Craftsman vs Ryobi

Craftsman vs Ryobi: Which Tools are Better? (2023 Guide)

Looking for some new tools? Craftsman and Ryobi are two popular brands that often get compared. I’ve used both brands for years and while there are many similarities, there are also some differences to keep in mind.

In this post, I’ll compare Craftsman vs Ryobi tools on a wide range of qualities to help you find which are best for your needs. Let’s get started!

  • Overall, Craftsman and Ryobi are very competitive brands. Both brands offer extensive product lineups and have very similar quality and durability.
  • That said, I’d give Ryobi a slight edge in terms of their innovation and performance. They make slightly more advanced tools than Craftsman, but they will cost you a bit more.

Craftsman vs Ryobi

Tool Quality and Durability

Craftsman Jigsaw

In my years of experience, Craftsman tools, particularly their hand tools and table saws, are revered for their robust build quality.

The Craftsman table saw, for example, boasts cast iron construction for added durability. However, I have noticed variable quality in their power tools. While reliable for general tasks, they may fall short in heavy-duty applications compared to other professional-grade tools on the market like DeWalt or Milwaukee.

In contrast, Ryobi power tools, such as their table saws and cordless drills, hold up well for most household tasks. Their power tool selection, particularly in the 18V ONE+ system, is suited to DIY enthusiasts and homeowners rather than for heavy-duty professional use.

Ultimately, in terms of quality and durability, these tools are pretty much equal. It’s hard to suggest one over the other.

Design and Performance

Ryobi Jigsaw

Craftsman maintains a traditional tool design. Their power tools, particularly Craftsman table saws, are simple yet effective. While they may not be packed with the latest features, they perform consistently for everyday tasks.

Ryobi tools take a more innovative approach.

Ryobi table saws, for example, often come with safety features such as a push stick, miter gauge, and rip fence. Ryobi’s cordless drills and impact drivers, part of their ONE+ line, offer competitive performance and user-friendly design.

In terms of design, features, and overall performance, I give Ryobi the edge here. Their cordless tools are offer better performance in my opinion.

Product Lines and Offerings

Craftsman Palm Sander

Craftsman offers a broad spectrum of tools, from hand tools and automotive tools to power tools and outdoor equipment. The brand’s recent push into cordless technology, like their V20 series, offers more flexibility to users, but they’re still growing this product line.

Ryobi’s product offerings are even more diverse.

Their 18V ONE+ line includes over 175 different tools, all using the same batteries for convenience. Their power tools, garden tools, and lawn and garden equipment cater to nearly any home improvement or DIY project.

In terms of what products are offered, I’d give Ryobi a slight edge here.

Craftsman Products

Craftsman’s V20 series of cordless power tools, including circular saws and drills, are a reliable staple in my toolbox. Their hand tools and storage solutions, like mechanic’s tool sets, are known for their durability and dependability.

Ryobi Products

Ryobi’s 18V ONE+ system is extensive, featuring tools from drills to leaf blowers. These tools use the same battery system, making them practical and efficient for users. Their outdoor tools, such as string trimmers and leaf blowers, stand out for their performance and value.

Warranty and Repair Services

Craftsman measuring tape

Craftsman offers a lifetime warranty on their hand tools and a more limited one-year warranty on their power tools. However, under Stanley Black & Decker’s ownership, some people have reported a complicated warranty claim process, which is worth keeping in mind.

Ryobi, under Techtronic Industries, provides a limited three-year warranty on their new tools. The process for warranty claims is straightforward through authorized service centers, providing peace of mind for consumers.

Ryobi wins this category because of the simple process and longer warranty for power tools.

Pricing and Budget Considerations

Craftsman tools are competitively priced, making them a solid choice for those looking for good tools on a budget. They offer value for money, especially for those who need tools for occasional use or typical household tasks.

Ryobi tools, particularly those in their ONE+ line, offer remarkable value, but they are more expensive than Craftsman. They are competitively priced and frequently come in combo kits, allowing you to build a versatile tool collection without breaking the bank.

