Carpentry

Ryobi Drill Review


Ryobi is known for power tools at an affordable price, and their drills are no exception. The power drills can cut through metal or wood as if it were butter. They’re ideal for home renovations and DIY projects. In fact, they’re often featured in shows like Mighty Car Mods.

Basic drills can drill a hole, but many people like to have a drill and driver kit that can also secure screws, bolts, and fasteners. You make the hole, pop in a screw, drive it in—and you’re done in seconds.

Among all the items in your tool kit, your drill will likely be the one you use the most. But what kind of performance can you expect from a Ryobi Drill? Is it worth the price, and what are people saying about it? Get into the Ryobi Drill review shows you just how powerful this power tool can really be.

Who’s it for?

The Ryobi drill is for people who regularly use power tools for home renovation, craft projects, and mods. You’re ready to invest in a high-quality drill that won’t break down even if you use it frequently or with tough materials.

Convenience and simplicity are important to you.  You want to focus on your project, instead of fiddling around with a complicated tool. It should also be compact and easy to put away, especially if you’re only working in your garage or a very small craft area.

The ideal customer for the Ryobi drill is:

  • Someone who enjoys making DIY projects and mods
  • Someone who is going to do simple home renovation
  • Someone who enjoys making furniture and other carpentry work
  • Visual artists who use drills to make sculptures or installations
  • Professional modders

 This drill probably isn’t suited for:

  • Someone who only uses a drill occasionally or for very simple tasks like drilling a hole to hang a picture or install a shelf
  • A professional carpenter or construction worker, who needs a heavy-duty drill with maximum performance, and is willing to pay the highest price  

In other words, the Ryobi drill is for the prosumer: you want a powerful drill for personal use, because of a hobby or project. However, you’re not willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a professional drill.

What We Like About the Ryobi Drill

We can sum up this Ryobi Drill review in two words: “It works.” About 90% of the people who bought one on Amazon gave it either 4 stars or 5 stars. One of them even used to buy another brand, but tried his friend’s Ryobi and became a believer. Here’s what we love about Ryobi:

Simplicity

Ryobi hits the sweet spot of being powerful but also being very easy to use. Some serious DIYers know their tools really well, but what about those who don’t? If this is your first time to use a high impact drill then you want something that’s pretty much idiot-proof. And it is. 

The Ryobi website also has a video that clearly explains how to use it, and you can also find a lot of video tutorials. Since it’s so popular among DIY crafters, who use the tool in their own vlogs and blogs, you can find many sources on how to make the most of your Ryobi.

It’s so simple that even people with no experience can confidently use this drill. One Ryobi review came from someone who received one as a wedding present. At first, he only used it to install shelves in their new apartment but was inspired by the video tutorials to make simple weekend renovation projects. 

Wide Product Range

And perhaps one advantage of getting a Ryobi drill is that it’s easily upgradeable. So if you’re still iffy about the price, or unsure what kind of features and accessories you’ll actually be using, You can start with a bare tool and then buy more drill bits as you see fit.

Or, if convenience and value-for-money are important purchasing factors, you can go all-out and buy a whole drill and driver kit, which has everything you need—and comes with a bag, too!

Good Batteries

A lot of the Ryobi reviews we’ve seen mention that it has better batteries than other drills. Made of lithium-ion, they can hold a charge for up to four times longer than Ni-CD batteries. They also offer 20% more power for each charge and are over 40% lighter.

Usually, lithium-ion batteries cost an arm and a leg, but the Ryobi batteries are actually priced the same as the Ni-CD batteries. That’s why many people say that they’re a great deal, especially since each unit comes with its own charger. You can also use the batteries with other Ryobi tools, so you get more value and don’t clutter up your work area or tool kit with too many accessories. 

And once you’ve charged these batteries, they’ll work for a long time. Now, one Ryobi review complained that “you can get another tool with the cost of one battery” but cheaper ones will die out really quickly, so you end up replacing them. It’s cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to get a durable battery that will serve you for years.

Light

The problem with heavy-duty tools is that they’re, well, heavy. That becomes a problem when you’re holding it for more than a few minutes and can be painful if you have arthritis or your hand’s tired from hours of working on your project. Ryobi is lighter than other drills but still holds up well under heavy use.

Compact

The size of the drill itself, and the fact that the batteries can be used with other tools, means you end up saving a lot on storage space. Even the complete drill and driver kit comes in a specially designed bag that holds all the drill bits and accessories that can fit under a table or in a closet.

One Ryobi review specifically said that the compact size was one of the biggest factors for purchasing it. He often does custom work for friends or neighbors—not a full-time job, but a sideline that lets him get paid to do work he enjoys—so he appreciates that it’s easy to bring it around.  

What We Don’t Like About the Ryobi Drill

It doesn’t have the brute strength of some of the more expensive power drills. It can’t cut through concrete, and if you’re a professional or work with some very tough materials, you may need something that’s more heavy-duty.

