How good are Ryobi tools?

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Forum topic by blackthumb posted 04-01-2009 02:47 AM 36994 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 3938 days

04-01-2009 02:47 AM

Specifically I’m looking for info on their power miter boxes. I see has one for $58.

20 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3594 days

#1 posted 04-01-2009 03:24 AM

I do not have a high opinion of them, but others may, IMO you get what you pay for. I bought their BT3000 Table Saw when it first came out, spent $400-500 on it. Then I bought all the accessories, spent another $500 on them. What a piece of junk. I was new to woodworking and got caught up in all the gimmicks. The sliding table, the movable table, the router table attachment, etc. Bottom line was the fence wouldn’t stay parallel to the blade you always had to check it and tweak it, you couldn’t do repeatable cuts once you moved the fence unless you checked and tweaked it again, the sliding table wouldn’t stay parallel to the blade unless you adjusted it. again, etc.

Put a bad taste in my mouth for Ryobi. Sold it for $500, half what I had into it after a year or two and bought a Unisaw, had to scrape to pay for it but never regretted it. That taught me to do better research and buy the best I can even if I have to wait or scrape, because, like I said, you get what you pay for. I learned not to buy cheap and then expect the best.

Now I stick to Delta, Porter-Cable, and DeWalt, with a Jet or two thrown in here and there, and I have yet to be disappointed by any one of those manufacturers machines or power tools.

I kind of place Ryobi down with Craftsman, and Black & Decker power tools, neither of which I’d consider. (Except Craftsman sockets and wrenches and such, those I’ll swear by.) Bought a Craftsman 2HP router about the same time I bought the BT3000, got burned on that too, sold it. I almost think you’d be just as well off with Harbor Freight, but like I said I got a bad taste in my mouth and may be a little bit biased…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Rustic's profile


3255 posts in 3837 days

#2 posted 04-01-2009 03:32 AM

I have a 10 inch compound miter saw from ryobi and I love it. The ease of use is just what I need. There are alot of opinions out there. My father bought me the ryobi after he did some extensive research on it and found that it was the best deal going. Ialso have a Ryobi plunge router and Tablesaw. So my suggestion is to look at the features and compare with others on the market mho

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View knotscott's profile


8183 posts in 3616 days

#3 posted 04-01-2009 03:48 PM

Like most brand names, Ryobi has some decent tools and some clunkers. It’s difficult to buy any tool these days based on brand name alone. It’s better to evaluate each tool on it’s own merits because the tool scene changes very rapidly, and many tend to cross the quality boundaries that we tend to want to group brands into.

With that said, Ryobi is TTI’s entry level brand, behind Milwaukee and what they make for Ridgid, and is aimed and priced more at the homeowner DIY/hobbyist crowd than professional contractors. Overall designs and construction reflect this, and can serve well within their intended usage. If you’re a hobbyist on a tight budget, there are some viable Ryobi tools. Ryobi makes several of the more portable power and hand power tools for Craftsman….drills, smaller table saws, miter saws, etc., and many of the Ryobi tools are roughly comparable to those. I’ve had a Ryobi CMS that’s fair, two cordless Nicad drills that have been pretty good, an older Ryobi made Craftsman router that was very good, a 9” Ryobi BS that was worth the retail price of $100, and a Ryobi sander that I didn’t care for much, but they’ve all worked without failure. I’d consider competition for Ryobi to be some Hitachi, some HF stuff, some Craftsman, Skil, B&D, Delta Shopmaster, etc., but their certainly not at the level of the better MW, DW, Porter Cable, Delta Industrial, Jet, GI, Steel City, etc…at least not here in the US.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3643 days

#4 posted 04-01-2009 05:14 PM

You get what you pay for. I too, bought the BT3000 TS when it first came out and used it and enjoyed. It worked perfectly for the small space I was in, and when I got a larger shop I bought a Jet cabinet saw and never looked back. If you don’t do alot of woodworking, then they should be fine. I have an old(15 yrs. old) Bostich framing nailer and a new Porter Cable one, the PC in my opinion is for light use and can’t compare with the Bostich in the work field, so like everything else you get what you pay for. Buy the Ryobi miter saw and if you use it enough to where you exceed it’s ability you can sell it used and not lose much money.

