DEWALT 20V ½” Hammer Drill/Driver and ¼” Impact Driver Review
DEWALT 20V Hammer Drill/Driver & Combo Kit Review (Model DCK299D1W1)
DEWALT 20V MAX Brushless ½" Hammer Drill/Driver and ¼” Driver Combo Kit
Model number: DCK299D1W1
Power source: Cordless
Motor size: 20V
Weight: 5.5 Lbs (tools only)
When Lowe’s recently asked us to test out DEWALT’s 20V Hammer Drill/Driver & Combo Kit (Model DCK299D1W1), we were excited to put them through the paces on the job site. As all professionals can attest to, the hammer drill/driver and impact driver are at the top of the list for the most useful and used tools on the job site. We used them for common tasks like driving screws, drilling electrical pass through stud holes, driving lag bolts, and drilling pilot holes in concrete for anchor bolts. This gave us a good feel for the overall performance and design for both tools.
The DEWALT 20V ½” Hammer Drill/Driver and ¼” Impact Driver, Model DCK299D1W1, includes
- Hammer Drill/Driver (Model DCD998)
- Compact Impact Driver (Model DCF887)
- 1x 8.0 Ah battery pack (DCB208)
- 1x 2.0 Ah battery pack (DCB203)
- Fast Charger (Model DCB118).
DEWALT ½ Hammer Drill/Driver (DCD998) and ¼ Impact Driver (DCB118) Specifications
The new and improved DEWALT Hammer Drill/Driver still has many of our favorite features built into the earlier DCD996 Hammer Drill Driver. So then what’s the biggest upgrade DEWALT included in the DCD998? Power! Or more specifically, DEWALT’s new Power Detect Technology. It’s not just a bigger number they put on the spec sheet (DEWALT advertises 29% more power) but power that translated directly into our job site tasks. Simply put, the electronics inside the DCD998 can detect when the tool is running off of a high-capacity 20V XR battery and the tool can use the full 20 Volts of power during continuous vs. peak operations. It’s also worth noting that the Power Detect design is only built into the DCD998 ½” Hammer Drill/Driver and not the DCB118 ¼” impact driver.
DEWALT ½” Hammer Drill/Driver (DCD998)
- Heavy-duty 1/2-in ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts
- 3-speed, high-performance, all-metal transmission
- 3-mode LED with spotlight mode and 20-min auto shut off
- 0-38,250 BPM for fast drilling in masonry materials
- DEWALT-built high power, high-efficiency Brushless motor
DEWALT ¼” Impact Driver (DCF887)
- Compact size (5.3-in front-to-back length) and lightweight (3.4-lbs) design for working in confined spaces
- 3-speed settings for optimized application versatility
- Precision drive in speed 1 for precision applications and added control
- Provides 1,825 in-lb of max torque at 0-3,250 rpm and 0-3,800 impacts per minute
- One-handed loading 1/4″ hex chuck with easy grip sleeve, accepts 1″ bit tips
- 3 LEDs with 20-second delay after trigger release
- DEWALT-built high power, high-efficiency Brushless motor
DCD998 Hammer Drill/Driver Ergonomics
The DCD998 sports DEWALT’s tried and true molded rubber anti-vibration grip. It fits the hand perfectly and allows for slip-free gripping in any condition. The anti-vibration design limits fatigue over long periods or when using the hammer drill mode for high impact tasks like drilling into concrete. The weight felt well-balanced. We performed a series of drilling tasks with the provided 8Ah battery and then swapped it out for a 2Ah battery pack. While the 8Ah pack added to the overall weight and slightly lowered the DCD998’s operating center of gravity, the drill still felt evenly balanced with either pack. Also, the power/torque, mode, and light switches are conveniently placed.
DCD998 Modes and Power Options
The DCD998 has 11 clutch modes to allow for a range of torque control options. There is also a standard clutch-free drilling mode and the previously mentioned hammer drill mode. These are selected by rotating the mode collar located between the chuck and main drill body. In addition to the modes, there are also 3 selectable torque and speed options, when combined with the clutch options, which creates a total of 33 power/clutch combinations.
