DeWALT DCD985M2 20V Hammerdrill/Driver – A look inside


The DCD985M2 Hammerdrill/driver is now the replacement model for the previous DCD985L2. What’s the difference? The DCD985M2 now comes with Dewalt’s 4.0ah batteries DCB204 packing in an additional 33% longer runtime over the previous DCB200 3.0ah batteries at the same weight of 5.2lbs.


If the DCD985 looks familiar, it is. It is the 18v version of the DCD950 & DCD970 models with a few minor changes, and a 1lb in weight saving. The DCD985 offers the new 20v max grip, my current favorite on the market. Dewalt was able to slim up the grip with the 20v slide-pack batteries offering you top notch ergonomics that has been missing from the old stem-pack line. This drill is very well balanced in your hand without any accessories.

The ½” chuck got a change out from the previously used Rohm all metal Supra self-tightening chuck, to the Rohm Extra-RV all metal ratcheting chuck. I’m a big fan of the change for a few reasons. The Rohm Supra was heavier, and would often self-tighten itself so tight that it was near impossible to loosen up! The Extra is a little lighter, and won’t lock itself down on you.

I’ve been impressed with the overall durability built into the DCD985. Let’s start with the 3 speed all metal transmission. This is a big improvement over Dewalt’s 3rd-4th generation transmission. You remember the old left to right switch that got stuck all the time! The 3 speed’s offer you a wide range of application speeds. 1st gear 0-575 RPM’s, 2nd gear 0-1,350 RPM’s, 3rd gear 0-2,000 RPM’s. Flip it over to hammer drill mode and you get 0-9,775BPM in 1st gear, 0-22,950BPM in 2nd gear and 0-34,000BPM in 3rd gear. That’s quite a large range of options, for a wide variety of fastening, drilling, and hammers drilling applications.

The DCD985 includes heavy duty replaceable brushes that most likely won’t need replacement for users that won’t be using this every day all day.


The 22 position all metal clutch, & hammer mechanism, offer’s another line of tool durability. I really like the clutch ring setup, offering the ease and control to switch easily between drilling, hammer drilling, and fastening.


The DCD985 includes the electronic package you find with most lithium drills on the market today. If you over-use the drill the electronics shut you down for a few seconds to let you know you are either pushing the drill to hard, or the tool/battery has become too hot for continued use. I view this as a good thing for overall durability. It gives me peace of mind when I loan my tool’s out to some of my over-zealous friends/co-workers. The 30min-1hr charger also communicates with the battery, checking the temperature for possible hot/cold charging delays, and won’t begin charging the battery until the battery has reached a safe temperature. Dewalt added the much needed LED charge indicator light’s to the batteries.


Lastly, the DCD985 offers you an LED light with a 20 second delay that comes in handy when you need to see what you are doing before you pull the variable speed trigger. The LED light is mounted just above the trigger and offers good lighting until you get next to the working surface. The chuck cast’s a large shadow above the chuck. Also available are a bit accessory holders (Part# N131746) and an optional belt clip (Part# N169778).

Overall I rank the DCD985 very high on my list for versatility and durability with the added frills Dewalt has been missing from its previous generation drills. You will pay a slight premium over its competitors, but well worth the extra $10-20.


What’s included:

Hard Plastic carrying case, manual, DCD985 Hammer drill, 2 lithium 4.0 batteries, 1 lithium 12v/20v max charger, side handle.


The DCD985M2 20V MAX
Lithium-ion Premium Hammer Drill comes with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract, and 90-day money-back guarantee. The included 2- 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery packs each come with a three-year free service contract.

Video provided by the DeWALT Owners Group




  1. Great Review on this product! We sell this product and here in the UK it is very popular. The fact it has 33% more runtime than the equivalent model with 3Ah batteries is definitely a benefit.

  2. Great article JC! are you new? to TIA Welcome! I had this drill and it was a powerhouse! I now have the Milwaukee Fuel and it is very nice!

  3. Just like Chase, I too owned this drill and now have the M18 fuel hammer drill. Both are great. Only complaint with the dewalt is the batteries, I used mine drilling tons of 6 inch holes in 2-3 inch drywall and plaster walls at a motel and all the dust ruined the fuel gauge button and the gauge never showed remaining juice ever again.

  4. good detail pictures of breakdown…took my milwaukee 2604 all
    apart to clean gears and use supelube on gears..nightmare put
    back together …waited few would help alot..
    next breakdown of something going use cell phone take lots of
    pictures help put back together.good review on dewalt drill.strange
    put light under trigger when have some on front bottom that cast
    better light.seems most put under trigger anyways.use my ufo light
    perfect light no shadows everytime.fall here do more work on front bees,angry wasp to sting me.


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