My Ryobi electric screwdriver/drill battery needs replaced. It's a
cheap 9.6 volt unit. Home Depot doesn't stock replacements but they
offered me 12.x and 18.y units. So I had to order from the manufacture
($32) and wait 2 weeks for delivery.
So, it looks like they purposely introduce a new voltage level every so
often just to force you to purchase new equipment. Do all the
equipment makers do this? Dewalt? Makita? etc.
And it's not just power tools you'll notice. Marketing maxim: growth
is powered on the sale of new products.
If you buy one Ryobi item and remain happy with it forever, they can't
very well grow as quickly if they addict you on the latest of
The makita 9.6 drill I have from 85 is still made , stick packs are
still sold, even my original 1985 pack still works, so I bought a second
drill kit. My Ryobi pack did not last 6 months. Makita uses Sanyo cells,
the best, Ryobi uses chinese junk. By a Makita, Milwaukee, if you need
serious work out of your tools and no battery obsolesance.
Hey, I still have Bosch made in Japan 7.2V drill still going strong.
I bet this is older than yours, LOL.
I have couple other power tools, De Walt, Porter-Cable stuffs.
My idea is to buy a good one and keep it long time with less frustration.
You need to use another comparison. You can't remain happy
with a Ryobi for longer than about six months, unless you
never open the package in the first place.
All of my cordless tools still have replacement parts and
accesories available. They are expensive, but they are still
available. Some of them are well over 15 years old. Cordless
stuff doesn't last forever, though.
My 9.6v Makita 6095 still has the 9.6v sticks available,and they are still
about $28 each at *local* sources.
I can still buy a replacement charger for it that also accepts NiMH
sticks,which -are- made for my old Mak.
IMO,Ryobi is crap.
Mak,Hitachi,Panasonic and Milwaukee are good brands.
BTW,the move to higher voltage is more about more torque and longer run
time than "planned obsolesense".
There's more energy in a 12v/2AH pack than a 9.6V 2AH pack.
The same goes for higher voltages.
The trade-off penalties are heavier weight,higher cost.
Those cheapo Ryobi unit batteries/charging system are crap in my opinion
based on experienced. But that's all you get with the lightweights and
it's silly to be using 18v drills for light duty stuff.
The 18v Rigid ones I have has been going for years. The charging system
senses it's present condition and discharges/charges it accordingly. When
you put in a battery that just went dead in a tool, the charging unit
will also sense the battery is hot and not begin the charge cycle until
True, for the 400-500 contractor kits the batteries are properly
constructed but I believe the charging system is just as important as the
How long car batteries last is another one. I had a pickup battery for 11
yrs living near the Canadian border where winters dipped to -30. It never
failed to start. I attribute that to battery construction and charging
and the guy that runs it, Bill Darden, is really nice. I have contacted
him a couple times.
I am running a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries in a trailer.
Following his instructions pretty careful trying to make them last. I
try to limit discharge as much as possible and keep them charged during
the winter etc.
For that price plus taking into consideration of the inconveniance, you
could have probably bought a new unit with a increased power (torque)
Higher battery voltage means more available source of power to the unit
which translates into the unit being able to deliver a better
performance/response. It has nothing to do with manufacturers "sucking
people" into buying newer units (well, not entirely anyways! <grin>).
Battery development over the years has slowly improved to the point now
that units, such as skill saws and sanders, for example are now available
in cordless models....options that were either not possible or not
worthwhile under the older technology.
That's my take on it anyways and as usual YMMV........ :-)
Actually, Ryobi has standardized on 18 volts and they offer replacement
batteries that will work with any 18 volt toll they have ever made for a very
low price. Their competitors have not kept up with them on this point. I believe
you can buy a pack of TWO Ryobi 18 vilolt batteries for about $40.
That all depends on what you decide to do. You were asking if all manufacturers
force you to buy new equipment by changing the voltages. In the past they all
did, but now Ryobi no longer does that. They have standardized on 18 volts and
offer replacement batteries at a much better price than their competors. They
make one battery that fits every 18 volt tool they have ever sold, past or
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.