Milwaukee Tool and Ryobi are two leading brands making similar products, but they cater to distinct market segments. Both the companies have licensed their power tools and other equipment to Tectonic Industries, a Hong Kong based manufacturer and global distributor.
Milwaukee Tools are better than Ryobi as they are made for professionals and heavy-duty DIY projects. Ryobi has more affordable power tools than Milwaukee for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. However, Milwaukee Tools and Kyocera Ryobi products are at par.
Milwaukee Tools and Ryobi have many similarities and a few differences, and thus anyone may have a little trouble choosing between the two. However, the choice is simple if you prioritize the differences per your needs.
This guide compares Ryobi and Milwaukee Tools for you to decide.
Ryobi Is More Affordable Than Milwaukee Tools in the US
Consider the prices of Ryobi P239 18V One+ Brushless Lithium-Ion Impact Driver and Milwaukee Hex 2656-20 M18 18V Lithium-Ion Impact Driver on Amazon.com. Both are ¼” (6.3 mm) impact drivers available as bare tools, excluding the batteries and chargers.
This Milwaukee driver is usually ~$10 costlier than Ryobi’s. The difference may appear to be nominal because these are entry-level models. The financial difference is directly proportional as you scale up the specifications, go for included accessories, and choose packs or kits.
Compare the prices of Ryobi P884 18-Volt One+ Lithium-Ion Combo Kit and Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit on Amazon.com. Both these kits have 6 tools, 2 batteries, a charger, and a bag. The Milwaukee kit has 2 bags, whereas Ryobi offers only 1.
However, the bag is obviously not the reason why Milwaukee’s kit costs several hundred dollars more than Ryobi.
Almost every Milwaukee product across categories is costlier than Ryobi, and it makes sense for Tectonic Industries to segregate the market into distinguished niches.
Tectonic Industries has the licenses to manufacture, assemble, distribute, and sell Ryobi and Milwaukee Tools in North America and Europe, among other regions.
However, they don’t have Ryobi’s license for Asia as it is with the latter’s majority shareholder Kyocera Group since 2018.
Kyocera Ryobi is not necessarily a more affordable brand of power tools because it has rolled out many products for professionals and heavy-duty DIY projects. Unlike Tectonic Industries, Kyocera doesn’t have to split its target market into two for better branding of its subsidiaries.
Here’s a video of a Kyocera Ryobi drill that is by no means inexpensive:
Milwaukee Tools vs. Ryobi
There is a popular perception that Milwaukee Tools have better specifications than Ryobi.
Some ground realities are indicative of Milwaukee’s superior performance, and their longer & more comprehensive warranties are perhaps a testament to the fact that their products are durable.
However, the two brands are not too disparate when we look at the specifications on paper.
Some models in the same range will have significantly different features, but many products don’t really leave an undisputed winner. Hence, you have to delve into the specifics.
Here’s a comparison of Milwaukee Tools and Ryobi circular saws:
|Specifications / Features||Ryobi One Circular Saw||Milwaukee M12 Circular Saw|
|Blade||5½” (~14 cm)||5 ⅜” (~13.7 cm)|
|Rotations Per Minute||Up to 4,700 RPM||Up to 3,600 RPM|
|Bevel Adjustment||Max 50 degrees||Max 50 degrees|
|Weight||5.19 lbs (2.35 kg)||5.35 lbs (2.42 kg)|
|Price||Check price on Amazon||Check price on Amazon|
|Warranty||3 years||5 years|
|Safety||Blade guard and side handle||Blade guard|
|Blade Guard Material||Polyurethane||Aluminum|
The Ryobi circular saw runs on more voltage which explains the higher maximum RPM.
However, no-load RPMs and the real-world rotations per minute aren’t necessarily the same.
Also, the Milwaukee circular saw’s blade is almost 5½” (~14 cm) per the company’s specs.
The bevel adjustments are identical, and the weights aren’t a conclusive decider.
Both the models have numerous positive reviews and a few reported disappointments on Amazon and elsewhere.
Eventually, the choice between these two boils down to individual user experiences.
Both the circular saws are durable, but you may expect the Milwaukee to last longer due to its sturdier construction.
Take the blade guard, for example. Milwaukee’s aluminum blade guard should stand the test of time long after Ryobi’s polyurethane undergoes significant wear.
However, durability is also a subjective matter because how well you use and maintain a circular saw will have a consequential impact.
Both the brands claim superior performance, longer-lasting motors, and more than 100 cuts per charge. The ground reality varies, of course.
Many users may prefer Milwaukee’s aluminum blade guard over Ryobi’s polyurethane.
Some users may consider Ryobi’s side handle to be a decisive feature in regards to safety.
These aspects are always subjective and cannot be generalized, whether among the pros or DIY-ers.
For example, the polyurethane blade guard on Ryobi is clear, and you can see through.
This feature may count as a plus for many users that prefer to see their cuts as they progress.
On the other hand, Milwaukee’s Red-Link Plus Intelligence system is a reliable safety feature.
Milwaukee’s circular saw costs more, but it also uses more expensive materials like aluminum.
However, Ryobi runs on a higher voltage, interestingly, despite the lower price point. These two models are bare tools without batteries & accessories, so those costs must be factored in, too.
Milwaukee’s 5-year warranty is usually applicable to all its power tools. Additionally, the company generally offers a 2-year limited warranty on its batteries.
Ryobi’s power tools have a 3-year limited warranty, whereas batteries and some accessories included in kits have 90 days.
Ryobi’s power tools of the same range and voltage capacity are compatible with their interchangeable batteries.
The company keeps its battery compartments identical through evolving generations of their products, which is a practically useful attribute for many users.
Likewise, Milwaukee is known for its M12 batteries, and the brand has had several best-selling power tools to its credit for nearly a hundred years. Ryobi may win the battle if budget is the only criterion. Otherwise, all your assessments must be a tool and model-specific comparison.