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Thumb Nailer
2,869 Posts
I have:

Biscuit Joiner
RO Sander
Corner Cat Sander
Handheld Planer
15 Amp 10” Tablesaw

I guess I have more than I realized. Haha. All of these work great. I try to steer clear of cordless in general except when it comes to drills. They seem like, unless a special situation, the best thing to have cordless.

I guess it just depends on what you are expecting out of the tool. If you expect say a Ryobi BT3100 table saw to perform like a 5HP cabinet saw, you WILL be sorely disappointed.

IF you understand what they are, and what they are good for you are fine.

There are some people, particularly on forums, that want to play the "mine is bigger than yours because I spent more" game. I see it with tools, as well as within other hobbies items...

As far as Ryobi goes I have...

Biscuit Joiner
Clutch driver / drill
biscuit joiner
corner cat sander
Random Orbital sander
Palm sander
13" planer, this could be better, but not at the price tags of "better". Snipe can be managed easily.
10" table saw (BT3100)

I typically toast a RO sander in around a year. The Ryobi has been with me for 3 years now and is chugging along fine. I have been through Skil, B&D, Makita, and now Ryobi. And YES I am VERY abusive to RO sanders. I like using the to smooth drywall repairs. Gypsum dust kills those things in a big old hurry.

Oh and to sum up my response to the OPs question. Why do some people hate Ryobi, and to expand that to Skil, Black and Decker, Chicago Electric, Craftsman whatever the brand is.


My d*ck is bigger than yoursism.

A lot of people seem to come up with their personal value by their possessions and want ot use the fact they can afford premium brands as a way to look down on other people.

There ARE legit reasons to own certain premium tools. Especially if you are making your living with those tools. HOWEVER the end result varies from tool to tool.

A good example of this effect is let's say you work 30 miles from home. You drive a 20 year old Chevy, and the guy in the parking space next to you at work drives a similar age Caddilac.and has a similar commute.

Did that Caddilac do a better job of transporting your colleague to work than your old Chevy?

Is that Caddilac going to be any more, or less reliable to get your colleague to and from work?

Was that Caddilac being a General Motors Product, really made by a different company / different workers using a different process than your Chevrolet, another General Motors product?

The difference is honestly the name brand on it, luxury features, fit and finish, and the branding / badging all over the thing.

A great Example from the tool world is 14" cast iron frame band saws.

Those are comparable to the Caddilac Cimmaron vs the Chevrolet Cavalier.

Thumb Nailer
2,869 Posts
Rebel, I think an experienced person is affected less by a cheap tool than a newbie. At least they know what makes a tool good or better. It all depends on what you're talking about. Some of it is production related, some accuracy. Hand tools a whole different story.

I'm like you, I gave Ryobi a chance. Before the batteries went bad I thought the Ryobi impact was pretty good for the money. When I said it doesn't compare to a Milwaukee 18V, it simply doesn't. Maybe they've fixed the battery issue.

You buy what you can afford, but people aren't "elitists" or tool snobs b/c they either want or can afford a better quality tool.

If I were starting out, I'd probably go with Ryobi.
People aren't elitists or tool snobs for buying what they can afford. There are those that are elitists and tool snobs that buy what they can afford and use it as a badge of superiority over others. instead of encouraging others along in the craft. Not all do, not many do, but those that do tend to be insufferable.

Thumb Nailer
2,869 Posts
Funny thing is, out of all the tool brands I own. Including Makita, Rigid, Snap On, Matco etc... Ryobi is one brand of tools I have NEVER had a problem with the tool itself. I have had issues with one storage bag but not going to blame the tool for a busted zipper...

Honestly in my experience, and YMMV of course, I would much rather have Ryobi than Makita as I have had FAR more reliability issues with Makita tools. Sanders literally falling apart during use, drills siezing up etc...

And mind you, Ryobi is an old brand relatively speaking. I remember them being sold at Sears along side Craftsman back in I guess it was the late 80s / early 90s maybe? Back then a lot of their stuff was USA or Japan made and was actually quite good. They have been through several changes of ownership as have several of the other tool brands.

If you look at who owns what brands, and who is actually designing and making the stuff we use, you might just end up with a different perspective on tool branding.

I will put it into a gifting point of view. I can go down to a local maker and buy my wife a beautiful hand sewn leather handbag, for $100.00 and it would be every bit as beautiful and useful as say the same size / general design Coach handbag that sells for, well heck I dunno, I have heard stupid numbers like $500.00

Now why would I spend the extra $400.00 on a brand name?

Because my wife likes the prestige the more expensiv eitem gets her. It's clout. Bragging rights. Show off.

We as woodworkers, and not to generalize too much, but certainly not all, but the majority here on the forums are men, and we do something similiar with our shop gear. Or cars, or guns, or fishing poles, or... Any number of a myriad of items, to show off clout, status.

Is that wrong? Not necessarily, but realize that flaunting will give you kickback, and you may not get the desired response.

Now does one particular tool work better, smoother, faster, more accurately than another?

Without a doubt the answer is yes. Is brand name a reliable indicator of the above qualities? In my experience, the answer is really a mixed bag of yes and no. It REALLY depends on the tool in question.

Ryobi markets tools aimed at the mid point of the market, and they hit the nail on the head IMHO. No they are not a premium / professional brand like DeWalt, Rigid, or Festool, but neither are they bargain basement like Skil, Black and Decker, Chicago Electric and their competition.

For MOST home / hobby and a good many professional woodworkers / carpenters / DIYers, Ryobi is exactly the tool they need to get the job done at a price point they can live with. For many they are not. Be it a functiona issue I.E. I want / need a tool with more power than the Ryobi offers, or just look and feel. I.E. I don't like the way the grip of this drill feels in my hand. All of those are legitimate and valid reasons to pass up on a tool for a competing item. That is why the market can support so many makers.

Honestly there is nowadays very little on the tool market that is junk. It exists don't get me wrong, Lord knows I have been through more than my share of Skil stuff that I will likely never buy from them again, as well as B&D. Just been reliability challenged. For a good number of folks though, they will see years and years of great service from those brands. So do I hate them? Nope. Not worth my time or emotional energy. They just have earned their jettison out of my shop. Of course excluding my 90s vintage USA made Skil circular saw, that thing seems bomb proof...

A common theme I am seeing in this, and other threads is poor experience with CORDLESS tools. FWIW, I have very little in the way of cordless, and I know what i Have is junk, but it is junk that was purchased for a very limited purpose. I have used or owned cordless / battery tools from Skil, B&D, Makita, Rigid, and Drill Master, and IMHO, they were all junk. Cheaply made, fragile plastic bodies, and batteries that let you down suddenly in the middle of a job. Just go with corded tools, it's a technology that works and is VERY well proven.
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