DeWalt vs Ryobi : Which is Right for You?

In Brief: DeWalt vs Ryobi

DeWalt and Ryobi target different markets. DeWalt, the US brand, targets trades and professionals, stressing the durability of their tools and offering a full range of saws for professionals. Ryobi, the Japanese brand, targets the DIY market with a more limited variety of power saws at a lower price. Both companies offer 3-year warranties.

Differences Between DeWalt and Ryobi

DeWalt and Ryobi are both big players in the US power tool market.

If you are looking to buy a new power tool, then you might be torn between these two popular brands. In this guide, we will outline the differences between these two companies and the power saws that they offer.

 DeWaltRyobi
Company historyEst. 1924 in Leola, PA.Est. 1943 in Japan.
Target audienceTrades and professionals.Home improvement and DIY.
USPDurability.Affordability.
Product linesFull range for trades.Power tools and gardening equipment.
Types of saws availableWider range and more variety.Only power saws, less variety.
PriceMore expensive.Highly affordable.
Warranty3-year warranty, 1-year free servicing.3-year warranty, 5-year warranty on some garden tools.
Repair24/7 repair service.Servicing performed in-store, partnered with Home Depot.

Company History and Roots

We will start with a short history of the two brands.

DeWalt began trading in 1924 in Leola, Pennsylvania, established by Raymond E. DeWalt. Their first product was a universal woodworking machine named the “Wonder-Worker.”

Over the 20th Century, DeWalt expanded across the US and, in 1953, into Canada. They innovated many new designs, including the alligator saw in 1992.

Ryobi began life in 1943 as a die casting company in Japan. They started making power tools in 1968 but sold their power tool divisions outside of Asia during the 2 years from 2000.

Ryobi branded tools in the US are owned by Techtronic Industries, who also own several other power tool brands across the world.

Target Audience

These two brands differ substantially in their target audiences.

DeWalt aims squarely at the trades and professionals. Their tools are intended for use on job sites, with a range of products well suited to that market.

Their marketing heavily features tradespeople, complete with high visibility vests and hard hats.

On the other hand, Ryobi concentrates its efforts on the DIY and home improvement market.

Its marketing features homeowners and gardeners, and it has a whole section on its website that provides tips and tricks for using the tools it sells.

Unique Selling Point

DeWalt’s USP is durability, which can be seen through their slogan, “Guaranteed Tough.”

They stress how their products are tested in “extreme conditions” and sell their tools as durable even “under the most demanding job site conditions.”

Their USP feeds into their target market – tradespeople and job site professionals. Durability is vital for professionals because they use their tools all day, every day. DeWalt promises to deliver for this market, touting their tools as “made to live on the job site.”

Ryobi takes a different tact. Their USP is affordability, aiming to make “pro-featured power equipment truly affordable.”

They heavily feature promotions on their website, where they advertise their combo kits for lower prices than you would get in-store.

Their attitude to batteries exemplifies their concentration on affordability without sacrificing performance. They decided to make all of their batteries fit all of their tools, which made buying tools more affordable for the homeowner.

Ryobi’s USP helps them sell to their primary target market, as affordability is essential for DIYers who do not expect to see a return on their investment.

Product Lines

The product lines offered by DeWalt and Ryobi reflect their different target markets.

Both companies offer the following product lines:

  • Power tools.
  • Gardening equipment.
  • Batteries and chargers.
  • Anchors and accessories.
  • Instruments and levels.

DeWalt also offers:

  • Hand tools.
  • Site lighting.
  • Storage.
  • Job site apparel.
  • Safety solutions.
  • Digital job site solutions.

Ryobi also offers:

  • Consumer electronics.
  • Cleaning tools and vacuums.
  • DIY lighting.

DeWalt has a much wider set of product lines than Ryobi, especially when it comes to products related to the trades.

They do not sell many products suitable for non-professionals, with many of their product lines designed for use on job sites.

