Best Ryobi Tools Reviewed & Rated for Quality

If you love tools, learning about them, studying them, etc. then you may have heard of Ryobi. And you would be in the minority in that opinion. Yes, while Ryobi has certainly made a name for themselves (they wouldn’t have lasted this long otherwise) their work has just been eclipsed by mightier men like Craftsman and Dewalt. However, that does not make them any less deserving of study and praise.

Featured Recommendations

Cordless Power Inflator
  • Cordless Power Inflator
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Pistol Grip Handle
  • Price: See Here
Lithium Ion Drill/Driver
  • Lithium Ion Drill/Driver
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Max Speed of 1,300 RPM
  • Price: See Here
Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
  • Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-Slip Handling
  • Price: See Here

Ryobi has been around for quite some time now, yet their work has been eclipsed time and again by the more mainstream faces of the tool industry. Which really is a shame, because even a cursory glance at the products they put out, shows that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their tools are almost always of top shelf quality, which is why today, we’re going to be looking at the ten best. Power tools, hand tools, nothing is off the table. If Ryobi has made it, then it can be put on this list. So, with that said, let’s not waste any more time, and let’s count down the:

 

10 Best Ryobi Tools

 

1. Cordless Power Inflator

1. Cordless Power Inflator
Kicking off our list, we have the Ryobi Cordless Power Inflator. If you have a flat tire but manage to patch it in time, there’s still the matter of putting the air it lost back into the now deflated tire. And this is pretty much the perfect alternative to a manual air pump. Let’s find out why that is.
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Portable pistol pumping power

This pump’s portable pistol pumping power is a potentially preposterously potent powerup to your plans. This is a smaller than average inflator yet runs absolute circles around most other inflators on the market. And with its ergonomic pistol-like design for its grip, this pump is expertly designed as well as incredibly efficient.

No accessories needed

Everything must have a peripheral, otherwise, how would money be made? However, unlike other inflators, this one requires no accessories or add ons in order to work properly. Instead, what would otherwise have been the add ons, extra nozzles and so forth, are already added onto the inflator as a feature.

Cost and Value

The best part about this item, though, is its price, which is astoundingly affordable, given the quality of the tool being presented. You will rarely end up having to spend all that much on this excellent inflator.
Pros

Portable pistol pumping power

No accessories needed

Very affordable

Cons

No battery included

2. Lithium Ion Drill/Driver

2. Lithium Ion Drill/Driver
In second place, we have the Ryobi Lithium Ion Drill/Driver. This is, at the same time, an impact driver as well as a normal power drill. And this combination leads to the Ryobi Drill/Driver to be one of the most powerful drills on the entire market. So, what makes it so special? Let’s find out.
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No tools needed for bit changes

With a drill like this, most of the time, bits are swapped out via a special wrench that you use to unscrew the bit from the drill. This, as you can imagine, is a bit tedious, not the least bit because the wrench is often really small and easy to lose. But thankfully, this drill requires no such aid and can have its bits swapped out just the same as any drill out there.

Magtray

High up on a ladder, yet doing a job that needs more than one drill bit? Don’t worry about having to bury that bit in your pocket where it could fall out, instead use this drill’s mag tray. This little tray located at the bottom of the drill lets you hold as many as two different drill bits in a convenient, safe location for when you need them.

Cost and Value

In stark contrast to the previous entry, this drill is almost obscenely expensive. While not in the triple digits, mind you, it’s pretty close for a single drill.
Pros

No tools needed to change out bits

Magtray

Rubberized over grip

Cons

Pricey

3. Reciprocating Saw

3. Reciprocating Saw
Finishing up our top 3 segment, we have the Ryobi Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw. A reciprocating saw or saws-all as some like to call it (but we don’t, so we won’t) is basically what you go for what you need to cut through something thick, but not so thick that you need to break out the circular saw. It’s a very nice in-betweener that helps you avoid having to get out the hacksaw.
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Non-slip handling

The thing about reciprocating saws is that they’re the saws with a kick to them. Using them brings with it a good bit of backlash, especially when you actually hit the wood. As such, it can be kind of hard to deal with, especially if you’re not a big fan of holding onto something that’s vibrating. Which is why this reciprocating saw comes with non-slip handling for its grip, to make it easier on your hands when you hold it.

