When I hear a product name like the “Devour” I immediately picture the gentle ebbing and flowing waves of a tranquil blue ocean. There’s a false sense of security in that calming oasis because somewhere lurking deep below is a highly evolved beast engineered for one purpose. Its quarry will never know what’s coming. Maybe there was a sudden flash of a shadow or a slight change in pressure to betray its intentions, but at that point it’s too late. The encounter is over as soon as it started as the monster consumes its prey whole.
In just as dramatic of fashion, the Ryobi One+ 18v Devour (*affiliate link) emerges from the dark with a pair of menacing LED eyes like a prehistoric beast. It ingests whatever lies in its path as two powerful brushes sweep any impediments into its four and half gallon belly without missing a step. Scary monster analogy aside, if you have a workshop that makes sawdust and scraps, you’ve found a tool you never knew you wanted.
The Ryobi Devour is about as close as you can get to having one of those full sized street sweepers you see go by after a parade, but this cleaner runs on the One+ battery platform. Unfortunately, you can’t ride this one, but you can just as easily push it around your shop. Snow drift sized piles of sawdust, wood cutoffs, screws, nails, bottles, cans, kittens, Barbies… (why was there a Barbie on the floor of my shop?) you name it and this thing gobbles it up.
There’s a common misconception with this product though. When I first posted the video above a lot of people were asking about the suction power. True in terms of merit and function, the Ryobi Devour doesn’t suck. It’s a sweeper, not a vacuum. The two large brushes rotate to give you a 21” path of cleaning area by… you guessed it: sweeping. And sweep it does. I dumped the entire contents of a dust collection bag from my sander and miter saw on the floor along with large scraps of wood. In just one pass they were gone.
As a member of the vertically gifted family at 6’5” I’m always concerned with the construction of any consumer product that runs across the floor. Vacuums, lawnmowers, weed eaters and so forth, I might as well diagnose myself with a case of Scoliosis after using most of these products. The Devour with its adjustable handle and foot activated power switch aren’t even the slightest bit taxing on my height.
To further drive home the point so your expectations are properly set, I’ll say it again, this is not a vacuum. You are not getting a dust free environment. The receptacle is an open faced 4.5 gal bin (that removes with the push of a button for easy dumping) that sweeps debris in for collection. I had a lot of people ask me if this would work for indoors, especially with pet hair or on the carpet. The answer is no, and that’s okay. The purpose of the Ryobi Devour is to expedite your cleanup of the shop. I could slowly clean up after a project with a shop-vac (and pick out any large pieces ahead of time) or sweep up with a push broom and dust pan, but that’s time consuming for a person who get limited use of their shop. One or two passes with the Devour and my floor is ready to go. Is it “food safe” clean where I can drop my beef jerky on the floor and 5 second rule eat it? Probably not (is that really going to stop me?), but that’s not the point. I’m not steam cleaning my shop floor for dinner guests. I’m clearing my path for the next layer of mayhem and destruction. It does, however, have the option to adjust the height of the sweeper depending on the texture of your cleaning surface. My old concrete floor is pitted like the surface of the moon, so I set my Devour on medium. If you set it too low on a surface that’s not glass smooth, you’re going to be making dust cyclones around your shop spreading your mess instead of cleaning one up. So sweep smarter, not harder.
One of the few complaints I’ve heard about this unit is that “it’s too big!” when people first see it. Well Ryobi does their best to minimize the footprint by having it sit upright for storage along with its collapsible handle. Considering you’re getting a 21” cleaning path I would call that a fair trade off. My only real negative is that you’re out of luck if you try to sweep near a wall or around the legs of shop furniture. The brushes can only get but so close to an object, but once again, this about having reasonable expectations. The Ryobi Devour is on a mission to clean that pile of debris up that’s been gathering in the middle of my shop. I’d say is mission complete.
The Ryobi One+ 18v Devour Sweeper is currently available exclusively at The Home Depot (*affiliate link).
Looking for something that sucks more (in a good way) and sweeps less? Check out the Ryobi Strut Vacuum and One+ Shop Vac Review!
*This post is part of The Home Depot Pro-Spective Tool Review. I have been compensated for my time and opinion on this product. Clearly if I’m comparing a product to a Great White Shark then my opinion is pretty high. duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn