Ryobi has come out with a new 18V One+ variable speed cordless polisher/sander, model PBF102B.
The new Ryobi cordless polisher was designed to be compact and lightweight, and for use in tight spaces. Ryobi also notes that, as with other cordless power tools, there are “no accidental scratches from an air hose or power cord.”
They give a runtime estimate of up to 60 minutes of polishing when powered by a 9Ah battery.
The polisher has a 2-speed selection switch, removable auxiliary handle, spindle lock for tool-free accessory changes, and an LED worklight located at the base of the handle.
Ryobi shows off the new polisher with a variety of wheels and completing different cleaning, polishing, and surface preparation tasks.
The polisher/sander comes with a 3-inch foam hook and loop backer pad, and also a 2-inch twist and lock backer bad that can be used with compatible sanding discs.
Product images show that the auxiliary handle can be mounted to the left or right sides of the tool.
The 2-speed settings mean that you can use the polisher for more delicate work, such as polishing or cleaning painted areas, or higher speed sanding tasks.
Ryobi Polisher Features and Specs
- 2 speed modes
- 0-2,800 RPM
- 0-7,800 RPM
- Removable auxiliary handle
- Spindle lock for tool-free accessory changes
- On-board LED work light
- Up to 60 minutes runtime with 9Ah battery (not included)
- Lanyard loop
- Model no. PBF102B
- 3″ hook & loop backer pad
- 3″ foam finishing pad
- 3″ foam correcting pad
- 3″ wool pad
- 2″ twist and lock backer pad
- 2″ 120 grit sanding disc
- 2″ 80 grit sanding disc
- 2″ 60 grit sanding disc
The polisher/sander is said to have a 5/16″ spindle.
The polisher/sander is only available as a bare tool, and requires the use of a Ryobi 18V One+ battery and charger, which are available separately.
Update: Ryobi also has a kit version of this tool, PBF102KN, which comes with a 2Ah battery and compact charger.
2″ twist-lock sanding discs are widely available, as are 3″ foam polishing pads, and so replacement accessories should be easily available.
One thing to pay attention to are the runtime specs. Up to 60 minutes for a 9Ah battery sounds great, but is anyone going to use this with a larger and heavier battery like that? Ryobi shows off their new polisher with 2Ah and 4Ah batteries, and so let’s make extrapolative guesses as to the approximate runtime with those batteries.
If we assume a linear relationship between battery charge capacity to runtime, “up to 60 minutes with a 9ah battery” could mean that users should expect up to 13.3 minutes of runtime with a 2Ah battery, and 26.7 minutes with a 4Ah battery.
The new Ryobi polisher and sander looks decent for what it is, but users would be wise to keep in mind the runtime considerations. The same will be true for pretty much all cordless polishers. I wouldn’t consider this a major concern, as this is the type of tool that’s typically used in a garage or workshop-type setting where users might have spare batteries and a charger at the ready.
Milwaukee and Makita, for example, also show off their sanders paired with compact batteries. Like those offerings, the new Ryobi 18V One+ polisher should be convenient for smaller polishing and sanding tasks.
I meant to write in recently, so this seems like as good a time as any (even if its slightly off topic or a tangent) …
I do not have a rotary tool, or die grinder, or polisher, or cut off tool, or angle grinder. And, while all of these tools have unique use cases, there seem to be many overlapping use cases. I do have metal-cutting blades for my miter saw. And I have an OMT and a Recip Saw with those blades – but (and this could be incorrect blades or not having experience) the OMT has been disappointing on this front, and the Recip Saw needs a hole / access to get going (and, for finer work, the vibrations are really excessive).
How might you counsel someone looking to pick up one or two of these tools as to what might be a good entry point that might cover the widest variety of around the house / diy type tasks? (say, cutting a screw to a shorter length; or cutting some aluminum bar to length; or any other things one might get into if they had an appropriate tool)
Might need more details to answer that question appropriately.
Your examples are metal-cutting tasks. If the reciprocating saw isn’t precise enough, I’m not sure an angle grinder would be appropriate. It can cut aluminum bars to length reasonably precisely, but it needs quite a bit of space to operate.
I would be using a hand tool to cut a screw to length. Probably a small bolt cutter, unless we’re talking a machine screw or some such. A grinder could do it, but don’t be trying to hold it in your fingers while you cut.
What are the options you’re considering?
