Review By Dean Bielanowski  Ryobi Website - http://www.ryobi.com.au


Ryobi One+
Power Tool System

 Review

By Dean Bielanowski

If you are a fan of cordless tools, you will likely already have a collection of them, either big or small. One of the most noticeable issues with cordless tools is battery management. It can be a juggling and time consuming act to ensure all your batteries are charged for each particular tool before you embark on your latest project or head out to the worksite. And then, of course, you have to find the right charger for the right battery, and set them up in a pseudo-production recharging line... So what is the answer to getting around these issues?

Ryobi appears to have come up with one solution that attempts to resolve these issues and make life easier for the cordless tool fanatics, and one that also seems cost effective. Let's take a closer look.

Note for USA Readers: The Ryobi One+ tools reviewed here are those sold in Australia, however, the range offered in the USA is practically identical to the those offered in Australia. I have included both the Australian and the USA product model numbers in the reviews for reference. Both Australian and US Prices are also displayed. Australian prices are those quoted as retail by Ryobi (store prices are usually a little cheaper). USA prices are those quoted at the Home Depot site Ryobi USA links to on their product pages.

The Ryobi One+ System
The marketing blurbs Ryobi give to their new One+ line is "One at a Time, or All at One Time" and "One Power Source + Endless Possibilities". it sounds catchy, but what does it mean? Essentially, the One+ system is a series of tools that all run off the same specified battery. The idea is that you can use the same battery for each and every One+ cordless tool, saving you having to mess around with different batteries and chargers, or carrying extra weight around with an array of batteries for various cordless tools. Plus, each new tool you buy does not come with its own charger and battery, and therefore, the tools can be offered at a much cheaper price. Because there is only one battery type used, there is only one charger, greatly simplifying the battery charge/use cycle. You can also purchase additional extra batteries at affordable prices too if you require extras or spares. Initially, you will need to buy either a combo tool kit (featuring any number of specific tools) which come with a charger and a couple batteries, or buy the charger/batteries separately as all other products in the Ryobi One+ range are sold without batteries, which keeps the cost of these particular tools down to a minimum, hence saving you more money as you purchase more tools from the range. It's certainly an interesting concept and one that should catch on. I have heard on the grapevine that Ryobi is doing exceptionally well in the market with the One+ system already.

So, with the above in mind, let's take a closer look at each of the components and tools in the range, giving our opinion of each item based on our recent testing.

Batteries and Charger
The 18v Ryobi batteries form the basis of the One+ system. Each tool in the range uses this same battery. The batteries themselves have NiCad cells rated at 1.7Ah, which offers reasonable sustainability for cordless tasks. I believe the cells themselves are of similar high quality to those that Ryobi have used in their Pro Series line of Cordless tools which have proven to give good performance. We certainly have experienced credible performance, in most cases, from these batteries during our testing period. Because the batteries are of the NiCad variety (used widely in cordless tools), standard battery maintenance and care is needed because NiCad can have memory effect issues if not properly maintained. This generally means only recharging once the battery is fully depleted, and not recharging half depleted batteries. It is a good idea if you invest in this system to have at least two batteries in your kit, or more if you can afford them, because it gives you more options and allows you to better maintain batteries, and hence battery life. Each battery weighs 0.92 kilograms. Ryobi claim their batteries can be recharged in 1 hour using the 18v Smart Charger from the range. In reality, I found this figure was closer to 1.5 hours, and nearing two hours for a new or fully depleted battery. Bear in mind that to gain maximum capacity, batteries generally need to be cycled (charged/depleted) several times before they reach maximum capacity, and we found this to be true during our testing period. We gained better life after the third or fourth charge cycle. As a general rule of thumb for all cordless tools, best performance is achieved on a full battery charge.

 

The Smart Charger itself features several indicator lights which provide information about the recharging cycle and the batteries themselves:

Red = Fast Charging Mode
Green = Fully Charged Battery
Yellow + Green = Control Charge of Defective Battery Pack

This last indicator (the yellow + green) will show when you first start the charge cycle. Here it is basically examining the battery to check that it is in good condition and suitable for recharging. In normal charging the LEDs will switch over to red a minute or two later and the battery begins to take a charge. If the yellow and green lights remain on after say 10 minutes or more, they may be indicating a problem with the battery which should be checked. But so far, so good, and we havent had any battery or charge problems to date. I can say the same also for the several other Ryobi tools we have reviewed here in the past. All are still working with no problems.

Included with each One+ tool you buy is a small lanyard. This clips in to where the battery would normally go and allows you to hook the tool to your belt for easy access. Simply remove the lanyard and add a battery to begin work again.

Ryobi One+ System Tools Mini-Reviews
Because the entire system is very large, we have decided to go with mini-reviews of each individual tool rather than generalize about the quality of the system overall. We will offer a basic overview of each tool with tech specs, but most importantly, we will give our opinion of each also, as this is probably what you, the reader, really want to know! The products are reviewed here in no particular order and we will add new reviews to this page as more One+ tools are released.



Ryobi One+ Cordless 2-Speed Drill
(Model Numbers: Australia - CID182L; USA - P210)
Prices: AUD$99, USD$49.99

We start off with perhaps the most popular type of cordless tool out there, the cordless drill. This is just one of several types in the Ryobi One+ system. The CID182L is best suited to the serious DIY enthusiasts or occasional user who requires a little more than what a budget priced drill can offer. Featuring 2 speeds via a mechanical gearbox plus a forward and reverse switch, the drill is suited to both drilling and driving tasks. It has 24 clutch settings to help assist in overdriving problems and includes a hammer action for drilling into masonry (up to 18,200 blows per minute). The electronic variable trigger can deliver drill speeds from 0 to 400 RPM on speed setting 1, and 0 to 1400 RPM on speed setting 2. It features a 13mm keyless chuck which makes bit changing fast, and it seems to grip drill and driver bits with few slippage problems. A detachable second grip handle is useful when drilling masonry, or in helping to align a drill bit or engage a screw head with a driver bit in awkward situations or angles. The handle also features a depth adjustment rod which comes in handy when you want to gauge drilling depth. I found the handle to be a touch too small for my large hands, but if your hands aren't that big, it presents no problem.

The main handle has a rubber overmold on the back for comfort and slip resistance and, in general, the drill seems quite well balanced. On the top of the tool is the speed selector switch (slides forward/back to select between the two speeds) as well as two driver bit holders (with 2 driver bits included), for keeping the driver bits easily accessible. There is also a mini spirit level up top to ensure horizontal drilling, or to bias your drilling for either an upward or downward angle. At the rear of the head of the tool is a circular spirit level designed to allow you to position the drill accurately for vertical drilling, or again, use it to drill on an angle if needed. Perhaps the best feature on this unit is the magnetic surface at the base of the handle. Here you can easily hold half a dozen or so fasteners ready to drive, or anything else magnetic that you need to hold on to. It certainly speeds up drilling tasks when you don't have to dip into a box of screws or into a toolbelt pocket to grab the next fastener.

During our tests, we have little trouble drilling most materials and driving screws into most materials. This is perhaps a better drill option for the more casual user. It is not as 'heavy' as some of the other models available in the range, but it's certainly no slacker in the performance department. If you are after a good all-around drill/driver for around the home or for light commercial use, this model would fit the bill nicely and is reasonably priced to boot.