Another factor that may turn away some weekend DIYers is the price. It’s a powerful, high-quality item, but we must admit that you can get complete kits with the amount you’ll pay for a basic Ryobi drill. Once you start getting more accessories like batteries and drill bits, you’ll end up shelling out over a hundred dollars.

PROS

  • Simple to use, even for beginners
  • Wide product range, including accessories and kits
  • Excellent battery quality and battery life
  • Light-weight and easy to carry and manipulate
  • Compact for convenient storage

CONS

  • Unable to handle very hard materials like concrete
  • Can be too expensive for hobbyists

What’s included?

Ryobi offers a range of drills and drill kits, so you can start with a basic model or a full set.

You can get the Ryobi P215 18V One+ 1/2-inch Drill Driver, which does not include the battery or other accessories. You will have to purchase these separately.

The Ryobi 18V One+ 3/8inch Drill and Driver Kit include a double-ended bit, lithium-ion battery, and charger. This model also has an LED light, which will make it easier to see what you’re working on.

The Ryobi P882 One+ 18v Lithium-Ion Drill and Impact Driver Kit comes with two batteries and two chargers. This is a very versatile and powerful model, but it can meet most of the drilling and driving needs.

Overview of Features

The Ryobi drill’s features are designed to deliver high performance in an easy and convenient way. This includes:

  • 24 position clutch and 2-speed gearbox
  • LED light that gives better visibility on work surfaces
  • MAGTRAY™ magnetic holder enables convenient attachment of screws and bits
  • 1/2 inch single-sleeve, keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock
  • Top-mounted bubble level for drilling and driving accuracy
  • Patented GRIPZONE™ design for comfortable handling  
  • A new compact and lightweight design
  • Compact and lightweight design

 But how do all of those features translate to how it feels like to use it?

Creative freedom

You want a drill that is versatile and can meet all your drilling and driving needs. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying many other tools (which just waste money and take up space), or you won’t be able to do a lot of the projects.

But with the 24-position clutch and 2-speed gearbox, this drill gives you versatility, control, and precision. You can adjust it according to the type of work you need to do, which unleashes a whole lot of creative freedom.

Higher accuracy

The problem with drilling is if you make a mistake, you can’t erase that hole. The LED light illuminates your work surface, so you can work very precisely and accurately. That’s very handy if you’re working with very small parts or in a dimly lit area like a garage. Other features like the top-mounted bubble level also increase your drilling and driving accuracy.

Comfortable to use

Holding a heavy drill for long periods of time can really strain the muscles and eventually give you the “shakes” –  which will affect your accuracy and precision, too.

So the design of the drill is just as important as the performance. That’s why the weight and the grip of the Ryobi drill can be very helpful. The GripZone helps you hold the drill naturally, but still maintaining a very solid grip. Your fingers won’t cramp up even if you have to use it extensively, and it won’t accidentally slip and damage the project—or worse, injure yourself.

Since it’s lightweight, you won’t feel fatigued. But don’t worry, it doesn’t feel flimsy. All Ryobi reviews say it feels very solid and sturdy, and tests on different materials slow that it performs as well as other drills that are much heavier and bulkier. Ryobi had redesigned their old line of drills to be lighter, retaining the quality and power that people expect from their products but intentionally making them sleeker and easier to handle.

Ryobi Drill Review Summary

Go to a store and you’ll see a lot of drills at every price range. Ryobi is definitely pricier, but you get what you pay for. It has good performance, will last a long time, and can be used on a variety of projects. From car mods to craft projects, house renovations, and quick repairs, this drill can do it all.

It’s worth the price if you see it used frequently. Because honestly, buying a cheap drill that will break down after a few months is more expensive in the long run. Many people have been using their Ryobis for years, and with its wide range of accessories that are designed to work together, you can add on what you need to expand its function and precision if you decide to tackle more difficult projects.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it’s also possible to buy the basic kit and then get additional accessories when the budget allows. That will also help you get a feel of the tool, and test out its basic features before paying for upgrades that you’ll barely use.  

However, Ryobi is not meant to be used for very heavy-duty drilling, which professional workers often do during their job. It’s not for pros, but for personal use. However, among all the “lightweight” drills for hobbyists and crafters, DIY decorators, modders, it is one of the most powerful. Think of it as “Power Lite” – the best in the category.

So, now you know the drill: if you need it, and can afford it, get the Ryobi.

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Author

Timberland Enthusiast Jan 1977 – Present Columbia, South Carolina Since graduating from law school I have worked in various capacities within the real estate, timber management, lumber production and pine straw harvesting markets in South Carolina. Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler May 2016 – Dec 2020 Columbia, South Carolina Det Bowers joined Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in May of 2016. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in Federal, State and Municipal Courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising and insurance.

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