Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver

Last updated date: August 31, 2019

DWYM Score
9.4

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Impact Drivers and dug through the reviews from 5 of the most popular review sites including Tool Nerds, Tool Powers, Drill & Driver and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Impact Driver you should buy.

Overall Take

A powerful battery gives the Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver its value, but you'll also get LED lights that illuminate your work area to make it easier for you. Tool-free bit changing saves time and keeps you focused on the task at hand. One of the best things about this tool is its very affordable price, which is much lower than with competing impact drivers. In our analysis of 54 expert reviews, the Ryobi Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver placed 2nd when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Impact Driver for a detailed review of all the top impact drivers.

Expert Summarized Score
9.5
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.3
610 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
I love the 3 LED lights on the front of the tool which helps eliminate shadows.
- Tools In Action
The long-lasting battery and the ergonomic grip make this tool ideal for prolonged use.
- Tool Nerds
Extremely light weight, with 2.6 pounds it becomes too easier to handle the driver.
- Homefrik
For the environmentalist, this helps save a substantial amount of resources and subsequent pollution that goes into the manufacture of chargers and batteries.
- Tool Powers
Impact driver is powerful and can change bits quickly
- Drill & Driver
What experts didn't like
While we wish it was a little lighter, using a compact battery will lower the weight.
- Tools In Action
The LED light ignites only when pressing the trigger, which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
- Tool Nerds
While you need to purchase a separate battery and charger, this unit is among the devices that use the Ryobi One+ range battery.
- Tool Powers
Delays in LED light
- Drill & Driver

From The Manufacturer

The RYOBI® 18V ONE+™ Impact Driver delivers more innovation, features and power than ever before. The variable speed trigger assists in screw start up, allowing the unique impact mechanism to drive the longest deck screws or largest lag screws with ease by delivering more than 1,600 in lbs. of torque. It is over 33% faster and more powerful than the previous model and incorporates Tri-Beam LED lights to eliminate shadows on bits and fasteners in the darkest work areas. When it is time get things done, just take the bit from the convenient on-board storage and place it in the Auto-load chuck. Nothing could be easier for fast, one handed bit changes. Use the EXCLUSIVE MagTray™ magnetic holder to keep screws and bits in easy reach. The new and improved GripZone™ overmold provides users optimum grip and comfort to equal a pro featured tool with performance to match. The 18V ONE+™ Impact Driver is sold as a bare tool, allowing you to build on your ONE+™ collection without spending additional money on batteries and chargers with each tool purchase. Best of all, like every RYOBI® 18V ONE+™ blue or green tool, this Impact Driver works with any 18V ONE+™ battery. Upgrade to lithium-ion or LITHIUM+™ batteries for lighter weight and better performance.

Overall Product Rankings

1. DeWalt Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 6
2. Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 5
4. DeWalt Impact Driver Combo Kit
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Bosch Brushless Socket Ready Impact Driver
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
6. Hitachi Cordless Lithium Ion Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Milwaukee Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 3
8. Makita Cordless Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 5
9. Bosch Impact Driver Kit
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6

An Overview On Impact Drivers

When a drill just won’t do the trick, it’s time to bring in the power of an impact driver. These high-torque tools are great for driving screws and tightening nuts quickly. Due to their high power, they can help you accomplish results quickly, allowing you to save time during big projects. You can also purchase an impact hammer that will help with fabrication projects.

Your first concern when you’re shopping for an impact driver will likely be power. Most impact drivers will give you plenty of power, but you’ll want to pay attention to the motor on the tool you choose since it plays an integral role. You should also look at speed control. Some impact drills have multiple speed settings to put you in control of how much power you’re delivering.

Be sure you don’t forget safety. Some impact drivers build in tools like anti-slip technology, which helps ensure your grip stays steady while you’re working. Stability is also important. Avoid impact drivers that wobble a little more than they should while you’re working. If you choose a tool with that issue, make sure you pay close attention to what you need to do to keep it in line.

