Today I’m busting out a review on the 12v Ryobi Multi Tool!
I have a long history with Ryobi, and I don’t mean that in a professional, monetary sense.
The first power tool I ever ‘owned’ was a hand-me-down Ryobi blue drill/driver that my dad gave me along with their chop saw from the same era (well before the one+). Both these tools saw way more use than they ever should have – and, since I really didn’t know any better at the time, shaped my impression of how accurate or powerful power tools should be. I know better now. Looking back, I can see where those two tools caused me way more grief than they should have, made projects that much more difficult to complete, and shaped the way I approach projects now.
So look, I have a healthy dose of nostalgia when I think of those two tools. For lack of a better word, they sucked. They were poor quality, the drill died every five minutes, the battery needed to be permanently left on charge so it didn’t drain (okay, so this is a problem with all old NiCad batteries, but still), and the chop saw couldn’t cut straight if it really, really tried. But, I managed to knock out a couple of really fun projects with them that got me hooked on the woodworking bug.
My point with all of this is that Ryobi has come a long way from the days of the dark blue tools that more often than not croaked after just a few months. Today, their lime green line of tools is solidly placing themselves at the top of the options for mid-range products – and great value for the hobbyist or DIY enthusiast.
And, that’s why you’re here for a 12v Ryobi Multi Tool review – which is exactly what you are going to get!
I bought this tool about a year and half ago, and it has gotten a good amount of intermittent use in that time. Some weeks, I’ll use it heavily, and some weeks it goes without being touched, so this review will be particularly aimed at those who, like me, aren’t using this tool for professional use, but more on a hobbyist basis.
Here are the raw deets:
Let’s get the boring specs out of the way right out of the gate:
No Load Speed: 0-20000 RPM
Battery: 12V 1.3Ah Lithium
Product Code: 4892219121431
The Kit and Kaboodle:
I can’t emphasise enough how much I love when tools come in a kit with a carrying case. Yes, I know, it’s largely cosmetics and it doesn’t change the outcome of the tool itself, but still – how easy to store! How easy to organise! I love things that make my life easy.
This is why I was so happy that the 12V Ryobi Multi-Tool came in a convenient kit that includes a carrying case for the tool, charger, battery, and accessories that also are included.
Three attachments are thrown into the deal: a flush-cut blade, a wood/metal blade, and a detail sanding pad. Included with the sanding pad are a couple of varying grits of sandpaper.
How’s she go?
The 12v “multi-tool” really lives up to its name in terms of the varying applications that it is keen to tackle. The blades can cut through plaster, metal, composite, and wood, but don’t expect it to be tackling large, thick cuts, because this tool is not raising its hand for those jobs! The flush cut blade was particularly useful for me while working on my vintage caravan. It cut through some seriously stuck screw heads with ease!
The sanding application is where this tool has seen most of its use with me. The varying speeds mean it can take off a significant amount of material in a short period of time with the right grit of paper, and also be delicate enough for thin, or delicate material. And, the size of the multi-tool, as well as the convenient shape of the applicator, make it ideal for awkward or confined spaces that larger detail sanders might not be able to reach.
Plunge cutting is easy on this, and I’ve been able to take a few outlet cut-outs in drywall with not much trouble. However, the tool will quickly let you know if you are doing something outside of its capacity. I have had it stop running on me a few times when I’ve gotten too lazy to take out a larger tool and tried to butt the Ryobi Multi-Tool up against some thicker material.
At only 1.7kg this multitool is light. The handle is well designed to fit comfortably in hand and has a good rubberized grip that does seem to reduce vibration. The switch is easy to access and has the satisfying “snap” into position as opposed to the dull push of a button that I’ve really come to hate on some tools.
Battery life is just okay. If you’re cutting plaster or detail sanding, I would expect about 30-45 good minutes of continual use in the battery. I’ve found this enough for me, but I expect it would be much too short for professional use. There is a convenient LED panel on the side of the tool that indicates how much battery life is left during use – so at least you won’t be surprised when it dies fairly quickly into your job!
The battery does charge at a relatively good pace though so if you have some other projects to work on in the meantime, you’ll be able to get back to using the multi-tool in about an hour’s time.
Oooooh, baby, I love me some features, and the Ryobi 12v Multi-Tool comes with several convenient, built-in features. The variable speed has six settings that allow for a greater range of control for various applications. An LED light allows for illumination and increased visibility – which is fantastic when working in those cramped corners where natural light doesn’t easily flow (my caravan approves!).
The quick-change attachments are a nice feature that get you back in the game in a flash whenever you need to change up your job.
But, by far my favourite feature is the universal accessory adaptor. It’s nice to see a company that understands the frustration of being locked to a particular brand’s accessories. As a Founding Father once said (I’ll paraphrase here to bring it up to date with modern lingo), “Give me universal accessories, or give me death!” That might be a bit dramatic for our purposes, but you get the gist.
Being able to use any brand of accessory really throws the door wide open on what you can use on this tool.
The Final Say
I haven’t had many issues with the 12v Ryobi Multi-Tool, it does what it is meant to do, and it seems to do it well for the price.
For the DIY enthusiast, this multi-tool does the job. The fact that it has a universal adapter makes it all the more appealing – simply switch out the low-quality blades with Diablo and you are going to be able to avoid some of the overheating and power issues that result from the blades just not “cutting” it.
However, if you are a tradesperson and need to use it every day, this isn’t the multitool for you. It simply doesn’t have enough power and the battery life isn’t going to last for what you need to do.