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Ryobi: King of Cordless?


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As anyone who visits these forums (or other sites I post on) can attest to, there are two subjects I constantly bring up: the brands I currently own and my gateway drug that was the Porter Cable 18v system.  I'm currently at the soon-to-be-sold house, about to finish gutting a camper, and have Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Ryobi tools with me.  Sitting here waiting for me to thinking, though, "What brand (if any) could truly be crowned 'King of Cordless'?"


I own or have owned nearly every major brand sold by Home Depot or Lowe's (exceptions be Makita, Skil, and now Flex), and there's no comparing even the best Ryobi has to offer against my FlexVolt, Fuel, Octane, or MultiVolt tools.  With that said, though, Ryobi has what is probably the best "bang for the buck" in their One+ system.  


I recently took advantage of Ryobi Days, getting two starter kits for myself and selecting the jigsaw and inverter.  I bought a third kit for a friend and he picked the 200cfm blower.  That's three tools, six 4Ah batteries, and three chargers for $297+tax.  For a quick price comparison, we can look at the M18 inverter with 5.0Ah battery, currently on display at $149.  Specs are a little better than the green one, but it costs 50% more and comes with only one battery (and no charger), offering about 5/8ths of the runtime that the Ryobi starter kit with free inverter offers.


The other tool I picked up, the jigsaw, made short work of some old wood used to feed a fire.  I would easily rate it as being close enough in performance to my older DeWalt 20v Max saw, and it retails for about half of the yellow Brand's offerings.


For the sake of brevity (too late?), I'll state my opinion that Ryobi deserves the title "King of Cordless" because it is an easily accessible major brand in most U.S. areas, offering the lowest entry price point for a major cordless platform.  Unlike some competitors, Ryobi continues to release innovative tools (sometimes superior to even their TTI siblings' offerings) and flirts with professional-level tools, while maintaining their status as an everyman's tool brand.


What are your thoughts?  Is being a Home Depot exclusive a King-killer (no stores nearby, or you simply don't like shopping there)?  For those outside of the U.S., what brand would you crown?  Do the doubtlessly more capable and streamlined tools made by DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Makita, etc. depose Ryobi from the throne despite their increased cost making them less appealing to the masses?  Should we elect a President or install a Dictator of Cordless instead?  Am I just being silly as I bask in boredom, trying to force a title upon a tool brand that may not be truly deserving?


Regardless, it's almost time to break out the new Ryobi inverter to power the DeWalt wireless phone charger).



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4 hours ago, Eric - TIA said:

Agree, I love how easily accessible it is and the amount of tools they offer.  I think it's in underrated brand.  


Very much so.  Despite my concerns in this thread, Ryobi goes out of its way to release One+ products that have no direct competition, such as their misting, clamp, and Air Cannon fans, or their cooler.


The brand may be underrated, if not outright dismissed, by tool enthusiasts, but I think Ryobi laughs all the way to the bank.  My neighbor owns an electrical contracting business and swears by his Ryobi drill (admittedly, he doesn't usually have to do the dirty work nowadays), and just this week some contractors were working in my office, with the miter saw, six-port charger, and various other Ryobi tools.  You just don't see other "entry level" brands in the workplace.  In fact, I've seen Makita a handful of times, DeWalt and Milwaukee a bunch, and would place Ryobi only slightly below Ryobi in terms of professional usage around here.  Besides one-off instances, I've yet to see Craftsman, Kobalt, MetaboHPT, or even Bosch tools on a job site.

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On the world-wide stage, it’s probably Makita. The perspective of the US tends to get overweighted on social media and internet forums but world-wide Makita is probably the most dominant tool brand in the world.


But I do like Ryobi and their very wide variety. A lot of Milwaukee’s diversification into wood-working recently rides the coattails of what Ryobi already had, in my humble opinion.


And another thing that may support Ryobi developing more and more of a case for being the US King of Cordless, is that as time goes on, brushless motors and high-energy batteries will make the playing field more and more level, which favors inexpensive brands like Ryobi. Even five years ago the disparity between any given Ryobi and Milwaukee seemed like a titanic chasm. Look how quickly that’s ceased to be the case.

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