Ryobi’s new Tek4 line of 4V lithium-ion products spans a range from measurement to safety to portable power backup. All tools share the same 4V rechargeable power source and sport an industrial look with Ryobi’s new signature green color adorning each of the dark-gray colored tools as trim. Since all of the new Tek4 tools use the same Li-ion 4V battery (AP4001), delivering over 200 charges and longer-life than what you can get with standard Alkalines.
We requested the entire Tek4 lineup from Ryobi so we could wrap our hands around each tool and take a look at what makes this assortment of new 4V lithium-ion tools so unique in the marketplace. Our approach will be to dissect each tool to give you an idea of how it performed and what is possible with each product.
The Ryobi Tek4 system includes a myriad of tools that definitely favor journeymen and even the real estate industry – spanning electricians, air mechanical installers, inspectors, agents, estimators and more. While we are including an overview here, the we’ve also given each tool a dedicated review:
- RP4200 Ryobi Tek4 8MP Digital Camera Review
- RP4010 Ryobi Tek4 Professional Laser Distance Measure Review
- RP4030 Ryobi Tek4 Professional Infrared Thermometer Review
- RP4530 Ryobi Tek4 Noise Suppression Headphones Review
- RP4300 Ryobi Tek4 Motion Sensing Alarm Review
- RP4020 Ryobi Tek4 Professional Digital Multimeter Review
- RP4000 Ryobi Tek4 Self Leveling Plumb/Cross Laser Review
- RP4900 Ryobi Tek4 Portable USB Power Source Review
- RP4310 Ryobi Tek4 Digital Key Lock Box Review
- RP4400 Ryobi Tek4 High Intensity LED Flashlight Review
- RP4700 Ryobi Tek4 4V Standard Charger Review
Of the tools above, we really felt that the 8MP Camera, Laser Distance Measure, Infrared Thermometer, Noise Suppression Headphones, Self-Leveling Plumb/Cross Laser, Digital Key Lock Box, and LED Flashlight were of particularly good value. In terms of sheer performance, the Laser Distance Measure, Self-leveling Plumb/Cross Laser, and Digital Lock Box stood out as excellent performers among their peers. Keep in mind that the potential value to consumers can go up when you factor in the 4V rechargeable battery in each of the tools. For those using multiple tools, the Tek4 system’s battery system becomes an even better strength.
What was unusual about the tools was the fact that the Ryobi Tek4 4V battery system didn’t work the same way in every tool. For example, the Camera, Thermometer, Headphones, USB Power Source, and Flashlight all carry a removable threaded cap. The remaining tools, though, all use a different method for holding the battery. This ranges from single screw doors, double screw hinged doors and even hidden latches where the battery can slide into place within a tool. It’s strange that all the tools dont’ use the same battery compartment, though it’s certainly not anything that affects the performance of the tools themselves.
The RP4700 4V Standard Charger, however, is the definite weak link in the Ryobi Tek4 line of tools. This is the charger that comes with each of the battery-wielding tools. While small and convenient, the charger takes FIVE HOURS to charge a completely spent battery. No joke. 5 hours, which is way too long in our opinion. Of the 12V and 18V tools we use the longest charge time we’ve seen is 60 minutes, and most 12V tools get done in around 30-40 minutes. Ryobi’s Dual Port Rapid Charger, available separately for $35, does the job in just 36 minutes – more in line with what we’ve come to expect from lithium-ion technology. Anyone using multiple Ryobi Tek4 tools will want to purchase this charger over the ones included with the individual tools.
The entire Tek4 line carries a 2 year limited warranty and is sold exclusively at Home Depot.
There is no question in my mind that the Ryobi Tek4 line has absolutely floored the market. They are especially appealing to those in the real estate, inspection and estimating fields and we can’t believe the overall value most of these tools deliver. About the only negative is the perplexingly long (5 hours!) recharge time for the 4V batteries. Even partial recharges averaged about 2.5-3 hours for us. You owe it to yourself to take a look at these tools in your local home improvement warehouse and see for yourself the diverse and impressive nature of these products.