Just like little kids, the Ryobi reps at this summer’s tool conference couldn’t wait for Christmas. That’s when they plan to rollout their newest tool combination, the Ryobi Six Pack.
In fact, they were so excited about the Six Pack that, even though they didn’t have a price point yet or any information about it in the press packs, Dave Bruce, Ryobi’s director of Home Depot sales, begged and pleaded for permission to bring the Six Pack out of its secret hiding place and show it off to the assembled press.
With an amusing reluctance that fooled absolutely no one, the Ryobi higher-ups granted permission, and those of us in the room got to be the first outsiders to open the Six Pack.
It was enough to make grown editors squeal.
While the 18-volt cordless tools set contained in the Six Pack (hey, what’d you think was in it?) are standard woodworking tools – a compound miter saw, a rotary cutting tool, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw, a drill/driver and a flashlight – the packaging is, as the Ryobi reps said, revolutionary. It is, in essence, a shop in a box.
All six tools store within a 21″ wide x 20″ deep x 29″ high roll-around storage case, which weighs 77 pounds when fully loaded but felt suprisingly light when I rolled it around by the retractable handle — which locks in the upright position for transport. When everything is stowed away, the miter saw hangs upside-down inside the top of the case. When you’re ready to use it, you can flip the top over and lock it down on top of the carrying case with the miter saw on the outside, all set up and ready to go; or you can leave the miter saw attached to the platform and take the platform off the case to lie flat on the floor so you can make your way around the room doing moldings; or you can take the miter saw off its platform altogether and use it wherever you want.
Both the 18 volt, 8 1/4″ compound miter saw and the 18-volt Speed Saw – a cutout tool which replaces a hand saw or jigsaw -contained in the Six-Pack are new entries into the market for Ryobi. The compound miter saw comes with a thin-kerf 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade and has positive stops at seven common cutting angles, while the 26,000 rpm Speed Saw, which accepts bits for cutting a variety of materials, has a 1″ depth of cut and comes with a circle-cutting guide.
Features on the other tools include toolless blade change and an electric brake on the 3,000 strokes per minute reciprocating saw; left-side blade design for cut line visibility on the 4,200 rpm cordless circular saw with its 50 degree bevel capacity; and the battery-housing mounted MagTray* (for holding bits and screws) and built-in levels on the drill/driver.
Each of these tools have their own storage spots within the case, too, in slide-out drawers that also contain the three batteries and diagnostic charger which come with the Six Pack. And, as you acquire more drill bits and accessories, there are slots for them within the drop-down front door … a place for everything and everything in its place: even, if you take the Six Pack with you to a job site, a place for padlocks.
The cost for a full Six Pack is $399. It will be available at Home Depot this fall, which means Santa must have granted Ryobi’s wish early this year: the Six Pack in stores in time for Christmas shopping.