Ryobi has recently announced a new line of One+ HP compact brushless cordless power tools. Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at the new Ryobi High Performance brushless drill/driver, which looks to be one of their best cordless drills yet.
The new Ryobi 18V One+ HP compact brushless drill/driver won’t win any awards with respect to speed or power. But, it looks to be a very nicely balanced and well-polished model, and one that takes full advantage of modern cordless power tool tech.
The new Ryobi cordless drill will be available in a kit (PSBDD01K) or as part of a drill and impact driver combo kit (PSBCK01K).
- Brushless motor
- 1/2″ keyless chuck
- 400 in-lbs max torque
- 0-450/0-1700 RPM
- 24 position clutch
- On-board LED worklight
- Lanyard loop
- 6.4″ length
Ryobi describes the new drill as being heavy duty yet lightweight.
Compared to their brushed motor cordless drill, the new compact brushless drill is 30% more compact and 20% lighter in weight.
The kit comes with a compact charger, carrying case, and (2) 1.5Ah Li-ion batteries.
What’s notable about the new battery is that 1) it features a built-in battery fuel gauge, and 2) it’s smaller than Ryobi’s other compact batteries.
Side by side, the differences between this battery and the older ones are very slight.
But, if you take a closer look, the new battery appears to have been completely redesigned, at least on the outside. It’s slightly shorter, and with a tapered front, and to me, the new battery feels a lot smaller than comparative measurements would suggest.
I have a lot more time to put in with this and the other Ryobi compact brushless power tools that arrived for testing and review. But at the start, I’m optimistic.
Compared to the older Ryobi brushless cordless drill, shown here, the new model is more compact, but with some tradeoffs. The older model is more powerful (460 vs 400 in-lbs max torque), a little faster (0-500/0-1800 RPM vs. 0-450/0-1700 RPM), and it comes with 2.0Ah batteries instead of the new 1.5Ah with fuel-gauge.
The older model comes with a belt clip, and while the new model has a port that accepts belt hooks and clip accessories, it doesn’t seem to come with one.
The price is the same – $129 for each drill kit.
Here’s a size comparison between the two, where I used the battery connection length as a base for approximate (and hopefully close-enough) scaling. A weight comparison is not yet available.
The new drill is indeed more compact and lighter in weight. That does mean shaving off some performance points, but it could be worth it for the sake of a better user experience.
Price: $129 for the kit, $179 for the combo kit
Buy Now: Drill Kit via Home Depot
Buy Now: Combo Kit via Home Depot
Compare: Older Drill Kit via Home Depot
It will be interesting to see where things go from here.
Good for them for NOT introducing a new battery form factor.
They won’t, and if they ever do, it would have to be fully compatible via immediately available adapters.
A Ryobi rep once told me that some of their DIYer users keep the same tools for maybe 15 years, and they will absolutely support their users.
I kinda wish they’d do that, it’d make me much more interested in their tool ecosystem.
I’m already invested in another color at this point, but the bulky batteries did have a (small) impact on my decision making.
I have a ton of Ryobi Tools and wish they’d find a way to make the battery sizes more in line with their competitors. I realize they won’t switch from the post style, but the huge batteries are starting to be a turn off.
Ryobi batteries have to have a battery management system circuit board inside (BMS). The big wires from the battery connect to this board which then connects to the tool. The board can disconnect power to tool if over current or over discharge to protect the LiON batteries. This is a legacy from the conversion to LiON keeping same form factor. With modern slide-on’s the big wires connect directly to the tool and the circuit board is smaller. So there’s a limit to how small they can get.
I’d be fine with Ryobi moving to slide-on’s as long as they design a better BMS adapter than DeWalt did.
Too bad they decided on a 2-piece charger with wall-wart transformer. Maybe others like this configuration – but it says “cheap” and “problematic” to me.
The reasoning behind these chargers is unclear. It could be less expensive to make and package into the kits, but also some users might prefer the more compact benchtop footprint and travel size.
Do we even know if the cord is removable? I wonder what the input DC voltage to the charger body is. Maybe they did this to have more economy of scale with an in-vehicle charger down the road. It could be 12V DC and boosted up to 18V in the body, thus a car charger would just need a different cord (or even easier if it uses a barrel jack). Just a thought, I’m no expert here so could be wrong.
