Ryobi vs DeWalt: Which Power Tool Brand is Better in 2021?
Ryobi and DeWalt are two of the leading power tool brands across the world. With both brands having global reach, they are consistently ranked high in terms of performance and usage. They both are compact, lightweight, and offer a variety of tools for just about any power tool need.
Because of these numerous similarities, it is often confusing about which brand you should buy, especially going into 2021. For this reason, we created this guide to help you find out which brand is better for your needs.
In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to compare many aspects of these brands. This includes their histories, product lines, performance, individual products, and more. Let’s drill right into these power tool brands to find out which one you should be buying this year.
A Quick Comparison
Brief History of Ryobi
Ryobi is known for reliable yet affordable power tools that are a favorite among DIYers and hobbyists, though some professionals like opting for these tools too.
In 1943, Ryobi Seisakusho Co., Ltd. was founded. One year later, it started selling die cast products. The company continued to develop and venture into knew sectors. It wasn’t until 1968 that Ryobi started producing power tools as well.
In 1973, the company name was changed to the current one. By that time, it also had 12 manufacturing facilities spanning across six countries. It wasn’t until 1985 that Ryobi opened a production site in Shelbyville, Indiana. This happens to be the only manufacturing location within the United States.
The power tool side of Ryobi developed in 1988 whenever they purchased all of the assets of the Diehl Motor Company. This company was the supplier of Sears Brute Craftsman. As a result, Ryobi supplied power tools to Sears. This popularized the company throughout North America.
Today, Ryobi is most known for their power tools, especially throughout North America and Australia. It is licensed under Techtronic Industries in Hong Kong. This company also manufacturers other power tool brands, such as Milwaukee, AEG, Hoover US, and more. Most Ryobi power tools are now sold through Home Depot and online.
Brief History of DeWalt
DeWalt is easily one of the most reliable power tool brands. They are a favorite among most professionals, though some hobbyists find their prices a little too steep.
Though DeWalt wasn’t founded until 1924, the founder Raymond DeWalt started perfecting woodworking machines in 1922. Two years later, the company was founded and was known for their electric universal woodworking machine. By 1941, the company grew exponentially in order to help build defense and wartime machinery required by the government.
This expansion led to DeWalt extending operations North into Canada by 1953. Just two years later, the company had to add more manufacturing space in order to keep up with demands.
1992 was a turning point for DeWalt. They introduced their first line of portable electric power tools. These tools were specifically designed for residential use as well as professional woodworkers. In 1994, they introduced 30 new cordless tools that revolutionized the system. By 2001, DeWalt had created over 200 electric power tools and 800 accessories.
Despite success, DeWalt didn’t stop there. By 2010, the company started introducing comfortability and compact design into their tools with the 12V MAX system. They started partnering with charities like the Wounded Warrior Project and added even more manufacturing locations throughout the United States. From all this hard work, DeWalt is highly revered as the go-to for professional power tools.
Ryobi vs DeWalt: Manufacturing
Ryobi is a global phenomenon, allowing them to have manufacturing plants in over 6 countries. Only one of these manufacturing plants is located in the United States in Shelbyville, Indiana. Though this plant created a lot of tools in the 80s and 90s, most Ryobi products are made in China today.
If you want a tool that is made exclusively from the United States, Ryobi is not the brand for you. For this reason, expect most of your Ryobi tools and parts to be manufactured in China, simply because their manufacturing prices are much cheaper. This allows Ryobi to keep their prices cheap both for the business and for you. The US plant typically only manufactures accessories, not entire tools.
DeWalt is also a global manufacturer, but you have a higher chance of getting American made tools with this brand. DeWalt manufacturing locations can be found in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, China, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Currently, the US manufacturing facilities are located in the states of Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Even though there are some accessories and tools not made in the United States, most US customers will receive a USA made tool from DeWalt. That’s because DeWalt has made it a point to manufacture tools within the United States despite having locations elsewhere as well.
Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Product Line
Today, Ryobi is primarily known for their compact, easy to use, and affordable power tools. These power tools are specifically designed for the home user, which is why they are both affordable and intuitive. However, as Ryobi becomes a more trusted brand, they’ve also been incorporating advanced technology into their product lines.
One of the most extensive product lines within Ryobi is their One+ system. Most of the tools they make now fit into the system, though some of their older ones do not. This One+ system means that the tools all share the same battery and battery charger, allowing you to condense the amount of apparatus you need to use your tools.
