The Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutters is a useful tool for a select group of users. This tool won't be for everyone, but it will be useful for people cutting a lot of thin gauge metal like metal shelving and fencing.
Ryobi makes some of the best tools for homeowners. Their 18V One+ platform is a favorite for its wide range of compatible tools. With so many options, from power tools to things like vacuums, it's no surprise that they opted to launch a Cordless Bolt Cutter to make jobs like metal fencing, installing wire shelving, cutting chain and more just a bit easier. Let's see how this tool measures up in the Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review.
Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review Overview
Traditional bolt cutters, even when they are good quality can cause a lot of strain on your wrists and arms to use. Ryobi aims to solve this issue by bringing a battery-powered option to the forefront. For someone like me, who has a lot of odd jobs that go along with owning property it could incredibly useful. Things like repairing metal fencing or building tree surround's from metal fencing so deer don't treat my new pecan trees as an afternoon snack can be tedious. Tools like these can really come in handy if they work for the job you need.
Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review Features
Designed to make up to 200 cuts per charge of chain, locks, bolts, fencing and wire shelving of up to 3/8-inch thick.
The Ryobi Bolt Cutter runs on Ryobis 18V One+ battery platform.
Ryobi designed this tool using hot forged steel jaws and hardened steel mechanism for improved capabilities when cutting.
There are two triggers in the handle, one for forward and one for reverse. These triggers were easy to use but not overly sensitive.
The design of the tool allows for a clear line of sight, and improvement over manual bolt cutters.
Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review Performance
There is no tool manufacturer who has gotten it right 100% of the time. For me, this tool was a bit of a mixed bag. Generally, Ryobi impresses me with unique tools like this, but ultimately it didn't wow me like I hoped it would. Eric and Dan saw this tool being demoed on metal closet shelving and felt it worked well for that application. Because I knew that, I opted to test it on other materials and found mixed results.
I tested this on several different materials. On wire fencing, which is probably the primary use for me, it worked okay but still needed a slight pull to detach the cut pieces. Now, wire fencing is only 14 GA or so, so this shouldn't have been an obstacle for something designed to cut larger. The next thing on my list was to test the chain. Ryobi claims this tool can cut up to 3/8 inch thick, so I grabbed a foot of 3/8-inch chain and a foot of 3/16- inch. The 3/16-inch chain was relatively easy, overall this was pretty simple and didn't give the bolt cutter too much of a hard time. The 3/8-inch though, well it was a different ball game, giving only an indent into the chain vs a clean cut. The last material I tested was a wire rope at 1/8-inch thickness. This material was not advertised by Ryobi as an eligible material. So, while I won't knock them for this one, I was surprised it wasn't up to the task.
As a fresh tool, the jaws didn't completely close, something I found odd. It wasn't a significant gap. In a tool like this though, even the smallest gap is the difference between a clean cut and one that isn't complete. You do have the option to make blade adjustments, which I did after initial testing. I retested the materials and this did help the tool cut a bit easier overall. While I couldn't quite get the thicker chain to cut completely, the rest were more reliable and thorough.
Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review Value
This tool from Ryobi clocks in at $99.00 for a bare tool at The Home Depot. This tool is one of those that if you were starting a dedicated project that this tool cuts well, then you will likely feel like this tool is an amazing value. There is no doubt that making constant cuts with a manual bolt cutter can be tough on the hands. This tool certainly alleviates this, if you are using a material it cuts well. I'd personally stick to materials like metal fencing, chicken wire, metal shelving or thinner chain to get the most out of this tool.
Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutter Review Final Thoughts
This tool may not be a hole in one, but that doesn't mean it has no place in your tool arsenal. Tools like this are unique and won't appeal to all users. For those that it does, it is incredibly valuable. I was disappointed this tool couldn't quite cut through the stated materials, and this is something I haven't really seen from a Ryobi tool. I'd like to see Ryobi improve these a bit to be more versatile and cover more materials as more users would benefit from them. If you're starting a project involving metal shelving, chicken wire or thinner chain, or cut those materials consistently, the Ryobi Cordless Bolt Cutters may still be a winner for you.