The Best Ryobi Drills of 2022

Ready yourself for that upcoming DIY project with one of Ryobi’s powerful yet affordable drills

By Tony Carrick | Published Apr 8, 2022 12:38 PM

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The Best Ryobi Drills Option

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Ryobi, the featured brand of The Home Depot, differentiates itself from the pricier brand names in the power tool world by catering exclusively to the needs of DIYers. Such is the case with its line of drills, which runs the gamut from standard cordless drills to brushless impact drivers and heavy-duty hammer drills.

The best Ryobi tools are more affordable than those of the premium brands that include professionals as part of their clientele. That’s not to say that Ryobi’s drills aren’t powerful; many of the brand’s high-end models rival the speed and torque offered by those premium brands. Ahead, learn about this brand’s line of drills, and don’t miss our list of some of the best Ryobi drills on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: RYOBI ONE+ HP 18V Cordless 1/2 in. Drill
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: RYOBI 5.5 Amp Corded 3/8 in. Drill
  3. UPGRADE PICK: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Drill
  4. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 3/8 in. Drill
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: RYOBI ONE+ 18V 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
  6. BEST FOR DRIVING FASTENERS: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Impact Driver
  7. BEST COMPACT: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 3/8 in. Right Angle Drill
  8. BEST CORDED: RYOBI 6.2 Amp Corded 5/8 in. Hammer Drill
  9. BEST FOR DRIVING BOLTS: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
  10. BEST FOR DRIVING SCREWS: RYOBI 4-Volt QuickTurn Cordless Hex Screwdriver Kit
The Best Ryobi Drills Option

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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ryobi Drill

Since Ryobi puts out such a broad line of drills, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the different types of drills as well as important attributes such as speed, torque, and chuck size. Ahead, learn about these and other important features of Ryobi drills.

Type

  • Power screwdrivers: Not to be confused with power drills, power screwdrivers are designed solely for driving screws. Ryobi’s power screwdrivers have either a cylindrical or pistol shape and run off of small 4-volt batteries.
  • Drill drivers: Ryobi offers various cordless and wired drills that can function as both a standard drill for boring holes or a power screwdriver. They produce more power than a screwdriver and use larger 18-volt batteries or a standard 120-volt outlet.
  • Impact drivers: Impact drivers have a spring, hammer, and anvil inside of them that create a hammering action. Impact drivers create far more torque than drill drivers, making them ideal for driving longer screws or even bolts. They do not function well as a standard drill.
  • Hammer drills: Like an impact driver, hammer drills work by applying impact. However, unlike an impact driver, which delivers rotational impact for driving fasteners, a hammer drill applies forward impact. This design makes a hammer drill ideal for creating holes in hard surfaces such as concrete.

Size, Weight, and Chuck Size

Ryobi drills come in a variety of sizes and weights with different-size chucks. The distance from the back of the drill to the tip of the chuck determines how easily the drill fits into tight spaces. Ryobi’s drills range in length from 5 inches for its most compact drill to 11.5 inches for its most powerful hammer drill. Since a cordless drill is designed to be wielded with one hand, weight determines how easy it is to maneuver the drill, especially during longer jobs. Ryobi drills vary in weight from 3 to 5 pounds.

Ryobi’s drills come in ⅜-inch and ½-inch chuck sizes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A ½-inch chuck can hold bits with larger shanks and produce greater torque; however, a ⅜-inch drill can spin faster than a ½-inch drill. Smaller drills also offer greater speed and torque control, making them ideal when driving in smaller fasteners or working with thinner drill bits.

Torque and Speed

A drill works by using a gearbox to transfer power from the motor to the chuck. Depending on the size and type of motor, that power transfer creates a certain amount of torque and speed. Speed is measured in rotations per minute (rpm) and indicates how fast the drill chuck can spin. This determines how fast one can drill holes or drive in fasteners. Torque measures the maximum amount of turning force a drill has. The greater the torque, the better the drill can drive through harder materials or create larger holes. A drill with greater torque is also better equipped for driving in large fasteners, such as a 3-inch deck screw or heavy lag bolt.

Most Ryobi drills have adjustable clutches, which allow the user to alter how much torque the drill delivers. This ability to regulate torque is crucial for preventing the drill from twisting off screw heads or driving a fastener too deep into a material. Many Ryobi drills also include speed controls that allow the user to slow the drill down for certain applications.

