The 18-Volt Ryobi Impact Wrench
is a rather light and popular power tool which packs a significant punch that can complete many jobs within a reasonable period of time–and even does so on a modest budget.
Many years ago when I was really first whetting my whistle with cordless tools and a relatively small budget, a small Ryobi was gifted to me from my mom, of all people. That drill, if I remember correctly, was around a 9.6-volt model with a built-in, non-removable battery (don’t burn me if I don’t remember the voltage correctly, I’m just writing this from memory, guys!). It wasn’t what I would call “powerful” or long-lasting, but it was definitely nice to have around the house.
I was able to use it for all of my tinkering and light woodworking projects, and while it didn’t have superb torque for driving large, long wood screws, it was definitely a good tool for drilling some pilot holes and setting shorter screws. For a while, this was kind of my impression of Ryobi. It felt to me like their stuff wasn’t capable of competing with the stronger, higher-quality, more expensive brands (which were sadly out of my price range at the time).
The company might not be based in Kobe, but they have definitely been beefing things up.
However, over the years times have really changed a lot–and I do mean a lot–in the field of technology and that change has had profound affects on the power tool industry as well. One of those changes is that Ryobi is now a much more important player in the field than before, beefing up their tools to make them more competitive with the likes of their older Japanese brother and tool powerhouse, Makita. The prices are more reachable to most buyers and they seem to play to that more than most of the famous brands do.
My impression now is that while it may lack a wee bit of the kind of power that other, larger and more expensive brands and makes boast, this particular impact is nothing to sniff at as it does offer its targeted users a variety of kick-arse, helpful benefits, and this is clearly shown in customers’ raving reviews. Not only that, their sales have grown significantly in light of the company’s commitment to changes over the last few years in their cordless tool and impact wrench lineup.
This model, as practically all similar tools today, uses regular lithium ion batteries which are long-lasting and do not drain as quickly as previous models, and in addition to that, the size and weight of the impact make it extremely portable as the drill and battery are small enough to fit in most any space. Consequently, it is an excellent choice for a roadside tire-changer for lighter vehicles, if you happen to find yourself in that position, so you could always toss one in the trunk or under/behind the seat.
Based on my own personal opinion, I also believe that this impact wrench is also a great choice for ladies who wish to be able to change their own tires or learn to do so.
To further add to its convenience, this impact tool also makes use of multiple LED lights which are more than adequate enough to provide good quality, focused lighting for any job you may happen to have in mind. It may be taken for granted when you buy it, but when the time comes and you need that light, you’ll see why it’s an important feature to have. More and more tools these days are including these LED lights, but not all of them have the design and setup of this particular model. Pretty much the only thing on the market that’s going to give you more shine that the P261 from Japan is the Christmas tree in Times Square, New York.
A simple thing, sure, but one we really like, so our hats off to Ryobi for making this call. Bravo — we salute you.
In my opinion, what you get with this Ryobi cordless is an well-balanced impact wrench that is amazingly easy to get a feel for, use, and control. It is powered sufficiently for most tasks and even compatible with different power sources. The price point isn’t a problem either, and it can even be picked up as a kit if needed.
RYOBI IMPACT WRENCH: PART OF A FOCUS
As a matter of point, over the years, what the Ryobi company has done is take the cordless power invention of Black and Decker in 1961 and set to work by further fortifying the design idea, placing a higher priority on the number of compatible battery makes over anything else. This idea was amplified even more as they introduced their One Plus line of batteries and tools, which offer compatibility with over seventy different, portable power tools and equipment (made for a variety of uses) which can be used interchangeably with their one battery system.
Since the whole body of the impact wrench was already an incredible creation to begin with, this growing power tool maker opted instead to focus on improving the swapping-out feature of the impact wrench with other parts in order to increase its compatibility and usefulness. This was a very practical and useful, customer-oriented approach, which is fitting and great because that’s basically how we view Ryobi cordless tools and equipment in general, as having practical uses in day-to-day projects and tasks.
Ryobi Impact Wrench Features
- Has Quite a Strong Impact Mechanism for its size at 300 foot-pounds of torque
- Is Compatible with several different battery types, including: P100, P101, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and P108
- Three LED lights flare-up when trigger is pulled
- Dual Chemistry Chargers
- Uses Volt ONE+ Technology for longer-lasting and stronger work
- 2900 Rotations Per Minute (RPM)
- 3200 Impacts Per Minute (IPM)
- No Load Speed–just go
- 3-Speed Settings for a wider range of applications and control
This wrench may not necessarily be considered a “heavyweight, but bear in mind that this is not even close to being a toy, even if it does feel light to hold. The impact wrench is a 3.45-pound power tool that is easy to wield and very compact, but it also seems to have just about the right amount of torque despite its light design and comfortable, balanced feel.
To add further to its novelty, the Ryobi is also great to use in dark places because the manufacturer linked the trigger of the wrench to three LED lights–called “Tri-Beam Lighting”–rather than simply one, as peer companies normally do. Every time it is depressed, the tool emits light that shines on the surface being worked on, with the triple LEDs providing an all-around visibility for the user, rather than most cordless tools’ typical one-LED setup above the trigger. This is a simple but excellent upgrade in our eyes. Why can’t more companies do this??