Brushless Compact Series
As brushless technology is becoming more and more vital to this industry, Ryobi has been transforming more of their modern tools to brushless technology. That is why they came up with the Brushless Compact Series. These tools are designed to be lightweight, compact, and brushless. These features make this series more ideal for hobbyists who need a little extra umph and durability from their tools.
Ryobi is also known for their outdoor products. They offer pressure washers, blowers, and a variety of other outdoor tools. Like their power tools, these products are affordable, lightweight, and ideal for home owners and light use.
DeWalt is known for their professional tools. As a result, almost all of their products are professional grade, durable, and high performing, regardless of the series.
DeWalt offers both cordless and corded options. Cordless options are ideal for those who need to work on the go or get into tight spaces. Almost all of their cordless options are incredibly compact and lightweight, making them some of the most impressive on the market.
20V MAX System
DeWalt also offers products within a 20V MAX system. These tools offer way more power and longevity than others. DeWalt claims that the system produces 29% more power then other systems. This makes them a great option for those who need as much power as possible from their power tools.
The FLEXVOLT battery system means that you will not need multiple chargers or batteries for your different tools. Instead, buying tools within this line means that you only need one charger for all of your power tool needs.
Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Price
In terms of price, Ryobi is almost always more affordable, while DeWalt is more expensive. This price difference tends to make Ryobi a favorite among hobbyists and DeWalt a favorite among professionals. Nevertheless, both tools are wildly loved.
Ryobi is known for their affordable prices. Most of their regular tools fall under 18V One+ systems. This means that they take the same battery, reducing the amount of clutter in your workspace.
Still, Ryobi offers some more premium products for the more advanced homeowner. There One+ Brushless Compact Series is a much more premium buy. The tools in the system all use the same battery operation, brushless technology, and comfortable designs. They are still affordable, too.
Between the two products, DeWalt is definitely the more expensive product. Even their “budget” items can cost more than Ryobi’s premium items. With that in mind, it’s hard to list any DeWalt product as a budget pick.
Nevertheless, some options are more expensive than others. Products within the 20V MAX system tend to be much more expensive than those not in it. This premium pick series is powerful and only for those with big pocketbooks and frequent power tool needs.
Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Warranty
Warranty is another major factor related to price. Since power tools are relatively expensive, you want the tool to have some kind of guarantee to help offset the price in case it breaks prematurely. Given that DeWalt is typically used by professionals, many people assume that it offers a better warranty, but that is not the case.
Though DeWalt is more expensive, both brands offer about the same warranty. A 3 year limited warranty is put on all power tools for both brands.
All Ryobi portable power tools, bench stationary tools, outdoor power tools, batteries, and chargers come with a 3-year limited warranty.
DeWalt products come with a No Break Guarantee and a 3-year limited warranty. This warranty ensures that the company will repair any defects from faulty materials after 3 years from the purchase date. Normal wear and tear or tool abuse are not covered by the warranty.
Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Customer Service
Customer service can be a make-or-break decision for certain customers. Overall, DeWalt has more superior customer service, ensuring that you can get help in the case that you have any questions concerning your product. Ryobi doesn’t necessarily have bad customer service. They just aren’t as impressive as DeWalt.
If you have any issues with your Ryobi tool, they offer toll free customer service that you can reach Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM through 6:00 PM. Their products do not come with a customer support warranty like DeWalt.
Customer service is impressive with DeWalt. On top of their 3 year limited warranty, they also offer a free 1 year customer’s support. Users generally agree that customer service with DeWalt is much more efficient and reliable than other power tool brands.
Ryobi vs DeWalt Brushless Technology
Today, brushless motors are all the rage. Especially when it comes to power tools, a brushless motor is almost required in today’s market. Brushless motors allow for the tool to perform better, offer more power, and work longer. These substantial improvements also make brushless technology more expensive.
One of the more impressive brushless technology of Ryobi is the 18V One+ 6-Tool Li-Ion Combo Kit. This kit is hard to beat in terms of performance and value. It is still highly affordable, yet it comes with durable tools that will last 8 to 10 years. This kit is really a great option for homeowners and hobbyists, though it may not be the best for professionals.
Similar to the Ryobi kit is the DeWalt 20V MAX 5-tool Cordless Combo. These tools tend to be much better in terms of quality, construction, and performance than the Ryobi products. Still, they are way more expensive. Professionals or those who need these tools often may want to select the DeWalt.