– rotary tool
– compact multi-material saw
– die grinder
– cutoff tool
– portable bandsaw
Just seems like there are a lot of directions you could take that question.
BTW, without knowing exactly what you plan to do, based on what you currently have, my priorities would be: rotary tool, jigsaw then grinder.
For commonly found (like on electrical fixtures) small bolts – this sort of hand tool is popular – because ir has less propensity to deform the threads at the cut:
A hacksaw (hand tool) is also useful. This style can be used on things like closet (toilet) bolts:
Koko The Talking Ape
Sorry fred, that first tool is a wire stripper. You’re using that to cut small bolts?
Electrical multi-tools often have threaded holes sized for common machine screw sizes. The cutting action is more of a shearing process.
The strippers Fred posted include a series of holes around the pivot. You can insert a screw of the specified size through those holes and then squeeze the handle to shear them. Because the holes fit the size of screw, it is intended to reduce how much the screw deforms.
It’s only useful for small machine screws, not bolts.
Koko The Talking Ape
@Stuart and Jared,
Ah, I see, thanks.
The particular wire strippers I’ve used wouldn’t have stood up to that kind of use. I use dikes to strip wires on the rare ocassion I have to do that.
I would highly recommend against compact hacksaws for cutting tasks that don’t require the smaller handle profile.
I have tried to use a compact hacksaw on aluminum metal stock before, and it’s a much slower process.
You are absolutely correct. A hacksaw frame that can properly tension the blade is far superior. But in the use case that I spoke about (brass closet bolts) the compact size makes up a bit for the “bending blade”
BTW as most of your readers likley know there are many ways to accomplish most any task. Sometimes the speed and/or power of a power tool is best – especially if it is a repetitive task. But for one off DIY chores sometimes a less expensive hand tool will suffice. I may have misinterpreted the questioner’s DIY needs – regarding bolt cutting – thinking that many needs might be for #6 to perhaps #10 machine screws – rather than 1/4 or larger bolts.
Early in my life – I saw a guy cutting a keyway with a hammer and a cape chisel. Today I’d think about a milling machine for that task – not having the time, patience or skill to attempt that task by hand.
I’ve had good success using my angle grinder to cut screws held in a vise. A good, thin kerf cut off disc and a steady hand go a long way. Also, make sure to thread a nut onto the screw before cutting, that way it will clean the threads up after you’re done.
I agree with this, I’ve cut thousands of bolts and rods using a thin cutoff wheel in an angle grinder, or a 3 inch abrasive wheel mounted on a die grinder.
Dremel rotary tool ($50-$70 set with more accessories purchased as needed), hacksaw with a couple of blades (or as needed).
Cutting an aluminum bar to length might be too much on a miter saw, depending on the thickness. I have a small cold-cutting metal saw, but it’s somewhat of an infrequent used uni-tasked.
I have cut aluminum bars with a hacksaw and then sanded it down to perfect squareness.
A jig saw might work too.
A rotary tool can help with small things, such as cutting screws to size. For larger bolts, a hacksaw works well.
A hacksaw will ALWAYS have a place in your tool box, and the same with a corded rotary tool.
If you don’t know what you’ll need the tools for, go for hand tools. When you find yourself exerting a lot of elbow grease on the same task over and over, or manual work would lead to poorer results, that’s when you get a power tool.
Start with known solutions. Cutting a screw? Rotary tool and cut-off wheel. A small kit should suffice, rather than one that costs 2X more with types of accessories and attachments you might never use.
Cutting aluminum bar stock? Separate it into two parts. Hacksaw for the cut, and a jig either to guide the cut or help with sanding/finishing the cut end if necessary.
Cutting harder and anodized aluminum can be done by hand, but you’ll also need a good vise.
Should you upgrade your cutting method in the future, you’ll still need that vise. And you might also come across situations where that hacksaw is useful.
Since we’re in a Ryobi chat talking about rotary tools, they have their rotary tool on sale:
To add to Stuart’s excellent post: if you need to cut metal don’t discount the newer blades for chop and miter saws. I’ve been using the Diablo blades, both aluminum and steel cutting variants, and I have been extremely happy with them, these have come a very long way in just a few years.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’m with Stuart. For DIY and other small jobs, a rotary tool (a “Dremel”) is cheap and relatively safe, and doesn’t distort the workpiece. The ultra-thin wheels they use are surprisingly fast, because they don’t need to remove much material. Use a vice-grip to hold the screw or whatever, or clamp it to a work surface. If you’re cutting a bolt, thread a nut onto it first so you can unscrew it and reform the threads at the cut edge. Also chamfer that cut edge first.
