Which DeWalt drill should you buy? Let’s be honest, the best DeWalt drill really depends on the application you need it for.
Choosing the best DeWalt drill is an epic task, there are more than 50 different models in their lineup of corded and cordless drills. Having so many options can be a good thing. We all have different requirements and we don’t all have the same budget. So I have no doubt that anyone can find the perfect drill for their needs amongst the huge selection that DeWalt has to offer.
Intro | Best DeWalt Drill
Deciding where to begin, can be somewhat overwhelming, who’s got the time to analyze 50 different DeWalt drills? Some folks may not even know exactly what to look for. So I’m going to take a two-fold approach to this. Firstly I’ll review our top three battery-powered DeWalt drills.
- DeWalt DCD791D2 : Wonderfully affordable 20V drill and driver kit.
- DeWalt DCD460T2, : One of their top models and, therefore, more expensive than most. This 60V FlexVolt drill is designed specifically to be the best for joists and studs.
- DeWalt DCD797D2 : Cordless 20V drill/hammer drill kit. It’s a handy tool kit and is relatively inexpensive. This would be my first recommendation to anyone looking for a cordless drill to use around the home as it can do just about every drilling task with ease.
So each of the DeWalt drills that we’ve selected has its place. This should help you differentiate between other models with similar capabilities. Judging by consumer demand for these drills, it’s safe to assume that they are among the best from a brand that needs little introduction.
Following the review of these great DeWalt drills, I’ll offer some insight into the brand and provide a guide to selecting the best cordless drill. I know that choosing only 3 models from one of the biggest available selections of highly competent drills might seem like we’re limiting your options. If you do not find that to be the case, we have reviewed many drills from the DeWalt range. So, if you feel that you’d like to explore more options, just type DeWalt Drills into the search box at the top of the page. You’re going to get a long list of options, so be prepared to do some careful selecting. For most folks, I think the three that we’ve selected make for a perfect choice as the best in their respective categories.
DeWalt Warranty and Service
Before reviewing the products, I’d like to point out one of the many reasons why I’m such huge supporter of the DeWalt brand. When you spend your hard-earned cash on a quality power tool, you want to be using it for many years.
A commitment to quality and customer care is something that has earned DeWalt a great reputation. Not only are their tools built tough, they provide you with the backup you need in the future. You can always get spares, accessories and batteries for your DeWalt tools. This remains true for many years after you’ve bought it. From day-one, you’re covered by an excellent 3-year warranty, 1-year free service plan and a 90-day money back guarantee. I’ve seen some of their newer ranges have an extended 2-year free service plan.
Later in the article, I’ll cover the DeWalt legacy in greater detail. I truly believe that this is one of the best tool brands around.
DeWalt DCD791D2 | Best DeWalt Drill
20V MAX* XR® Li-Ion Brushless Compact Drill / Driver Kit. Exellent Dewalt Drill kit for a wide range of applications at home or on your jobsite.
- DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 57% more run time over brushed
XR Li-Ion batteries with fuel gauge provide 33% more capacity over standard packs
- Compact (6.9″ front to back), lightweight (3.4 lb) design fits into tight areas
- High-speed transmission with two speed settings (0-550/0-2,000 RPM) delivers up to 30% faster application speeds
- Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and tool control
- Metal 1/2″ ratcheting chuck for superior bit gripping strength
- 3-Mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20 times brighter than previous model
- LED Spotlight Mode features 20-minute shutoff function allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces
As a multi-purpose, very compact drill driver kit, the DeWalt DCD791D2 is an essential item for any DIY enthusiast or professional tradesman. For a small battery-powered tool that can handle some serious drilling and an excellent tool for loosening and fastening screws, nuts and bolts, it’s hard to beat. If you look at the price, it’s an easy choice to make. You’re getting true DeWalt quality for a lot less than one would expect to pay. This includes the drill/driver; 2 X DCB203 20V MAX 2AH battery packs; a charger; belt hook and durable kit box for convenient storage and transportation.
A battery-powered tool can hinder your ability to get into hard to reach places. They tend to be bulky because of the battery. The compact size, 6.9” from the tip of the chuck to the back, is the first draw card that this drill holds. It weighs only 3.4 LBS, so it really is a handy, easy to use little machine.
