not think that Ryobi is a good brand. They think its tools are not good for their value. Everyone expects the company to have tools with the highest quality ever, but the thing is, the company never claimed that its goal was to create higher quality tools compared to competitor brands. Its goal has always been to provide good value for people's money.
Ryobi products are exceptional, considering the price and materials used. They are quick, reliable, lightweight, rechargeable, versatile, competent, cordless, and brushless tools that can do the job. They might not be suitable for demanding projects but are ideal for small DIY and home improvement projects.
As for innovation, Ryobi is one step ahead of the competition because its tools are eco-friendly. Unlike other brands, Ryobi focuses on eliminating its carbon footprint as much as possible while using products and materials that are not harmful to the environment.
Thus, the company uses interchangeable batteries suitable for all power tools. The same lithium-ion batteries can be recharged repeatedly, while the tools do not need gas. They rely entirely on batteries that use electricity to charge. So, the innovations Ryobi has introduced make its tools an excellent investment opportunity.
Is Ryobi a Good Brand for Tools?
Ryobi is undoubtedly an excellent brand for power tools. Ever since the company's beginning, it has invested much of its resources into creating more and more tools in the hopes of helping DIYers and professionals have a good user experience. Not only are its tools easy to use, but they are also capable and versatile.
There isn't any tool that does not have the Ryobi brand name on it. Anything you need, from outdoor tools, garden tools, plumbing tools, impact drivers, saws, hot glue guns, and everything else you can think of - you name it, Ryobi has it!
The company's hundreds and hundreds of quality tools are why I recommend them to beginner woodworkers, plumbers, or contractors. The price is something that I mentioned before, but it is also a significant factor to consider. If you want an excellent price-to-performance ratio, then Ryobi is your company!
Are Ryobi Tools Good for Professionals?
One of the few things that Ryobi tools are not suitable for is professional contractors. While the company has done a tremendous job with its tools, the sole fact that they are plastic, come with the same brushless motors, and cannot be used as corded tools makes them fall short compared to other tools.
Still, they are lightweight and compact, so they come in handy when working at a remote location. One of the problems that professionals have with the tools is that they do not look professional. Lime green is not in this season. or any season regarding tools. So, the company might want to do rebranding if it wants to score some points with the pros.
Range of Products
If you look at Ryobi's official website, you will find a neat menu that allows you to see all available products by platform, category, or interest. The platforms available are 18V One+, 40V, 80V, USB Lithium, and Link Storage, each containing countless tools. Divided by interest, the same tools come in the categories of hobby+maker, home improvement, automotive, cleaning, outdoor power, lifestyle, and storm prep.
But the actual categories are the best way to review all products from Ryobi. So, here is a bit more on the ten different categories offered at Ryobi and the tools within each one:
Power tools are the focus of many DIYers and professionals. Ryobi offers many power tools, including combo kits, drills, fasteners, cutters, sanding and polishing devices, woodworking tools, nailers, staplers, pneumatics, and tools for prep, maintenance, and repair. The combo kits offer the best value for the money, while there are a dozen different kits with two to eight tools each.
Outdoor Power Equipment
For those who like working in their gardens, Ryobi offers many garden tools with incredible capabilities. There are mowers, blowers, string trimmers, edgers, hedge trimmers, pruners, chainsaws, power cleaners, pressure washers, snow blowers, chemical sprayers, log splitters, seed spreaders, cultivators, augers, and many other tools.
Of course, combo kits contain several of these tools or even all. Within each of these categories, you can also find several varieties. For example, there are two types of mowers: riding and walk-behind mowers. So, ensure you explore everything thoroughly.
Lighting, Lifestyle, and Recreation
I mentioned outdoor tools in the previous section, but you should also know that there are tools for the inside of your home. Ryobi has created heaters, inflators, fans, misters, lightning, many audio and entertainment tools, and what else not. There is also a section dedicated to accessories, where you can replace all missing parts of your tools.
Generators and Power Solutions
Besides the fantastic lithium-ion batteries Ryobi has come up with, the company also offers a few more power solutions. On its website, you can explore inverter generators, standard generators, battery inverters, and automotive inverters. For all systems, there are accessories such as wires, and solar panels, with some new products in this category yet to be released by the company.