In terms of pricing, Craftsman is the hands down winner of this category. They are less expensive than Ryobi for similar products.

Craftsman Pros and Cons

Craftsman Circular Saw

Craftsman Pros:

  • Wide Variety: Craftsman offers a broad range of tools, covering everything from hand tools to power tools, and even outdoor equipment. This makes it easier for users to get most of what they need under one brand.
  • Good Value: Generally, Craftsman tools offer good quality for their price. While they may not be top-tier tools, they provide dependable performance that’s suitable for a variety of general tasks.
  • Lifetime Warranty on Hand Tools: Craftsman offers a lifetime warranty on their hand tools, which provides users with peace of mind regarding their investment.
  • Availability: Craftsman tools are readily available in many physical stores and online, making them easy to find. This also means that finding replacements or additional parts is generally easy.
  • Ease of Use: Craftsman tools are typically user-friendly and straightforward, which is especially beneficial for beginner DIYers or those who prefer simplicity.

Craftsman Cons

  • Variable Quality: Some users have noted that the quality of Craftsman tools can vary, particularly following the brand’s acquisition by Stanley Black & Decker. While many of their tools are reliable, others may not be as durable as expected.
  • Not Built for Heavy-Duty Tasks: While Craftsman tools are dependable for general tasks, they may not be suitable for more heavy-duty, professional-level tasks. Those who frequently need to perform heavy-duty tasks may find more robust options in other brands.
  • Power Tool Performance: While they offer a range of power tools, Craftsman’s offerings don’t always match up to those of higher-end brands, especially when it comes to battery life and power in their cordless line.
  • Warranty Claims: Despite the warranty offered, some users have reported a less-than-stellar experience when trying to make warranty claims. The process can be a bit more complex and time-consuming compared to some other tool companies.

Ryobi Pros and Cons

Ryobi Pros

  • Excellent Value: Ryobi tools are typically priced more affordably than many other brands, making them a great choice for DIY enthusiasts, homeowners, and those on a budget.
  • Wide Range of Tools: Particularly noteworthy is their 18V ONE+ system, which boasts over 175 different tools that all use the same battery. This offers immense versatility and convenience to the user.
  • Innovation: Ryobi is often at the forefront of innovation, consistently introducing new tools and features. Their cordless outdoor power equipment line is a good example of this.
  • Good Performance for Price: While they may not be top-tier professional-grade tools, Ryobi tools perform impressively well for their price point. For general household tasks and DIY projects, they’re more than capable.
  • Availability: Ryobi tools are widely available and are easily accessible from many retailers, making it convenient to purchase new tools or replace older ones.

Ryobi Cons

  • Not for Heavy-Duty Use: While Ryobi tools are suitable for a range of tasks around the house or for DIY projects, they may not be the best choice for heavy-duty or professional use. In such scenarios, they may wear out quicker than tools from higher-end, professional-grade brands.
  • Battery Life: While the ONE+ system offers great versatility, some users have noted that the battery life of these tools could be improved. For larger or more power-demanding projects, you may need multiple batteries on hand.
  • Variable Quality: The quality of Ryobi tools can vary depending on the specific tool. While many of their tools offer good durability and performance, others may fall a bit short.
  • Three-Year Warranty: Compared to some brands offering a lifetime warranty, Ryobi’s three-year warranty might seem a bit limited. However, this is still a decent offering in the power tools market.

Looking for more tool comparisons? Check out these guides!

Final Thoughts

When comparing Craftsman vs Ryobi, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

First and foremost is how you plan to use your tools. If you’re looking for tools for everyday use around your home, both brands will work.

That said, Ryobi power tools tend to be slightly more advanced with more features and tech that can make them better suited for more advanced jobs.

Both the Craftsman brand and Ryobi brand offer great tools at a great price. While they might not compete with more premium brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee, or Makita – these are still great tools if you don’t need the best of the best.