It appears that Ryobi is coming out with more new hand tools, or at least that’s what can be seen in images of their new Link system tool bags.
Ryobi launched new hand tools in late 2022, of the kind you wouldn’t expect for a brand known almost exclusively for cordless power tools and accessories.
The first wave of Ryobi hand tools included hand saws, screwdrivers, small mechanics tool sets, and new layout tools.
I asked Ryobi for more information at the time, and this is all they were able to say:
RYOBI is continuing to expand into the Hand Tool market with incremental categories like fastening, cutting, mechanics, storage, and more. With our commitment to the end user, RYOBI will bring over 30 innovative hand tool products to The Home Depot that will continue to empower all of our users to accomplish their projects big and small. Never get caught empty-handed with RYOBI Hand Tools.
That didn’t really tell us anything.
To be frank, I didn’t take the opening statement at face value. If they planned to “expand into the hand tool market with incremental categories,” surely there would be a bigger announcement. Right?
But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I recently posted about new Ryobi Link storage products, which includes two tool bags whose product photos were staged with never-before-seen Ryobi hand tools.
These look like new Ryobi hand tools to me, and real ones that were photographed, as opposed to being digital renderings.
In addition to existing tools, such as Ryobi’s screwdrivers, tape measure, and level in some of the photos, we can see new adjustable wrenches, diagonal cutters, flush cutters, Lineman’s style pliers, and Knipex Cobra-style adjustable water pump pliers.
Brands will sometimes have tool props specially made for product photography purposes. Is that what we’re seeing here?
Or are these early production samples from Home Depot’s next Ryobi hand tools expansion? These look to be photos of factory-produced tools to me.
Ryobi’s sibling company – Hart Tools – has many hand tools that are exclusively available at Walmart. The first wave of Ryobi hand tools at Home Depot were not quite copies of Hart tools, but the resemblances were obvious.
Here, the Ryobi pliers, cutters, and adjustable wrenches look very different from Hart’s. I couldn’t identify a likely OEM either; the Ryobi pliers and adjustable wrenches appear to be distinct.
Will these Ryobi pliers, cutters, and adjustable wrenches make it to Home Depot’s shelves? Or will they be online-only offerings, similar to Ryobi’s screwdrivers, hand saws, knives, and others? It will be interesting to see what happens.
The thumb wheel engages with 5-6 teeth on the movable jaw – that seems noteworthy. I thought Channellock engages with 4, one more than usual. Must be a pretty fine pitch.
Channies are made by Irega and that’s their thing is the extra bit touching, you can see it in Irega products as well as all the rebrands.
Not the first time I’ve seen the multiple extra touching points though. I’ll have to remember where I saw it, I want to say it was a Japanese company, but that’s not to say that these are coming from that same company.
Some of the Toptul wrenches? https://www.toptul.com/en/2-2179/manufacturer/Adjustable-Wrenches-id58099.html
These hand tools have been available at DirectToolsOutlet for some time, the price is a bit higher than I expected but I did get some when they had a 20% off sale.
Thanks! Another reader sent a link just now too, saying they appeared there maybe a month or two ago. Direct Tools, Ryobi’s outlet store, lists them as “new arrivals” and “factory blemished.”
I think they also leaked on HomeDepot.ca earlier this year. The listings were pulled but the images are still up there.
Those factory blemished are just about always new, they just can’t say new. As I know you are well aware, only HD is the exclusive retailer, and that is part of agreement. Sometimes the item comes brown boxed (no green box), but HD has sent similar as well.
I imagine HD doesn’t have the extra space for new hand tools at moment. I could see them coming in a cardboard shipper for a holiday promo or similar before they are carried in store, if ever
It’s the wrong direct tools link.
This should be it. Scroll down.
Thanks for the fix – I corrected their link. They linked to DirectTools instead of DirectToolsOutlet.
Not doubting they exist, but the adjustable pliers look like they may be photoshopped. The lighting and shadows don’t line up with anything else.
Pliers have a harsh direct light with a hard shadow on the edges while everything else has a warmer fill light with soft shadows.
I wonder if they had a different tool in that spot for the photo shoot. The pocket looks like it has weight in it, maybe just not the adjustable pliers.
I’ll email you the higher resolution press image in case you want to pixel peep. =)
Thanks, I’ll have a look at it later.
They look like a full size version of the Craftsman Evolv pliers with yellow grips from about 8 years ago.
I was just about to say that! The adjustable wrenches do look photoshopped into the picture, and the pocket does look like it had something inside.
In addition to that the adjustable wrenches have been desaturated (had the color removed). That is a well known trick to make “silvery” metal parts like chrome, silver, natural titanium, clear anodized aluminum, etc, look brighter in photos.
That could just be the usual photo touchups, rather than indicating they were composited into the image.
Correct. Great DA isn’t yet automated. Maybe soon with AI enhanced CGI but not quite yet.
And who knows who’s been assigned the Ryobi account art direction/execution at this point?
Considered alone, yes, but when they’re the only items in the photo treated that way, it looks like they were ‘shopped in. And there are other ways to touch up the photo, or even highlighting those particular tools, without creating that effect.
Could be for sale in other markets, I have seen Ryobi have tools and other accessories not sold in Home Depot at the TTi outlet stores before.
Famous marketing gurus, Jack Trout and Al Ries, in their seminal book “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” hold that line extension – that is, expanding a brand to cover a whole new class of products – is a bad decision. The primary reason for this, they argue is that line extension dilutes a brands image, thus weakening its core revenue stream.
That said, I’ve seen a number of power tool brands, including DeWalt and Milwaukee, push into the hand tool market with what looks like success. I’ve also seen line extension done with reckless abandon, particularly in Korea and Japan. I’m sure if Ryobi hand tools are going to be a thing here in the US, but I do have my doubts.
I’m *not* sure if Ryobi hand tools are going to be a thing here in the US, but I do have my doubts.
In my opinion, it’s not a question of whether Ryobi wants to launch hand tools, but whether they will have a place at Home Depot.
I’m not sure if truly well regarded tool makers (whether primarily electric or hand) would qualify under their doctrine.
Mass market loyalties are different then tool centric loyalties. Until, of course, like Craftsman it’s allowed (or self sabotaged) to dissipate.
I suspect that there is a much smaller difference (as perceived in the mind of most consumers) between hand tools and power tools than I expected, thus strengthening the brand instead of diluting it.
I wish someone would’ve told ViseGrip before they started making channel-locks and Channel-Lock before they started making vise-grips.
Unlike those, though, the name Ryobi isn’t synonymous with a specific type of tool, rather (at least in my mind) a brand of affordable tools that’re usually adequate but never high-end. I could see hand tools working perfectly well, clad in chartreuse and sold at retail.
One+ isn’t a good brand because it’s hard to search for, and the letter string OnePlus now belongs to a cellphone. So to some extent, Ryobi’s name has become a shorthand for their One+ line, but I don’t think it’s a pure equivalence that would forestall other lines. I don’t think the 40v or gas-powered OPE lines have confused anyone, for instance, nor the blue drill press or other bench tools.
I wonder if they’ll be using the Milwuakee hand tool plant.
Zero chance on the USA plant, but those images look a heck of a lot like the Milwaukee dipped hand tools
I was going to ask how much of that is mirrored over to the HART stuff at wallmart.
follow on do those pliers look a bit like a gearwrench product to anyone else.
Neat idea – but I don’t tknow they are really going to do well here. the bags should though.
They do look a little like Gearwrench/Crescent, but with enough differences that they could be made by any brand or factory.
Just an idea. HD product positions Husky as their value line. Quality varies between certified junk and budget models. So if things sour with say SBD or if TTI continues to have delivery issues then having their own premium or at least mid grade line might make sense for HD. Many times recently I’ve needed a tool and the premium brands were sold out and the Husky stuff was so awful I ended up going to another store. At least if I’m buying Harbor Freight low end quality I should pay HF prices, moh a couple bucks under premium.
