With the introduction of the green-batteried li-ion line a few years ago, we became fans of Ryobi’s power tools. While the early (blue) One+ line pretty much defined (in our opinion, at least) the price-cheap and quality-cheap low-buck tool line, the updated li-ion versions flat blew us away. We thought the li-ion One+ drill compared favorably to models offered at twice the price; you could actually pick up a whole multi-piece kit for under $200. That’s not bad. Of course, Ryobi has always been in the garden tool market as well, so we’re interested to see what comes of Ryobi’s new 40V li-ion line, which applies most of the same technology to a battery pack large enough to power higher-draw tools, like the chain saw pictured above.
The specs look pretty encouraging. Despite looking larger in photos, that’s a 12″ bar in the picture — just about right for the kind of small trimming and pruning jobs it’s likely to see in its target market: the home. And while gas-powered saws will probably always dominate the heavy-duty use market, there’s a lot to be said for the low-maintenance convenience of electric for the homeowner, who won’t want to keep gas and oil (or mix) on hand and re-adjust the damn saw every time they pick it up.
The line launches sometime this summer, so we’ll update you again when we know more about actual street pricing and/or get a chance to take a look at these in person. As with all such tools — and especially the lower-priced ones — the test will be how well these hold up compared to their more expensive rivals. What do you think? Would you consider trying out a Ryobi string trimmer? Or lawn mower?