The Best Ryobi Drills for Your Budget and Needs

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

By Tony Carrick | Updated Dec 6, 2023 6:55 PM

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A person using the best Ryobi drill to build a wooden playhouse outdoors.

Photo: homedepot.com

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 the premium brands, which 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. 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+ ½-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ryobi 5.5 Amp Corded ⅜-Inch Drill
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Ryobi ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless ½-Inch Drill
  4. BEST LIGHT-DUTY: Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ⅜-Inch Drill
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Ryobi ONE+ SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
  6. BEST FOR DRIVING FASTENERS: Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ¼-Inch Hex Impact Driver
  7. BEST COMPACT: Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless 3/8 in. Right Angle Drill
  8. BEST CORDED: Ryobi 6.2 Amp Corded ⅝-Inch Hammer Drill
  9. BEST FOR DRIVING BOLTS: Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ½-Inch Hammer Drill
  10. BEST FOR DRIVING SCREWS: Ryobi 18V ONE+ Cordless ¼-Inch Impact Driver
A person wearing a tool belt that has the best Ryobi drill hanging from it.

Photo: homedepot.com

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 common features 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 revolutions per minute (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.

Jenny Stanley, Bob Vila executive editor and product tester, says about Ryobi drills: “I have many Ryobi tools in my collection, but few are used as frequently as my trusty 18-volt drill/driver. It’s been my right hand through a DIY kitchen remodel and countless redecorating projects. A close second is my Ryobi impact driver, which I reach for when I need a little extra muscle. For example, it came through big-time when I replaced several interior doors and had to drive long screws through multiple 2x4s.”

Stanley’s two favorite Ryobi drills are previous models of the Best Overall and Best for Driving Bolts picks in our list of recommendations. “I’ve had them since 2010-ish, which speaks to their awesomeness in that I haven’t had to replace them in more than a decade!”

Our Top Picks

The list below includes some of the best power drills Ryobi offers, covering various drill types.

Best Overall

The Best Ryobi Drill Option: Ryobi ONE+ ½-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver Kit and its charger on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 1,750 rpm
  • Length: 7.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

Pros

  • Lightweight yet powerful model; ideal for extended use without much tiring
  • Impressive max speed can handle most DIY tasks
  • Flexible purchase options; available with or without a battery and charger

Cons

  • Lacks a clip to attach to a tool belt

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 matches cordless drills offered by many higher-priced premium power tool brands. A ½-inch chuck provides greater torque and versatility, allowing users to load it with 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 is a convenient place to put fasteners waiting on deck.

Get the Ryobi drill/driver kit at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Ryobi 5.5 Amp Corded ⅜-Inch Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 1,600 rpm
  • Length: 12.79 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

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. A handy lock-on button also eliminates the need to keep the trigger pressed during longer drilling efforts.

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

Upgrade Pick

The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless ½-Inch Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 2,100 rpm
  • Length: 7.28 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds (without 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

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 light integrated into the base and a bracket for a belt hook.

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

Best Light-Duty

The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ⅜-Inch Drill and its charger on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

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

Pros

  • Affordably priced kit compared to similar options
  • 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; tight spaces can be problematic

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 has 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, including an LED work light and a bit holder, 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.

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

Best Heavy-Duty

The Ryobi ONE+ SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 5,000 blows per minute (BPM) and 1,380 rpm
  • Length: 14.53 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds

Pros

  • Works as both a drill and a hammer drill; great for tough projects
  • Brushless motor provides extended runtime and better motor life
  • Easily switches between 3 modes with the turn of a dial

Cons

  • A little heavier than other drills; extended use can become tiring

Tackle heavy-duty drilling tasks with the Ryobi ONE+ SDS-Plus rotary hammer drill. This 18-volt cordless brushless drill packs power and versatility, making it the ultimate companion for demanding projects. With the option to purchase as a tool-only or complete kit with battery and charger, shoppers control their investment.

Switch between three dynamic modes effortlessly: rotary hammer for drilling into tough materials, standard drill for precision work, and hammer plus chisel for optimal versatility. Its brushless technology ensures extended runtime and high performance. The compact design and ergonomic grip provide comfort and control during long work hours.

Get the Ryobi rotary hammer drill at The Home Depot.

Best for Driving Fastener

The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ¼-Inch Hex Impact Driver on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 3,200 BPM and 3,200 rpm
  • Length: 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds (without battery)

Pros

  • Produces as much torque as premium brands
  • Swaps easily between 3 speed settings
  • Integrated triple work light for easier viewing

Cons

  • Longer than other impact drivers

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 has 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.

