Dewalt 12V MAX 1/4″ Impact Driver Review – DCF815


We review the Dewalt 12V Max Impact Driver model number DCG815 which was part of the kit we bought at Home Depot.  12V lithiums are becoming more popular do to their size and power.  Can Dewalt’s new 12V Max lead the pack?

Power Tool Review– Dewalt 12V Max Impact Driver

Power Tool Model – DCG815



Pros: Ergonomics, Balance, Power, LED Innovation

Cons: Suprising none

Specifications of the Dewalt

  • 3 LED Lights provide visibility without shadows
  • One-handed loading 1/4″ hex chuck accepts 1″ bit tips
  • 12V Lithium Ion Battery
  • No-Load Speed 0-2,450 RPM
  • Impact/Min 0-3,400 IPM
  • Max Torque 950 In-lbs – 79 ft-lbs
  • Tool Weight – 2.3lbs
  • Length – 6-1/4″






Nuts & Bolts of the Dewalt


Most 12V lithiums are great, they are light and easy to work with, but some lack power and features.  The Dewalt surprised us as they broke away from the pack with this 12V lithium.  As you can see by the specifications above, this small, lightweight drill packs a powerful punch.  We thought the pancake battery, as opposed to the torpedo batteries, would make the balance of this tool a little awkward, but is doesn’t.  The balance of this tool is incredible and its one of those tools that when you pick it up, it just fits like a glove.  The RPM of this driver rivals most 18V.

The IPM (Impacts per minute) also rivals 18V.  The Dewalt has an IPM of 3,400 which is right in the range of most 18V drivers.  What really impresses us is the torque, which comes in at 950 in-lbs., considering most 18V are in the same range.  So all said and done, this is very comparable to an 18V stats, but the main difference is an 18V will have a longer battery life, but more weight.



We could have done a lot of different tests on this drill, but the main thing we wanted to show you was the power of the drill.  We really didn’t want to bore you with some goofy test, we wanted to show the meats and potatoes of this drill.  So what wanted to do is get the driver to bog down.  We wanted to put a lot of pressure on the driver and put the battery and motor under some stress.

We set up a 2×4, a piece of 1×6 oak board and 3/4″ plywood.  We wanted to drive a 3″ screw through all the wood and again put some top pressure on the driver.  As you can see by the video below, the driver screwed the screw in with no problems, even with Eric putting a lot of pressure on the driver.  Actually the only thing that stopped the drill was the shoulder of the bit holder hitting the 2×4.  Even then the drill kept going, but the shoulder of the bit holder prevented the screw from going all the way through.

We were suprised that the motor didn’t bog down and the battery didn’t drain as it wasn’t a fully charged battery.


There are a lot of manufactures who sell 12V lithium power tools, but we think Dewalt has reinvented the 12V lithium.  The balance and power of the driver is incredible.  The Dewalt 12V max gives a lot of 18V drivers a run for their money.  Most tools that have LED lights don’t really shed much light, but with the Dewalt and the three LED lights the work area is clearly illimiated and a user can easily see their work without any shadows.  The battery power is more comparable to a 14.4V than a 12V.  We were able to use this tool for long periods of time without having to recharge the battery in the fast 40 minute charger.  If your looking for a light, powerful impact driver you have to take a look at the Dewalt 12V max DCG815.


  1. I got the 12v max kit a week ago and am blown away with the quality. Some have complained about it coming with a bag instead of a hardshell case like bosch, makita, millwaukee and others do. The quality looks like a $299 set-up to me and is probably why dewalt had to keep cost down with the bag to be able to offer it at the same price as other brands kits. Fine and dandy with me. I can live without a hardshell case. My makita 10.8v is nice but this 12v max has contractor grade work-it 8 to 10 hours a day everyday written all over it, not to mention comfort in the hand to die for. My Makita now feels like my fingers need to be an inch longer to be as comfortable to hold. Hope they add more tools like a saw, grinder etc. Fantastic job Dewalt.

    • It is a great tool. Very comfortable and well built. Like you said, it just feels good in your hands. Keep us up to date on how you like it over the long haul.


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