Exceptional cordless line raises the bar

Over the last 22 years I’ve had the best job in the world. Power tool and electronics manufacturers send me their latest gear,

The TEK4 lineup includes many tools outside of Ryobi’s usual scope

The TEK4 lineup includes many tools outside of Ryobi’s usual scope

Over the last 22 years I’ve had the best job in the world. Power tool and electronics manufacturers send me their latest gear, I use it in my work as a carpenter, cabinetmaker and digital media creator, then I tell readers how it all works in words, photos and videos.

Every once in a long while I discover products that separate themselves from the competition because they do new things in new ways. It happened again late last year and I’m still delighted by what I found.

Ryobi entered the tool scene in the early 1980s, and since then it’s aimed to deliver the best combination of quality and price. There are sometimes better tools that are much more expensive, and cheaper tools that perform much worse. Their new TEK4 line delivers excellent value, and is the most obvious example of how Ryobi’s definition of “good” keeps on rising. But as impressed as I am, a guy named Ken Brazell is the reason I’m not surprised.

I’ve only met Ken once, briefly, at a tool event in June 2005.

In a crowd of professional schmoozers, he was different — a real tool guy. He was also high up in the Ryobi design team, and that fact kept me watching the brand.

I hadn’t heard from Ken for nearly five years, but the quality of TEK4 got me thinking that he must still be involved. I checked. He is.

TEK4 is a collection of eleven, economically priced cordless devices built to use the same 4-volt, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

“Device” is definitely a better word to use here than tools, because the TEK4 line includes things you wouldn’t expect from a power tool manufacturer.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer (Advocate file photo).
Red Deers mayor urges that mask-wearing in public indoor places start immediately

We must protect hospital capacity and each other, says Tara Veer

Lynne McConnell, a Red Deer single mom who runs a delivery company, is left without a car for her business after her vehicle was stolen twice in about 48 hours. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Masks were made mandatory in any workplace setting across Alberta as the premier introduced sweeping measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Lynn Van Laar, chair of this year’s Christmas Wish Breakfast, said the event was planned outdoors to minimize the risk of COVID. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
Outdoor Christmas Wish Breakfast helps central Alberta families this holiday season

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to stop children from having a merry… Continue reading

QMJHL Roundup: Armada down Olympiques to extend win streak to seven games

QMJHL Roundup: Armada down Olympiques to extend win streak to seven games

Nashville SC ends Toronto FC’s season with stunning 1-0 extra time upset

Nashville SC ends Toronto FC’s season with stunning 1-0 extra time upset

Juve, Barça, Chelsea, Sevilla advance in Champions League

Juve, Barça, Chelsea, Sevilla advance in Champions League

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) brings the ball up court against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the first half of NBA basketball action in Toronto on January 28, 2020. The Raptors officially annoucned that VanVleet has agreed to a multi-year contract with the team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet says contract negotiations were “easy”

Raptors guard Fred VanVleet says contract negotiations were “easy”

FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch waves to the crowd before an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers in Cincinnati on March 17, 2019. Canadian Premier League team FC Edmonton has hired Koch as head coach and director of football operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, John Minchillo
FC Edmonton names Alan Koch coach of Canadian Premier League club

FC Edmonton names Alan Koch coach of Canadian Premier League club

Time running short for NHL to start next season Jan. 1

Time running short for NHL to start next season Jan. 1

Former Chicago Blackhawk Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous pro hockey players, is honoured at the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks game in Edmonton on December 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fred Sasakamoose, Indigenous NHL pioneer, dies at age 86 after presumed COVID-19 case

Fred Sasakamoose, Indigenous NHL pioneer, dies at age 86 after presumed COVID-19 case

Thanksgiving lessons jettison Pilgrim hats, welcome truth

Thanksgiving lessons jettison Pilgrim hats, welcome truth

Most Read