Ryobi 6pc Lithium+ Ultimate Combo Kit

An all inclusive power tool kit for the hobbyist woodworker and avid DIYer - well appointed, well priced.

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Ryobi 6pc Lithium+ Ultimate Combo Kit



For hobbyist woodworkers, DIYers, and home owners looking to buy a first set of power tools, a combination tool kit generally offers much better value than purchasing individual tools, even though you'll put out more money upfront for the kit, and may not use all the power tools right away. Most kits include these four tools - drill driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and work light - along with one or two batteries, a battery charger, and a storage bag of some kind. Unless you plan on doing major renovations, or building a new structure (garage or workshop for instance), I recommend buying a consumer grade kit that comes with a decent (minimum 3-year) tool warranty. 

The Ryobi P884 contains a good assortment of power tools at a very attractive price. You get a 1/2" drill driver, 1/4" impact driver, 5-1/2" circular saw, reciprocating saw, multi-tool, and flashlight for $349. This works out to an average of $70 a tool, excluding the flashlight, batteries, and charger. Add these three items in, and the average price plummets to $44. Plus you get a 3 year warranty.

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Large storage bag 
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On-board fuel gauge
The P884 comes with a tool bag, large enough to hold all the tools plus a whack of accessories. However, it doesn't have any internal dividers or pockets to help you organize the gear. Still, it's useful for toting the tools about the house or garage, and it keeps everything together for easy access.

The tools in this kit are powered by a Lithium+ 18-Volt 1.5 Ah P107 battery. You get two batteries with the kit, which is not a bad deal, as replacement batteries are priced at $69.99. You can also purchase an optional 4 Ah high capacity version of this battery, the P108, which retails for $99. The P108 will give you at least twice the run time between battery charges. Ryobi's Lithium+ batteries have an on-board fuel gauge, which I find very convenient. Just press a button to get a good idea of how much energy is still in the battery. You also get the P117 dual chemistry charger that will recharge the P107 battery in about 30 minutes. What's nice about this charger is that you can store the battery right on the charger, without risk of the battery becoming overcharged. For more information on these batteries read our review: Ryobi ONE+ Batteries.


P208 Drill

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At just over 3-1/2 pounds the P208 is reasonably light and well balanced in the hand. It delivers a maximum 350 ft/lbs of torque - sufficient for most home maintenance drilling and driving tasks. The two speed gear train has a low setting (0 to 440 RPM) for when you need more torque than speed - fox example, setting screws, driving bolts, drilling holes in metal, or tightening nuts. The high setting (0 to 1,600 RPM) is for when you want more speed but lower torque. You'll use this setting when drilling holes in wood. The 24 position clutch enables you to set the level at which the clutch will disengage the drive shaft, allowing the motor to turn but not the chuck, so that you don't strip screw heads or drive them too deep.

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Metal collar on the tip of the chuck
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Protective overmold at the back
Most of the dings that a drill encounters will be at the tip of the chuck. On the P208 there is a metal collar that protects the chuck.

A textured rubber overmold covers much of the handle, enhancing your grip, and extends around the back of the drill, adding some protection if you inadvertently knock the back of the drill. 

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Level bubble increases drilling accuracy
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Magnetic tray and bit holder
If you don't use a drill very often it can be somewhat challenging to align the drill so that you get a straight hole. The bubble on the top back of the drill helps you line up the drill bit so that it's perpendicular to the surface you're drilling into. With a little practice, and some patience, it's easy enough to get the bubble somewhat centered between the guide lines. 

At the base of the drill is a bit holder (the kit comes with a Phillips #2 drive bit), and a magnetic tray, on which you can store a few screws (if they're fairly long), and a lot of screws (if they're fairly small).


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Convenient LED light 

On the base of the drill, next to the bit holder, is an LED work light. Most drills have the light just below the chuck (above the trigger). I think a bottom mounted LED does a better job of lighting up the work area you're drilling or screwing into. I find that the shadow above the drill or driver bit is less obstructive. 

