Ryobi 7.2V Cordless Drill Instructions

The Ryobi 7.2-volt cordless drill, while not a tool for major construction work, is nevertheless a handy one to have around the house. It has enough power for small drilling applications and can drive screws of moderate size, such as you would find on cabinet and entry door hinges. The rechargeable Ni-Cd battery is rated for 1.2 amp hours, and the dual speed selector allows you to operate the drill at either 330 or 520 rpm. This is the smallest cordless drill made by Ryobi and it features a 3/8-inch keyless chuck and a built-in level.

Charge a Ryobi 7.2V Ni-Cd battery by inserting it into a Ryobi 7.2V battery charger and plugging the charger in. The LED signal lamp on the charger will turn red. When it changes to green, remove the battery from the charger and insert it into the bottom of the drill handle.

Push the lever next to the trigger all the way to the left to set the drill in reverse. Hold the chuck firmly with one hand and pull the trigger to activate the drill and open it. Insert a wood, metal or masonry drill bit, depending on the material you are drilling. Push the lever to the right, hold the chuck firmly and pull the trigger to close it. Give the chuck an extra clockwise turn with your hand when it is closed to fully seat the bit.

Set the drill at the higher speed to drill through wood and at the lower one to drill through metal or concrete. Set the clutch at the highest tension and hold the drill upright. Use the level on the top to make a horizontal hole through a vertical surface. There is no benefit in referring to the level if you are drilling at an angle or vertically.

Replace the drill bit with a screwdriver bit to use the drill to drive screws. Hold the chuck firmly, set the drill in reverse and pull the trigger to open the chuck. Change the bit and tighten the chuck.

Adjust the clutch to avoid stripping screws or driving them too deeply. At lower settings, the clutch disengages more easily. Set the drill in forward mode to drive screws and in reverse to remove them. Push on the screw while the drill is operating to keep the bit engaged with the head of the screw. If the bit slips, adjust the clutch to decrease the tension or you may strip the screw.

Things You Will Need

  • Ryobi 7.2V Ni-Cd battery
  • Ryobi 7.2V Ni-Cd battery charger
  • Ryobi 7.2V cordless drill
  • 3/8-inch or smaller drill bit
  • Screwdriver bit


  • A new drill is supplied with only one battery. It's a good idea to buy an extra one so you will always have a charged battery on hand.
  • The Ryobi 7.2V drill doesn't develop much power, and the company has discontinued its production. The Ryobi 14.4V and 18V cordless drills are not much larger in size but have enough power for almost every household, cabinetry and construction application.

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.