Motor

Ryobi drills come with either a brushed or brushless motor. Brushless motors create less friction than a brushed motor, allowing them to reach greater speeds and create more torque without overheating. The brushless design also makes this type of motor more efficient, allowing it to run up to 50 percent longer on a single charge while also extending the life of the motor. Ryobi drills with brushless motors are also significantly more expensive than their brushed counterparts.

Battery

Ryobi drills either use 4-volt or 18-volt rechargeable batteries. The smaller 4-volt batteries are reserved for its line of cordless screwdrivers, while the 18-volt batteries can be found on the brand’s entire line of cordless drills and impact drivers. The smaller 4-volt batteries, and hence Ryobi’s cordless screwdriver, produce less speed and torque, making these tools ideal for situations in which precision is valued over torque and power. The larger 18-volt batteries can produce enough juice to drill holes or drive fasteners into denser material.

Additional Features 

Ryobi’s drills come with standard features that make them easier to use. Most, though not all, Ryobi drills include built-in work lights that help to illuminate the workpiece while drilling. Some Ryobi drills also include bit storage and magnet trays that make it easier to keep fasteners and bits handy. Most Ryobi drills also have oversize grips that extend beyond the handle, ideal for applications that require two hands.

Our Top Picks

The list below includes some of the best power drills Ryobi has to offer, covering a broad range of drill types.

Best Overall

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ HP 18V Cordless 1/2 in. Drill
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Ryobi’s best all-around drill is a cordless model capable of handling most drilling or screwdriving duties a DIYer would encounter. Its max speed of 1,750 rpm puts it on par with cordless drills offered by many higher-priced premium power tool brands. A ½-inch chuck provides greater torque and versatility, allowing one to load it with both larger and smaller bits.

An adjustable chuck and low- and high-speed settings are useful for dialing down the torque and speed when working with smaller drill bits or more delicate fasteners. A bit holder is useful when switching from drill to driver, while a magnet adds a convenient place to put fasteners that are waiting on deck.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 1,750 rpm
  • Length: 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Top speed comparable to higher-end drills
  • Large ½-inch chuck can handle larger bits
  • Includes integrated bit holder and magnet for screws

Cons

  • Bulkier size not great for tight spaces

Get the Ryobi ONE+ HP 18V cordless drill at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI 5.5 Amp Corded 3/8 in. Drill
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Ryobi’s 5.5 amp ⅜-inch drill may not have the larger chuck size or the speed and power of some of the higher-end corded drills on the market, but it has enough juice to suit most projects around the house. That, coupled with its low price, makes it a worthy choice for a DIYer’s home workshop.

Plus, at less than 4 pounds, it’s also lighter than most corded drills. That light weight coupled with a soft grip and a large variable speed trigger makes Ryobi’s 5.5-amp corded drill comfortable to handle over longer drilling sessions. There’s also a handy lock-on button, eliminating the need to keep the trigger pressed during longer drilling efforts.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 1,600 rpm
  • Length: 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight design makes it easier to wield
  • Ergonomic handle with rubber grip adds comfort
  • Large variable speed trigger adds versatility

Cons

  • Lower top speed than other corded drills
  • Smaller ⅜-inch chuck limits bit size

Get the Ryobi 5.5 amp corded drill at The Home Depot.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Drill
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With its ability to reach eyebrow-raising speeds of up to 2,100 rpm, the brushless version of Ryobi’s cordless ½-inch drill sets itself above many pricier brushless models from higher-end brands. It can reach up to 750 inch-pounds of torque when paired with Ryobi’s high-end ONE+ batteries.

Ryobi outfits the drill with plenty of controls that allow the operator to harness that power for lighter-duty jobs that require finesse. A two-speed gearbox allows the user to drop the speed to a max of 500 rpm for lighter-duty jobs, while a 24-position clutch helps manage torque output. There’s also an LED work light integrated into the base and a bracket for a belt hook.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 2,100 rpm
  • Length: 7.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Reaches some of the highest speeds of any cordless drill
  • Clutch and gearbox allow user to control speed and torque
  • LED work light integrated into base

Cons

  • Requires purchase of higher-end Ryobi batteries to reach max torque

Get the Ryobi ONE+ 18V brushless cordless drill at The Home Depot.

Best Light-Duty

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 3/8 in. Drill
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Not all drilling jobs require a ½-inch chuck, high speeds, and huge amounts of torque. With its lower top speed of 600 rpm, this ⅜-inch model is suitable for lighter-duty jobs. Although it may not be as powerful as some of Ryobi’s premium drills, it comes equipped with many similar features, including an ergonomic grip with a large variable speed trigger and multiple clutch positions for controlling torque.

