Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Barry Gray
If you think you need to spend a small fortune on power tools, then can I say right from the outset that you are wrong in that thought. Your average home DIY’er does not need to spend a fortune to purchase tools more than capable of performing to the level that they need, and it would be madness to do so.
That is why I’m going to spend some time comparing two brands that are sort of in the middle of the price range by checking out both Ryobi and Bosch. They may not be the most inexpensive brand out there on the market. Still, I feel they strike a balance between being cost-effective and capable of performing exceptionally well.
But I know this then opens up an entirely new question. Which brand represents the best value for money out of these two options?
So, that’s what I intend to do over the course of the next few minutes. I will examine both brands and see how they compare against one another.
Which Brand Represents Value for Money?
So, which brand do I feel represents the best value for money? While it’s a tricky question to answer, I think it’s something I can do.
To me, the best brand is Ryobi if you are simply looking at it from a money perspective. However, that only applies after you have stocked up on batteries to ensure you can move between tools whenever you want.
I also believe their battery to be better than you get with other brands. It holds its power quite well and doesn’t take too long to charge.
But that’s all from a money point of view.
However, if you prefer to go by the tools alone, then I feel Bosch has the edge. They do offer more options regarding tools and accessories, so you stand a better chance of getting your hands on the perfect tool for your task.
As you can see, it’s difficult to answer, so it all boils down to what is important to you. If it’s budget alone, then Ryobi wins. However, if it’s more about capabilities, then Bosch edges it.
Overall, you shouldn’t feel disappointed with either option if this is where your budget is regarding a new power tool. As long as you remain aware of the limitations of the tool, then you should not feel as if you have to contend with any nasty surprises.
The History of Ryobi
For many, Ryobi is effectively the new kid on the block, but that only applies in the Western world. The company was launched in Japan in 1943, so it’s significantly older than most people understand.
However, even though they launched in 1943, they didn’t start producing power tools until 1968. That does mean they have less experience in producing power tools than Bosch.
People think Ryobi is a new company because they decided to only manufacture and sell power tools within Japan for the first few decades. Actually, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the company finally decided to expand its boundaries.
That was the point where they started to push their products into other markets, and it’s also the point where people began to notice the Ryobi brand appearing in their local hardware store.
Who Owns Ryobi Tools?
I also need to clarify one thing regarding the ownership of Ryobi tools because you may find slightly conflicting information on the Internet.
You see, in countries such as the United States, when we look at Ryobi, what it’s actually referring to is Ryobi Power Tools or even Ryobi Outdoor Power Equipment. However, what you should know is that the overall company is really owned by another company called Techtonic Industries.
If you have never heard of Techtonic Industries, then don’t worry. They actually own a number of different brands rather than producing their own self-branded tools. Instead, this company owns brands such as Hoover, Vax, and even Milwaukee.
The History of Bosch
Launched in Germany back in 1886, it’s fair to say that Bosch has a more extensive history within the industry when compared to Ryobi. However, they also didn’t start off by working on power tools from their initial conception.
Instead, they began life working on the production of precision mechanics tools. The introduction of power tools into their product line didn’t happen until much later, with the appearance of a power drill in 1932.
But I don’t see that lengthy period of time as being an issue. In those first few decades, Bosch certainly built a reputation for itself as innovators in the tool industry. It makes sense that they eventually made that move into power tools, which undoubtedly led to a massive increase in their general popularity.
Since then, they have managed to establish themselves as one of the premium tool companies in the world, with their reputation only matched by the sheer size of their product range.
Who Owns Bosch?
Bosch is unusual as a company in that it is still privately owned by the Bosch family. They have undoubtedly managed to avoid selling up to a larger name, such as Techtonic Industries, but that’s also something I love about them.
The first thing to know about Ryobi tools is that they manufacture both corded and cordless tools. However, I think it’s fair to say that it’s their cordless tools that people are most familiar with.
That familiarity is all thanks to one thing, the development of their own battery. Ryobi was the first company that managed to successfully develop a range of cordless power tools where they could all share the same battery. Brands such as DeWalt had tried without much success, so that is how Ryobi was capable of really establishing their name in the tool industry.
But what else do I think you should know about Ryobi tools?
From a manufacturing point of view, Ryobi is now a global company. Gone are the days of everything being manufactured in Japan, as Ryobi now uses a series of factories in different locations worldwide. Oh, and they even have a plant based in the United States.
Ryobi makes a lot of the tools sold within the United States from that plant in the country. They even bring parts that were manufactured in other countries to the US and assemble everything there.
That part surprises people, but I cannot say with absolute confidence that every single tool under the Ryobi brand is manufactured in that way. That may just not be the case.
Their Product Range
This part will be no surprise if you have seen Ryobi tools online or in a store, but they have quite an extensive product range for you to choose from.
The main focus of their product range is their 18V ONE+ range. Here, you have over 250 different tools you can choose from, so you will not come up short on choice.
But Ryobi does also produce a 40V range. However, they have only around 40 tools available with that power, so it’s clear where their main focus lies with their power tools.
But there’s also one other thing to mention: accessories.
As you would expect, Ryobi does produce an array of bits, blades, and other accessories for their power tools, but I wouldn’t say it’s an integral part of their business. They make sure you can change aspects of the tools to fit your needs, but they prefer you to simply purchase different tools for different jobs.
So while you can get your hands on accessories, don’t expect to have the same choice as you do with other brands.
Who Buys Ryobi Tools?
Ryobi tools have a specific market, even though they will also state that their tools can be used by hobbyists and professionals.