   



Ryobi One+ Cordless Nailer/Stapler
(Model Numbers: Australia - CNS180L; USA - P300)
Prices: AUD$149, USD$69.99

The CNS180L cordless nailer or stapler is the only nailing/stapling tool currently in the One+ system. It seems best used as a light upholstery stapler or for pinning wooden fixtures or projects in tandem with a good glue. It can fire 20mm-32mm (3/4" - 11/4") brad nails, which, as you probably know, are not used for any serious holding applications where excessive force will be applied to the joint. Brad nails are very useful in the workshop however for quick pinning or temporary holding of materials. The CNS180L uses the same magazine for both brad nails and staples, and loading them in is easy. A safety nose on the unit helps prevent accident misfiring of nails/staples. It must first be pressed against the material before a nail or staple can be fired. Staple sizes can range from 6mm-14mm (1/4" - 9/16") with a 3/8" crown and a starter set of nails and staples is included. You can buy more fasteners from the Ryobi One+ supplier near you.

An indicator gauge on the top side of the magazine provides a rough indication of when you have 10, 5 or 0 nails/staples remaining in the magazine. The magazine can hold up to 84 brads, and up to 100 staples. The actual driver is wide enough to engage the width of s staple crown, so even if you are firing a brad nail, which has a much narrower head, the tool may leave a wide driver mark on your material. This is something to consider if you are using the tool for fixing where the nails will be seen. Because of this, it is probably best suited as a stapler in its primary function, but useful nonetheless elsewhere for brad nail driving tasks if the nail location will not be visible, or it being visible poses no problem. An adjustable depth of drive knob at the rear of the tool seems to work well for adjusting depth, and you can almost set it just so it wont leave that staple driving mark when firing brad nails, however, the brad nail may not always seat below the surface of the wood, particularly with hardwood materials. We did find on a good battery charge level that the tool could drive nails and staples into some pretty dense species of wood. As battery power decreases, so does the ability of the nailer to drive to full depth, particularly on harder materials, but this is to be expected given that it is, after all, a cordless tool.

In my opinion, if you are after a simple fixing tool for light projects, or particularly for craft work where you are regularly nailing upholstery or material to wooden frames, this tool will work well for you. It is certainly handy not to have to drag out a compressor hose and hook everything up to drive just a few quick nails or staples. In saying that however, I do feel a compressor based unit is more effective in general as a fixing setup and you can get a mini compressor and nailer/stapler for not a lot more, but for light duty tasks this fastening tool does offer a quick and convenient solution, and it can fire up to 40 fasteners per minute, so it's no slouch in the speed department either.

  



Ryobi One+ 140mm (5 1/2") Cordless Laser Circular Saw
(Model Numbers: Australia - CSL180L; USA - P500)
Prices: AUD$99, USD$59.99

When it comes to breaking down sheet materials to make them more manageable for cutting on the table saw, or for making quick cuts when you don't want to drag out the corded circular saw, the cordless saw is a very worthwhile tool to have in your inventory. Now, admittedly, nothing beats a corded circular saw for heavy duty, prolonged wood cutting, but for lighter tasks, or where only a dozen or two cuts need to be made, a cordless saw handles the job just fine. The CSL180L is best suited as a trim saw primarily because of its reduced cutting depth due to the small blade it uses (140mm diameter). At 0 degrees, the saw can cut material up to 40mm thick (19/16"). When bevel tilted, the saws cutting capacity is 29mm (11/8"). No load speed is 4200 RPM. The saw itself has a fairly rigid metal baseplate that resists warping, allowing accurate cuts to be made. Bevel adjustment is available from 0 to 50 degrees, and although there are no hard adjustment detents, the scale does show common bevel angle settings at 15, 22.5, 30, 45 and 50 degrees. The saw can also be raised/lowered in reference to the base plate and this saw exhibits excellent rigidity when raised to its highest point (least amount of blade exposed below the baseplate).

Another major feature of this model is the inbuilt laser guide. It is a class II laser and is added to help the user guide the saw along a straight line. The laser is in line with the blade's actual cutting line. You are either a fan of laser guides on tools or you are not. I find they are useful on some tools and not others, but the circular saw is one tool where I find they can be of assistance if you do not have guide rails or straight edges to make cuts with. Saying this however, the saw does come with a guide fence for making parallel cuts close to a reference edge, but it does have its own width limitation of course. The laser is powered by two AA batteries which sit under the removable cover just aft of the laser itself and it can be turned on or off by the independent switch just behind the battery compartment. Lasers in general can be difficult to see in bright sunlight conditions, and this is true for the laser on this tool.

A spindle lock allows easy blade changing and the included hex wrench has its own storage spot on the saw just forward of the battery. The blade guard is hard yellow plastic and semi-transparent so you can see the blade as it cuts. There is no riving knife on the saw so precautions must be made to decrease the risk of kickback during cuts.

In testing, we found the saw to perform very well assuming you use it within its limitations. During prolonged use, we found the battery had a tendency to heat up a little, so occasional breaks here and there will help keep battery heat down and prolong battery life. We did do our testing on rather warm days, out in direct sunlight so that would have contributed to this to a fair degree too. The saw can cut hardwoods at full depth with no problem at all. You may need to adjust your feed speed depending on particular material density but overall the saw does the job as a cordless trim saw or light duty circular saw for quick cuts here and there. If you invest in the One+ system and do not start with a combo kit that comes with a circular saw, this model would be the one to grab, particularly if you think the s\laser would be useful for you. Note however, that this model does not have a dust chute. The retail price makes this a very affordable cordless circular saw that is of good quality.

  



Ryobi One+ Cordless Orbital Jigsaw
(Model Numbers: Australia - CJS180L; USA - P520)
Prices: AUD$99, USD$49.99

The One+ Cordless Orbital Jigsaw is one tool previously offered by Ryobi as a separate model in some parts of the world, although not under the One+ branding. We have in fact reviewed it previously on OnlineToolReviews.com. The cordless jigsaw is ergonomically designed and is quite comfortable in the hand. The variable speed trigger controls rate of stroke, which rates from 0 - 2,100 strokes per minute with a stroke length of 25.4 mm. A trigger lock-off button must be depressed before the trigger can be released and power applied to the tool to start its stroke cycle. The orbital adjustment knob features four settings which control the relative blade angle in reference to the jigsaw base. Varying blade angle can change how aggressively or passively the jigsaw cuts, and this often needs to be changed to get the best results and cleanest cuts on different types of materials. The jigsaw accepts T-shank style blades, sometimes also called "Bosch" style blades and these are readily available from most hardware stores that sell jigsaws. A woodcutting and metal cutting blade are supplied as standard, but you might want to grab a few spares as the ones included are not the best quality available. Blades can be changed without the need for any tools. The blade clamp is spring loaded and lifting up the yellow latch allows blades to be removed and added in seconds. A wire blade guard is fitted and because it is not a solid shield like some other jigsaws, you have an unobstructed view of the blade and cutting action which is useful, however, it is not as 'safe' in keeping your fingers out than a solid clear shield in my opinion. Regardless, with basic user care, your fingers should not need to go near the blade when in use anyway.