There are also useful additional features that include an LED work light and a bit holder, both of which are integrated into the base. Despite producing less power, Ryobi’s ⅜-inch cordless drill is notably longer than other cordless drills at nearly 8.4 inches from the back of the drill to the tip of the chuck, which can make it awkward to use in tight spaces.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 600 rpm
  • Length: 8.38 inches
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Affordably priced kit
  • Numerous clutch positions and a variable speed trigger allow for more control
  • Molded ergonomic grip adds comfort
  • Integrated work light and bit storage

Cons

  • Longer than most cordless drills

Get the Ryobi ONE+ 18V cordless drill at The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
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With its 600 inch-pounds of torque, Ryobi’s surprisingly inexpensive cordless hammer drill is an ideal option for the home workshop, especially considering the number of ways one can use this drill. It features three modes—drill, driver, and hammer—making it an ideal all-purpose power tool for drilling holes, boring through masonry or concrete, or driving in screws.

Supporting those three modes are 24 clutch positions for managing torque and a two-speed gearbox for adjusting rpm. Ryobi’s hammer drill is also equipped with numerous useful additional features, including an LED work light, a magnetic tray for fasteners and bits, and a detachable side handle. Keep in mind that this multiuse drill is bigger than Ryobi’s other models at nearly 10 inches long and with a weight of 4 pounds.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 1,600 rpm
  • Length: 9.7 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Functions as drill, driver, or hammer drill
  • 2-speed gearbox and 24-position clutch add versatility
  • Integrated LED work light and magnetic tray

Cons

  • One of Ryobi’s larger drills

Get the Ryobi ONE+ 18V hammer drill at The Home Depot.

Best for Driving Fastener

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Impact Driver
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It’s all about torque when it comes to impact drivers, and Ryobi’s ¼-inch impact driver is right up there with the big boys, thanks to the 1,800 inch-pounds of torsional force it can produce. And while power is important, it means little if a drill doesn’t allow the operator to dial it down for smaller fasteners. Whereas most impact drivers offer two speeds, Ryobi’s comes with three speed options, adding versatility.

This impact driver also has other thoughtful features, including a tri-beam LED work light and a magnetic tray that holds screws and bits. With its 7.7-inch length, Ryobi’s impact driver isn’t as adept at fitting into tight spaces as other impact drivers.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: N/A
  • Length: 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Produces as much torque as premium brands
  • 3 speed settings
  • Integrated triple work light

Cons

  • Longer than other impact drivers

Get the Ryobi ONE+ 18V cordless impact driver at The Home Depot.

Best Compact

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 38 in. Right Angle Drill
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When working in close quarters, such as under a sink or between narrowly spaced wall studs, a standard cordless drill often is too long to fit, requiring the services of an angle drill. While Ryobi’s take on the angle drill has a head length that’s a bit larger than other angle drills, it’s still an ideal choice for jobs that require one to fit the drill into tight spaces.

The angle drill produces a respectable 1,100 rpm, which is fast enough to suit lighter-duty jobs. A variable speed trigger allows the user to make speed changes without having to flip switches. An oversize grip that extends from the handle to the back of the housing gives the user multiple options for gripping the tool when working at odd angles.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 1,100 rpm
  • Length: 5 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds (with 1.5 mAh battery)

Pros

  • Short head ideal for tight spaces
  • Good max speed for smaller-duty jobs
  • Ergonomic oversize grip

Cons

  • A little heavier and bulkier than other angle drills

Get the Ryobi ONE+ 18V cordless right angle drill at The Home Depot.

Best Corded

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI 6.2 Amp Corded 5/8 in. Hammer Drill
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This versatile corded drill can function as both a hammer drill and standard drill, making it an ideal choice for heavy-duty drilling jobs. It puts out a whopping 2,700 max rpm, allowing it to power through harder materials such as concrete. A switch on the drill’s top toggles the drill between hammer and drill mode.

An ergonomic handle with an oversize grip that extends onto the housing allows the operator to get a firm grip on the drill. This drill also comes with multiple attachments, including a detachable side handle and a depth stop rod. A variable speed dial located on the trigger makes on-the-fly adjustments easy, while a locking trigger reduces hand fatigue when drilling through harder surfaces.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 2,700 rpm
  • Length: 11.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds

Pros

  • Can function as a standard drill or hammer drill
  • Ergonomic handle with rubber grip adds comfort
  • Speed control located on the trigger for on the fly changes

Cons

  • Heavier weight can make the drill more cumbersome over longer jobs

Get the Ryobi 6.2 Amp corded hammer drill at The Home Depot.

