Whether you’re a carpenter, plumber, electrician, or just a general handyman around the house, you need good tools to back up your work. A lot of great tools have been hitting the market recently from top-name manufacturers. Some of those manufacturers, like Ryobi, are pushing to release powerful, durable, and energy-efficient tools. Their green lineup of cordless power tools delivers on all of those aspects.
Ryobi has released a series of cordless, brushless tools that can compete with the more expensive competition. They’ve also reinvented their reputation. In the past, their cordless tools were known for lacking the power necessary to deliver consistently on the job. Their new line of tools completely demolishes that generalization. It’s easy to say the green line are some of the best cordless tools on the market today.
Their brushless sanders and routers have already earned a large following of carpenters who love how easy the tools are to handle. But it’s one of their more recent products, their Ryobi P1813 battery-powered hammer drill that has stolen the spotlight. It’s incredibly powerful, surprisingly compact, and houses one of the best batteries to grace a power tool in some years.
The following review will take a closer look at the new Ryobi cordless hammer drill and what it has to offer. You can use the information to help you make a smart purchasing decision and ensure that you have the best tools for the job.
Ryobi P1813 Quick Overview
The Ryobi P1813 is an 18V cordless hammer drill capable of delivering an impressive 750 in/lbs of torque. Those are numbers you expect to see on large, heavy-duty power tools that you plug into the wall. Not on compact battery-powered drills that cost a fraction of the price. But it’s not just the amount of torque that the drill produces that impresses people.
The drill comes with three different settings that make it perfect for just about any job. There is a drill mode, a drive mode, and a hammer mode. The drill mode is a lot like what you would expect from a standard drill. The major difference is that a standard drill can produce about 350 in/lbs of torque while this power drill can produce 750 in/lb.
The drive mode works similarly to an impact driver and the hammer mode is for drilling holes in bricks and concrete at 24,000 BPM with a 1/2” chuck. Essentially, this Ryobi 18V hammer drill is performing the job of 3 different tools. It’s more than enough for work around the home and is perfectly capable of handling tough tasks on the job site.
Of course, having a drill capable of punching through masonry won’t help much if the drill itself can’t stand up to the beating. With many manufacturers, that leads to sacrificing comfort in order to improve durability. Ryobi somehow found a way to design an extremely rugged hammer drill that also feels very comfortable. Not only can it take a beating, but it features a comfortable ergonomic grip.
As powerful as the drill might be, it is still slightly less powerful than its corded counterpart. This is to be expected of any battery-powered drill on the market. However, the P1813 does a great job of getting as close as possible. Internal safety mechanisms will cause the drill to shut down if reaching overload capacity. This prevents the motor from being damaged and protects your investment.
- Cordless yet capable of delivering 750 in/lb of torque.
- Three-speed settings make the drill ideal for multiple tasks.
- A Brushless motor greatly increases the efficiency of the tool.
- A large 4-amp hour battery with a power gauge that keeps you informed.
- Slightly less powerful than its corded alternative.
- A few complaints about a high pitch noise during operation.
- Heavier than most cordless hammer drills, but for good reason.
Important features of the Ryobi hammer drill
If there was any one feature that makes the Ryobi P1813 such a great hammer drill it would be its powerful brushless motor. Brushless motors have steadily grown in popularity over the past five years. Most of the best tools on the market today use them, but they also come with a hefty price tag. The P1813 manages to remain affordable while still using the most efficient technology possible.
The major benefit of using a brushless motor is its ability to sense resistance and adjust to the job. If the drill detects more resistance on the job, then it can draw more power from the battery and put more energy into the motor. Similarly, if the drill is lacking resistance, then it can lessen its power pull. In contrast, your average brushed motor will simply go max power at whatever speed setting you are using.
This ability to sense resistance and pull the necessary power increases battery life and reduces degradation of the tool. That translates into more use for each charge as well as a longer lifetime for the tool in general. A secondary benefit of the Ryobi brushless motor is that it doesn’t suffer from friction while operating. This also increases the lifespan of the motor.
When you combine a highly efficient brushless motor with a massive 4 amp hour battery the result is a powerful tool that can work all day without slowing down. The lithium-ion Ryobi drill battery is one of the largest batteries in any Ryobi product. It’s capable of powering the tool in harsh climates as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. And there’s a visible gauge on the side that shows you just how much power the battery has remaining.
When the battery isn’t in use it can quickly be charged with the included battery charger. The charger also works for most of the other 18V Ryobi One lineup. It’s capable of powering a 2 amp hour battery in about 30 minutes. It will take about twice that to fully power the P1813 battery.
