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I realize everyone has preference when it comes to brand.

I’m not so much dedicated to one brand. I have tools from several different brands.

One thing I’ve noticed though is a lot of people do not seem to like Ryobi. I have several tools made by them. They seem to work just fine.

Can anyone give me some insight into this? What gives? Is Ryobi bad?
I'm probably in that club however I don't know why. The only Ryobi tool I've ever used was a portable tablesaw I purchased. I didn't expect much from it, it was cheap little saw however I'm very impressed with the saw. The only thing I don't like about it is you raise and lower the blade by turning the knob opposite of any other saw I've ever used. I guess the answer to your question is the same as those that hate harbor freight tools. They buy one or two and have trouble with one so they think everything hf sells is bad. The truth is you can get a few bad tools from any manufacturer so you can't judge a companies tools by the experiences of a couple tools.
 
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