Backward compatible

If there is any flaw to be found in Ryobi’s work, it is that certain tools can only use certain types of batteries. Usually the newest types out right now. But thankfully, this reciprocating saw does not have this, frankly rather dumb, problem that its peers have. It is completely backward compatible and can be used with other lithium ion batteries.

Cost and Value

With a power drill, it’s cause for raised eyebrows for the price to be rather high, but a reciprocating saw is a bit of a heavier piece of machinery, so it makes sense that its price tag would be higher. But even so, it isn’t all that high all things considered.
Pros

Non-slip handling

Backward compatible

No tools needed to change blades

Cons

Pricey

4. Caulk and Adhesive Gun

4. Caulk and Adhesive Gun
In the #4 spot, we have the Ryobi Pistol Grip Caulk and Adhesive Gun. A caulking gun is exactly what the name implies, it is a gun meant to shoot out caulk and other adhesives onto a surface. Except unlike others, this one is a power tool, so the first perk is obvious.

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No intense squeezing

If you’ve used a caulking gun before, then simply thinking about them probably makes your fingers hurt. A manual caulk gun is one of the toughest, meanest tools you can use. Fortunately, since this is powered by a lithium ion battery, the manual part is removed. You just need to squeeze the trigger, and out would come the caulk.

Powerful push force

The reason that manual caulking guns are so stubborn is that caulk is a stubborn adhesive that would really rather not leave the comfy confines of its container. Persuading it to do otherwise is a near herculean task (literally), but again, this tool has you covered. This caulk gun applies up to 500 pounds of push force, absolutely demolishing any hopes the caulk had of staying in its container.

Cost and Value

Of course, this caulking gun is rather expensive, certainly pricier than the manual variety. But you will more than get what you pay for with this, we promise.
Pros

No more intense squeezing

Powerful, 500 pounds of push force

Balanced system

Cons

The plunger does not tighten down which can cause some problems

5. Cordless Circular Saw

5. Cordless Circular Saw
Need to cut something clean, smooth, and most of all, fast? Then you’ve come to the right entry because a circular saw is what you’re looking for. You get exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a circular saw that rotates at several thousand RPM, and cuts through pretty much anything. So, let’s see what Ryobi does with that setup.
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Adjustable Bevel

The bevel, or foot, or that little black rectangle around the saw, is usually where the saw stops. It’s a reminder that you’ve reached the height limit, and then keeps you there. But luckily, the Ryobi saw’s bevel is able to be adjusted for angle, so that you can tackle a variety of different tasks no matter which direction they’re pointed in.

Extra side handle

Everyone wants that little extra bit of control, don’t he or she? Well, Ryobi is nothing if not happy to oblige, which is why they gave this circular saw an extra side handle that you can use to get more control over your saw. Now you don’t have to worry about the thing drifting too far off its intended course.

Cost and Value

Once more, we come to a very expensive tool, but one that more than earns it with innovative design. Like the reciprocating saw before it, circular saws are pretty much expected to be expensive, and this price is just right for those expectations, so there’s not much to worry about here.
Pros

Adjustable bevel

Extra side handle

Transparent lower guard

Cons

Heavy duty projects might give it trouble

6. Lithium+ Hedge Trimmer

6. Lithium+ Hedge Trimmer
Coming in at #6, we have the Ryobi Lithium+ Hedge Trimmer. If you live in the suburbs, then you’ve likely seen a few hedges, you probably even have a few yourself. But they sure do seem to be getting pretty big, eh? High time to cut them down to size, but we imagine you don’t feel like snipping each individual branch until you get results. So, for this, you need to get your hands on a hedge trimmer, and this is one of the best.
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Easy to grip

This hedge trimmer was specially designed to be as easy to hold onto as possible. For one, unlike a line of hedge trimmers, this one has more than one handle, giving you maximum control over the device. Secondly, the handle is Ryobi’s usual overmolded design that makes it very comfortable, even after several minutes of continuous use.

Great reach

But a hedge trimmer is only as good as the reach it has, and this one has more than enough. Totaling at a long but manageable 22” in length, the cutting bar on this hedge trimmer will get done exactly what you need it to get done, without you having to bend over the hedge all awkward-like.