Though, you shouldn’t think for a moment that its compact design makes the DeWalt DCD791D2 only fit for small jobs. This really is a case of dynamite coming in small packages. The brushless motor delivers quite a punch, aided even further by a perfectly balanced 2-speed transmission. At the low setting you’re able to control the speed (with more torque) from 0 – 550 RPM. Flick the switch for faster drilling applications and you can toggle trigger from 0 – 2000 RPM. Despite its small size, the DCD791D2 is fitted with a ½” ratcheting chuck with exceptional grip. Maximum torque is 460 UWO (Unit Watts Output), which calculates to just under 620 in-LBS, quite remarkable for such a compact little machine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when loosening stubborn old bolts.
The 2AH batteries that are supplied with this drill don’t provide the longest working time, 5AH 20V MAX batteries will obviously allow you to work much longer. For the best battery time, nothing beats the FlexVolt 20V/60V 9AH battery. Though I see the sense in supplying the smaller battery. These batteries are wonderfully compact, which further increases your ability to work in tight spaces. As it’s a very efficient machine, and you get two batteries with your purchase, the less than ideal battery working time isn’t much of a setback (if any). There’s an LED indicator that helps you monitor the charge status of the battery as you work.
For a drill driver of this nature, an LED work light is a valuable addition. Fitting into small spaces, often means limited visibility. So it’s great to see that this has been included. What I really like about this light is the three-mode setting. You can choose the bright setting if really need a lot of light, or either of the tow lower settings if you would prefer to conserve your battery power.
If you have a need for a compact drill / driver (which I’m sure most of us do), the DeWalt DCD791D2 is one of the best you’ll find. It has a power rating that defies its wonderfully compact design and a chuck to match.
DeWalt DCD460T2 | Best DeWalt Drill
FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* VSR Stud and Joist Drill Kit with E-Clutch® System (2 Battery Kit)
- 60V MAX* Brushless Motor for increase power and runtime
Power of a cord with cordless freedom
- Adjustable bail handle and 2-position side handle for leverage and control
- 2 variable speed ranges (0-300 / 0-1250 rpm) to match appropriate speed to the application
- E-Clutch is a Perform and Protect; feature that detects reactionary torque caused by a bind-up or stall and reduces speed to a manageable level until control is regained.
- Metal-gear housing for jobsite durability and increased reliability
- The DEWALT; Perform and Protect™; line of power tools is designed to provide a high level of one or more of the following: control, dust containment, or low vibration, without sacrificing performance.
This is a drill that installers, plumbers and electricians cannot do without. The body design and versatile handle positions allow you to work in all those awkward areas with ease. Using the 60V MAX FlexVolt system, it offers unrivaled power, capable of meeting that of any corded drill. Where you’ll find the DeWalt particularly useful, is when drilling large holes into steel or wood. This makes it ideal cordless drill to use when installing pipes that require larger holes.
I’ll discuss the FlexVolt system in detail later, for those who are interested. All we need to know about this innovative battery when discussing the DeWalt DCD460T2, is that it gives you the power you need to chew through anything like no other cordless drill can. Contained in an ultra-durable metal gear housing, the two speed transmission delivers excellent speed and torque control. This allows you to control your drilling speed between 0 and 300 RPM or 0 and 1250 RMP.
Along with this great speed versatility comes incredible torque which is managed by a sophisticated E-Clutch. You have the capacity to drill trough steel using a 5” hole saw or a ½” twisted bit. For drilling into wood, it has a 6¼” capacity when using a hole saw; 1½” (auger bit); 1½” (spade bit) or 4⁵⁄₈” (self-feed). That’s very impressive for a battery-powered drill. We all know that drilling large capacity holes with a powerful drill can be dangerous. When the drill jams, it can feel like it’s trying to twist your arm off. So it’s reassuring to know that you’re protected by the DeWalt E-Clutch that prevents binding when the drill encounters a snag. The ½” chuck requires a key to tighten and loosen it. I know this is less convenient than a keyless chuck, but it does provide superior grip for high-torque drilling.
An adjustable bail handle and a two-position side handle, along with an excellent linear design, make it the best high-powered drill for working in difficult spaces. It favors length (16”) with a very reasonable height of 6.83”. Your purchase includes a wonderfully versatile DeWalt tool bag, 2 X DCB606 60V Max batteries for longer working times, a fast charger, adjustable bail handle and a 2-position side handle.
