RYOBI vs DeWALT: who is better for consumers?


RYOBI and DeWALT share many similar products but at different price points. Both are respected brands, so who do you choose? How should you decide? Today at Tools in Action it is RYOBI vs DeWALT. We are going to compare products, price, performance, and more to decide which brand is right for you.

Here are a few topics we’ll discuss today…


  • Manufacturers’ Histories
  • Target Markets
  • Performance
  • Value
  • Accessibility

We discuss all this and more to figure out which brand reigns supreme.

Manufacturers’ Histories

When you wind back the clock one brand predates the other by decades. DeWALT has been a USA power tool manufacturer since 1924. DeWALT’s first tool, the “Wonder-Worker” was a universal woodworking machine with nine configurations. This predates the start of RYOBI by nearly two decades. The parent company RYOBI Seisakusho Co. opened in Japan in 1943, but only started producing power tools in 1968.

By the time RYOBI started producing power tools DeWALT had been crafting reliable, professional-grade tools for over 40 years.

RYOBI vs DeWALT: who wins this round?

First point goes to DeWALT for its longstanding history as a power tool manufacturer. I won’t give out a bonus point, but I also want to give DeWALT a round of applause for being a USA-founded company.

Intended Users

When comparing tools it’s crucial to keep in mind who a tool is designed for to give a fair judgement. For the most part, RYOBI designs its tools for the everyday homeowner, while DeWALT tools are designed for professional tradespersons. A RYOBI tool may seem feeble compared to a DeWALT “GURANTEED TOUGH” tool, but a RYOBI tool was never intended to be used daily all-year long.

This is a major factor that contributes to the major difference in price of RYOBI and DeWALT products. For instance, this RYOBI ONE+ Drill/Driver Kit retails for around $99. The similar DeWALT 20V Drill/Driver Kit retails for $219. Homeowners win because they can get a powerful and reliable tool for an affordable price. However, the homeowner’s gain is the professional’s loss.

While a RYOBI tool may be a cheaper initial investment for a professional, it was not built to withstand daily jobsite abuse. DeWALT tools are built to last years. The price reflects this. However, for a professional, it makes more sense to buy a more expensive tool that will last years over one that will need to be continually replaced.

RYOBI vs DeWALT: which is better?

It’s a tie! If you’re a homeowner with occasional projects then a RYOBI product can do the job just fine at a cheaper cost than a DeWALT product. However, the durable construction of DeWALT power tools is a better investment for professionals despite the higher price tag.


As mentioned, RYOBI and DeWALT tools are designed for two different sets of users. However, I think someone concerned about performance is looking at the longevity of a tool as well as how that tool will hold-up during a demanding project.

RYOBI does make quality tools. In fact, the brand consistently puts out new power tools that ups the performance with each model. But so does DeWALT.

DeWALT is a pro tool brand and each upgrade focuses on improving the day for the person on the construction site. A lot of recent upgrades have focused on safety and making the tools lighter and more comfortable to use. This also benefits the homeowner because this makes these professional quality tools easier to use and a more worthwhile investment to the serious-projects homeowner.

RYOBI vs DeWALT: who performs better?

DeWALT. Now, RYOBI does not make bad tools. I’d argue the performance is fantastic for the price, but DeWALT just offers more in terms of performance.


Currently, DeWALT has three points and one point going to RYOBI. However, that can all change when it comes to value. As we just mentioned, DeWALT tools are worth the price, but they are an investment. On top of RYOBI offering quality tools at a much lower price the brand also runs some of the best promotions.

Just over Christmas RYOBI had a “Buy One, Get TWO Free Tools” promotion. That’s just a taste of the promotions RYOBI has throughout the year.

RYOBI vs DeWALT: which is a better value?

It’s a no-brainer: RYOBI. Personally, I think RYOBI could potentially be the best homeowner brand when it comes to price for performance.


This is where it gets tricky. A tools accessibility is measured in two ways:

  1.  Amount of product available.
  2. How many can afford a product?

RYOBI tools are sold exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, The Home Depot is the largest hardware store chain with stores all around the world. In contrast, DeWALT tools are available at nearly every hardware store. So from that perspective, DeWALT tools are more accessible.

However, in terms of cost, RYOBI tools are a better price for the everyday consumer. Now the two sort of cancel each other out on this issue.

There is one more way we can measure accessibility: user-friendliness.

As we mentioned, DeWALT tools are designed for professionals. As a result they can be more cumbersome, the power alone can be too much for an inexperienced user. RYOBI power tools are much more suited to everyday projects.

RYOBI vs DeWALT: who is more accessible?

RYOBI is more accessible to the everyday user. They are more affordable, easier to use, and they are still fairly readily available aside from being sold exclusively through one retailer.


This competition has been neck-and-neck, but we need one winner. Going back to the beginning this was about finding out which brand is better for consumers. Skilled trade professionals definitely fit into this category and have a lot of sway. However, everyone needs tools.

RYOBI offers all consumers a large variety of tools. This ranges is anywhere from cordless hot glue guns to log splitters and bigger tools. Their prices are always competitive. While RYOBI tools may not be the best tools for professionals, they offer consistent performance that holds up well over time under average use. So we are giving the match point to RYOBI.


What do you think? Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree. Better yet, let us know what other brands and tools you’d like us to compare.


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