Ryobi 18V One+ P237 Vs Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845

Ryobi P237 Angle 5

Ryobi P237

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 is the better overall impact driver. It is far faster than the Ryobi 18V One+ P237, pushes out more torque, is lighter, and is far more compact from tip to tail. Dewalt also offers a longer tool and battery warranty. The Ryobi P237 is far cheaper and shines if you’re looking for a budget impact driver that is solid enough for use around the home.

Brand Ryobi
Platform 18V One+
Motor Brushed
Tested torque in-lbs 495.6
IPM 3,200.0
Drive modes 3
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as -
Brand Dewalt
Platform 20V Max XR
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 612.6
IPM 4,200.0
Drive modes 3
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as DCF845B

Editorial opinion

Rating

3.92 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Driving modes improve versatility
  • Exceptional battery run time
  • Smooth driving experience when impacting
  • One-handed bit changes

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • Heavy
  • Brushed motor
  • Short battery warranty

Rating

4.40 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Excellent battery run time
  • Great torque and driving speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Versatile drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • One-handed bit changes

Cons

  • Long collet to back length
  • Not ideal for light-duty tasks

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)18.411
Torque (in-lbs)495.617
Battery run time (min.)48.06
RPM3,079.011
Bare weight (lbs)2.6621
Impacting noise (dBA)96.13
TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)12.82
Torque (in-lbs)612.610
Battery run time (min.)49.05
RPM3,214.07
Bare weight (lbs)2.0311
Impacting noise (dBA)97.412

Recommended configuration

P237

Includes No battery

Lab results

Torque

Ryobi P237 Torquemeter
Ryobi P237 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 495.6
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 311.4
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 159.6
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The P237 doesn’t generate high torque output. But that’s not a downside for its intended audience of homeowners coveting versatility. The P237 is sufficiently powerful to handle any demanding task around the home.

All budget impact drivers make sacrifices. Ryobi made the right call to sacrifice torque in favor of including several drive modes. Homeowners are better off with driving versatility than brute force power.

Compare torque test results

Torque

Dewalt DCF845 Torquemeter
Dewalt DCF845 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 612.6
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 396.6
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

While the DCF845 sped through heavy-duty driving jobs in our tests, the torque output doesn’t explain most of the driving performance. The DCF845 is moderately powerful compared to impact drivers in the Dewalt lineup and outside of it. It is sufficiently powerful to handle demanding tasks, but the Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 has a far higher torque output for models in the Dewalt ecosystem.

Compare torque test results

RPM

Ryobi P237 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,079.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,180.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,469.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 2,464.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,134.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,496.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

The P237 has average RPM output for an 18V impact driver. The RPM profile is balanced well for the intended user, who doesn’t demand best-in-class driving speed over all else.

The RPM profile also makes setting screws easier. Impact drivers that ramp quickly to a high RPM tend to spin out screws before settling into the workpiece. The P237’s RPM profile also helps to reduce cam-out and stripped threads.

One data point that is worth considering is the P237’s highest speed setting generates far higher RPM output in forward than in reverse. The lower RPM in reverse reduces the potential for cam-out when removing screws, albeit slowing down the removal process.

Compare RPM test results

RPM

Dewalt DCF845 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,214.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,711.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,437.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,290.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,555.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,465.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

We appreciate that Dewalt didn’t design the DCF845 with an absurdly high RPM just to impress users with its on-paper performance. RPM does help drive screws fast, but torque does more to explain overall driving performance. An impact driver that ramps immediately to a high RPM results in frequent cam-out and stripping screws.

None of these are issues with the DCF845 with its moderate RPM readouts. There is also no noticeable RPM difference between forward and reverse in all three drive modes. Some Makita impact drivers include specialty driving modes with different forward and reverse RPMs for a given drive setting.

Compare RPM test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 18.4
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 3.7
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 15.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 3.0

The P237 won’t win any driving speed contests, but that’s expected in this price category. However, it drove GRK structural screws reasonably fast in our heavy-duty driving speed tests, primarily due to its RPM output.

Throughout our testing, we were also impressed with the speed in light and medium-duty tasks, such as driving 3-inch and shorter screws into plywood and dimensional lumber.

Compare driving speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 12.8
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.6
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 9.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 1.8

The DCF845 yielded some of the fastest results in our GRK driving speed tests. Dewalt designed the DCF845 with the right balance of features for excellent driving performance without the downsides, such as short battery life, that plague some high-end impact drivers.

The DCF845 is equally capable of driving more than just long GRK screws. We tested driving lag bolts, structural screws, drywall screws, and other standard sizes and lengths. This impact driver handled all with ease for nearly unmatched driving versatility.

Compare driving speed test results

Drive modes

Ryobi P237 Drive Modes

Drive modes: 3
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  Medium speed 
Drive mode 3:  Low speed 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

The key standout feature for would-be P237 owners is that it’s one of the rare impact drivers at this price point to include several drive modes. Arguably, having access to several drive modes is more critical for homeowners wanting a versatile all-in-one tool than a higher torque or RPM output.

