Ryobi's new 18-volt lithium-ion tools stand out—by their bright green color and by their prices. Lithium-ion power is revolutionizing battery-powered tools, because LI batteries are significantly lighter in weight than NiCad or NiMH batteries and they hold a charge longer when not in use (a great feature for weekend woodworkers). The downside of LI-powered tools has been cost—until now. Ryobi's LI Tools are an extension—and an upgrade—of their One+ System, which features a variety of 18-volt cordless tools that all use the same NiCad battery pack configuration. Ryobi's new LI batteries can be used in all the tools that are part of this system. Likewise, the One+ NiCad batteries can be used in the new LI Tools. Ryobi's Lithium Battery Upgrade Kit ($99) is perfect for any woodworker who already has several Ryobi One+ tools but wants the advantages of a lithium-ion battery. This upgrade kit includes an 18-volt, 2.4-Ah lithium-ion battery and a dual-chemistry charger (it charges all One+ LI and NiCad batteries). Ryobi's 2-piece Lithium Power Drill Kit ($159, shown above) includes an 18-volt drill and a high-intensity swivel-head flashlight along with the LI battery and dual-chemistry charger. The 4-piece Lithium Power Tool Kit ($259) adds a second 18-volt LI battery, a 5-1/2-in. circular saw and a variable-speed reciprocating saw.
Ryobi, Inc., www.ryobitools.com (800) 525-2579, Lithium Battery Upgrade Kit, P123, $99; 2-Piece Lithium Power Drill Kit, P813, $159; 4-piece Lithium Power Tool Kit, P843, $259.