There are many other bulky, cumbersome, or unwieldy cordless impact wrenches out there, which are quite a bit heavier and substantially more difficult to maneuver than this one, mainly because of the design related to the grip and balancing. In this area alone, it seems that Ryobi spent some time to ensure that the weight, awkwardness, and fatigue for the user would all be non-issues with this impact by deviating from the the other manufacturing companies’ designs and making this tool practically as light as a feather. All in all, the performance and power it delivers really does surprise at first, and it’s all because of the weight itself, which is sneakily hidden inside a rather well-balanced housing.
It is a swift, agile impact wrench that absolutely can be the main workhorse for people on the go. The power and torque it possesses is just simply off the charts for its class, which is something almost unheard of in small tools of similar application, price, or design.
- At up to 2,900 rotations per minute, the Ryobi impact makes work a lot faster and easier alongside its 300 lbs/square foot of torque, which enable it to muscle its way through most any task you set it to knock out. Add to that the three different speed settings and it becomes easier to match the impact up to the desired application more appropriately.
- The weight really does make a difference because you can hold onto the tool much longer than similar impact wrenches, not to mention moving it more easily, adjusting it to a more comfortable level, putting to use the various speed settings across multiple applications, and finishing your workload for the day with almost zero downtime in the process.
- Charging this little tool is surprisingly fast because of its dual chemistry-designed chargers (which are included only in a kit). Most users of this battery and charger system say that they are able to fill up the battery levels twice as fast as most other chargers they have used. Again, this cuts down your work time faster than a participant in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Finals can get out a full sentence.
- The batteries! Goodness gracious, the batteries! It absolutely cannot run out of compatible batteries! As of this writing, there are at least eight rechargeable batteries listed for sale alone on Amazon’s pages that can work with this device. The number will likely even increase more as manufacturing and technology improves over the years and Ryobi continues to both revisit and develop their cordless tools and impact wrenches. As mentioned before, this has been an area of focus for the multi-faceted company, therefore it only stands to reason that more choices will become available in the future, as well.
- Sitting at around 3,200, the IPM (impacts per minute–a “flurry of strikes”–read more here) could have actually been a bit better – a slight increase or bump-up could really give its performance a terrific upgrade and, in our opinion, shouldn’t be very difficult for Ryobi to do with this model. We wouldn’t say straight out that this is a “bad” thing per-se, but rather that it could just be a huge, noticeable, and excellent change. Keep in mind that 3,200 is already a significant number of impacts that is high enough for most uses, but with the 300 pounds of torque, it would really be helpful. If, however, you are using this for heavier-duty purposes that require more impact, then it’s quite possible that you would be pressed to look elsewhere to get the job done. There are, of course, other tools that can and do make better progress in the IPM department, so that is easily an option for you, the consumer. *Please check out our other reviews or do a search above in order to find one!
- Much to some buyer’s surprise, the charger is actually not included in the box. Purchasing the charging device separately can definitely be a nuisance for some people, but this temporary annoyance can easily be avoided by snatching up a kit alongside the drill purchase! Nowadays, there are many kits available and some are asking the question, “Why not include the charger and batteries with all wrenches?” Well, the answers to this question vary but the simple and straight-forward reason is because it is not “always” needed. Just be aware of its omission and you’ll be good to go. Ryobi could have included the charger in the box, but they opted to sell their power tool without the charger, so as a result this could be disappointing for those who expect the complete power tool and for that reason it’s worth us mentioning it here.
This green impact wrench scores four out of five stars from WrenchGuru because of fact that the basic package lacks a charger–you will be forced to buy it separately. (A kit is available from some online retailers such as Amazon). Although a small thing, it is still odd to not have it included as it is a necessary component and the option should be there, rather than making it always separate. Why not have a second option? That’s our thinking.
Other than this one small lapse in Ryobi’s judgment, the Ryobi 18-Volt Impact Wrench shines and stands-out in basically all aspects of the ideal impact wrench – being lightweight, heavy-hitting, durable, high in RPM’s and IPM’s, and next to zero hiccups in performance or usability.
This 18-volt impact wrench shines in practically everything. You do not need to buy another impact wrench if you want a stronger impact wrench–with only a few, large-scale exceptions. The size of the tool is also just enough to accommodate 200 foot-pounds of torque; it truly is a great design that makes this green tool stand out from the rest of the competition.
Tools on the market today with higher torque can be heavier and require far longer charging times. Ryobi invested some time and money in this area, and made sure that their impact wrench is the complete opposite of that so that charging won’t consume much time from the user. This will keep you working longer and get more done–leaving a great but positive “impact” on your work flow.
The Volt ONE+ is excellent in making sure that the time used for charging will not be drastically or unnecessarily high, as with some models. The charging time it spends on other similar and compatible batteries is practically the same as it is with these, as well.
If this is not THE tool, then this is definitely one of the tools to buy when you want a great balance between the IPM, RPM, battery, charging, and price. If you want or require something with much higher torque, then there are definitely other options out there, but you must remember that the cost will be significantly higher, plus they are heavier, and harder to grip because of their size, increasing fatigue. How long will you be holding and using it at a time? It’s important to think about it and then decide what to buy.
This impact wrench is the lighter option when you want quality construction and a decent price tag that won’t make an impact on your wallet, just on your application.
For more information directly from the company about the Ryobi Impact Wrench, check out their video about the 18v One Plus Cordless Impact: