Just like every workshop needs a cordless drill, every home
should have a corded hammer drill. There is always at least a few drilling
tasks to be completed in and around the home, and certainly many in the
workshop also. Whether it's drilling pilot holes to hang curtain rails or
blinds, drilling holes for fixing stormwater downpipe holding brackets to
masonry walls, or just drilling dowel holes, a corded drill is a useful
item around the home and shop. And while I'm an advocate of a good cordless drill
and the freedom it offers the user, a corded drill is equally handy if
your cordless battery dies halfway through a job. Another plus for corded
drills is that they are generally a little cheaper than their cordless
cousins, so they are more affordable to more people.
Today we will look at a couple of budget-priced corded
drills from Ryobi. These drills are some of their standard line options
(not Professional Series), so they are aimed at the home handyman and DIY
enthusiast, with price tags to match. Let's see how they rate on a price
vs performance study.
Ryobi EID600VK Impact Drill
This is the smaller of the two impact drills and has less features,
but it also has a lower price tag of just AUD$59.00. It comes shipped in a
plastic molded case with a variety of drill bits included (standard twist
bits, brad-point bits, and some masonry bits). These are probably better
than your average standard included bits you find in some cheaper kits,
except perhaps for the brad point bits. I'm not sure why but they don't
seem to drill very well at all. They might not be as sharp as the twist
bits included, or their manufacturing may not have been as precise as it
should have been? Don't expect to get the drill bits
back into their case holdings easily either. They are wedged in there quite tight
from the factory! Some go back in without too much trouble but others
require a fair bit of effort. The black and white user manual is also found in the
case. It will give you all the basics you need to use your drill safely
Power-wise, the EID600VK sports a 600W motor onboard. Not
the biggest you will find in an impact drill, on the smaller side in fact,
but this tool is not designed for high power, heavy duty users. It may
lack the power to drill dense materials when using a wide diameter bit,
but for your everyday small-scale drilling tasks, it is more than
adequate. The drill has a no load speed range of 0 - 2,700 revolutions per
minute. Tool weight is 2.2kg, which is not too bad for a corded hammer
drill. It's light enough for extended use without experiencing too much
The trigger is a familiar design. Your standard push-button
style trigger with a speed adjustment wheel onboard and the
forward/reverse direction lever located just above it. This trigger design
is found on many corded impact drills. The speed adjustment wheel on this
model however provides a solid, more definite adjustment, i.e. when you
turn the wheel, it "clicks" into the next setting better than some other
cheap corded drill speed adjustment wheels, which feel like they "slip"
between settings as you rotate the wheel. The forward/reverse lever is
pretty self explanatory. Set it to the left, and the drill chuck rotates
clockwise for drilling, set it right and it rotates anti-clockwise. There
is no middle setting however that would lock the trigger like you find on
most cordless drills. Lateral to the trigger is the trigger lock button.
When you depress the trigger and power up the drill, you can push this
button and lock the trigger in the ON position, which is handy for
extended drilling tasks, saving you having to constantly squeeze the
trigger as you drill. The trigger itself does allow some degree of
variable speed control, but you should use the speed adjustment wheel on
the trigger for more precise control. Lower speeds offer more torque,
while higher speeds offer less torque. Hence, lower speeds are better for
starting pilot holes or screwing in fasteners, while higher speeds are
best suited for drilling tasks.
Note that certain materials, like metals and plastics do
require lower speeds, as do larger diameter drill bits. Always set your
speed correctly depending on type and size of drill bit used and the
material you are working with. If you are planning to do a lot of screw
driving with a drill however, we would recommend a specific driving tool.
Cordless drivers have
adjustable clutches to prevent over-driving, and the chuck stops rotating
as soon as you release the trigger. With many corded drills, once you
release the trigger, the chuck continues to rotate until it comes to a
stop, providing the potential to over-drive fasteners, making them less
effective in some cases, or damaging your material. It may be possible to
avoid overdriving with use of the depth gauge rod mounted to the front
handle, although this is primarily used for helping determine drilling
depth. The depth gauge rod can be moved forward and back and is locked in
place by twisting the front handle, and loosened via the same mechanism
also. It is most useful when drilling holes to the exact depth for all
types of masonry anchors, or for pilot hole drilling for driving fasteners
The front auxiliary handle provides the grip for your second hand to
hold and stabilize the drill in use. You can loosen it and rotate it
around to the most comfortable position for the drilling task at hand.
Rubber overmolds cover the main handle and extend up over
the top-rear section of the drill. They provide additional user comfort
and a more slip-resistant surface, improving safety. The top of the drill
is ergonomically shaped to allow you to grip the body between your thumb
and index finger (see photo), and the rubber overmolds extend forward from there. It's
a comfortable grip grasping the drill up top once you have the trigger
locked for extended drilling. The drill body is mostly hard plastic
construction. It is durable, but also a reason for the lower tool price.
A 13mm keyless chuck sits upfront which is large enough to
hold all your standard sized drill bits. If you have a drill bit that
needs a larger chuck, then you are going to need a larger, more powerful
drill too! Tightening and loosening the chuck requires two hands. One
pressing the yellow spindle lock button on the side of the drill aft of
the chuck, and the other to spin the chuck either way to loosen or tighten
it. I'm not a great fan of spindle locks. I prefer the one piece, one
handed ratcheting style chucks as featured on some of the Ryobi
Professional Series and One+ Series drills, but for this price tag, you
cannot expect all the luxuries. The chuck jaws are solid and hold drill
bits very well when properly tightened, no slipping bits so far anyway.
On top of the drill is the hammer drilling function switch.
It is a two position switch. Either leave it at the default setting for
standard drilling tasks into wood, metal or composites or switch it over
to the hammer function, marked by a small hammer symbol, to engage hammer
drilling which provides a combination of normal drilling rotation with
chuck "rattles". I call them rattles because hammer drilling seems to have
a rattling sound to it. But these high speed blows delivered by the drill in this mode make masonry drilling much quicker and simpler. The
EID600VK can deliver up to 43,200 blows per minute. Also on top is a
bubble level to help align the drill for horizontal drilling, or to
deliberately drill at an angle if needed.
The rated drilling capacities for materials are listed as
We tested the drill on many different materials. Our
results were pretty much what was expected. If you push the drill beyond
what it is capable of, it will not perform satisfactorily. Use it in its
comfort zone, for light duty drilling tasks, and it performs very well
indeed. With all drills, using quality drill bits greatly improves
performance. I own several other cheap corded drills (the ones I usually
loan out to the relatives) and I have to say that Ryobi performance-wise
is similar. The Ryobi does seem to be slightly better built than my other
budget drills, with emphasis on the more accurate speed adjustment dial,
and the overall ergonomics and balance of the drill in the hand. There is
also less chuck runout on this model. For the
asking price of AUD$59, it would make a perfectly good drill for your
light duty home or woodworking tasks. I have a dedicated corded drill in
my shop for use with the Kreg K3 Master pocket hole system to drill pocket
holes for joinery. The EID600VK suited that task fine when we tested it
with this application too. If you plan to do more metal or masonry
drilling, you might want to consider the larger, more powerful EID8102VK
model reviewed below.
My overall opinion is that this model offers good value for
money. It's not a heavy duty Makita, and its not a rotary hammer, but it
will do the job for all your light duty drilling tasks' around the home
and in the shop.
Ryobi EID8102VK Impact Drill
The EID8102VK is a heavier duty impact drill. I guess you could
consider it the bigger brother to the EID600VK as it it is larger, more
powerful, and has additional features, but still retains many of the same
features as the smaller model. Some features I will not go into detail
about because they are the same as those on the EID600VK which I have
already covered above. This model also ships in a molded carry case with a
similar assortment of drill bits included.
Let's start with the power aspect. This larger drill offers
a 810 watt power supply. It offers enough power for anything up to medium
duty drilling operations. Drilling capacities are, as a result of the
larger motor, also more generous. The listed capacities for the EID8102VK
are as follows;
The increase in drilling capacity is close to being linear
in respect to the increase in motor size. The larger motor offers a little
more torque also at lower speeds, which is always handy to have, but you
must consider overall drill size and weight. This drill weighs in at
2.8kg, which is 0.6kg heavier than the smaller model but still a
respectable weight for a hammer drill.
The drill features the same 13mm keyless chuck and trigger
design (with trigger lock) as the smaller model, as well as the same
bubble level, front handle with depth gauge rod, ergonomic design at the
rear of the tool, and the same rubber overmolds for comfort. In fact, the
biggest noticeable difference is found between the motor and the chuck. A
longer metal casing section holds a two-position speed setting to control
the drill's 2-speed gearbox. This
setting offers a wider range of drill speeds not available on the
EID600VK. At speed setting 1 the drill is capable of 0 - 1,100 RPM. At
speed setting 2 .the drill offers a range from 0 - 2,800 RPM and these
speeds are additionally adjustable via the wheel on the trigger. So why does it need 2
speed settings if the EID600VK offers a similar total speed range of 0 -
2,700RPM? Well that's a fair question. In theory you could use the smaller
drill to get the same speed needed for the task by pushing the trigger a
certain distance in. I guess the advantage of
having a 2-speed drill is that it is easier to guesstimate a chosen speed
setting if you know the exact limits of each speed settings range. The same
rules apply for torque with this model. At the lower speed setting 1, more torque is
available for drilling with wider diameter drill bits, or for fastener
driving. At higher speeds, the drill is more suitable for drilling with
smaller bits, or for wood drilling, but it offers less torque.
