Ryobi vs. Dewalt: How Do Their Drills Compare

Ryobi and Dewalt are both well-known companies in the manufacturing of hand tools. This article focuses on how their drills compare, by contrasting one against the other.

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To come up with an informed decision on the best, we will compare each of the brands of drill manufacturers against each other in terms of:

  • Number of drills
  • Volt usage
  • Speed
  • Performance and rates
  • Source of power and battery life
  • Weight
  • Material
  • Torques and clutches
  • Price and warranties
  • Accessories

We may also look into other aspects such as corded or cordless and mention the importance of each element.


The majority of the Ryobi drills have a voltage of 18, while the Dewalt has a voltage of 20. There are no Ryobi 20 volts drills.

By having more voltage, this ensures that a machine has a more substantial and more significant battery. This allows the motor to run for longer without recharging often. Therefore, in comparing the volts between a Dewalt drill and a Ryobi drill, we can conclude.

The Dewalt drill runs for a more extended period and does not require frequent charging. The Ryobi drills, on the other hand, operate for a shorter time and require frequent charging. The Dewalt drills are thus more efficient as compared to the Ryobi drills.

We can also use the same voltage to compare both brands. For purposes of this article, we will examine 12 volts of each brand.

A Dewalt 12 volts cordless drill comes with two batteries of lithium ion and a charger for the battery. On the other hand, a Ryobi 12 volts drill comes with one battery of lithium ion.

The Dewalt drill can operate nonstop for two hours, which you then recharge. You can use the extra battery as you recharge the used one. These batteries enable you to complete the work without having to stop to recharge as you only need to exchange the batteries.

For the Ryobi drill, it operates nonstop for at least 2 hours just as the Dewalt Drill. However, since it does not come with an extra battery, you will need to recharge. Charging takes an occasional 40 – 45 minutes. This means that working will take longer because of the charging time. You can, however, opt to purchase an extra battery when using a Ryobi drill.

For heavy-duty jobs, a Dewalt drill is best for the job, while a Ryobi drill is best suited for light duty jobs.


In speed, Dewalt drills have an upper advantage to the Ryobi drills, since they are more powerful by having a higher voltage of 20. The maximum voltage on a Ryobi is 18 volts, hence less powerful.

A Dewalt 20 v max drill operates at an RPM of 4400, while an 18 volts Ryobi drill runs at a speed of 1600 RPM. Its counterpart, 18 volts Dewalt drill, has a maximum speed of 2000 RPM. High-speed drills are useful in drilling holes, while low-speed drills are perfect for preventing screws from stripping.

In speed control, Dewalt has two mechanisms fitted to help manage the speed. There is a low-speed control of 0- 400 RPM and 0- 1500 RPM for the high speed control. The Ryobi drill, on the other hand, offers one speed control system, between 0- 600 RPM.

We will use the 12 volts drills to compare the speed of both Dewalt and Ryobi. 

The Dewalt 12 volts drill has a maximum speed of 1500 RPM while the Ryobi drills have a maximum speed of 600 RPM.

For household and light duty work, the speed ranging between 0- 600 RPM, which a Ryobi drill work ideally at. The Dewalt drill, having a higher rate, is best for professional and heavy-duty work.


The weight of a drill is essential in ensuring ease of use and the comfort of the user. A lighter drill is more comfortable to use and is easy to manage and operate with one hand while working.

Most of the time, while using a drill, you are most probably up on a ladder, using one hand to hold the drill while the other hand holds the work surface. For this reason, you need a drill that I light in weight for comfort and stability. A massive drill makes the user easily fatigued.

In most instances, the Dewalt drills are much lighter than the Ryobi drills. They are, therefore, more comfortable to work with and to handle.

The table below illustrates the difference in the weights of different drills for both Dewalt and Ryobi.

Type of Drill Dewalt Ryobi  
12 volt drill 2.4  pounds 3.5  pounds
14.4 volt drill 3.1  pounds 3.8  pounds
18 volt drill 2.6  pounds 3.0  pounds

From the above, we can conclude that the Dewalt drills are much lighter than the Ryobi drills, hence lighter and more efficient and easier to use.

The Ryobi drills may not be as massive as other brands, but as compared to the Dewalt drills, it is a far much better choice to pick the Dewalt over the Ryobi drills. This is most especially when you are working on heavy-duty and for more extended periods.

Source of Power and Battery Life

For both Dewalt and Ryobi drills, the primary source of power is the batteries, which are of lithium ion. The significant difference between them is that the Dewalt drills come packed with two batteries of lithium ion, while the Ryobi drills have only one lithium ion battery.

This is important as it helps save time during charging. For the Dewalt, you can change the batteries when one is used up and charge the other one. For the Ryobi drill, however, you have to wait for around 40 -45 minutes for the battery to charge after it is used up.

The battery life is typically the same and is dependent on the use of the drill. Time to charge the batteries is also similar; between 40 and 45 minutes.

It is, however, essential to note the amperes per hour rate for every drill. For instance, 3.0 Ah lithium ion batteries are best for the 20 max Dewalt drills. The most compatible for Ryobi batteries are 2.0 Ah batteries.