Best for Driving Bolts

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI ONE+ 18V Cordless 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
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With a max output of 750 inch-pounds of torque and a top speed of 2,100 rpm, Ryobi’s brushless cordless hammer drill is the most powerful drill the brand has to offer. To support these greater forces, Ryobi smartly trades the plastic construction found on many of its cordless drills for a durable metal chuck and die-cast metal gearcase.

Although Ryobi’s brushless hammer drill lacks the drive mode of the brushed version of its cordless hammer, it still allows the user to control rpm and power with a two-speed setting and a 24-position clutch for making adjustments to torque. Other notable features include a side-mounted handle and an integrated LED work light.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 2,100 rpm
  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds (with battery)

Pros

  • Produces plenty of torque and speed
  • Lightweight and compact for a hammer drill
  • 2 speeds and 24 clutch positions for controlling power and speed

Cons

  • Lacks the drive mode of Ryobi’s brushed hammer drill

Get the Ryobi ONE+ hammer drill at The Home Depot.

Best for Driving Screws

The Best Ryobi Drills Option: RYOBI 4-Volt QuickTurn Cordless Hex Screwdriver Kit
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The power and torque that Ryobi’s line of drills offers can be overkill when working with machine screws that more powerful drivers can strip or cross-thread. With its smaller 4-volt battery, max rpm of 600, and low torque output, this cordless screwdriver is an ideal choice for lighter-duty applications, such as removing the screws from an appliance or a light switch plate.

The screwdriver is also versatile, thanks to a twist handle that allows the user to quickly convert it from a pistol-grip design to a standard straight screwdriver. A grip that covers the entire handle and a variable speed trigger that runs the length of the handle makes it easy to hold and operate. At just 8 ounces, Ryobi’s cordless screwdriver is the lightest power drill Ryobi offers.

Product Specs 

  • Max speed: 600 rpm
  • Length: 7 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces (with battery)

Pros

  • Low rpm and variable speed trigger make it ideal for driving smaller fasteners
  • Compact size and light weight make it easy to use
  • Adjustable handle adds versatility

Cons

  • Only powerful enough for light-duty applications

Get the Ryobi 4-Volt cordless screwdriver at The Home Depot.

Our Verdict

For its ample speed of 1,750 rpm and max torque of 500 inch-pounds, the RYOBI ONE+ HP 18V Cordless 1/2 in. drill is Ryobi’s best all-around drill. Those looking for even better performance may want to consider the RYOBI ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless 1/2-in. Drill with its max speed of 2,100 rpm.

How We Chose the Best Ryobi Drills

We used several criteria to narrow the field of Ryobi drills down to these top models. Since the brand’s drills suit different needs, we included standard corded drills, cordless drills, impact drivers, cordless screwdrivers, and hammer drills. Ryobi drills have features that are common across the brand’s product line, so we looked for features that differentiate these drills, such as work lights and speed controls. Since speed and torque are important attributes in drills and drivers, we stuck with models that provide ample rpm and turning force for their drill type. We also leaned toward models that allow users to better control the drill with multiple speed settings, variable speed control triggers, and a broad range of clutch settings.

FAQs

Find out why you don’t need to buy a battery for your new cordless Ryobi drill if you already own cordless Ryobi products, what to do if you can’t get the bit out of the drill’s chuck, and the answers to even more commonly asked questions about the product line.

Q. What is the Ryobi One+ system?

The Ryobi ONE+ system is a collection of some 260 cordless power tools that all use the same Ryobi lithium-ion batteries. This system allows users to use the batteries interchangeably across all Ryobi ONE products.

Q. How do you get a drill bit out of a Ryobi power drill?

Getting a drill bit out of a Ryobi drill depends on the type of chuck. Drills with keyless chucks allow the user to loosen the drill bit by twisting the chuck counterclockwise by hand. Some Ryobi drills require the user to loosen the chuck using a chuck key that is included with the drill.

Q. How do I unlock a Ryobi drill?

Sometimes a drill chuck can get locked if it’s opened too wide while attempting to put a larger bit inside. To unlock a locked chuck on a Ryobi drill, wrap the chuck in a piece of cloth, then grip it tightly with a pair of pliers and turn the chuck clockwise to break it free. Next, turn the chuck until the jaws are completely closed to reset it.

Q. How long will a Ryobi drill last?

While the drill itself can last for many years if properly maintained, the batteries that power it will typically only last for 3 to 4 years before they begin to lose the ability to reach their maximum charge.