The jigsaw base can pivot to 45 degrees both left and right, a hex key required to loosen the two holding screws located up in the underside of the base. A hex wrench is provided and there is storage for such on the base itself. An interesting feature of the base it that when set at 0 degrees the base can slide forward in screw slots and be locked down. A small slit in the base sits right up next to the blade to provide workpiece support close to the blade edges. This helps reduce chipout and splintering occurring which can be very obvious with jigsaw cuts because the blade cuts on the upstroke. There is provision on the base to lock in a guide fence for parallel cutting, and a fence is included in the kit for this purpose. A small blade storage locker at the rear of the tool will hold extra blades, however, we found it will not hold longer woodcutting blades because the storage space is too short.

Before I first used this tool I was a little skeptical about how well a cordless jigsaw would work. But after having used this jigsaw for some time now, I must say I am pretty happy with the results given its cordless nature. It's probably not the tool to be using all day, every day if you have to make a heap of jigsaw cuts on a regular basis, but for occasional use, the jigsaw holds its own well.

 


Ryobi One+ Cordless Reciprocating Saw
(Model Numbers: Australia - CRS180L; USA - P510)
Prices: AUD$99, USD$49.99

The reciprocating saw is a tool that, for some reason, I always associate with demolition. In reality, this is not far from the truth, and it doesn't really have a lot of application in the woodworkers, or fine cabinetmaker's workshops. It is really a renovator's or builders tool and is useful for both construction and destruction, although it can also be handy out in the yard too. The reciprocating saw is somewhat like a jigsaw in its action. It features a blade that travels in a forward/backward motion to resemble a handsaw cutting action, so wherever a cut requires this type of action, the reciprocating saw can likely take out the physical work of making that cut, but bear in mind that cutting stroke is limited in comparison to a handsaw because of the blade length. The length of stroke on this tool is listed as 22mm (7/8") with a no load speed of 0-3000 strokes per minute. Speed is variable via the switch trigger and there is a brake fitted to rapidly stop blade motion when you power off. Apart from the trigger, which also features a trigger lock-off button for user safety, there are no other adjustment features on this tool. Ryobi also make a corded version similar to this, but it has a speed dial for speed adjustment, which can be useful for cutting different types of materials. This model does not, however, it retains the same tool-less blade changing mechanism as its corded cousin. Simply lift up the blade clamp lever at the front of the tool (see photo) and add or remove a blade. Releasing the blade clamp lever locks the blade in place ready for use.

The tool takes standard reciprocating saw blades, and many types are available from a wide range of manufacturers. Ryobi includes one wood cutting and one metal cutting blade (which can also be used for plastic/PVC type materials) and these are actually very good quality blades and are extremely sharp. I love it when the manufacturer throws in some top quality blades to get you started. Saves you running out and buying better ones before you even take the tool out of the box.

There are rubber overmolds on the back side of the main handle and around the blade clamp lever toward the front of the tool (where you usually grip with your second hand for control). The tool is comfortable to use. A pivoting shoe assembly helps apply pressure to the surface of the material you are cutting and also helps reduce vibration when doing so, as the reciprocating saw has a quasi-jigsaw type action to it.

In use we found this tool can deliver the same performance as its corded cousin in most instances. It has no trouble cutting just about all materials it is designed to cut (wood, plastic, light metals, drywall etc) and the tool itself delivers consistent power via the battery pack. As always, performance diminishes slightly as battery power draws low but you will get several hours of cutting out of a single battery charge with this tool. It is a great inclusion to your kit if you are a renovator, builder, or you just want to tackle some light duty pruning around the garden. Because of the types of cuts this tool excels at, often you need it just for a single task or two, and having a cordless version that uses the same battery pack as other tools in the range allows quick and convenient use with no time wasting setting up a power cord and running it from the closest outlet. The only downside is the lack of speed adjustment, but this can be worked around with knowledge of the materials you are cutting, and perhaps a little spray cooling lube for specific metal cutting tasks.


Ryobi One+ Cordless Chain Saw
(Model Numbers: Australia - CCW180L; USA - P540)
Prices: AUD$139, USD$59.99

Ok, this is the tool that perhaps I was the most skeptical about. I do own both a petrol chain saw and an electric chain saw (with power cord) and I can say that the petrol chain saw wins hands down in a competition, so how well would a cordless chain saw rate then if a petrol saw easily took care of an electric version head to head? Let's first look at the features. Firstly, the One+ cordless version features a shorter bar than my other saws at just 10 inches, or 25 centimeters. As we know, it uses the same 18v battery as all the other One+ tools in the range. The battery 'plugs' in just behind and below the front grip handle. Forward of the grip handle is a plastic hand guard. This guard does not trip the power to the saw like it does on my electric chainsaw if it is pushed rearward, it is a fixed guard. The saw comes pre-fitted with an Oregon brand chain, which is of reasonably good quality. The whole bar is covered by a supplied slip-on scabbard to protect it when not in use, and to protect the user from inadvertent injury, which is a nice addition. I wish my electric chain saw had one of these! At the end of the bar there is a "SAFE-T-TIP" attachment fitted to help reduce the chance of kickback in use. Basically, it restricts the user from sawing using the end tip of the bar, which can result in kickback and injury when cutting with this end of the bar in the hands of inexperienced users, and often experienced ones too!

Chain tension and adjustment is done via the way of the adjusting pin when the chain is seated correctly on the bar. The chainsaw sprocket and adjusting pin are concealed behind an outer protective cover when in use, as they should be. The only other thing you will regularly need to attend to is ensuring there is enough chain oil in the oil tank. The oil tank is located up top and basically you fill the tank with oil and check it regularly. As the chainsaw is powered up, the oil is automatically applied to the spinning blade. You should power up the saw for a few seconds before cutting sessions so a new film of oil is applied to the chain before you begin the first cut. This will ensure better cutting operation and keep the chain a little cooler, extending its working life and keeping the cutting teeth sharper for longer. Ryobi supply a small pot of chain oil to get you going. Additional chain oil is readily available from most hardware stores. You will also regularly need to check the condition and sharpness of the chain teeth too. If you cannot sharpen these yourself (and there is some skill needed to sharpen chainsaw teeth properly), have it sharpened by a professional or simply buy a new chain. Replacement part numbers are listed in the manual. The only other feature worth mentioning is the power controls, and these are your standard ON/OFF trigger coupled to a trigger release button to prevent accidental starting. There is really only one speed with chainsaws, full speed or nothing. All cuts should be made only once the chain has reached full operating speed.

It is worth mentioning the manual quality for this particular tool. The black and white instruction booklet includes some good tips on how to make various types of chainsaw cuts and is essential reading for anyone who has never used a chainsaw before. Some top of the line petrol chainsaw manuals don't even come close, unfortunately.

Ok, ok, so how well does it work? Well, considering the bar is only 10" long, this chainsaw wont see any large scale action. It is best suited for light sawing of small to medium sized branch limbs or for cutting down smaller diameter logs for firewood etc. In terms of whether a battery is effective in supplying the power needed to operate a chainsaw effectively, the answer is yes, however, only if you do not attempt to tackle a task the chainsaw is not designed for, or if you don't require extended cutting sessions. Forget about trying to crosscut a 20" diameter log with this tool in two passes. It does start to bog down once you have the full width of the bar engaged in the wood, and particularly so with hardwoods. On softwoods in can handle it, but you have to go slow, and the battery does tend to heat up a little. But for regular smaller diameter crosscutting or amputating small tree limbs, this chainsaw attacks the task quickly and easily if proper technique is used.