Drive mode 1 is the highest speed setting and is ideal for heavy-duty tasks, such as driving decking screws and lag bolts. This mode provides the highest torque and RPM output. Drive mode 1 didn’t consistently and accurately finish screws in our tests.

An accurate screw finish is where drive mode 2 is most helpful. We favored drive mode 2 over drive mode 3 for recessing screw heads since the lowest setting is underpowered for most tasks.

Drive mode 1 most accurately drove screws in low-density materials like drywall. But consider that drive mode 2 is faster and still accurate.

Drive modes

Dewalt DCF845 Drive Modes

Drive modes: 3
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  Medium speed 
Drive mode 3:  Low speed/tightening 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

The DCF845 includes the essential drive modes that most users need. There’s a high and low speed impacting mode and a precision driving mode.

The precision mode works well for light-duty tasks, such as general woodworking or driving soft screws in a pinch when your cordless drill is out of reach. But we found ourselves using drive mode 2 more frequently when precision was paramount, such as accurately recessing screws into MDF and drywall studs. The increased driving power is more versatile than what’s offered with the precision drive mode while retaining most of the same accuracy.

Users desiring best-in-class driving versatility should look to a Makita impact driver. The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z and Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z include similar drive modes as the DCF845 but layer in additional assist modes, including self-tapping and bolt-specific settings.

Collet

Ryobi P237 Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: Yes
Easy-insert collet: Yes

One-handed bit changes are easy with the P237, thanks to the easy-insert and bit-eject mechanisms built into the collet. The bit-eject mechanism jettisons bits more powerfully than other impact drivers, sometimes resulting in not catching the bits. But after a few rounds of usage, catching the bit is easy and isn’t an issue.

Collet

Dewalt DCF845 Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: Yes
Easy-insert collet: Yes

The DCF845 is excellent for one-handed bit changes. There is an easy-insert feature that doesn’t require sliding the collet forward to accept a bit. A bit-eject feature also lightly ejects the bit when sliding the collet forward.

Dewalt’s collet design is better executed than other brands offering similar features. The easy-insert mechanism is smooth for simple operation, and the bit-eject feature doesn’t jettison the bit too hard to potentially miss catching the bit.

Motor

Motor: Brushed
Impacts per minute: 3,200.0

Ryobi built the P237 with a brushed motor to hit such a low price point. While brushed motors can powerfully and quickly drive screws, they are less durable and less efficient than their brushless counterparts.

If your budget can support it, we recommend jumping up in price to a model with a brushless motor, such as the Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02, if sticking with a Ryobi impact driver.

One reason why the P237 didn’t secure a podium position in any of our driving tests is its low 3200.0 advertised impacts per minute. Increasing the impacts per minute would help the P237 to achieve faster driving time in heavy-duty tasks, including our driving speed tests.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 4,200.0

As should be expected at this price point, the DCF845 includes a brushless motor, which improves longevity, battery efficiency, and driving performance compared to a brushed motor. This motor choice explains some of the impressive battery run time and driving speed performance.

The high advertised 4200.0 impacts per minute also explain the capable driving performance.

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 48.0
Battery tested: 18V One+ High Performance 2Ah (PBP003)
Voltage: 18

The P237 has an exceptionally long battery life, as evidenced by its impressive performance in our no-load run-time tests. In subsequent rounds of testing, we will be running our test fleet through run-time tests under load. We’ll update this review with those results.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With an 18V One+ 4Ah battery, expect the battery run time to continue outperforming competing models running the same Ah setup.

Compare battery test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 49.0
Battery tested: 20V Max 2Ah (DCB203)
Voltage: 20

The DCF845 is among the best-performing heavy-duty impact drivers we’ve tested, with 49.0 minutes of no-load run time. Adding a 5Ah battery should result in outstanding run time, though we didn’t test the run time with this setup.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With a 20V Max XR 5Ah battery, expect the battery run time to continue outperforming competing models running the same Ah setup.

Compare battery test results

Charging time

Ryobi 18V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Ryobi 18V One+ (PCG002)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 49.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): 117.0
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.): 26.9
Fuel gauge: On battery

The 18V charger included with most Ryobi kits (model PCG002) charges batteries moderately slower than other brands.

Our tests took 49.0 and 117.0 minutes to charge a Ryobi 18V One+ 2Ah and 4Ah battery, respectively. Several other brands we’ve tested take approximately 20 minutes per Ah, whereas the Ryobi charger takes at least 24.5 minutes per Ah.

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Charging time

Dewalt 20V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 59.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 139.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 28.7
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Dewalt charger that is standard in most kits (model DCB115) isn’t as fast as chargers from other brands. In our tests, it took 59.0 minutes to top off a Max 2Ah battery and 139.0 minutes to charge a Max XR 5Ah battery. Expect that this charger will charge batteries at approximately 28.7 minutes per Ah. Faster chargers charge batteries at 20.0 or fewer minutes per Ah.

Nicely, the DCD112 works with Dewalt’s 12V and 20V platform batteries, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem.

