It looks like a Fisher Price toy, but this chunky chap from Ryobi is designed for life on the building site and shares the same 18V battery system that powers all of your other power tools.
The One Plus system, which includes everything from circular saws to portable vacuum cleaners, makes a lot of sense when it saves you from carrying half a dozen heavy batteries and as many chargers on each DIY mission. Ryobi’s £141 starter set from QVC (pictured) seems like a logical place to start.
Radio ga ga
The One+ radio also makes a fine fuzzbox in its own right too, albeit a basic one. It’s FM only and there’s no fancy RDS information on the display. In fact, the little porthole only lets you know what station you’re on and it is, of course, mono.
Simplicity is the name of the game here though and anyone above the age of three will be able to switch it on and tune in to Radio One without recourse to the manual. An up down lever changes the station, or there are presets for your favourites on the front and a rubber volume dial at the side. It’s all designed so that you can operate it one handed while you hang suspended from scaffolding.
Click through for our verdict on sound quality...
The other key advantage is its strength. The antenna is encased in floppy rubber and with no corners to chip or switches to snap off, the ruggedised Ryobi simply bounces off hard surfaces. Indeed, it survived our cruel drop test from a step ladder with nary a scratch. The tough plastic is all but indestructible and with the heavy battery attached, it’s anchored fairly firmly to the floor anyway. The One+ is water resistant too, so it’ll survive a night out in the rain.
Sonically, the single speaker is loud and clear enough to fill a reasonably large workshop and the forthright sound travels well outdoors too. Unsurprisingly, it lasts for a very long time on one 18V charge, but that’s not really the idea. With the One Plus concept, the real advantage is that you have a radio that can share a battery with your drill, hence the FM tuner draws very little power, leaving enough juice to drill a hole when the Archers is over.
On its own, the One+ radio would be a rather expensive proposition with a seriously over-specified battery, but combine it into the One Plus dream with another 18V tool and the convenience of shared batteries starts to make sense.
Bounce it around in a builder’s van or hose it down and this feisty fuzzbox will still play The Archers