Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

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Kev888
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Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by Kev888 »

I've owned a Ryobi CDI-1803 throughout its life; it was part of the One+ system in rather vibrant green, and was used with both Li-on and ni-cads. It was the highest-end drill they did at the time, with metal gears and chuck, and what I would rate as medium-heavy in torque, at around 55nm I believe. (Interestingly I notice the latest DeWalt DCD995 appears to have a near-identical chuck). I don't know if its being phased out but I have recently found it on sale in just a couple of places for between £60 and £95 (bare).

It has lasted maybe three years of pretty heavy DIY use; many evenings and weekends - often not gently. I also have an impact driver so it has mainly been used as a drill: often just 6mm wood drills and wall-plug sized masonry bits, but it has also handled bigger stuff like 16mm in concrete and 32mm auger bits in wood. I haven't been able to break it. But the end came when the brushes wore out; they still vaguely work in the forward direction, but reverse starts to create so much sparking and smoke that it is like a small fire. This is a bit sad as the rest of the drill, whilst battered, is still going strong - I feel they should have matched the uprated chuck and gears with replaceable brushes; having taken it apart there still seems to be lots of mileage left in the rest of the drill. However, its been such a reliable and capable drill and was so modestly priced back when I bought it that I don't consider it owes me anything at all, and I'm sorry to see it go.

By comparison with a similarly specified offering from DeWalt that replaces it, I would say it performed comparably (even under abuse) and had largely the same features too, bar a belt hook. But obviously it was quite a bit cheaper, and I would say the cost savings were apparent in it being (far) less compact and whilst its lifetime has been very appropriate for heavy DIY use, it would not have seemed long had that all been concentrated into daily/trade use. The li-ion batteries also seem a bit bulky by comparison but again perform very similarly. In terms of features the batteries have a green/amber/red indicator to let you check the charge and protection to prevent excessive discharge (this has worked, whilst not causing me any problems). However, if they have anything to protect against excessive current drain I haven't ever caused it to kick in, though of course one can just stop pulling the trigger if a jam occurred. Compared to the Erbauer equivalent I had previously, I would say there was not a massive amount in it, but the ryobi's gearbox has been better and it has lasted noticeably longer (I had only ni-cads with the erbauer though so can't really compare those).

Would I buy it again? I'm extremely happy that I chose it at the time, and would say this was a good quality tool pitched appropriately in price, capability and endurance for serious DIYers, which it must be said has not been the case with a number if inexplicably popular DIY brands I have used in the past... but it must also be said that I haven't replaced it with the same model again. The more pro-level brands appear to have fallen in price since then, and (perhaps in response?) Ryobi seem currently not to have what I perceive to be such heavy-duty offerings as the CDI-1803 included in any of their value-packs, which was what tempted me to buy it originally. Similarly, the 4ah li-ion batteries for the Ryobi one-plus system are not noticeably cheaper than those for the more pro-level brands these days. So I elected to spend slightly more for what I consider to be a pro-level tool, partly for compactness but mainly because it does not have the issue of un-replaceable brushes.

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Kev
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by wine~o »

Ryobi one plus though not considered "trade tools" are Ok for light trade use...such as a Handyman.. :wink:
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by Kev888 »

Yes, I'd agree with that, the brand has been far superior to most DIY-grade tools I've had, and not noticably lacking in capability compared to more costly trade brands/ranges. I've got a number of other 'one-plus' tools which work very well and show all the signs of lasting for years; its only really the drills and drivers that I seem to get through, as they're used far more than the other tools. I think it says much that the Ryobi wore out after much competent service, rather than breaking through a defect or heavy use.

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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by wine~o »

Hopefully Big-All will be on-line soon...He's a big fan of Ryobi..
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by jg »

I never even considered that the ryobi one+ range would have a range of combi drills. All the ones I have came with kits.
I'll have to have a look exactly what model they are. I've never found them to be brilliant at masonary drilling, even small holes for fitting a light switch onto brick in the garage took ages.
Haven't tried since I got my Lithium+ batteries though, might do that today.

