One of the more common power tools found in
homes and workshops is the drill. Whether it be corded, or cordless, this
power tool has almost become a necessity in modern day living,
particularly for home owners to maintain their homes. Gone are the days of
the faithful hand-powered drill. These days electricity rules the roost,
but you don't need to be dragging a power cord around to utilize it.
The cordless power drill is a tool most
woodworkers cannot do without. It greatly increases productivity and can
create cleaner holes and drive screws faster than by hand. Buying a good
cordless drill means you can meet almost any challenge you throw at it, and after
you have used some budget cordless drills you will invariably end up with
a better model later on, as the difference in performance is quite large.
Today we are reviewing Ryobi's flagship
cordless drill - the CID1823VK (model CDI-1803 in the UK). It is by far their biggest and most
powerful cordless drill to date, and a part of Ryobi's Professional Series
line of industrial quality tools. So without further ado...
Packaging and Contents
The CID1823VK ships in a molded grey plastic carry case and includes
the following components and accessories:
1 x CID1823VK cordless drill
2 x 2.0Ah NiCad rechargeable batteries
1 x 18v fast charger
1 x metal depth setting rod
1 x adjustable drill handle/support
1 x printed product manual
The brief manual is printed in black and
white and contains pretty much all the information you will need to know
about operating the drill. To me the most important information is the
battery charging information, as most other functions of the drill should
be straight forward assuming you have owned a power drill previously.
Take special note of the battering charging instructions as this can
greatly affect the performance of the battery and its expected life.
Build Quality, Fit and Finish
The first thing you will probably notice about the CID1823VK before
you even flip a switch or pull the trigger is the tool's weight. Weighing
in at 2.95kg (6.5 lbs) it is probably one of the heaviest 18v cordless
drills going around. I often correlate weight of a tool to its build
quality. If it weighs more, it is usually built better with higher quality
components. While this is not always the case, it does seem true with the
CID1823VK drill. Apart from the durable plastic outer casing shell, the
CID1823VK's primary components are metal construction. This is where the
weight is contained. The drill is very serviceable, i.e. you could easily
access any section of the drill by unscrewing a few screws to remove the
outer cover. All accessories fit perfectly well and the drill even looks a
little classy (if that matters to you?). If you used this drill every day,
you would probably negate the need for bench curl exercises at the gym. It
is built very solidly and feels so in use.
The CID1823VK features an 18v DC-powered, 3 speed all-metal gearbox.
The 3 speed gearbox offers a very large range of operating speeds along
with the variable speed drill trigger. Essentially, you could run the
drill at any speed between 0 and 2,200 RPM. The speed selection switch is
located on the top of the drill and is a sliding switch mechanism with,
naturally, three positions marked as "1", "2", and "3" respectively. The
number 1 speed provides the lowest RPM range from 0 - 370 RPM. This
setting is generally used for slow speed operations such as screw driving,
or perhaps drilling into plastics or other heat-sensitive materials. I
tend to use this setting for screw driving exclusively.
Setting 2 offers speed ranges from 0 - 750 RPM. This setting might be used
for larger diameter drill bits, such as spade bits, larger auger bits or
even some hole saw bits.
Setting 3 provides the high speed RPM from 0 - 2,200 RPM. This setting
will be used with the majority of smaller diameter drill bits, as these
need a faster speed to cut more effectively. Interestingly, the max speed
of 2,200 RPM is quite high for a cordless drill. Many cordless drills
won't exceed 1,200 RPM, with some reaching up to 1,500 RPM. Only a few
cordless drills extend over the 2,000 RPM barrier. Again, you can control
the speed using the variable speed trigger so achieving a rough RPM of
say 1,600 is certainly possible if your task requires this speed. The
wide RPM range on this drill is certainly a useful feature.
As mentioned above the trigger provides
variable speed capabilities to the drill. The further it is pushed in, the
faster the drill chuck will rotate, i.e. the faster the drilling speed.
Above the trigger is a somewhat standard three-position rotation direction
selector switch. Pushed through to the left, the chuck will rotate
clockwise for normal drilling. The center position locks the trigger so
that it cannot be used (good for keeping the kids safe). The manual also
does state that you should lock the trigger when changing batteries as
well. When the direction selector is pushed to the right, the drill chuck
rotates anti-clockwise. This setting is primarily used for removing
screws, but is also useful to clear out a drilled hole of debris without
drilling any deeper.
In the way of rubber over-molds, there is
only one on the CID1823VK, and that is located on the rear of the handle.
