Ryobi Generator Review: Are they worth it?

Ryobi Generator Review: Are they worth it?
3.84 | 32 votes

Ryobi is a big name in power tools, so how do Ryobi generators compare to the rest? We put them to the test. See our Ryobi generator review.

A well known manufacturer the world over, Ryobi should have a generator range right up there with the best of the generator brands… Shouldn’t they? Let’s see how their generators compare and provide an expert Ryobi Generator Review:

The Contenders

The two Ryobi inverter generators in Australia are:

  • Ryobi 1000i: 1000-watt petrol inverter generator
  • Ryobi 2000i: 2000-watt petrol inverter generator

They are made in China and whilst Ryobi is a recognised brand, their generators are considered more of a ‘budget’ option.

Ryobi 1000w Inverter Generator

Ryobi 1000w Inverter Generator

Availability

Well, we didn’t get off to a good start. For one thing, the two popular inverter generators are only available at Bunnings. Now, we know these guys are good with their timber and paint, but the chances of coming across a Bunnings staff member who knows the ins and outs of generators is slim.

Warranty

You get a two-year warranty with the Ryobi generators, while a premium brand like Yamaha gives you a solid 48 months warranty. A fellow budget option, Cromtechcomes with a one-year warranty.

Noise

According to the Ryobi Generator Review, this surprised us because Ryobi states that their automatic idle feature “reduces emitted noise”. But the second we fired them up it was clear that Ryobi generators are far too noisy for their size. Both the 1000-watt and 2000-watt Ryobi models have an earth-shattering 67 – 72dBA noise level range. Compare that to 50 decibels for the Yamaha 1000w inverter generator or 52 decibels for the Yamaha 2000w inverter generator. As a comparable budget generator option, the Cromtech 2400w inverter generator has a noise rating of 52-59dbA. For the record, a change in 10 decibels is approximately double noise level difference!

Weight

Both Ryobi generators weigh in at 23 kilograms each. For the 2000w generator, the Ryobi only weighs a couple of kilograms more than its counterparts (though every kilogram counts you’re carrying a generator to and from your car). But the Ryobi 1000w generator weighs almost double the Yamaha EF1000iS. That’s right, double! In case you were wondering, the Yamaha weighs a mere 12.7 kilograms and is currently the lightest 1000W portable generator you can buy.

Overall Value for Money

All in all, the result isn’t great for Ryobi. The 1000-watt model has a pricetag of around $550 – $600 and the 2000-watt model will set you back around $899 (prices slightly fluctuate throughout the year). However, it’s difficult to know what you’re actually getting for your money. After all, they aren’t good enough to be considered premium generators like the Yamaha, nor cheap enough to be considered a good enough value proposition like the Cromtech.

If you are looking for a budget friendly option, then a Cromtech Outback 2400w model ticks more boxes; its lighter then the Ryobi 2000w model and it puts out more power. It retails for around $900 (again, prices fluctuate). Not to mention that Cromtech Generators are backed by a national service network – Crommelins Australia back up the Cromtech generators with over 500 service agents around the country.

So why do the Ryobi gensets have relatively high sales? We can only put it down to their exposure on Bunnings’ shelves. In fairness, we also also wanted to mention that the Ryobi 2000w model does have two small features which provide some appeal; In-built wheels and extendable handle to help move around, and parallel connecting cables to join two units together and almost double the power output (similar to the Yamaha EF2000iS Twin Tech feature for example). These are probably secondary considerations to the main factors such as weight, warranty, noise and fuel efficiency, but nice additions none the less.

Our Final Word

For most people requiring clean, quiet portable power, a generator in the Yamaha range will get your job done and will last for many years to come…so we recommend you pay more for a Yamaha over a Ryobi; the Yamaha will be lighter, quieter and more fuel efficient. You will also get the benefit of a 4 year warranty and service support network of over several hundred accredited service agents.

Alternatively, if you are on a particularly tight budget and only intend to use your generator infrequently (e.g. reserve power on the occasional camping trip or for standby power in case of home blackout) then perhaps consider a Cromtech Generator – it has more going for it. You may also check out our Ryobi Generator Review for more information.

Cromtech is backed by a national service network

Cromtech is backed by a national service network

Another budget brand inverter generator made in China which also has a national Service Agent backing is Supaswift. These Supaswift generators are backed by All Power Industries and supported by the All Power nationwide Service Dealer and Spare Parts Network.

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Managing Director at My Generator
Sean is the co-founder and Managing Director of My Generator (mygenerator.com.au)
Sean Connolly

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Comments

  • Ron Hayes July 26, 2016, 3:43 am

    Your comments say that the Ryobi RIG 1000 weighs 23 kilos however, I have just purchased a Ryobi 1000 and the specs quote the weight as 14.4 kg. It certainly is not 23kg. It starts first time hot or cold and does everthing it claims to do. It is a little noisier than a Yamaha or Honda but at $700 cheaper I can put up with that. At $599 from Bunnings stores Australia wide and a 2 year warranty its good value.
    Cheers
    Ron.