I will not mind cleaning my home daily using some of Ryobi's cleaning tools. The company has outdone itself with the vacuums it has produced. Stick, hand, and wet/dry vacuum cleaners are in all sizes. Apart from that, there are scrubbers and sprayers.
Some things that Ryobi has come up with are truly unique. For example, its 18V One+ line has an outdoor patio cleaner, which you will not find elsewhere. Just ensure you use the proper cleaning solution to get the best results.
The storage options offered are focused on tools. There are various tool bags and storage options that you can use to store all your tools neatly. Furthermore, modular wall and mobile storage units can turn your toolshed or garage into a well-organized space.
Hand Tools & eTools
If you want to look like a professional working on your DIY project, you can always get markers, knives, tape measures, and levels from Ryobi. The company also sells infrared thermometers and stud detectors, making getting around the worksite easier.
Ryobi currently produces several types of batteries: 18V, 40V, 80V, USB Lithium, and a few rarely available alternatives. The good thing about the batteries is that they are compatible with all tools in the line. So, you can get one battery and use it with each tool whenever needed.
Another thing I like about the batteries is that the company never changes them. The same 18V battery system has functioned since the 1990s, meaning you can use tools from various generators with the same battery.
Each battery has dedicated 18V, 40V, 80V, or USB lithium chargers. These chargers offer fast charging, so you can return to your project within a few hours, even if the battery runs out.
Finally, the category of accessories adds a few more types of tools to Ryobi's already impressive offer. In this category, you can find cutters, woodworking tools, tools for sanding and polishing, drills, drivers, EZ clean tools, etc. A section is also dedicated to hobbies and crafts, with glue sticks and soldering tips. Overall, this company offers everything you can think of and even more!
Price and Value
Price and value are two fundamental features that Ryobi has on its side. Regardless of their release date or capabilities, all Ryobi tools are affordable. They are much more affordable than most other brands with similar tools.
It baffled me when I realized that an entire line of Ryobi tools came at the same price as a single Milwaukee or Makita tool. You have to realize that you can buy an entire line of tools and start your own business or even do an entire DIY project for the prize of a single DeWalt circular saw. Now that is what makes Ryobi challenging to stand up against.
The value is also there. I would have liked to see more durable plastic in the tool's build, but I can settle for the all-plastic design as long as it gets the job done. I can also use the same rechargeable battery with all my tools, which is unprecedented. The same battery has been suitable for tools from the beginning of 1996 up until today. If that is not good value for your money, I need to know what is!
Pros and Cons
As with everything in life, Ryobi tools have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially when talking about tools used occasionally. If you were to focus on professional-grade tools, there are better choices than these.
After discussing these tools for so long, I will briefly overview their pros and cons. Here is what you need to know before making your final purchase decision:
List of Pros
- All Ryobi power tools are affordable and offer great value for money.
- The same battery with extended battery life can be used with all 18V One+ line tools.
- The 18V battery is rechargeable, and it also recharges fast compared to other batteries.
- Ryobi sells tools that are easy to handle, as the majority are compact, lightweight, and ergonomic.
- Ryobi tools have excellent performance, whether the chain saws or driver hedge trimmers.
- All tools are cordless power tools, meaning you can use them whenever you want without needing a power socket.
- All Ryobi tools come with a warranty that covers most defects. Depending on the tool, the warranty can be for one, three, or five years, with the majority being on the longer spectrum.
List of Cons
- Ryobi makes all its tools with plastic, which compromises quality.
- Durability can be an issue, as it is different from that of Milwaukee or Makita tools.
- Ryobi tools are sold exclusively at Home Depot, so people cannot get them elsewhere.
- The battery life might be too short for longer, more demanding projects.
- Ryobi tools are not considered the industry standard and are not suitable for professionals working on serious projects.
If you were wondering are Ryobi tools worth buying, and if this is a good brand, I hope I answered your questions with this detailed guide. Ryobi's tools are not the best on the market and do not pretend to be. But when you consider their capabilities and price, they are some of the best affordable power tools on the market.
Overall, Ryobi is a good brand, especially for those who need power tools for occasional use. Professional contractors are better off looking at some of the Ryobi alternatives, but they will quickly find that the price-to-performance ratio is far from that of Ryobi.
Finally, if you have any experience with Ryobi power tools, please share it in the comment section below. Let me know which Ryobi tool is your favorite, which you recommend, and which you do not like using. I always appreciate your input on any topic!