What I like about this chainsaw is, in fact, its small size. It's relatively light compared to other chainsaws, is quite comfortable to use (although I would have liked to see a rubber overmold on the main handle) and is great for those quick small chainsaw cutting tasks around the home. This tool prefers regular small cuts in regards to battery use than prolonged, full engaging type of cuts.

Overall, if you use the tool within its limitations, it works fine with few problems. Push it beyond its capabilities and it will struggle, but this is no different to any tool really, the same rules apply. This item might be a hard sell for Ryobi as you can buy a basic corded chainsaw these days for similar money that will outperform this model, but then, that is a corded version. There are not a lot of chainsaw options in the cordless field. At least this model gives you that option.

  
 


Ryobi One+ 3-Speed Industrial Cordless Impact Drill
(Model Numbers: Australia - CID183L; USA - P220)
Prices: AUD$179, USD$79.99
Note - USA model may not have the same ratcheting, all-metal chuck as the Australian version.


The CID183L/P220 is another One+ tool that has been offered by Ryobi in the past as a separate model. This particular drill is also one of the more expensive individual tools currently in the One+ range, and rightly so. It is by far, in my opinion, one of the best tools Ryobi has produced in recent years, and very competitive against the 'big boys' in the market, but still at half the price, or less! This particular model drill is designed for industrial use, and is part of Ryobi's existing Professional Series line of tools. It features a three speed mechanical gearbox with forward/reverse rotation or drilling/driving or removing fasteners (in reverse mode). Drill speed is variable from 0 - 2200 RPM through the three speed settings offered. Speed 1 is ideal for general fastener driving. Speed 3 is for effective small diameter bit drilling. Speeds are selectable via the slide selector switch on top of the motor housing.

The all-metal chuck (13mm) is very solid and features a one hand ratcheting tightening system which provides an excellent grip on the drilling or driving bit used. We have yet to experience a bit slippage with this chuck. It's a great design and works a treat. There are 24 clutch settings, the 24th providing a hammer action for masonry drilling applications. Hammer speed is also variable and maximum blows per minute is also dependant on the speed selected. At Speed 3, up to 35,200 blows per minute are possible, which certainly makes small-scale masonry drilling a simple task. The clutch ring rotates cleanly to each setting and there are solid detents at each clutch setting. Maximum torque available is 55nm.

A rotateable auxiliary grip handle with integrated depth rod is included, and the handle on this drill is larger and more comfortable than that on the CID182L/P210 reviewed above (if you have large hands). Storage for two driver bits (two double-ended bits are supplied) is provided on the base of the tool but there is no magnetic pad to hold screws like there is on the CID182L/P210 model.

In use, this drill performs very well. The drill has some weight to it so extended use can cause a bit of fatigue, especially if used overhead, however, this drill feels as solid as any other costing twice as much. I am a great fan of this drill, and for the purchase price, you would be hard pressed to find a better "bang for the buck" cordless drill on the market at present. To view the full review we have previously published on this tool, click here (opens new window).

  
 


Ryobi One+ "Tuff Sucker" Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum
(Model Numbers: Australia - CHV180L; USA - P710)
Prices: AUD$49, USD$19.99
Most woodworkers probably already have large volume extractors or vacuum extractors in their workshop for collecting dust from tools in use, or for cleanup afterward. But often, for small cleanup tasks around the home, or even in the workshop when you don't want to drag the larger vacuum system around the One+ "Tuff Sucker" might be a worthy option. Personally I found I did not often use it in the workshop, but that is simply because I have a vacuum system already set up that is pretty portable. My partner actually claimed this tool practically seconds after it came out of the box. Around the house, these things are great for quick cleanup tasks, particularly if you have young ones around that have a tendency to drop and spill things everywhere.

As you can see from the included photos, the vacuum disassembles into two parts for emptying of the collection chamber and cleaning of the included removable filter. The forward yellow button latch makes removal of the plastic collection chamber possible. The filter insert is removable for cleaning or to replace, when it requires replacing. The vacuum can pick up both wet and dry materials and these are collected in the forward part of the collection chamber (bag-less system). Once air passes through the collection chamber and debris deposited, air then flows through the filter which extracts visible particles and is then expelled via the exhaust ports on each side of the vacuum. Suction capacity is rated at 0.85 cubic meters per minute. This is not going to create a cyclone but is powerful enough for this sized unit and for the tasks it is generally used for. It has a liquid collection capacity of 173 mls. There is a standard ON/OFF button and the unit comes with a number of special accessories which attach to the collection mouth of the tool. These include a brush attachment nozzle, which is useful for cleaning around tool motors and for dislodging stubborn dry materials, a crevice nozzle to get into tighter spaces, and a squeegee attachment for wet glass extraction or for delicate surfaces.

The Tuff Sucker is priced at about half of what a similar competitor's unit of equal quality would cost, so if you have already invested in the One+ system and have the batteries on hand, then the Tuff Sucker makes a great tool for small scale workshop cleanup (if you do not have a vacuum system already) or a great general household tool for cleaning up those drops and spills.

   


Ryobi One+ Heavy Duty Fabric Tool Box
(Model Numbers: Australia - ATB001; USA - P900)
Prices: AUD$89, USD$39.99

Once you have collected more than a few Ryobi One+ tools, or if you are just looking for a handy portable tool bag to transport your tools from site to site, do consider the One+ Fabric Tool Box. The tool box is not entirely fabric construction. It is actually a mix of plastic, aluminum and fabric materials. The base and sides are hardened plastic which gives the tool box excellent rigidity and holds its rectangular form. The sides are braced by the aluminum bar that keeps them from folding in on each other. The same aluminum bar acts as the carry handle and has a slight bow-tie profile (with rounded edges) for a comfortable grip. The heavy duty fabric runs from the top side of the plastic base to cover the whole tool box. The box is zip secured for transport, or opened for access to the tools inside. A small flap section (velcro secured) can be opened to expose the handle to carry the box around (see photo) while the main cver remains secured. Several zippered pouches can hold various tool attachments or parts (drill bits, blades etc) and there are also open pockets on one end (to hold batteries) and a velcro pocket for other component storage. Padded internal compartments provide some form of protection against bumps and jolts during transportation.

The main compartment has the capacity to hold several tools (depending on the actual size of the tools added). For example it could easily hold up to six or seven cordless drills (if you have that many) or as shown in the accompanying photo, we have packed in a cordless circular saw, jigsaw, drill and speed saw, with plenty of space to spare. An adjustable shoulder strap is also provided for carrying the tool box on a shoulder. The tool box does require some assembly out of the box, but that takes only about five minutes to achieve at most. In terms of physical size, the tool box measures 670mm long, 300mm wide and weighs 0.8kg

The retail price is around AUD$89 in Australia and US$39.99 in the USA, which is a bit of an investment for a tool box, however, this one is much better than your average all fabric portable tool bag they sell in the budget bins of big box hardware stores, and will last a long time if looked after properly. It provides a quick and simple way of transporting the tools you need for a particular job to and from the the worksite and affords them better protection then a regular all-material bag.

 


Ryobi One+ Starter Kit
(Model Numbers: Australia - 2C18CCK; USA - Not Offered - see www.ryobitools.com for other starter kits offered in USA)

If you are just buying into the One+ system, a starter kit is a good option to begin with. Starter kits provide the battery charger and one or two batteries that all other tools in the range will use. You also have the choice of various kits featuring different combinations of tools that best suit your needs. The starter kit we are reviewing is one available in Australia that does not seem to be available in the USA, however, the circular saw in this kit is found in USA combo kits. There is a large range of kits available in the USA at present, so be sure to check the Ryobi USA website listed above for further details.

