DEWALT 20 -Volt Max Brushless 3 -Speed 1/4 in. Impact Driver Kit – DCF895C2

Let’s be frank, brushless power is not really all that new to power tools.  Other brands have had it for a while now but did not really market it.  In fact Makita even has a brushless 3 speed impact that has been discontinued, if that is any indication of how long they have been around!  But it is much more than just adding a brushless motor.  It is a recipe that starts with a lithium battery, then a way to harness and control the power from the battery and deliver it electronically to the brushless motor.  And on top of that make it powerful, run cool, be energy efficient, able to withstand a fall off a building and economically viable to build.  I am so glad there are people sitting in cubicles right now figuring this stuff out and so I don’t have to.

 

DeWALT’s first foray into the brushless scene is impressive.  It produces 57% more runtime than previous brushed DeWALT impacts and 1.5 times more than other brands.  While it doesn’t shatter any speed or torque records it still has some impressive stats for a super light compact tool.  With features like the one handed push button chuck, 3 speeds, bright LED lights and a long runtime thanks to the efficient new brushless power plant, it is sure to please any contractor.

It carries over the 3 LED light system from the DCF885 except with a slightly different layout. The LED’s remain lit for 20 seconds after you release the trigger which also makes it a work light.  Weighing in at only 3 lbs with one of the 2 included 1.5 Ah 20V Max battery packs makes it weigh closer to a 12V than a 18V.  Someone must have cracked the whip over at DeWALT because we finally get our battery status fuel gauges on the packs and I have to say it’s about time!  3 lights indicate 100% to 51% charge, 2 lights indicate a 50% to 26% charge and obviously one light indicates 25% or less.  49% is quite a gap and does not make the gauge very accurate, but I am not complaining.  The kit also includes a Multi voltage 12v/20V charger which will charge a 1.5 AH in 30 min and a 3.0 Ah in under 1 hour.

The innovative chuck is a completely new compact design that makes it only 5.25″ long.  The bit is easily inserted and locked with one hand.  To remove you simply press the yellow button directly below the head of the tool and remove the bit.  The only exposed rotating part is the bit itself.  The handle of the tool is ergonomic and comfortable thanks to its rubber over molded grip that continues up over the back of the unit and onto the head.  This combined with rubber over mold on the nose of the unit protect your work against accidental marring from the tool.  Above the trigger is the forward, reverse and lock switch that is easily selected via your thumb or knuckle.

On the base is the 3 speed electromechanical speed selector which for some reason reminds me of a fly by wire system on an airplane, basically it uses a conventional mechanical control to send signals to the motor.  It is easy to access with gloves on, gives the user a solid tactile like feedback and instant visual of your speed selection before you pull the trigger.  The speeds give you full control for most any fastening application.

  1. 0-950 rpm, 500 in-lbs. Torque – Fine applications where control and low torque are needed
  2. 0-1900 rpm, 900 in-lbs. Torque – Medium power but there is a risk of stripping, most metal to metal applications
  3. 0-2850 rpm, 1500 in-lbs Torque – Lag bolts, steel stud framing,  When you want raw power
At the base of the unit on the top of the slide on battery pack is a belt hook and bit holder.  They can both easily be removed.  The tool is covered by a DeWALT’s standard 3 year warranty.  In our tests we ran a lot of lags and 3″ screws into to wood.  We achieved more than the claimed 57% and in one of our tests we achieved about 80% more runtime driving 3″ deck screws into wood.  It is a huge noticeable difference how much more work you can accomplish with this tool.  Power was strong and smooth, the throttle had the perfect amount of resistance.

To wrap it up I really like the DeWALT DCF895C2.  Apart from being a solid performer it is a great looking tool.  It is one of those tools that you pick up and say wow, the comfort level is stellar.  The balance is perfect and it just feels right.  The throttle is smooth and the 3 speeds give you maximum control over your work.  Brushless power, durability and innovative features put the DeWALT 20V MAX DCF895C2 into the pole position of the compact 18V/20V impact driver segment.  Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL impact, due out soon is also a strong contender for the top spot.

DCF895C2 Includes:
DCF895 1/4″ Impact Driver
(2) 20V MAX* Lithium ion 1.5Ah Battery Packs
30 Minute Fast Charger
Belt Hook and Accessory Storage
Kitbox

Warranty

  • 3 Year – Limited Warranty

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Dan–Speaking of fuel gauge batteries, do you know when they’re supposed to be available? I’d like to buy a 3.0 ah model, but haven’t seen them specifically offered yet. I suspect DeWalt is holding back trying to clear out inventories of non-gauge models first, but they were supposed to be available ~June. Thanks.

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