Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02 Impact Driver Review

Ryobi PBLID02 Angle 5
Table of Contents

Quick take

The Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02 is moderately powerful within the Ryobi impact driver lineup. It shined in our heavy-duty driving speed tests with among the fastest results in our test fleet. The four drive modes also improve driving versatility, making it equally capable for light jobs that require precision or heavy-duty jobs that demand power. However, it is somewhat bulky compared to models from other brands – though it is relatively compact compared to most Ryobi options, it is heavy, and doesn’t offer the best battery run time. These are all results to be expected for budget impact drivers, but the PBLID02 isn’t priced like one, and it doesn’t perform as well as equally-priced models from other brands. The PBLID02’s sweet spot is if you want to stick in the Ryobi 18V One+ ecosystem and you want one of the more compact and impact drivers that Ryobi offers.

Brand Ryobi
Platform 18V One+
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 609.0
IPM 4,000.0
Drive modes 4
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as PBLID02B

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)14.75
Torque (in-lbs)609.012
Battery run time (min.)30.015
RPM2,966.013
Bare weight (lbs)2.3218
Impacting noise (dBA)96.94

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.11 / 5 ⭐️’s

Pros

  • Exceptional driving speed
  • Several drive modes improve versatility
  • Brushless motor
  • Easy-insert collet

Cons

  • Battery run time
  • Footprint is bulky
  • Heavy

Buy

Kits and bare tool options

PBLID02K

Includes (2) One+ 18V HP 2Ah battery

PBLID02

Bare tool

Series lineup

Model #PlatformDrive ModesTorqueIPMReview
P23518V One+1683.4 in-lbs3,400.0Full review
P23718V One+3495.6 in-lbs3,200.0Full review
P23918V One+1796.2 in-lbs4,350.0Full review
PBLID0218V One+4609.0 in-lbs4,000.0Full review
PSBID0118V One+1568.8 in-lbs3,800.0Full review

Alternatives

Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845: The DCF845 is competitively priced and a better option if you’re not wedded to the Ryobi ecosystem. It is far faster, much lighter, and has better overall build quality. Compare side by side

Makita 18V LXT XDT13Z: The XDT13Z is a fantastic budget impact driver that is well-balanced for homeowners with its compact footprint and driving performance. It lacks multiple drive modes, which reduces its versatility. Compare side by side

Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z: The XDT19Z is incredibly lightweight and compact. It shined in our driving speed tests and is a go-to pick for long driving sessions, leading to less fatigue and offering exceptional battery run time. Compare side by side

Lab results

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

The PBLID02 is moderately bulky throughout with a slight forward-leaning angle that provides solid reach. The grip is entirely covered in a rubber overmold, improving shock absorption.

The included belt hook is mountable on either side, and a lanyard can be attached to the back. However, the PBLID02 doesn’t have a magnetic plate to hold fasteners or a bit holder, two features that some Ryobi impact drivers have for added convenience.

Weight

Ryobi PBLID02 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.32
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.28
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): 3.96
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

The PBLID02 is a heavy impact driver, so it’s not ideal for long driving sessions where arm fatigue sets in.

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 lightweight, we recommend combining the PBLID02 with Ryobi’s 18V One+ 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the PBLID02 with Ryobi’s 18V One+ 4Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.The Makita 18V LXT XDT13Z or Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z are solid alternatives that are comparably-priced impact drivers and far lighter.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Ryobi PBLID02 Footprint1
Ryobi PBLID02 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.500
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Collet to back length (in.): 5.625
Base length (bare tool, in.): 5.125
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.500
Handle circumference (in.): 5.250

Most Ryobi impact drivers have a bulky footprint, and that’s no different with the PBLID02. Notably, the base is more prominent than many similarly-priced impact drivers.

Context is important when discussing the length. The collet-to-back length isn’t as oversized as many Ryobi models that are incredibly large, though it’s not as compact as impact drivers from other brands.

So, the PBLID02 better reaches into tight spaces than other Ryobi models but doesn’t match the clearances possible looking to other brands, as demonstrated in our interior clearance tests below.

Compare footprint test results

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 4,000.0

One standout feature of the PBLID02 is that it includes a brushless motor. Brushless motors are more efficient and durable and provide better battery run time than brushed motors.

The brushless motor and the high 4000.0 impacts per minute partly explain why the PBLID02 shined in our driving speed tests.

Drive modes

Drive modes: 4
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  Medium speed 
Drive mode 3:  Low speed 
Drive mode 4:  Assist 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

There are four drive modes on the PBLID02, significantly improving its driving versatility. Drive mode 1 offers the highest torque and RPM output and is ideal for rapidly driving lag bolts, decking screws, and other big fasteners.

Drive mode 2 still offers solid driving performance but is better suited to driving shorter screws into dimensional lumber and soft materials such as MDF. We could recess screws in all material densities in drive mode 2, though not at a consistent depth.

Drive mode 3 most accurately recesses screws and is the best setting if demanding a consistently perfect recess. For light and medium-duty jobs, we found a sweet spot of using drive mode 3 or 2 to drive screws quickly, then switching over to drive mode 3 for a consistent recess.