I found that the P208 had sufficient power to easily sink 2-1/2" screws into dimensional lumber without predrilling holes. It also make quick work of drilling 2" diameter holes through plywood with a hole saw.


P230 Impact Driver


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Delivering a respectful 1,600 in/lbs of torque, the P230 has all the power that you'll need to sink the largest lag screws or tighten up the largest bolts around your home. It's the ideal tool for heavy duty screw driving. Having this tool will almost want to make you build a patio or gazebo. While it's a bit heavier than the P208 drill, it's equally well balanced and comfortable to use. The auto-load chuck is very convenient, as you don't need to pull the chuck collar out with one hand and push the bit in with the other hand. Instead, you simply push the bit into the chuck. When you pull the chuck collar backwards it shoots the bit forward out of the chuck. Very nice.

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Auto load/auto eject chuck
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Triple LED work lights
Like the drill, the P230 has a bit holder and magnetic tray on the base. Oddly, it comes with a 3/8" socket adapter, but no sockets. You'll want to use impact rated drill and driver bits with the P230, as any impact driver delivers enough torque to deform or break a standard driver bit. You can, of course, use impact accessories with the drill. 

On the P230 there are three high intensity LED lights surrounding the chuck that really light up your work - particularly when working in areas that aren't well illuminated - under the sink, in a crawl space, up in the attic.

Sinking #10 3-1/2" deck screws into dimensional lumber was a piece of cake, while iInstalling 6" lag screws was just as easy.


P506 Circular Saw

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The 5-1/2" blade on this compact circular saw gives a maximum 1-9/16" cutting depth, enough to zip through a 2 by 4. And, you can make a bevel cut of 1-1/8" at 45-degrees. At just over 5-1/2 pounds it's light enough to use one-handed. The blade guard and handle are made of plastic, so you want to be careful about dropping the saw on a hard surface - particularly concrete. At least the base plate, which is subject to a lot of wear and tear, is made of steel. The plastic bevel and height adjustment knobs are large enough to be easily grasped and turned. I also like that this saw has an electric brake that stops the blade within three or four seconds of removing your finger from the trigger.

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Easy reach blade lock button
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Height adjustment scale
Changing the blade is quite easy. The wrench stores right on the saw, and a blade lock button immobilizes the blade while you remove the blade locking screw. There is a height adjustment scale at the back of the saw, but I found it somewhat difficult to read the scale. It's just as quick and easy to use a ruler or tape measure to set the blade projection. 

The saw comes with an 18-tooth carbide blade with super thin teeth - only 1/16" wide, which gives more cuts per battery charge. It's a good general purpose blade for use on dimensional lumber and sheet stock. 5-1/2" blades aren't overly expensive, so it's a good idea to purchase a couple when they come on sale, and replace a worn blade as soon as you notice a decrease in cut quality.

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Easy bevel adjustment
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Laser guided cutting
The bevel scale is virtually unreadable in all but optimal lighting, but to be fair, this is common to just about every circular saw, even on the contractor grade saws.

The P506 does have an excellent laser guide, and the bright red line really makes it much easier to follow a cut line. The laser lined up perfectly with the guide line on the front edge of the saw.

There is a slot for attaching an optional rip fence, which you can purchase at any hardware store. Just about any T-style rip fence will work with this saw. 

While you can make quick work of crosscutting 2" dimensional lumber with this saw, I found it really shines at processing sheet goods. 


P514 Reciprocating Saw

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A recip saw is likely to get less use than a circular saw, as it's primarily a demolition tool. Still, it's convenient to have one on hand for cutting PVC piping, narrow tree branches, nails that you can't remove with a hammer, dimensional lumber, and the like. The saw comes with two blades, one for wood, and one for metal. Again, I'd advise purchasing a few spare blades to keep on hand.

