The Ryobi P1811 has a number of convenient features and a comfortable design. Our testers’ biggest complaint was that it isn’t as powerful as the best cordless drills we reviewed, with average speeds and below-average torque. Overall, it is an effective tool, but we had to work a little harder to drill holes than with several more powerful drills.
The P1811 has two speed settings. Its high setting can reach up to 1,600 RPM, and the low setting reaches 440 RPM. This isn’t the highest RPM rate we saw, but it isn’t bad. The low setting effectively turns the drill into a screwdriver.
You can set the clutch to one of 23 positions to adjust the turning force, called torque, and doing so keeps you from damaging the material you’re working on or snapping off a fastener head. With so many clutch positions, you have quite a bit of control. This power drill produces 340 inch-pounds of torque, and while that isn't very much, it can still power through many tasks. If you need a tool with more torque, consider our top pick - Makita XFD10R.
This power drill uses 18-volt batteries, but unlike many other drills we reviewed, you can use both lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and compact, and they produce the same power as other battery technologies. The Ryobi P1811’s compact lithium-ion battery can be used with every Ryobi ONE+ product, which is convenient if you have a few Ryobi power tools.
The P1811 comes with two batteries, so you can charge one while you use the other. It takes a full hour to charge the batteries completely, which is longer than average. However, it has a good battery life. We tested this by taping the trigger in the on position and timing how long the drill ran before the battery died. This Ryobi battery lasted for 45 minutes, which puts it in the top five in this category.
Although this drill isn’t as powerful as the best models we tested, it is one of the more affordable options. Compared with similarly priced drills, it stacks up rather well. The user experience is equal to or better than those of other affordable drills, and it has more convenience features.
Like the best power drills, this Ryobi model uses a half-inch keyless chuck, which is very convenient; since it is keyless, you fasten the bits to the drill by hand, which means you don’t have to worry about misplacing a key. Additionally, it has a magnetic holder you can use to store drill bits.
The Ryobi P1811 has a top-mounted bubble level to help you drill accurately. It also has an LED light that illuminates your workspace when you start drilling. Because of this light and the drill's compact size, you should be able to work in tight spaces. It only weighs 2.7 pounds, so arm fatigue should be minimal as well.
All Ryobi tools, including the Ryobi P1811, are backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and three-year warranty. The company’s website has a lot of information, including product news, part replacement info, social media contacts, standard contact information and downloadable user guides.
The Ryobi P1811 is worth looking at, even if it isn't the best cordless drill we reviewed. It has features found on more expensive drills, though it isn’t as powerful. It only reaches average speeds, so it doesn't drill holes as easily as other models. It also doesn’t produce a lot of torque, which means the drill has trouble with large screws. However, the P1811 is compact, has a built-in bubble level and uses interchangeable lithium-ion batteries, making it a good choice if you have other Ryobi products.