Ryobi batteries really are worthless, should I get Porter-Cable, DeWalt?

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Forum topic by KevinBlair posted 10-24-2012 10:14 PM 10674 views 0 times favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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57 posts in 2968 days

10-24-2012 10:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: ryobi battery porter cable battery question

I know that the problems with Ryobi batteries have been the subject of much discussion. I have just had my last day of frustration with them. Freshly charged, not too old old, 18v lithium-ion battery in my circular saw. I needed to make a series of 12” cuts (probably 12 cuts total). I got two of them done; the battery quit as I started the third.

So, how are the PC batteries vs. Dewalt vs any of the others?

I am a home hobby user for the most part. Some cabinets (making kitchen cabinets is the major project right now) and small furniture as well as general home repairs are my primary uses.

The above type of thing: 12 12” cuts, would be on the high side for me on any given day. You’d think Ryobi would be the right fit for my kind of use, but I really think I spend more time charging them than using them.

I am thinking of using the CPO reconditioned site. I have bought a few things from them and have been very pleased.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and input.

52 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5252 posts in 4603 days

#1 posted 10-24-2012 10:24 PM

Give up on crap Ryobi stuff. I finally broke down and bought a Makita driver/drill 18v Lion after farting around with DeWalt batts. I’d buy it again but, for a circular saw, I stayin’ with a corded unit.
Wanna know how I REALLY feel?

-- [email protected]

View Smallcrafter's profile


36 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 10-24-2012 10:31 PM

I use a Porter-Cable cordless drill and the 18v batteries hold up just fine. I bought a second battery to have in the charger and ready to go when the one I’m using starts to slow down. Ryobi products are OK for fast, easy work…kinda a household product and not woodworker quality.

-- 'The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.' - Chaucer

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3613 days

#3 posted 10-24-2012 10:33 PM

I have been very pleased with my Milwaukee 18v li-ion battery powered drill and impact driver tools.
So, then I bought a bare 18v circular saw, just to find out it requires the 3000AH XL battery.
Now I have to go buy a $100 battery to run this $200 saw. That’s insane.
I’ll have to agree with Bill on this one.

You need a corded circular saw for work in the shop.

If I was out contracting and working on job sites all day then maybe I could justify a battery saw.

View waho6o9's profile


8816 posts in 3219 days

#4 posted 10-24-2012 10:42 PM

When you get tired of big store nonsense, and you add up the useless
batteries and frustrations, you come to the conclusion that is cheaper
to purchase expensive instead of throwing good money after bad.
I had the same problem with Ryobi batteries. I looked at a dozen useless
batteries and had a major epiphany.
Hello Festool.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2891 days

#5 posted 10-24-2012 11:11 PM

Rigid. Lifetime warranty even covers batteries.


View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 2928 days

#6 posted 10-25-2012 12:21 AM

I use a Dewalt 20V circular saw for breaking down sheet goods, quick crosscuts, etc. and it works great. That said, Joe makes a good point regarding the Ridgid tools—battery replacement warranty is not to be undervalued. I’ve had good luck with all of my Dewalt and Ridgid tools, and I have more than a few of each brand.

-- John, BC, Canada

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2891 days

#7 posted 10-25-2012 12:27 AM

I’ve never had a cordless tool die; it’s always the batteries. By the time they do give out, they are impossible to find or they are absurdly expensive. I didn’t even look at anything else other than the Ridgid when my Milwaukee finally stopped charging. I got the combo with the drill/driver and the impact driver for 179.99. This will probably be the last set I own.


View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4330 days

#8 posted 10-25-2012 12:33 AM

So far my PC and DeWalt batteries are running neck and neck….what surprises me is my 20+ year old Makita’s still take and hold a charge !! Mistakenly bought a Craftsman set-up and never got any real use out of it at all , even though it was 18 volts : (
Surprised that your Li-Ion isn’t holding up….I only have Ni-Cads for comparison.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View KevinBlair's profile


57 posts in 2968 days

#9 posted 10-25-2012 01:57 PM

Thanks guys! It looks like almost anything other than Ryobi will be an improvement. I am going to check out CPO. The life-time warranty from Rigid sounds good, but it seems PC and Dewalt are fine.

