Tool Review: Ryobi cordless miter saw—36 volts of power and performance

Tool review in two-sentences: Ryobi’s 36-volt 10-inch sliding brushless cordless miter saw is a dialed-in DIY machine. It’s accurate, powerful and fully-featured. Now here’s some nitty and some gritty if you want it(ty).

cordless miter saw

This Ryobi-ster—all 36-volts and 10-inch slide capacity—is awesome.

We’re part of The Home Depot’s ProSpective Program and worked with Big Orange on this blog. The ideas, opinions and observations are 100% MyFixitUpLife’s. For more specs or to buy the Ryobi cordless miter saw I review below, click the link.
cordless miter saw

Battery exchange on this cordless miter saw is refreshingly easy.

Batteries & Price. Ryobi’s 10-inch sliding compound miter saw runs on 2-batteries to deliver its 36-amps of power. This unit is on the OnePlus program which means the unit I got ships without batteries. This is great if you’re already in the system—no new batteries to buy. And not really that bad if you’re looking to get into the system. Even if you have to buy the batteries to get started you’re still into a good saw for a good price.

Also, it’s recommended to run the unit on 4-amp hour (big) batteries but if you have a smattering of sizes like I do, you can mix and match.

Power. The power is up there. Like way up there. Impressed. For this raised garden bed project I did, I made most of the cuts in heavy-up pressure treated 2×10 and the Ryob-ster sailed through a zillion cuts. I also cut 2×4, shiplap molding and 2×6 cedar. It performed admirably power-wise.

Performance. I’ve been writing tool reviews for a long time and just now I’m thinking of this: “Performance” is everything that’s not “power”. For a cordless miter saw that means everything from accuracy out of the box to adjustments to “feel”. I’ll try and tidy that up in a few little paragraphs. Here we go.

The saw feels GREAT. With a cordless, brushless motor it is yank-it-off-the-floor light compared to other DC units I’ve owned. The carry handle is sweet and the horizontal D-handle matches the way I grab onto the tool to work.

cordless miter saw

What’s the best kind of blade guard for a miter saw? A louvered blade guard. This one has it.

The louvered guard is sensational. I’m not sure how they worked out how to get that on there, but it is terrific. Clear plastic guards cake up with debris. Tinted plastic guards are tinted and cake up with debris. This guard is clear and makes it easy to see the cut line.

The unit was accurate out of the box and remained so—a big plus for DIY where probably the last thing you want to deal with is an out-of-true cordless miter saw. Or even know to check. DIYers have an uphill battle sometimes.

The bevel and miter adjustments are last generation, but so am I. They work great and are easy to operate.

cordless miter saw

Dust collection awesomeness: Level 1000. Selfie-worthy!

The slide action is a tiny bit choppy. Unless you have something to compare it to, you may never notice. The dust collection—borrowed from big brother Ridgid—is tip-top-notch. The fence is tall enough for crown molding (watch video) and other trim jobs and the cut capacity terrific. I doubt there’s many a DIYer that’ll exceed that cut capacity.

Minor Complaints. It’s little surprise the included blade is chincy. To keep the price down and the features up, this is a sensible place to skimp. It works, but it’s loud.

cordless miter saw

Lasers are almost awesome. But then, not really.

There’s a laser. The problem with lasers—at least for me—is I forget what they signify. Is it left of the blade? Right of the blade? I already forget. What I’d suggest instead is to scrap the laser, fall back in love with the louvered guard which negates the need for a laser, and slam a better blade on there.

The “soft-start” feature works OK. It’s nicer than a blade that’s instantly whirring a million RPM. The blade brake is nice too. It’s abrupt, but nice to have.

Even though I may have my pro-card punched, this thing would make it on some pro jobsites.

Worth it? Yes.

Cost: $249.

Want more cordless miter saw? You know what tool do.

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