Ryobi Power Tracer Review

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

Sometimes a simple tool is all you need.  You don’t need a bunch of fancy features or complicated manuals.  With the Ryobi Power Tracer, you get simplicity and straight-forward results.  Before we jump into the Ryobi Power Tracer Review, it might be helpful to know exactly what this tool does.  In the simplest form, it’s a tool you plug into an outlet and will let you know if the wiring is correct or if you have an issue.  Plus it will also trip a breaker.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review Overview

While this is a specialty tool, it does have its place among a large group of homeowners and even the professionals.  Also, there are numerous applications for this tool but the two that come to me as being the most common is checking if an outlet is correctly wired and also tripping a breaker.

Over the past couple of years, I have broken at least 4 outlets.  Let’s just say I am not careful when I pull a plug from an outlet or sometimes my kids have busted an outlet because they are playing or wrestling.  Instead of me running down to the panel, then guessing a breaker to turn off, I can insert this tool into the outlet and trip the breaker.  So no more running back and forth playing a guessing game.

I am not an electrician or even close to one but I can change an outlet.  However, there are some outlets I have bought that have a different set up than what was originally in the wall.  So I do my best to make the change but with the Ryobi Power Tracer, I can test the outlet when I am done to see if the outlet was set up correctly.

Again there are a lot more uses for this tool but these are the two primary uses for me.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review Features

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

The model number to the Ryobi tracer is ESV1000.  While most tools require batteries, the power tracer doesn’t require a battery or charger.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

The tracer works only in a three-prong outlet and will not work with older two prong outlets.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

Just insert the tracer into any three-prong outlet and you will get a reading on the back of the tool.  Different combinations of lights will light up and indicate a reading to the user.

On the front of the tool, you will see a guide that corresponds to the lights that are lit up.  This will tell you exactly how the outlet is wired.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

In the center of the tool, there is a button.  If a user presses this button, it will trip a breaker in your panel. This will work up to 100′ away.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review Performance

Ryobi Power Tracer Review

In regards to the performance, this tool does exactly what Ryobi claims.  I have all new wiring in my house so every outlet I tested came back the same with the last two lights on which means “correct wiring”.

I was able to trip the breaker from the basement outlet and the second-floor outlet, which I am sure is less than 100′ away.

For me, this is going to be a handy tool.  Because in my panel, I have all the rooms listed, but I know some of the outlets do not correspond to the room.  One day when I have some time, I will be able to create a roadmap of my outlets and exactly which breakers they are connected to.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review Value

The Ryobi Power Tracer Review retails for about $30 at The Home Depot.  There are other systems that are cheaper and more expensive but it depends upon what type of feedback you need from your tester.  For $30, I think it’s a fair price.  Sure $20 would have been more appealing and give me a reason to buy one for future use.  With a $30 price tag, it’s something I would wait and buy if I ever need it in the future.

Ryobi Power Tracer Review Final Thoughts

As you know, I am a fan of Ryobi.  While the quality isn’t always there compared to professional tools, it always seems to have professional features.  This Ryobi Power Tracer is practical to use when testing various electrical outlets.  I like the ease of use and also being able to trip a breaker without having to run back and forth to the panel.  While it does seem a little weaker than other systems I have seen in regards to build quality, it does exactly what is advertised.


  1. Thanks for the review Eric. I need to test my outlets and this might be just what I need. Can’t wait to see the house when it is finished.

  2. These are invaluable as an electrician. Even on an industrial installation, you’ll often need to verify new breakers and circuits with GFCI functionality. If one prefers a less potentially hazardous method of identifying a live circuit, sans the internal short and unknowingly killing power to unknown other stuff on that circuit, there’s also a device that plugs in similarly, but will cause a wand/probe to alert when it is pressed against the correct breaker in the panel. Both have their place, and both are incredibly useful in a testing/unsure situation ?

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