Ryobi P197 Lithium Ion Battery Review | A Superior Upgrade?

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We stick by our old adage at the end of the day: you get what you pay for. With Ryobi’s P197 battery, their latest power tool replacement lithium-ion battery offering – that may be true once again.

 

The Ryobi P197 lithium-ion battery is a replacement for the older P108 version. As with any newer model, we’d expect to see some significant improvements and superior electronics. Thanks to giant leaps forward in battery technology, cordless power tools are now viewed on par with their corded counterparts. Whereas previously you’d have to sacrifice power, runtime, and performance, you don’t necessarily have to now.

However, there are many choices, and sometimes it’s hard to know if you need to spend money on a second battery or upgrade from the original accessories from Ryobi. 


Here’s what we cover in this Ryobi P197 battery review article:

  • First, we take a deep dive into the features and benefits of the P197 we think you’ll find useful
  • Next, we share a sampling of actual customer reviews which will give you a greater insight into the P197’s reputation
  • And finally, we’ll tell you about the drawbacks we think you should know about

Sound good?  Great, let’s get to it!

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Features and Benefits of Ryobi P197 Lithium Battery

This is an 18V lithium-ion battery with a fuel gauge from Ryobi. Here is a detailed look: 

Functionality 

This battery pack is engineered to work with several heavy-duty tools. Therefore, if you are looking for the perfect battery for your power saw, blade, hammer drill, or other ONE+ power tools, your search is officially over. It is the best fit for any heavy-duty cordless tool. 

Performance 

This Ryobi tool battery puts up an outstanding performance given that it is engineered for heavy tools. Its lithium-ion composition and durably constructed frame ensure that the cells are ever protected, extending the battery life and the overall product life. 

This high-capacity battery also ensures superior runtime powering a Ryobi brushless tool for a relatively longer duration without having to recharge it every hour or so!

Charge indicator 

This is one of the few batteries that comes with a charge indicator, allowing you to take control of your project. You will always know the remaining amount of battery life so that you are not caught unawares. We all appreciate an excellent fuel gauge. 

This indicator shows four-stage battery status, allowing you to make plans before and during your projects. This feature makes the P197 better than its counterparts, such as the P102. 

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Compatibility 

Compatibility is one of the features that you should look out for when buying any tool. Can your choice work with the existing devices? Will you have to make a series of independent purchases after getting it? 

Luckily, this product is compatible with several Ryobi 18 volt dual chemistry battery chargers. You are safe if you own a P114, P116, P117, P118, P119, P125, and P131. However, note that you will have to independently get one of these if you do not have any as they are not offered with the battery. 

The wide range of compatible devices will save you money, reducing the cost of operation. This battery is compatible with over 100 ONE+ Ryobi brushless tools, and so the cost of this standalone purchase is spread out over many tools and projects.

Price 

This is a notable feature to consider, especially when shopping on a budget. This product does not cost an arm and a leg, but it is still more expensive than other models, such as the P107 battery. However, you can try several stores and weigh the different prices. Who knows? It may be your lucky day. 

However, always look out for counterfeit Ryobi goods, which generally cost surprisingly lower than the original ones. Ryobi does not assume liability for such products in case of a defect, meaning that you will run at a loss. Always strive to get one from a reputable store, even though the price may be higher. 

Warranty 

It would be best if you made protected purchases, and there is no better way of guarding your kit than settling on a product with a warranty. Like other Ryobi batteries, this one comes with a 3-year limited warranty in any malfunction during usage. 

However, note that the warranty grant is not absolute as Ryobi can at times refuse to compensate you, primarily if you did not obtain the product from an authorized store. Therefore, to be safe, ensure that you get the battery from a certified Ryobi dealer. 

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Charge capacity 

Every single battery has a high capacity of 4.0 Ah and an operational voltage of 18V, which is enough to power your heavy-duty tools. 

Weight and size 

Given that this product is meant for heavy-duty power tools, it weighs relatively higher. At 1.75 pounds, it is heavier than most batteries of its caliber. Its size is also relatively bigger, given the added features. It measures 6.5*4.25*4.09 inches. 

However, this does not mean that it will significantly increase the overall weight of your tool. You will still enjoy greater control and performance required for the perfect execution of your projects. 

Charge retention 

Battery life is a critical feature consideration when buying a lithium-ion battery. Some factory battery accessories do not have the same charge retention capacity. Whereas others can go for up to three hours, some only power your device for 30 minutes before they run out of charge. 

However, you are lucky if you have the P197 battery pack because it can last up to three hours of continuous usage, depending on the device you are powering. For example, you can expect up to three hours of usage in hedge trimmers and one hour on a leaf blower. 

