Hi everybody, my name is Daniel and I am husband to Family Centsability owner Danielle. I know that women can do whatever men can do, and all products, from tools to video games, must be geared for use by both genders. That being said, I am writing this review specifically for the husbands and daddies out there. So use this review for gift ideas, ladies, or as reinforcement for the choice to buy yourself a new tool set this year, guys.
I’ve been eyeing the Ryobi set of tools ever since I heard of the ONE+ system of batteries. We don’t have a Home Depot here, so I hadn’t been exposed to the set (Home Depot is the sole B&M retailer of Ryobi tools). The ONE+ tools are a line of over fifty battery powered tools all designed to use the same batteries. Whether you have a ONE+ NiCad or a Lithium, as long as the voltage is the same, it will fit every Ryobi tool you have. For this review I received the 18 volt four tool combo kit, model P883. This kit includes:
- 18v cordless drill
- 18v 5 ½” blade cordless circular saw with wood blade
- 18v reciprocating saw with wood and metal blades
- 18v handheld work light
- Two 18v ONE+ batteries
- One 18v Dual Chemistry charger
- One tool bag for the entire kit
I used these tools extensively alongside my current tools while performing repairs and remodel work to our house, including building staircases, deck work and drywall installation. I’ll give a brief overview of each included item, including a comparison or two and my overall opinion of each. But first, let me give a nod to a few tools that were not included in this set, that make me even more excited about the ONE+ line:
- worksite radio/charger
- cordless string trimmer
- rotary hammer drill
- 6 battery charger
The drill is my favorite part of this set. I have been in the market for an impact driver for a while, with all the work we’re doing on our house. I won’t go so far as to compare this drill’s ability to an impact driver, but its speed and power compared to my other cordless drills has me thinking twice about getting the driver. My 20v Black & Decker lithium drill and my Porter & Cable have nothing on this Ryobi drill in terms of speed, torque, and reliable drivability (and both were more expensive than this drill’s price point!). The drill has a Phillips/flathead bit with holder near the base, a level on top, a magnetic screw plate, and a one-handed chuck. The chuck allows you to change bits without the struggle of using both hands to twist the chuck open. You simply turn the chuck clockwise when it’s facing away from you to loosen it, then counter-clockwise to tighten. This is a great feature and has not had the accidental slips I expected (you know, when a stubborn screw makes the drill twist and the chuck open, your bit falling to the ground).
The look and feel of the tool are great, and the variable speed and torque work as expected. There are only two areas in which this drill disappoints. The first is the magnetic screw plate. Just over the battery there is a magnetic plate for holding your screws while you work, so you can stop having a mouth full of metal. Maybe it’s poor polarization, or maybe poor placement of magnets, but screws and bits placed on the surface are drawn to the outer edge of the magnetized area. This places them right next to the plastic of the drill, and lowers the strength of their attraction. The end result? If you have more than one or two screws on at a time, they are likely to fall off while carrying the drill around or turning it to fit in a work area. I have been using torx bits and screws exclusively, with two different sizes. I attempted to use the magnetic base for whichever torx bit I was not using at the time, and it constantly fell off until I stopped after losing multiple bits in the yard. The magnet needs a strong pull toward the center to be useful, because once the metal is over the plastic it’s falling off.
The second and only other complaint is the lack of a light. The drill is packed with features, but the one thing my Porter & Cable has is a task light on front, activated when the trigger is slightly pulled. This is great for seeing what you’re doing under the sink or when the power is off for electrical work, instead of having to find a spot for a work light. I use this drill exclusively now though, because the problems are very small compared to the amazing speed and power it provides.
Let’s face it – a cordless circular saw is not going to have the power or lifespan of its corded big brothers. So keep in mind what these tools are designed to do, and you’ll find they do those jobs perfectly. The saw uses a 5 ½” blade (included), and because of that size it will cut through a 2×4, but just barely. The blade depth and angle are adjustable, and perhaps my favorite feature is that the blade is on the left side of the saw motor. That means that unlike most saws, right-handed users can clearly see the blade and the line they’re trying to cut without leaning over the saw and getting sawdust in their face. I haven’t had the saw bind on me, and it lasted quite a while on one battery. The power remained steady until the battery was completely dead, then the saw stopped, meaning you won’t lose power slowly as the battery gets low.
My favorite use for this saw is drywall cutting. This gets it done quickly and the thin drywall does not run down the saw’s battery much. No complaints on this tool at all!
The reciprocating saw is probably the most useful tool replacement of the set. I have a reciprocating saw with a cord, but when I need the reciprocating saw it is typically in a hard to reach location or a high spot when working on the ceiling or joists of the second floor. A heavy gauge cord can get heavy and throw off balance when working on ladders or in hard to reach spots, so having a cordless saw makes a huge difference. I tested this cutting off stuck deck screws, fasteners stuck in joists, and cutting out adhered subfloor, and it did the job. It comes with both a wood bit and a metal bit. My only two concerns with this saw are that it does not have a compartment to store the blades as many reciprocating and jig saws do, and it also does not have any type of protector or separate container for the blades. That means you have no good spot to pop out that hot metal bit after use, unless you get a container of your own or wait for it to cool down. That said, this is now my go-to tool when working between floor or on a ladder.
The work light comes ready to go, and seems more of a filler to make the set larger. I can’t complain, though, because I’ve already found myself using it more than once. What makes this light useful is the rotating head. It can face slightly downward, or be rotated freely to various angles. You can rotate the light upwards, set it down under the sink, and have it light your area hands free. The rotating head completely saves this light from being just another flashlight for the collection. Plus when you’re almost done and just have two screws left, and the drill runs out of battery, you can use the battery from the light to finish up!
There are two 18v lithium batteries included in the set and one dual-chemistry charger, meaning it can charge lithium and NiCad batteries alike, in case you have some of the older Ryobi batteries. It is also a smart charger, allowing you to leave the battery in it without the battery being drained or ruined over time. This is great, because I never remember to get the battery from the charger until I need to use it. The bag that comes with the set has no pockets for blades, bits, or other accessories, but it is very spacious. The top unzips and a metal frame around the zipper allows the bag to open completely, turning the bag into a large box essentially. I currently have this entire set, plus two drill bit sets, an extra drill and battery, hammer, tape measure, and much more in my bag and am still able to zip it shut and go.
Overall, I expected the Ryobi tools to be somewhat cheap, being a one-store-brand. I couldn’t resist the idea of using the same batteries for all my tools, though, and I’m glad for that. The tools themselves pleasantly surprised me and are now my official set for use on homes. Are they as good as $300 individual tools for professionals? No. But they are definitely far better than the tools I already had – and my old tools cost twice as much.
A note from Danielle
Although I am not a tool connoisseur, I have tested out the Ryobi set a bit myself and have found that the tools seem to definitely be a worthy set with a lot of great features! Of course, I love that the set matches – we no longer have a mismatched rainbow of tools sitting around; orange drill, blue saw, red flash light, etc. This set fits all together in one bag and is definitely easy to spot out in the garage. The interchangeable battery is also a great feature of the set and one that has made our renovations more efficient since we no longer have to search for the right battery for each tool and hope that it has been charged. We are able to connect each battery to the tool we need and just stick it on the charger at the end of the day. Even though I may not be the primary user of the Ryobi One+ set, I definitely appreciate the benefits of them as they are helping us to complete renovations around the house more efficiently.
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Family Centsability was not monetarily compensated for this post. A product sample was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.