Ryobi 18V ONE+ HP Compact Brushless Drill and Impact Driver Review

I’ve written a number of times about how much I like my Ryobi tools. This summer one of my small 1.5 Ah batteries died, so I looked at getting new ones. While many people prefer the larger batteries that last longer, my projects typically are short and don’t require a lot of power. The small batteries are lighter and make the tools easier to use. Home Depot (the exclusive seller of Ryobi products), has a version of 1.5 Ah batteries that don’t have a fuel gauge on them; to me, this makes the batteries pretty useless. There are a number of sellers on eBay selling the 1.5 Ah batteries with the gauges for about $30 per battery.

I saw that Ryobi released new HP brushless tools including a drill/driver kit with 2 1.5 Ah batteries that have fuel gauges! The cost, however, is $180 meaning the driver and drill are about $120. As I already have a perfectly good drill and driver, it was hard to justify.

For the holidays, I saw that Home Depot discounted the set by $40 bringing the cost to a bit more reasonable $140. I still didn’t need the set, but the new tools are lighter than my current ones and potentially more powerful than the ones that I bought many, many years ago. I couldn’t help myself and hit the buy button!

The tools arrived last week and the batteries are smaller and slightly lighter than my existing 1.5 Ah battery and have a sleeker design. The new impact driver weighs 842 g (without battery) and the drill 952 g vs 1192 g and 1226 g respectively for my old set (I have an even older drill that weighs 1420 g). The battery is 410 g vs 446 g for the 1.5 Ah battery. The weight differences are huge!


Left is the oldest drill/driver; middle was the one I bought a few years ago and the one on the right is the latest brushless drill/driver

Old and new impact drivers
Left is old impact driver; right is new impact driver.

I’ve used both tools briefly and they perform well. Are they better than the older tools? Maybe marginally, but it is hard for me to tell. I’ve seen a video where the person compared the new brushless drill/driver with the old brushless driver and found it less powerful (he had some odd results depending on the type of battery he used). Am I going to notice? I will definitely notice the weight difference, but probably not the performance.


  • Brushless motors
  • Lighter than what I already had


  • May not provide better performance (depending on what you already have)

If you have existing tools that work, it is really hard to justify these new HP brushless drill/driver. Having extra batteries is always good and the lighter ones are well worth it for me. If the tools last as long as my old ones, then this will be an excellent purchase.

I was impressed enough with the set that I purchased the combo set for my dad. He has been using a 12V DeWalt drill for ages that is starting to fail. He likes the lightweight tools and I hope that he can get as excited for the Ryobi tools as I am.

Combining Ryobi Batteries and Emergency Preparedness

As I’ve written about before, I really like my Ryobi tools. I have a number of batteries to go with the tools that sit idle most of the time. Ryobi sells a USB charger as well as an inverter that plugs into the batteries. Ryobi’s options didn’t fit well with my usage as I wanted a way to be able to power 12V electronics such as my HAM radio, HAM radio charger, etc. and using a 120V inverter would be very inefficient. I found a 3D printed case that goes on top of the battery that was pretty close to what I wanted. However, I didn’t want a power switch, didn’t want USB ports and it didn’t terminate in Anderson PowerPole connectors that I use with my HAM radio equipment.

The first step in creating what I wanted was to get the case to look right. As my son is a wizard at Fusion 360, I asked him to make a few modifications to the case to close it up. I then printed the pieces and purchased a step down converter and some Keystone 209 cell leaf spring contacts. I soldered the spring clips to the step down converter, soldered the other end of the converter onto a short piece of 14 gauge wire and then terminated the wire in the PowerPole connectors.

Using some screws I had lying around and hot glue, I assembled all the pieces. Now I have a case that I can easily put on a Ryobi battery that has a 12V PowerPole connector on the top ready to accept any number of devices.

It is a pretty simple project and am not sure when I’ll ever need to use it, but I have 2 of them just in case I need some extra emergency power. I have a cigarette lighter adapter to PowerPole that I can plug in and then can put USB chargers in there or I can plug in an inverter or even my HAM radio. I’m not sure of the runtime with a battery, but with the 7 Ryobi batteries I have, I’m sure I can at least charge a few cell phones!

Ryobi Power Block

Ryobi Power Block with Inverter

Ryobi Tools Still Going Strong

About a decade ago, I wrote about Ryobi cordless tools. At the time, I stated that the tools weren’t the top of the line, but adequate for my use. In the course of that time, I’ve added a number of tools and batteries to my collection. I’ve been very pleased with the variety of tools from a tire inflator to a jigsaw to a vacuum cleaner.

I think I’m up to almost 20 tools and a handful of batteries. Having the right tool for the right job is always key to me, so when I’ve found deals on new tools to add to the collection, I’ve been trying to jump on them. In the time that I’ve owned all the tools, I’ve had 2 or 3 batteries fail, but other than the circular saw initially not working, everything is holding up. My most used tool is probably the reciprocating saw. It has gotten beat up as I use it to cut bamboo, tree limbs, etc. It still is a solid performer.

For the average homeowner, I would hands down recommend the Ryobi 18V tool system as having a single type of battery for all tools makes it so easy to just grab a tool and use it. I have 2 of the chargers mounted on my workbench and can just charge batteries when I need them; the charged batteries sit on a shelf and I always have one ready.