Ryobi 18V One+ HP Compact Brushless One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Review
Ryobi Cordless One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Cooks Up a Saw That’s Just Right
The biggest deal about the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Compact Brushless One-Hand Reciprocating Saw (whew, that’s a mouthful!) might just be that Ryobi now has a one-hand model. But the Ryobi PSBRS01 isn’t just a saw that happens to pair with 18V One+ batteries, it’s a complete package that raised our eyebrows compared to some well-known names.
- Best balance of performance and price available in the 18V one-hand reciprocating saw class
- Lightweight and compact design
- Very good cutting speeds
- Brushless motor
- Quick-release blade lever
- No kit available (but battery/charger starter kits are under $100)
RecommendationThe Ryobi cordless one-hand reciprocating saw doesn’t set itself apart as a clear winner in any one category. But it doesn’t have any weak spots and is a really solid value. With most every other saw in this category making trade-offs one way or the other, Ryobi strikes a balance that appeals to nearly everyone no matter what your highest priorities are.
Ryobi Cordless One-Hand Reciprocating Saw
Size and Weight
As part of the 18V One+ HP Compact series and with a one-hand design, the saw is compact. Until we got it in our hands, we didn’t realize just how compact it is, though.
Measuring 12.4 inches on our caliper, it’s tied with DeWalt’s Atomic as the most compact 18V one-hand model we’ve tested.
It’s reasonably lightweight as well. The bare tool weighs 3.6 pounds and using the 1.5Ah battery that comes with other HP Compact tools, it’s only 4.5 pounds. There are a couple of saws that come in lighter, but Ryobi is definitely in the lighter part of its class.
The trend with one-hand saws has been to target either size and weight or performance. The Ryobi cordless one-hand reciprocating saw seems to have targeted a better balance than most, though.
Cutting through 3/4-inch EMT, the saw averaged 2.76 seconds with its brushless motor driving 3000 SPM at a 5/8-inch stroke length. Less than half the saws we’ve tested in this class break the 3-second mark, putting Ryobi is good company.
In our 3-inch PVC test, it took 7.33 seconds on average to finish its cuts. That landed it squarely between the top performers needing around 5 seconds and the lower tier that took more than 12 seconds.
This style of reciprocating saw isn’t a great first option for wood cutting compared to full-size models. However, if you have the occasional 2×4 that needs cutting, there’s no reason to look for a heavier saw with more vibration.
While we’re on the subject of vibration, this saw does a nice job of managing it. For a budget-friendly model, it does a better job than most of its peers.
Putting all the pieces together, this is a great saw for plumbing, irrigation, and electrical tasks that performs a lot closer to premium professional than DIY models.
Ryobi’s use of a brushless motor certainly helps drive the performance we’re enjoying. The design team also included a couple of other features that go beyond the basics.
The shoe is able to pivot as you cut, helping keep it engaged better on round materials. It’s a pretty standard feature on full-size saws, but one we don’t see as often on one-hand models.
If you’re part of the design team, THANK YOU for including a blade release lever on the outside of the housing instead of keeping it on the shaft. It’s soooo much easier to install and remove blades that way. Despite how much more convenient it is, almost no one puts it on their one-hand models.
Wrapping up the notable features is an LED light that we expect to find on any cordless model. It’s above the blade where the shoe’s open top design gives you a solid look at the blade.
You can grab the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Compact One-Hand Reciprocating Saw at Home Depot for $99. There’s no kit version available at the moment, but you can get a 2.0Ah battery/charger starter kit for $79 or a 2 x 1.5Ah starter kit for $99. Either way, it’s still a less expensive way to get started than any of the other 18V one-hand models we’ve tested.
The Bottom Line
The Ryobi cordless one-hand reciprocating saw doesn’t set itself apart as a clear winner in any one category. But it doesn’t have any weak spots and is a really solid value. With most every other saw in this category making trade-offs one way or the other, Ryobi strikes a balance that appeals to nearly everyone no matter what your highest priorities are.
Ryobi One+ HP 18V Compact Reciprocating Saw Specifications
- Model: Ryobi PSBRS01B
- Motor: Brushless
- Stroke Length: 5/8 in.
- Max Strokes Per Minute: 0-3000 SPM
- Weight: 3.8 lbs.
- Dimensions (DxHxW): 15.5 x 5.5 x 3 in.
- Warranty: 3-year
- Price: $99 (bare tool)