On the base of the tool just above the
battery are two friction-held bit holders. Ryobi provide a couple of
standard flat head and philips-type bits with the drill, but any
aftermarket bits will fit as well. It keeps the most common bits handy to
the user and you can just pull them out to use, or clip them in when finished.
Many cordless drills have a similar bit holding device. You can attach a
holding cord to the rear of the handle at the base to hang the drill on a
hook on your tool belt, but no cord was included with the kit.
An auxiliary handle is included with the
drill, and comes pre-attached in the kit. It sits just behind the clutch
setting ring and can be positioned through 360 degrees to suit the task at
hand. Given the weight of the tool I find the handle is very helpful in
providing support to the tool. For any extended operations you will want
to use both hands to hold and control the drill because of its weight. The
handle part rotates to tighten or loosen the grip ring over the drill. The
auxiliary handle also provides the holding point for the drills depth
gauge rod. This rod, which is also solid metal, allows you to
set the tool up to drill to a pre-defined depth in the material. It has a rack-type pattern milled into one side to key and lock
into the gauge hole on the auxiliary handle. It can be a little difficult
to adjust and push/pull through at times though. The depth gauge rod has
incrementally etched markings to provide some form of measurement feature
when changing depth setting, but the scale is not numbered. Like most
hammer drills the depth adjustment rod is a crude, but somewhat effective way
of drilling holes to a consistent depth, and can save the need to
mask/mark your drill bit or use a depth-stop collar.
The clutch setting ring features 24 clutch
positions, the 24th position also enabling the drill's hammer action.
There is a very positive and firm click between each setting, so it won't
move or vibrate off the setting in use. The
clutch setting controls the drills torque and is an extremely useful
feature on any power drill. Using a low clutch setting makes it difficult
to over-drive screws into wood. Using a larger clutch setting will
provide more torque for tough drilling tasks. The CID1823VK can deliver a
very respectable torque rating of 55Nm, so it will handle most general
drilling tasks with ease. Setting the hammer action results in the drill
"hammering" while it rotates to drill. These pulsing blows are used mostly
for masonry drilling applications. The number of blows per minute is
related to the drill speed setting selected. At the highest drill speed,
the CID1823VK can deliver over 35,000 blows per minute.
The drill chuck is all-metal construction
and keyless design. It is a 13mm chuck, so it can take those larger bits
the 10mm chucks cannot hold. A great feature of this chuck is that it also
includes a ratcheting action to avoid over-tightening a drill bit. Even
with only light pressure applied to the bit in the chuck, there was no
evidence of drill bit slippage using full-round shank bits. This may
change over time however as the chuck wears, and perhaps require a little
more pressure on the bit but no problems at all so far.
Batteries and Charger
The CID1823VK comes with 2 x 18v rechargeable batteries rated at 2.0Ah. Ryobi use quality
Panasonic NiCad cells in their Professional Series range of
tools, and these cells deliver excellent power and good life. While the
top of the line cordless drills costing twice as much now use NiMH
batteries, NiCads are still very popular and do perform quite well in
cordless tools. NiCads do have problems with memory effect, as does NiMH,
so care must be taken to fully deplete batteries before recharging them
i.e. don't recharge a battery if it is only half full. Ryobi make this a
little easier to avoid by including two batteries in the kit. Also, the
batteries are interchangeable with some other 18v cordless tools in the
Professional Series range, so that widens your options a little more. I now have
three 18v tools from the Pro Series and four 18v batteries. I tend to use
only two of the four batteries for all the tools, and once these run their
course (I expect several years life out of them with moderate to heavy
use) I have two "new" and fresh replacement batteries ready to take over.
Considering that batteries take several cycles of charging and depleting
before they attain full power capacity, it will take a few weeks before
the battery is 'primed' for maximum capacity.
During our test period of five weeks, we
only needed two fully charged batteries to see us through. While we didn't
use the drill every day, it was more than several times a week and for
tasks requiring use for a couple hours of intermittent use each time. It's
hard to say exactly how much actual use (in hours) the drill was used, but
the battery life seems to last at least 2-3 times as much as your standard
budget cordless drill battery, and at the same time delivering much more
power. Battery life seems consistent and on par with other high-end
cordless drills I have used in the past that also utilize NiCad cells. I was
quite pleased with the results, also taking into account we have had some
of the hottest days here recently (close to 40 degrees Celsius or 100
degrees farenheit). These high temperatures will quicken the rate of
*We will update the review in six months time to
report further on battery life and condition.
