Small spenders take note: Ryobi has added lithium-ion power to their low-buck One+ system, dramatically increasing the line’s potential and raising the bar significantly for affordable cordless power tools. You’ll find several combination sets on store shelves now — all featuring the new batteries plus a retina-burning, high-visibility green color scheme.
For today’s test, we snagged a four-piece set — the “Ryobi One+ 4-PC Lithium Power Tool Kit,” which includes a charger, two batteries, a drill/driver, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, and a worklight. Wondering just what $300 buys you in a four-piece li-ion combo? Read on past the jump to find out.
The first thing that you’ll notice when unboxing the kit is that the tools and the bag are day-glo green. Laugh if you like, but they should be easy to find even in a dark tool shed, or even with the absence of all light in the solar system. You know — whichever happens first.
The nylon bag features hard side inserts and feels quite sturdy — like it’ll withstand plenty of abuse. Its internal compartments separate the tools (including the charger) like cafeteria food. Better yet, Velcro strips hold the compartments together, which means you can detached them to open up the entire bottom of the bag or re-arrange them however you’d like. A handy tip: pay attention to the way the tools come out of the bag. If you intend to store all the tools in the bag, the best arrangement for fit (read: the only arrangement for fit) might not be obvious at first when you try to put them away.
We also quickly noticed that the new tools’ grips are uber-comfortable. They feel right for frequent use and fit in the hand extremely well. The circular saw and worklight look a little funny without battery packs attached, but then thats not how you’ll use them. The circular saw and drill/driver both feel light and quite comfortable.
Batteries And Charger
The kit’s 18V batteries seem like standard fare, but the charge tester on the batteries is first -class. The button is big and easy to push even while wearing gloves — unlike many manufacturers’ (cough, cough, Milwaukee) — and the batteries’ three-color indicator makes reading charge a snap: green for full, orange for low, red for charge now.
Another quick unboxing thought: the li-ion powerplant isn’t just all about go-power. These batteries will hold their charge on the shelf much longer than NiCds — a boon for weekend warriors who might use the tools once-a-month before dropping them back in the bag.
And if you happen to own any existing One+ tools, the new kit’s charger will charge both li-ion and your older NiCd batteries. We also appreciate the charger’s easy-to-read status indicator with explanatory chart attached right on the front.
Read on to page two for more unboxing.