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Ryobi’s got an interesting take on outdoor power tools: Why buy and maintain a half-dozen engines when you’re only going to use one tool at a time?  With their Expand-It system you can purchase any one of a number of different Ryobi split-shaft string trimmers, then swap out the business end with any of a long list of accessories includinga brush cutter, edger, blower, cultivator, limb pruner, and hedge trimmer. 

Essentially, the trimmer splits apart in the middle of the shaft, leaving you with a power-drive for all the different accessories, which snap on via a one-button “Click-Link” system.

Pricing varies dramatically depending on the specific attachment you seek, but they’re all pretty reasonable.  Our contact at Ryobi indicates that the accessories actually work with a variety of other manufacturer’s split-shaft trimmers as well, but you’ll want to check carefully before you buy.

The Expand-It System [Ryobi]


14 Responses to Finds: Ryobi’s “Expand-It” System

  1. Fletcher says:

    I have the Ryobi, and have used its attachments with a Craftsman of the same design, so there is compatibility there.

  2. Myself says:

    Their site is a bit short on details, for sure! They mention “the gasoline engine or electric motor”, but fail to give any detail on those units. Are we talking plug-in electric or cordless? What battery packs does it take?

    I’m optimistic about the ability to run the same tools from either gasoline or batteries, that’d very cool. Anyone want to shed some light?

  3. Herb says:

    I’ve recently purchased the Ryobi with the Pruner attachment (chainsaw-on-a-stick) and also bought the Roto-Tiller and Hedge-Trimer attachments. I like the concept and the fact that they’re interchangeable with other brands.

    I am not disappointed with the gas motor or the attachments.

    The motor is strong enough to power the Roto-Tiller (we’re doing small flower beds – perfect application for it) and the attachment is very well built. The pruner is equally well built.

    The only problem I have experienced is the stress on my back. I’m very out-of-shape and these tools do require that you carry them. They work great even if I don’t 🙂

  4. Brau says:

    I use the Ryobi attachments with my Homelite (John Deere) powerhead and love the system. Got the hedge trimmer, pruning (chain) saw, blower, tiller, edge trimmer, and all work very well. More regular use of the power head has so far negated the likely-hood of the gas gumming up the carb – a fate all too common to my last set of separately powered gas tools despite using gas protectant.

  5. Bob says:

    I bought the electric motor for the Ryobi Expand=it tools. I used it very lightly for 2 yrs and the engine blew. Now there are no more electic motors offered – only gas. Did anyone else have this bad experience? Will the Cub Cadet trimmer fit the Expand-it line?

    • Norm from GA says:

      There are plug-in electrics available, but only online. In fact, Ryobi’s electric trimmer was among the top-ranked in “a nationally recognized consumer review magazine” just a few months ago.

      • Norm from GA says:

        Just a minor correction: There is ONE plug-in electric tool in their line-up currently: the above-mentioned trimmer. If you want to get a new, electric handle to power the rest of the tools, I would certainly order this, and soon, as Ryobi is REALLY pushing their battery-, and to some extent, gasoline-, powered tools.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Hey Bob,

    Check out http://www.cporyobi.com The home of Ryobi reconditioned tools. You can get the corded electric trimmer and some of the attachment there — and at a good price.

    Hope this helps,
    Kat’s Cat

  7. birdonawire says:

    Check out the Ryobi Expand-It Official Microsite – http://www.ryobitools.com/expandit – gives a nice introduction to the each Ryobi Expand-It tool and provides links for more information based on each individual tool. Ryobi Expand It Website is located here: http://www.ryobitools.com/expandit

  8. Anthony Pacheco says:

    would love to hook the Ryobi RY 15550 cultivator attachment to the Maruyama BC 5020H Are the shaft sizes compatible

  9. Bob Bear says:

    Same happened to me, you can still get a new electric head from home depot, or replace the motor unit with parts online! I got a new unit from Home Depot for $59.00

  10. Brian Gregory says:

    Square drive. On 4stroke motor rounded

  11. Steve H. says:

    I have a Ryobi with the Click-Link System. Imagine my surprise when I bought a new trimmer and found out my click-link accessories aren’t compatible with their new Expand-it System. WTF. Did I already say WTF Ryobi, um yes. Ryobi just lost my business for life. Grrrr, damn shifty, unscrupulous businesses; they should all go bankrupt. Vote with your dollar! #Ryobi #VoteWithYourDollar

    • Norm from GA says:

      Apparently some other companies, such as Murray, are having the same problem with the compatibility of their “universal” systems.
      Thank you for your remarks, though; I have just checked out over a dozen sites, and you were the only one that the mentioned two systems by name and declared them incompatible.

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