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Pivoting foot and blade clamp lever
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On-board tool storage
The foot at the front of the saw pivots, making it easier to stabilize the saw in use. You can extend the foot out about a 1/2" by loosening a nut on the side of the shoe assembly. The hex key for this is stored on the side of the saw.

The P514 features tool-free blade installation and removal. Lift the blade clamp lever, slip the blade into the end of the saw, and push the lever back down. To remove the blade you just reverse the process. Recip blades can become very hot in use, so avoid touching them with your hands. The blade won't pop out of the blade holder as the bit does on the P230 impact driver, so just shake the recip saw with the business end pointing to the ground, and the blade should fall out.

Recip saws have to be treated more carefully than other power tools because the blade is unprotected. So, to start the saw you need to depress a lock-off button with your thumb, and then pull on the trigger. Once you release the trigger the lock-off button engages again. You might think of it as an annoyance, but it's a good safety feature.

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Anti vibration handle

Recip saws vibrate quite a bit in use, and manufacturers have different ways of reducing vibration. Ryobi's AntiVibe system is essentially a flexible rubber collar that separates the top of the handle from the main body of the saw. I think that it has some effect on reducing vibration - it's certainly smoother to use than some other consumer grade recip saws I've tried. You'll also find that wearing thick work gloves helps absorb some vibration.


P246 Job Plus Base/P570 Multi-Tool Head

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Multi-tools (also called oscillating tools) are among the handiest tools for home or shop use. They operate by high-speed oscillation rather than rotating or reciprocating motion. Rotating motion follows a circular path (think of the circular saw), reciprocating motion moves forward and backward, or up and down (like the reciprocating saw), while oscillating motion moves in a side-to-side, arced motion, like a clock pendulum. A big advantage of oscillating motion is that it's very smooth running - there is very little vibration, virtually no possibility of tool kick-back, and no need to apply downward force on the tool, as you often do when using an angle grinder or random orbital sander.These tools are ideal for precise work, such as sanding into tight corners or making intricate saw cuts. But, with the appropriate accessories you can also do aggressive work - removing grout, scraping paint, cutting door jambs and the like.



Most multi-tools are a single unit - that is, the head is attached to the base. The Ryobi multi-tool consists of two parts, the Job Plus Base (P246) which is essentially the motor housing, and the multi-tool head (P570) that attaches to the base. This design enables Ryobi to increase the functionality of the tool, by adding other types of heads in the future. In the meantime, you can use any of the Ridgid heads with the P246.

The P246 delivers up to 20,000 oscillations per minute and the variable speed trigger enables you to adjust the oscillating speed easily. At the base of the handle there is a magnetic tray, and just above the trigger is an LED work light.

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P246 drive gear with rubber cap
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P570 spline shaft 
At the top of the P246 is a metal drive gear that is covered with a rubber cap. This drive gear connects to a corresponding spline shaft on the P570 head.

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Head attaches easily to base

Attaching the head to the base is just a matter of pushing the two components together. To remove the head you depress tabs on the side of the base. 

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P570 mounting shoe
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Shoe locking screw
The various accessories that you use with the P570 (sanding head, various cutting blades) fit onto a mounting shoe. A locking screw attaches the various accessories (sanding head, saw blade) onto the mounting shoe by means of a hex key. This is the only tool in this kit where there is no on-board storage for the kex key.

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Teeth on the accessoires connect to the mounting shoe

A series of teeth on the accessories enable it to be attached to the mounting shoe at 360-degree intervals. This is a very convenient feature when you need to work the sanding head or saw blade in tight spaces. 

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Universal adapter stores in base
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LED work light
The P570 comes with an adapter that you place on the mounting shoe - this enables you to use multi-tool accessories from other manufacturers. A nice touch is that the adapter stores in the base of the P246.

The LED work light is reasonably bright, and is helpful when using the multi-tool in confined and dimly lit spaces.

