Ryobi created an impact driver that features everything a professional impact driver has, but at half the cost. The 3 LED ring is awesome at lighting up the work area and taking away shadows. The uniquely place speed switch makes it easy to change speeds with one hand.
Ryobi is the leader in the homeowner cordless power tool market. While there are other homeowner brands available, no one has a larger battery line than Ryobi. The Ryobi 18V ONE+ means you can use today’s battery technology and older Ryobi tools. If you have been following us, you know we love Ryobi and their product line. They offer such a wide variety of products for their 18V line. So with that said let’s jump into the Ryobi Impact Driver Review.
Ryobi Impact Driver Review Overview
While I am a huge fan of Ryobi and their line up of tools and other products, I do wish they would add or change a couple things of their power tools. While I like their drills, impacts, and saws, I wish they would come out with a compact drill and a compact impact driver. Something small for the homeowner. Not everyone needs all the power of a big tool. Some homeowners just want an easy, small drill and impact.
Again, I love their circular saw and reciprocating saw, but a newer design with something more economical would be great. With that said, it still doesn’t take away from my recommending Ryobi because of everything they offer.
I would just like to see them come out with a compact drill and impact driver for those who don’t need all that power. For those who want something lightweight and easy to work with. After all, it’s a homeowner brand. I think if Ryobi could create a compact drill and impact driver and couple that with their compact batteries, they would have a killer option for those who don’t need all the weight.
With that said, the P238 is a little beefier but packs a powerful punch. The Ryobi P238 is a reason that Ryobi is a serious contender, even against some of the professional brands. When Ryobi designed this impact, they didn’t hold back. They wanted to create a powerful, longer running, longer lasting impact driver.
Ryobi Impact Driver Review Features
Ryobi designed the P238 impact driver with a brushless motor. A brushless motor can offer a longer motor life, more speed, more torque and more durability when compared to a brushed motor. The impact puts out 2,200 in-lbs of torque and 4,350 IPM which rivals most professional impact drivers.
While most power tool manufacturers place their speed selector switch on the base of the tool, Ryobi opted to design it on the back of the impact. For me, I think this is extremely cool. I can now access the speed selection and operate the tool with a single hand. If I am working above and need to change the power, I can reach back with my thumb and make the change.
A user can switch between three speeds:
- Low speed: 0-1,100 RPM
- Medium speed: 0-2,150 RPM
- High speed: 0-3,100 RPM
One of the coolest or pronounced features of this impact driver is the 3 LED light ring on the front of the driver. I love this set up because it helps eliminate most of the shadows.
Ryobi uses a 1/4″ auto-load chuck. This makes it much easier inserting and changing bits with a single hand.
While this impact driver is powerful, the head is a little heavy. Now compare it to other impact drivers with the same specs and it’s very similar in regards to weight. But I do want to note that in case you are a homeowner looking for a lighter weight tool. Now if you use the compact 1.5 Ah battery, that will help lower the overall weight.
The impact driver has a nice rubber over-molded grip that also helps not only with comfort, but gripping the tool, even with gloves.
The variable speed trigger is easy to control and easy to keep a constant speed. If you are working with metal screws, it’s easy to start out slow and ramp up.
As with other impact drivers, we have tested over the years, the forward and reverse switch is located right under the body. This location makes it easy to access and change with your thumb and index finger.
Ryobi Impact Driver Review Performance
We ran a bunch of lags and 3″ screws into Cedar, Pine, Oak, and Walnut. If you covered up the name and colors, you would think this was a professional impact driver. The driver is powerful and smooth. While we wish it was a little lighter, using a compact battery will lower the weight.
Ryobi Impact Driver Review Value
You can buy the Ryobi P238 at The Home Depot for about $100 as a bare tool. Compare that to some of the other tools of this caliber on the market, and the price tag is less expensive for the Ryobi. So overall, it’s not a bad price especially if you already own Ryobi tools.
Ryobi Impact Driver Review Final Thoughts
Overall this is a great impact driver for the homeowner and even the professional. The impact is powerful and up to the task of any job. I love the 3 LED lights on the front of the tool which helps eliminate shadows. The speed selection on the back of the tool is a brilliant idea and love it so much more than having it on the base of the tool. With a $99 price tag, how can you go wrong?