Is there a handy place to compare the different model numbers?
I am not a pro.
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by big-all »

have you tried for replacement brushes :dunno:
i would never ditch a good tool for £3 brushes
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by fin »

perhaps its like my aeg drill with a sealed motor big al. cant replace the brushes on mine unfortunately.
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by Kev888 »

big-all wrote:have you tried for replacement brushes
i would never ditch a good tool for £3 brushes
No, neither would I! I took it all apart to have a look when it happened: sadly the brushes aren't designed to be replaced, and the motor is not designed to be opened either (a pressed shell crimped together). I did consider trying to prise it apart anyway, but the brushes are small pads mounted on the end of quite delicate sprung trailing arms (rather than simple blocks of carbon with coiled springs behind), and I didn't think there was much chance of me managing to make or adapt anything convincingly to replace them.

The drill has had a lot of use though, and I don't feel it owes me anything so this isn't a complaint. I just find it a bit sad that Ryobi made such a good one without including replaceable brushes; its not worth buying a new motor or anything at this time in its life, but I would have stretched to new brushes.
jg wrote:I never even considered that the ryobi one+ range would have a range of combi drills. All the ones I have came with kits.
I'll have to have a look exactly what model they are. I've never found them to be brilliant at masonary drilling, even small holes for fitting a light switch onto brick in the garage took ages.
Haven't tried since I got my Lithium+ batteries though, might do that today.
Is there a handy place to compare the different model numbers?
I think the Ryobi line-up has changed a bit since I bought mine, there were a couple of choices of hammer drill back then, but I can only see one model in the current line-up (plus a plain drill). It has 50Nm torque and 13mm chuck so its not a light-duty one, and yet looks more compact than my last/older model, so its probably a decent compromise for them to settle on.

I'm not sure why you would have had trouble drilling bricks though, even a mid-range hammer/combi drill should have no problem with plug-sized holes in those. Were you using a decent drill bit and hammer action? (EDIT: Sorry if that seems obvious, but I've been caught out before by what I 'thought' was a sharp bit struggling in hard masonry, when in fact the masonry was fine but my drill bit was pants)

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Kev
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by big-all »

yep sorry never had to replace brushes on ryobi stuff
so assumed incorrectly they where drop out drop in :shock:
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by Timllfixit »

Are the Ryobi SDS hammer /chisel drills OK?
When all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.
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Re: Ryobi CDI-1803 3-speed combi drill

Post by Kev888 »

Timllfixit wrote:Are the Ryobi SDS hammer /chisel drills OK?
I think it depends a lot on what you want it to do, really. I've got an 18v one+ SDS (CRH1801), and IMO its a bit faster than a combi drill in medium density masonry and much more effective in heavy stuff, like concrete with hard aggregates in. So I find it good for blatting around drilling wall-plug holes and that kind of thing without trailing a lead about and (as its fairly small for an SDS) without having to worry too much about shaking the house apart. As an equivalent to a modest combi-drill but purpose-designed for masonry, I'm pretty happy with it.

But its not very powerful compared to many SDS drills; it only has an impact energy of 1.5j and a suggested max of 12mm in masonry (although I have used it gently for 16mm at times). So it has not replaced my corded SDS for larger holes; if I didn't have the option of a corded SDS (or if I could justify the cost), the equivalents from say DeWalt or Makita will easily out-perform it in terms of torque and power (if not weight); IIRC the dewalt had a recommended max masonry bit diameter twice that of my ryobi (though its also twice the price).

One other thing to note is that my CRH1801 is a two function type - i.e. it doesn't have rotation stop like the three-function types, only hammer stop. I don't know if its still the current model (its a few years old now) or if they do a three-function one, I only wanted it for drilling so I didn't particularly check the other options.

Cheers
Kev
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