When it comes to the world of mid-range tools, two brands that immediately stick out are Ryobi and Ridgid. If you’ve been tool shopping at home depot, then you are probably somewhat familiar with both of these brands, but the question remains – how do Ryobi vs Ridgid stack up?
I’ll take a closer look at both of these well-known tool brands, and help you narrow down the right choice for your needs.
Ryobi is the flagship budget tool brand sold by home depot today and has earned itself a solid reputation for performance at a reasonable price point.
The company was founded back in 1943 under the name Ryobi Seisakusho Co. and began its life as a Japanese die-cast manufacturer. It then branched out into the power tool market in 1968, and in 1973 changed its name to the one we all recognize today – Ryobi.
Then in 1999, Ryobi was purchased by large Hong Kong. based tool manufacturer TTI (Techtronic Industries Co.). TTI is a massive corporation that supplies tools for many well-known brands such as Milwaukee, Hoover, Empire, and Hart.
Interestingly, TTI also licenses the Ridgid brand but does not own it outright.
Nowadays, Ryobi is a large tool company with over 10,000 employees and 12 manufacturing facilities around the globe. Its tools retail primarily through Home Depot and Walmart, although online sales are also a major component.
Ridgid Tool Company is an American tool manufacturer that makes and manufactures tools under the Ridgid brand name. The company got its start in Ridgeville, Ohio back in 1923, making it even older than Ryobi.
In 1943, the company relocated to Elyria, Ohio, and in 1966 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric. The company was actually the first one to invent the pipe wrench and has been primarily focused on developing tools for the trades – including plumbing, pipefitting, construction, and HVAC work.
Nowadays, their lineup is broader and less focused on the trades, as they manufacture a wide array of basic homeowner tools as well.
Ryobi vs Ridgid Comparison
When it comes to a head-to-head comparison between Ryobi vs Ridgid, a few things pop up right away. Both Ridgid and Ryobi are essentially sold under the same TTI umbrella, although there have been some legal disputes between different TTI brands.
That means they are not intended to be direct competitors and are positioned slightly differently within the market to target different segments. In short, Ryobi is targeted toward the homeowner/budget tool buyer, while Ridgid targets the tradesman and high-end DIYer.
Another thing to note right off the bat is that Ridgid still manufactures a large percentage of its tools in the US. This is a rarity nowadays even among so-called premium brands which tend to assemble their tools in the US from Chinese parts.
If you compare the respective lineups of the two tool manufacturers, you’ll find that Ryobi offers a broader selection of tools. This says nothing about quality but is a good indication that you’ll be able to find whatever you’re looking for with Ryobi.
Ryobi offers a massive selection of tools in their popular 18V ONE+ lineup. These tools are well-made, offer impressive performance, and utilize the same battery system. They also have an impressive array of 40V lawn and garden tools, which are increasingly popular among homeowners.Another selling point for Ryobi is its focus on backward compatibility for its battery systems. That means you can still use older NiCad batteries in the newer tools, and your current batteries won’t be obsolete when a newer battery is released.
Ridgid‘s lineup is smaller and more focused and tends towards the higher end of the spectrum. The brand has been steadily expanding and improving over the years, and now offers many tools that can equal or even exceed the premium brands like Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Makita.
Their 18V lineup is much smaller than Ryobi’s but is well reviewed and regarded. They also offer a wide spectrum of hand tools and contractor-grade tools.One lesser-known aspect of Ridgid’s tool lineup is its professional lineup. They offer a large number of tools used by electricians, pipefitters, and HVAC pros, but these are seldom purchased or used by most consumers, so their lesser known.
When it comes to price, Ryobi is the less expensive brand in nearly every instance. Because they are focused on being a budget tool brand, they offer cheaper tools than Ridgid.
That said, Ryobi tools offer incredible value, so while they may be inexpensive, don’t let that fool you into thinking they are cheap junk. The quality is impressive for the price, and you’ll end up with a tool that gets the job done for a fraction of the price of premium brand tools.
Also, as Ryobi’s lineup is so extensive, they tend to offer multiple tools at slightly different price points, so you can narrow down your preference even further.
When it comes to quality, Ridgid takes the cake, but this is to be expected based on the differing price points. Ryobi tools are not meant for professional or contractor use (although I have seen them used for this and they hold up better than expected), while Ridgid tools are built to a higher quality standard.
Another thing to consider when discussing quality is Ridgid’s focus on US manufacturing. Not all of their tools are US-made, but a significant number are, which is more than can be said for other so-called premium brands
This one is actually pretty easy to call in Ridgid’s favor. They offer an industry-leading lifetime service agreement on all power tools that are eligible.
That means Ridgid will repair or replace the tool if it breaks due to normal wear and tear for as long as you have it. This includes brushes, chucks, motors, switches, gears, and even cordless batteries!
Eligible tools for the lifetime service agreement are cordless power tools, corded power tools, tile saws, bench and stationary power tools, and pneumatic tools.
Ryobi offers three-year manufacturer warranties on most of their tools, which is good, but nowhere near as impressive as Ridgid’s LSA.
Which Brand is Best for Me?
Of course, if you’re considering Ryobi vs Ridgid, the decision will be based on your own needs, preferences, and budget.
Ryobi tools offer incredible value, have an impressive lineup, and perform admirably considering their low cost. Ridgid tools are a step up in terms of quality and performance, but cost more as a result. They also offer an industry-leading warranty, which can be useful if you plan to really put some miles on your tools.
In short, if you’re a homeowner looking for tools for occasional use, Ryobi probably makes more sense. If you to use your tools in a professional setting, then Ridgid is likely a better fit for you.