I have some 18 volt Ryobi tools, the batteries go flat with very little use.
Using the drill to drive screws is frustrating, you get about 20 in and
start to lose power. Switch to the second battery, it goes down just as fast
and the first is nowhere near re-charged. Using the accompanying circular
saw is a joke, no power at all. The set has been in its case for six
months, don't know what I'll do with them, but, as a gift from my wife, I
keep them around.
Think this is a case of YMMV... I've had the set w/ the
drill/circsaw/recipsaw for a couple of years now, and it's still going
strong. I use the drill all the time, and I've been using the circ saw a
good deal too. It works great for cutting down plywood/MDF (I've done up to
3/4" stock thus far), especially if you put a plywood cutting blade in it.
I think the trick is not to expect it to have the same capabilities of a
larger saw -- but it's worked great for my purposes.
Of course there's always exceptions, and maybe I'm one of them... but I
have no complaints so far.
IMHO, way too many people are hung up on name brands and brand image.
Most of the time, there is no reason for a homeowner or light DIYer to
buy the same top quality tools that professionals need.
Ryobi and many other brands that people turn their nose up at offer
excellent value for the less than full time user. You can get a
Craftsman 19.2 volt combo with 2 batteries, a 1/2" drill, a circular
saw and a bonus flourescent light for $159. Lowes sells the same combo
with the Dewalt brand (which is only 18 volts), minus the light for
$349.99. And if you are willing to go with the lower voltages, the
bargains can be even more amazing.
And let's face it, most home users are never going to actually wear the
tool out before the batteries die and that's where they really get you.
A Craftsman 19.2 volt battery is $59.99 but Lowes sells a Porter Cable
battery for $86.67. For the price of 2 PC baterries you can buy an
entirely new Craftsman kit. I am not too proud to by a Ryobi or a
Craftsman for tools that I know I am not going to use a lot.
Just my 2 cents worth...
I've got 2 decent Ryobi tools; the OSS and the 3x21 belt sander that
looks similar to a Bosch. I've had the belt sander for over 12 years and
it still works fine. I've had the OSS about 6-8 months, IIRC.
OTOH, their 4-1/2" ROS is a POS, IMHO.
I can't remember where I saw the reviews but most people who are serious
about their tools would rather pay extra for metal gears intead of plastic
gears in their cordless drills. I think that principal applies across the
board. The Dewalt, PC, etc. are actually cheaper in the long run, IMHO.
I've beat the crap out of the 14.4v Ryobi drill motor for the past 3
years, almost daily use, and it's still going strong. The only
fallouts I've had are the batteries. Replacements are $35, less than
half what DeWally gets. I'm still satisfied with my $112 purchase.
(Ryobi drill motor, charger, 2 batteries, cordless skil saw, and a
ratty, blowmold, plastic case for $99.95 + s/h from the Borg.)
Remember: Every silver lining has a cloud.
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I bought a Ryobi reciprocating saw at a flea market and when I got home, I
discovered the trigger on-off switch didn't work. After finding their address
on Google, I sent them an email giving them the model and serial number and
asking for ordering instructions. They responded with an email that this model
and serial number qualified it for free replacement of parts. I gave them my
mailing address and they sent me not only the switch but a new case, didn't even
charge me shipping. Now you can't beat that with a stick. The main thing I
like about it is the blade holder which is easy to use and reliable.
I dunno. I bought a Ryobi 3/8" corded drill -- a refurb, no less -- at one
of those travelling tool sales. I got it to replace a highly-rated Bosch
that died after about a year. The Ryobi has been going strong for eight or
ten years now, despite some pretty serious tool abuse. At the same sale, I
got a 3X21 Ryobi belt sander. It's still going strong, too. I recently
bought a Ryobi 5" random orbital sander. Doesn't orbit any more, and has
only seen limited use. Maybe there's some truth to the notion that Ryobi ten
years ago was a better brand than it is today. My limited experience
I think that is my philosophy--get the highest quality tool possible
or don't buy at all. Actually I have one Ryobi power tool that has
stood the test of time, a 3x21" belt sander now on its 18th year of
use that just won't quit. The flat top allows it to rest on the bench
to easily sand small pieces and the ends of dowels. It also has a
speed control. I would not buy a Ryobi drill, saw, or other Ryobi
cordless tool that I have seen as I've seen much better choices. But,
brands can (and do) change quality over time.
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