Both Ridgid and Ryobi are well-known power tool brands used by tens of thousands of handymen all over the world. That said, there are considerable differences between them that could sway you in either direction depending on your situation.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the history, quality, and product portfolios of the two brands to help you choose the right one for you.
While Ryobi is a strong candidate for amateur hobbyists and those on a budget, Ridgid offers another level of quality.
A Brief History of Ridgid and Ryobi
Ryobi began as Ryobi Seisakusho Co. Ltd. in 1943 in Japan. By 1961, the company started manufacturing offset printing presses. The production of power tools began in 1968. The company was renamed Ryobi in 1973.
Ridgid, on the other hand, is even older than Ryobi. Founded in 1923 in North Ridgeville, Ohio, the Ridgid Tool Company manufactured Ridgid hand tools, which became popular because of their durability and ease of use. The company moved to Elyria, Ohio, in 1943, and became a subsidiary of Emerson Electric in 1966.
Ryobi runs 12 manufacturing facilities across six countries, and launched production in Shelbyville, Indiana, in 1985. Ryobi power tools are manufactured by Techtronic Industries which is headquartered in Hong Kong.
Interestingly, the same company also manufactures tools for Ridgid, as well as Milwaukee, Dirt Devil, and Vax. Ryobi power tools are mainly sold through Home Depot and online in the United States and Canada.
Ridgid vs. Ryobi: Which Offers Better Quality?
Both Ryobi and Ridgid offer quality products, with Ridgid being an established name in hand tools, but a relative newcomer to manufacturing power tools. In general, red Ridgid tools are made by Emerson in the US and orange Ridgid tools are manufactured by TTI in China.
Ridgid, and particularly its red US-made tools, have a strong reputation amongst professionals.
On the other hand, Ryobi has built a reputation as an affordable tool brand targeting DIYers, homeowners, and enthusiasts. While many professionals use Ryobi tools, some refuse to use it due to their perception of it being a DIY tool brand.
While it is true that Ryobi is more of a consumer brand, it can also be used by pros. Ryobi’s 18V One+ cordless power tool lineup has a selection of tools that work well for even tougher jobs.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
The warranty provided by the manufacturer can be an important factor in your purchase. Ridgid products come with a three-year limited manufacturer warranty. Ridgid also offers an industry-leading Lifetime Service Agreement for its power tools as part of a promotional program.
Eligible categories for the Ridgid LSA include Ridgid brand cordless power tools, corded power tools, tile saws, bench and stationary power tools, and pneumatic products. If your tool is registered within 90 days, the Lifetime Service Agreement gives you, under certain conditions, free parts, free service, and free batteries for life.
The warranty covers parts such as chucks, motors, switches, gears, batteries, and even O-rings, piston stops, and driver blades. Getting these parts replaced is as simple as calling their dedicated helpline and registering a service request.
You can also get your power tools repaired or serviced at the nearest service center which can be located online.
While Ryobi offers the industry-standard three-year limited warranty on all power tools, it also has a 90-day exchange policy for peace of mind. To get your tool repaired, you must return the power tool to an Authorized Service Center.
When requesting warranty service, you must also present proof of purchase documentation, which includes the date of purchase.
Ryobi will repair any faulty workmanship, and either repair or replace any defective part within 90 days or less.
Overall, while both manufacturers offer decent warranties, Ridgid’s Lifetime Service Agreement makes it a no-brainer if your products can qualify for the promotion. If anything fails or breaks down in the future, you can rest assured that the company will take care of the problem.
Which Brand Has Better Design?
While both brands offer solid designs for their tools, Ridgid tools do tend to have some sharper lines, giving them a more eye-catching and capable appearance.
In terms of color palette, Ridgid tools feature an orange and black theme, while Ryobi typically sticks to green and black.
At the end of the day, this all really comes down to personal preference, but both brands offer tools with great designs.
Which Brand Offers Better Customer Service?
In terms of customer service, it seems like Ryobi comes out on top. According to the general online consensus, Ryobi has decent customer service, with some customers reporting long wait times or dissatisfaction with the resolution of their issues.
However, the reviews for Ridgid’s customer service are far worse, with many customers claiming that customer service representatives failed to reach out after stating that they would. Additionally, some customers also reported issues when it came to registering the warranties on their tools.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is hard to measure objectively, and it often varies on a customer-to-customer basis. The quality of service you receive often depends completely on the representative who is helping you, and as both are large companies, that service quality can change quite drastically.
It’s also worth noting that people tend to go out of their way to write reviews when they have bad experiences, while this is less common when customers receive quality service. However, it seems that the overall consensus from customers is that Ryobi is the better of the two.
Ryobi vs. Ridgid: Which Offers Better Prices?
In order to create an accurate depiction of the pricing difference between these two competitors, our team created the Handyman’s World Power Tool Brand Price Index, which takes three basic tools – a cordless drill, angle grinder, and circular saw – and indexes their prices against the average of what we consider to be the 15 best power tool manufacturers around today.
As you can see from the latest 2023 version of our index, Ridgid scores 0.91, while Ryobi scores 0.67. This means that, while both are above average when it comes to affordability, Ryobi is considerably cheaper than Ridgid, making them the more budget-friendly option.