If you find yourself regularly installing large diameter pipes in ceilings and other undesirable areas, the DeWalt DCD460T2 is going to take a load off your shoulders. Without the need for an extension cord, you can drill large diameter holes through wood and metal with absolute ease. I can’t think of a better drill for this kind of work.
Tech Specs :
- Capacity in Steel (Hole Saw) : 5 in
- Capacity in Steel (Twist Bit) : 1/2 in
- Capacity in Wood (Auger Bit) : 1-1/2 in
- Capacity in Wood (Hole Saw) : 6-1/4 in
- Capacity in Wood (Self-Feed) : 4-5/8 in
- Capacity in Wood (Spade Bit) : 1-1/2 in
- Chuck Size : 1/2″
- Clutch Type : Bind Up Control
- No Load Speed : 0-300/0-1250 rpm
- # of Speed Settings : 2
- System : 60V MAX* Tool
- Size : Height 6.83″ / Length 16″
DeWalt DCD797D2 | Best DeWalt HammerDrill
20V MAX* XR Tool Connect Compact Hammerdrill Kit. With Bluetooth Tool Connect, allows you to track your drill at all times, saving you time while giving you peace of mind.
- LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your compact hammerdrill was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
Easily and quickly assign tools to jobsites and users on the Tool Connect™ Inventory
- Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
Receive diagnostics on the tool like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
- Set “disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
- Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect™ app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
- Includes a default Home mode and 3 programmable modes to customize speed and light brightness
- Program 3 customized RPM settings for precise speed of application
- Customize the brightness and delay of the integrated LED light
- Integrated blue LED light indicates when your hammerdrill is paired with your Tool Connect app
- DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
- Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and comfort
For quite a few years, the DeWalt DCD796 has been one of the most popular cordless hammer drills. It’s a tough compact tool and, with the hammer action for masonry and concrete drilling, it’s a vital part of any tool arsenal. Now DeWalt have taken this amazing drill to a new level. Technically. The DeWalt DCD797D2 is basically the same as the original DCD796. They’ve just added some really innovative Bluetooth technology, providing many advantages that were once thought impossible.
The DeWalt DCD797D2 is the same lightweight, compact hammer drill with an excellent ½” ratcheting chuck. The second generation brushless motor delivers 460 UWO torque (±620 in-LBS) and a variable speed of 0 – 2000 RPM. So it’s the same trusted hammer drill that we’ve all come to respect.
Where the new model comes into its own is when you download the free DeWalt Tool Connect app from either Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Contractors will really appreciate the Inventory Manager and Last Seen functions. This allows you to assign specific tools to different users and the Last Seen function enables you to track the address where the tool was last within range of the Bluetooth device. So you know who’s using which tool, where they’re using it and, should any tool be left behind on a job site, you can instantly find it.
There are all sorts of diagnostic functions, the best of which is battery cell diagnostics. Before, it was impossible to tell exactly what was going on inside the batteries. You have custom programmable RPM settings and it’s also possible to program the LED light for customized brightness and time delay. There are a whole bunch of other functions, I’ve mentioned those that I feel to be of greatest value to the user. What I find most remarkable about smartphone apps, is that they are continuously updated. So your DeWalt DCD797D2 will be upgraded with each new app update. You’ll be using the same great hammer drill for many years but it will be continuously improved as the software developers find new and exciting applications.
No one can do without a good hammer drill. The DeWalt DCD796 has already proven itself to be a reliable and powerful machine with the added convenience of battery power. The latest update, in the form of the DeWalt DCD797D2 has not messed with a winning recipe. It’s the same dependable drill, with some great, latest generation, innovation added to the mix. The kit includes the DCD796 hammer drill; 2 X DCB203 2AH 20V XR batteries; a charger and carrying case.
What makes DeWalt drills so popular?
Actually, it’s not just DeWalt drills that are a firm favorite amongst DIY homeowners and professionals, all their tools are respected in every corner of the world. I’m one of those people who swear by DeWalt as one of the best tool brands. I’ve been told that I should be a salesman for DeWalt and this is no joke, I have a genuine affinity for DeWalt tools. This is a longstanding respect that has endured for decades. So yes, I’m always going to have good things to say about the brand. Though I feel this is with good reason.
