Last year we showed you the Black and Decker Gyro. We liked it for its innovation and ease of use. Well DeWALT has just released an 8V line and the first tool just happens to have gyro technology. The DCF680 is operated just like the B&D Gyro but with features and specs that the pro's need. Now when I say pro I don't mean the heavy concrete industry worker who needs raw horsepower. This tool is for light precision applications. For high torque this is not the tool for you. In fact, in our tests we found the gyro function can be awkward to operate when applying a lot of pressure and torque, especially when starting a long screw into wood This tool was made for light repetitive low toque jobs like switch plates and ceiling boxes. IT technicians, hardware installers, maintenance technicians, hobbyists and anyone who needs precise control will love this tool. The 8V tool does have some power though and was able to run 3″ decking screws through 2×4's
The DCF680 can be operated as a pistol grip or straight shaft driver. This really makes the tool versatile at getting into tight areas. Another great feature is the 2 LED lights on the front ring. Because the lights remain on for a few seconds you can use the tool as a light also. There were hardly any shadows from the 2 LED set up. The one handed 1/4″ chuck is a breeze to operate just like bigger 18/20V drivers. It also works with 1″ bits. 15 clutch settings plus a driver mode ensure that you get a quality result every time. Our unit is the DCF680N1 which comes with one battery. The DCF680N2 comes with 2 batteries for around $10 more. It is for sure worth the extra $10! There is a 3 bar fuel status gauge on the top of the tool so you know when your charge is running low. Charge time is under 1 hour.
On the grip of the tool is a momentary switch with a lock out to prevent the tool from activating without user input. This basically starts the engine, activates the gyro and whenever you turn your wrist the driver will spin. The more you twist your wrist the faster it will go, up to 430 RPM. Think of it as a variable speed wrist. Whenever you activate the tool it is relative to whatever position you are in. So if the tool is above your head it knows which way is right and left. The tool also has a slight tactile feedback when the activation switch is pressed. This lets you know that the tool is ready to operate.
The new DCF680 is an exciting new tool that is sure to be a hit. It is covered by the standard DeWALT 3 year warranty. For those who prefer a trigger 8V you can check out the ACDelco 8V driver that we reviewed.