Cost and Value

The biggest problem with this hedge trimmer is the price. Do not be surprised if you find this item for way more than a single hedge trimmer is worth. But also, don’t expect to be treated any differently in a different store, because this puppy is expensive all across the board.
Pros

Easy to grip

Great Reach

Great battery life

Cons

Pricier than a single hedge trimmer is probably worth

7. Cordless Impact Wrench

7. Cordless Impact Wrench
In the #7 slot, we have the Ryobi Cordless, Impact Wrench. An impact wrench is meant for one job and one job only. To drive in stubborn bolts into even more stubborn surfaces. An impact wrench has to be built to be mean, to be tough, and to punch through whatever is in its way. And Ryobi pulls this off with flying colors.
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3 Speed Selector

But okay, sometimes you do need that more delicate touch, sometimes you need to hit it hard, and sometimes you need something in between. Luckily, this impact wrench has you covered on all fronts. This impact wrench has a 3 speed selector function that allows you to choose the optimal speed for a good fastening.

Tri LED light

Working at night with such delicate machinery can be hard, especially if you’re the kind who easily fumbles over themselves. Luckily you have this impact driver in this hypothetical scenario, which means you’re equipped with a tri LED light that will keep your workplace nice and bright.

Cost and Value

Impact wrenches are not cheap, even single small ones like these. These are professional grade pieces of equipment that are not to be underestimated. So, if you want one of the best impact wrenches out there, be ready to pay up.
Pros

3 speed selector

Tri LED light

Firm but comfy grip

Cons

Very pricey

8. 4.5" Angle Grinder

8. 4.5
Kicking off our final 3 entries, we have the Ryobi 4 ½ inch Angle Grinder. An angle grinder is, like it says on the box, a grinder that you can hold in the palm of your hand, and thus use at angles other grinders won’t allow. And if you want a high quality angle grinder, you can’t go wrong with this one.
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Adjustable handle

Like all angle grinders, this one comes with a side handle for your other hand to use. Only unlike other side handles, this one can be adjusted into up to three different positions for maximum control. And if that isn’t enough for you, then the triggered grip can itself be rotated up to 90 degrees. Now you can fit this tool literally anywhere it needs to go.

Included grinding wheel

This may seem like nothing to get worked up over, but a lot of grinders don’t include their own grinding wheel, which is a problem if you don’t know what size grinding wheel your grinder needs. Which is why this grinder includes a type 27 grinding wheel that can be used for metalworking or home improvement. As well as helping you figure out what size grinding wheel your grinder uses.

Cost and Value

While still kind of expensive, this grinder is not too expensive. If you want a genuinely high quality angle grinder, you can’t go wrong with this.
Pros

Adjustable handles

Included grinding wheel

Onboard pin wrench

Cons

Doesn’t run fast enough for some people

9. Corner Cat Finishing Sander

9. Corner Cat Finishing Sander
In our second to final entry, we have the Ryobi Corner Cat Finishing Sander. There are times you need a sander, and times where you need a finishing sander. A finishing sander’s job is simple, finish off the previous sanding and top off the final product. And nothing will do that better than the Corner Cat.
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Perfect for corners

We don’t call this thing the corner cat for nothing. This sander is ergonomically designed to be perfect for turning those tight corners. Which, for a sander of any kind, is absolutely paramount to have. Now you don’t have to worry about constantly missing that specific spot because it was in a corner you just couldn’t hit.

Comfortable overmold

One of the most frustrating parts of any sander is keeping a tight grip on it. Mostly because sanders don’t really have much of a grip, other than a little grip at the top of the sander. Fortunately, this sander has a comfy overmold grip that’s way easier to hold onto than the leading brands. Now you don’t have to deal with your sander vibrating free of your hand while sanding.

