There is a widely accepted opinion that Ryobi cordless drills are for beginners, though many professionals use them as well. Yes, you could find and buy the whole range of Ryobi power tools exclusively in Home Depot stores, or online at affordable prices, but it doesn’t mean the cheap cordless drills are not worth to invest.
Let’s see what reality looks like and what are the preferable drills in stores.
Here, we are going to review the whole assortment of Ryobi cordless power drills / drivers briefly, and then pick the top three.
Drilling and driving power tools by Ryobi come in dozen packs. The 18-volt models dominate. We have set aside NiCad battery powered drills and analyzed Lithium-ion only. In addition to standard Lithium-ion battery, Ryobi offers improved “Li-ion+” battery and “One+ System” – the last one means the battery platform is compatible with more than 70 Ryobi 18V tools.
The general impression is that, with the exception of a few models, Ryobi cordless drills have less power than those coming from the competition. Still in 12V or 18V powered body, drills are, on average, slower and have less torque, but if you are not hard working professional, buying Ryobi may be the smart choice.
We have selected three models for consideration.
Be aware that this is a tool for light jobs only, and enjoy. Ryobi HJP004 is compact tool of 3.03 lb weight with 3/8” heavy-duty keyless chuck. The maximum speed is 600 RPM with variable speed option. All common features from more expensive models are here – 22-position clutch, LED light, ergonomic handle, 1.3 battery amp hours, and the last but not less important, three year warranty period.
The price for the kit (drill/driver, battery, charger, and one double-ended bit) is $49.97 only. Case is not included and you have to find an adequate bag, but it is not the most important issue. When buying cordless drill in this quality range, keep in mind that spare battery costs almost the same as a new tool.
More power comes with P1811 compact 18V tool – the most popular Ryobi home DIY drill driver. It weighs only 2.7 lbs and has a 1/2" keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock. The more power and control are provided by 350 in. lbs. of torque, 24-position clutch and two-speed gear (0-440 RPM and 0-1600 RPM). Ryobi sleek design implies some interesting handy details – top-mounted bubble level, LED light, magnetic holder... Batteries and charger are improved. Charger offers indicator light, maintenance mode, and energy-save mode to protect battery.
The price is quite affordable – $99 for the 18V tool with screwdriver bit, dual-chemistry charger, two 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-ion batteries and storage bag.
Why to buy Ryobi P1811 if you could pay the same $99 price for this one, more powerful, P1812 Hamer Drill/Driver?
Ryobi offers its P1812 1/2" power tool with 600 in. lbs. of torque, 24-position clutch, and two speeds – 0-375 RPM and 0-1.600 RPM. Hammer performance is: 0-5.600 BPM and 0-24.000 BPM.
With 3.2 lbs, the tool is heavier. Battery has equal features as previous P1811 model, and, except a bubble level, the other equipment is the same.
Beside the tool with one screwdriver bit, 30-minute dual-chemistry charger, two 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-ion batteries, and storage bag, there are two additional items in the kit – auxiliary handle assembly and depth stop rod.
Manufacturer highlights all metal keyless 1/2" chunk as a drill advantage. Reading the users reviews, however, we have seen that some of them had experienced problem with chuck loosening during operation.
Unlike the previous models, Ryobi P1812 hammer can be used for boring in masonry and concrete, and if you want a more robust tool, this one is for you.
In general, users are satisfied with Ryobi cordless drills, especially those who use power drills for light home repairs. The prices/quality ratio is excellent. They point out that Ryobi cordless drills are durable, easy to use, lightweight, sturdy, and give more than expected.
Based on the several hundred reviews, ratings of the power tools we have selected are 4.2 – 4.5 out of 5 and more than 90% customers recommend them.