Review: Ryobi P230 18v


The Ryobi is a heavy impact driver, even when using the lithium ion One+ batteries. Unfortunately, the weight doesn’t come with more performance, and the top torque of the P230 falls short of its higher priced competitors. That being said, it performs adequately well for fastening tasks – certainly better than a typical drill.

At a Glance
List price $100
Voltage 18V
Torque 1200 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 3.5 lbs
Length 9″
Battery NiCad / Li-Ion
Impacts/Min 0-3500 ipm
Speed (no load) 0-2400 rpm
Resources Manual
Warranty 3 year
Kit P802

Like most of the Ryobi One+ line, this impact driver is sturdy feeling in the hand, with a soft and comfortable grip. The front housing is die-cast, which helps protect the tool while adding to its weight. If you are going to be working long hours overhead, you will get tired more quickly than with a lighter driver.

At 9″ long, Ryobi P230 is not as compact as most of it’s competitors. It is smaller than a large cordless drill, but if you primarily need to work in close quarters, you may want to pass on this and check out the smaller Makita, or even look to a 12v impact driver.

1200 in-lbs of torque is more than enough for the most common driving tasks – long screws through hard woods, lags, etc. There is a noticeable slow-down as the screws are driven to depth, but it still gets the job done. The base has additional bit storage built in, which is a nice addition for when you need to switch bits in the 1/4″ quick coupler chuck.

The forward/reverse switch is up and out of the way, unlike the Makita. A small detail but certainly can lead to less frustration, especially if you have larger hands.


If you use the older/cheaper NiCad One+ batteries, you will have a much heavier tool than the competition. These batteries last for a while, but not as long as the Milwuakee or even the Bosch batteries.

The One+ line came out with a line of lithium-ion batteries that are compatible with all One+ tools. This significantly reduces overall weight, as well as adding to the battery life.

Charging takes up to 1 hour.

  • Heavy – almost a full pound heavier than it’s competition, and worse if you use the NiCad batteries.
  • Very long – while most impact drivers are known for being so small and maneuverable, you can find some drills with the same footprint as the Ryobi.
  • Louder than many other impact drivers (although to be fair, all are much louder than a typical drill. Use hearing protection will all impact drivers.)
  • No belt clip. Although a lanyard is better than nothing.
Bottom Line

Although the review seems a little down on this driver, it’s important to remember that the P230 (and most of the Ryobi line) is quite inexpensive. Many, many people have taken the plunge with one of the cordless Ryobi kits, and therefore already has a charger and pair of batteries to use.

And, while heavy and large, the weight and size do give the Ryobi a strong, rugged feeling. And in fact there are few complaints about tool failure or generally poor performance.

If you have others in the Ryobi line, and you aren’t a professional, this may in fact be the most economical and wisest choice if you want to try an impact driver. Surely you won’t be disappointed if you only know drills!

On the other hand, if you don’t have any Ryobi tools and would need to buy a whole kit with batteries and charger, give this one a pass and check out one of the others.

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Ryobi P230 info and prices at Amazon

18v cordless impact driver, bare tool (no battery)
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