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October 26, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Review 10
PTR Review
  • Pro Rating 8.0

While it retains the same basic look as the previous model, the Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool is a big step forward in both performance and design. There's still some room to grow, of course, but we're very pleased with this model's improvements.

Overall Score 8.0 (out of 10)

Ryobi Ramps Up the Power on This Next-Gen Oscillating Multi-Tool

Ryobi’s High Performance (HP) line of 18V tools has improved performance that rides the line of high-end DIY/entry-level Pro. So far, we’ve looked at quite a few of the tools in the line and been impressed overall. With the Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool, the brand tells us to expect better performance than their previous 18V multi-tool along with a few other improvements.


Pros

  • Much better cutting speeds
  • Adds tool-free blade changes
  • Replaces trigger with an on/off switch
  • Brushless motor
  • Lightweight design
  • Comfortable handle design for cutting with the tool upright

Cons

  • Stop-bar can be a little tricky on sanding pads
  • Handle ergonomics are lost when you have to hold the tool at a different angle

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Performance

The Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool features a brushless motor that the company says improves the tool’s cutting speeds by up to 30% when compared to the last iteration of the 18V multi-tool, the P343.

Considering both tools have a 10,000 – 20,000 OPM rate, you might expect them to have similar performance. It’s the oscillating angle that makes the difference. The old version just had 3° of oscillating travel while the HP Brushless shifts to 3.6°. That’s the same angle many popular Pro models use.

Making a few test cuts, the difference was obvious. Digging a little deeper, we ran it through door jamb undercuts, drywall cutouts, popping nails holding trim in place, removing grout, and sanding.

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Cutting Drywall

Over the course of those applications, Ryobi proved that it has boosted its performance significantly. The best premium models still cut faster, but the cutting speeds we’re seeing put Ryobi on a much more relevant level than it has been.


Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Removing Grout

The vibration control is about the same that we felt in the last model. It’s not as smooth as Milwaukee and Fein are, but it’s also not vibrating our fingernails off the way a few other models do.

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Design and Features

Handle Design

Ryobi sticks with the up angled handle we saw on the previous model and it’s a double-edged sword. They improved the overall comfort and it fits nicely in your hand when you’re cutting with the tool in an upright position.

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool grip

That changes when you need to hold it at a different angle, though. We find that finding a completely different grip is usually more comfortable.

Variable Speed Dial

The Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool, like the P343B, also features a variable speed dial to set your speed. Thanks to an on/off switch instead of a trigger with a lock-on button, there’s no longer a “0” setting. That change away from a trigger to a switch is one that we appreciate.

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Speed Dial

Blade Changes

Another major improvement involves the accessory change. The old model required a hex key to change out blades and accessories. Instead of that tired, old system, the Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool features a tool-free blade change. Simply pull up on the release, slide the metal stop-bar over, and flip it up.

There are a couple of quirks with the design, though. If the stop-bar pushed out another couple of millimeters, you could swap accessories with a rear cutout without having to flip it around.

Because the action requires you to both slide and pivot, it can be a little trick when you’re changing to or from a sanding pad where it recesses in. Ridgid’s design that simply pivots from the center is a bit easier there.

LED Light

The Ryobi HP Oscillating Multi-Tool also features a little brighter LED light to keep your project lit up while you’re working. This isn’t a marked improvement over the last multi-tool, but we’re happy it’s here nonetheless.

Ryobi Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Quick Comparision

HP Brushless
PBLMT50B
18V One+
P343B
Motor18V Brushless18V Brushed
OPM10,000 – 20,000 OPM10,000 – 20,000 OPM
Angle of Oscillation3.6º3.0°
Blade ChangeTool-freeRequires hex wrench
Variable Speed DialYesYes
Power SwitchSlide-on switchTrigger with lock-on button
Length11.7 in11.7 in
Bare Weight1.9 lbs1.7 lbs
Bare Tool Price$99$49

Pricing and Availability

You can pick up the Ryobi HP Oscillating Multi-Tool exclusively from the Home Depot. It is available as a bare tool for $99. While you’ll have to buy your battery and charger separately, you do get a few accessories with it. It comes with a plunge cut blade, flush cut blade, sanding pad, and 3 pieces of sandpaper. It also comes with a 3-year warranty.

The Bottom Line

While it retains the same basic look as the previous model, the Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool is a big step forward in both performance and design. There’s still some room to grow, of course, but we’re very pleased with this model’s improvements.

Ryobi HP Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Specs

  • Model: Ryobi PBLMT50B
  • Motor: 18V Brushless
  • Oscillations per Minute: 10,000 – 20,000 OPM
  • Oscillation Arc Range: 3.6º
  • Accessory Change System: Tool Free
  • Variable Speed: Yes
  • Length: 11.7 in.
  • Bare Weight: 1.9 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Bare Tool Price: $99

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Nick

Can you tell me a how it compares to the older P340, the one with the interchangeable jobmax head? I have it, and am unimpressed, but I don’t have a great frame of reference for it.

Multifuel

I’m an advocate of the Ryobi brushless line up of tools. I’m a professional and use them a bit daily not a lot, but for my bath remodeling we use them daily and they hold up, deliver and batteries are affordable. While I’m certain the other big names can out perform them they are also more cost and definitely more desirable to “opportunities” of losing them. Like Craftsman tools back in the day- almost as good as snap on or Mac, and totally competent for light to medium professional usage. They get the job done everytime and at reasonable costs.

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