Better in Every Way
When Ryobi released their new 18V power tool lineup last year, one of the more exciting releases was the Ryobi P237 18V ONE+ 3-Speed Impact Driver.
Unlike its predecessor, the Ryobi P237 is a three speed impact driver with up to 1,800 in-lbs of torque. This provides significantly better control when high RPM and high torque isn’t needed, and when it is needed, the higher torque specification on the Ryobi P237 ensures the job gets done.
Ryobi 18V ONE+ Impact Driver Specifications
|Low: 400 in-lbs
Medium: 1,100 in-lbs
High: 1,800 in-lbs
A Closer Look
As far as the design, the new Ryobi P237 (front) looks an awful lot like the P236 (back).
The biggest difference between the Ryobi P237 and the P236 is the speed mode selector switch in the rear. On the Ryobi P237, the switch in the rear allows toggling between low, medium and high speed settings whereas the P236 is single speed only. The switch does add a slight bit of additional horizontal length to the drill, but at around a little more than a quarter of an inch, it’s not a huge size increase. Similarly, the additional mode also increases the weight of the Ryobi P237 to 2.75lbs from the P236’s 2.55lbs. Once again, just a slight increase.
The Ryobi P237 still retains much of the awesome features of the P236 which include the Tri-LED front lighting, which has now been upgraded to stay illuminated for a few seconds after use unlike the P236’s LEDs which shut off as soon as the trigger is released. Ryobi also upgraded the P237’s belt clip for mounting on either the right or left side of the driver which is helpful if you’d like to keep tools in different areas of your belt. At the bottom of the unit is also the small magnetic holder for holding screws and bits and the chuck is still auto-loading/1-handed release for easy bit swaps.
In order to test performance, I devised a timed test on a piece of 4×4 solid wood for the impact drivers. In the test, I use the driver to first drive three 3″ #2 Phillips Gold Screws into the wood followed by three 3″ 3/8 Galvanized Lag Bolts. All testing will be recorded using a stopwatch and the average of the three tests are measured. The Ryobi P237 is tested using the high speed mode only.
We can see from testing that the Ryobi P237 is clearly better than the Ryobi P236 in both the screw driving test and the lag bolt driving test.
Subjectively speaking, the Ryobi P237 simply feels like a more powerful, more capable impact driver. The additional 200 in-lbs of torque is easily felt, especially when driving in larger lag bolts. The multiple speed modes are also a welcome addition for times when I need the additional precision.
After having spent over six months with the new Ryobi P237, I can say it’s one of the best impact drivers for the money at this time. While I had already been impressed with the Ryobi P236, I find myself using the Ryobi P237 much more often as it’s essentially the same tool as the P236, except better in every way. Not only did Ryobi manage to throw in a more powerful motor and the ability to switch between three speeds for optimum driving, Ryobi improved many of the small issues with the P236 and kept the P237 at a pricepoint of just $79, which is a very reasonable price for a top notch impact driver.
Bottom Line: If you don’t own an impact driver, buy the Ryobi P237. If you already own an impact driver, buy the P237 as a backup tool anyway.
Sample provided by: Self