When used with the variable speed trigger the amount of fine-tuned torque and speed control is impressive. While we preferred to use the DCB118 ¼” impact driver for driving fasteners (more on that in a bit), the DCD998 is a capable driver in its own right and fully-optimized for drilling.
DCD998 LED Light
The DCD998 Hammer drill/driver has a well thought out and integrated 3-mode LED light. First, the 20-minute timer on the high setting is great. It limited my need to have a separate work light when drilling in the back corner of the room. It was sufficiently bright to allow for drilling operations in a low light corner of the room we finished framing out. The 3-mode LED light is located on the front and center of the base, just above the battery. It is quite bright and angled up approximately 20 degrees to allow use in a hands-free spotlight capacity. We did appreciate that the light also serves as a battery low indicator; When in spotlight (high) mode, the light will blink twice and then dim to let you know the battery is almost dead.
DCD998 Overall Performance
A hammer drill earns its place when you are trying to drill through tough substrates like concrete or tile. We used the DCD998 to drill 3” deep, 3/8” diameter holes into a concrete slab for anchor bolts. Two things stood out; first, there was no bit slow down as we approached the 3” mark. The torque and bit speed remained constant with no audible indications of motor overload. Second, the hammer action (at 38,250 BPMs) was exceptionally smooth with minimal bit walking when we first started drilling. While hammer drilling over time will certainly cause user fatigue, we found the BPM count sufficiently high to eliminate the feeling of excessive vertical movement.
DCF887 Design and Features
When evaluating a ¼” driver we look at a few design features that are directly related to the driver’s functionality: size, ergonomics, durability, and lighting/visibility. The DCF887 is a compact driver, measuring in at 5.3” from hex collar to the rear of the motor housing. This was plenty compact to allow for space-restricted tasks such as driving fasteners in small corner cabinets. The ergonomics are also top-notch in the DCF887. It was well balanced with DEWALTs standard non-slip grip making hours of use comfortable and fatigue-free. With a 2Ah battery, we found the DCF887 to be exceptionally well balanced making off-balance fastener driving an easy task.
The integrated rubber molding at the back of the main housing and all-metal bit and collar housing at the front gives the impression of a rugged and damage resistant tool. Of note, this is just the first impression as extended use over time is the only true method to prove this impression true. Lastly, the 3-LED offset light design allows for even and very bright light from any angle without the compact bit collar interfering with the light. The 20-second timer was more than adequate for any tasks requiring light to complete. When combined, these features make for a well thought out and highly functional impact driver.
DCF887 Overall Performance
The DCF887 delivers 1,825 in-lb of max torque and up to 3,800 BPMs. This translated to smooth and slow-down free fastener driving (whether 3/8” Lag Bolts or 3” wood screws into layered PT boards. The brushless motor didn’t feel hot during any of the job site tasks we used it to complete. The brushless motor was also translated into significant improvements in battery life, especially when compared to the brushed model it replaced (DCF886). A single 2Ah battery was able to drive approximately 80x 3” ledger screws and a half dozen 3/8” x 3” lag bolts.
We appreciated the 3 mode options. Mode setting 1 is designed as a slow approach mode to prevent over-driving fasteners into a softer finish surface. Although we tended to leave the DCF887 set on mode 3 while relying on the variable speed trigger to control the driving depth. Lastly, while some owners have reported bit collar wobble this was not an issue or point of concern on the specific DCF887 we reviewed.
While not an inexpensive kit, the DCK299D1W1 is worth every Penny. The DCD998 Hammer drill/Driver performs exceptionally well; the added 29% Power from the Power Detect design lives up to the billing. It operates smoothly and feels rugged and durable in every way. It drilled smoothly even when drilling into a 6” concrete slab. The LED light is quite bright and the spotlight mode works very well in low light environments. It is comfortable and well balanced. The DCF887 ¼” impact driver is everything we wanted in a compact impact driver. The 3 power settings are convenient and the brushless motor supplied ample torque for all the work we completed. It was also well balanced and the battery life was exceptional. If you are looking to invest in a drill/driver set with ample functionality and flexibility then look no further than the DCK299D1W1.
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