Slipping it in as Ryobi shouldn’t upset their Chinese masters over at SBD and TTI/Red too much. It will be bright green like lollipops and nit deemed a real threat. Maybe on par with Crapsman.
jayne erin defranco
like their power tools so why not hand tools I collect pliers and screwdrivers so whats not too like. I have a weakness for hand tools. I even bought some harbor freight junk. But will wait for a sale on these. Thanks for posting.
As a quality engineer and retired DIY remodeler, I like many of the Ryobi 18V power tools. While I use a Dewalt screw gun, impact wrench and hedge trimmers, and wouldnt part with them, I own these Ryobi 18V tools:
1. Polesaw. Has cut down hundreds of branches, just use 30W motor oil in the chain lube container.
2. Led flashlights . We own 2. The newer swivel head spotlight is awesome.
3. Backpack sprayer. The original 18V sprayer failed prematurely. I called Ryobi to report the defective internal rubber flap valve, and they knew of the issue, and sent me the new model as a good will gesture. Works great for soap/water mixtures, for pesticide treatments, just never use bleach or Wet N Forget, as they can damage it.
4. Tire inflator. One of the better inflators for you car.
5. On my wishlist: the 18V portable pressure washer tool.
1. The 18V inverter FAILED on its first use. Failed as in quit forever. Garbage. I got it for free from Ryobi, or I wouldve been upset.
2. the 18V portable fan is useless. Wont move a fart around. Not even good for cooling you off while doing an oil change.
All in all, I’m happy. Just dont buy the inverter.
I purchased three, if I remember correctly, 7 piece tool set with bag charger and 2 batteries about 7 years ago at Direct Tools Outlet in Foley, AL. Couldn’t beat the price so I got one for me & 2 for gifts. All are still working. Since then I have bought from Dt & HD over 60 more items plus 12 chargers and 15 batteries. The only problem I’ve had is the auto spool weed eater will run for a few minutes and quit. HD replaced it and now 2 years later the replacement is doing the same. Any ideas as to why?
I no longer replace batteries since learning how to repair them myself. 2 of my older batteries stopped working. After replacing them I was going to trash the bad ones but decided to take them apart and see what’s there. I tested all the cells and found 2 bad on each battery. I took two good ones from one and put it in the other and it woks fine. I had a broken solar light I hit with the mower that had 2 18650 batteries and the made the other Ryobi battery like new again.
As you might imagine I like the Ryo I products.
Is there some reason to be geeked out about Ryobi-branded hand tools?
I absolutely love my extensive collection of Ryobi and Milwaukee power tools, but, quite frankly, I’m disgusted by the power tool brands being leveraged to sell import hand tools, and their displacement of other tried and true brands.
What’s special about any of this stuff over what we already have/had?
I would rather have a Tajima tape measure, Klein screwdriver,Diablo blade,Knipex pliers,and Bessey clamp.
They build very few products ,very well.
I have less worry they will close down a division,relocate… because the marketing team used the wrong tea leaves.
I was DTO over the weekend. They had a bunch of the hand tools on the shelf. The monkey wrench had a nice feel to it and its made in Korea. They have a 20in hand saw and I use it all the time. It works great however my only point of comparison are dull antique handsaws that are basically decorative.
Hopefully they are higher quality than their bits.
I’m looking forward to trying the Knipex-knockoff pliers. That design looks like it’s caught fire in recent years and everybody’s making ’em, and thus far all the clones I’ve used have been at least decent, no stinkers yet.
They’re $14 at DTO right now and if I could justify paying the shipping (there’s nothing else I want, even with the crazy stackable deals right now) I’d try ’em, but.. meh, I’ll wait until they’re at HD and I can skip the shipping.
Ryobi but not related to this post. Any upcoming coverage for Ryobi’s expanding outdoor line? Home Depot’s daily deals today had a lot of Ryobi including some things I wasn’t aware of (40v backpack battery specifically).
I don’t think I ever received any press info on the backpack battery supply, and nothing’s unread in my inbox. It looks like it came out in spring 2022.