The PBLID02 also includes an assist mode, though we didn’t find it any better than the other drive modes in the forward setting. However, the assist mode is helpful in the reverse setting to bust loose stubborn screws and nuts. When holding the trigger, the collet starts and stops several times and then ramps up the RPM. This assist setting nicely helped to avoid stripping screw heads.

There are no other specialty drive modes that high-end impact drivers include, such as self-tapping, wood, and bolt-loosening drive modes. Several Milwaukee impact drivers have self-tapping options, and some Makita impact drivers include specialty wood and bolt-loosening modes.

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 14.7
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.9
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 11.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.2

While it doesn’t have the highest torque or RPMs, the PBLID02 performed well in our driving speed tests, finishing near the top of the pack driving GRK RSS screws. The PBLID02 similarly shines at driving decking screws and shorter common screw sizes used in DIY projects and medium-duty tasks around the home.

Compare driving speed test results

Torque

Ryobi PBLID02Torquemeter
Ryobi PBLID02 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 609.0
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 457.2
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 284.4
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The PBLID02 is moderately powerful, as our torque tests demonstrated. In practice, we didn’t encounter a driving task the PBLID02 couldn’t complete, including driving long and big lag bolts into treated lumber. This impact driver doesn’t offer high RPMs, leaving its torque output to do most of the heavy lifting in demanding tasks.

Several closely-priced alternatives offer higher torque output, including the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887, and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845.

Compare torque test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 30.0
Battery tested: 18V One+ High Performance 2Ah (PBP003)
Voltage: 18

One letdown of the PBLID02 was its battery run time in our testing. Several cheaper Ryobi impact drivers offer better run times. But consider that the tested no-load run time of 30 minutes is still long enough for most jobs around the home.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With an 18V One+ 4Ah or 6Ah battery, expect the battery run time to continue underperforming competing models running the same Ah setup, albeit run time increases significantly.

Compare battery test results

Battery lineup

Ryobi 18V One+ Battery Lineup

Ryobi offers 1.5Ah, 2Ah, 4Ah, 6Ah, 8Ah, and 12Ah batteries in its 18V One+ lineup, and some versions come in a standard or high-performance model. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increases battery run time and improves driving performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs.

Having at least two batteries in your setup is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend buying a Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance 2Ah and a Ryobi 18V One+ High Performance 4Ah battery for most 18V One+ impact driver setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

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.

Compare charging test results

RPM

Ryobi PBLID02 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 2,966.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 1,832.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 915.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 1,058.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 2,969.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 1,935.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 931.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 1,940.0

The PBLID02 generated middle-of-the-pack max RPM on our contact tachometer. However, the performance on paper undersells its driving performance. Impact drivers with similar RPM and torque profiles couldn’t match the PBLID02’s results in our heavy-duty driving speed tests.

The three speed modes have no significant RPM difference between forward and reverse. But the assist mode offers a vastly different RPM profile depending on the forward or reverse setting selected. The assist mode in reverse nearly doubles the RPM output compared to the forward setting to quickly remove screws from your work material after the start and stop mechanism completes its cycle.

Compare RPM test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.250
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.250
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.500

We don’t recommend the PBLID02 if you consistently drive fasteners in tight spaces. A sub-compact or smaller-footprint compact impact driver can squeeze into tighter spaces.

The long collet-to-back length and extensive base limit the tight spaces it can fit into and the restricted areas it can fit through.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

PBLID02 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 86.1
Max impacting noise (dBA): 96.9

The PBLID02’s noise profile is a tale of two stories. When impacting, it is one of the quieter impact drivers we’ve tested, though all impact drivers are loud. The PBLID02 is one of the louder impact drivers when not under load. In practice, paying attention to the noise output when impacting is more critical.

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

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 88.2
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 3.1

Compare vibration test results

Light

Ryobi PBLID02 Light
Ryobi PBLID02 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 1
Light time delay (sec.): 15.0

We’re not huge fans of the PBLID02’s work light, though it does the job in some scenarios. The light is set into the base and shines upward, whereas other models include the light around the collet and point it straight forward. The latter design approach centers the light directly where you’re driving screws.

When driving long screws with the impact driver further away from the work material, we found the PBLID02’s light was centered slightly above the screw being driven. This outcome was only an issue when driving 3-inch and longer screws.

There is no dedicated flashlight feature or the ability to disable the work light, which could minimally improve battery performance.

Collet

Ryobi PBLID02 Collet Closeup

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

The PBOID02 includes an easy insert collet that is a breeze to insert bits with one hand, great for convenience. A bit-eject collet is also included, although the jettison force may be slightly overpowered for some tastes. We found ourselves jettisoning the bit and frequently missing catching it. But after a few rounds of usage, catching the bit is easy and isn’t an issue.

App integration

App integration: None

There is no bluetooth app integration to review impact driver diagnostics or to customize driving profiles. Dewalt’s ToolConnect and Milwaukee’s One Key models offer app integrations that track impact driver usage, display tool diagnostics, and allow you to set custom driving profiles, such as adjusting the RPM for each drive mode.

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.

What's new?

7/14/23: Preliminary review published
8/15/23: Full review published

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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