DeWalt DCD996 Review – Here Are The Pros And Cons Of The 20V MAX Hammer Drill

DEWALT DCD996B Bare Tool 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill

DeWalt power tools are well respected and the DeWalt DCD996 has been the one in the DeWalt range that has impressed a lot of its users. From drilling holes in concrete to drilling into metal panels, it has proven to be a powerful and versatile battery-operated drill. In this review you will find information regarding the main features of the Dewalt cordless product, along with some positives and negatives.

Unlike the smaller model, DCD991, that only offers drill/driver function, the DeWalt DCD996 can also be used as a hammer drill. In other words, it is designed for regular drilling, percussion drilling and screwdriving applications. Even if you do not have much use for the hammer feature, you will be glad that it is there when the time comes. To activate the hammer function, simply turn the torque adjustment collar (a rotary switch behind the chuck) to the hammerdrill symbol. In this mode, the tool delivers 0-38,250 beats-per-minute (BPM).

Through the use of a brushless motor, people have commented that the DeWalt DCD996 is very good for power delivery. The motor supplies 820 Units Watts Out (UWO). As you know, each company rates torque differently. That said, when comparing this model with others from the same company, you can be sure that it is a pretty powerful tool. Lower priced drills such as the DeWalt DCD790D2 and the DC759KA have a lower power rating of under 500 UWO. This indicates that there is serious power coming from this drill.

With three speed settings, the 20 volt Max tool is ready to handle different job applications. Speed settings range from 0-450 (highest torque setting), 0-1,300 (middle torque and speed setting), and 0-2,000 RPM (highest speed setting). The DeWalt DCD996 also comes with variable speed reversible feature. It is able to operate in both forward and reverse rotation and at variable speeds. For added safety, the forward/reverse control button also serves as a lock-off button to prevent you from starting the drill accidentally. The tool is also equipped with a brake to ensure that the chuck will stop as soon as the trigger switch is released.

This battery-powered drill will take any 20 volt Max Lithium Ion batterys from DeWalt. A number of battery options are available that include DCB203 (2Ah), DCB200 (3Ah), DCB204 (4Ah), and DCB205 (5Ah). Lithium Ion technology means no memory and virtually no self-discharge. The DeWalt DCB205 XR, which is the largest capacity battery, costs around $80. Not cheap but lasts a good while. The description states that it provides up to 60% more capacity than the standard 20V MAX battery pack (DCB200).

The DeWalt DCD996B is sold as a bare tool. No battery is included. You need to buy it separately. The complete set, DDC996P2, comes with two batteries (DCB205), minimizing downtime when tackling bigger projects. Charger, belt hook, 360° side handle and kit box are also included in the P2 kit. The 360 degree handle will aid in tool control. The belt hook makes the tool easier to carry. It can be attached to either side of the tool to accommodate left- or right- handed users.

To add extra convenience, there is a worklight to illuminate your work area. It is activated when the trigger switch is depressed. Located on the foot of the tool is a switch that allows you to change light intensity. Three settings are available that include low, medium, and spotlight with 20 min shutoff function. When on low and medium settings, the beam will stay on for 20 seconds after the trigger switch is released.

The features do not stop there. People generally have been pleased with the build quality of this tool. DeWalt has managed to equip the hammer drill with an all-metal transmission and a nitro-carburized metal ratcheting chuck. The keyless chuck makes changing bits fast and easy. The DeWalt DCD996 will take any normal round or hex shaped drill bits up to 1/2″ diameter.

As of this writing, the premium brushless drill has received a lot of encouraging feedback from its customers at So if the features of this tool line up well with your needs, wheel on over to Amazon and drop it in your cart.

Not everything about this product is positive. A few complaints have been made about battery mounting. Reportedly, battery fits a bit loose. Others have reported that it is a bit heavy, but that is to be expected. At 4.7 lbs and 8.4 ins long, reviewers have reported that it feels good in the hand.

The fact that it has a brushless motor is a good thing. With no carbon brushes, brushless motors run cooler than brushed motors. This translates to longer life. Since there is no physical contact that could lead to energy losses, they offer greater power efficiency. Further, with the 11 clutch settings and 3 speed settings, the tool is versatile enough to perform a wide range of tasks.

The trend is going more and more towards cordless technology. To anyone looking for a good hammer drill driver, this particular cordless tool is well worth the money. Unlike the very first cordless drills on the market that left much to be desired in both power and run time, many people have been pleased with this product.

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