This particular starter kit includes a 140mm (5 1/2") cordless circular saw and 2-speed cordless impact drill driver. It comes with one battery charger and two One+ 18v batteries. It is shipped in a plastic molded case for portability and to keep everything protected, although you may want to invest in the One+ tool box reviewed elsewhere on this page as your collection grows. We have already covered the charger and batteries, so lets jump right into looking at the two tools included in this particular kit.

Firstly, the 140mm (5 1/2") circular saw is similar in size to the cordless laser circular saw reviewed above. In fact, most of the specifications are also the same. it has the same maximum depth of cut at 0 degrees (40mm) and at 45 degrees bevel tilt (29mm), the same no load speed and uses the same size blade - 140mm (5 1/2") with a 10mm arbor (a blade is included to get you started). The most noticeable difference between these two models is that this saw does not have the laser guide feature that the CSL180L/P500 model offers. The bevel adjustment markings and distance markings on the front of the base are much more visible on this saw however. The other major difference is that this saw has a dust outlet at the back of the blade cover, with an adjustable outlet port to direct the waste materials in a direction away from the user, or to hook up to a vacuum system for collection. In terms of performance, this saw functions as well as the laser guided model, so there is not much more to say about it. With both saws, hearing protection (and eye/lung protection) are required, as is the case when using almost any circular saw. This particular model outputs 105dB, which is about average for a small circular saw. These little saws are handy to have around the shop. I use mine mostly for sheet cutting tasks, but your mileage may vary.

The two-speed impact drill/driver included in this kit is model CBI1802D. It features a 13mm keyless chuck, but its speed range is not as great as the three speed models, however, it will still handle most tasks without problems. Speed is available from 0 to 400 RPM in 'Lo' Speed and 'Hi' Speed delivers 0 to 1400 RPM. In impact mode, up to 18200 blows per minute can be achieved for drilling masonry. Torque available is 35Nm, so its not the highest torque drill around, but still enough for light-medium duty drilling and driving tasks. The drill features an auxiliary handle with integrated depth stop rod feature, as well as rubber overmolds on the handle and rear side of the motor housing. There is a spirit level indicator on top of the unit for horizontal drilling and one at the rear for lining up the drill left or right of center. 24 clutch settings and impact mode provide a wide range of drilling and driving adjustment options.

The drill seems standard fare in most respects, however, the inclusion of a battery level testing device on the base of the tool makes this drill worthy of inclusion in the range. Simply attach your Ryobi One+ battery and press the test button and a led display will show you the current charge available on the attached battery. I have found this testing device to be quite accurate, although if the battery has been sitting for some time, I suggest you power up the drill for a few seconds and retest, as the battery level reading generally tends to be a bit more accurate in my experience. Despite this, the inclusion of this feature provides a valuable and relatively accurate way of determining battery charge level, and this comes in very handy when managing your supply of One+ batteries. To round out the drill, a couple of included driver bits can be found on the base in their bit storage areas.

Buying a kit to get into the One+ system provides a good start set of tools you can build upon, plus the batteries and charger you will need to use other tools in the range. Often these sets are offered at a cheaper price than you would need to pay if you purchased all the items in the kits separately, so there is further cost savings there.


 

Ryobi One+ Cordless Flashlight
(Model Numbers: Australia - CFL180L; USA - P700)
Prices: AUD$29.00, USD$12.99


The Ryobi One+ system not only features woodworking and DIY tools, but other handy accessories as well that are equally useful in any number of situations. Their flashlight is one such tool. While it may cost a little more than a regular budget flashlight from the local big box hardware store, the advantage you have with this tool is that it uses the same One+ battery, so to carry it around with other One+ tools means adding very little weight to your tool box (only 0.3kg). Unlike a regular flashlight, this one has a rotating head which allows you to change the angle of the light beam in relation to the flashlight's body. The head can rotate 180 degrees to give you various angle configurations.
At the right-angle setting, the flashlight is handy to illuminate areas where you cannot get a regular torch into with its straight projecting beam in relation to its body.

A simple ON/OFF switch on the front side of the handle turns the light beam on or off. The single high-intensity bulb can be easily replaced if needed. The front face of the torch twists off much like a standard flashlight to access the bulb area. Feature-wise, like most flashlights, that's all there is to the tool! Ryobi doesn't list any specifics in regard to candle-power equivalents to rate the light produced, and I wouldn't want to guess without specific testing equipment. But as a general purpose flashlight for inspecting dark areas, for night illumination, for camping, or for those times when the electricity goes out, it works just fine.


Ryobi One+ Cordless Fluorescent Light
(Model Numbers: Australia - CFP180L; USA - Not Available)
Prices: AUD$39.00

The cordless flashlight above is good, but the flourescent light is one of my favorite One+ tools, despite it not being able to cut or slice wood! The fluoro light provides a much wider illumination area than the flashlight, and with that familiar bluey-white colored light. Feature-wise the light offers a 9w U-Type fluoro tube for illumination, and this is, of course, replaceable once it has lived its life. Fluoro tubes do have incredible lifespans and can provide many thousands of hours of use before requiring replacement. I dare say you will probably never have to replace this tube unless you use the light on a daily basis for several hours a day, and then you can expect several years of use from the tube under normal conditions anyway.

There is a standard ON/OFF button on the handle of the light, and you can rest the light on any flat surface as the bottom of the One+ battery provides a flat surface when attached. The light is well balanced and will happily sit on any flat surface without tipping. If you wish to hang the light up during use, a pop-up hook on the top side of the handle allows you to hook/hang the light from a suitable hanging fixture. At 0.45kg, it is slightly heavier than the cordless flashlight.

The Fluorescent light provides a broader area of illumination and hence is handy to use when working for any length of time in a dark area. It allows you to work hands free as the light is more wide spread, rather than being targeted in a concentrated beam as you get with a regular flashlight, however, it is not as useful for lighting up areas distant to your current location. Because fluoro tubes are quite energy efficient, you can get many hours of illumination from a single battery charge.

You can use this light in virtually any application where you require a constant light source that doesn't require you to direct the beam in any place in particular. It is great for lighting up roof spaces, for night wandering in the backyard, or for keeping the kids from running scared in the dark during power outages at night. A very handy light to have and a great addition to the One+ range. I'd consider it as an essential item to grab if you are investing, or have already invested in the One+ system.


Ryobi One+ Cordless Speed Saw
(Model Numbers: Australia - CSS180L; USA - P530)
Prices: AUD$89.00  USD$39.99

Here's a tool that might be limited in application to woodworkers per se, but would be very handy for electricians or plumbers, or anyone needing to cut irregular shaped 'holes' in drywall or similar sheet material. The speed saw is similar to a router, however, it uses a special drill bit to perform the cutting tasks. The speed saw has a single speed of 26,000 RPM. The ON/OFF switch is actually a sliding switch, somewhat like the rotation direction selector on many power drills. It's different, but it works fine in use. The contoured barrel shaped body is comfortable to hold in the hand, and the rubber overmold grip prevents slipping. The saw uses a collet rather than a drill-like chuck. A collet provides a better grip on the bits which is necessary for the very high RPM the bit spins at. Two bits are provided in the kit - a 6.35mm plywood bit (yes this saw can even cut plywood) and a 3.2mm drywall bit. Collet size is 6.35mm, but a 3.2mm collet adaptor is also supplied to use the smaller drywall bit. A spindle lock allows you to hold the spindle firm while you use the supplied wrench to tighten and loosen the collet and bit as needed. Depth adjustment is provided by way of an adjustable ring at the collet end of the tool. You can extend or retract the ring to allow bit depth adjustment from 0 to 25.4mm (about 1 inch) to suit the thickness of material you are cutting. Additionally, a circle cutting jig attachment has been included (as shown in accompanying photos). Using this you can attach the speed saw to it and set an adjustable diameter from 88.9mm to 304.8mm to cut a perfect circle easily.