In terms of performance and comfortability, DeWalt is the clear winner. Professionals or those who must use tools frequently need what this DeWalt kit offers. For hobbyists and homeowners, however, this DeWalt kit will be too expensive. Go with the Ryobi if you don’t need these tools on a regular basis.
Ryobi vs DeWalt Drills
Drills are one of the most crucial tools for homeowners and professionals alike. Both Ryobi and DeWalt offer drills that are highly effective, lightweight, and long lasting. By using brushless technology and a cordless design, Ryobi and DeWalt drills are highly portable yet strong.
The Ryobi 3/8-inch 12 Volt Drill/Driver Kit is affordable yet portable. The kit comes with a drill/driver, one battery, and a battery charger. It weighs 33% less than drills with Ni-Cad batteries, making it great for tight spaces and long use. Still, it’s not the most durable option on the market.
The DeWalt 12V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver Kit is a highly compact, lightweight, and powerful drill. With a 2-speed transmission, this drill offers optimum control for professionals and others with more intense needs. Of course, these additional features come with a hefty price tag.
Much like the brushless technology, DeWalt drills are way more impressive if you need to use them for professional use. The additional speeds and accessory features make it much more convenient if you need to use the drill for a long time. In contrast, the affordable price of Ryobi will make it the clear winner for around the house use.
Ryobi vs DeWalt Saws
Saws may not be used as frequently as drills, but they are definitely an important tool to consider for more intense hobby needs or professional jobs. Both Ryobi and DeWalt produce impressive circular saws that you may want to consider for woodworking purposes.
Ryobi’s P505 is lightweight yet effective. Its small design makes it perfect for smaller people and those who are less comfortable with a circular saw. Because of its smaller frame, this product is definitely not the best for professionals or those who need to cut large pieces of wood.
Carpenters and contractors will probably like the DeWalt DWE575SB more. This circular saw is much more robust and powerful, making it a better option for professional use. At the same time, the tool is also portable, making it great for those who have to transport their saw to different locations.
As you have probably guessed by now, the DeWalt saw is more impressive by a long shot. Professionals should choose the DeWalt over the Ryobi. Home users, however, should save their money and get the Ryobi instead.
Overall Brand Reputation
Looking at performance alone, DeWalt is way more impressive than Ryobi. The tools tend to come with much more accessories that are reliable and precise. For the advanced performance features, professionals tend to prefer the DeWalt.
Obviously, Ryobi is impressive in terms of performance too, but they are not as designed for professional or intense uses. As a result, they don’t come with as precise or advanced features as the DeWalt, making them take second place in terms of performance.
The one area that Ryobi truly beats DeWalt is in price. Ryobi is notably less expensive than DeWalt, sometimes half the price for the same product. Those on a budget or homeowners with less intense needs should definitely opt for the Ryobi because of its affordability. Especially when you consider that it has the same warranty as DeWalt, its price is tough to beat.
DeWalt is expensive, even for its offerings. Unless you have enough money to spend on the products or you know you will need to use them intensely for many years, DeWalt simply is an expensive option.
DeWalt tends to be much more durable than Ryobi. This can be attributed to the fact that DeWalt products are normally made in the USA, whereas Ryobi ones are made in China, despite having a US manufacturing location. Those who are concerned about the longevity of their tool, especially if they use the tool intensely, should opt for the DeWalt.
Ryobi products aren’t terrible in terms of durability. They simply aren’t as impressive as DeWalt. Still, Ryobi does offer the same warranty as DeWalt, which suggests that Ryobi is still durable.
Given that DeWalt is designed for professionals who use the tools a lot, their products tend to be much more comfortable. Normally, Ryobi and DeWalt products are similar in terms of weight, but DeWalt products feel more comfortable and sturdier in your hand, making them more comfortable as a whole.
It’s no wonder that Ryobi and DeWalt are the two leading power tool brands. If you are having trouble deciding on which brand to select in 2021, the answer is pretty simple. If you are a professional who needs the most durable and high performing brand, then DeWalt is your best bet. Conversely, homeowners and hobbyists should opt for Ryobi because it is more affordable, yet dependable and impressive. Simply considering your budget and expected use tells you exactly which brand to select.
- A Quick Comparison
- Brief History of Ryobi
- Brief History of DeWalt
- Ryobi vs DeWalt: Manufacturing
- Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Product Line
- Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Price
- Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Warranty
- Ryobi vs. DeWalt: Customer Service
- Overall Brand Reputation