Our goal at DIY Gear Reviews is to test power tools in a standardized manner to simplify the research, comparison, and buying process for our readers. Time is limited, so spend most of that time building and creating, not poring over specs sheets to find the best Ryobi drill.
In our guide below, we include a shortlist of top Ryobi drills after running Ryobi’s most popular current lineup through rigorous lab testing. We recommend checking out the Ryobi drill reviews for additional commentary and full test results, in addition to reviewing our global drill rankings to compare performance for all drills in the test fleet.
Best Ryobi drill
Ryobi 18V One+ PSBHM01
3.55 / 5 ⭐️’s
Includes (1) One+ 18V 1.5Ah battery
The Ryobi 18V One+ PSBHM01 Hammer Drill is the best Ryobi drill for most people. The performance profile, weight, and size are ideal for homeowners seeking one-drill versatility.
The PSBHM01 makes smart compromises, which is critical for a drill designed to be more powerful than 12V drills from other manufacturers but more compact than heavy-duty drills, focusing on performance at all costs. That balance explains why the PSBHM01 is so user-friendly and agile, with more than enough power to finish everyday tasks homeowners can throw at it.
The PSBHM01 is the lightest 18V drill in our test fleet at 2.21 lbs in its bare form and 3.79 lbs kitted with a 4Ah battery. With such lightweight results, there’s little hand fatigue operating the PSBHM01 for extended periods. The weight also improves portability, which is an often overlooked advantage.
It is also reasonably compact in the all-important tip-to-tail dimension, helping the PSBHM01 easily fit into tight areas, such as inside corners and between two vertical boards.
If you frequently need a drill for demanding tasks such as boring holes wider than 1/2 inch and driving lag bolts quickly, the PSBHM01 isn’t it. This drill doesn’t sustain high RPMs under heavy loads, though it can finish heavy-duty jobs in a pinch.
The PSBHM01 will also drill cement and other masonry in a pinch since it has a hammering mechanism built into the head that impacts at a moderately low rate.
The underpowered performance was most noticeable in our drilling speed tests. We had to drop to the low-speed setting for more torque to finish the job, which is rare for 18V drills in our test fleet. The PSBHM01 is a drill that makes smart compromises, so the performance isn’t surprising or a detractor for its intended market.
Ryobi 18V One+ PBLHM101
3.74 / 5 ⭐️’s
Includes (2) One+ 18V HP 2Ah battery
Consider the Ryobi 18V One+ PBLHM101 Hammer Drill if you want more speed than the PSBHM01 offers. The PBLM101 is also a better pick if drilling cement more frequently, though it’s not the best hammer drill for most people.
The PBLHM101 yielded respectable results in our drilling speed tests designed to test drills near the top of their range. Few budget drills match the speed under load in these tests.
We’ve also not found an equally-priced powerful drill with an auxiliary arm in the box, which the PBLHM101 offers. The auxiliary arm attaches easily to the drill and vastly reduces the risk of wrist injury when a drill inevitably binds up at high speed. It happens to all of us at some point, regardless of the drill used.
Unlike other cheap drills, the PBLHM101 includes a brushless motor, which offers longevity and performance advantages over brushed motors commonly found in bargain-bin drills.
The primary downsides to consider are the weight and footprint. The PBLHM101 is a beefy drill that causes hand fatigue. The size and weight rival far more powerful drills, highlighting an engineering and design sacrifice common with budget power tools.
The Ryobi 18V One+ PBLDD01 is the non-hammering sibling of our pick, the PBLHM101. The PBLDD01 is slightly more compact and lighter. But it is considerably more expensive and doesn’t rival the build quality and performance of drills from other brands at the same price point.
Ryobi drill comparison
We love a good power drill comparison. An endless supply of drills is available from major brands and other niche manufacturers, leaving us with the enviable job of getting our hands on many drills.
Beyond the sheer number of potential drills to test, there are many ways to test quality and performance to cover all angles consumers may care about. But not all tests we run carry the same weight. Arguably, speed, weight, and durability matter most for most people.
