Ryobi P215K1 One+ 18V Two Speed 1/2” Drill / Driver Kit Review

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Ryobi P215K1 18V ONE+ Drill/Driver Kit

What's This?This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. If you think you have to pay top dollar to get a great power tool, you might want to cut back on the marketing sauce. We received a Ryobi P215K1 18V ONE+ 2-Speed 1/2” drill/driver kit to put to the test. Personally, I’ve had an assortment of Ryobi tools for a long time now and none have failed me yet. Are you ready to pull the trigger on a new drill/driver? Come check it out!

Ryobi P215K1 – A Great Kit For Work Or Play

Ryobi P215K1 18V ONE+ drill/driver kit.
Ryobi P215K1 18V ONE+ drill/driver kit.

The feel and quality of Ryobi’s P215K1 drill/driver is better than the price tag might suggest. And that beauty is more than shell deep. To sweeten the deal, it comes with a charger and 2 batteries. The included batteries appear to be the smallest 18V ONE+ packs Ryobi offers. But you’ll appreciate having that second one while the other is charging.

Ryobi P215 keyless chuck.
The 1/2” keyless chuck grabs like a vise and works with drill bits as small as 5/64”.

This kit includes:

Ryobi P215 18V ONE+ 2-speed reversible drill/driver with variable speed trigger.

* 1/2” keyless chuck

* 24-position clutch

* 2 speed ranges: 0-450 RPM; 0-1,750 RPM

* Up to 500 in. lbs of torque

* Trigger lock

Ryobi P215 2-Speed drill/driver
2-speed gear box

* (2) 1.5Ah lithium ion battery packs

* Charger model P118B

* Zippered carrying bag

* Slotted / Phillips bit

Torque adjusting clutch ring.
This ring gives you 23 different clutch settings plus full torque drilling mode. It turns silky smoothly and has satisfying positive clicks at each position.

Envy The Green – Ryobi Green

Ryobi 18V ONE+ drill/driver
Pulling some tight machine screws out of an old desk chair.

I don’t have any big projects going at the moment, but there’s always a list of smaller things to take care of. We begin by siccing the Ryobi P215 drill/driver on a creaky, butt-numbing desk chair that needs disposing of. But not before plundering its last bastion of dignity (the screws and casters)! Some of the machine screws were too tight for a manual screwdriver (in my hands, at least). But the Ryobi didn’t bat an eye.

Driving screws into pine and OSB.
I’m OK with visible screw heads in this application.

Next, I finished installing tongue & groove beadboard above a workbench. This is not how you’d normally attach beadboard to a wall. (When wainscoting, for example, you’d run the boards vertically and secure it with construction adhesive and brad nails.)

Ryobi P215 drill/driver
Screwing a tape shelf to the wall.

In the workshop, however, functionality often trumps aesthetics. If I ever hang cabinetry here I’ll use screws that can reach the underlying OSB. I just want the boards to be easily removable and able to support some weight, if needed.

Making An Impact With Ryobi’s P215 Drill / Driver

For fun, I did a test I usually reserve for impact drivers: plowing a 3-1/2” deck screw into pressure treated lumber. The Ryobi P215 is not an impact driver, but I was curious to see how it would perform.

That's one tight screw!
I was able to get this screw tight enough that I could no longer keep the Phillips bit from camming out. A Torx (star drive) or Robertson (square drive) screw – or an impact driver – would be useful here.

The screw is not self-drilling and no pilot hole was used. So it takes a lot more power to sink it flush with the surface; some impact drivers can’t even do it. And since the torque required to drive it increases the deeper you go, it’s a decent (admittedly, subjective) way to judge the tool’s brute strength.

Plenty of torque.
That’s one tight screw right there! For a non-impact driver to bury 2-1/4” of thread into dense PT lumber is pretty respectable. Without a pilot hole, this screw requires a crazy amount of torque.

Eventually, I just couldn’t push hard enough to prevent cam out. Given the same conditions, no other non-impact driver would fare any better. The Ryobi P215 didn’t bog down, so I’m sure it has the muscle to go at least a little deeper. In real life, however, it doesn’t take this much torque to use these screws properly; they just need a pilot hole. Then it would drive much easier (and suffer far less fatigue in the process).

Drilling Down To The Heart Of The Matter – Ryobi P215 18V ONE+ Drill / Driver

Running Forstners in the Ryobi P215
Let’s try something a little less (or more) “boring”, starting with a 1” Forstner bit.

The Ryobi P215K1 will obviously have no trouble drilling small holes (depending on size, maybe hundreds on a single charge). So let’s try something bigger.