You might be wondering which benefits of the P1813 really cause it to stand out from the competition. After all, there are a few other cordless hammer drills on the market that have earned a decent reputation. What is it that makes the P1813 from Ryobi a good investment? Here are the top 3 reasons.
You won’t find another cordless hammer drill in this price range that is capable of outputting 750 in/lb of torque. It’s the best on the market and only slightly less powerful than many corded hammer drills. You can feel the power in your hands when you use the drill in hammer mode. On a side note, the cushioned ergonomic grip ensures all that power doesn’t actually hurt your hand. You can feel it, but you won’t be complaining.
Several Small But Useful Features
The Ryobi P1813 includes several small features that are easy to overlook at first. But once you’re using the drill at work you’ll realize how helpful those features can be. For example, three mode settings on top of the drill make it easy to quickly switch from driving, to impact, to hammer mode. No need to waste time swapping one drill out for another.
Another small but helpful feature is the battery power gauge. No worries about starting a big job only to realize that your battery needed to be charged. The gauge keeps you informed at all times and is a lot more helpful than a simple “low battery” LED.
Finally, at the base of the drill is a magnetic bit holder. You can store a handful of the bits you need for the job. It completely eliminates the need to walk away and find bits while you’re working. Combine that with the easy mode switching and you can easily save several hours of time over the course of a few years.
Highly Efficient Motor
The benefits of the brushless motor cannot be stressed enough. An alternative brushed motor capable of outputting the same amount of torque would wear itself down twice as fast. While it’s true that brushless motors generally cost about thirty percent more than brushed motors, the investment is worth it. It will add years to the lifespan of your tool and hours to every charge of your battery.
Your neighbor may save more money upfront by purchasing a competing cordless hammer drill that uses a brushed motor, but in a few years, he will be buying a replacement. You; however, will still be using the same Ryobi P1813 with the brushless motor.
Ryobi P1813 suitable uses
The Ryobi hammer drill is perfect for workers in a variety of fields. It’s especially useful for carpenters thanks to its three different mode settings. Obviously, the normal drive mode would be used most often. If you need to drive screws into the woodwork, then the impact setting is perfect. And on occasion when you need to drill into a basement floor you can easily switch over to hammer mode and finish the job.
If you’re a plumber, then you already know just how important your drill is. You probably already have a dedicated driver drill and a hammer drill, but why not combine them both? And if you don’t already have a hammer drill, then now is the time to invest. The hammer drill is necessary for drilling into the masonry when installing the brackets that hold water and waste pipes. The 1/2” chuck on the P1813 is ideal for installing dishwashers.
Electricians in commercial environments often find themselves needing impact drivers and hammer drills. It is especially useful for connecting conduit boxes to concrete and masonry. They aren’t used quite as often in residential tasks, but they are still nice to have around. You might find yourself attaching lighting on the outside of a brick house or in a basement with brick walls.
Ryobi has always been a favorite for DIY tasks around the house. That certainly hasn’t changed with the Ryobi P1813. If you live in a brick home, then any work you do on the outside of the house has the potential to require a hammer drill. Similarly, a lot of the work you might do in the basement could require a hammer drill. And the fact that it easily switches between a hammer drill, impact driver, and standard driver means there’s no need to carry three tools with you and clutter the project area.
A little more about Ryobi
If you’re considering buying a tool you should always look beyond just the tool itself. This is especially true if it’s a new tool or a new line of tools. You need to consider the manufacturer and their reputation. How long have they been around? Are they known for manufacturing quality tools that last? Who do they target with their products?
Luckily, Ryobi has a mostly positive reputation with only a few small blemishes on their track record. Of course, no company is perfect and Ryobi’s history looks a lot better than some of its competition’s.
Ryobi is a Japanese-based company that’s been in business for the better half of a century. They were founded in 1943 and manufacture a variety of products aside from power tools, such as printing equipment and automobile components. It wasn’t until 1968 that they officially began manufacturing power tools.
Their power tools have always been known for their long durability. Though, in the past, their cordless tools were often said to lack enough power for the job. That may be why they worked so hard with the P1813 to ensure it had enough power to tackle any task.
Are Ryobi cordless drills any good?
As a buyer, you probably want to know if the Ryobi P1813 is worth the investment. The simple answer is “yes”. If you need a hammer drill, an impact driver, or even a standard driver. The drill itself is extremely affordable, it has a lot of great features, and it can outlast all of the competition if properly cared for.