Ryobi P261 Impact Wrench Review

Review of Ryobi P261Editor Rating: 4.6/5

Build Quality
Power
Features
Price

Review Summary

Ryobi’s P261 is a perfect impact wrench for those really difficult woodworking jobs that demand driving wood screws deep into hard, dense wood. It cranks out 300-foot-pounds of pressure, which is enough to handle most auto work jobs, but does best when you need a little more to sink screws. If you do want to use it in your auto shop, you’ll want to consider getting a more powerful battery, because hard, taxing work will drain it pretty quickly. On the other hand, it’s compatible with the Ryobi One+ line of cordless tools, so if you’re already invested in that this is just one more way to make that even more convenient and economical.

Ryobi P261 – A Quick Look

Pros
  • Perfect for lag nuts in woodwork
  • Battery compatible with other Ryobi cordless tools
  • Enough torque for most auto work
  • Perfect for woodworking
  • Affordable
Cons
  • May need battery upgrade to loosen lug nuts
  • Low torque compared to some models

Specifications

Brand name: Ryobi

Model: P261

Tool: Impact wrench

Power type: Cordless

Dimensions: 3 x 8 x 7.8 inches

Weight: 3.45 lbs.

Ryobi P261 LED on

Light and comfortable to use

Power tools can put quite a bit of wear-and-tear on the user’s body, especially the harder the work they are asked to do. Designed with a nice comfortable handle, and a compact, lightweight design, the Ryobi P261 can deliver plenty of torquing power without wearing out the operator at the end of a long day of work. This is compounded by its cordless operation. The hoses are a hassled to take along with you to where the work needs to be done.

See what you’re working on

Ryobi’s P261 comes with three LED work lights to illuminate what you’re working on and where you’re doing it. Driving nuts into a hard-to-reach place where shadows make it hard to keep track of small parts? No problem for the P261. It has three of them.

Ryobi One+ compatible

The P261 is compatible with Ryobi’s One+ battery system, built around their 18-volt battery. Ryobi One+ includes hundreds of tools and is compatible with the old nickel-cadmium batteries and the new lithium-ion batteries. Multi-tool battery compatibility not only means saving money by buying fewer batteries; it also means saving time and energy looking for the right battery and charger, and hoping you remembered to plug it all in after its last use.

FAQ

Can this impact wrench remove lug nuts?

The answer to that is this: it depends. Before you purchase any impact wrench, especially a cordless one with reduced torque output, it’s a smart idea to check out just how much torque it can sustain but also your car’s auto owners manual. That should tell you how much torque your particular automobile needs. This impact wrench puts out enough power that it can do most auto work, but some models will have needs that exceed what this can offer. Also, particularly difficult jobs like loosening really stuck nuts might require that you upgrade your battery to offer more juice over a longer period of time.

What is the maximum number of impacts this wrench can deliver?

Ryobi’s P261 comes with three different speed selectors, the fastest of which can deliver a maximum of 3,200 knocks per minute.

What kind of warranty covers this product?

Ryobi offers a two-year manufacturers’ warranty for all of its products.

What the Users Say

Cordless impact wrenches have kind of a shaky reputation for pretty good reasons. Up until recently, they just couldn’t deliver the kind of muscle most people really need from an impact wrench. When it comes to the power output food chain, those are atop it, and until the price came down weren’t even considered a part of a home workshop. So, it’s fair to expect user rankings to reflect that prejudice a little bit, for good reasons or bad.

That context laid down, the P261 is pretty popular among its users. It isn’t so many that it will rock your world, but the percentage of people who ranked their purchase very highly compared to very negatively is respectable.

Most people who liked it liked it for a pretty basic reason. It delivers a lot of power from a small frame, can take abuse and is compatible with both woodworking projects and home auto repair. The fact that it is inexpensive and convenient compared to pneumatic impact wrenches only made the experience better.

While most people liked it, there was still a fair share of people who said they had a negative experience. Most of those negative reviews were based on a pretty obvious premise, which is that the P261 just didn’t deliver the power they needed over a long enough time. There were people who said it worked great right after buying it, but that there was a drop-off in quality the longer they used it. Enough people reported this that if you buy this model it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for.

That’s still a minority opinion, however. For most people, buying the Ryobi P261 was a pretty positive experience that offered a versatile, compact solution to their impact wrench needs that is more affordable to a more powerful wrench with an air compressor, and hoses for which are a constant hassle.

Conclusion

Ryobi’s P261 is an ideal companion for big woodworking jobs. It can drive wood screws deep into hard, dense wood where other, less-powerful tools will get stuck. Its utility doesn’t end there, though. It puts out enough torque to make it suitable for most jobs around your home auto shop, too. Just consider investing in a more powerful battery to get the most out of it. It has an ergonomic design that permits long use without user fatigue, and it is compatible with the Ryobi One+ system that allows one tool to share a battery system with hundreds of different tools.

Other Ryobi products we’ve reviewed:

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!