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Ryobi vs Dewalt Impact Driver (2021): Which Power Tool Brand is For You?

The advent of power tools have made do-it-yourself projects at home even more accessible than it already was. You still get the satisfaction of working with your hands and tools, but don’t need to spend as much time on what you’re working on. More and more DIY enthusiasts mean more customers for power tools, so now we see a huge selection available for anyone to browse through.

That could be a pain, however, if you’re not exactly sure how two brands offering the same tool differ. You could get confused about what torque is, or how different rpm speeds affect performance. In this comparison, we’ll look at two impact drivers, the Ryobi P238 and the DeWalt DCF887M2, see how they stack up against each other, and talk too about what exactly you’ll need an impact driver for.

Ryobi vs DeWalt Impact Driver Comparison Chart

ModelRyobi P238DeWalt DCF887M2
 Ryobi P238 18V One+ Brushless 1/4 2,000 Inch Pound, 3,100 RPM Cordless Impact Driver w/ Gripzone...DEWALT 20V MAX XR Impact Driver Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed, 1/4-Inch, 4.0-Ah (DCF887M2)
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Voltage18V20V
Power Source1 Li-ion battery2 Li-ion batteries
SpeedUp to 3100rpmUp to 3250rpm
Speed Settings33
LED Lights33
TorqueAverage 300 ft-lbMax. 152.1 ft-lbs
Dimensions7.8″ x 6.3″ x 3.3″8″ x 5.88″ x 3″
Weight3.1 lb2 lb

What’s an Impact Driver?

In the world of power tools, each one has its own set function.

A side-by-side comparison of DeWalt’s and Ryobi’s drivers.

Before we get into specific comparisons of the two brands, let’s first have a quick refresher of what exactly impact drivers are meant to do. First off, it’s not exactly the same as a cordless drill (though both impact drill models above are battery operated). These drivers have higher rotational torque than drills, meaning that they’re more powerful when it comes to twisting (comparable to a linear push or pull force). Impact drivers also do a quick rotational tapping action on your fastener of choice, nudging it while making sure that it won’t spin out of place.

Impact driver manufacturers expect that their products will be used with fasteners. Its much higher torque means that it can’t completely replace drills and other tools, since the design that driver chuck is designed differently from drills. Trying to force drill bits into your driver’s chuck would only hurt either you or your tool. The additional power that an impact driver brings will be useful if you’re working on dimensional lumber, or anything that uses a lot of heavy duty, long fasteners. Now that we have at least a general idea of what an impact driver does, let’s compare the two models on hand.

Performance

While they have different specs, both drivers do their job well.

The two drivers both have 3 speeds.

Both DeWalt and Ryobi set out to create high quality impact drivers with these models, and it shows through the specs. For example, both drivers use brushless motors. Brushless motors improve the tool’s overall lifespan, since they can run for longer and do not need as much regular maintenance. Also, they generally provide an increase in both power output and speed. The DeWalt’s torque maxes out at 1825 in-lbs (or around 152 ft-lbs), and can spin as fast as 3250 revolutions per minute. That’s while it’s on its highest speed out of three speed settings that the tool can run on.

By comparison, the Ryobi model runs a bit slower, with a maximum speed of 3100 revolutions per minute. Its torque is higher, with an average of 300 ft-lbs (approximately 3600 in-lbs). However, it’s worth noting that higher torque doesn’t always guarantee better performance. In fact, some tool reviewers online note that there is such a thing as too much torque. While impact drivers with more torque are powerful enough to replace other tools like impact wrenches, they also subject your square drive adapters to more wear and tear. If you’re leaning towards the Ryobi because of its higher torque, you should definitely keep that limitation in mind.

Design

Both drivers are lightweight, with only a small difference in heaviness.

Size differences between the two tools are also more or less negligible.

The two impact drivers are designed to be as far from bulky as possible. The dimensions for the pair don’t really differ that much: both are sized at around 8 by 6 by 3 inches. Both models won’t take up too much space in your tool shed or wherever you choose to place it.

The small frame means that it’s also easier to hold, and that good quality is further reinforced by the fact that both are quite lightweight. Without batteries, both the Ryobi and the DeWalt impact drivers only weigh around two pounds. This means that while the work you may be doing is heavy, the tool you’ll be using to do it won’t be. It won’t be a pain, then, to use either impact driver for extended periods of time.

Ease of Use

Both are designed in a way that minimizes strain as much as possible.

A look at the insides of DeWitt’s model (left) and the Ryobi’s packaging.

Another feature that can help make long periods of heavy work bearable is having a good grip surface. This is one advantage that the Ryobi has over its competitor. Ryobi designed its pistol grip with a rubber moulding, increasing friction between the tool and your hand. This means that it won’t slip as easily as a purely plastic grip, which the DeWitt seems to have. If ever you’ll have to work in more slippery environments, the Ryobi impact driver would be a good choice for a companion.

Aside from that, both models have features that increase ease of use. These include better battery life which increases the length of time you can use you have to charge it, LED lights which are a lifesaver in darker working environments, and the easy switching between the three different speed settings that both impact drivers have.

Verdict

Either brand is a good choice, so pay close attention to their specs to make a choice for yourself.

The Ryobi P238, with its easy grip design, capability to replace other tools, and more affordable price point, makes it a great choice for people who are either only recently getting into DIY or are dedicated, but non-professional, enthusiasts. In particular, its affordability lowers the gate for those who are curious about DIY projects and what power tools they’ll be needing to start out. Its increased torque also means that the tasks it can do is more diverse (though it also means more wear and tear).

Meanwhile, the DeWalt DCF887M2 may be better in professional situations. Its faster rpm and more controlled torque ensure that it can be used for longer and for specific situations. Though this might be a negative for some, professionals won’t really have much issue with it due to the likelihood of them having other power tools for other situations anyway. DeWitt offers a trusted name with a reputation for unwavering durability, making it the best choice for those who’ll be working with these tools a lot.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Ryobi as good as DeWalt?

Ryobi tools have some advantages over DeWalt’s, like better grip design and overall affordability.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the best Ryobi impact driver?

Aside from the Ryobi P238, some other good choices from Ryobi are their P236, P235, and P881 models.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the best DeWitt impact driver?

DeWalt DCF887M2, but some other good choices are the DCF88B and the DCK240C2

๐Ÿ“Œ Is DeWalt worth the money?

With a trusted name, high-quality parts, and overall great durability, DeWalt products are worth what you pay for and more.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mauie Flores

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying, blogger and content creator passionate about writing, music, and good food.