Ryobi p261 Review

What is the Ryobi p261?

An 18V, 1/2” impact wrench, Ryobi p261 is designed to be compact yet powerful. The 1/2” anvil also has a ball detent pin retention so that it grips sockets tightly and accurately. It has a rating of 300ft.lb of torque that makes it comparable with much bigger wrenches but still perfect for the home mechanic.

It also claims a rate of up to 3200 impacts per minute, an impressive number. The wrench is light and cordless which means it can go anywhere, unlike a pneumatic wrench. There are also three LED lights around the anvil so you’ll be able to see what you’re doing in tight spaces or at night. It has a metal gearbox that

Why do you need a Ryobi p261?

Ryobi P261 18V ONE+ 3-Speed ½ in. Cordless Impact Wrench Kit (Bundle)
21 Reviews
Ryobi P261 18V ONE+ 3-Speed ½ in. Cordless Impact Wrench Kit (Bundle)
  • Impact wrench - Impact mechanism produces 300 ft./lbs. torque and up to 3,200 impacts per minute (IPM) for a variety of heavy-duty applications
  • Impact wrench - 3-speed selector switch offers greater control over a wide range of fastening applications
  • Charger - Dual-chemistry charger energizes 18-Volt ONE+ batteries in as little as 1 hour

An impact wrench is useful for many reasons, it has more power than a drill or drill-driver alone and can remove even the most stubborn nuts. You’re looking at saving a lot of time by buying one of these rather than simply relying on hand wrenching and torquing.

The Ryobi is also cordless so there’s no fussing with air hoses or power cables and it can really go anywhere. This is ideal for someone who wants to be able to work faster with fasteners and has minor auto work too as it’s debatable if the 300ft.lb torque rating is truly accurate.

  • Ryobi p261 works with any ONE+ Ryobi battery, which means you’ll only need one battery to work any of the arsenals of 50 tools. There are three speeds, more than just the standard forwards and reverse since you get two forward speeds for maximum power.
  • There’s no load speed up to 1,800 RPM for better precision.
  • Battery operated means it can go anywhere and be free of air hoses is incredibly useful.
  • More compact and lighter than most corded and pneumatic wrenches.
  • Enough torque to work on even larger SUVs and Trucks.
  • An improved molded grip for comfort and ease of use. The grip is also rubberized to stop it from slipping with sweat, grease or water.
  • Comes with battery and charger.
  • With three speeds and three built-in LEDs, it has more features than others comparable in this class.
  • Far from the cheapest wrench in its class, you’ll also need to shell out extra for the 4Amp battery to get any real power out of this too. You can buy it as a kit but it’s also more expensive than simply buying in parts.
  • Does not come with a carry kit like the p1831.
  • This is a brushed model so it gets hot quickly and does not perform as well as brushless models.

How Does it Perform?

On a 100ft.lb torqued lug nut on speed 1 it struggles for several seconds without doing anything. This is understandable since this is meant to be a precision setting rather than a real power buster. On Speed two it still struggled at first but did finally loosen the lug nut after several seconds and then remove it completely.

Now, being that this is supposed to be a fairly powerful cordless impact wrench those several seconds were concerning. At only 100ft.lb that is only a third of it’s supposed to power. On speed 3, the highest setting, the nuts were removed with only a few impacts and released quickly, though not as effortlessly as they perhaps should have been.

It can drive fasteners fairly easily, even larger ones. With 5/16” lags, it can drive them at about 6 seconds per lag with pre-drilled pilot holes. A 1/2” lag screw will take about 19 seconds without a pilot hole, which isn’t horrible and produced some stress on the drill. However, probably the most impressive was a 5/8” lag that was 6” long with a pilot hole took about 30 seconds to sink. This is still pretty quick when compared to other 18V drills.

It would be with hesitation to say that this performs to the standard Ryobi says it does, but it will work for a basic car tire change quickly enough.


The Ryobi p261 isn’t a power horse by any means, but it is a functional cordless impact wrench that will get the job done. It works better to drive fasteners than it does for removing lug nuts unless it’s on the highest power.

There are good specifications that are comparable to others in its class. But at this price point, it is a whole lot more expensive than they are! In fact, you’d be better off looking offline and trying to find a deal at your local hardware store.

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