BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C vs. Ryobi One+ P236: Impact Drivers

If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase an impact driver, don’t be. These have become a staple in any handyman’s arsenal of power tools. Back in the day, impact drivers were specialized tools used by professional mechanics and woodworkers, but today they’re not only cheap but also extremely handy around the home.

In this article, we’d like to look at two extremely popular impact driver models from two of the world’s most well-known manufacturers – the BDCI20C from BLACK+DECKER and the P236 from Ryobi’s One+ series. Today, we’re pitting American ingenuity against Japanese efficiency to see which of the two impact drivers comes out on top. So read on if you’d like to know which of these two inexpensive but practical tools belongs in your toolbox.

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If you’re wondering what makes an impact driver so special, it’s all in the torque. Impact drivers are made to drive long screws through wood with the amount of torque it delivers – something that’s lacking in traditional power drills. The B+D impact driver delivers 1,375 inch-pounds of torque, more than you’d need to assemble IKEA furniture.

Ryobi One+ P236
This Ryobi impact driver delivers 1,600 inch-pounds of torque. With this much torque, doing basic automotive repairs is a cinch. This tool produces more than enough rotational force to break and remove rust bolts and screws in an instant.

Conclusion: So the question now is whether 225 inch-pounds of torque will make a differenceWhen looking at the larger picture, no, it won’t. Both of these tools perform admirably at driving long screws through inches of wood and even concrete without damage to their brushed motors. In terms of torque delivery, it’s fair to say that these two tools are identical. Let’s move on.


RPM or the speed at which the bit rotates is not nearly as important as torque in impact drivers since these tools aren’t meant to drill and remove material. However, in a pinch and with the right drill bit, you can turn an impact driver into a drill, though it won’t be nearly as straight as a drill. The B+D spins at a maximum rate of 3,000 RPM. With the touch-sensitive trigger, you can deliver as much speed as you need for different applications.

Ryobi One+ P236
And just like the B+D impact driver, the Ryobi’s motor also has the ability to spin the drill bit at high speed. This tool has a maximum no-load rating of 3,200 RPM. So whether you’re drilling or driving screws through wood, metal, or concrete, the Ryobi will offer you the speed and power to get the job done.

Conclusion: Once again, we see a very insignificant difference between the B+D and the Ryobi. A 200-RPM disparity hardly means anything, and in most cases, you won’t even feel the need to operate these tools at their maximum speeds. Up to this point, the B+D and the Ryobi are practically neck-and-neck.

LED Lights

LED lights are more of a nice-to-have feature on an impact driver. You can get by with a well-aimed flashlight or a cordless torch in dark spaces like in closets or under the hood of your car, but built-in LED lights shine their beams at whatever you’re working on. The B+D is absent of any built-in lights so you’ll need to have an external source at the ready.

Ryobi One+ P236
Unlike the B+D, the Ryobi has three LED lights built into the face of the tool near the chuck. These lights are rather bright, but they’re not blindingly bright when reflected on metal. 44444

Conclusion: Finally, we have a clear difference between the B+D and Ryobi impact drivers. The B+D does not have built-in LED lights, whereas the Ryobi has three lights that surround the chuck and provide optimal visibility in dark spaces. If you find yourself working in tight spaces where a flashlight or torch are impossible to hold, then you’ll be glad that the Ryobi’s lights are there when you pull the trigger.

Battery and Runtime

Both of these impact drivers are cordless models, meaning that they draw power from electric batteries and not from a wall outlet. The B+D comes with its very own 20V battery and charger. When full, the battery will provide roughly 30 minutes of work, and it only takes about an hour to charge fully. We recommend investing in multiple 20V batteries to eliminate downtime as much as possible.

Ryobi One+ P236
The Ryobi uses an 18V battery which offers roughly 20 minutes of work per charge. It takes about 50 minutes the charge from 0 to 100. The unfortunate thing is that this toolkit does not include a battery and charger. You’ll either have to take the battery out of your other One+ series tools or purchase them separately.

Conclusion: Although bare-tool kits like the Ryobi P236 are cheaper, they’re only worth the investment if you already have compatible batteries on hand. If not, you’d better go with a tool that comes with its own battery and charger. So the choice is up to you – either get a ready-to-use tool with the B+D or spend a little bit more on batteries for the Ryobi.

1/4-inch Chuck

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C and Ryobi One+ P236
One of the most important considerations to make when shopping for an impact driver is the size of the chuck. The chuck on an impact driver can be as small as ¼ of an inch or as large as ½ an inch. The larger the chuck, the more capable the tool will be at driving longer, thicker screws through dense materials. Both of these impact drivers measure in at ¼ of an inch, the smallest size available. But with ¼-inch bits, you can still get a lot of work done around the house and in your car.


So after looking at both of these impact drivers closely, we can conclude without any doubt that… they’re almost identical in every regard. Sure, the Ryobi One+ P236 is slightly faster and delivers slightly more torque, but from a practical standpoint, you’re not going to notice a ton of difference in how these tools perform. However, if this is your first impact driver, we’d recommend getting the B+D BDCI20C since it comes with its own battery and charger. Right out of the box, this tool will be ready to use, right after you charge the battery.


3 Recommended Impact Drivers

Our Pick No. 1
DEWALT 20V Max Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch...
  • Compact (5.55-inch front to back), lightweight (2.8 lbs) design of DEWALT impact driver fits into tight areas
  • 3 LEDs with 20-second delay after trigger release of the cordless impact driver provide visibility without...
  • DEWALT 20V 1/4 impact driver features one-handed loading 1/4-inch hex chuck accepts 1-inch bit tips
Our Pick No. 2
DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • DCD771 in cordless drill combo kit features 2 speed transmission (0-450 / 0-1500 RPM)
  • DCD771 high performance motor of cordless tools combo kit delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability...
  • DCD771 compact, lightweight design of the drill/ impact driver combo kit fits into tight areas
Our Pick No. 3
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (PCCK647LB)
  • Brushless motor of the the cordless impact driver provides 50% more runtime
  • Powerful motor provides 1,400 in-lbs of torque for large fastening applications
  • Transmission provides 2,700 MAX RPM's for speed of fastening applications

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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