I understand the Festool recommendation, but I think that is overkill for my level of use.

Like NWBUSA, my primary use of the circular saw is to break down sheet goods. I have a corded saw, but I find it harder to control than the smaller 18v saw. I can keep the 18v saw tight to the guide and get a near perfect cut. I know I could get the Festool or Dewalt track saw, but that takes us back into the overkill for a home/hobby level.

There are a lot of negative reviews of the Ryobi batteries, including their Li-ion ones. I didn’t do any real research before buying the Ryobi combo kit on sale a Christmas or two ago for something like $89.00. I think I have gotten my $89.00 worth and will keep using the drill, worklight, and even the vacuum that came with the kit.

View toolie's profile


2178 posts in 3271 days

#10 posted 10-25-2012 02:20 PM

kevinblair …..... i am a big ridgid fan. between myself and two family menbers, we have 15 combo kits and cordless power tools. THERE IS NO LIFETIME WARRANTY ON RIDGID HANDHELD AND STAIONARY POWER TOOLS. here is their warranty and what the LSA (lifetime service agrement) is:

the lsa is available to the original owner of new qualifying tools. if your purchase from CPO is for a reconditioned tool, i believe such tools are ineligible for ridgid’s LSA. buying any other brand other than ridgid is, IMHO, foolish as all batteries eventually fail. ridgid’s LSA covers batteries, provided the new tool is properly registered with the program. i have never had a problem with the registration process. but then, i determined what the rules for successful registration were and followed them.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2891 days

#11 posted 10-25-2012 02:28 PM

Toolie, I completely agree. To me a cordless driver is a cordless driver. I’ve had just about every brand there is (except ryobi or HF). None completely blew me away, none completely sucked. Once I found out abut the Ridgid LSA any other brand was not even a consideration. I’ve got about 6 perfectly good cordless drivers that I spent over $100 on with completely dead batteries in my basement. Replacement batteries either aren’t available, or about $20 less than a new tool. You can have batteries rebuilt, but again the cost is prohibitive.


View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3874 days

#12 posted 10-25-2012 02:45 PM

If you want to make sure the battery doesn’t crap out on you. Don’t use cordless tools. Pretty simple solution if you ask me…

I’ve had cordless tools from Ryobi, Skil, B&D, Makita, and Ridgid. The BEST battery life I got out of any of them is with the green Ryobi 18V whatever the tech is on those… But generally speaking, cordless tools are IMHO mind you, sub par for anything you need reliability for…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2891 days

#13 posted 10-25-2012 02:51 PM

I agree there as well. Cordless drivers are the only cordless tools I own. I am not a big fan, but a cordless driver is really a valuable tool. I can get in places I simply cannot access with my Milwaukee magnum or my Makita corded driver.


View KevinBlair's profile


57 posts in 2968 days

#14 posted 10-25-2012 03:14 PM

I am going to check out Rigid today at Home Depot. CPO has a PC combo (driver and Circular saw) package on sale for $80.00. Hard to beat that price.

I agree that the cordless drill/driver is the best use of these tools. The worklights also seem fine. I have not been impressed by the 18v saw or the vacuum in comparison to the corded models.

That said, I have experimented with cutting sheet goods with my corded circular saw and it always seems to wander quite a bit. This means for me, more waste, as I have to cut the boards wider to account for the wandering before final cutting on the table saw. This seems to be a standard problem, solved by the purchase of a track saw system (Festool or Dewalt).

Using the 18v circular saw is slower (especially when the batteries give out after a few minutes), but a lot easier to control. I am confident in making my cuts as little as 1/8” wider than needed as opposed to a couple of inches with the corded saw.

I have heard really nice things about Festool and Dewalt track saws, but either one would sit around the shop for months and months w/o any use. I want to get a good quality dovetail jig amongst other upgrades and would rather spend the money on those than on a track saw.

I will check this out today, but do either Rigid, Dewalt, or PC offer a corded adapter for their tools? Ryobi does not. An adapter would seem to offer the best of both worlds.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3499 days

#15 posted 10-25-2012 03:52 PM

Makita 18v

Some of mine are 5yr old and I run six batteries

I buy when there is a special, like machine plus 3


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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