In my opinion, Ryobi tools are certainly better for your home DIY’er or an individual who likes to work on the occasional project. These tools can be pushed quite hard, but I feel their capabilities are slightly less than you see on heavy-duty tools.
There’s also the fact that they make buying various tools so easy to do, thanks to there being no need to constantly purchase a new battery. That means you can build your stock of power tools without it burning too big a hole in your pocket, and I think that’s excellent.
So, people who buy Ryobi tools often have a budget but wish to get a good quality tool without splashing out too much cash. Also, people aware of limitations connected to the tool will feel they work pretty well up to that point where the tool could perhaps begin to struggle.
Reasons to Purchase Ryobi Tools
I see several reasons why you may wish to purchase Ryobi tools rather than other brands out there in the market.
The first reason is an obvious one, affordability. There’s no doubt Ryobi manages to place its products more in the lower half of the power tool market price range, but I don’t think it then equates to an inferior product. Honestly, I just don’t see that as being the case.
For quality, I see this as far outweighing the price you pay. Put simply, I see the build quality of their tools to be far superior to the cost. Also, their battery is excellent and is also much better than the price you pay.
So, you have nothing to worry about from a quality perspective with Ryobi tools.
I mentioned the battery in the previous point, but it’s just one of the best on the market. The ease with which you can move it between tools is impressive, and they really were responsible for making the breakthrough in that respect in the industry.
It does also then reduce the cost of purchasing other tools. All you need is the tool itself before plugging in that same old battery, and everything then kicks into life.
Overall, I feel Ryobi tools represent value for money and are far more reliable than some people may expect.
Bosch tools do come with a more extensive history regarding their development, but there’s a lot more to learn about the brand before you go ahead and make that purchase.
Even though they remain based in Germany, Bosch manufactures their tools in different locations worldwide. That means you can never be sure where all of the individual parts were manufactured, tested, and assembled before they hit the shelves.
But I don’t see this as a significant problem. After all, Bosch is not the only company out there that has adopted this approach, so it’s not something to hold against them.
Their Product Range
One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that Bosch has an extensive product range regarding its power tools. However, I need to clear up one crucial point.
If you look at Bosch tools, you will see they are either green or blue, which is something Bosch has decided to do to make your life easier. What has happened here is that Bosch has changed the color for a tool aimed more at the home DIY’er and a different color when the tool is for more of the serious hobbyist or professional.
That has led to a green tool for the average DIY’er and a blue tool for someone who needs a bit more power and more of a professional approach.
But Bosch does have a vast number of tools, and in particular with their 12V range. They also have an 18V and 36V range of tools to choose from, but it’s that 12V power that’s their primary focus.
Overall, I’m talking about hundreds of available tools with the Bosch name on them.
Who Buys Bosch Tools?
Bosch tools are really for everyone, and that’s helped by them creating that differentiation between green and blue tools. It means you should have no problem locating the perfect Bosch tool no matter your experience levels when it comes to carrying out those DIY projects.
But remember that the cost of a Bosch tool is undoubtedly lower than several other major brands on the market. I see it as being cost-efficient, and that does make the tool extremely attractive as a result.
I fail to see any restrictions or limitations regarding Bosch tools. With an extensive product range, any individual should find it possible to get the perfect tool for any job.
Reasons to Purchase Bosch Tools
As with Ryobi, I have several reasons why I feel any individual would want to go ahead and purchase Bosch tools.
I believe Bosch tools remain one of the best from a design perspective. Not only are they robust, but they do also tend to sit nicely in your hand, and they hardly encourage fatigue to develop.
Bosch puts a lot of effort into producing tools designed from an ergonomic perspective, making a difference. Also, their design intends to reduce the tool’s weight, which also helps with the issue of fatigue.
As with Ryobi, I see Bosch tools as being extremely affordable, yet the quality of the tool does not drop due to the lower price tag.
It does mean you will find yourself in a position whereby you can own a well-made tool with decades of experience behind the design without it hitting your bank balance too hard. I feel Bosch strikes that perfect balance between quality and cost.
The final main reason has to be the options aspect. Bosch produces many tools and accessories, so I feel you can always get the ideal tool for whatever project you plan to work on.
It means you can become accustomed to using Bosch tools and then take advantage of the lower prices to increase the number of tools you own. You start to realize how comfortable they are to hold and their capabilities, so you get on better with your projects.
Comparing Ryobi and Bosch
So let’s make some direct comparisons, and the first thing to look at is the price.
If you look at the basic tool, then Ryobi does cost less, but you need to ensure you have the battery pack and charger before you can win on the tool’s cost. Bosch tools remain relatively inexpensive, at least compared to other brands, but they cannot compete with Ryobi regarding the bare tool.
But I must stress that both tools represent real value for money, so I don’t see the price difference as being a real game-changer.
I feel Bosch tools are slightly more reliable and robust than their Ryobi counterparts of the two brands. However, you must consider who will use the tools to see how important this point may be.
If you only use power tools on an irregular basis and aren’t constantly pushing them to their limits, then both brands compare well. However, I feel the build quality in Bosch tools is slightly better, and I also believe you can push them a little bit more before you potentially run into problems.
For me, the warranty is a huge deal when it comes to power tools, and this is where I tend to see some differences between the two companies and what they offer.
In this instance, I feel Ryobi performs better when it comes to their warranty, partly thanks to Bosch offering a relatively poor one-year warranty with a whole host of limitations.
On the other hand, Ryobi offers a three-year warranty on most of their tools aside from their 40V range, which comes with a five-year warranty. However, it still comes with limitations on what they include in the warranty, so any normal wear and tear is not covered.
Overall though, there’s no real contest regarding the warranty aspect.