Had I been around in the 1920’s, I’d have liked nothing more than to spend a few hours with Raymond DeWalt, sipping on some fine whiskey and finding out what lay behind the genius. He was an innovator, years ahead of his time. His first invention, the Wonder Saw, was streaks ahead of anything that was available in those years.
Though since we’re talking specifically about DeWalt drills, I’d like to dwell on why I, like so many others, have such great respect for these tools. What are we looking for in a drill? I’d say a good chuck that holds firmly onto the bit when we’re doing some heavy work is essential. A trigger switch that is comfortable and provides good control over the speed is another important feature. A rugged gearbox that can handle tough situations and give us a good balance over our torque and speed makes all the difference. All of this is a given when you look at any DeWalt drill. Okay, there are many manufacturers producing great quality drills. Where DeWalt tools generally win me over is in their attention to the user and how their products can make our lives easier and help our productivity. This was the driving force that led Raymond DeWalt to start building tools in the first place.
So it’s the less noticeable stuff that separates DeWalt drills from the pack. Exceptionally comfortable handles that allow us to work easily for longer and maintain excellent control over the tool. Low vibration levels and every conceivable design feature to enhance the way we work. DeWalt drills are designed for the tool user and that’s what we all love about them. Then there’s the extensive range of drills for absolutely every situation. From ultra-heavy-duty rotary hammer drills down to small compact drill / drivers, anyone can find the perfect DeWalt drill, the best for the job at hand.
DeWalt Cordless Drills
In the not too distant future, it’s likely that corded drills are going become redundant. Battery-powered tools are so much more convenient and now offer the power to match any corded tool. Makita were the first to realize the potential for battery-powered tools and were, for many years, the world leaders in this field. Though it didn’t take long for DeWalt to rise to the challenge.
Today, DeWalt have the largest selection of cordless tools and that gives you the opportunity to find the best in any category. When choosing the best battery drill, it’s the battery that makes all the difference. For one thing, we want a wide selection of tools that use the same battery. In this regard, the DeWalt 20V MAX range is the best. Though, perhaps even more important is how long are we able to continue using the same battery system before it goes off the market. Once you can no longer find replacement batteries, your tools become useless. This is where DeWalt really shines. In the field of battery development, they have taken the lead.
DeWalt FlexVolt Batteries
Most manufacturers have worked on improving the battery technology used in their tools. Increasing the voltage is one way that they have been able to increase the wattage of their tools without increasing the amperage. This has enabled cordless tools to enter the realm of corded tools. Though, as soon as you step up the voltage, you’re unable to use the new batteries in your older tools.
To ensure that your 20V MAX tools can continue to be use for many years to come, DeWalt developed the FlexVolt 20V/60V MAX battery system. The theory behind it is quite simple. Each battery has twelve independent 5V cells. An electronic sensor inside the battery detects what the required voltage is for the tool that it’s plugged into. So when you insert a FlexVolt battery into a new 60V tool, the battery will automatically switch all the cells in the battery to series mode. This means that all 12 cells will work together to provide 60V (12 X 5V = 60V). You can then take the same battery and insert into any 12V MAX tool. This will direct it to change the cell configuration, dividing them into 3 groups of 4 cells. Essentially, you end up with 3 batteries in one single unit.
FLEXVOLT 60V Circular Saw | DEWALT DCS575B
By connecting 4 cells in series, you get 20V (4 X 5V = 20V). Each group are 4 batteries are then connected in parallel, thereby tripling the ampere hours (AH). So, a 9AH FlexVolt battery will deliver 9AH at 60V but, when connected in the combination of series and parallel described above to produce 20V, you end up with 27AH of usable power. No other 18V or 20V battery system will give nearly as much working time.
Some of the new FlexVolt tools operate at 120V DC or AC. By using two 60V batteries in series, the cordless tool runs at 120V. That’s the same voltage that you get from a household socket. Actually, the power delivery is much better because brushless DC motors outperform any AC motor. This means that you’re actually getting better power from a cordless tool than you would from the same corded model. The FlexVolt 120V tools can also be connected to a standard 120V household power outlet and can, therefore, be used as a corded tool when this is more convenient.