Gear Review Ryobi 18 volt ONE+ system tools

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by gunbunny, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I recently decided it was about time to get a set of battery powered tools for myself. I work with them, most people I know have them, I guess I am a little behind the curve. Over the years, I've used Miwaukee, Makita, and De Walt.

    Once upon a time I was a forman running small electrical instal and renovation jobs and our company supplied us with Ryobi tools. Yes, they were cheap, but I was supprised how well they held up. The batteries were the weak link, wearing out and not charging as well as new, and especially not lasting anywhere near as long. Our batteries were usually two or more years old, though.

    Most of our jobs were outdoors, in unfinished buildings, and usually without the presence of power as we were the ones installing it.

    So, when I finally decided to get a set, I went with Ryobi. The thing was, there are actually quite a bit more to the ONE+ system than drills. Here's a link to their website: Ryobi 18V ONE+™, Lithium Ion, NiCad Power Tools

    After I bought the drill and a couple of Lithium batteries, I noticed a few more items that would be useful to me in many other ways, items my fellow monkeys may be interested in also. I'll list them off the website by their part number and explain why I have them.

    First up are the battery packs themselves. You can't do much good with a system unless you have the batteries, and I choose the P102 (Ryobi Power Tools :: 18V Compact Lithium-ion Battery ) and P105 plain Lithium batteries. I don't really need an LED voltage indicator of the more expensive batteries, and ni-cad units from the older batteries are just outdated. P102 and P105 will give you the best bang-for-the-buck.

    Next important for the battery system is the charger: P125 ( Ryobi 18V ONE+™ :: 6-Port Supercharger™ ) is quite revolutionary from what I used to have to deal with. This has to be the first charger that I've ever seen that the batteries are intended to store on. You see, normally chargers are quite simple devices, and only charge the battery to a preset program. Once the charging program runs it's course, it will continue to trickle charge, reguardless of battery state. I've seen many batteries get a shorter lifespan due to them getting "cooked" from being on the charger overnight or over the weekend. This kills batteries!

    The P125 charger will charge 6 batteries simutanoiusly, and it can check the status of the battery's charge- only charging when it's needed. Storing the batteries on the charger is recommended, and will keep them in much better shape than leaving them alone for long periods of time.

    Basically, what I am doing with the charger is keeping 6 batteries ready to go at a moments notice, by having the charger on a circuit that stays powered when the automatic transfer switch (from our generator) kicks on. That way, in one hour, six batteries are ready to go in times of emergency. If you only run your generator for an hour a day, those batteries will be there for you.

    Beyond just battery drills and saws, I found some really interesting items that other manufacturers don't bother making- a chain saw! P543 ( Ryobi Outdoor Products :: 18V Cordless 10" Chainsaw ) Granted it is only a 10" bar, but I've used it enough to get really comfortable with it. I've chopped up fallen trees to get them out of the way and to stack them up for drying out. I carry the unit when I go offroading because you never know when it might come in handy.

    The handheld Xenon spotlight P716 ( Ryobi 18V ONE+™ :: Xenon Hi-Beam™ ) is really bright, and just as good as any corded spotlight I've ever used. I started to carry this in my vehicle after I missed an oppertunity to identify a really large red-eyed predator one night when driving home. I would really like to know what that was, as I know what is usually around these parts, and he wasn't any of them. By the time I got turned around to point my high-beams on him, he was gone. Hopefully I'll be ready the next time something like that happens.

    The LED latern is what really sold me (besides the chainsaw) on the system. ( Ryobi Power Tools :: ONE+ Workshop Light ) This lantern has a high output 1Watt led. It also has a high and low setting. Ryobi claims a 22 hour runtime, but they don't specify what setting or which battery. If I ever get the time, I'll try setting the lantern on low with the larger battery and see how long it runs.

    These little units actually put out a lot of light. The light can be a little harsh, they tried to cut down on the sharpness by frosting the plastic lens. I keep one of these lanterns in my vehicle along with the spotlight (one battery to share between them) all nested into the supplied nylon bag. I could imagine someone performing emergency surgery with three or four of these units!

    Ryobi's cordless side grinder ( Ryobi 18V ONE+™ :: 18 Volt One+™ 4-1/2" Angle Grinder ) is nice to have, because you may never know when you need to cut through some metal. In my experience, the fastest and easiest way through: a fence, a lock, metal pipes, or hinges is a grinder with a cutting wheel. Nasty quick. I'm not advocating B&E, but you get the point.

    Lastly, is a little radio. ( Ryobi 18V ONE+™ :: 18 Volt ONE+ Radio ) While it is not a world-band capable unit, it is what it is. It is a work radio capable of AM/FM reception that is really well built. It is a work radio, obviously, ment to keep the guys rolling along while building a deck or shingling a roof. It was cheap enough for me to want to get it.

    I've got to say, that Ryobi did a great job making all of these tools work off the same battery system. I've been using the units I described above for the last two months, and have been thuroughly impressed by their performance.
    ghrit likes this.
  2. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Have used 18V Ryobi tools for several years. Have already replaced the charger and two of the original batteries. Like the new smaller Lithiums. They hold longer, lighter, and charge quicker it seems. Wanting a solar setup. If one wants a new set of tools I would recommend the 24V DeWalts. Quite a bit more expensive but is much heavier duty for commercial usage.
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have some of the Ryobi 18v one+ tools as well, and since changing to the lithium batteries, I like them even better.

    One thing though, the 6 bay battery charge will NOT charge all batteries at once, but rather one at a time. That's one of the biggest complaints about it, and mine as well. Also, it's nice that the batteries lock in so you can take the entire charger to the work site, but you still have the power cord dangling.
    Ryobi Accessories :: 6-Port Supercharger™
    Ryobi also sells a car charger for the one+ series as well. I don't know the specs of it to know how well it would work with a solar setup.

    I got the chainsaw for Christmas this year. I'm not impressed by it. Have to drain the oil, otherwise it leaks out when not in use. I'm looking for a new chain for it, the one that comes with it just sucks, I'd rather start up the husky than use the electric. Just my opinion.

    Other than that I have the skill saw, drill, drill driver and an older flashlight all have been great and have been wonderful assets to my tool box
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    The weedeater, blower, mini-circular saw, drill, hammer drill, chainsaw, light (converted to LED), sawzall, all work well...and the six port charger does make it nice. For average use, a reliable system.
  5. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Yeah, I forgot to mention that. The first time I used it, it left a puddle of chain oil on the basement floor. I wasn't too happy about that. Also draining it back out after using it was a pain, the bottle they give you is pretty small. There is always some oil left in the resevoir, and luckily that little bit doesn't leak.

    I ran six batteries dry while cleaning up the tree debris in my back yard when I trimmed them down just before Sandy hit. It made short work of most everything, and I was supprised by it chewing through a 9" trunk. The overall size of the unit is what impresses me the most- that's why I like to carry it when offroading. Not that I'm going to need it, but it's there if I do.

    I honestly didn't realize that the six-pack only charged one at a time. I guess I need more batteries to put in it. I plan on getting quite a few with my tax return, along with a few more lanterns (P780). I don't think you can have enough of those.

    The car charger is a nice idea. I wondered about using a solar panel to charge a battery via the 12v vehicle charger. It's just that I haven't bought one of the car chargers yet. Someday, but more batteries are a larger priority for me.
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