I wanted to give an honest review of some of the aftermarket cheap Ryobi batteries that have been available online for a few years now. In the past, they were made cheap and had substandard low capacity lithium-ion batteries in them.
So I thought I would buy a few and open them up to see if the quality is up to spec now with the real genuine Ryobi 18v One + batteries.
I was quite surprised that these aftermarket batteries are actually very good. The safety circuit is well made. The lithium-ion batteries are at the correct capacity, and the price is cheap.
Ryobi markup is in their batteries. They can be quite expensive if you don’t get them on sale. But for the home handyman, you can’t go past the huge range of 18v cordless tools.
Table of Contents
- 1 Teardown of the Aftermarket Ryobi Battery
- 2 Testing Aftermarket 4Ah Ryobi Batteries
- 3 Aftermarket Cheap Ryobi Battery vs Genuine
- 4 Best aftermarket cheap Ryobi battery 18v
- 5 How to work out the capacity of Ryobi battery packs?
- 6 Ryobi battery replacement symptoms
- 7 Conclusion
Teardown of the Aftermarket Ryobi Battery
So the quest was on to find how the cheap aftermarket batteries compare to the genuine Ryobi 18v batteries. The only way to do this was to open them up and do a full capacity run down.
I used a Torx T10 bit to and a power drill to remove the 5 screws that is holding the battery pack together. There are 4 screws in the base and 1 in the power leg.
Once all the screws are out you can lift off the battery termainal cover. Now you can lift out the two locking tabs on the side of the battery. The battery pack will now lift out.
Testing Aftermarket 4Ah Ryobi Batteries
The 4Ah Ryobi clone battery is an average size that will work well for all their tools. It has enough capacity to run a blower or circular saw at a high discharge rate.
Leaf Blower Runtime Test
For this test, I used my Ryobi 18v Generation 1 leaf blower and a pair of 4Ah batteries. Specs: Blower CBL1802, 190km/h air velocity.
- Ryobi Genuine Battery 4Ah: Runtime 15m 46 seconds.
- Ryobi Clone Battery 4Ah: 16minutes 17 seconds
Now my genuine Ryobi battery is a year old and has had around 30 battery charge cycles on it so I am not surprised that it is a slightly lower capacity.
What is great that the aftermarket Ryobi clone battery is actually at its rated capacity. This means that they are not using low capacity cells.
Now be aware that the newer Ryobi leaf blowers have better airflow and longer runtimes due to better engineering. Your results may vary depending on the version and power of your leaf blower.
Aftermarket Cheap Ryobi Battery vs Genuine
Pros for the Genuine Ryobi 18v One + Battery
- Made to a strict quality standard
- Guaranteed battery capacity
- Genuine lithium-ion cells
- Rubber bump stops
- Rugged plastic housing
- Protection from short circuit, overheating, overcharging, over-discharge.
Genuine Battery Cons
- Price – Expensive
- Limited resellers
Pros for the Aftermarket Ryobi 18v battery
- Cheap price
- Good capacity
- Fits well
- Internal circuit board well made
- Protection from short circuit, overheating, overcharging, over-discharge.
- No rubber bump stops
- Cheap ABS plastic
- No user information on the bottom of the battery.
Best aftermarket cheap Ryobi battery 18v
Now I have seen a whole range of different aftermarket batteries out there in the workforce. The brands I have come across are:
I’m sure there may be other brands but these are the best out there at the moment that doesn’t compromise on safety and battery capacity. It’s up to you the capacity that you need.
I do like the option of having a few light slimline 18v One+ batteries and a few high capacity ones.
This way if you only need to do some basic drilling, a light battery will do the job just as well as a heavy high capacity one.
Are aftermarket Ryobi batteries any good?
Yes, lithium battery technology has come along way in the past few years. Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer. As long as you treat the batteries well like keeping them out of direct sunlight and the rain they will last for many years.
I would like to see rubber gaskets and bump stops on these batteries as that would make them perfect.
Ryobi battery contacts
Most Ryobi batteries have 4 or 5 contacts on them. The 3 that are on the battery leg are for main power, the other two that are on the body are for the battery management system (BMS).
Make sure that the power leg contacts are free from dirt and pit marks. The charging BMS pins should be clean and not damaged. If there is an issue with any of the 5 pins your battery may not charge or work properly.
On some of my aftermarket clone batteries, they only have one BMS contact point. They still run and charge just as well as the genuine ones.
How to work out the capacity of Ryobi battery packs?
So to work out if the capacity is correct we can do a quick calculation. This battery pack has 5 cells in series and 2 parallel. 3,6V*5cells=18V. Each battery is 2000mAh.
So at 18v and two rows in parallel, you will get 4000mAh or 4Ah battery packs. The data sheet on the battery cells is correct.
The slimline Ryobi battery packs will only have 5 lithium 18650 batteries in series. These are typically 2Ah up to 3Ah battery packs.
The double capacity or parallel Ryobi battery packs tend to be 4-6Ah in size.
But the much larger 3-row parallel battery packs tend to come in at 9AH. Considering the cheap Ryobi 9Ah Clone battery pack is often 1/2 the price or more of the Genuine Ryobi 9Ah Battery pack. Why wouldn’t you go for the cheaper version with similar specifications?
The sky is the limit on the overall capacity of Ryobi batteries. They will just get bigger, taller, and heavier. Check out this full Ryobi battery compatibility chart for all of their tools.
Ryobi battery replacement symptoms
Now it is always good to replace your 18v battery is it has any of the following symptoms:
- Low capacity runtime
- Not charging properly
- Flashing red light in the charger
- Discharging while out of the tool
- Swelling of the battery pack
- Distortion of the battery housing
- Cracks or burn marks in the plastic
- Low power delivery
- Only charges for a few seconds/minutes
- Left in the rain
Sometimes you can resurrect these Ryobi 18v batteries by doing something called a jump start. I won’t cover it here as it is quite involved, but this post here explains the process of how to fix a Ryobi battery that won’t charge properly.
Lithium-ion cells are the future for our generation. Electric cars, Drones, Laptops, and power tools all have these batteries. The technology is growing fast with Lithium-ion batteries being pumped out in the millions every year.
With manufacturing like the Giga factory producing lithium-ion cells at roughly 20 GWh our future is secured. It is the highest-volume lithium battery plant in the world. I’m sure the price of these batteries will come down fast.
If you are looking to get a few more cheap Ryobi knock-off batteries then don’t disregard these clones. They are well made and will surely save you some money.
I tend to just glue on some rubber on the base of the batteries to give it a soft base. If they can just add this to each battery they would be perfect.
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, and Boats so writing about them is easy.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.
The biggest issue i have with the generic Chinese packs is you have no assurance they will have the same BMS board or cells in them even if you buy the same brand again later, and the cells might even be used/recycled so whatever they start out at, may decrease in available capacity faster.
Plus, I don’t find genuine Ryobi batteries expensive at all, rather one of the best values out there in the major brand cordless tool space when you can get two 4Ah at Home Depot for $80 on sale (every other week, not a rare sale).