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Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: Yes
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: Yes
Bit holder: Yes
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 77.5
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: Yes
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 80.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

Weight

Ryobi P237 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.66
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.62
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): 4.30
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

Don’t buy the P237 if you want a lightweight impact driver that won’t fatigue your arm and hand over long driving sessions. It is one of the heaviest models we’ve tested in its bare tool form and with a battery. We found throughout testing that our hands tired quickly, continually trying to hold the P237 upright due to the heavy, forward-balanced design.

Consider that the working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup, which is why we tested the weight in different configurations. To keep it as lightweight as possible, we recommend combining the P237 with Ryobi’s 18V One+ 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the P237 with Ryobi’s 18V One+ 4Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

Weight

Dewalt DCF845 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.03
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.83
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.43

The DCF845 isn’t lightweight in its heavy-duty driving class, instead, middle of the pack. The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z sheds some weight and is a better option if you covet a light, equally powerful setup.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it as lightweight as possible, We recommend combining the DCF845 with Dewalt’s new 20V Powerstack 1.7Ah battery, which weighs less, has a smaller footprint, and performs better than Dewalt’s 20V Max 2Ah battery, which is a solid alternative for a svelte setup.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the DCF845 with Dewalt’s 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance. Moreover, this setup is one of the lightest 5Ah kits we’ve come across.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Ryobi P237 Footprint1
Ryobi P237 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.375
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.250
Collet to back length (in.): 7.000
Base length (bare tool, in.): 5.125
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.250
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.375
Handle circumference (in.): 5.250

Some of the weight is a result of the bulky footprint. The P237 is massive from tip to back compared to nearly all other impact drivers in our test fleet. Ryobi has standardized the base sizing for its impact drivers, and unfortunately, the bases are also comparably bulky.

The Makita 18V LXT XDT13Z is worth considering if you’re not wedded to the Ryobi ecosystem. The Makita model is far smaller and lighter.

Compare footprint test results

Footprint

Dewalt DCF845 Footprint1
Dewalt DCF845 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.375
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Collet to back length (in.): 5.125
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.500
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.750
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The DCF845 has a narrow profile but isn’t highly compact like the Dewalt 20V Atomic DCF850, which has a far shorter collet-to-back length. Held in hand, the DCF845 still feels nimble compared to some of its competition.

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Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 9.625
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.125
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 7.250

The P237 is incredibly bulky. We don’t recommend this impact driver if you consistently drive fasteners in tight spaces. The collet-to-back length is among the longest we’ve seen.

A sub-compact or smaller footprint compact impact driver can squeeze into tighter spaces, especially if designed with a shorter collet-to-back length.

Compare driving clearance test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.750
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.250
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.500

While the DCF845 casts a thin shadow viewed from the front, it didn’t shine in our interior clearance tests, which is somewhat expected for a heavier-duty impact driver. The primary reason is the long collet-to-back length. Otherwise, the footprint resembles many competing impact drivers with similar average results in our clearance tests.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

P237 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 83.5
Max impacting noise (dBA): 96.1

The P237 is incredibly quiet when impacting compared to most impact drivers in our test fleet, including much pricier options.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are other options to consider for impressive noise output. Both are hydraulic impact drivers with far quieter impacts.

Compare noise test results

Noise

DCF845 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 78.8
Max impacting noise (dBA): 97.4

No impact driver whispers while impacting, including the DCF845, a moderately loud impact driver that can damage your ears with prolonged exposure. You can shave off a few decibels of impact noise performance with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, but you’ll need to switch up impact driver classes to markedly improved noise performance.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are hydraulic impact drivers with more subtle impacts, albeit lower torque.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 75.1
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.1

We expected the P237 to be uncomfortable to use when impacting. However, it was one of our test fleet’s least violent and most comfortable impact drivers. The rubber overmold on the grip absorbs vibrations well, improving upon the already much smoother and less violent impacting mechanism.

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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 32.9
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.9

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Light

Ryobi P237 Light
Ryobi P237 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 3
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

We appreciate that the P237 has the work light built into the tip and points directly in front of the nose, unlike many other Ryobi impact drivers that build the work light into the base and shine the light upwards, sometimes not focusing the light in the right area.

There is no dedicated flashlight feature or the ability to disable the light, unlike some Makita impact drivers that include these features.

Light

Dewalt DCF845 Light
Dewalt DCF845 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 3
Light time delay (sec.): 20.0

The DCF845’s work light illuminates a moderately large and bright surface area that is focused in the correct location. One minor head-scratcher is Dewalt’s choice of a 20-second time delay for the light, which is unnecessarily long and drains battery life.

There is no dedicated flashlight mode, one featured included with some Makita impact drivers, where the trigger acts as an on/off button to turn on the light without moving the motor. You also can’t disable the light.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 3
Battery warranty (years): 90 day

Ryobi offers an exceptionally-long three-year warranty on its impact drivers. However, Ryobi’s battery warranties don’t come close to matching the length provided by most other manufacturers. Ryobi has a 90-day battery warranty, whereas other manufacturers commonly offer two to three years of coverage.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 3
Battery warranty (years): 3

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The DCF845 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt 20V batteries include a two-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCF845 and three years for its 20V batteries.

Picture of Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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