Compact and Strong, this Ryobi Cordless Right Angle Drill Might Surprise You
Ryobi’s HP Compact line of cordless tools has been shaking things up with size and performance that we traditionally didn’t expect from them. Our muse today is the brushless Ryobi cordless right angle drill. From its compact design to its drilling performance, it’s been exceeding our expectations.
- Most compact head available
- Strong enough to easily bore with 1-inch spade bits/auger bits
- Paddle switch offers multiple grip options
- 2-speed gearbox
- Brushless motor
- No significant drawbacks
RecommendationThanks to the size and performance of the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Compact Right Angle Drill, it’s a tool that fits more than just cabinetry and custom built-ins. We like it for making holes up to 1 1/4 inches or so, opening up a lot of electrical, cable, and VDV applications. Because it’s pretty easy on your budget, it’s well within reach for folks who work alone or to outfit a crew that’s already on the Ryobi 18V One+ system.
Ryobi Cordless 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
Why Use a Right Angle Drill?
For a long time, we used right angle drills to deal with smaller cabinets and built-ins where standard drills couldn’t fit. With today’s incredibly compact impact drivers and 1/4-inch hex drill bits, we really got away from right angle drills.
If it has enough power, a right angle drill can still be an installer’s or cabinetmaker’s best friend in tight spaces, though. Ryobi’s design is the most compact cordless model available (yes, even more compact than premium professional brands). More than an inch shorter than the best impact drivers, it reaches into even tighter spots.
We just needed to know if the brushless motor in this Ryobi cordless right angle drill has the muscle we need for it to be relevant.
A Force To Be Reckoned With
Ryobi packs 350 inch-pounds of torque into this model—that’s twice what the previous brushed model had. Its 2-speed gearbox runs 0 – 450 or 0 – 1700 RPM depending on which gear you’re in.
Those are solid numbers for this type of drill. On paper, it should be more than enough to make holes beyond your typical twist bit range.
Those twist bits are certainly an important aspect of what you work with. We had no problem drilling at high speed all the way up to 1/2-inch bits. That covers the cabinet and the built-in side of what we need to do. But can Ryobi reach a larger application set?
We chucked up a series of spade bits and auger bits to see what would happen. Using the 1.5Ah compact battery that is the primary power source for the HP Compact line, we were able to bore up to 7/8 inches in high speed and easily made it through 1-inch holes in low.
Kicking over to a Lithium+ HP battery, we bored with those same 1-inch bits in high speed.
There are some limitations with the 3/8-inch chuck, though. Most of our hole saw arbors were just a hair too large to fit and typical self-feed bits are out as well. We’re not disappointed by that considering even the spade bits and auger bits we used go beyond what we expect from most right angle drills in this class. We usually reserve them for the Hole Hawg-style drills.
The brushless Ryobi cordless right angle drill runs $99 as a bare tool at Home Depot. It’s only available as a bare tool and that’s alright with us. It would be pretty unusual to have this type of tool with no others on the same battery platform. We expect that if you’re interested in this model, you already have other Ryobi 18V One+ batteries.
Ryobi Cordless Right Angle Drill: The Bottom Line
Thanks to the size and performance of the Ryobi 18V One+ HP Compact Right Angle Drill, it’s a tool that fits more than just cabinetry and custom built-ins. We like it for making holes up to 1 1/4 inches or so, opening up a lot of electrical, cable, and VDV applications. Because it’s pretty easy on your budget, it’s well within reach for folks who work alone or to outfit a crew that’s already on the Ryobi 18V One+ system.
Ryobi Cordless Right Angle Drill Specifications
- Model: Ryobi PSBRA02B
- Dimensions (H x D x W): 11.5 x 3.6 x 2.3 in.
- Chuck: 3/8 in. Keyless
- Motor: Brushless
- Voltage: 18V
- Max Speed: 1700 RPM
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $99
I’m surprised its not paired with stubby drill bits with short shafts.. just long enough to cut holes through a 2x. That would certainly make it a compact drill for tight spaces. In the photo, there is a lot more shaft on the drill bit than what is needed for a 2x.