Very likely a cost based decision.
Also likely related to regulator approvals as every charger with a built in AC line power supply would need to pass said regulatory approvals (like UL listing)
Moving the AC line power supply to a wall wart would allow them to make changes and updates to the battery end of the charger without as many regulatory issues. It is also likely that they would be able to utilize a of the shelf wall wart and just be able to purchase them rather than having to design their own custom power supply to fit in a single piece charger.
All of that said as a consumer and tool user I much prefer a all on one package with a more robust power cord. Wall warts and their delicate cords are not suitable for anything beyond a home shop where the charger is more or less permanently mounted.
I believe the reason is cost of certification, they simply OEM the wall wart from anyone (competitive advantage as well), and the battery end is low voltage, so no real certification issue in most countries.
They need a 3AHr compact battery no heavier than the Hitachi compact. The existing 3AHr is way too large and heavy for most tasks.
Any word from TTI/Ryobi if this overhaul will take place w/ the larger brushless tools (specifically the existing hammer drill/driver & impacts – that offer more torque)?
Nothing yet, sorry.
I’d miss having the bit storage and magnet tray for sure.
Are those power and speeds the same with the 3.0HP and the 6.0HP batteries out now?
They don’t specify any battery-based performance boosts, and so I’d assume there’s no benefit to throwing a higher capacity battery onto the drill.
No side by side shots with a regular Ryobi battery from the last few years?
Or new battery and old drill?
Hearing about this, I’m on the fence regarding Ryobi tinkering with size and shape, slimming things down, for the compatibility between pre 2020 and after 2020 tools & batteries … until there are details and photos ( or I get my hands on a new battery and old tool ).
Their big draw has been consumer value and the nn years of battery compatibility.
I can do that for the full review, but it’ll be even harder to show size differences because that’s more of an apple to pineapple comparison.
To my knowledge and what I’m seeing, there’s full compatibility. The shape of the interface is the same, it’s the lower battery case that has changed.
I see all the questions etc, but in the end Ryobi stepped up.
Same as always just put a little lipstick on it. I am done with Ryobi, the batteries are terrible and do not last for one.
Please do share some details as to the circumstances as to which ones and how / why they don’t last, relative to other brands.
I’m genuinely curious.
Because, among some peers, we have used many brands, and any given brand gets complaints directly or through a friend somebody has … but of course many batteries are used daily, run till depleted, through the seasons …
Had some random person complain in HD how Ryobi batteries do not last.
At the same time, there are people who use them in a semi professional environment, doing home renovations, etc.
Sometimes expectations are too high as to what batteries can do, how much power they hold and how many cycles they can handle before the fade is real.
The only battery that I have had fail was a ryobi. I have 40 Milwaukee and DeWalt batteries and 1 out of 2 Ryobi batteries failed and wouldn’t take a charge after 2 years. The other battery seemed problematic with runtime not being reliable.
I’ve got Milwaukee 12 & 18, Dewalt 18, 20 and 60FV, Ryobi 18 nicad, 18 lion and 40 lion, and Kobalt 80v. The only ones that have not failed are the 12v milwaukee,18v lion Ryobi, 40v ryobi and 80v kobalt.
I’ve got a ton of 18v ryobi tools that still work but I don’t really want to run them because compared to modern tools they are weak and slow. They seem to keep plugging away though.
I run a professional gutter installation company and drive screws all day long. I’ve been using a ryobi drill on jobs now for about three years and have had zero battery issues. The 4.0 usually runs between 1½-2 days if installs. I get a lot out if them as well with the circular saw multitool sawzall and Brad nailed. I’ve almost completely converted to cordless because of their performance. Only faults I’ve experienced with run time is with the belt sander (30 min) and palm router (slightly less of an inconvenience due to my need for it) all in all I’m very pleased with the 1.5 3.0 and 4.0. I’ve yet to try the bigger sizes and am hesitant to due to bulky and likely awkward size
I considered going into Ryobi recently but I couldn’t get both a 3 speed impact driver and drill combo without buying separately for a greater price than RIDGID and they don’t offer a cordless impact wrench with enough power so those two things absolutely killed off my decision into their battery platform and I went with Ridgid for my DIY needs. Now if only Ridgid would make a cordless octane chainsaw. I don’t care for the other landscaping tools, just the chainsaw for camping, overlanding, and occasional yard work.
