Fantastic, except for 1 (potentially fatal) flaw

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Review by stevet47 posted 11-23-2016 05:22 PM 4354 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Fantastic, except for 1 (potentially fatal) flaw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I am generally not a fan of Ryobi tools, although I think my option may be tainted based on their older tools, the newer green ones are slowly winning me over. I have owned this for about a year now, so I feel I have plenty of time with it to offer up a fair review…
Maybe i’m a little out-of-date, but I have never used a jigsaw with variable speed that wasn’t just “pull the trigger less” and I’ve never used an orbital jigsaw, let alone one where the orbit was variable. At first I though the variable orbit was gimmicky, but this tool quickly showed me that is it a pretty indispensable feature; cut quality, speed, and maneuverability are night and day on various materials when you play with the orbit. The dial adjusted variable speed is also a welcome feature which helps to keep cuts much more consistent and accurate.
Overall the tool seems very well built. It is robust, powerful, ergonomic, and best of all affordable at well under 1/2 of of what a comparable DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch or others sell for. To be fair, I have no first-hand experience with these other brands, but I can’t imagine they could possibly so far superior that they are worth 2-3 times the price of this Ryobi, certainly not for what I do anyway!

However…. and this is a big However. The foot on this does not like to stay where you put it. I have found on multiple projects that the angle of the foot has changed while cutting. I have found that if I really tighten the foot with the supplied (and stored on-board) allen wrench, it will stay “good enough”, but it still isn’t perfect. I generally use my jigsaw for less-than-critical cuts, so a little wandering is fine, but if you need to rely on this for precise cuts I may look elsewhere simply due to this foot issue. If not for this one issue, I would give it 5 stars and see no need to ever spend more money on a jigsaw.

View stevet47's profile


20 posts in 2114 days

7 comments so far

View MrRon's profile


5934 posts in 4097 days

#1 posted 11-23-2016 05:51 PM

Many years ago, Bosch came out with the variable speed/variable orbit jig saw; I think it was the first to do so. I have the Bosch for over 15 years and it is a fine tool. If the Ryobi is anywhere as good as the Bosch, then they have my blessing. Like you, I am tainted by past Ryobi products. Maybe I will have to try one out. Problem is; I have every tool one would want or need and they have served me well.

View mikeber's profile


38 posts in 1714 days

#2 posted 11-24-2016 03:59 AM

I have the same tool and I absolutely agree. It has a 6.5A motor which is considered powerful, and it’s not a toy. But the problem is with the sole which contributes to a significant drift in cut.
However, I want to mention that most tools in this category and price range suffer from similar problems: circular saws is another example (from multiple brands), all manufactured in China, some using stamped aluminum. Basically , cut accuracy is severely compromised.
On the other extreme – I had the pleasure of using a jigsaw made by the German company Mafell. The best jigsaw ever, extremely stable and very accurate. Don’t ask about the price though…

View WillliamMSP's profile


1108 posts in 2458 days

#3 posted 11-24-2016 02:53 PM

I have one of these as well and I’ll echo your sentiment – works nicely (with a decent blade) but the foot just won’t stay square. I’ve been meaning to pop off a few screws to see if there’s something that can be tightened up a bit, but I use it so infrequently that I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 11-25-2016 01:34 PM

I have a Ryobi circular saw which is as powerful as anything you would ever need. But the sole plate is so thin that it has a curve to it now. It became my saw to do cut up old pallets – a Makita took it’s place for carpentry. Ryobi makes good stuff, but the details are lacking.

View Rich's profile


5887 posts in 1443 days

#5 posted 11-26-2016 03:55 PM

Years ago I bought a DeWalt only to get it home and find it drifted horribly. You could not reliably follow a line. I returned it and bought the Bosch 1587AVS. I’m extremely pleased with its performance.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View G5Flyr's profile


61 posts in 2587 days

#6 posted 02-12-2017 03:19 AM

I have the same problem on my Porter Cable jig saw. It drives me nuts. My PC has all of the same features as your Ryobi AND the same problem. Sounds like similar design and probably coming out of the same factory(?).

-- G5Flyr

View Jimintomahawak's profile


73 posts in 1329 days

#7 posted 02-26-2017 02:32 PM

I have one of these too. I wish it was stilll on the shelf at HD. I needed a jig saw to finish a “quick” project and bought this. Foot won’t stay square, I would weld it if it were real metal. A decent saw with poor execution. Same factory that makes Milwaukee Tools.

-- Laziness drives creative thinking...

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