Ryobi vs Ridgid: A Head-to-Head Comparison

by | Cozy DIY, Cozy lifestyle

So, you’ve been looking at various entry to mid-level tools. You’re not yet at the contractor-level stuff; you’re rather the DIY guy type. Or maybe you’re beginning to get the hang of it so you can do contractor work in the future.

Ryobi and Ridgid are two manufacturers that fit your needs perfectly. Or so you think, still hesitant to make a choice.

Some people might tell you to save some bucks and go for this Ryobi set. It’s a good, diverse set providing you with some serious bang for your buck, yes.

But I want to give you a more comprehensive look at the Ryobi vs Ridgid debate. I’m a Ryobi fan, so to be more objective I’ve consulted with with my friend Kevin who leans towards Ridgid.

Here’s all you need to know regarding these two brands – and how they differ.

One Thing That Might Surprise You

I’ve got a confession to make:

Both Ridgid and Ryobi share the same parent company. Yes, that’s TTI – the giant who also has Milwaukee under their umbrella.

In fact, this is how TTI cover all layers of the power tools market:

  • Ryobi focuses on entry level/mid-level tools. Perfect for DIY beginners.

  • Ridgid focuses on mid-level/upper mid-level tools. Great for DIY fans and contractors starting out.

  • Milwaukee is the shining star of the power tools market. High-end performance, higher prices.

In other words…If you don’t want to spend several hundreds for a Milwaukee Fuel 18v drill, you can get a Ryobi or a decent Ridgid for way, way cheaper. And they’ll do the job pretty alright.

Ryobi vs Ridgid:
The Key Differences

As I mentioned, while there’s a fine line between some of their tools, Ridgid puts out a more powerful performance. However, there are other nuances you want to consider.

Ridgid’s strong side #1: Their insanely good warranty. Yes, I’m talking about their LSA – Lifetime Service Agreement.

By registering under LSA, you can get a lifetime supply of free replacement batteries. If you’ve played around with power tools you know that batteries can run as much as hundred bucks depending on the brand.

This is a fantastic company policy you won’t find with Ryobi.

Ridgid’s strong side #2: Overall durability & power. Especially their cordless/brushless drills outperform Ryobi.

In fact, this is where they reach contractor-level quality. Just a small step behind DeWalt tools I wrote about before, actually…You can’t say that about Ryobi’s general line up.

Ryobi’s strong side #1: Freedom of choice. Ryobi have a way more diverse product line that ranges from power tools, to lawn/patio care and whatnot. Even in the power tools category they can cover your needs with an all-in-one set.

Compatibility is important if you need a lot of tools. With Ryobi you can enjoy both compatibility and interchangeability because of their wide product portfolio.

Ryobi’s strong side #2: Ease of finding replacements + good cost/performance ratio overall.

Lots of products, lots of replacements. Also, lots of options for second hand additions to your DIY arsenal. While not the DeWalt level of convenience (they have hundreds of tools), Ryobi is way better than Ridgid in this regard.

If you want to be sure about that cost/performance ratio thing, I have a tip. Don’t shoot for Ryobi’s cheapest tools. Get their mid-range products – they’re almost near entry contractor level quality, and almost there with Ridgid’s performance. On a cheaper price, of course.

The so called mid-range would be their 18v Lithium Ion series of cordless/brushless motor tools. Good examples are their drill + impact driver set, or their circular saw.

Or better yet, just get their full One+ 18v set which is the best price/performance deal you can get:

Are Ryobi and Ridgid batteries interchangeable?

Not really.

Their parent company might be the same, but they still have a different engineering, designing and manufacturing process.

Ridgid and Milwaukee batteries have some resemblance, but Ryobi and Ridgid batteries are completely different. You can’t swap them between tools, unfortunately.

If you tinker around you’d probably be able to find some DIY solution, but I wouldn’t mess around with the batteries.

Speaking of which, Ryobi batteries can get confusing – be sure to check my guide on their 18v Lithium Ion ones!

So, in conclusion?

In conclusion, me and Kevin have to say this:

Go for Ridgid, if:

  • You are harder on your tools and do more work.

  • You need extra durability.

  • Want a peace of mind with battery replacements.

  • Are either higher level DIY enthusiast or entry-level contractor.

  • Want to spend moderate amount of cash for tools.

Go for Ryobi, if:

  • You’re doing moderate, not that high-end power work.

  • You want diversity & variety in your tool set.

  • Are a hobbyist or learning the ropes.

  • Want to find something affordable that packs decent power/performance.

  • Want an easier way to find replacement parts if something breaks.

That just about sums it up. As I mentioned, just make sure you go for the 18v Ryobis (which I also like), instead of their cheaper lines.

Any questions, leave them in the comments below 🙂

Also, if you’re looking to expand your DIY horizon, check out my Hunter vs Rainbird lawn-related post. Or dig into the world of DIY plumbing the PEX way – inarguably, an easy, affordable solution to furnishing your home.

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