It’s important to hold the Dremel at a consistent angle to the workpiece, so your cut is straight. To cut small aluminum pipe, for instance, I set up stops on my table so I can rotate it without it scooting or skewing, then I take a nick with the Dremel, spin the tube a bit, take another nick, etc., all without moving the Dremel’s position. The cut will be angled because the wheel is smaller than the body of the tool, but if you keep that position consistent, you’ll end up with a nicely bevelled edge to your cut tube. You can flatten it with a file if you want.
The only issue I’ve had is that they typically aren’t reversible, so sometimes you end up throwing sparks and grit in your face. So wear glasses. Also my particular tool gets pretty hot, for some reason.
For bigger jobs, long straight lines, etc., a cut-off tool (a little grinder) would work. People really like that Milwaukee M12 cut-off tool (reversible, comes with a shoe and adjustable cut depth). I haven’t used mine much yet so I couldn’t tell you.
Thanks for all of the info.
I’ve been cutting 1/8″ thick x 1/2″ or 1″ AL bar stock and 1/4″ (or larger) screws/bolts (including some brass closet bolts and other 1/4-20s).
I don’t have a proper hacksaw – instead I have the Milwaukee handle that accepts their Sawzall blades (and I have the 18v one-handed recip they make) – and the hand method went fast enough and it caused less damage than the recip caused.
A while back – I was trying to replace a bath fan, and I was trying to keep as much sheet rock as possible (the replacement was the same opening size), but – the fan had been attached to the joist by its wings and 2x hex bolts on each side (which I didn’t find out until I had fought with it a long time) – I really wanted to cut through the sheet metal housing, but the tools I had on hand didn’t really meet that need. I got it out after a long struggle – and I would replace more of the fans in the house but I’d like to have something on hand that might help me get the job done faster and easier.
My miter saw can cut the AL bar stock no problem, but for cutting smaller sections wasn’t as comfortable using that and I sometimes don’t want to get it out (I have a small shop that I need for other uses, so everything has to get put away and then pulled out and set up again to use) – so, looking for other options as well.
So – Dremel / Rotary tool vs. Straight Die Grinder (like the Milwaukee M12 one) – what are pros/cons to a smaller / corded rotary over the larger / cordless die grinder?
Whoever posted the deal on that Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Precision Rotary Tool (Tool Only) – that seems great – $20 – and I have several of those batteries (I have many batteries for many platforms). Is there any reason not to pick that one up to fill the rotary tool hole in my set?
I like having tools that make jobs easier and less of a hassle.
It’s a great deal for only $20, I think you’ll be happy with it and find it useful!
Koko The Talking Ape
I used that Ryobi when I was at my brother’s place, and worked fine cutting aluminum tubing.
The Milwaukee cut-off tool (it’s not a die grinder) is handier, because the blade is cranked 90 degrees in relation to the handle, so the handle doesn’t get in the way of the wheel. You don’t have to hold the tool parallel to the workpiece, as you do with the Dremel/Ryobi. But it takes a larger, thicker blade. I’m not sure it’s any faster. But it is reversible, so you can get the sparks out of your face, and it has that nice (removable) shoe and blade guard, so you can use it with a cutting guide, for instance.
Milwaukee makes die grinders too, both inline and 90-degrees (IIRC). They’re like souped up Dremels, but they lack the nice blade guard and shoe that the cut-off tool has.
But it sounds like the Milwaukees would mean another battery platform for you. So if I were you, I’d get that Ryobi rotary tool and a pair of safety goggles.
Hey! I just noticed new Ryobi extended-reach ratchets: https://www.ryobitools.com/products/details/33287193721
I have the regular 3/8″ version now. I like it, but do wish I’d gone with M12 sometimes. Good tool though. Happy to see Ryobi expanding the range.
There’s also a right angle die grinder I didn’t know about: https://www.ryobitools.com/products/details/33287192960
Both have been announced recently but aren’t available for purchase yet. I’m interested in that ratchet
Thanks – makes two of us!
I’ll look into it.
Thanks for covering this tool, it answered a question I’ve had for ages. I always wondered what the point of these polishers were: I asked myself why would anyone buy one over a drill or a die grinder, both of which can use the same 2 and 3 inch accessories (using the appropriate arbor, of course), while also being a lot more capable in other ways.