Plowing through the wood.
A 1” Forstner bit bored through 3” of pressure treated lumber with ease, even when bearing down on the drill.
1-1/4" Forstner bit is no problem for the P215.
Then I chucked a 1-1/4” Forstner and still had no problem. Anything larger, however, should be done on a drill press (or maybe a drill with a side handle so you don’t twist your wrist).

Knowing I was pressing my luck, I tried out some Bosch Daredevil bits. These are super aggressive, self-feeding paddle bits that require decidedly more torque than your average spades. The drill is pretty comfortable running a 1/2” Daredevil. With the 3/4”, however… Well, it didn’t quite have the “oom pappa mow mow” to giddy up.

Ryobi 18V ONE+

Kit includes a charger and 2 batteries.
The Ryobi P215K1 drill/driver kit comes with two 1.5Ah Li-Ion batteries to eliminate downtime.

Personally, I already own a handful of Ryobi 18V ONE+ batteries, so I’d be happy with a single, larger battery (3–4Ah would be generous) over the two small ones. Or maybe bump these up to 2Ah for a little more run time. That said, if this is your first foray into Ryobi’s 18V platform, you’ll definitely appreciate that second battery pack.

Ryobi P118B 18V ONE+ charger.
Ryobi P118B 18V ONE+ charger.

Don’t get me wrong, you can do a fair amount of work on a 1.5Ah battery. But if you do a lot of bigger jobs, you will eventually want to get a bigger battery. Thankfully, all Ryobi 18V tools are fully compatible with all Ryobi 18V battery packs, so you may already have one laying around. Even if it’s from the old blue lineup.

One minor compatibility exception is that you can’t charge your Li-Ion packs with the old Ni-Cad chargers. But since the kit comes with a charger, it’s a moot point.

Drill ‘Til We Can Drill No More – Draining The Battery

Don't come unhinged!
Before I forget, let me tighten these door hinges.

I’ve been using one of the included battery packs and wondered how much more work could be squeezed out of a single charge. So I Swiss cheesed a pressure treated 4×4 until the well ran dry. Larger ONE+ battery packs have on-board charge indicators. These smaller ones don’t.

Using up the remaining battery charge.
I was able to drill forty 1/2” holes, 3-1/4” to 3-1/2” deep, with the battery’s remaining charge.

I chucked a 1/2” twist bit and proceeded to bore a bunch of holes almost all the way through a 4×4 (it did poke through a few times). I was pretty aggressive with every hole – drilling about halfway, pulling out to clear the chips, then continuing on to the full depth.

The juice finally tapped out most of the way through the 40th 1/2” hole. For a small battery pack – and working the tool harder than I normally would – it actually got a good amount of work done.

Final Thoughts – Ryobi P215K1 18V 2-Speed ½” Drill / Driver Kit With 2 Batteries

Improved grip.
The new hand grip is an improvement over the old blue Ryobi 18V drill/driver.

I’m very happy with the P215’s performance. It faced challenges with valor, even those best suited to an impact driver. However, there is one thing I dislike about it: the LED light comes on only while the motor is running, and there is no other way to activate it. If you actually need the light, it may not be very useful because the instant it turns on, so does the motor.

I’m used to squeezing a trigger a little bit and the light comes on so I can see what I’m doing. Then squeeze harder to start the motor. But on the P215, the two share the exact same on/off trigger points. Why? Also, the driver has two places where you can attach a belt clip. It even comes with a separate instruction sheet on how to install the clip. But you’ll have to buy the belt clip separately; it doesn’t come with the kit.

Bit holder, light & magnet.
Above the 1/4” hex bit storage clip is an LED light. There’s also a magnet to hold a few screws.

The small batteries that come with the kit do need more frequent charging. But it doesn’t affect the tool’s performance. A Ryobi 18V ONE+ battery that’s almost depleted delivers virtually the same power as one that’s fully charged. You just have less run time left before it needs a refill.

So there you have it. If you’re looking for a well performing 18V drill/driver that won’t break the bank, the Ryobi P215K1 is a great way to get you going. Lighting issue aside, the P215 drill/driver stands tall on its own merits. And it’s backed by Ryobi’s 3-year limited warranty.

Buy the Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion 1/2” drill/driver kit w/ (2) 1.5Ah batteries, charger & bag for just under $80.

Buy Now - via The Home Depot

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

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1 thought on “Ryobi P215K1 One+ 18V Two Speed 1/2” Drill / Driver Kit Review”

  1. Steve, you are obviously paid excessively well by Ryobi to praise this company thus! Ryobi seem to make it their mission to produce the worst power tools ever made. The drop saw I bought was so imprecise, poorly engineered and clumsy I smashed it up and threw it in the bin. The jig saw I just left at the store when they refused a refund, as it was better to have nothing! Yes, I am a tradesman, but even a handyman deserves better!


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