Ryobi 18V 1/2″ 3 Speed Impact Wrench P261 P1830 Review

Ryobi recently released their newest 18V 1/2″ impact wrench featuring 3 speeds and an all new updated design. Compared to the previous Ryobi 1/2″ impact wrench model, this new model is more power with 50% more torque totaling 300 ft lbs. Also new to the mix is the upgraded lighting with the tri-beam 3 LED design that offers less shadows when working with fasteners and sockets and also features 3 electronically controlled speeds.

The sweet thing about the 3 speeds is that you can now tone down the power for a delicate touch on small fasteners so as to not over-torque and over-tighten them (speed 1) and speed 2 is the middle ground for speed, impacts per minute, and torque and gives you more control when compared to full power speed 3 so you don’t overpower certain fasteners. In some cases full power is too much and you can actually snap bolt heads and that’s where speed settings 1 and 2 fit in.

In testing, it performed well and was able to drive larger fasteners such as lags with very little ease. I had recently installed shelves into my newly built storage room and decided to upgrade the shelves with lag screws for added strength and weight capacity. I used 4-1/2″ long 5/16″ lags through out and it sunk them all much quicker than an impact driver at only 5-7 seconds per lag with the average lag driven in about 6 seconds. Of course this was all done with pre-drilled pilot holes as to not crack and split the wood. I went ahead and tried it out on a larger 1/2″ lag screw but this time at a longer length of 6 inches on a scrap piece of lumber- and to further up the ante, I drove it without a pre drilled pilot hole to test out it’s might. Long story short, it took 19 seconds to sink which in my opinion was not bad at all, good actually. I wasn’t finished there and decided to do a serious stress test with a even larger lag, a massive 5/8″ lag at 6 inches long and used the hole from the previous 1/2″ lag since you need to pre drill when sinking lags this size. This big guy took 30 seconds to sink which is still relatively quick when you compare it to 18 volt impact drivers as they would have taken minutes, not seconds to complete the same massive lag.

Many mechanics are switching over to these cordless impact wrenches since they offer the conveniences of not having to be plugged in, or in most cases having to be tethered to an air hose and compressor. You have complete freedom to carry out your business and work from car to car. In order to give mechanics a taste of its performance, I went ahead and tried it out removing lug nuts off my car’s tires. The average lug nut is torqued at 100 ft lbs and I attempted all 3 settings on this impact for the job at hand. On speed one the lowest speed, it struggled for several seconds with no progress. This was no surprise as speed 1 isn’t meant for this type of job. Next, on speed 2 it struggled at first but with each impact it loosened the lug nut more and more until a few seconds later it finally untightened and removed the nut completely. And on the highest setting speed 3 which offers full power, it managed each lug nut with little effort. Only a few quick impacts and released the lug nut in no time.

I found this to be a heavy hitter and in line with the latest Ryobi 18V One+ power tools as they are on a mission to bring performance similar to that of more expensive pro brands. I agree with that as this is right there with the top brands in terms of performance with other similar BRUSHED models and in some cases has more features with the added 3 led light system and 3 speeds. In terms of value it’s full of it, as you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Model P261 Specifications

  • Anvil: 1/2 in. with BALL detent pin retention
  • 3 speed brushed motor
  • RPM: High: 0–2,900 / Medium: 0–2,300 / Low: 0–1,800
  • Torque: 300 ft-lbs
  • IPM: 0–3,200
  • Length 7-7/8″
  • Tool Weight: 3.45 lbs without battery
  • 3 led lights with 10 second delay

P1050124 P1050128 P1050126

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ryobi impact wrench

Nice post thank you for sharing

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