Awesome tools can sure come in small packages. This 18 Volt Compact Blower from Ryobi is no exception. When I first unboxed this little guy I actually laughed out loud because it’s just so darn cute. Once I got to using it, I started to realize that this little thing definitely has its place in a shop or job site environment.
This is the type of tool you might not think of as a “must have” in the shop but damn is this thing handy. First thing’s first – this is NOT a leaf blower. Yes it will certainly move some minor leaf loads off the patio but it is not the kind of thing you would expect to take care of a back yard fall leaf collection.
In the shop, this tool really shines when doing general or detailed clean up. I know in my case, saw dust is getting all over everything right now since I do not have a bonafide dust collection system running like I did in the old one. Which reminds me, at my last place I turned a one stage Harbor Freight special in to a two stage DC system for nearly nothing – if you’re interested, check it out here…it’s a super fun and inexpensive means of getting good dust collection in your shop.
Back to the blower…..So since the DC is sub-par at the moment I’m constantly cleaning up saw dust. This little booger is able to blow out loads of dust and chips from small inaccessible areas.
With a 1.3 Ah battery installed, this unit is a featherweight at 3.7 lbs. It has 3 different speed setting that are at the top of the pistol grip and easy to control with the right or the left hand. I’m impressed that Ryobi chose to make the trigger constantly variable. Much like the old rheostat controllers of slot cars, the more you squeeze the trigger on this blower, the faster the motor spins.
The other thing I really like about this package is the rubber nozzle. It’s basically a silicone rubber tube that has a plastic collar on the end that engages to the blower output. Since it’s soft rubber, I don’t have to worry about the tip damaging whatever I happen to run it into while blowing the shop out.
I think the target market for this blower is really much wider than one would imagine. Since I’ve unboxed it, I have found a number of little things around the house it works pretty well for in addition to just general cleanup in the shop.
The only thing I can see that works against it is that it doesn’t like to sit down on the counter very well. Unlike a drill that rests naturally on the battery, this unit is basically unbalanced to the point that it tips to one side when you set it down. That’s really a trivial detail but I thought it was worth mentioning.
If you’re already in the Ryobi 18 volt family then this little guy will be an easy family member to bring on board. Otherwise you’ll be on the hook to buy a battery and charger. The tool alone retails for about fifty bucks and is well worth it in my opinion.
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