The speed saw is very handy tool for cutting out odd shapes in drywall or thin plywood material, for example, cutting the square-shaped holes in drywall to access electrical cable for power outlets or switches. You can readily cut any shape or any size with excellent control, much easier and a lot faster than using a non-powered drywall saw, and is much cleaner and gives a slightly better finish. There is enough power to easily handle drywall cutting. For plywood, I found the tool had a bit more trouble when trying to saw 1/2"or thicker plywood. At 3/8" or thinner, the saw worked well. It is more useful for sawing larger diameter circles in plywood where you may not have a wide diameter hole saw bit. A holesaw bit is quicker to use, but if you haven't got one large enough for the task, the speed saw is a good substitute here. I didn't try cutting any plastic sheet material as I didn't have any on hand, but I suspect the high RPM might cause melting problems on thinner plastics that are prone to that? You use the saw in a similar way to a jigsaw, by starting a cut through the material at a 45 degree angle, then you basically guide the saw around the shape to be cut, adjusting speed of travel for the type, density and thickness of material.

This is the type of tool that has specialist application, and for a woodworker, I think it is limited. We have other tools that can handle most woodworking cutting needs, and generally with a better finish with less chipout or fuzzy edges. However, if you have a need for a drywall cutting tool for installing electrical outlets, or as a tool for cutting out odd-shaped sections from plywood boarding (for your shop-lined walls for example) then the speed saw might be worth considering.


 


Ryobi One+ Caulking Gun
(Model Numbers: Australia - CCG180L; USA - P310)
Prices: AUD$99.00  USD$39.99

What's this? A battery-powered caulking gun you say? Well, the idea is not new. There have been electric caulking guns around for some time. Most noticeably, Milwaukee tool company have been selling battery powered caulking guns for some time, but their cheapest model is five times the price of the Ryobi One+ unit in the USA, and the Milwaukee unit is only a 12v tool! The 18v Ryobi caulking gun is very competitive price-wise and will save you from a lot of user fatigue if you use caulk, or any other number of tube based sealants or fillers on a regular basis.

Why is a powered caulking gun needed? Well, try applying a whole tube of sealant using a small nozzle diameter (if you need to get into tight places) using your regular manual powered caulking guns. I guarantee your arm, wrist and fingers will be feeling the strain and fatigue after you are finished. At smaller nozzle sizes the amount of effort needed to squeeze material from the tube is multiplied. Larger nozzle sizes are not too much of a problem as the sealant easily flows from the tube without too much user effort needed. But anyone who has had the joyous task of sealing up bathroom fixtures, windows, door jambs, glass, or had to fill large cracks or the like will know how much of a pain it can be, especially if there is a lot to seal. Admittedly, if you go the powered gun route, you do pay for it dollar wise. After all, a manual caulking gun is only two or three dollars in comparison. But if you use sealants or gap/crack fillers often, you will appreciate this tool. Battery life is also exceptional. On a fully charged battery it is claimed the tool can deliver over 200 full tubes of sealant before requiring a recharge. Now, I cannot verify this as I don't have 200 tubes to use, or waste for that matter, but even if it only delivered 150 tubes it would still be pretty impressive!

The caulking gun will accept any standard 300 gram tube (in which most sealants and fillers are contained in). It does weigh more than a manual gun, weighing in at 1.7kg, so there is a component of user fatigue that is amplified just by using this heavier gun over a non-powered version. I found that the increased weight is generally not a problem, and not really noticeable because you are saving so much extra effort by not having to squeeze the life out of a manual caulking gun to get the material flowing nicely. The gun can provide a tube push force of 180kg, which is plenty to manage any 300 gram tube at almost any nozzle size diameter. You have a standard ON/OFF trigger with an integrated trigger lock function directly underneath it. Locking the trigger prevents unintentional use. There is a variable flow setting adjustment on the tool, which allows you to vary the flow anywhere from 30 - 390mm/min. It is more of a speed setting, so actual figures may vary depending on nozzle opening size etc. Regardless, its simple and fast to achieve the desired flow rate for your own pace of work or the pace the task at hand requires. Larger areas to be sealed or filled require more material to be 'pumped' in. You can adjust the flow rate even while the gun is in use. An onboard puncture tool can be used to puncture the tube end and the nozzle end, but I prefer to use a sharp chisel for this as it creates a wider opening allowing better flow. Loading the tubes is easy. Just pull the plunger mechanism all the way back, drop in your tube, select your flow rate speed, and you are ready to go. As you depress the trigger, the plunger advances at the speed selected and begins to push sealant/filler from the tube out through the nozzle.

What I really like about this caulking gun is that it delivers a very smooth, continuous bead of sealant/filler with no stroke ridges and you can run a bead for as long a distance as you like without stopping for a fatigue break or to rest your arms and wrists. The flow is very even and this makes it easier to push into a joint or smooth off a bead using your finger with little excess material to clean up as you go. Noise-wise, the gun is almost silent. You could use it at any time of the day or night and not wake a soul.

The question remains... Is it an absolute essential tool to have in your toolbox? If you only tackle sealing jobs a couple times a year, then probably not. If you are a plumber, tiler, glazier, renovator, or anyone who regularly uses tube sealants or fillers, grab this gun. It makes life much easier and is one of the cheapest powered caulking guns currently available.


Ryobi One+ Corner Cat Finishing Sander
(Model Numbers: Australia - CCC180L; USA - P400)
Prices: AUD$59.00  USD$29.99

The Corner Cat Finishing Sander is the first sanding tool in Ryobi's rollout of the One+ system. It offers an orbital sanding action, the sanding pad rotating in a very fine circular manner (a 1.8mm orbital diameter is listed) to reduce scratching and to produce a fine finish. As a 'finish' sander, it is not designed to remove large amounts of material quickly, rather, it is used as the final stage in preparing a surface for a finish to be applied (if you do not plan on using further finer finishing methods, such as cabinet scrapers etc). Balance-wise, the tool has a bias to the rear of the tool with the battery applied, the battery being the heaviest component. This doesn't really pose a noticeable balance issue in use however when holding and using the sander on flat surfaces. There is a ribbed rubber overmold grip on the handle which is comfortable to grip, the rubber also absorbing a slight amount of vibration from the tool when in use, although even this is minimal.