Cost and Value

Depending on where you’re buying this sander from, the price can either be incredibly reasonable, or slightly more expensive than you were prepared for. But, it’s generally nothing you can’t deal with, so you should be fine.
Pros

Perfect for corners

Comfortable overmold

11,000 orbits per minute

Cons

Battery holder could be better

10. JobPLUS Multi Tool

10. JobPLUS Multi Tool
For our final entry, we have the Ryobi JobPLUS Multi Tool. A multi tool’s job is to, as the name implies, be multiple tools at once, with this one being able to be either a sander or a drill and so much more. So how does Ryobi’s entry stack up? Let’s find out.
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GripZone

This has one of the absolute best grips that Ryobi has ever put out. Both in terms of comfort and efficiency. The technology used to make this grip is known as the Ergonomic Gripzone overmold. This helps support your hand when you hold it so you can use the tool for longer periods of time.

Multiple position tool head

Looking at this tool, you wouldn’t think it would be all that easy to use, given its hard 90 degree angle and thin long design. But in fact, it’s actually one of the most versatile tool heads on this entire list. Mostly because the tool head can actually change positions in multiple ways, helping you reach areas you otherwise couldn’t reach.

Cost and Value

This is one of the priciest entries on this entire list. While not the worst offender on this entire list, it’s still pretty pricey all things considered.
Pros

Gripzone

Multiple position tool head

LED light to brighten the entire work area

Cons

Pricey

Sometimes it’s better not to be as well known as the biggest brands out there. Once you aren’t as well known and not thus bound by the expectations thereof, you can then focus on fulfilling the needs of your niche to the best of your ability. You can choose one specific thing and just focus on doing that as well as you possibly can. And that’s what the idea behind Ryobi is. They aren’t the most well known brand on the planet, but then, they don’t need to be. Since they aren’t as well known, they can take more risks since they have less to lose and everything to gain from risk taking. Ryobi tools are innovative, have weird, wonderful quirks to them that make them more desirable to specialists and people who crave efficiency. Ryobi is one of the darlings of the hobbyists and professionals that are aware of them, and there’s a good reason for that. They have rarely, practically never, turned in a lackluster, let alone bad product, and they don’t seem to be starting anytime soon. We can safely say that there isn’t a single lackluster entry on this entire list. If one interested you more than another, there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since there are so many different tools on this list. Find one that you need or even just want and enjoy the power of Ryobi.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Ryobi Tools

Criteria for this list was one of the hardest lists of criteria we’ve ever had to assemble. We had to go even broader than we usually do for lists like these since these aren’t Ryobi hand tools or power tools, they’re just Ryobi tools in general. So, the entries we ended up going with were even more broad than they usually were, but despite this, we actually quite like what we managed to put together. With that said here are, in no particular order, the most vital criteria we managed to come up with.

Battery life

Most, pretty much all, of these entries turned out to be power tools, which was not intentional, just kind of turned out that way. As such, big criteria for this list became how long the batteries these things were attached to lasted when used. This has less to do with the battery packs themselves, and more to do with the tools attached to the batteries. These tools consume more battery life depending on how large they are and how many features they have to use the energy to operate. A power drill will typically use up far less energy than a reciprocating saw, for instance. So, we judged each entry based on how much energy they consumed compared to other tools of the same type made by different companies.

Backfire

Whether you call it backfiring, or kickback, or even just vibration, different tools have a different effect on the person holding and using them. For instance, few tools have as much of an effect on the person using them as a reciprocating saw, which vibrates and kicks at you like you’re taking it down death row and it’s trying to escape. But then you have Sanders, which don’t fight back necessarily, but they still vibrate more than any other entry on this list, and thus can easily get out of your hand if you don’t have a firm enough grip on them.

Different tools have different effects on the people who use them, but the trick here is not to do too much to impede the user. As long as the backfire isn’t enough to make the person actively want to put the tool down, then it succeeds in our eyes.

Durability

When you get any tool, you definitely don’t want to spend several dozen or sometimes several hundred dollars on an expensive tool, only for that tool to fall apart on you before you even make it to your car. Durability is something that pretty much every tool company has down pat. Considering the prices that a lot of tools go for, especially on this list, in particular, it only makes sense to build them to last. Since these are power tools, the best way to make them more durable is to make them nice and compact. A compact power tool is one without a lot of empty space for the insides to bounce around in when damaged. Meaning that the outer shell can handle a lot more punishment without bringing any harm to the interior of the tool.