Ridgid vs. Ryobi: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Ryobi has a large product portfolio of 18V ONE+ power tools and accessories. Its catalog consists of hundreds of power tools such as drills, blowers, foggers, drivers, work lights, and more.
The company has 13 drivers and drills which can be purchased as combo kits as well. It also offers plumbing, woodworking, chemical sprayers, vacuums, gardening equipment, and chemical sprayers.
Ryobi’s 40V product line may not be as extensive as its 18V One+ line, but it includes lawnmowers, pole saws, chain saws, leaf mulchers, and several other gardening-related pieces of equipment.
On the other hand, Ridgid has a variety of almost over thirty different 18V power tools, including wet/dry vacuums, nailers, grinders, circular saws, impact drivers, rotary hammers, blowers, radios, and fans.
Ridgid’s catalog is smaller than Ryobi’s, giving Ryobi a significant edge in terms of variety and options.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Cordless Tools?
Ridgid has a large offering of cordless power tools, including more than forty different 18V cordless tools. These include saws, drills, impact drivers, angle grinders, routers, vacuums, rotary hammers, and several other power tools.
Meanwhile, Ryobi has an extensive product portfolio with an even larger number of cordless tools, edging out Ridgid in this category.
If you’re looking to kickstart your power tool arsenal on a budget, we’d recommend checking out the Ryobi 18-volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless 4 Tool Combo Kit. However, if you have a bit of a bigger budget and are looking for something that offers more quality, you may be interested in the Ridgid 18V Brushless 4 PC Combo Kit.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Impact Drivers?
While both manufacturers offer a wide selection of impact drivers, it appears as though Ridgid does slightly better than Ryobi on this front. Ridgid not only offers a standard 18v 1/4″ Impact driver, but also has an OCTANE 6-Mode Impact Driver, and a 1/2″ Impact Wrench.
Additionally, Ridgid does seem to offer more in the way of kits, with more tool combos and battery quantities available. This doesn’t mean that Ryobi’s selection is bad by any means, but it just doesn’t quite hold up to its competitor.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Circular Saws?
When it comes to circular saws, it appears as though both companies have their own areas of strength. For example, Ryobi has a wider variety of blade diameter options, as they offer a 5-1/2″ Brushless Circular Saw along with their 6-1/2″ and 7-1/4″ options, while Ridgid only offers the latter two.
It also seems that Ryobi has a bigger selection of accessories available, such as their Vacuum Dust Adaptors or Accessory Tracks. However, Ridgid does offer a better selection of combo kits, meaning that if you’re looking for a kit that comes with additional tools, Ridgid is probably the better option.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Angle Grinders?
In terms of angle grinders, it appears that Ridgid offers a better selection, especially when it comes to wheel size. While both manufacturers offer limited selections in this regard, Ridgid offers both a 4-1/2″ Angle Grinder and a 7″ Dual Angle Grinder, while Ryobi only offers the former.
However, on the manufacturers’ websites, Ridgid only offers a tool only purchasing option, while Ryobi does give customers the option to purchase their tool with the battery included.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Lawn and Garden Tools?
When it comes to lawn and garden tools, it’s no doubt that Ryobi comes out on top.
While both brands offer quality outdoor power tools, Ryobi’s selection is just way bigger. Everything from mowers to blowers, Ryobi has it. While Ridgid’s outdoor equipment is still high-quality, their selection is very limited, as they don’t offer any lawn mowing equipment.
Additionally, Ryobi offers a lot of 40V options in their outdoor tool lineup, while Ridgid tends to stick with 18V tools.
If you’re looking for a great battery-powered mower, we recommend checking out the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 21″ Mower. However, if you’re leaning more toward Ridgid, they do still offer some good outdoor equipment, such as their 18V Brushless Cordless Leaf Blower.
Ridgid vs. Ryobi: Latest Developments
In order to keep you all up to date, we wanted to go over some of these companies’ latest developments as of 2023.
As of 2023, Ryobi has continued to expand its extensive tool lineup with a plethora of new products, including their new 18V ONE+ Cooler, 18V ONE+ Compact Brushless Chainsaw, and 18V ONE+ Storm Kit, which comes with a compact radio and 150W power source.
On the other hand, Ridgid has continued to release quality products, with its 18V Brushless 12″ Chain Saw, 18V Brushless Blower, and 18V Brushless 14″ String Trimmer. The manufacturer also announced some products that will be released soon, including an 18V Brushless 6-1/2″ Track Saw and 18V Subcompact Brushless Barrel Grip Jig Saw.
Ridgid vs. Ryobi: Which Is Better?
If you are starting out as a DIYer, woodworker, or hobbyist, or need some tools for jobs around the house, Ryobi is a great choice. If you decide to only buy Ryobi products, you’ll find pretty much everything you need for any DIY job you can conceive.
On the other hand, if you’re a professional looking for a set of tools that will last you a long time and give a trouble-free performance, definitely go with Ridgid. That’s especially the case if the tools you buy are covered under the Lifetime Service Agreement.
As you can see above, you can’t go wrong by choosing either brand. They both make quality products more than adequate for their price and they offer a great selection of tools ranging from drills through sanders and grinders all the way to lawnmowers in Ryobi’s case.
With that, your ultimate choice will come down to your budget as well as your overall personal preference. However, just make sure you’re certain about your choice, as these companies’ batteries are not interchangeable, making it quite difficult to switch.