The ON/OFF switch is of the sliding variety, and if there is one gripe with this tool, it is that the ON/OFF switch is positioned too far down the front of the tool. When gripping the sander as you would during normal use, it is a bit of a stretch to reach down with a finger and turn the tool on or off, and I have fairly large hands with long fingers too. It is probably worse for someone with smaller hands and shorter fingers. I would have liked to have seen a top-mounted switch, or one a little more accessible to the fingers. The sander operates at 11,000 oscillations per minute. The hook and loop base pad has a rounded triangular shape and measures 140mm x 100mm in size, the tip of the triangle up front allowing you to get the sander into tight corners or areas where regular square-shaped sanders often have trouble. Examples here could be windows, stairs or tight furniture joints. A selection of sanding sheets are included (3 sheets - 1 x 60, 1 x 120 and 1 x 240 grit) and there is also a light scrubbing pad (white), heavy duty scrubbing pad (red), and a polishing pad (grey) thrown in. The scrubbing pads are designed to remove flaky paint or very light rust, the polishing pad to polish, of course! The sanding sheets work as you would expect but the scrubbing pads are really only for light-duty work. You are not going to get heavily 'stuck' materials off using them. Each supplied sheet readily attaches to the hook and loop base quickly and easily. I am not sure whether specific replacement sanding sheets or pads are available from Ryobi (I will check up on this) but you could readily cut your own out from standard hook and loop compatible sanding sheets without too much of a problem.

In use, the sander works well within its limitations. It is useful for fine, non-aggressive sanding tasks. Because it is the type of tool that is often used for lengthy periods of time, it seems to chew the battery more than other items in the One+ system (as you would expect). I don't think you can beat the good old corded electric sanders for woodworking however. They are cheap enough and just about every workshop probably has one or more electric sanders that get a regular workout. The advantage the Corner Cat sander has is that if offers quick and convenient cordless use, so if you have a task requiring a small amount of light sanding and don't wish to drag out the extension cord, this cordless sander offers a solution. It is lacking dust extraction but it doesn't seem to throw up much dust anyway. Use a mask however as it is often the fine dust you do not easily see that causes all the problems. I'll keep this sander reserved for those hard to reach places. I guess like the caulking gun reviewed above, if you have a need for a small cordless sander, then grab the Corner Cat, if not, stick with your current corded models and just live with relying on an electrical outlet.


Ryobi One+ Right Angle Drill
(Model Numbers: Australia - CAD180L; USA - P240)
Prices: AUD$119.00  USD$59.99

While I've mentioned above to only buy the caulking gun and finish sander if you have a need for them, the One+ Right Angle Drill should be a priority on your purchase list if you are a woodworker. These drills are so handy, especially if you are into furniture or cabinet construction or home remodeling. These drills can go just about anywhere you cannot get a regular drill into to perform drilling or driving operations.

Regular readers of this website may recall we have previously published a review of Ryobi's 14.4v right angle drill kit. The One+ kit takes the 14.4v kit design and adds even more features. For starters, while the drill chuck is of the same size (10mm or roughly 3/8") and remains a keyless chuck, the chuck on the One+ right angle drill has a ratcheting feature. I am very fond of ratcheting keyless drill chucks because they provide a good, strong grip of the drill/driver bits and you can audibly hear the clicks as you tighten the chuck. Once these clicks are no longer audible, the bit is gripped firmly. Running down the back of the tool is a rubber overmold for slip resistance and comfort. The trigger is much larger on this tool, being elongated allowing the user to access the trigger from various hand positions. Lateral to the trigger is your standard three-position drill direction selector (for forward and reverse rotation, and a trigger lock position). The trigger provides variable speed functionality. The further you depress the trigger, the faster the chuck rotates. Speed range is from 0 - 1,000 RPM.

The other major improvement on this model is the swiveling base/battery pack as opposed to the fixed base on the 14.4v version. You can rotate the base through 270 degrees, and anywhere in that range the drill will continue to operate fine. This is handy if you happen to get the drill into a position where the battery pack is still providing an obstacle. You can rotate it around and hopefully get it out of the way. There are positive stops at 90, 180 and 270 degree settings to lock the battery pack in place. There is storage for two drill bits on the base of the tool, and two double-ended driver bits are included to add to your collection. I think the only thing missing on this drill feature-wise is a small magnetic plate for holding fasteners. This would have really put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

The One+ right angle drill offers enough torque for most fastener driving applications and small diameter drilling tasks. It can lack torque when trying to drill with larger bits, but this is not uncommon even with some of the more expensive cordless right angle drills on the market. These drills are great for fixing draw fronts, fastening between wall studs, for accessing overhead fasteners or for drilling in places a regular drill cannot get into to drill or drive at a particular angle. This model is well built and feels very solid. Definitely worth grabbing if you are invested in the One+ system, and even if you are not, this would be a good tool to start it off with.


Ryobi One+ In-Car Quick Battery Charger
(Model Numbers: Australia - ACC1800; USA - P130)
Prices: AUD$69.00

If you take your One+ tools on the road, whether it be to job sites or to camp sites, the One+ In-Car Battery Charger might be worth considering. It plugs into the 12v port in your car (or caravan, or even your boat) - this is usually the cigarette lighter accessory port - and allows you to charge your One+ batteries by using the power contained in your car battery. The in-car charger can actually charge more than just the One+ 18v batteries. It can, in fact, charge many older Ryobi batteries from 7.2v up to 18v for added flexibility.

   

It is similar in features to the standard electrical connected One+ charger we have reviewed, with a similar LED light system to indicate battery charging status or to indicate a battery fault. It can also charge the battery in a 1 hour time frame. There is an included failsafe feature that protects your car battery. If the charger detects your car battery is getting low, it will cease to charge the Ryobi battery connected to it. This ensures you will not have a fully charged tool battery, and a flat car battery! As car batteries are naturally being recharged when the motor is in use, charging the tool batteries while on the road places the least amount of strain on the car battery.

The in-car charger comes with a handy protective case to keep dust out of the charger when not in use. I managed to test the in-car charger during a recent long-driving trip, and the charger did indeed fully charge a flat One+ battery to a fully charged status. This trip included a few stops with the car motor turned off, and there appeared to be no apparent ill-effects on the car battery or the tool battery charge cycle. The in-car charger is a handy item to have if you are on the move with your tools. It's great to take camping in conjunction with one of the One+ flashlights, or anywhere where there is no easy access to a fixed electrical outlet to charge your batteries for your One+ tools.


Ryobi One+ Cordless Impact Driver
(Model Numbers: Australia - BID180L; USA - P230)
Prices: AUD$159.00, USD$69.99

The One+ 18v Impact Driver is another tool in the higher price range of the system, but it is one worth having in my opinion. Readers may recall we reviewed the 12v version of this tool previously, which is part of Ryobi's Professional Line series of tools. This tool is almost identical design-wise, but the One+ 18v version is a little more powerful. The 12v version delivered 108Nm of torque. The 18v version here can deliver 135Nm of torque for heavy fastener driving applications. It has a slightly higher maximum rotational speed of 2,400 RPM, and this speed is variable anywhere from 0 - 2,400 - controllable by the trigger. The further the trigger is depressed, the faster the tool rotation. Because it is am impact driver it also has a "hammer" like action for driving fasteners. This comes in handy when you get down to the serious end of driving a fastener... Just when normal drivers and its driver bit may start to slip out of, or off the fastener head, the impact driver starts hammering away at the fastener while it continues to rotate. It's a little tough to describe if you aren't familiar with the action, but the hammering action combined with the continuous rotation helps to drive the fastener in all the way. Naturally, you should be drilling pilot holes of course, but sometimes the fastener or material just doesn't want to behave as well as it should, and this is where the impact action of the driver (at up to 3000 blows per minute) shows it who is boss! You might think the impact action would cause the driver bit to slip off the fastener, but it rarely does with firm pressure applied to the tool and fastener head. The impact action is perhaps not hammering on the fastener itself, but at a sideways angle to drive the fastener in via rotational blows.

