Ryobi 18V Automotive Tools Review

Ryobi 18V One+ HP Brushless Automotive Tools

Ryobi has expanded their 18V One + Line-up with a few new 18V automotive-based tools and we recently tested four of them out. These tools are added to Ryobi’s highest-powered One+ HP line-up (except the sander/polished) complete with brushless motors and backward-compatible with standard 18V Ryobi batteries. Ryobi’s focused expansion of their automotive line-up is a significant and deliberate step towards trying to capture a new DIY market. They included the four following tools:

  • 1/2″ High-Torque Impact Wrench | PBLIW01B
  • 3/8″ Extended-Reach Ratchet | PBLRC25B
  • 1/4″ Right Angle Die Grinder | PSBDG01
  • 3″ Variable-Speed Detail Polisher/Sander | PBF102B

We had a 2010 Chevy Camaro repair project that we tested them out on and, as always, had a few key takeaways. We ordered the tools from most to least favorite and decided to focus this article on the key takeaways.

1/2″ High-Torque Impact Wrench | PBLIW01B

Specifications & Features:

  • Anvil size: 1/2″
  • Breakaway Torque: up to 1,170 ft-lbs.
  • Fastening Torque: 700 ft-lbs.
  • 4-Mode Speed Control
  • Die-Cast gear case
  • Integrated Tri-Beam LED light
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs (bare tool)
  • Motor: 18V Brushless

This is a great, heavy-duty, high-torque impact wrench. It had no problem breaking tight lug nuts free in no time. Even compared to previous versions of Ryobi 18V 1/2 inch impact wrench (P262) this is physically and mechanically superior. The ability to go hose-free is an essential shop upgrade. And it came with no noticeable loss in power for functionality. The tri-beam LED light is plenty bright when in the dark confines underneath a vehicle. Overall this was our favorite tool of the 4 due to the combination of high-powered performance, versatility, and seemingly rugged construction that will likely hold up well over time.

3/8″ Extended Reach Ratchet | PBLRC25B

Specifications & Features:

  • Anvil size: 3/8″
  • 4-position adjustable head
  • Integrated dual-LED light
  • Paddle-switch
  • Length: 12.3″
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs (bare tool)
  • Motor: 18V Brushless


I thought I would use this extended reach ratchet getting into the lower crevices of the engine and under the car chassis but I was wrong. I used it to assemble a table saw. Then I used it to drive in some hex head lag bolts. Then I used it to tighten a through bolt on a wheelbarrow axle. The key takeaway is that this is an extremely versatile and handy tool. The quick and easy 4-position head design is great. It makes the tool a breeze to adjust when compromised or reaching an awkward angle. And it delivers adequate power for every task I used it for. Lastly, the long reach from the over 12″ total length came in handier than I thought and kept the battery out of the way of interfering in tight spaces.

1/4″ Right Angle Die Grinder | PSBDG01

Specifications & Features:

  • Collet Size: 1/4 in.
  • Speed Modes: 10,000 / 15,000 / 20,000 / 22,000 rpm
  • Variable-Speed paddle switch
  • Integrated spindle lock
  • Single base-mounted LED light
  • Max accessory diameter: 2″
  • Motor: 18V Brushless

I knew this tool would be a hard sell as I’ve spent countless hours with a diamond-tipped cone grinder in the metal fabrication shop. We use these tips to bore out oxy/acetylene-burned holes in steel. But we’ve always used pneumatic grinders for this purpose. I found that the PSBDG01 had enough power to accomplish the task, but I still wasn’t a fan of the right-angle design. I prefer the smaller handheld version that typically attaches to a pneumatic hose. That being said, I can see how the right-angle design and smaller detail head are optimized for small-space jobs, especially for DIYers that don’t have the automotive grinders already. The PSBDG01 makes a lot of sense to fulfill their shop needs. I can also see it working well for non-automotive applications like scrubbing grout. Overall I thought it was an OK, not a great, cordless tool.

3″ Variable Speed Detail Polisher/Sander | PBF102B

Specifications & Features:

  • Runtime: approx. 30 min (4Ah battery)
  • Modes: 2-speed switch (0- 2,800 & 0– 7,800 RPM)
  • Left/Right adjustable auxiliary handle
  • Integrated spindle lock
  • Single base-mounted LED light
  • Weight: 1.88 lbs (bare tool)
  • Motor: 18V Brushed

The PBF102B polisher/sander was admittedly my least favorite tool of the new automotive tools I tested. I found the attachments to be too small to seem very useful. There are a few select applications where they may be helpful, such as polishing recessed light or chrome in very tight spaces. The power was adequate, not exceptional. And I found that I needed to operate mostly in the higher-power mode to achieve my overall desired power most of the time. The attachments also didn’t seem overly sturdy. I didn’t have the polishing wheel or sanding disc fail during use, but I felt like I needed to hold back a bit or I might break them. If someone wants to augment a larger polisher and has already bought into the Ryobi 18V line then this makes sense. Otherwise, the PBF102B would not be my first choice as a detail polisher and sander.

Final Thoughts | Ryobi 18V Brushless Automotive Tools

Overall, Ryobi has made a significant stride with many of their new automotive 18V One+ HP tools. I especially liked the wrench and ratchet as they seemed of overall better build quality with higher power and more versatility. The right angle grinder and detail polisher/sander seemed like more of an afterthought and are likely not enough on their own to get new DIY customers to commit to Ryobi 18V tools. But the pricing seems fair ad the standard 3 year warranty supports Ryobi’s expanding effort so with time, I have confidence all of their tools will be of the same high-end performance as my favorites from this bunch already seem to be.

About the author

Ben Fecteau

Benjamin is a former project manager, CNC-designer, and AWS-certified welder with experience running a commercial and industrial steel design and fabrication company. Before making the jump to commercial construction, he spent years renovating houses and building furniture where he became skilled in the art of home wiring, flooring, siding, and custom tool modifications. Benjamin has a Masters Degree in Education and is passionate about sharing his love of design with his sons and through community-based outreach. He resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and enjoys spending time with his family, in his workshop, and serving as an Air Force Officer.

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