Ryobi 4V Cordless Snips Safety Hack (Defeating the Safety)

Introduction: Ryobi 4V Cordless Snips Safety Hack (Defeating the Safety)

Recently I bought the Ryobi 4V cordless screwdriver and snips. The screwdriver did not come with a safety on it, so no work needed there. But the snips did, and I thought about not defeating the safety for a few seconds, until I tried to use the tool with it in place, so off it had to come.

I have another Instructable on defeating Ryobi cordless tool safeties, but this one was (only slightly) more involved and figured I'd put it up just in case. There was a small hiccup in this one also, so I thought it might be worth posting, even though very similar to the other one.

Step 1: Tools Needed

-a torx wrench (I believe it was a T8)
-dremel with sanding drum or the like

You're almost ready to live dangerously! Who knew that's all it took?

Step 2: Disassemble the Tool Case

First, remove the battery if you have not already done so.

Do not replace the connected battery cover into the tool.

There is a slightly sneaky addition to this tool that helps hold it together- I suggest you remove it before you remove the torx screws. It is a small metal clip inside the battery compartment. You can slide it out using your torx wrench or whatever else fits in the hole in the clip to pry it out.

So now you need to take out a total of eight (8) torx screws.
There are four in the handle of the snips, and two on each side of the black snip head. All eight need to come out, but you can remove the four from the black snip head first and remove it, then remove the other four and separate the tool body

NOTE: Look at the pictures and notes, because not all of the VISIBLE torx screws need to come out- two are there to hold the black snip head together, and should NOT be removed.

Step 3: Inside the Tool

Now you can see the inner workings of the tool- the motor, a circuit board, the mechanism that changes the rotational motion to linear motion, the safety and the trigger, etc. We are concerned about how the safety operates, and what part of it needs to be modified to keep it out of our way. Uppon closer inspection, it functions in a very similar way to other Ryobi safety switches, with only a slightly different design. The tool itself, however, needs to have a few things done in a certain order to go back together nicely.

Pry the tool apart from the battery housing. Do this slowly and carefully, as there are several parts that can (and in my case did) come flying out. If your work floor is not clean of debris and parts this can be bad- if you are seeing the inside of the tool for the first time it can be hard to know what just flew out of your tool and what started out on your floor.

Once the tool is snapped apart it is time to focus on the safety switch. It is called out with a yellow box in a picture below- it is one of the easiest things to remove from the tool- they must have done this on purpose to make it easier to hack. It seems a nod to the lawyers, and thankfully they know it shouldn't have to be there in the first place. Simply lift out the safety "switch", being careful to not drop either of the springs into the tool. These may, ahem, need to be dug out of the tool if they were dropped inside.

Step 4: Remove the Safety Portion

So now that the safety is removed from the tool, it is time to remove the safe part of the safety to make the tool more usable. You can see in the yellow box what part of the switch and the safety interface, and that in turn is what needs to be removed from the safety.

Using your dremel remove the protrusion on the safety to end up with a profile like shown below.

Step 5: Reassembly

Ok, this really isn't all that hard, but there are a couple of matters of order that may be helpful.

First, the motion translator needs to be assembled in the front of the tool- make sure if your parts went flying that they are now again free of dirt, dust and grime and that the grease formerly present is still accounted for. This needs to be done in whatever half of the tool body that the motor stayed in when you took the tool apart.

Put the safety back into the tool- it is shaped such that it will only go in one way. It is helpful to have the spring in place under the safety, as well as the spring on top of the safety resting there because it will be much easier to line up the halves of the tool body that way.

The next step is to put the battery cover into the tool- it goes over a post in the tool body and out a groove for it to pass through. It is probably already bent significantly enough to make it a no-brainer as to which direction it needs to without twisting, but double check if you need to. It can be, by the way, easy to forget to put it back into the tool...

Once that is in, it is time to reassemble the two halves of the tool. This needs to be done gingerly as there are plastic tabs helping join the body together and probably snap without an enormous amount of force. I would line up the front nose of the tool first and the rest should follow pretty easily after.

You can now put the torx screws back into the body, and then slip the black snip head onto the tool body and replace the four torx screws that join the tool body and the black snip head.

Don't forget to slide the metal clip back into place in the battery area of the tool.

You're done! Once you get a battery put back in the tool wield it carefully now since there is no safety to fumble around on, but also watch how much more you can get done, and without cursing your new tool!

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    6 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Creative modification. I consider...it can replacing large capacity battery? Good article

    It's true. The safety on electric tools isn't all that safe....it makes it harder to use not to mention pretty dangerous on some jobs!!! I use a lot of circular cutting tools, and we eventually take the safety off them. Not because we don't want to be safe, but because it's safer with them off (not to mention easier)!!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What is the benefit of disabling the safety?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Makes it operate like Old-school tools. You remember, back when people were forced to THINK before acting? Or at least, were forced to face the consequences of stupid actions, like attempting to cut ones own fingers off with a power tool. Probably, on that particular tool, the safety is in an awkward position, for normal use (say, for a left handed person, where the safety is now under the palm, instead of conveniently where a finger could operate it). Or, it's just annoying. Like "automatic door locks" on new cars, that lock once you hit 10mph. If I wanted them locked, I would have done it myself! Sure, I stand a better chance of getting carjacked...but if I feel the urge to bail out of the car at highway speeds, I want the choice! As an aside, if the safety was electrical instead of mechanical(one drill I own is like that. very funky operation), I would vote for swapping in a flush-mount SPST. On said funky drill I own, I used a 110/220 switch out of an old power supply. Works fine, as I only put the safety on for storage, or when leaving the jobsite for lunch, ect. Good to keep the tool from activating in a toolbox, or accidental passerby "press the shiny red button" syndrome. At the same time, the 'safety' feature is invisible to normal use, once set to 'on'.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well said. It is nice to have control of things instead of them over you. And, well, the safety made using the tool much less pleasant because of the odd angle you have to twist your hand to try and manipulate it. Actually the safety is designed for left or right-handed people, but it is equally bad for either. On other tools it is a matter of the tool being dangerous using the "safety" equipment, but on this tool it is a convenience and comfort issue.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well it is quite obviously so that you may be not safe.