Basements generally exist in one of two states of being: either they're a fun and cozy little space to engage in your hobbies and pal around with your friends, or they're a completely lifeless space full of dusty boxes. In case you ever feel like transitioning from the latter to the former, you have the power to do so. All it takes is a little gumption and the right tools, and you can remodel your basement into the party zone you've always wanted.
What are the right tools for basement remodeling, though? When it comes to remodeling a basement, you need to consider a variety of factors, including installing new shelves and flooring, tearing down the old, dusty stuff, and keeping everything nice and neat. If you're looking to arm yourself for a confrontation with your basement, the Ryobi hardware brand has some tools you should consider investing in beforehand.
We've put together a list of some of the best Ryobi tools you could have on hand for a basement remodeling job, backed by opinions and reviews from both home renovation enthusiasts and professional contractors from trusted contracting publications.
Air Grip Compact Laser Level
Before you can remodel your basement into something halfway presentable, you need to plan everything out to ensure your vision is a realistic one. Whether you're installing new shelves and decorations or placing new furniture, a precise tool of measurement is an absolute must. You need to be certain that your prospective changes can fit cleanly in your basement, lest you attempt to install something crooked or ill-fitting.
For precise measurements, Ryobi offers the Air Grip Compact Laser Level. This nifty doodad can adhere to just about any flat surface and then project its 20-foot red laser light in a perfectly straight line to show you what will fit in a space and how to keep it leveled out.
The Laser Level has a 3.8-star rating out of 1,448 reviews on Home Depot, with 78% of customers recommending it. The only stated drawbacks from users are that the laser is a little hard to see in bright lights and that the vacuum adhesion doesn't work well on porous surfaces like concrete.
Cordless 5 1/2-inch Circular Saw
Once you've got your basement measured out, it's time to start prepping the raw materials for your overhaul. Whether you're installing hardwood floors, carving out a fancy shelf, or building a little staging area, you'll be sawing through quite a bit of wood.
Ryobi's Cordless Circular Saw may be small in size, but it's no pushover. This little buzzer can spin its carbide-tipped blade at 4,700 RPM, slicing through a 2x4 like a hot knife through butter. Using its 50-degree bevel, you can adjust the angle of your cut to achieve a maximum possible depth of 1-11/16 inches. Plus, since it's a part of Ryobi's ONE+ battery pack system, there's no need for cords. Just stick a battery pack in, and you can get over 215 full cuts on a single charge.
Woodsmith.com gave Ryobi's Circular Saw a 4.6 out of five, saying that it's both powerful and efficient, not to mention surprisingly quiet in its operation.
Cordless 3/8-inch Drill/Driver Kit
Once you've cut up a bunch of planks into the various wooden components of your basement's new accouterments, you'll need to start putting everything together. Unfortunately, unlike a pre-built piece of furniture from a store, all these new decorations and pieces don't have pre-drilled holes for screws and fasteners. To ensure a sturdy, long-lasting construction, you will need to do some drilling.
Ryobi's Cordless 3/8 inch Drill/Driver can accommodate most drill and fastener models thanks to the 24-position clutch on its keyless chuck. No matter what kind of screw you're using, this drill can adjust its torque output on the fly to best match it, spinning at a maximum of 600 RPM to drive the point home. If you haven't installed your basement's new lights yet, there's also an LED light on the tip to help guide your way.
This drill is one of Home Depot's top-rated products, with 89% of 2,306 customers recommending it. Fans have praised the drill's lightweight frame and impressive drilling force, making it a good choice for both renovation pros and novices.
18-Gauge Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer
Once you've got everything in your newly remodeled basement where you want it, it's time to put on the finishing touches, ensuring everything stays where it is. Whether you've put up plywood or fiberboard shelves or carved out a lovely decorative trim for the top of the stairwell, you need some sturdy fastening action to keep it all in place. You need a quality Brad Nailer.
Ryobi's AirStrike Brad Nailer combines muscle and precision into a compact, discrete package. Using the brand's proprietary AirStrike tech, which dampens noise and reduces shake without using compressors, you can drive a 2-inch nail into a hardwood surface without causing a royal racket. In the event of a nail jam, the loading slot is easily accessible from the side, allowing you to clear it without any additional tools.
Pro Tool Reviews' Gregory Mills called this version of the AirStrike Brad Nailer a direct improvement over the previous one in terms of build quality, precision, and ergonomics, awarding the tool with a score of nine out of 10.
6 Gallon Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum
It should be a given that any remodeling process, no matter what room of your house it takes place in, is going to conclude with a gigantic mess all over the floor. Whether it's wood shavings from sawed planks, metal bits from drilled screws, or the occasional puddle of water from a leaky pipe, there's going to be a considerable clean-up effort before you can cap off the entire process. For this, you're going to need a sturdy shop vacuum that can handle both wet and dry messes in a quick and precise manner.
Ryobi's 6-gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum is designed to be your trusty buddy for cleaning workshop-level messes. Using its 18V ONE+ battery pack, the vacuum can follow you anywhere you go without the need for tangling, or tripping on power cords. With 80 CFM, this compact device can capture whatever messes have settled on your floor and possessions, storing it all in the conveniently removable compartment at the top.
Pro Tool Reviews' Kenny Koehler praised the 6 Gallon Vacuum for its efficacy in capturing messes all over hard-surfaced floors. In the event a mess was a little harder to get at, he noted that the vacuum's various nozzle, wand, and brush attachments more than made up the difference. The only real downside he noted was that a full charge only provided 12 minutes of runtime, but this can be assuaged through swappable battery packs.