I am finally going to admit that I have a major sickness, I don’t know what it is. I love Cordless Drills and Drivers. I have to have every single one, even though I may never use them. It’s kind of a catch 22 situation, I would go see a shrink, but it costs money and I need money to buy tools! So I am at the local Home Depot the other day and what did I see? The new 20V Max sitting there on the shelf, at first I had to do a double take to make sure I hadn’t been fooled by a 12V Max. This was no hallucination, the 20v MAX is here, suddenly my non eventful trip to Home Depot had turned into one of the greatest days of my life! I ran down the isles with my shirt off yelling 20v MAX. I grabbed the Home Depot guy in the orange apron and we held hands and jumped for joy in celebration of this historic event! Everyone clapped when I walked to the register to make my purchase, the press was outside snapping pictures of me as I purchased my new 20V max. I was a Rock Star!
Ok that did not really happen! But I was very excited to get my hands on the new 20v Max line DCF885C2 for $169. I also wanted the DeWALT Premium Hammer Drill Driver DCD985L2 which they also had but had to give my Home Depot charge card a rest. But I held it in my hand, it felt good and solid and I have always been a fan of the classic DeWALT 3 speed. I currently use a DeWALT DC988KA that I just upgraded to XRP lithium, it’s a big heavy beast compared to the new 18V drills on the market. It’s days are numbered. So let’s talk about the DeWALT 20v MAX, how is it possible that DeWALT has a 20v and everyone else is 18v? Well the Dewalt is an 18V 5C pack, each cell has 3.6v that when fully charged peak out at 4V therefore making 20v. “We called it 20V to reduce confusion among users. They can see the difference in the battery’s performance,” says Chris Keffer, cordless-tool product manager for DeWalt. Personally I think it confuses people more, in the U.K. the same set is called 18V XR, so why is it 20V here? I think just like the 10.8 v scene changed to the 12V so will the 20V, pretty soon they will all be called 20v.
Enough jabbering. let’s focus on the tool. First thing that you notice is its size and weight, it is not much bigger than its baby 12V counterpart and it feels exactly like it. Whoever designed the grip for the 12v/20v max is a genius, they fit like a glove. It weighs in at 2.8lbs and packs 1400 in lbs of torque at 2800 rpms. Overall it has good in class performance. It comes with a charger that can charge either 12V or 20V packs in 1 hour or less. I like the ability to charge both 12v and 20v batteries on one charger. Before I got my hands on this my favorite impact was the RIDGID X4 R86034K, now I am not so sure. The DC885 could quite possibly be the best 18V/20V impact on the market. The RIDGID and the DeWALT are close spec wise, but I think the DeWALT edges the competition with its size and ergonomics. I like the 3 LED light system on the front, however I kinda liked the 12V Max 3 led light ring better than just the 3 individual LED’s. I want to say it was a bit brighter on the 12v MAX. Still the 3 LED array on the front is the best I have seen on any tool as far as reducing shadows and actually seeing your work. Our kit came with the 1.5 ah battery but you can also get the optional 3.0 ah battery for extended run times. Another bonus is it accepts 1″ hex bits which makes it great for getting in tight spaces.
Dewalt backs this tool by its standard 3 year warranty, it would be nice to see a 5 year like Milwaukee. The 1/4″ hex head allows you use a variety of bits, I can’t wait to see this tool in a 3/8″. Our very own DeWALT guru, who runs the DeWALT Owners Group did a teardown on this tool here.