    • Lachlan July 26, 2016, 3:59 am

      Hi Ron, thanks for your input – we just double checked the Ryobi specs HERE for the 1000w generator model and it still states the weight is 23kg’s…hmm, if 14.4kg is correct, then the spec sheet from Bunnings/Ryobi could be wrong? Thanks again

  • Al September 7, 2016, 1:23 pm

    Hi Ron,

    Reading your column it is obvious that Yamaha makes a superior product to Ryobi, however you fail to mention it is more than double the price so quality obviously comes at a cost. Whilst Yamaha’s dealer network is extensive, you can also find a Bunnings store in most postcodes these days. The key value in the Ryobi warranty is that it is a no questions asked replacement warranty – meaning if it fails on a rainy Sunday you can swap it for a new one same day if you have a Bunnings nearby. I believe this kind of warranty is unrivaled, and while it isn’t 4 years I can imagine Yamaha would leave you with days or weeks of downtime should you require repair.

    • L Adams September 7, 2016, 11:36 pm

      Hi Al, thanks for your comments. We do state that “you will need to pay more for a premium brand like Yamaha” and we provide links to Yamaha prices so readers can compare real time pricing. Glad to hear you are happy with Ryobi, we just believe that there are better budget options available and we regularly have customers contact us wanting a new generator as their Ryobi has failed (both during and beyond warranty period). Thanks.

  • Bobby March 5, 2017, 10:53 pm

    Have a Ryobi 2000. Used it 5 times in 4 years. Never starts for me. Took it to a mechanic twice. Tired of it . Going to buy different kind. My opinion JUNK

  • Bill March 9, 2017, 10:44 am

    5 times in 4 years is the major part of the problem Bobby. Your lawnmower or car would also likely give problems starting if used so seldom.

  • Different Bill May 11, 2017, 7:26 pm

    I have a Ryobi RYi2200A with about 15 hours of running time. It has broken the connecting rod and damaged the piston. A relatively easy fix EXCEPT that the internal engine parts are not available for purchase. So,I guess it goes into the trash bin.

    Before you say “take it back for warranty” I can’t do that because fortunately (for me), it was given to me free by the previous owner. The outside condition looks like new. And the bearings show no signs of oil starvation. I am posting to inform others of the situation of engine parts not being available.

  • Jim June 2, 2017, 4:23 am

    I don’t know which Bunnings you
    speak of. But I paid $320 for my Ryobi 1100 at Bunnings Yeppoon CQ.
    So far working well and no more noisy than generators I’ve had before. At that price I can throw it away after the warranty expires. Great value in my book.

  • Brett September 19, 2017, 10:49 am

    Just bought the Ryobi RGN1200A It starts first time ok. But every time however it wont run past 3-4 mins, I may close choke off too early who knows, Will be giving it a good run over the next month on a roadtrip so can report how it travels then.

    • L Adams September 20, 2017, 5:33 am

      Thanks Brett – keep us updated, cheers.

  • Gordon October 8, 2017, 8:31 am

    Hi Sean …. I was thinking of buying a Ryobi but I have now changed my mind. I am buying a second hand motorhome and I am now thinking of getting the Cromtech Outback 2400w or the Supaswift. I want a quiet generator because I might be near another caravan. You said these ones are quiet? Do you know what size I would need to run a generator to run the a/c? Because I will be doing a lot of free camping, it could be running for up to 6 hours at a time. I would also like a key start one, it would also have to be an inverter one as I would want to charge a computer with it. What brand would you recommend [ I am on a tight budget]?
    Thanking you,
    Gordon

    • L Adams October 9, 2017, 4:14 am

      Hi Gordon, glad to help with some advice. Firstly, almost all of our Recreational Inverter Generators are incased in a ‘suitcase style’ design which has sound proofing material to ensure quiet operation. In terms of sizing, ideally you would know how much start up power your particular RV Air Con model draws – some models are ok to start and run from a 2000w inverter generator, but the majority of Caravan/Motorhome Air-conditioners on the market will require a 2400w sized generator as a minimum.

      My advice would be to consider the Cromtech Outback 2400w inverter generator – this model is made in China and is a ‘budget’ brand generator, meaning it is designed for light use; such as your required recreational application, or for small home back up power use. The good thing about the Cromtech Outback is that it is supported by nationwide service agent and spare parts network, so there is peace of mind knowing that if you even need the unit inspected under warranty, or you require a spare part, then there is nearby support. Cromtech have been around for almost 2 years and the the feedback from our testing and from our customers is that this is an excellent value for money generator.

      Supaswift is another budget generator option, they have a 2600w and a larger 3600w model. Supaswift the brand has been around for quite some time making other power products such as Lawnmowers etc…but their generator range is relatively new. Like the Cromtech brand, the Supaswift generators are also backed by national service agent support.

      This quick video might also be worth watching: Premium vs. Budget Brand Generators. Many thanks.

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