Best Ryobi Impact Driver Reviews

In this post, we reviewed the 5 best Ryobi impact drivers.

Ryobi is a widely known brand of power tools in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Impact drivers look a lot the same as power drills. Even in their use, most people still think that they have similar functions. However, such is NOT the case.

To put it simply, power drills are for drilling holes. Impact drivers, on the contrary, are for inserting or removing fasteners, primarily screws (Source). However, there are still some who believes that since drills and impact drivers are almost the same, might as well use impact drivers to drill holes as well (Source).

So here are the 5 best Ryobi impact drivers starting with our top pick – the Ryobi P1870. One of the best things about it is that it already comes with a battery and a charger along with the impact driver.

The Top 5 Best Ryobi Impact Drivers

1. Ryobi P1870 One+ Lithium Ion Battery Powered 1/4 Inch 1,500 Inch Pound Impact Driver Kit (P236 Impact Driver, P102 18V Battery and P119 Charger Included)

The Ryobi P1870 is an Impact Driver package that comes with the tool, an 18V battery and a charger, all at a reasonable price.

It includes a P236 impact driver that has a torque of 1,500 in/lbs. It can easily drive 1/4 hex bolts and help you do your job without beating a sweat. You can also change bits quickly because of its tool-free keyless changing system.

The P236 driver also has a magnetic tray for storage of fasteners and bits, and an LED light to provide illumination on your work. The drawback, however, is that there is some delay when turning on the LED light.

It comes with a P102 battery that provides the energy you need to do your work without adding too much weight on your tool.

You also don’t have to worry about the charger because this package comes with P119 charger. It will fit both lithium-ion and NiCad batteries.

Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-8fp0x3LC4&t=6s

Pros

  • Already comes with a battery and a charger
  • Reasonable price
  • Impact driver is powerful and can change bits quickly

Cons

  • Delays in LED light

2. Ryobi P237 18V One+ Lithium Ion Cordless Multi Speed 1-1/4 Inch Keyless Chuck Impact Driver w/ Belt Clip and LED (Battery Not Included / Power Tool Only)

features torque of up to 1,800 in/lbs and with three speed settings. With such power and speed, you’d be surprised that this tool is only 2.75 pounds. Essentially, it’s powerful, lightweight, and handy.

The switch for the speed is located at the rear of the tool so you can adjust it even with just your thumb.

It also has those minor features that you’ll surely appreciate. It has the tri-LED lighting system that provides brighter and more focused lighting on your work. You can also store your screws and bits on the magnetic tray that you’ll find at the bottom of your tool.

Ryobi P237 also has a rubber over-mold on the handle and a belt clip mount so you can conveniently take it with you anywhere.

The downside, however, is that this model creates much noise. Although such concern applies to impact drivers in general, the noise generated by Ryobi P237 is at higher level.

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Nonetheless, this tool is great overall. Ideally, a fully charged battery can last an entire working day. It’s also pretty durable and can still work fine in case you accidentally drop it.

Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPF_hLsj1H0

Pros

  • Powerful yet lightweight
  • Has 3-speed settings
  • With all the minor features – LED, magnetic tray, belt clip
  • Built with durability

Cons

  • Generates much noise
  • Quite more expensive than other models

3. Ryobi P235 1/4 Inch One+ 18 Volt Lithium Ion Impact Driver with 1,600 Pounds of Torque (Battery Not Included, Power Tool Only)

Ryobi P235 is powered with 1,600 in/lbs of torque. This 18V tool has a driving force similar to that of a hammer drill. It also features 1/4” quick connect coupler so you can easily replace bits as you work.

Its body is encased in aluminum gear housing that makes the tool durable and sturdy. It also comes with a magnetic tray holder for all your screws and bits. It also has a belt clip that you can put on either side of the tool.

The best part perhaps is that it’s the cheapest model on this list.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Powerful tool with 1,600 in/lbs of torque
  • Built with durability

Cons

  • Quite an old model
  • Does not have LED light

4. Ryobi P261 18V ONE+ 3-Speed ½ in. Cordless Impact Wrench Kit (Bundle)

This Ryobi P261 impact wrench kit includes the impact wrench with 300 ft/lbs of torque, a One+ lithium+ battery and a dual chemistry charger.

The impact wrench has a 3-speed setting that can go as fast as 2,900 RPM with maximum torque. With the mentioned power and speed, this tool is great for both tightening and loosening fasteners. It also has a tri-LED lighting system and an improved rubber over-mold to provide you light and comfort as you work.

The battery that comes in the kit can also be used for other Ryobi One+ tools.

Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMXcXOJ2VQg

Pros

  • Comes with battery and charger
  • Has a 3-speed setting
  • With LED system and rubber over-mold

Cons

  • Quite costly

5. Ryobi P290 One+ 18V 1/4″ Cordless Quiet Strike 3,200 RPM Impact Driver with Quick Change Chuck and Mag Tray (Batteries Not Included, Power Tool Only)

Perhaps that first thing that you should know and what totally stands out about this model is that the Ryobi P290 Quiet Strike Impact Driver produces 50% less noise compared to other models. That’s why there’s the title “Quiet Strike” on its name.