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

Best Compact

The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ⅜-Inch Right Angle Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 1,100 rpm
  • Length: 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.23 pounds (without battery)

Pros

  • Short head ideal is for tight spaces
  • Good max speed for smaller-duty jobs
  • Ergonomic oversize grip makes it easy to maneuver

Cons

  • A little heavier and bulkier than other angle drills

When working in close quarters, such as under a sink or between narrowly spaced wall studs, a standard cordless drill is often 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, fast enough to suit lighter-duty jobs. A variable-speed trigger allows users to make speed changes without flipping 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.

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

Best Corded

The Ryobi 6.2 Amp Corded ⅝-Inch Hammer Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 43,000 BPM and 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

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 has multiple attachments, including a detachable side handle and a depth stop rod. A variable-speed dial on the trigger makes on-the-fly adjustments easy, while a locking trigger reduces hand fatigue when drilling through harder surfaces.

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

Best for Driving Bolts

The Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless ½-Inch Hammer Drill on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 31,000 BPM and 2,100 rpm
  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds (without 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

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 gear case.

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 adjusting torque. Other notable features include a side-mounted handle and an integrated LED work light.

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

Best for Driving Screws

The Ryobi 18V ONE+ Cordless ¼-Inch Impact Driver on a white background.
Photo: homedepot.com

Product Specs

  • Max speed: 2,800 rpm
  • Length: 7.1 inches
  • Weight: 2.65 pounds (no battery), 6.9 pounds (with battery)

Pros

  • Ample power and speed for driving fasteners into both hardwood and softwood
  • Compatibility with Ryobi batteries for those who own additional Ryobi 18-volt tools
  • Features sturdy cast-aluminum gear housing for durability and longevity

Cons

  • Can be quite heavy when operating at a height

The Ryobi 18V ONE+ ¼-inch cordless impact driver is a reliable tool designed for various fastening and driving applications. With 1,800 inch-pounds of torque, it delivers the power needed to easily tackle various tasks. The 3,200 impacts per minute provide efficient and rapid performance, making quick work of your projects.

The ¼-inch quick-connect chuck ensures hassle-free bit changes, improving overall productivity. The impact driver’s sturdy cast-aluminum gear housing enhances durability, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of demanding jobsites.

The cordless design offers greater freedom of movement and convenience during use. Whether buyers are DIY enthusiasts or professionals, the Ryobi 18V ONE+ ¼-inch cordless impact driver is a valuable addition to an owner’s tool kit, delivering power and versatility for their fastening needs.

This Ryobi drill is available as a tool-only option or with the battery and charger included, so shoppers who already have a set of Ryobi tools do not need to invest in additional batteries if they don’t need to.

What our tester says: Glenda Taylor, Bob Vila staff writer and product tester, notes in The Best Impact Drivers that “the Ryobi impact driver performed on par with some of its more expensive competitors in my testing. The lime-green power tool put on an impressive show of driving fasteners into hardwood and softwood and removed over-tightened screws without stripping out the heads.”

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


Jump to Our Top Picks



A person using the best Ryobi drill to drive a large screw into an outdoor wooden structure.

Photo: homedepot.com

What to Consider When Choosing a Ryobi Drill

Since Ryobi puts out such a broad line of drills, it’s crucial for shoppers to familiarize themselves with the different types of drills and 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 small 4-volt batteries.
  • Drill drivers: Ryobi offers various cordless and wired drills that can function as a standard drill for boring holes and 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 them, creating 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 from 5 inches long for its most compact drill to 11.5 inches long 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 it, 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 with smaller fasteners or working with thinner drill bits.

Torque and Speed

A drill uses 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 rpm, indicating 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 brushed motors, allowing them to reach greater speeds and create more torque without overheating. The brushless design also makes this type of motor more efficient, allowing a runtime of up to 50 percent longer on a single charge while extending the motor’s life. Ryobi drills with brushless motors are 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 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 Ryobi’s cordless screwdriver, produce less speed and torque, making these tools ideal for situations where 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, of its drills include built-in work lights that help illuminate the workpiece while drilling. Some Ryobi drills include attachments like bit storage and magnet trays, making 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.

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 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 chuck type. 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 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 it in a cloth, 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 can last for many years if properly maintained, the batteries that power it will typically only last for 3 to 4 years before they lose the ability to reach their maximum charge.

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