I’ve worked with a lot of tool brands over the years, but when it comes to Ryobi and DeWalt, these two really catch my attention. Now, which of these giants truly lives up to the hype and is worth your hard-earned cash? To save you the hassle of returns and make sure you invest wisely, I’ve taken a deep dive into comparing these two brands for you.
Ryobi or Dewalt?
Features of Ryobi and Dewalt
History and Track Record
Owned by Stanley Black & Decker, DeWalt has earned its reputation in the power tool industry. It is known for being a reliable and trustworthy brand. DeWalt got their beginning in 1924 from Raymond Dewalt who introduced the radial arm saw.
DeWalt tools has changed hands a few times since the 1920s and was sold to the American Machine & Foundry in 1949 before finally settling into a more permanent home under Stanley Black & Decker.
Ryobi is a younger company than DeWalt. It was founded in 1943 by Yutaka Urakami. Ryobi actually got its start creating die-cast items. Until much later, in 1968, the brand entered into the power tools market. Ryobi focuses its efforts on two main markets, specifically the Ryobi Power Tools and the Ryobi Outdoor Equipment lines.
Price Point and Warranty
If you are looking for decent quality at an affordable price tag, Ryobi is my recommendation. Because of the lower prices, Ryobi power tools do not come with a very extensive warranty, but it’s still quite decent compared to other brands.
Their power tools have either a 2 or 3-year manufacturer warranty while their big outdoor power tools have up to 5 years. Ryobi’s handheld tool line comes with a limited lifetime warranty. While it sounds like good coverage, it’s still not as comprehensive as DeWalt tools.
Having worked with a variety of tools, I’ve noticed that DeWalt provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, and depending on the product, they offer either a 3 or 7-year limited warranty.
What impresses me further is their lifetime warranties on certain corded, cordless, and handheld tools. You might pay a bit more for DeWalt, but the added protection is noteworthy. It’s probably why, among us contractors, many lean towards DeWalt in this category.
The reputation and popularity of a woodworking machine is no longer just about the brand, but it is also about the technology. DeWalt batteries are known to be excellent with FlexVolt and Dewalt 20V Max lines. The FlexVolt allows you to switch between voltages depending on what you need. The 20V Max is a lithium-ion battery  giving enough power for long working hours.
DeWalt has the ToolConnect, an added bonus feature on some of their tools. It makes operation enjoyable for professional users and DIYers alike. ToolConnect enables DeWalt power tools to be Bluetooth-ready and allows you to track your tools via the compatible app.
Ryobi is known for the One+ system. This line is made up of 18V power tools and outdoor tools that all work with the same battery and charger. You can have a multi-tool workshop that only requires one type of battery and charger. The One+ system is powered by 18V lithium-ion batteries.
I favor DeWalt tools over Ryobi, because the ToolConnect plus efficient lithium-ion batteries blow all the competition out of the water.
Brushless Drills: Ryobi and DeWalt
The drill is a basic power tool that every contractor, homeowner, DIYer or professional needs in their tool box. Both Ryobi and DeWalt have brushless motors on their cordless drill. A brushless motor on Ryobi vs DeWalt tools will allow various speed settings as well as torque and voltage adjustments depending on what you’re working on.
Table Saw: Ryobi and DeWalt
In my experience with table saws, the core features remain consistent across brands. Both Ryobi and DeWalt, known for their power tools, offer reliable and durable table saws.
I’ve come across compact benchtop saws, versatile jobsite options, and those with wheeled stands from both brands. But after comparing the two, I have to give the edge to DeWalt. They offer a wider selection with 8 table saw models, compared to Ryobi’s 5.
Miter Saw: Ryobi and Dewalt
Ryobi is a younger brand that got a later start in the power tool industry. While the brand is comparable to their competitors’ efficiency by incorporating brushless motor technology into their affordable tools, their downfall is the variety of power tools they offer.
The miter saw options from Ryobi are very limited, with only 5 models. DeWalt currently offers 24 different miter saws, which is why I was awarded them the crown for this round.
If you choose the Ryobi 6-tool kit, you get a Ryobi cordless drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, an impact driver and a multi-tool. What’s great about Ryobi is they offer two batteries so you can work while one is charging. Ryobi has other combo kits with more or fewer pieces that can match your needs.
However, Ryobi construction tools cannot handle grueling work for 8 hours every day. If you’re a professional woodworker or contractor that needs to use cordless drills from the combo kit and a hammer drill, then DeWalt is the better tool brand.
A DeWalt 6-piece combo kit comes with a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, impact driver, drill, LED work light and a battery plus charger. DeWalt only offers one battery, which could be a con to some users. DeWalt has great tools that can outlast Ryobi tools if I look at durability alone.
From my perspective, Ryobi makes a decent entry-level choice for consumers; their products hold up well for most tasks. But when it comes to battery power, I’ve found DeWalt to have an edge with their 20V lithium-ion batteries, compared to Ryobi’s 18V. While Ryobi batteries tend to last, DeWalt just offers a broader range in battery power and technology. If you’re in the construction field like I am, I’d personally recommend leaning towards DeWalt batteries.
Ergonomics: Ryobi and DeWalt
The designs of the DeWalt and Ryobi tool lines do share some similarities. While both brands offer tools with a variable speed trigger, this feature is more commonly found in the DeWalt line. Both brands prioritize comfort during tool operation by incorporating rubber grip handles that contour to the shape of your hand.
Product Selections of Ryobi and DeWalt
As you have noticed, Ryobi is not known for their product line but more for its affordable range of options. Chainsaws that were made by Ryobi focus on power tools such as the compact drill, saws and hammer drills to larger outdoor machinery. They also offer handheld tools. DeWalt has an extensive range of products, each with more choices than Ryobi.
You can find accessories such as a driver kit and base lithium batteries from both brands, but this section of the Ryobi rivalry with Dewalt ends with the latter as the winner yet again.
Is Ryobi better than Dewalt?
Overall Winner: DeWalt
After closely comparing the two, I’ve concluded that DeWalt comes out on top. Not only does it have a stronger presence in the power tool market, but it also boasts a broader range of options and superior warranty coverage. Considering the quality, as well as innovations like FlexVolt and ToolConnect, I genuinely believe DeWalt is an exceptional brand for everyone in the field.
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