But now I see the RPMs are the key. This tool is much faster than a drill, but not in die grinder territory.
It absolutely comes down to speed, but also ergonomics.
A few years ago I wanted to use polishing wheels with a drill, and you can, but the speeds are abysmal.
I found a corded hammer drill that worked well, and occasionally still serves my needs well. It was much faster than the rotary-only corded drills I could find at the time, and much more powerful than then-premium cordless drills.
It’s also not recommended to exert lateral forces on a drill chuck. They’re made for in and out types of axial forces, and not the side forces that are often associated with certain sanding and polishing accessories.
Regarding the lateral forces on a drill chuck: as machinist I know this well, I cringe every time I see video or photos of someone putting a sanding drum in a drill press, or try to use one for milling with an X-Y table attached. But the real risk comes from how the drill chucks are secured to the tool. Most machine tools like drill presses use a tapered shank, commonly a “Jacobs Taper” named after the famous brand of chuck. Side loads can very easily make this come loose and that’s all kinds of dangerous. But every handheld drill I have ever used has used threads to fasten the chuck to the drill, usually backed up with a small bolt down inside the chuck. This fixes the safety concern that taper-mounted chucks have.
I still wouldn’t want to use a chuck for any sort of long-term side load use, but it’s not as much of a concern in a handheld drill as it is with a typical drill press.
You’re right – I suppose there’s not much risk of the chuck slipping or bearings being affected.
I’ve got it “drilled” into my head not to use accessories that might expose any drill chuck to lateral forces.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’ve heard that too. But maybe that especially applies to drill presses? I’m not sure, but I believe that when the drill press shaft is extended, the bottom bearing on the shaft (nearest the chuck) can be several inches from the chuck itself, so that would magnify any lateral force applied to the chuck. In drill/drivers, the front bearing is only a few inches from the chuck.
Or does the bottom bearing in a drill press move along with the chuck? I just looked at a few exploded diagrams, and I can’t tell.
In most garage/benchtop drill presses and milling machines the bottom bearing moves with the quill which does not rotate. In other designs the whole quill rotates, in which case the bearing does not move but is much larger.
The bearings in a drill press are smaller than those in a milling machine of comparable size and they’re optimized more for thrust load than they are for side load so it’s certainly poor practice to apply a lot of side load to such a machine. But by far the bigger safety risk with side loading a chuck on a drill press is the risk of the taper coming loose and the chuck & whatever bit in it going flying. You’ve basically got a heavy metal top (the chuck) spinning wild around the workshop, often with a sharp bit attached.
Didn’t they already have one of these? I could’ve sworn there was a Ryobi polisher in the line already, and I see no “New Version” designation on this article.
I don’t believe so. They have other cordless polishers, but I believe this is their first drill-style polisher/sander around 3″ and 2″ backer pads.
They have a scrubber thing that has a plastic covering for the battery. That might be what you are thinking of.
Maybe? I don’t follow Ryobi too much, but this is one of those nagging Deja Vu type tools. Usually I look at Ryobi tools and think “Well, they’ve made practically everything at least once. If not, wait a year or two, tops.”
Ryobi has one of those lines, kinda like Milwaukee does? Where they make so many tools and pieces of gear, that it actually makes users from other brands say to themselves “I thought they already did that. Didn’t they?” when they release a new tool.
I’m a DeWALT user… I don’t know everything about all the companies. Stuff slips past me sometimes.
They have a grinder style one and two handed larger one like a steering wheel
I have the Milwaukee version of this polisher and a big bag of roloc scotchbrite discs. Out of curiosity I ended up polishing my Pittsburg long reach pliers and now they are the best looking $4 Harbor Freight pliers around. I find myself polishing up any old bit of crusty tool and bits and bolts and whatever is lying around because its so easy to do. If you aren’t into Milwaukee or Ryobi, Harbor Freight has an Earthquake version and AvE did a comparison between it and the Milwaukee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cSiI9MB9MA
Can you use this without the side handle?
Yes, you can use them without the side handle or on the other side. There are threaded holes on either side for the handle.
So I wonder if this or the die grinder would serve me better. Their die grinder is also a little more expensive at $149.99.
Jayne Erin Defranco
love it want it will wait till black friday to get a deal I hope