455,000 Ryobi Drills Recalled For Potential Fire Hazard

Got a Ryobi drill in the garage? Might want to check the model number. The company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced a recall of nearly half a million Ryobi drills because of a potential fire hazard.

According to the recall notice, the switch on the Ryobi Model HP 1802M Cordless Power Drills can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Ryobi has received 47 reports of the drills overheating, smoking, melting or catching fire, including 12 reports of property damage to homes or vehicles. Two of the incidents involved minor burns from touching an overheated switch.

The Ryobi Model HP 1802M cordless drill is powered by an 18 volt rechargeable NiCad battery. The drills are blue and black in color with “Ryobi” appearing in red and white on the left side. The model number can be found on a white label on the right side of the drill.

These drills were sold at Home Depot from January 2001 to July 2003 for about $100.

CPSC says owners of these drills should immediately stop using them, remove the rechargeable battery and contact Ryobi to receive a free replacement drill.

Contact Ryobi Customer Service at (800) 597-9624 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.ryobitools.com

Ryobi Recalls Cordless Drills Due to Fire Hazard [CPSC.gov]

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  1. KyBash says:

    It was just a matter of time. They’ve gone from halfway-decent tools to halfway-incdecent while their prices have risen to obscene levels.

    • evilpete says:

      Obscene prices, ha!

      They had a battery powered light, circular saw, reciprocal saw, drill, charger and 2 batteries for $145

      • c!tizen says:

        I totally bought that package, and I threw in a portable fan, a power sander, an additional battery and a yard edger (which came with it’s own battery and charger) and I still walked away for under $350. I love Ryobi tools.

    • MarvinMar says:

      2 years ago I bought a Ryobi One package at Home Depot on Black Friday.
      Circular saw, drill, car vacuum, charger, Battery and for my “Free” extra tool I grabbed another battery. My total was right about $50
      So I grabbed a set each for my dad and father in law also.

      I must say though, If I charge the battery and let it sit, it does not work more than a few minutes.
      Good thing I got a 15 minute charged for it also.
      Actually checked my warranty Sunday because I bought an extended warranty because they said it covered new batteries….. That warranty ended Nov 09 though. Darn

  2. Macgyver says:

    That’s 47 drills out of almost 500 thousand. That’s less then 1%. Maybe it’s not the drill themselves.
    Maybe people don’t know how to use it correctly.
    I watch the DIY network, and I’ve seen people that don’t use the proper tools for the job, or use the tools incorrectly.

    • Marlin says:

      Thats 47 reports, not 47 total.

      For each of those reports there are a pile of people just throwing away as a POS ryobi tool or getting it replaced at HD without a report being put up.

      • Tim in Wyoming says:

        Is that like the FCC’s if 15 people file a complaint 100,000 were also offended and didn’t report it?

  3. ColoradoShark says:

    KyBash: Did you mean to say Ryobi went from being decent to incandescent?

  4. Jfielder says:

    See now I would’ve thought if my ten year old cheap drill is catching fire, I would put it out and go buy a new one. Cordless drills have a pretty short lifespan… Nine or ten years is a long time to own a cordless drill and expect it to continue to work.

    Good for Ryobi though, making it right.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      There is a big difference between not continuing to work, and catching fire… If you seriously think it is ok for electronics and tools to catch fire after being 10 years old… then wow…

  5. robocop is bleeding says:

    Is there a good contact email for a Ryobi exec out there? I have a Ryobi miter saw whose guard got caught in the blade and sort of exploded two over two months ago. It’s been at the repair shop for a Ryobi-approved repair, but Ryobi has yet to send them the parts.

  6. Daverson says:

    Ryobi makes shitty tools. I had this model of cordless drill – bought it in the early 2000’s. I don’t remember it ever overheating on me, but I do remember that none of the batteries would eventurally hold a charge longer than a minute or two. I tossed it

    • enomosiki says:

      Ditto. I went through two same Ryobi drills before all three of the batteries crapped out within a week of each’s use. Then bought a Craftsman and never had problem for years.

  7. theirishscion says:

    Yay! New drill for me, it looks like.

