You've heard me rave about this thing for long enough, now let's get to business. And the business is? Keep raving about it, because it's that good. It started three years ago, around the time when I was in an active search of an electric impact wrench. I would work on my car in parking lots of dorm rooms, alley-ways, you name it. I worked on my car during the day, and at night. Rain or shine, you could probably find me wrenching on my car at any given time, and because of this, I needed a tool that could keep up with all of my needs. I didn't expect an electric impact to be useful for anything besides busting out lug nuts and exhaust bolts, but it turned out to be helpful for much more than that. The Ryobi 18V was getting high praise on many forums, and I couldn't help but hop on the band wagon, go to Home Depot and grab one. I quickly learned that to put it to good use, anything besides the large capacity Lithium+ batteriy is not going to cut it.
Batteries themselves can be quite pricey. If you're buying more than three batteries, it would be useful to buy the Ryobi SuperCharger, which costs $80. It will charge up to 6 batteries at once, making it perfect for those who have more than one Ryobi tool and are in the middle of an intense build. Ryobi offers a variety of batteries, which include a black battery (not even going to bother discussing it), a grey one, and Lithium+. Each comes in two sizes, small and large. The grey battery is pretty much worthless, even to power a flashlight. Oh and since I mentioned the flashlight, don't bother buying a Ryobi flashlight, as it's absolute trash. Matter of fact, that's exactly where it ended up. Back on topic, the small capacity Lithium+ battery is decent at best, and costs about as much as a new video game. It doesn't last long, but does provide more power and battery life than the absolutely terrible grey battery. Lithium+ batteries feature a gauge for the energy level, which I found to be pretty handy. Then there are the Lithium+ large capacity batteries, and boy are they good. They last around 3-times longer than the small capacity ones, provide an extra bit of power, and don't overheat as quickly. Oh and yes, the grey battery and the low capacity Lithium+ ones overheat like no tomorrow, whereas the large capacity Lithium+ batteries don't overheat as often. Being of larger capacity, they take longer to charge, although not noticeably so. While these high capacity batteries are not bad at all, they cost a pretty penny. A single large capacity Lithium+ battery from Home Depot will run you a $100 bucks, which is crazy considering the whole kit was just 30 bucks more expensive. And while you can find these batteries new for $80-$120 per pair on eBay, you never know if you're getting a dud, or a working product. Case in point, I purchased one of these cheap packages from eBay, and ended up with one battery that worked sometimes, and another that worked slightly more often.
Yet, that's just about the only issue I have found with this impact. I've owned it for three years now, and the only thing it hasn't busted loose was an incredibly torqued axle nut, which probably shouldn't be loosened by an impact wrench that's only capable of 200 ft/lbs of peak torque anyway. In three years, I have used it on wheels, sub-frames, control arms, differential mounts, differentials, motor mounts, shocks, gear pullers, and it has never failed me. The 30 minute charger prepared my backup battery, while the primary one was feeding power to the bolt breaking impact. Home Depot used to sell a kit that included two batteries, a charger and an impact driver. That's two tools, two batteries and a charger for $130 and you will be using them all the time. Now, however, Home Depot has it for sale for $120 for the tool only, the same price as the new 3-speed one, which I'll mention again later. The Ryobi Impact was so good, I even bought the Ryobi angle grinder and right angle drill, which are great deals for the buck, and use the same batteries. There's not a single 1/2 inch 18V impact wrench that could compete for this kind of money. Or is there?
Actually no, there isn't. Yes, I know, disappointing. This paragraph was supposed to start with me introducing the Milwaukee 2763 Impact, which was supposedly capable of 1200 ft/lbs of nut busting torque as claimed by the manufacturer itself. Yet, this didn't quite happen, because if you read my review of said impact, you know that I was very dissatisfied with it. I was expecting so much more from it, and yet all I got was what I'm hoping was a dud. And sure, I will get another one at some point, but that doesn't change the fact that it failed me. I'm sure that there are a few unfortunate customers out there who might have been disappointed by the Ryobi, but just keep in mind that a similarly equipped package from Milwaukee that includes an Impact, two batteries, a charger (but no driver) will set you back $450, and for that kind of money, failure is just not an option. And while the Ryobi is not a perfect tool, for the money that Home Depot is was selling it for, it might as well be. Now Ryobi sells a new version of its impact, which I am really considering as I'm writing this. The original Ryobi was so great, that now I have to see what the new one is like. The same price, but it now has three speeds and a 100 ft-lbs of extra torque, which sounds very neat. And albeit the old generation costing the same, it has been tested over the years to prove to be a very reliable tool, making the new one that much more appealing.