09-17-2016, 08:24 AM
I am no fan of Ryobi either, but I have a very specific M.O. I follow with my tool purchases, I will buy to the level that I will use the tool. For example, tools that I use all the time I buy pro-level quality and enjoy the great benefits, quality and longevity they offer. I wouldn't consider a Ryobi or Harbor Freight / Chicago Electric tool for these. Conversely, there are some tools I don't use much but still get value from occasional use so the economy of Ryobi or Harbor Freight makes sense, and with my usage pattern they'll last a long time. So it's a good balance.
Another key factor for some tools is the available of replacement parts. Big box stores are happy to sell you a $2000 riding mower but won't sell you any parts for it, same goes for all their trimmers, chain saws, etc. Lack of parts is part of what makes them nearly worthless.
Most people don't think of going to a pro level outdoor shop, but ti's not hard, and that's the only place where you can get the best brands and have a real parts department.
I have a Stihl weeder and it has been incredible, starts easy, never has a problem and the head system is very easy to deal with.