    I’ve actually been quite happy with mine for the last 8 years. It’s gone through innumerable nasty 18v NiCad battery packs over that time, but the drill itself and the charger have done just fine. Replacing the battery packs makes sense for me because I have about 8 or 10 other tools that use the same packs.

    Granted, Ryobi kit is _not_ high quality. Give me a Makita or Hitachi any day of the week for serious or professional work, but for my (relatively light household/DIY) use I really can’t justify buying battery gear that expensive, especially not considering how much gear I have that all uses the same Ryobi battery packs. Corded equipment that I might reasonably use for the rest of my life, I’ll go upmarket, but battery gear I’m forced to treat as basically disposable.

    I wonder what we’ll be getting as a replacement.

    • theirishscion says:

      Hmm, the guy on the phone just said “another 18v power drill” rather cryptically when I asked what it’d be replaced with. Looking on the Ryobi site though, it appears that they still sell essentially the identical drill bundled with a circular saw, so I imagine it’ll be one of those. Hope it isn’t a refurb.

      The process, incidentally, is that fedex will pick the recalled drill up from your house if you leave it out for them in a box. Mine is allegedly going on the 28th. I’ll miss it.

  8. oldtaku says:

    I have one of these, bought at Home Depot.

    Following the link, they were made in China. Which means I have…

    A Chinese Fire Drill.

    [rimshot!] Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll just be smoking in the back room.

  9. Jack Straw from Wichita says:

    i have a black and decker drill that’s very interesting to see operate in the dark… the inside sparks every time you squeeze the trigger. wonder if that one has a similar problem to the ryobi… i know a lot of these things are made in the same factories or by the same machines with the same design

    • KyBash says:

      I got a free circular saw that way. Guy had it a couple of years and then noticed that if the lights were dim, he could see sparks. He was going to throw it away. I took it and put new brushes in it. It didn’t help — still had sparks, but since none of them shot out of the case, I kept using it.

      It worked for about five more years before giving up the ghost.

    • theirishscion says:

      Yeah, they all do that quite noticeably when you take your finger abruptly off the trigger (it’s the surge of current as the motor effectively acts as a generator across it’s shorted leads. Shorting the leads is how they brake the tool) and to a lesser extent under regular load.

      In fact, all high current, small-ish DC brushed motors (give or take) do that when their leads are effectively shorted, or under heavy load, though you usually can’t see the sparks through whatever they’re encased in. This is a good reason not to use motorized things when you smell anything flammable.

    • webweazel says:

      That’s perfectly normal, actually. I have worked with tools almost my whole working life. Air and electric. In any tool where I could see the motor even slightly, there were sparks when the motor was running. It’s just electrical current moving through a small air gap. On some tools, you won’t see it because you can’t see the motor through any cooling holes, and some sparks are large or small depending on the tool itself, meaning size or power rating.
      This is why it is dangerous to use an electrical tool near water or flammable fumes or liquids, like scion mentioned. Otherwise, nothing to worry about.

  10. schiff says:

    I have one of the recalled drills. I’ve used it quite regularly since purchasing it in 2001. It’s been fabulous. Still works great to this day (although I upgraded to the LiON batteries). Only time it gets hot is when you overload the drill — which being the workhorse it is, still powers through. My guess is the condition arrises when overloading or stalling the drill but continuing working with it. Of course people should know better than to do that but I’m not going to fight a repalcement for the aging gem.

  11. schiff says:

    I have one of the recalled drills. I’ve used it quite regularly since purchasing it in 2001. It’s been fabulous. Still works great to this day (although I upgraded to the LiON batteries). Only time it gets hot is when you overload the drill — which being the workhorse it is, still powers through. My guess is the condition arrises when overloading or stalling the drill but continuing working with it. Of course people should know better than to do that but I’m not going to fight a replacement for the aging gem.

  12. Adam says:

    If you bought a ryobi you should be burned on principle alone.

  13. Absinthe says:

    Eh… they are crap to me anyway.

    I suppose for the average homeowner who dabbles in the occasional DIY project, they do just fine and are far more affordable than Milwaukee or DeWalt…

    But in the construction industry they are utter garbage. I was at a cheep shop that got Ryobi hammer drills. The motors would burn out in a matter of weeks… the batteries would fail, complete crap.

    Anyways… recall=excuse to get new tool for those who can use em.