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Ryobi P208 vs P271 Drill/Driver: Which One’s Right for Your Needs?

Image Product Details
The Winner
Winner
Ryobi P208 Ryobi P208
  • Versatile
  • Compatible with One+
  • LED lights to illuminate work areas
  • The Runner up
    Second place
    Ryobi P271 Ryobi P271
  • Compatible with Ryobi’s One+
  • Slightly more compact than the P271
  • Versatile in terms of motor speed, torque
  • Ryobi drill/drivers are the industry’s gold standard for many reasons, but their quality and the One+ battery system set them apart. And the Ryobi P208 and P271 are ahead of the class, even within their own family of products. However, there can only be one that is the best.

    Ryobi P208 has many charms. It is heavier than the P271, which means the user needs to add minimal additional force to drive screws or drill holes. That makes this a terrific choice for anyone using it regularly that prefers not to feel exhausted utilizing a tool that is supposed to help. And the LED spot near the clutch selector gives you the illumination you need in those darker workspaces.

    The Ryobi P271, on the other hand, is lighter and smaller in physical dimensions, which makes it more versatile when needed in tighter spaces and limits hand fatigue from carrying around a heavier drill/driver. Beyond that, these models are quite similar.

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    At A Glance

    P208
    • One+ compatible
    • LED light built-in
    • Well balanced
    • 2-speeds
    • 24-position clutch
    • MagTray
    P271
    • One+ compatible
    • Compact size
    • Well balanced
    • 2-speeds
    • 24-position clutch
    • MagTray

    Overview of the Ryobi P208

    Ryobi P208 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Drill

    While they are very similar in style and features, the P208 brings a little more to the table over its lighter, smaller counterpart. Anyone who has put together unassembled furniture or hung a shelf overhead knows that having a little more weight behind the screws or drill bits can make or break the entire experience.

    The weight is only an issue if you need to lug it around the job site for extended periods, but if you intend to use it here and there for household projects or some type of DIY project, hand fatigue will not be a concern. Even with the patented One+ 18V battery, the gun is still really well balanced, reducing the issue even further.

    It does, however, have one fantastic feature that makes it a win for the home team. Use in poorly lit areas is capable due to the LED light near the clutch mechanism that comes on every time you pull the trigger. Once you use it, you will never want to drill without it again.

    Pros
    • LED light
    • One+ compatible
    • Powerful
    • Versatile
    Cons
    • Larger and heavier than P271

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    Overview of the Ryobi P271

    Ryobi P271

    Make way for this little fellow. It isn’t that much smaller than the P208, but it is noticeably different in size when they are compared side by side. So, what does this mean for you?

    Lighter means minimal hand fatigue and less weight on your tool belt if carrying around a job site or up a ladder throughout the day. Smaller means it will fit into those tight areas, like between joists, and give you more leverage to put in tricky screws or drill awkward holes.

    But lighter and smaller have one flaw, and that is manpower. And by manpower, we mean the person using it will need to put their weight behind it in some situations, which is made even more complicated when engaging in compact drilling or screwing situations.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Compact
    • One+ compatible
    • Very versatile
    Cons
    • No spotlight built-in

    What Are the Differences Between Them?

    Performance

    Edge: None

    Both models have the same motor, the same 2-speed trigger, and the same 24-setting clutch. The torque is negligible and shifting is a piece of cake with a simple twist of the clutch barrel near the identical chuck assembly. And they both possess the magnetic ledge at the base of the handle that allows you to store an extra bit or secure small screws with ease and safety.

    Price

    Edge: None

    These tools are the same price, despite the size and weight difference and the LED feature’s existence on the P208. They both use the same One+ universal Ryobi battery, and while those vary in price, it is also a negligible factor in the overall sticker on these drill/drivers.

    close up Ryobi P271

    Features

    Edge: P208

    It is still a compact design yet not terribly heavy, but the edge for this model is all in the LED spotlight. Anyone who has worked in the dark has said terrible things when they might have dropped a bit or screw or drilled in the wrong place. Especially when the sun sets earlier in the winter, it is wise to have a light to guide your bits to their destination.

    Design

    Edge: P271

    It is just smaller and noticeably lighter. Need we say more? If you don’t want to watch your drilling arm get substantially bigger like a bodybuilder lifting weights, then a more lightweight drill/driver is what you need. And it can hit those compact work areas without any trouble. It might seem like a moot point but carry one of these each for a day and see if the weight and size make a difference. We think it will.

    Durability

    Edge: None

    The guns, as we said, are built identically. They are constructed of the same industrial hardened plastic and have all the same springs and mechanisms and identical transmissions. If it were not for the size and the LED, they would be twins.

    Design

    Edge: None

    Again, identical in design. The Ryobi drill/driver series has a patented 2-speed trigger pull, giving the user plenty of control over how fast their gun operates. And the easy to see clutch near the adjustable chuck works with a twist of the wrist, adding more or less torque as needed. They both have these, as well as the same grip, battery box, and style.

    What Users Say

    We did our own research and went to the people to see what they had to tell us concerning their experience with these two drill/drivers.

    For both of them, most of the consensus was positive. The One+ battery and charger compatibility is a significant factor in why they will still return to Ryobi for a replacement even if they have an issue with their Ryobi product. And rarely has anyone had a situation when they got a defective model.

    With the exception that some folks ordered their Ryobi drill/drivers online and received a reconditioned model over the new-in-box options, no one had a bad thing to say.

    Upon independent testing, we found that unless you turn the transmission to the drill feature on the clutch, drilling can hang up in hardwoods. This is especially the case when using a hole bit that is ¾ inches or larger. The chuck jaws don’t hold drill bits as tightly as we would have preferred, as most are round, and the chuck is a 3-sided jaw mechanism.

    Generally, they both perform outstandingly and are widely enjoyed by buyers and users alike.

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    Conclusion

    In this comparison, the clear winner for versatility and features is the P208. It just holds up in ways the P271 could not. It is perfect for home and commercial use, and with the additional perks, if you have to get one, the price is the same, so get the one with the bonus feature.

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