If you are looking for a good selection of tools, high quality tools at decent prices, two brands you might be focusing on are WEN and Ryobi. Both are great brands, but of course they do have their differences. So, between WEN and Ryobi, which brand will you choose? Let’s do a side by side comparison.
A Brief History of WEN and Ryobi
First off, WEN is an American tool company that was founded back in 1951 by Nick Anton, with the headquarters of the company currently being in Elgin, Illinois, USA. What is really important to note is that the research and development team from WEN had a huge role to play in the development of many power tools. As the company itself states, WEN put the “power” into power tools.
The research and development team from WEN played a large role in the creation of various power tools including the chainsaw, the electric soldering gun, the electric jigsaw, the electric engraver, and knife and wet wheel sharpeners. WEN was also the first company to pioneer orbital technology.
The company started out by developing just a few products, but has since then expanded and now manufacturers and sells a very wide variety of tools and outdoor equipment. By 2001, it had sold over 50 million products. From what we have gathered, WEN is not a huge company. It directly employs somewhere around 90 to 100 people, and has estimated annual revenues of roughly 16 million USD.
On the other hand, we have Ryobi, a company founded by Yutaka Urakami in Japan, right in the middle of WWII in 1943. The company was called Ryobi Seisakusho Co., Ltd. in the beginning, and in its early days, it focused on making die cast products, and by 1961 began making full size printing presses, and in this same year, the company joined the Tokyo Stock Exchange, all thanks to its rapid expansion.
By 1968, the leaders of the company saw a huge void in the Japanese power tool market, which is why the company began producing a wide variety of power tools. By 1973, the brand changed its name simply to Ryobi, as we know it today.
What is important to note is that although Ryobi does own its line of power tools and outdoor equipment, they are both licensed out to Techtronic Industries, a very large Chinese company which manufactures the tools. Ryobi is a much larger company than WEN, having somewhere around 10,000 employees and estimated yearly revenues of 2.25 billion USD.
WEN vs. Ryobi: Which Offers Better Quality?
In terms of product quality, WEN is seen as being pretty decent, about average. What people have to say about WEN tools is that they feature a decent level of quality and durability, that they have OK power and performance, and that they are generally easy to use.
WEN markets its products mostly towards homeowners and DIY people, as well as for people who just want to do some basic repairs around the home. Now, some WEN tools may be acceptable for professional use, but only on a light basis.
Although WEN tools are good, they are generally not seen as being quite good enough for consistent and heavy duty use, or in other words, for a professional setting. That said, if you need basic and decent tools, and you don’t want to pay too much money for them, then WEN is a great way to go.
That said, people do seem to really like their outdoor tools, like their snowblowers, which may actually be ideal for professional use. In case you are wondering where WEN tools are made, they are made in China, although most agree that they are some of the better tools to come out of Chinese factories.
When it comes to Ryobi, the products are seen as being about on par with WEN products. They are seen as being fairly average, with some products being above average. Just like WEN, Ryobi products are made for light and occasional use, such as home repairs and DIY tasks.
They are lightweight, functional, comfortable, and durable enough. However, most would agree that these tools are not ideal for heavy duty professional use, as they may not be strong or durable enough for big tasks.
Moreover, also just like with WEN, Ryobi tools are sold at a decent price, which is why many people like them. In terms of where Ryobi products are made, they are manufactured mostly in China, although for Chinese tools, they are also seen as being fairly high quality. Although there is a single production plant in the USA, it makes accessories only, and none of the actual tools. When it comes down to it, the quality level of both brands is about the same.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Finding warranty info about WEN was not easy, but from what we can tell, it offers a 90-day or 500 hour warranty from the date of purchase that guarantees against defects. Most WEN products also come with a limited 2-year warranty.
All Ryobi power tools feature a 3-year warranty, as well as a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. Most of the hand tools feature limited lifetime warranties. The majority of outdoor equipment from Ryobi feature 5-year warranties. As you can see, Ryobi definitely offers the better warranties across the board.
WEN vs. Ryobi: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
When it comes down to it, just like with the quality, the product portfolios of both brands are pretty evenly stacked. Both brands produce a variety of power tools, compressors, and outdoor equipment. Which brand has a better selection depends on the exact product category in question.
That said, somewhere Ryobi excels is with its 18V One+ and 40V cordless tool systems that allow dozens, or even hundreds, of cordless tools to be used with the same battery. However, WEN produces many types of hydraulic cylinders, which Ryobi does not. Let’s move on and compare the selection in some specific product categories to give you a better idea of the product portfolios.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Drill Presses?
One category that WEN excels in when compared to Ryobi is in the drill press category. The Ryobi site currently has just one drill press available for sale, whereas the WEN site has eight.
Which Brand Offers a Better Selection of Bandsaws and Scroll Saws?
Ryobi, between benchtop and stationary bandsaws, has just a few products to offer whereas WEN has more. The selection for either brand is not huge, but WEN does appear to have a few more to choose from. The story is the same with scroll saws, where Ryobi has a couple of good options, and WEN has a couple more.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
Making a final recommendation here is very hard, as both brands feature about the same product quality, and depending on the category, about the same selection too. That said, WEN does seem to have a better selection of benchtop and stationary tools, particularly large saws, whereas Ryobi has great selections of drills and other similar tools. Moreover, Ryobi does also feature better warranties.
When all is said and done, both WEN and Ryobi are great brands for people who want tools with decent quality and decent prices. They are both fantastic brands for homeowners and DIYers.