What better way to test out the Ryobi Cordless Reciprocating Saw than to tear down an interior wall? After all, reciprocating saws were practically made for just this one use. If recip saws have any use other than demolition, I'd sure like to know about it. So, I charged the battery, suited up until I looked like a Martian, and entered the fray.
Weight and Balance Make This Tool Easy To Handle
- Weight: Even with the battery in, this saw weighs just under 5 pounds. Weight is a big deal with reciprocating saws because it seems like you're always wielding them in some strange, acrobatic way. With the Ryobi saw, I was able to easily hold it over my head to lop off nails at the top of the wall. It's not an easy feat, and heavy tools make it even more difficult.
- Balance: Balance is another factor to consider with cordless tools since they've got the bulky battery at one end. A heavy tool that is well-balanced is easier to use than a poorly balanced lightweight tool. With reciprocating saws, though, you don't expect to hold them with one hand (in theory), so the need to strike a balance is lessened.
No doubt legalese exists which will void all warranties and my chance to sue if I should hold a reciprocating saw with one hand. But come on, who doesn't do this occasionally?
With the Ryobi, as with most recip saws, you don't have any kind of one-hand balance. But the Ryobi is light enough that I could wield it with one hand for limited periods before having to stop the cut.
The 18-Volt One+ Lithium Ion+ High Capacity Battery
With cordless tools, lightweight sometimes translates to weak.
Ryobi is continually improving its lithium-ion batteries in order to get an edge in that dog-eat-dog world of cordless tool manufacturers. It's all about perfecting the platform and then convincing consumers to shift over. Once shifted, the consumers will be reluctant to move to another platform. Think of those chargers you bought! The extra batteries!
Ryobi's One+ 18 Volt line does deliver the juice to rip through the studs as if they were processed cheese. Since its blade extends nearly four inches, it should cut four-by-fours (a 4x4 is less than four inches), and it does--but it protests.
Truth be told, I'm always having lithium ion batteries fail on me--Ryobi and other brands. And with this latest problem of Boeing 787 batteries catching on fire, you can see that it's a problem that plagues the world, not just tool users.
One nice thing about this tool is that vibration is under better control so that you don't shake apart the entire house when trying to cut something flimsy like drywall or a sheet of plywood.
Due to its cordless nature, you won't be cutting all day long with this tool. As alluded to above, I did have a battery fail on me. But it didn't fail all at once. The tool would cut for a few seconds, then stop.
After a rest, it would cut again, and the cycle continued. I changed batteries and the tool worked fine again.
So, how to put this? The tool works great. The battery failed. Lithium ion battery failure is more the current state of this technology than Ryobi itself.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.