Ryobi mainly sells power tools and gardening equipment, with some consumer electronics like speakers, headphones, and vacuum cleaners.

While DeWalt also sells landscaping tools, Ryobi puts their gardening equipment front and center, stressing the consumer focus rather than trade focus.

Types of Saws Available

Both brands sell power saws, though only DeWalt also sells hand saws. The range of power saws offered by these two brands differs in variety and depth.

Below are the types of saws offered by DeWalt and Ryobi, with the number of models of each type in brackets.

DeWalt offers the following types of saws:

  • Band saws (7)
  • Chop saws & multi-cutter saws (5)
  • Circular saws (12)
  • Cut-off machines (1)
  • Jigsaws (4)
  • Miter saws (12)
  • Reciprocating saws (11)
  • Scroll saws (1)
  • Table saws (5)
  • Tile saws (3)
  • Track saws (2)
  • Cut-out tools (1)
  • Hedge trimmers (2)
  • Chainsaws (2)
  • Pole saws (1)
  • Oscillating multi-tools (3)
  • Pull saws (2)
  • Jab saws (2)
  • Hack saws (1)
  • Hand saws (2)
  • Flush cut saws (1)

Ryobi offers the following types of saws:

  • Circular saws (5)
  • Reciprocating saws (4)
  • Jigsaws (4)
  • Miter saws (12)
  • Band saws (1)
  • Scroll saws (1)
  • Table saws (2)
  • Tile saws (1)
  • Multi-tools (2)
  • Chainsaws (8)
  • Pole saws (3)
  • Hedge trimmers and shrubbers (4)

As you can see, DeWalt offers a greater number of power saws, both in variety and depth. It also offers a range of hand saws, which is a product line that Ryobi does not manufacture.

One area in which Ryobi offers a greater variety is in garden tools. Ryobi sells more types of chainsaws, pole saws, and hedge trimmers than DeWalt.

Both brands offer combo kits for most of their tools, which can include batteries, carry cases, stands, and other accessories.

Price Comparison

DeWalt circular saws are considerably more expensive than Ryobi circular saws.

Both offer budget options, but Ryobi’s most affordable circular saws are priced significantly lower than DeWalt’s.

Although these saws have similar specifications, the pricing indicates a major difference in the additional features offered on circular saws.

The same story applies to miter saws – Ryobi miter saws are far more affordable than similar DeWalt miter saws. 7-1/4” non-sliding single-bevel miter saws are the most affordable for both brands, but the Ryobi offering in this category is priced well within a novice woodworker’s budget.

Even at the high end, with sliding double-bevel compound miter saws with 10”+ blade sizes, Ryobi wins on price.

Ryobi batteries are slightly cheaper than DeWalt batteries, but the difference is small and covered by the difference in the specifications.

In terms of the running costs of portable tools, you will probably not notice a major difference.

Warranty & Repair

DeWalt offers 3-year warranties on all power saws and a 7-year warranty on other product lines. All of DeWalt’s power saws benefit from a 1-year free servicing guarantee and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

DeWalt carries out repairs through its 24/7 online service, ServiceNet.

Ryobi also offers 3-year warranties, covering all of their products. Some outdoor tools are also covered by a 5-year warranty. Note that this does not include the battery, which is covered by the 3-year warranty.

Repairs on Ryobi tools can be carried out at any of their service centers, though it is recommended you call before taking your tool in for repair as not all centers repair all tools.

Ryobi partners with Home Depot and that is where most people will get their Ryobi tools serviced.

Summary

We hope that this guide has helped you to understand the main differences between the DeWalt and Ryobi brands.

Now that you know a little bit more about these companies, the types of tools they offer and who they are meant for, and the aftercare services they provide, it should be easier for you to decide which is right for you.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

About Karen Taylor

Karen is an expert woodworker. He has been working as a professional in the domain for more than 12 years now. She has experience of working on a variety of power and other tools while working on her projects.

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