REALLY hoping Ryobi comes out with a hoss impact. I have both, and they are sometimes adequate- not always. The newer one has 3 speeds 1 not enough and 2 not nearly enough.
I have Bosch 18v and bought one of those Bosch to Ryobi adapters for those one off tools Bosch doesn’t make such as Ryobi’s glue gun. This has been a great solution for us.
FYI- the inexpensive slide-on to stalk adapters don’t have battery management circuit boards inside as all Ryobi/C3 batteries do (and as the DeWalt adapter does). This means the slide-on battery is not protected from over current or over discharge. If you open one of these adapters trace the red/black wires from the battery. If they go straight through to the tool there is no BMS. If there is a BMS the wires go through the circuit board and the circuit board will have some big semiconductors that can interrupt the current flow.
What would the risk be? What potentially could be damaged? So far I haven’t had any issues I just make sure my bosch battery doesn’t drain to much as I know if it get so low it may not take a charge.
if the batteries run too low, the cells can get out of balance, and they catch fire. I’ve had it happen once, and a friend of mine had a dewalt battery fail on him, and caught his house on fire about 8 years ago.
Yes as you say the risks are over discharge and over current. For example the DeWalt slideon-to-stalk BMS adapter couldn’t supply as much current as some tools needed and therefore wasn’t universal. And even for tools that it was designed for it would supposedly sometimes cut off.
Of course if over current happens while in use you notice the battery getting hot/melting/smoke.
Could the battery sustain permanent damage from over discharge or over current? Would this be a danger for later charging? I don’t know. I’m not knowledgeable on battery chemistry.
I switched to Ryobi a few years ago, after yet another Makita battery suffered Sudden Death Syndrome. Too much money up front, crappy battery life for DIY use – (they don’t like intermittent use and pros get special warranty treatment) and not that wide a range. I still have and use my old Makitas but with 3rd party batteries
So I decided Ryobi was a good compromise for me and have bought probably 20 tools so far. I like the range – I use the shop radio when the power goes off (frequently in Maine) and got a 12V car charger so can always rely on that. The utility lights come in handy at similar times. I have a few of the older quick chargers from when they were included. The new wall-wart chargers are just a way to cut the purchase cost and I don’t mind as how many chargers can you use at once?
I have two of the cordless compressors which run my brad nailers no problem and pump up the bike tires. The cordless heat gun is overpriced ($80?), but I found one used and it’s great for my uses (heatshrink). The cordless vacs are 1000X better than those household ones with nonreplaceable batteries. The weed wacker line is all I need
I do have a few niggles. I wish all the impact drivers had a torque adjust and the LED-equipped drills should have a delay so that you can position the bit without having the bit turning. Have yet to have a battery fail in five + years
I have always found that Ryobi (and Hitachi) are slight step down, sort of in the “B&D” category. I would consider their corded tools for occasional use, but not cordless for everyday use.
I have been using Ryobi in trade use for the past 10 years and still have my original 2.4ah batteries that still hold a charge. I have 4 x 5ah 1x 4ah, 1x 2.5 ah , 1×1.5ah. 3 2.4ah. The 5ah and 2.5ah get used regularly and I have only had two batteries fail. One was dropped and the other got chemical on it. (both replaced free under waranty) I have recently invested in Milwaukee, but only because I wanted newer tools to replace my older ones and will still keep most of the Ryobi stuff as they have so many special purpose tools. Here in Australia the price point between Ryobi and Milwaukee is closing and the Red tools are more robust and powerful in most cases. That said I have not yet purchased a Ryobi tool I was disappointed in.
No mention of the huge elephant in the room?
Who cares about a belt clip…
ALL the OLD Ryobi drills have a magnetic tray for holding screws and bits. This one? None.
Brushless or not, that was “the” feature to make small projects go smoother.
Here, it would even be difficult to DIY a fix, even a neodymium disc magnet, without blocking the light.
I’ll wait for the next version. I suspect this will be highly complained about from existing Ryobi users. There will be a next version.