As with any cordless power tool, battery life is essential. Look for an impact driver that runs on Lithium-ion batteries to ensure you get longevity, both with each session and with the length of time it will last before needing to be replaced. You should also make sure batteries are included with your purchase, so you’ll be prepared with battery on hand if one isn’t included.

One final, very important feature is comfort. You’ll likely be holding your impact driver over a period of time that can become uncomfortable if you choose the wrong one. Search for a tool that features ergonomic design and a grip that doesn’t make it easy to slip while you’re working. This not only helps with comfort, but it also keeps you safe.

DYWM Fun Fact

Impact drivers combine the turning power of a drill with the forward motion of a hammer to deliver quicker results. Unlike a drill, which applies consistent and steady rotational power, an impact driver detects when you need forward motion and applies force using a combination of a spring, hammer and anvil. One easy-to-visualize comparison is to think of a drill as moving an object with your hand, while an impact drill punches it. An impact driver works rapidly at a rate of more than 50 times per second, so it’s a great way to get fast results with minimal effort.

The Impact Driver Buying Guide

  • Safety is always a concern with power tools. The Dewalt Impact Driver Kit is built with anti-slip technology that helps you keep a grip on it while you’re working. The Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit can sometimes be a bit wobbly, so it’s important to make sure you use it properly. You may also find that the resistance moves while you’re drilling.
  • Constantly stopping to adjust the amount of power going to your driver will slow you down. The Dewalt Impact Driver Kit has three speeds that you can easily adjust while you’re working. The Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit offers two speeds: 0-450 RPM and 1,500 RPM.
  • Power determines how well your driver works. While you’ll get great results from most impact drivers, the Dewalt Impact Driver Kit is built with a brushless motor, while the Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit has a high-torque motor and a high-performance transmission.
  • As with other cordless power tools, impact drivers rely on a battery to give them power. The Dewalt Impact Driver Kit has a 20-volt MAX XR battery that offers not only longer runtime, but also quicker charging than competitors. The Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver is one of the company’s products that uses Ryobi’s improved One+ battery.
  • One feature the Dewalt Impact Driver Kit and Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit have that others don’t is a battery indicator. This lets you know just how much runtime you have remaining so you don’t end up with an unpleasant surprise.
  • With some models, you’ll have to purchase your battery separately. The Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit and Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit come with batteries.
  • It’s important to look for Lithium-Ion technology in your batteries to get faster charging and longevity. The Dewalt Impact Driver Kit, Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver, Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit and Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit all run on Lithium-Ion batteries.
  • The Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit’s batteries are spring-loaded, helping keep them in place.
  • If you’re looking for an extremely affordable impact driver, consider the Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver, which you can get for less than $50. But the Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit is available for less than $150, and the Dewalt Impact Driver Kit and Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit can each be found for less than $200.
  • You may not think about it until you start using it, but the LED lights on some impact drivers can come in handy. They illuminate the area just in front of it. The Dewalt Impact Driver Kit and Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit both light up within 20 seconds of pulling the trigger, while the three LED lights on the Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver lights up with the pull of the trigger.
  • During those longer work sessions, gripping your driver can get uncomfortable. The Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver is built for comfort with an ergonomic design.
  • No matter what the design of your power tool, weight will make it less comfortable. The Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver and Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit feature lightweight designs at 2.6 pounds and 2.8 pounds, respectively. The Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit is a bit heavier at 3.2 pounds.
  • The Ryobi Cordless Impact Driver features tool-free bit changing. When it’s time to change bits, you just plug a bit into the chuck and lock it in. To remove it, you’ll pull the collar back, and it will pop right out. The Dewalt Impact Driver Combo Kit’s bits can be changed using only one hand.
  • The Porter Cable Impact Driver Kit’s durability is impressive. The bits remain in place even when you shake it.