Ryobi R18PD3-215S review: a screwdriver that hits well

    Like the vast majority of Ryobi tools, the R18PD3 sports an easily identifiable look, mixing yellow and gray plastics. The assembly does not suffer from any false notes and the drill seems sturdy. We can hardly blame the brand for not having better protected the crankcase with more rubber parts.

    The R18PD3 is no heavier than its cousin the R18PDBL, despite the use of a larger carbon engine. With 1.3 kg without battery, the Japanese machine does not, however, rank in the featherweight category of the market. When equipped with a 1.5 Ah battery, its weight climbs to 1.7 kg. A high weight compared to competitors like the Bosch Professional GSB 18V-55 which tops out at 1.45 kg with a larger capacity battery. The batteries in the One + range are also rather large and make the drill / screwdriver lose maneuverability.

    The handle of the R18PD3 is quite wide. Small hands will find it more difficult to hold it firmly, despite a grip extended to almost the entire surface. This grip is slightly less catchy than the one found on the model brushless R18PDBL. The trigger which makes it possible to vary the speed of rotation offers a correct progression, but lacks some additional stages for greater precision. The direction of rotation reverser does not come out very far from the body of the screwdriver, which makes it difficult to analyze its position without looking at it.

    The self-clamping chuck can accommodate drills with shanks no larger than 13 mm in diameter, like the majority of its competitors. If it fulfills its role by effectively tightening the drills, the chuck remains covered with plastic. A not very durable material for such a stressed part. The lighting of the area in which we are working is provided by a led placed at the foot of the handle.

    Two rings make it possible to independently manage the tightening torque and the operating mode (screwing, drilling or percussion). Both are easy to handle and stay in place. The gear selector, placed on top of the drill, is also easy to use and slides smoothly from one position to another.

    One + batteries are among the most convenient to remove and insert into drills. Just press the buttons on either side of the battery to release it. We can still blame them for their larger than average format. The latest generation Ryobi One + batteries have 4 LEDs indicating their charge level.

    Our tightening test includes the tightening of a 5 x 70 mm wood screw and that of an 8 x 100 mm lag screw. A 5 mm pre-drilling is done for the second, none for the first. This test is applied in fir and oak cleats of 60 x 60 mm.

    By offering 24 levels of torque adjustment, the Ryobi R18PD3 offers good precision for perfect tightening. It is able to descend at a rather low speed in speed 1 (18 rpm), but shows less control over the second speed (98 rpm). It would be better to make sure you are in first gear for tightening requiring precision, in particular for the placement of the screw at the start.

    The Ryobi One + R18PD3 managed to screw in our wood screws without difficulty, whether in fir or oak. However, we had to switch to drilling mode to fully drive the lag screw into the tree. In oak, it took extra effort. Performance which remains satisfactory on the whole.

    For our drilling tests, we use 5, 10 and 15 mm wood drill bits, 6, 8 and 11 mm concrete drills, as well as 2, 6 and 10 mm metal drills. We drill in fir and oak cleats of 60 x 60 mm, in concrete blocks, bricks and steel bars 1.5 mm thick.

    On paper, the Ryobi R18PD3 drill promises spin speeds of 500 and 1,800 rpm. In practice, we never achieved these values. We measured 451 and 1658 rpm at best, i.e. deviations of 10 and 8% respectively. The Japanese drill ranks among the average students in our comparison.

    In the exercise of drilling, R18PD3 is effective. It goes smoothly through steel, although finer speed management would be an added advantage in these conditions. In wood, she has no trouble piercing fir and oak. The R18PD3 still requires a little extra effort at the larger diameter of our protocol.

    The percussion mode allows you to pass through the masonry, to a certain extent. We were nevertheless pleasantly surprised by the very good performance of the Ryobi R18PD3 in this discipline. Despite a rate of only 23,400 strokes / min, it manages to pass quickly through cinder block and brick, even at the maximum diameter used in our protocol. Obviously, this type of drill remains less powerful than a real hammer drill, but the R18PD3 is nonetheless very versatile.

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