Ergonomic design

When you talk about ergonomics, it can be hard for people to know what you mean, since ergonomics isn’t a word generally used in everyday talk. But to break it down, ergonomics basically refers to the ease of which it is to use the tool in question. And this can be broken down further into two concepts.

The first of these concepts is automation, which specifically refers to power tools. This refers to how much busywork the tool takes out of your hands when you use it. That is, after all, the purpose of a power tool, after all. And the more tedium it takes out of your hands and lets you focus more on the core of the work, the better.

The second of these concepts is compactness. Compactness means more than just adding durability, it also means adding maneuverability to the tool. A more compact tool is one that you can more easily fit into tight spaces. So if you have a job or project coming up that’s going to have you fitting tools into spaces where it’s a wonder that tools managed to fit into in the first place, then compactness needs to be at the forefront of your mind.

Longevity

When you talk about any kind of tool, let alone power tools, in particular, longevity is at the forefront of your mind whether you know it or not. The longer a tool lasts, the more valuable it is. Tools have, thankfully, remained untouched by the current tech trends of constantly updating the technology every year or so and expecting everyone to update along with them. A truly great tool can last for years after you initially buy it. The paint chipping off, the label long since fading away, and a whole lot more. Look for a tool that you can get the absolute most out of for years to come, and you know you’ve found the right tool for you. You should only feel the need to replace your tool when an objectively better tool has come along that you want, or, you know, the first tool breaks.

Price

For our final entry, there is, of course, the price of the object itself. The price of tools is a fascinating topic, mostly because the prices of different tools can, and oftentimes do, vary wildly from tool to tool, and from company to company. It really doesn’t matter what the tool has to offer, most times the tool will just be whatever the seller feels like it should be. But when logic does prevail, and the price does reflect the content, the content usually has to reflect the price. In these circumstances, the price of a tool tends to go higher when the tool in question has more and cleverer features. For instance, if, say, a drill can be turned at a 90 degree angle so you can make those otherwise impossible turns, then, of course, the price would be much higher than your run of the mill power tool. Find the price that’s just right for your tool, and you’ll find the tool you’re looking for.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

For our final segment on this article, we’re going to look at some frequently asked questions about Ryobi tools. Granted, there weren’t as many as we thought there would be, but the ones we found/came up with were important, and thus they found their way onto this list. So, with that said, here are the most frequently asked questions and most commonly voiced concerns about Ryobi tools, and the answers thereof.

Q: Why isn’t Ryobi as well known as other brands like Craftsman or Dewalt?

A: Simply put, they haven’t been around as long. Craftsman and Dewalt are as famous as they are because construction and toolmaking are a long game that you have to be okay with playing over the course of decades. Fame is gathered like a rolling stone gathering snow very slowly. It’s slow, but it is steady, and as long as you keep going, you won’t lose any mass.

Q: So, what is it about Ryobi tools that make them so special? What do they bring to the table that the other brands don’t?

A: In a word: cleverness. Compare a Ryobi power drill with a Craftsman. While on a base level they will be exactly alike, there will be certain innovations, clever little idea in the Ryobi drill that the other side of the fence probably didn’t even think about. And even if they did, they likely didn’t give it long enough thought to consider it. Ryobi brings a new set of thoughts, taking advantage of new technologies. And while Dewalt and Craftsman have definitely done the same, they’ve mostly focused on integrating new ideas to their tried and true equipment, because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may as well be stamped on the tool industry as a whole.

Ryobi brings new ideas and new technology to the table, giving them a distinct advantage.

Q: Is there any tool on this list you would recommend to everyone, not just handymen?

A: This may sound odd when we say it, but to be perfectly honest, we would recommend most the number one entry on this list, the tire inflator, to both the handyman and the common man/woman. And our reasoning is as such: you are guaranteed to need it more than any other tool on this entire list.

Seriously, think about it. There are times you need a sander, there are times you need a drill, a planer, a hammer, and whatever else we could think up. But everyone gets a flat tire, a lot more often than you would think. And not everyone has the upper body strength to meticulously pump a new tire or an old, patched up tire full of air the old fashioned way. The tire inflator takes that out of your hands, and as long as you keep it nice and charged before every big road trip, you shouldn’t need anything else.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, Ryobi
  2. Ryobi Tools, Homepage
  3. YouTube, Ryobi