On top of the unit is a selector switch for normal drilling
mode and impact/hammer mode. The only difference between the switch on
this model and the one above is that on this drill, it is designed as a
flip lever rather than a slide switch. Each switch setting is symbolized
appropriately. In impact mode the EID8102VK can deliver up to 44,800 blows
per minute on the high speed setting, on low speed setting the maximum
impact count is around 17,600 impacts per minute.
So, apart from the more powerful motor and the speed
selector switch, both drills are similar in features, but slightly
different in specification. Sound-wise, both drills would be safe to use
without ear protection at arm's length. While no specific data is
available in the manual on decibel rating of the tool, I doubt it exceeds
the 85 decibel limit considered safe for the human ear without ear
protection. I am fairly familiar with how loud 85 decibels sounds, and the
drills don't seem to be close to that limit. Interestingly, the larger
EID8102VK model with the more powerful motor does not seem to be
considerably louder than its smaller brother.
In use the EID8102VK performs quite well. There is minimal
chuck runout, so bits run true when secured properly in the chuck. There
is enough power for most DIY and medium duty trade drilling tasks, so
unless your engaging in some serious drilling, this drill should do the
job ok. Sharp drill bits are the key with power drills, after all, it is
the drill bit that does a lot of the work.
The drill is comfortable to use, not a lot more to say.
I did mention above that corded drills do not make ideal
fastener driving tools, but this does not mean you cannot use them to
drive screws, bolts or other fasteners. You can of course use it to drive
screws, it just takes a little more care, and when using large diameter
fasteners, like hex head bolts for example, you may run out of the torque
needed for fine driving depth control that a dedicated high torque driving
power tool can offer. Despite this, for all your general woodworking or
fastener driving tasks, the drill handles the task well, just be careful
not to use too fast a speed and overdrive the fastener.
For the retail price of AUD$89, the EID8102VK delivers good
performance. Often with corded drills, you get what you pay for, but if
you do not specifically need a high power drill for your tasks at hand,
you can get away with a cheaper corded drill if you are on a budget. Is
the EID8102 worth the extra $30 over the smaller model? Well, if you don't
mind the extra weight, then I say go for the larger model, simply because
you are always best to have too much power than not enough, especially
when you can adjust the power as needed down to levels provided by the
smaller drill anyway. A corded drill is a handy item to have in the
workshop or around the home. If you were to only require a corded drill
for woodworking in the shop, the smaller EID600VK model might suit better.
It's more compact and a little easier to manuever around the shop and hold
at angles for various drilling needs. I use the smaller EID600VK for my
dowel and pocket hole drilling tasks in the shop. It works just fine for
these, but when it comes to masonry or larger diameter drill bits, the
more powerful EID800VK certainly comes in handy also.
If your budget is limited, so are your choices. Sure, we
would all love the latest Bosch, Makita or Panasonic drill available, but
if you only have "X" amount of dollars to spend, then you have to find the
best drill priced within your budget and go for that. I'm not saying these
Ryobi models are the best available in their price range (I haven't
tested/used every corded drill out there!) but they are worth adding to
your list of potential candidates.
The Ryobi Australia website can be found at
In the USA, the Ryobi website is at
Ryobi Drill Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior
written permission prohibited
The EID600VK in plastic molded case with drill bits.
The EID600VK Impact Drill.
13mm chuck with yellow spindle lock button visible.
The sliding switch for normal and impact drilling modes,
plus the bubble level on top of the drill.
The depth rod with etched markings and front auxiliary
Drill trigger with black adjustable speed wheel, yellow
trigger lock button and black forward/reverse lever.
The EID8102VK ready to go.
A shot of the included drill bits.
The Ryobi EID8102VK.
The chuck exhibits surprisingly little runout.
The speed selector switch provides more precise speed
The hammer drilling flip switch on top of the EID8102VK.
The black and white manual provides all the basics for
safe and proper operation.
The EID8102VK in use drilling anchor holes for downpipe brackets.
Grasping the drill by the housing. The ergonomic design and rubber
overmolds provide a comfortable grip.
Drilling wood, metal or masonry, the Ryobi corded impact
drills offer good value for money in the budget tool price range.