New Ryobi Cordless Drill is Missing Common Features

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Ryobi is launching a new 18V cordless drill, model PCL201K1, which is advertised as having a lightweight design for overhead use.

Marketing materials mention in multiple places that the new Ryobi cordless drill has a 3/8″ keyless chuck.

Personally, I am okay with 3/8″ chucks on 12V-class drills, but expect 1/2″ chucks on 18V-class drills.

But, if that makes this drill lighter and more compact, I suppose I can see how it could align with some users’ needs.

I then took a closer look at the images and specs, and it seems that the drill is missing some things.

Ryobi 18V Cordless Drill PCL201K1 Drilling into Wood Board

Where’s the adjustable torque clutch? Speed selector switch?

Ryobi doesn’t mention the max torque, and the online user manual refers to the wrong model, so I couldn’t find it there either.

They do give the max speed – 600 RPM.

Ryobi 18V Cordless Drill PCL201K1
  • 3/8″ keyless chuck
  • 600 RPM max speed
  • Variable speed trigger
  • On-board LED worklight
  • Weighs 2.8 lbs

Price: $60 for the kit
ETA: February 2024

Or, you can buy Ryobi’s 1/2″ cordless drill, with 2-speed selector switch, 515 in-lbs max torque, and adjustable torque clutch. That model is $59 right now, for the kit with a 1.5Ah battery and charger.

I feel that this drill is like a chocolate chip cookie, but without the chocolate chips.

Ryobi’s basic 1/2″ cordless drill kit is $59 right now, but the new 3/8″ cordless drill kit will be $60? Maybe it will be on sale seasonally for $39 or $49.

It’s never good when a brand leaves the max torque spec out of a cordless drill listings, either intentionally or not.

As for 600 RPM max, that’s decent for a low speed setting, but will be anemic for most drilling tasks.

No adjustable torque clutch means this is a (slow) drilling-only too;.

I keep thinking “who is this for?” and the only answer I can come up with is “someone who wants to spend as little as possible on a basic cordless drill.”

They wouldn’t make something like this if there weren’t users asking for it, right?

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