Ryobi Tek4 Cordless Inspection Scope - Review
In just a few short years, inspection scopes have gone from, "only the specialists have them" to "my mom's got like three of these things." Actually, that's not true, we're not there yet, but we're getting there. And with its big box store availability and nice price, the Ryobi Cordless Inspection Scope, powered by their 4-volt Tek4 battery gives a solid push in that direction. Ryobi sent us one to check out and after using it for about a month in a variety of settings, here we are writing the review...
We've used some of the pimped out inspection cameras from Milwaukee and Ridgid and as far as features, the Ryobi can't compare to those uber-pro models. The Ryobi can't download images to a computer to then be emailed to a client. It can't record video. But what it can do is allow you to see into your walls, which, at it's most basic, is what the tool is all about in the first place. So compared to the Ridgid or the Milwaukee, this one is light on features, but that doesn't mean that it is devoid of features. It's not, it actually has all you really need.
The Ryobi has 4 buttons on it. The power button turns the tool on and off. A zoom button cycles through four camera zooms (1x, 1.3x, 1.7x, 2x). A light button cycles through three different brightnesses, and a 180 button flips the camera image on the screen. If you've never used an inspection camera before, this last one is important. It's very easy to get the camera head all turned around when you're snaking it through a wall.
We used it for a lot of things, the most important of which was when we snaked the camera through the wall to see how our ceiling joists tie into the top plate of a partition wall. As it turns out, they don't so much "tie into" them as they do "rest on top them." It's a good fact to know before removing a big chunk of the wall.
We also pushed it down the drain of the kitchen sink in order to see the fork that Tool Snob Jr. stuck down there. Not just a construction tool...
So what's the bottom line here? Well, it's that this is a tool that will be very useful to the hardcore DIYer, someone who is doesn't need all the bling of the more expensive models. And you know what? This one will be good for most contractors too. Like we said, it doesn't have all the features, but it still fulfills all the basic functions of the inspection camera.
The Ryobi Scope is $140 and that includes the camera, a charger and one battery. Not bad when compared to the $250+ for the DeWalt or the Milwaukee.
At Home Depot
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 28, 2011 6:16 AM