Good luck with your choice.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3889 days

#5 posted 04-01-2009 05:39 PM

I used to work as a contractor in construction – our team was using Ryobi cordless tools (drill/saw/flashlight) for some years before I started working there- they would last for about a year or so, and then be replaced by a new (same) set … cheap, and replaceable. batteries are cheap for cordless, so it’s a bit more reasonable to replace batteries- but the idea of having to replace and throw away a 1 y/o tool/battery doesnt work well with me- I had the team switch to Dewalt tools, now – I’ve been using the same dewalt set for 5 years – works like new , except for the crappy NiCd batteries , which are a fotrune to replace… (and they WILL need to be replaced) ... so this is to show how durable the Ryobi is NOT.

aside from durability, they also lack power, some larger holes that we would easily do with the dewalt tools – were just NOT POSSIBLE with the ryobi drills. period.

So, this is my view of Ryobi. I think it’s aimed like the B&D at the homeowner – not even the DIYer… for a powered tool that can ease your way around projects that would be tedious to do manually – these will work great, but if you need something more powerful, and on a more day-to-day basis – these are not IT.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mmtool's profile


22 posts in 3808 days

#6 posted 04-01-2009 10:57 PM

It is very true that you get what you pay for and Ryobi is a no different. It is also very difficult to get replacement parts from Ryobi. I would definitely recommend Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, Jet, Hitachi, etc., as they are built better, last longer, and have many more service centers available for repair and help.

-- Don, Utah,

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3921 days

#7 posted 04-01-2009 11:37 PM

Ryobi isn’t really as bad as some make it out to be. Contrary to what was said above, they don’t have to be replaced very often, if using as a around the house, lighter duty tools. They were never meant to be hard workers or used in the professional business side of woodworking, so they aren’t as pricey. I’ve got the same 18v cordless drill, light, recip saw & 5 1/2” circ saw from 6 1/2 years ago, and I use them A LOT. I’ve had the same 8 1/4” R.A.S. for 20 years now, and it has served me well, for personal and professional grade work. The 3 cordless drills & 2 cordless circ saws(Ryobi) I have have built many things and a few decks and rehab jobs in the time I’ve had them. That’s a lot of cutting and sawing for home use tools. My Ryobi drill press work just fine too. I had a Makita cordless drill that has died in the time that I’ve had my Ryobi’s. Does that make Ryobi better than Makita to me? Not really.

You’ll always find people who have something against a certain brand, sometimes justified, and many times not. Some of the higher priced brands may not be as good as the name has implied, as there is in fact a company in China that makes somewhere around 18 different brands including DeWalt and some of the lowest quality brands available all in the same company factories.

From someone who owns and likes his Ryobi tools, I say if it’s what you like and or can afford at the time, they are to buy (for me). It’s up to you to decide whether they are right for you, not anyone else.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3761 days

#8 posted 04-01-2009 11:44 PM

You do usually get what you pay for, and this goes for Ryobi as well as many other brands.

I have reviewed several Ryobi tools here and found most to be decent. Sure, you can do better, but you pay more for the luxury, usually. So, for enthuisiasts who are not so enthusiastic that they use their tools all the time, and do so without demainding a lot of power, ultra-precision, etc., Ryobi stuff can work just fine.

When some remodeling and expanding was being done on my house a few years back I noticed that the workers had both a top-end DeWalt sliding miter saw and a cheap Ryobi (cheap, being the $99 model) version that they used a lot more than the DeWalt, which they kept locked in the van most of the time. One of the guys told me that he picked up the Ryobi cheap eight months before and had run the daylignts out of it, had dropped it a few times, and had left it out in the rain and it was still working just fine. He said he liked it mainly, because he did not have to worry about somebody stealing it like he did with the DeWalt.