The P570 comes with a triangular sanding pad, a sample of hook and look sand paper, a segmented blade, and a flush cut blade. There are lots of other accessories you can purchase to go with the multi-tool, including scraper blades, rasp blades, and a variety of saw blades. The sanding pad is one of my favourite accessories. I find it very useful for just about any kind of detail sanding job, particularly in tight corners, on narrow edges, and in difficult-to-reach areas. Sanding paper is available in grits from P36 to P500 to cover all you sanding needs.


P704 Work Light

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Just about every combo kit seems to come with a flashlight. The P704 work light uses a replaceable incandescent bulb rather than an LED. Still, it generates150 lumens up to a distance of 50 feet. At about 20 feet distance the beam is four feet across. 

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Convenient swivel head

The head swivels 180-degrees to each side so you can easily direct the light just where you need illumination. There's even a little slot on the back handle so that you can hang the light on a screw or nail embedded in the wall.

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150 lumens up to 50 feet

I found the light to be quite bright, and on a single battery charge I was able to get about 2-1/2 hours of continuous illumination. Not too shabby.


Conclusion

The Ryobi P884 combo kit isn't designed to withstand the rigors of job site use, but it certainly can handle just about any job that the average home owner will want to tackle. It has all the power tools that every home owner should have on hand. The tools are compact in size, light in weight, and well balanced. You get two dependable batteries that deliver a much longer run time than older style Ni-Cd batteries, and a 30-minute charger. This is a well appointed, well priced combo kit that will provide years of reliable service.


KEY FEATURES:

P208 Drill
  • Torque: 350 in/lbs.
  • Speed: 0 - 440 / 0 - 1,600 RPM (No Load Speed)
  • Chuck: 1/2" Heavy Duty
  • Clutch: 24 Positions
  • LED light
  • Magnetic tray
  • Top-mounted level bubble
  • Weight: 3 lbs 11 oz (with battery)
P230 Impact Driver
  • Torque: 1,600 in/lbs.
  • Speed: 0 - 3,200 RPM (No Load Speed)
  • Chuck: 1/4" Coupler
  • Triple beam LED light
  • Magnetic tray
  • Auto load chuck
  • Weight: 4 lbs 10.5 oz (with battery)
P506 Circular Saw
  • Blade Size: 5-1/2"
  • Arbor Size: 10mm
  • Speed: 4,700 RPM (No Load)
  • Depth of Cut: @0⁰ 1-9/16", @45⁰ 1-1/8"
  • ExactLine laser
  • Spindle lock
  • On-board wrench storage
  • Weight: 5 lbs 11 oz (with battery)
P514 Reciprocating Saw
  • Blade Stroke: 7/8"
  • Speed: 0 - 3,100 SPM (No Load)
  • Anti vibration handle
  • Adjustable pivoting shoe
  • Toolless blade change
  • Weight: 5 lbs 1 oz (with battery)
P246 JobPlus Base with P570 Multi-tool Head
  • Speed: 0 - 20,000 OPM (No Load)
  • LED light
  • Magnetic tray
  • On-board adaptor storage
  • Weight: 3 lbs 2.5 oz (with battery)
P704 Work Light
  • Pivoting head
  • 150 lumens
  • 50 foot beam distance
  • Replaceable incandescent bulb
  • Weight: 1 lb 9 oz (with battery)
Kit Includes:
(2) P107 18V compact lithium-ion batteries; P117 dual chemistry charger; (2) recip saw blades; wood/metal and segment blades; 5-1/2" 18-tooth carbide circ saw blade; sanding pad; 5 pieces sandpaper; Allen wrench; universal multi-tool accessory adaptor; tool bag; operator’s manuals.

Warranty:
3 years


COMPANY:Ryobi
MODEL:P884
PRICE:$349 (on sale now for $299)
MADE IN:China
SOURCE:Home Depot
Carl Duguay, December 2013
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