Ryobi HJP004 12V Compact Drill/Driver Kit

Ryobi HJP004 12V Drill

We spend most of our time reviewing the newest, most powerful professional-grade power tools (we are Pro Tool Reviews, after all!). But every now and then we’ll consider a tool that straddles the line between DIYer and Pro – a tool that might do everything around the house and even a good chunk of the work on the jobsite. At the risk of having proposed a heretical concept, let me suggest to you the Ryobi HJP004 12V Compact Drill/Driver kit as a tool in this category.

We know Ryobi as a maker of solid, affordable tools for the consumer as well as tradesmen and maintenance crews, and that’s right where this drill/driver falls. But don’t just take my word for it: contributor Tom Gaige is a proponent of 12-volt tools for the jobsite due to size, weight, cost, and charging advantages. He was a great resource in our recent article “12-Volt vs. 18-Volt tools: do I need both? ” So although I like using the burliest tool I can, as most of us do, I got the opportunity to use the Ryobi 12V drill/driver around the house for a couple of projects and I was really impressed.

Having been recently engaged to a wonderful woman and learning the gentle lessons that when we share the same home, I will no longer live a curtain-less existence and that the master closet must accommodate more clothes, I knew I had a good testing ground for the Ryobi.

First Impressions

The Ryobi HJP004 12V drill has a 3/8-inch keyless chuck and 22-position clutch. At 3.3 pounds the drill is noticeably lighter and smaller than my go-to 18V. The handle’s textured overmold is easy to hold. The drill is well balanced and you can quickly tell it’s easily maneuvered, which will be a significant advantage if the power is there to complete the tasks ahead.

Ryobi HJP004 12V Drill

There’s a driver bit holder for those among us who have ever yelled to themselves, “where did I put that bit?” That’s not me of course (insert sheepish grin here), but perhaps you’ve experienced it. Another nice addition to this drill is the LED worklight to illuminate the workspace. Finally the battery and charger are remarkably compact – a nice design for any user.

Ryobi HJP004 12V Drill

Drill ‘n’ Drive With The Ryobi 12V Drill/Driver

Ryobi HJP004 12V Drill

The first project was to attach some curtain rods to a plaster wall. The rods came with some plastic anchors that required a 3/8-inch pilot hole. I used the Ryobi to drill the holes, which it did with ease, and then I used the Phillips bit to sink the anchor into the plaster. Then I simply drove the screws into the anchor and tightened them up against the bracket. The more I used this drill the more I found myself wanting to reach for it first instead of my big 18V – I know, I know…perish the thought! But using it was nearly effortless and it accomplished handily what I was asking from it.

Next I tackled the closet, determined to remedy its pitiful clothing capacity for anything other than a 30-something bachelor with a few pairs of shorts and even fewer shirts…uh, I do a lot of laundry. Anyway, the job was similar to the curtain rod job as I drilled pilot holes for some plastic anchors and attached a thick wooden dowel that would serve as a place for (a lot) more clothes in the near future. No problem here either.

Although I’ve continued to fight the urge and I’ve tried to force my hand to grab a beefy 18V drill, ever since I’ve completed these projects I’ve come to a more nuanced view of the right tool for the job. I’ve turned to the Ryobi HJP004 12V compact drill/driver kit first for other projects around the house: a cupboard door’s screw had loosened up and needed an anchor and this or that needed to be taken apart or put back together. It’s just easier than going out to the shop and grabbing my Pro-grade tools for simple tasks. Quite simply, I’m impressed with the power to weight and size.

The Bottom Line

Ryobi HJP004 12V Drill

It’s important to note that this is the only current 12V tool from Ryobi, so you won’t find other tools in the system. For the 35 million+ of you on Ryobi’s 18V One+ platform, this model really just gives you a more lightweight and compact drill to turn to for smaller jobs. It’s also a step up from the dedicated DIY brands out there.

So my mind has really changed – and I’m not just practicing for how often I’ll be wrong when I get married. When I got the Ryobi, I really thought to myself, well I have these other bigger, more powerful drills already so I’ll just give the Ryobi away when I’m done testing it out. But now I’m going to hang on to it.

No, it can’t do everything I ask of it – I tried to remove a 3.5-inch screw holding two 2x4s together and it struggled – but it can do 90 percent of what I need done on these light-duty punch list jobs. For the comfort and ease of use, I’ll grab the Ryobi HJP004 12V Compact Drill/Driver kit for stuff around the house. At $49, it is very tough to beat. Anyone from DIYers to tradesmen already using Ryobi’s 18V One+ tools could likely benefit from having it around, too.

Ryobi HJP004 12V Compact Drill/Driver Kit Features

  • Includes drill, battery and charger
  • 3/8 in. heavy-duty keyless chuck for quick and easy bit changes
  • 22-position clutch for high-torque applications
  • Lightweight design reduces fatigue during extended use
  • Compact size is perfect for reaching tight spaces
  • Integrated bit holder offers convenient placement for an extra bit
  • Ergonomic handle with over mold and microtexture ensures comfortable grip
  • 3-year warranty

Ryobi HJP004 12V Compact Drill/Driver Kit Specifications

  • Model: Ryobi HJP004
  • Power Source: Ryobi 12V battery
  • No Load Speed: 600 RPM
  • Chuck Size: 3/8-inch
  • Weight: 3.03 pounds
  • Height: 7.13 inches
  • Length: 7.87 inches
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $49.97

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