We include below key results and details from lab tests designed to understand how each Ryobi drill performs compared to other models in our test fleet.
|Drill||Drilling Speed Total Time (sec.)||Drilling Speed Avg. Time (sec.)||Global Rank*|
*18 models tested
Be sure to check out our drill drilling speed test results page to compare drilling speed for all drills tested. The drilling speed tests page includes additional performance details that may be helpful to review.
|Drill||Driving Speed Total Time (sec.)||Driving Speed Avg. Time (sec.)||Global Rank*|
*18 models tested
Be sure to also check out our drill driving speed test results page to compare driving speed for all drills tested. The driving speed tests page includes additional performance details that may be helpful to review.
|Drill||Bare Weight (lbs)||Global Rank*|
*18 models tested
Be sure also to check out our drill weight test results page to compare weight for all drills tested. We also include additional weights, such as when kitted with common Ah-capacity batteries.
Ryobi drills include a three-year warranty, matching the length offered with the best Dewalt drills and best Makita drills. But Ryobi’s 90-day battery warranty is far behind the competition. Most drills manufacturers offer battery warranties lasting two years or more.
|Drill||Tool Warranty (years)||Battery Warranty (years)|
|Ryobi PSBHM01||3||90 day|
|Ryobi PBLHM101||3||90 day|
Ryobi drill models explained
Ryobi has one of the simplest drill lineups we’ve come across since the company only offers several models on the 18V One+ platform. Other manufacturers offer a wider range of models on their 12V and 18V platforms. Here are quick-hit details on Ryobi’s current drill lineup.
The PBLDD01 is a basic Ryobi drill with the highest torque output. It doesn’t include a hammering functionality.
The PBLHM101 has a similar footprint but is heavier and longer from tip to tail since it includes a hammer drill mechanism in the head. The hammer drilling feature is an essential add-on that improves speed when drilling cement and thick lumber.
Ryobi offers its drills in standard drill and hammer drill versions. You can quickly tell the difference when reviewing model numbers. The standard drill versions include “DD” in the model name, and the hammer drill versions include “HM.” Using an example, we know off the bat that the PBLDD01 is a standard drill, and the PBLHM101 is a hammer drill.
The PSBHM01 is a compact hammer drill with a performance profile that is more powerful than most 12V drills but less powerful and more compact than heavy-duty 18V drills. The PSBHM01 is ideal for one-drill homeowner versatility. It is nearly the same drill as the Ryobi 18V One+ PSBDD01, which we haven’t tested. But the PSBDD01 is less versatile since it doesn’t include a hammer drill.
Most powerful Ryobi drill
The Ryobi 18V One+ PBLDD01 is the most powerful drill tested in our lab. Ryobi advertises 750.0 in-lbs of torque, surpassing other models’ torque output.
When compared against other drills, the PBLDD01 is reasonably powerful. You’ll need to upgrade to one of the best cordless drills for more torque.
However, the PBLDD01 isn’t exceptionally fast, highlighting the inverse relationship between torque and RPM. Other Ryobi drills and models from other brands sustain higher RPMs under heavy loads.
Should you buy a Ryobi drill?
In short, we recommend most DIYers and homeowners also review drills from other manufacturers. A Ryobi drill may be the best option, but there are many drills with improved build quality and performance for the same price or slightly more.
Spending an additional $20 to $40 for an upgraded drill may be smart, especially if you’re not already committed to the Ryobi 18V One+ platform.
A Ryobi drill, or any Ryobi power tool, is most suitable for DIYers who don’t frequently push tools to their limits. For that mass-market audience, build quality doesn’t carry much weight.
Whether the chuck sleeve is made from plastic instead of a more durable all-metal sleeve doesn’t carry much weight. It’s all about creating and building, not the tool brand that is the means to that end.
All Ryobi drills are powerful enough to finish everyday jobs around the home. Most Ryobi drills now include brushless motors, which are more durable and efficient than brushed motors found in competing drills. Though slow, Ryobi drills are also sufficiently powered for demanding tasks in a pinch.
The luster of a Ryobi drill wears off once compared to other brands, where you can feel the build quality and performance difference.