Also, these are 4Ah batteries and therefore last longer than 2.0Ah batteries. The good news is it’s compatible with Ryobi duel chemistry charger models P117 and P118. Using the correct charger is critical to sustaining a high level of battery performance and can extend the life of a battery for a few years.

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Video: Ryobi ONE+ 18v Battery

 


Ryobi P197 Customer Reviews | What the Users Say

If you have been reading our reviews on Ryobi products by now, you should know that customer reviews are almost the same for all Ryobi products. This battery is no exception and has its fair share of positive and negative reviews.

Several users have recorded being pleased with their purchases as they can use the battery to power their heavy-duty tools for a long time. An Amazon buyer termed the product an upgrade from her 2.0Ah batteries that came with her cordless trimmer.

Most satisfied customers have reiterated that this product offers them the level of punch needed by their machines for different projects. Some have also noted that they can use their equipment thrice or twice before recharging the batteries, which is impressive.

However, several customers also have a bone to pick with Ryobi when it comes to this product. We have observed this in several Ryobi batteries. Some complained about the product offering less amp-hour than indicated, while others have averred that their batteries died immediately after the second usage, never to be revived again.

 

Some discontented buyers have gone ahead to term this product as fake. There were also complaints about packaging from Amazon buyers, noting that even though the product looked genuine, the packaging raised eyebrows.

Even with the mixed opinions regarding this product, it is evident that many users find it pretty useful. The main complaint is on its short lifespan, which we have noted in many Ryobi products. It seems that the problem is not on the specific charger but the brand.

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Ryobi P197 Pros 

Even with people having different opinions on this product, many pros have stood out. These are: 

  • It is a versatile product- This battery can power a range of power tools, thanks to its unique engineering. You can use it in your circular saw, hedge trimmer, impact drill, and any other product that comes to mind. It, therefore, saves you the cost of buying a new battery every time you get a power tool. 
  • It has a warranty. The warranty plays a significant role, just like we discussed before. Luckily for you, this product comes with a 3-year warranty. Keep in mind that this is a limited warranty and may not be given at times. However, just knowing that your usage is protected should give you a chance to use the battery without fear of damage, as the manufacturer will step in n such occurrences. 
  • Its charge lasts longer than the average factory battery– Most batteries have a rating of 2.0Ah and therefore last relatively shorter than the average battery pack. This product has a rating of 4.0Ah and can therefore last as long as 3 hours depending on the powered device. 
  • It is reliable– Given this product’s power rating, you can rely on it to power your tool for a relatively long time. It will, therefore, serve you well when working n areas with frequent power outages. However, we advise that you also consider getting a few extra batteries so that you stay charged up all the time.
  • It works with several chargers– The fact that this product is compatible with many battery chargers is a big pro. You will not have to buy a new dual chemistry charger if you own any compatible ones, saving you lots of money in the long run. 
  • It has an enhanced design- This battery pack incorporates a charge indicator in its construction, making it better than most batteries. This offers you a chance to monitor the charge’s progress and plan accordingly. It also offers you more control as there will be no room for being caught unawares. You will enjoy using this on your devices if you love being in charge all the time. 

Ryobi P197 Cons 

Here is its fair share of shortcomings: 

  • It is pricey– You can establish from our earlier discussion that this product is relatively pricier than some Ryobi battery models. This may be a problem if you are shopping on a budget. However, it could be worth shopping around to see if you can get a combo kit with the P197 included.
  • It is a regular lithium battery– Unlike some of the products that we have reviewed, this is a regular lithium-ion battery and not a lithium+ one. It will work on Ryobi products but not other One + products. In case you are wondering, the One+ writing on different batteries refers to the interconnected tool system. 
  • Not as durable– Several buyers have also complained that this product becomes defective after repeated usage, which can be inconvenient. Nobody wants to put everything on hold and start following up with Ryobi on their warranty. 
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Ryobi P197 Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a second battery that is solidly built, reliable, and affordable, then you have come to the right place. The Ryobi P197 battery offers superior performance while you’re out working in all weathers. Sure, its runtime is limited, but you won’t get caught by surprise, thanks to the built-in fuel gauge. Ryobi recognizes this issue and offers the P197 as a two battery pack so you can easily swap them out and continue to work. It’s great to see the P197 is versatile with it being compatible with over 100 Ryobi ONE+ tools, and so if you’re a Ryobi fan, you’ll save money in the long term.

Ryobi has been a leader in garden tools and other equipment for years, and they don’t disappoint here. Many reviewers from all walks of life recommend the P197 lithium-ion battery – and we don’t blame them!

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Here are some other articles you may like:

Ryobi P102 Lithium-ion Battery | Honest Review

Ryobi P107 Lithium-ion Battery Review | A Complete Breakthrough?

Ryobi OP4040 Lithium-ion Battery Review? Is it Worth all the Fuss?


Here are some of our favorite Ryobi batteries

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Walter Snyder