Are Ryobi Power Tools Any Good?

When you start a construction project or invest in tools that you want to last for years down the road, figuring out the best tool for you is an important step. Ryobi power tools are one option that you might consider in this process. With so many tools on the market, how can you know whether Ryobi is right for you?

Ryobi power tools are considered a very good investment for construction project DIYers, due to their comparatively low price, good quality, and 18 Volt One+ Battery technology. However, for professional construction workers, Ryobi may not be hardy enough for prolonged, everyday use.

Though other products are more suited to constant, professional wear than Ryobi tools, Ryobi power tools still have many attractive features. This article will cover the basic characteristics of power tools and how Ryobi power tools measure up to tools from other manufacturers.

* This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Types of Motors Used in Power Tools

Before investing in tools, it’s a good idea to know how your tools work, and what types of tools will be the right fit for you. First, it’s a good idea to think about what type of motor you might want.

There are two types of motors used in power tools: brushed motors and brushless motors.

Brushless motors are usually more expensive, but last for longer and are more efficient to use.

To understand the benefits of both types of motors, let’s take a quick look at how they work.

Brushed Motors

In motors, the term “brushes” refers to carbon brushes, which are small parts of a motor that carry electrical charge to the rotor. The rotor is the part of the motor which moves and allows the tool to function.

Tools work through the use of magnets and electromagnetic fields. With brushed motors, an electromagnet is mounted within the rotor; when an electrical current is run to the rotor, the electromagnet causes the rotor to spin.

The contact of the brushes with the rotor is therefore very important — without brushes, the rotor won’t move, and the tool won’t work.

In brushed motors, the carbon brushes are mounted onto the rotor. However, because of this placement, in order to continue generating an electromagnetic field, the brushes have to make contact with the stationary outer part of the tool (the stator). Contact with the stator creates friction and dust within the tool.

The main drawback of brushed motors comes from the contact that brushes make with the stator.

The friction produced creates more heat and wear inside the tool, shortening its overall lifespan.

This set-up also limits the amount of torque your tool can produce.

Brushless Motors

On the other hand, brushless motors are constructed — as the name implies — without brushes. The electromagnetic field is generated and maintained by an “internal computer”, rather than contact with the carbon brushes.

With the electronics circuit handling the electromagnetic field, carbon brushes do not need to connect the rotor to the stator. This decreases the amount of friction and heat generated inside the tool and helps the tool’s strength and durability.

Brushless motors generally last for longer than brushed motors, because of the reduced friction and wear inside the motor’s mechanism.

For a quick comparison of the performance of brushed and brushless power tools, check out the video below:

As shown in the video, brushed tools still work well for construction projects. However, they have slightly less power and torque than brushless motors.

Ryobi Motors and the 18V One+ Battery System

In recent years, Ryobi has branched out from brushed motors, and begun marketing brushless motor tools as well.

While many of their products are still made with brushed motors, there are now a fair amount of brushless Ryobi tools available as well.

However, Ryobi does not produce as many brushless motors as other manufacturers.

What truly sets Ryobi apart from other power tool companies is its battery system. The One+ battery system is designed to be a “one size fits all” method, allowing one battery to fit into any Ryobi power tool.

The 18 Volt One+ system uses lithium-ion batteries, which are small batteries that can carry a lot of charges.

They are used in electronics everywhere, such as in computers, cameras, and cell phones. Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and last for several years, making them perfect for use in power tools.

Many other companies do not have a comparable system to Ryobi’s One+ batteries. Rather than a single battery that is compatible with all the tools in your toolkit, other companies such as Stanley Black & Decker will market individual batteries for each tool that you own.

The obvious upside to Ryobi’s One+ battery system is the cost. For those of us on a budget, or who don’t engage in enough construction projects to make a big investment worthwhile, Ryobi’s power tools will be much cheaper. You won’t have to buy a new battery and charger for every tool you need for the job.

A few companies have begun their own, similar lines to the One+ System. Nonetheless, these are more costly than the Ryobi battery.

For example, DeWalt now sells a 20Volt Max Battery (Amazon Affiliate Link), which is compatible with any DeWalt 20 Volt tool but is pricey for a two-pack. In comparison, a Ryobi 18V Lithium Battery two-pack is an affordable option.

Why Ryobi? DIY Vs. Professional Needs

As we have seen, Ryobi tools have some attractive features. They are available with brushed and brushless motors, depending on your need, and they use an interchangeable battery system to cut down on the number of batteries and chargers you need to buy.

However, other tool brands have these same qualities. So what would make Ryobi power tools the right fit for you? The answer: Ryobi power tools are ideal for DIY and novice construction projects, such as the Ryobi 18 Volt One+ Brushless Circular Saw.

Because they do not market themselves towards construction professionals, they are more affordable than other brands, like the DeWalt 20-Volt Brushless Circular Saw.

Additionally, Ryobi power tools come with the same warranty as many other tool companies. They offer a three-year warranty, the same as DeWalt, but in fact longer than Stanley Black & Decker, which offers a one year warranty instead.

On the other hand, Ryobi power tools are not built to withstand the same level of tough work as other power tool brands. They are not as powerful, and they won’t last as long in a 9-5 construction job in comparison to higher-end, sturdier tools.

For professionals, Ryobi may not be the brand for you. Though they are cheaper than tools from professionally-targeted companies such as DeWalt and Stanley Black & Decker, they also have not been built to withstand the wear of a professional construction job.

For DIYers and novices, Ryobi is an excellent choice. Not only will Ryobi tools fit in your budget, but you can be sure that you are getting high-quality tools that will last you for years.

Also, you won’t have to buy individual batteries and chargers for each tool you need.

Ryobi sells several excellent toolkits, either for DIYers looking to bulk up their toolkit or amateurs looking to purchase a good base of tools.

The Ryobi One+ Combo Kit is a great place to start and includes two batteries (with a charger), a reciprocating saw, circular saw, lightweight drill, impact driver, work light, and a JobPlus Base multi-tool.

Summary

Ryobi is considered one of the best brands on the market for DIY construction projects. With both brushed and brushless tools available, as well as their interchangeable 18 Volt One+ battery technology, Ryobi is a great option for at-home projects.

Related article: Ryobi vs Milwaukee: Which Brand Is Best?

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.