Ah relates to the amount of current discharged at a time as the battery capacity goes down. Therefore for heavy-duty and professional work, a higher Ah is best suited.

Torques and clutches

Both of the drills have clutches that control the clutch’s tightening or loosening, called the torque. The grip has serial numbers that determine how tight or lose the clutch is. The higher the number reads on the clutch, the greater the torque.

When the torque is excellent, the drill can deliver the screw more profound into the wood.

The serial numbers on the clutches on a Dewalt drill are 15 while there are 22 on the Ryobi drill. It is, therefore, possible to adjust the grip to 22 different positions to suit your preference and get a deeper reach for screws.

This means that the clutch on a Ryobi drill is more flexible than the drill on a Dewalt drill, hence giving the most desirable result.

Therefore, when looking to drill a screw more rooted into the wood, and at a more precise depth, it is more advisable to use Ryobi drills.


These are the products that come packaged with the drill. They are essential and may or may not directly affect the use of the drill.

For the Dewalt drills, they come with:

  • Two batteries of lithium ion
  • LED lights which can either be on the barrel or trigger
  • A belt clip
  • A battery charger (compatible with the model of the drill)
  • A bag for carrying the drill
  • The Ryobi drill package comes with:
  • A built-in LED lights at the base of the drill
  • A belt clip
  • One battery (compatible with the model of the drill)
  • A battery charger
  • A bag for carrying the drill
  • One double-edged bit

They have the same accessories except for the Dewalt, which gives two lithium ion batteries. If you opt to choose a Ryobi drill, you may be required to purchase an extra battery to save up on time during charging.

The Ryobi drill also comes with an extra double-edged bit.

The bag does not directly affect the use of the drill, but it makes it easy for transportation by keeping it safe and in place.

The LED lights are for illuminating the working area when operating in dark areas. The placing of the lights on Dewalt drills, however, is seemingly wrong. Users often raise complaints claiming that they are entirely useless.


You can determine the overall performance of the drills by comparing the two brands of the drill by checking their 

  • Battery life
  • Battery capacity
  • Speed in RPM
  • Weight
  • Voltage
  • Inches achieved under a time
  • Clutch and torque position
  • Number of Drills
  • Price

The Dewalt drills are more expensive as compared to the Ryobi drills. This high price I mainly because the Dewalt drills are of much more exceptional quality, offer more excellent performance are often best suited for professional use. The Ryobi drill, on the other hand, is cheaper and best suited for home projects.

We can compare the prices of the Ryobi and Dewalt drills depending on the cordless drills against the various types of drills.

The Dewalt brand offers a better warranty offer, three years warranty and a one year free service for the drills while the Ryobi provides a three year warranty only.

These prices are following the Amazon prize list

  Type of Drill Dewalt Ryobi  
18 volts cordless drill driver Confirm the price Confirm the price
screwdriver Confirm the price Confirm the price
18 volts  cordless hammer drill Confirm the price Confirm the price
18 volts Right angle cordless drill Confirm the price Confirm the price
 impact wrench Confirm the price Confirm the price
18 volts cordless rotary hammer drill Confirm the price Confirm the price
Cordless Impact driver Confirm the price Confirm the price

Here is a summary of the comparison between Ryobi and Dewalt drills

Aspect of comparison     Dewalt Ryobi  
Voltage   Higher voltage up to 20 volts The maximum voltage at 18 volts
Speed   Higher sped up to 4000 RPM Two speed controls Lower speed of maximum 1600 RPM One speed control
Weight   Lighter Heavier
Material   Strong and durable Strong and durable
Torques and clutches   15 torque positions Lesser torque 22 torque positions Greater torque
Accessories   Two lithium ion batteries No drill bit One lithium ion battery One double-edged drill bit  
Price   More expensive Cheaper
Source of power   Lithium ion batteries Lithium ion batteries
Battery life   At least two hours At least two hours
Amperes per hour 3 and 4 Ah 1 and 2 Ah  
Number of drills 77 27  


From my own experience, and of course, considering the facts as in this article, I would highly recommend Dewalt drills, in spite of their higher prices.

They are generally great for both light-duty and heavy-duty work. The Dewalt drills are lighter, faster, and have more exceptional performance. They also offer their clients a wider variety of products, as compared to Ryobi, to suit the customer’s needs.

They are definitely worth the extra dollar, and getting a Dewalt drill for your project is the best deal.

There are many elements from which one could derive a conclusion. It is important to weigh each aspect of comparison and its importance in the functioning of the drill.

It is also necessary for you to consider the type of job you need the work for and the kind of work you are working on. For example, if you aim at achieving a more profound depth into the wood, you should go for the Ryobi drills as they have 22 torque positions.

However, if you are looking for a more efficient drill, saves time, high quality work, and worth the money, Dewalt is the best option. The speed and weight are the most crucial aspects of efficiency.

Generally, Dewalt’s drills are better when doing heavy-duty jobs, while Ryobi is perfect for light duty jobs. 

I recently wrote an article on Dewalt VS Ridgid Planer. Read it here.

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