I have thier impact wrench (two of them, actually) and they have yet to let me down. Ditto for my thickness planer, although the blades are not the best. I also have an older and discontinued teflon-table scroll saw that works fine (Sears wtill sells the model), as well as the discontinued spindle sander that works quite well. And I find their biscuit saw is also a nice item. I also have their BTS-20 jobsite saw, that is not a precision tool, but certainly works OK for carpentry work.

Someone mentioned NiCad batteries and their limitations, and I agree. Not too long ago I purchased several Ryobi 18-volt Lithium cells (four larger ones and one of the smaller ones) for my assorted Ryobi hand tools, and darn if they are a LOT better than the old NiCads.

Howard Ferstler

View poopiekat's profile


4408 posts in 3975 days

#9 posted 04-02-2009 01:22 AM

The Ryobi BT 3000 really is a piece of junk. I thought the live-table feature would solve some problems but I had too much trouble with the saw not holding a setup for multiple cuts. My Ryobi 10” miter saw is crap too. Using the clamp to hold stock against the back fence is guaranteed to whack the fence out of alignment. Plus the power head is about a degree out of perpendicularity with the table surface. Not a problem for contractors, but not nearly acceptable for any cabinet maker. Oddly enough, I love my Ryobi 4.5” rotary oscillating sander, though it’s gotta be 20 yrs old now.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3799 days

#10 posted 04-02-2009 01:37 AM

Drills are ok but Don’t know about their saws. Never used them.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4133 days

#11 posted 04-02-2009 02:05 AM

When I started my business seven years ago, I needed two cordless drills and a cordless circular saw. I went to buy Porter Cable, but the $250 per drill was excessive to me at the time. I finally decided to buy Ryobi 14.4V because I could get all three for less than one porter cable. I figured if they would last a year, I would buy Porter Cable or Dewalt when they fell apart. Well, seven years later, those same two drills and circular saw are still doing the job. They just won’t die. I use them almost daily and have probably have run 100,000 screws into studs along the way. They have been dropped off ladders, used as a hammer, and just used and abused in any way imaginable. I have to buy new batteries every year because I go through numerous recharge cycles each week. But other than that, they have never given me a moments problem. I also have a Ryobi 18V standard cordless drill and an 18V cordless hammer drill that see a lot of use.

Say what you will, but I’ve been amazed at the longevity of these tools considering the mileage they have given me. I don’t know if these new green-colored ones are as good as the older blue ones, but I like the new lithium battery concept.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3921 days

#12 posted 04-02-2009 02:12 AM

Closetguy – I have one of the newer Green Ryobi’s and they work nice enough. Lighter and smaller in size so you can get into tighter spaces. Uses either the Li-Ion or NiCd batteries. I’ve even used my oldest drill with the Li-Ion battery and it works fine. I have the big Lithium battery. The NiCd’s are cheap enough to replace at 2/$50 and as expected the Li-Ion batteries are @ $90 each, $140 (or less) with a charger. I got the Green Drill/Light (small and compact compared to the older blue ones), 1 Battery and charger for $99 on Clearance. the Green chargers test the batteries before charging and will do both types of batteries, where the older chargers only do NiCd’s. The impact driver will be the next purchase as it comes with 2 batteries charger and drill for $100, or $70 for just the impact driver without anything else.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 3673 days

#13 posted 04-02-2009 03:05 AM

Ryobi Circa 1980’s….They were the SONY of Japanese power tools.

Ryobi Circa 2000’s….Big Orange box grabbed the company by the B*s and sqeezed till the Chinese slave labor gave you EXACTLY what you pay for!

-- David,

View woodfly's profile


14 posts in 3589 days

#14 posted 04-02-2009 03:56 AM

I second what closetguy says above. I have several of the 18V plus one system tools and all have performed flawlessly and at a fraction of the price of the RED ORANGE YELLOW and GRAY brands, which are all great tools to be sure. Just very expensive.

-- Mike

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4340 days

#15 posted 04-02-2009 04:04 AM

I have not had any good luck with Ryobi tools and I will not ever buy one again.

I use my tools professionally. My good tools last for many years. Cheap tools reveal themselves very quickly. Ryobi has revealed itself as a cheap, low quality brand to me.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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