Ryobi has a new 12V cordless rotary tool kit, model TVM01.
I should note that this is not the start of a new Ryobi 12V cordless power tool system; this tool appears to have built-in batteries. There are both pros and cons to this type of design.
Benefits include a smaller tool size, simpler charging – via USB-C – and lower cost. The downside is that users won’t be able to replace the battery down the road. Heavier tasks and bigger projects might also require users to take breaks while the built-in battery recharges.
But, if you’re okay with the pros and cons, it looks like Ryobi built a very convenient and compelling tool here.
To start, the Ryobi TVM01 cordless rotary tool has a variable speed dial – 5,000 to 35,00 RPM – and separate on/off switch.
Ryobi says this tool “gives users the power to cut, grind, and sand most materials with ease” and that it is “the ideal finishing tool for small tasks on the jobsite or in the home.”
They also say it is “ideal for the home improver, general contractor, or electrician looking for a handheld solution to accomplish any task.”
It has a spindle lock and tool-free quick change collet. That’s a big deal.
The kit also comes with wrench, but I can’t tell if it’s just for use with the screw mandrels or just in case you need more power to loosen or tighten the collet nut.
The kit comes with the tool, 3 attachments, and a 35pc accessory kit. The attachments include a cutting guide, 45° platform guide, and a lawn mower blade sharpening guide.
Note: The Ryobi comes with a USB-C cable, but you’ll need to source your own wall adapter.
The tool is backed by a 3-year warranty.
Compared to Dremel
Dremel’s 8220-1/28 kit is a 12V Max cordless rotary tool kit with (1) battery, a single cutting guide attachment, and 28 accessories.
The Dremel 8220 has the same speed range, 5,000 to 30,000 RPM, and an “EZ twist nose cap” for faster wrench-free accessory changes.
The Dremel has been around for nearly 10 years.
Dremel also recently came out with the 8260 rotary tool, a “smart” tool with Bluetooth connectivity and brushless motor. The 8260 kit comes with a single battery pack, charger, and only a couple of cut-off wheels plus a mandrel.
Ryobi has a couple of 18V cordless rotary tools and flex-shaft tools, for users who want longer runtime and the ability to swap batteries.
There will be some moans and groans about how this new 12V rotary tool has a built-in battery, but it seems like a good design compromise to me.
Ryobi’s new 12V cordless rotary tool will be available exclusively at Home Depot. Home Depot launched a Husky 12V 3/8″ cordless ratchet kit in late-2018, and this kit has reappeared every holiday shopping season since then, in Home Depot’s tool promos and gift center. It has a built-in battery.
For users that aren’t happy with this type of configuration, you have other options – other brands’ 12V-class rotary tools, as well as Ryobi’s 18V setups.
Ryobi has not yet listed the battery size, charging rate, or charging time for the new rotary tool, but we do know it charges via USB-C.
The rotary tool comes with 3 attachments, but it’s not yet clear whether it will also work with other brands’ attachments.
Ryobi says this tool has a 1/8″ collet, which is the standard size for rotary tools and most accessories. There is no indication as to whether other collet sizes (3rd party or otherwise) would be possible. The tool-free bit change mechanism might also preclude other collet sizes.
Overall, this looks to be a very versatile offering, and a well-thought-out kit at the right price.
Dremel has been the long-time leader in rotary tools, and it looks like Ryobi is trying their best to change this.
Interesting. I broke down and bought the Milwaukee last year so I am not in the market, but it looks like a nice option.
I’ve been thinking about picking up the M12 version. How do you like it?
I’m waiting in hopes that Milwaukee comes out with a brushless version. I know Milwaukee has a brushless die grinder, but it doesn’t have the speed control or the attachments that a dremel does.
Marvin L. McConoughey
I have had the M12 for several years. It is fast and powerful. I may buy the Ryobi TVV12 if it turns out to weigh noticeably less.
Looking at the specs on the Ryobi there… I’m sorry if this offends you, Stuart, but I think the better comparisson might be the Proxxon 12 Volt Step-Down Corded Rotary Tool. Model Numbers 28500, 28510, and 28512. Generally known as the Micromot line.
They don’t have the top speed of the new Ryobi, but they have approximately the same form factor and quick-change chucks. They usually need a 12 Volt Step-Down power supply to use with them. Sometimes you can buy them as a kit, sometimes just as separate parts to suit your needs.
But I do wish the Ryobi there hadn’t compromised itself with so limited a method of attachments and accessories. It would’ve been a really nice budget contender for Proxxon. It does, indeed, appear to be a rather nice addition to the Ryobi lineup though!
Ryobi 12V cordless vs. Dremel 12V cordless is apples to apples. Ryobi 12V vs. any brand’s corded tool is not.
What about the Dremel specs aren’t inline with Ryobi’s?
I’ve got the Ryobi Flex-shaft rotary tool. I like it a lot – but I do miss the “one hand” nature of my corded Dremel at times.