This tool is remarkably small compared to a regular 18v hammer drill. It is very comfortable to use and its smaller size allows it to get into tighter places. It accepts standard hex ended driver bits as well as special hex coupler bits, and these are slotted into the "chuck" or coupler with no tools required. To remove the bit, you simply slide the coupler sleeve forward and you can easily remove the driver bit. Simple stuff. There is the usual drill-like features, with a forward/back (and lock) direction switch, variable speed trigger and a rubber overmold for comfort and slip-resistance. Located on the base of the tool are storage slots for a couple of driver bits (two bits, including a square socket connector bit are included). I would encourage you to read my full review of the Ryobi 12v Impact Driver for further feature details, keeping in mind the higher power and hence, better performance of the One+ 18v variant.

This impact driver is a great tool for fixing fasteners into almost any material, and it really packs a punch despite its small size. There is a small light under the driving head which will illuminate the area in front of the tool when you activate the trigger. This is handy if working in dark areas as it allows you to see what you are doing. It could have been just that little bit better if you were also able to activate the light independently without having to depress the trigger so you could engage the fastener head with the driver bit successfully in the dark without the coupler chuck turning, but I'm just being pedantic I guess. Overall, it's a very handy tool for any woodworker or homeowner to have around the shop or house for all those screw fixing applications, or for fastener fixing of any type really. Equally handy in the garage when working on the car too! Well worth the price tag in my opinion, and built to match.


Ryobi One+ Cordless Trimmer/Router
(Model Numbers: Australia - CTR180L; USA - P600)
Prices: AUD$99.00, USD$49.99

The One+ 18v Cordless Trimmer/Router is best suited for light duty routing or trimming tasks. It probably doesn't score too many points for beauty when it comes to the design and shape of the tool. It's a funny "looker" that's for sure! Like the One+ Speed Saw, the router/trimmer has a max rotational speed of 26,000 RPM. There is only one speed setting, so this unit should only be used with small diameter router or trim cutting bits. Trying to use larger diameter bits is not safe because of the fast speed it delivers, and I dare say it would not have enough power to produce clean cutting results when using large bits. The 1/4" (6.35mm) collect will accept all standard 1/4" shank regular router bits. No bits are supplied so these you will have to source yourself, but all good hardware stores will carry a range of 1/4" shank bits no doubt. A wrench is supplied to make bit changes and there is a spindle lock button to lock the spindle for collet leverage.

Then ON/OFF switch is located on the "rear" face of the tool just below the battery. The clear yellow-cast hardened plastic base provides the reference surface to guide along the cutting surface of the material. This base can be completely removed from the tool, and will need to be to make bit changes as the spindle lock button is not accessible with the base attached. A depth measure scale is located on two sides of the body, allowing you to quickly set the depth of the base as the task requires. A cam clamp mechanism locks the base assembly to the trimmer body, or unlocks it to adjust base height.

Noise-wise the router is not terribly deafening. It has that familiar router "whine" but it is not as intense, or anywhere near as high-pitched as a corded router. This tool is best used as a laminate trimmer (with appropriate laminate trimming bit) or for making very light edge detail passes. Trying to take heavy or deep cuts are not what this tool is designed for. For light rounding over or chamfering of sharp edges it works great. If you have to make deeper cuts, take it in several shallow passes and you will achieve the job. But like a corded router trimmer, light-duty tasks are the order of the day with these tools.

For laminate trimming and light edge shaping work the One+ Trimmer/Router works very well. Just listen to the motor sound to judge how fast or slow to feed it along your workpiece. Pushing any tool too hard leads to a premature tool life, corded or cordless. Given the purchase price, you can buy a cheap corded router for the same price which will have more power and perhaps a fence feature, but again, if you want cordless for light work, then here is an option that seems to work well if you use it within its limitations.


Ryobi One+ Cordless 3-Piece Combo
(Model Numbers: Australia - 3C18CJCK;
USA - Not Offered - see www.ryobitools.com for other starter kits offered in USA)
Prices: AUD$399.00

Mmmm a three-piece combo. Sound's like a drive-thru takeaway menu option! Oddly, it is not much different, i.e. you get a range of items to tempt your taste buds. Actually, a combo kit is the best way to get started with the One+ system, because in the combo kits you get a charger and two One+ 18v batteries you can use with all other One+ tools you might purchase from there on. I am not going to review each item in these kits, as they most are exactly the same items we have already reviewed above, so take a look at the item model numbers included below and any additional notes, then go back up the review and find the appropriate tool and read up on our thoughts there...

The 3C18CJCK 3-Piece Combo Kit includes:

  • 140mm (5 1/2") Cordless One+ Circular Saw (as reviewed in the starter combo kit above)
  • CBI1802D Cordless One+ Drill Driver (as reviewed in the starter combo kit above)
  • CJS1802K Cordless One+ Jigsaw - The jigsaw is identical to the CJS180L model reviewed above in many facets of the design and features, however, it does not have a three-position orbital action switch. It only offers one position, which is the default and no way to change it. While this is generally not a problem, as the default blade angle seemed to cut just as well in our tests, it is less flexible to deal with different types of materials. It also has a slightly different shaped trigger release slider, but it functions in the same way as that on the CJS180L.

The combo kit comes with a plastic molded carry case to keep everything together.


Ryobi One+ Cordless 4-Piece Combo
(Model Numbers: Australia - 4C1800M;
USA - Not Offered - see www.ryobitools.com for other starter kits offered in USA)
Prices: AUD$
429.00

The 4-piece combo kit is the largest combo kit currently offered by Ryobi in Australia, although Ryobi USA offers kits with up to 10 tools! This 4-piece combo is perhaps better suited to the renovator as it includes the flashlight and the reciprocating saw as well as the circular saw and drill/driver.

The 4C1800M 4-Piece Combo Kit includes:

  • CFL180L Cordless One+ Flashlight (reviewed above)
  • CID182L Cordless One+ 2-Speed Hammer Drill (reviewed above)
  • CSL180L Cordless One+ Laser Circular Saw (reviewed above)
  • CRS180L Cordless One+ Reciprocating Saw (reviewed above)

All tools in this kit are the same as those reviewed above in detail. This kit also comes in its own plastic molded carry case for storage or portability, and comes with two One+ batteries and the standard fast battery charger. Printed manuals are provided for each tool in the kit.


Conclusion
This extensive review covers just about every One+ system tool released so far by Ryobi. Overall as a system, I have found it to be very useful. The ability to use the same battery for all tools in the range is a feature that is worth its weight in gold. While there are some tools in the system that could be considered "better" than others, it really depends what type of tasks you perform often as to which One+ tools or accessories will be most beneficial to you. Going by all reports, the One+ system has been a great success for Ryobi. They have managed to provide a mix of general woodworking or trade tools with additional accessories that anyone will find handy. Perhaps the biggest reason for its success its affordability once you have the charger and a couple of batteries on the table. Some of the tools are real bargains and offer great performance based on their price tags.

We will continue to add to this extensive review of the One+ system if new One+ tools emerge on the market. Be sure to check your local Ryobi regional website for specific tool availability and pricing.

The Ryobi Australia website can be found at www.ryobi.com.au
In the USA, the Ryobi website is at www.ryobitools.com

 

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