DeWalt 20V Max Atomic Drill Driver and Hammer Drill Review

DeWalt Atomic Drill And Hammer Drill Deliver More Power In A Smaller Package

DeWalt’s 20V Max Atomic tool lineup offers a more compact profile without forcing you into a 12V platform. With the latest DeWalt Atmoic drill and hammer drill, there are some notable differences from previous models. Should you switch out your current drill for one? We’ve got the info to help you make that decision.

Editor’s Note: Check out our best cordless drill article to see our top picks from head-to-head testing.

Newest DeWalt Atomic Drill vs Hammer Drill

DeWalt Atomic Drill

In the latest generation, you have two options to work with. The DeWalt 20V Max Atomic Drill Driver (DCD794) takes care of your hole-drilling and fastener-driving tasks. The DeWalt 20V Max Hammer Drill (DCD799) covers the same functions and adds a hammer drilling mode for concrete and masonry.

These take over for the DCD708 and DCD709 which were your previous top choices on the Atomic line. However, the updated models aren’t as close to one another as we’re used to seeing. Here’s how they stack up:

Drill Driver
Hammer Drill
Max Speeds450/1650 RPM450/1650 RPM
Max Power404 UWO520 UWO
Hammer RateNA28,050 BPM
Clutch Settings1515
Length5.9 in6.5 in
Bare Weight2.4 lbs2.5 lbs

What’s unusual is the power difference between the two models. Normally, the hammer drill is exactly the same as the drill driver version, but this time, the DCD799 has nearly 30% more power than the DCD794. Even if you don’t need the hammer function, that’s a big enough difference to warrant buying it anyway.

Compared to the previous versions, the top speed is the same, but both models have significantly more power than the 340 UWO of the DCD708/DCD709. They also drop about 1/2 an inch in length.

Where the DeWalt Atomic Drill and Hammer Drill Fit

DeWalt Atomic Drill

Dropping size while improving performance is always a positive. So where do these tools fit in the grand scheme of things now?

1650 RPM doesn’t challenge the top drilling speeds of the best in the compact class, but it’s still relevant. The upgrade in power is certainly welcome. While DeWalt uses unit watts out rather than torque as a power measurement, the updated models are clearly more capable.

Even with the DCD799’s higher power level and enjoying the title of the best cordless drill in DeWalt’s Atomic series, There’s still some room to bring the performance up in the speed department if it’s going to challenge the top compact model available.

DeWalt Atomic Drill – Currently Available Models

Even though DeWalt has updated drill and hammer drill models, you can still get your hands on the previous models if you prefer them.

At the time of writing, the prices of the previous models are very close to the updated ones. In our opinion, it’s worth getting the newer models unless you catch the older ones on a clearance sale.

DeWalt DCD799

The DeWalt DCD799 is the king of the Atomic drill line when it comes to performance. With its reduction in size, higher available power than any of the other models, and hammer mode, it’s easily our top recommendation of the group.

  • No-Load Speed: 0 –450/1650 RPM
  • Max Hammer Rate: 28,050 BPM
  • Max Power: 520UWO
  • Length: 6.5 in
  • Bare Weight: 2.5 lbs

Price: $149.00 bare, $189.00 kit with a 2.0Ah battery and charger

DeWalt DCD794

The DCC794 is the way to go if you don’t need a hammer drilling mode and you’d like to save a few dollars over the DCD799. It comes with a reduction in power, though it’s noticeably higher than the previous version.

  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 450/1650 RPM
  • Max Power: 404 UWO
  • Length: 5.9 in
  • Bare Weight: 2.4 lbs

Price: $129.00 bare, $159.00 kit with a 2.0Ah battery and charger

DeWalt DCD709

The DCD709 is the original hammer drill for the Atomic line. It does a good job, but unless the price comes way down, we recommend looking at the DCD799 instead.

  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 450/1650 RPM
  • Hammer Rate: 28,050 BPM
  • Max Power: 340 UWO
  • Length: 6.9 in
  • Bare Weight: 2.5 lbs

Price: $159.00 bare, 169.99 with two 1.3Ah batteries and a charger

DeWalt DCD708

DeWalt’s DCD708 was the first Atomic drill we were able to get our hands on. Like its hammer drill compatriot, the price is close to the updated model, and we recommend going with the DCD794. You’ll be pleased with the higher performance and not spend more to get it.

  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 450/1650 RPM
  • Max Power: 340 UWO
  • Length: 6.3 in
  • Bare Weight: 2.4 lbs

Price: $139.00 bare, 159.99 with two 1.3Ah batteries and a charger

The Bottom Line

With the power increase, the latest DeWalt Atomic drill and hammer drill make a more effective middle ground between DeWalt’s 12V options and the highest-performing 20V Max models. We’d love to see at them reach higher top-end speed, similar to DeWalt’s excellent DCD797. However, they do a great job if you’re on the hunt for a compact DeWalt drill.

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