Review: DeWALT DCF885 20V MAX*

DEWALT DCF885C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 1.5 Ah Impact Driver Kit
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The next generation of DeWALT impact drivers comes with increases in power and battery life. The previous model, the DC825, is a great driver and was – is – very popular among professionals and homeowners alike.

Following in it’s footsteps, this impact driver is rugged and powerful with plenty of power for almost any task on a job site.

With a little less power than the brushless version, this driver is also less expensive.


At a Glance
Sale price Too low to display (as of 1am, 02/28/2017)
Voltage 18v/20v MAX*
Torque 1,400 in-lbs
Drive size 1/4″ hex
Weight (w/o battery) 2.0 lbs
Length 5.55″
Battery Li-Ion
Impacts/Min 0-3200 ipm
Speed (no load) 0-2800 rpm
Resources Manual
Mfr. Data Sheet
Warranty 3 year limited
Part numbers DCF885B, DCF885C2, DCF885L2

Description

The brushed motor driver keeps the same basic look as the previous model, with some changes to the grip (more rubber) and a slightly stubbier appearance.

This stubbiness comes from the fact that they managed to shave off another 2 tenths of an inch, bringing the total head length without bits to 5.55″. While this doesn’t give you a ton more maneuverability, it does make it one of the shortest brushed 18v drivers available.

To make it even better in tight spaces, DeWALT made sure the chuck can hold 1″ bits. And hold them well. This is a welcome detail, as many of the drivers that boast a short head length don’t hold 1″ tips well, and you are forced to add to the overall working length with a 2″ tip.

Take note, however: cheaper bits have a tendency to get stuck in any impact driver. When a 1″ bit is loaded in this one, only the last 1/4″ or so is sticking out. So, if one of these is stuck, try a quick pulse in reverse with the bit seated in a screw or a light tap against a hard surface. When all else fails, a good grab with some pliers should extract it.

In the power department, this is a step up from the last driver: an bump of 70 in-lbs to an even 1400. This is a lot of power, to be sure. But if you need to have the “most powerful” then this one is still a little behind other brushed-motor offerings, like the Makita LXDT04 and Bosch 25618

As might be expected, this driver comes with the usual DeWALT quick-release chuck. It’s got a smooth action that lets you swap out bits single-handedly – pull out the collar to release the bit, and then just press the new bit into place.

Additional Features

  • 3-LED ring with 20sec delay
  • Belt hook
  • Carrying case

Problems

  • No on-tool bit holder.
  • Driver can feel off-balanced when using the larger 3.0 A-h batteries.

Bottom Line

If you can’t afford DeWALT’s slick new brushless driver, you can save a few bucks and get this one instead. Tons of power and rugged, long time DeWALT fan’s won’t be disappointed.

That being said, while this version does have a number of improvements, it may not be enough to upgrade to a whole new cordless line if you don’t already have the 20v MAX* batteries and charging system.

If you have a strong set of 18v li-ion batteries and other tools in that line, the DC825 is still a wonderful driver.


* With respect to 20V MAX*:Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18.

DEWALT DCF885 info and prices at Amazon
DEWALT DCF885C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 1.5 Ah Impact Driver Kit DEWALT DCF885C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 1.5 Ah Impact Driver Kit
cordless impact driver, two 20v Max* 1.5 Ah li-on batteries, 30 min charger, carrying case
DEWALT DCF885L2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 3.0 Ah Impact Driver Kit DEWALT DCF885L2 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/4-Inch 3.0 Ah Impact Driver Kit
cordless impact driver, two 20v Max* 3.0 Ah li-on batteries, 30 min charger, carrying case
DEWALT DCF885B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Impact Driver (Tool Only) in Retail Packaging DEWALT DCF885B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Impact Driver (Tool Only) in Retail Packaging
20v Max* li-ion cordless impact driver, bare tool (no battery)
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