This 18V Ryobi Impact Driver boasts of speed that goes as high as 3,200 RPM and with the impact rate. It will work perfectly if you need to do some metal roof installation, deck building or other screw driving works.

It also features an auto-load chuck that would fit 1/4” hex. Changing bits would be easy and can even be done with one hand.

Its handle still has that rubber over-mold with decent ergonomics. The Ryobi P290 also got the Tri-Beam LED lights to help you work comfortably even in dark areas. It would automatically turn on when you press on the trigger.

In addition to those features, the tool also has a magnetic tray just below the handle. It can store screws up to 2 inches long. It also includes a belt clip that can be placed on either left or right.

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Youtube Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLwWUerVkxk

Pros

  • Generates 50% less noise compared to other impact drivers
  • With all the minor features – LED, magnetic tray, belt clip
  • Auto-load chuck

Cons

  • Quite pricey
  • Driving speed is quite slower than other drivers

Basic Parts of Impact Drivers

As you go and shop for an impact driver of your own, here are some basic parts of the tool that you might want to check (Source):

Chuck

It’s one of the vital parts of impact drivers because it’s where you put your screwdriver. It usually comes in hexagonal shape. You’d also notice that the good ones are those that states that they are “quick release”. It allows you to replace your driver within a glimpse.

LED Lights

Most cordless impact drivers nowadays have an LED lighting system. The lights are usually located around the head of the tool, near the chuck. These lights allow you to see where exactly you’re working without being bothered about the shadows.

Most LED lights will turn on as you pull the trigger and turn on the driver. However, there are also some lighting system that has a separate switch for the LED so you can have your lights on to check on your work without actually turning on the driver.

Motor

The motor is the part of the impact driver that converts that electrical energy produced by the battery into mechanical energy that makes that chuck turn.

This power that the motor generates is a combination of speed and torque that not only drives the fastener down a surface but also does so quickly so you can finish your job fast.

Forward and Reverse Switch

Since you’ll be using the impact driver to insert and/or remove screws, it’s just appropriate that it comes with a switch that can go both directions.

Forward makes the chuck turn clockwise so you can insert the screw and make it go deeper. The reverse, on the other hand, makes the chuck turn counter-clockwise to loosen the screw and have it taken out.

Speed Control Trigger

The impact driver is primarily controlled using the trigger. Once you pull the trigger, the chuck turns on the direction you selected on the forward/reverse switch. The deeper you pull the trigger, the faster the chuck turns.

Once you release the trigger, then the chuck stops turning.

For most impact drivers, the speed control trigger also turns on the LED light.

Grip/Handle

Most models have a rubber over-mold. Some are more ergonomically-designed to perfectly fit the hand of its user.

Rechargeable Battery

Although most drivers come as a tool only where you need to buy a separate rechargeable battery, it’s one of the most vital parts as well. As mentioned previously, it’s the thing that provides electrical energy.

So as you buy your impact driver, you might also want to check what type of battery is compatible with it. Or better yet, you might consider those that already come in kit – meaning, complete with an impact driver, a rechargeable battery, and a charger. 

Safety Precautions with Impact Drivers

Considering that an impact driver is powered by a motor that can drill a hole on your hand as much as it can on a wood. So here are few safety reminders from doityourself.com as you do your job with an impact driver:

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Come to your work site prepared.

Make sure that you have read the manual of your impact driver and of all other tools that you’ll be using. Also observe and process your work site, Keep it free from unnecessary objects that might confuse you or disrupt you from your work. The floor shouldn’t have anything that might cause you to suddenly stumble.

Wear comfortable clothes and required safety accessories.

Wear comfortable clothes that wouldn’t distract you as you work. Same applies for your hair. In order to make sure that you’re always seeing what you’re doing, better keep your hair in and away from your eyes.

Also, you might want to wear a face mask and safety goggles to keep the dust from going into your eyes or nose. For some, wearing gloves is also necessary to have better grip.

Use the correct accessory.

Impact wrenches also have pre-set of compatible accessories. Make sure that the one you’re using is one of those, otherwise, it might not withstand the impact and power from the tool and break, leading to accidents.

Examine the Impact Driver and Accessories from Damage

Before attaching any accessory or pulling on the trigger, make sure that your tools and accessories are not damaged in any way. Otherwise, they might break down while you’re using them that could lead to serious injuries.

Operate the Impact Driver Properly

Do not use the impact driver for jobs other than its intended use. It’s a powerful tool that may cause accidents once its power is forced on things. You might lose control and the job you’re working on can be damaged or you can be hurt, or both. 

Conclusion

Ryobi is one of the popular brands in the US when it comes to power tools. It has launched many various models of impact drivers, among other tools. From all those impact drivers, we have already narrowed it down to five to present the best for you.

We hope that we made it a lot easier for you to decide and gave you the idea on what to check on your impact driver.

Lastly, be careful. Read again those safety precautions because it’s better to be safe than sorry after all.

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