Like most cordless drills, once the
battery nears its depleted state, the drill slowly winds down and delivers
less power and torque until it no longer becomes useful. This means it's
time for a recharge! Some will argue that fully depleting the battery by
taping the trigger on and leaving it for a few hours is the best way to
get maximum cell capacity on recharge. I have read conflicting stories on
this. Usually, once the battery can no longer spin the chuck, that is
depleted enough for me and its time for a recharge. I can recall reading
somewhere, and I apologize that I cannot recall the exact source, but it
was from a well-known battery manufacturer that such taping of the
trigger is not really needed and a full charge can be attained if there is
still a very small amount of residual charge in the battery. But, whatever
you choose to do is up to you.
Now on to the charger... An 18v charger is
included in the package and it claims to charge a dead battery in 1 hour.
In reality it seems to take at least 1.5 hours for me, and closer to 2
hours on the first initial charge out of the box, but I did notice that
the subsequent charge cycles were faster, so perhaps after more than a few
cycles the recharge time does come down closer to the one hour mark. The
charger has three indicator lights to show the current status of the
charge cycle. Red means the battery is being charged. Green means the
battery is fully charged, and orange either indicates the charger is
checking the battery initially for its current charge capacity, or that
there is a problem with the battery, and it cannot take a charge. Usually,
both the orange and green lights will come on for a few minutes when the
battery first starts the charge cycle, but then it switches to the red
light for the remainder of the charge, until fully charged when it
switches back to green again. The battery can only fit in the charger one way,
so you cannot put it in backwards.
With two batteries included, one can be
charging while the second is in use so there is little or no downtime. Or
you can charge up both to take to the worksite or use in the workshop for the day and recharge
them when you get home, although, I think even just one battery would last
a whole day unless you were constantly subjecting it to high
torque or masonry hammer drilling. For general fit outs or semi-regular
drilling or screwing jobs over the course of one day, I think you would
find a full battery would certainly keep you powered up without any
problems. Given that the batteries can be recharged anywhere from 500-1000
times (depending on environmental conditions and use etc), you should get
at least 2 years out of one battery if you were using a daily
The battery attaches to the bottom of the
drill with two spring-loaded plastic clips (one on each side). It is a
very firm hold and no batteries were harmed during testing of this
product.. i.e. they didn't fall off :)
This is Ryobi's most expensive cordless drill, costing AUD$379. At
this price I expect a tool to be well built and perform to a high
standard. With increased price comes increased expectations. For the
money I believe you do get the features with the drill that justify the
price tag. These are; continuous power and plenty of torque to tackle
tasks that might otherwise require a corded power drill; a wide variety of
clutch settings (including a hammer action); an easy to use, tool-less
chuck (the ratcheting chuck on this drill is really nice); two batteries
plus a solid charger; a variety of user-selectable speeds, and a
reasonable level of user comfort.
Due to the heavy weight of the drill
extended use in high positions will cause some user fatigue. This is a
heavy drill, but it is heavy for a reason. It is designed to tackle heavy
industrial/trade drilling and driving tasks. I have no problem with the
weight. If someone comes out with a drill of equal power, with mostly
all-metal construction but at only half the weight, and at the same price,
I'd jump on it, but at present there is no other drill with those
attributes and similar price tag that I can find. I think the icing on the cake would have
been the inclusion of NiMH batteries, but I'd then expect to be paying at
least $500 for a drill with those. Most high-quality drills with NiMH
batteries now cost close to, or over $600 so at $379, the Ryobi CID1823VK
is certainly worth consideration. This is no toy or budget-quality
cordless drill. You are certainly getting what you pay for, perhaps
The CID1823VK is available in Australia
through Gasweld stores, TotalTools, and can be ordered through Mitre 10
Order Online through these companies...
Click graphic to go to
their direct product page for this item
In the United Kingdom
Ryobi CID1823VK Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior
written permission prohibited
The CID1823VK without
auxiliary handle attached.
24 clutch settings are available to
suit all types of drilling and driving tasks, including hammer action.
The all-metal 13mm (1/2") chuck has
a very nice ratcheting action to avoid over-tightening drill bits.
Three speeds provide variable speed
options from 0 - 2,200 RPM.
Standard three position drill rotation selector
2 x 2.0Ah 18v batteries are
included. There is also bit storage on each side of the base of the drill.
Plenty of power for drilling.
Here we are using a 3/4" spade bit.
Have a masonry drilling task?
Set the hammer action and away you go. Here we are drilling to mount some
garden tool hooks.
The lowest speed is great for screw
driving tasks. Here we are removing to plane it for a free swinging
action. The drill's weight does cause a little user fatigue in extended
overhead drilling tasks like these.