Not every rotary tool task is a benchtop job – and cords suck. There’s a risk I might go for this Ryobi.
Already owning M12 batteries, I think the real question is whether I’d go with Milwaukee or Ryobi…
I’ve looked at the reviews, and have held off for two reasons:
1) Concerns about the flex shaft’s durability (and I believe it’s expensive to replace)
2) Concerns about being wimpy – doesn’t have a lot of power.
My current rotary tool is a corded HF cheapie – it works OK, but it’s big and unrefined. I tend to buy Dremel accessories.
Probably not much I can add to address those concerns. I’ve had mine for awhile and it works great. Sample-size of one, of course.
Could you break the shaft? Probably. I don’t think it would break during normal usage, but if you throw it in a tool bag and your circular saw squishes it – yeah, I could see that happening.
Power? I’d say it’s not as powerful as the latest corded Dremels. On the other hand, it lends itself to precision tasks given the pencil-like grip. Some tasks are easier because of that design, other tasks are harder. The speed control works well for that too.
Like I mentioned, I might end up with both styles.
Thanks. Did you have a chance to try the other Ryboi One+ rotary tool (motor on the tool, with cord to battery)?
My feeling is that I’d prefer the one you have (flex shaft), because the head is so much smaller, so it’s easier to do precision work (unlike my HF).
Dave the tool
I can see the thinking of Ryobi and looking to grab a piece of that pie but I already have the Milwaukee M12 version for my heavier rotary tool tasks and a lesser known brand 7.2v for my grab and go and every day tasks when needed. I personally wouldn’t pay $100 for a tool that doesn’t have a replaceable battery but again I see Ryobi’s thoughts here and I just am not in that user category. I rarely use my rotary tool for cutting except maybe bolts as I have a grinder for those tasks.
Matt the Hoople
I’ve owned a few Dremels over the years. The tasks I use them for are normally 10 minutes or less. I dread every time I have to get it out of its storage case because I hate the cord on it. For the fine tasks that a small rotary tool is ideal for, having a cord is a hinderance. I have been looking at the cordless options. I like the Ryobi but only if the accessories are the same thread as my existing dremel accessories. I probably wouldn’t buy any cordless rotary tool at $99 as I currently have two corded ones. However, Ryobi stuff goes on sale a lot for cheap so would definitely be in when it’s on holiday sale for $59 down the road.
As for the non-replaceable battery, how long will Dremel continue to offer their current battery format? They’ve been through a few different ones over the past dozen years or so.
This makes a lot more sense to me than the 4v line. If it works with other rotary attachments and fits my hand well I may give it a shot. I don’t use this kind of tool enough to care about brushless or removable batteries, but comfort and enough power are a must!
I’m surprised to hear “tool free bit changes” being touted as a big deal. I’ve got two Dremels kicking around the shop, one is about 20 years old and the other 10 years old. They both have pushbuttons to lock the spindle and a serrated collet nut you can operate by hand. The old Minicraft tool I had when I was a teenager likewise had a spindle lock pushbutton and a keyless 3-jaw chuck you could operate by hand. Is this really such a rare feature? The dremel tools came with a small wrench that looks just like the one in the Ryobi kit photo but I never found the wrench necessary.
Good point. I do the same with my Dremel and it’s also at least 20 years old.
Every once in awhile I overtighten it and can’t get it off with my fingers – but I typically reach for pliers. I have no idea where that small wrench it came with has disappeared to.
It probably has a standard of the shelf battery. My toothbrush and flashlight both have 18650s. It most likely will be replaceable but not swappable.
I think this is aimed squarely at the customer that walks in to get a rotary tool for a job and doesn’t want “another” battery platform to maintain. USB-C is easily accessible at this point and is universal amongst newer electronics. Ryobi/Home depot will probably put this on sale every other month for the next ten years. Direct tools will sell them as “factory blemished” for $50-$60 in no time. The only “loser” in this situation is Dremel, but even then…they still pretty much have the lock down on accessories at home depot and Lowes. So I don’t see a huge impact to their bottom line.
Overall, seems like a smart move for Ryobi as they firm up their position in the DIY’er market.
I have the M12 version and it has plenty of power/versatility but the size and weight make it a bit unwieldy for most tasks requiring any finesse. I ended up buying the dremel lite for my light tasks and bought the flexible attachment that now stays permanently attached to my M12 for everything else.
As far as the Ryobi…considering it costs the same as the Dremel 12v…it would be any easy call between the two for me. If the Ryobi price point eventually lands in the $60-$75 dollar range then MAYBE it could be given more consideration. At $100, there are multiple better and proven options to choose from that will still be available for sale in 2 years. The Ryobi will not be one of them. As an aside, their current 18v models are compelling and would have my interest if I had the need. I just don’t see where this tool fits in.
I’d like to find $50 total cordless rotary to use exclusively with tig tungsten sharpener jig. I have a corded Dremel that I want to leave freely to use for other tasks.