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October 18, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Review

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.7

The DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact wrench is an incredibly impressive tool that immediately jumps to the front of the class for power. Its compact size and lightweight are sure to make it a favorite among mechanics, contractors, and other Pros who need high performance in tight spaces.

Overall Score 9.7 (out of 10)

DeWalt Atomic Impact Wrench Squeezes Solid Muscle Into Tight Spaces

It’s the ever-present quandary for impact wrenches—how to get more torque into tighter spaces. The DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact wrench sets its sights on solving that problem once and for all.


DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench: Compact Power

At first glance, it’s clear DeWalt designed this impact wrench as a compact model. It’s less than 5 inches long from tip to tail (4.97 inches). At the top of the handle, the head angles up slightly giving you more access to space without the battery getting in your way.

The tool is relatively lightweight as well. Bare it weighs 2.5 pounds, a 2.0Ah battery brings it to 3.3 pounds, and a 5.0Ah pack gets it to 3.9 pounds.


Even though it’s compact, there’s some legit muscle coming from the brushless motor. It tops out at 450 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque and 300 ft-lbs of fastening torque. That combined with 2500 RPM and 3550 IPM for your bolt-removing pleasure.

That’s strong and we compared it to cordless and pneumatic options to see where it really fits. Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 2855 set an impressive standard for compact 18V impact wrenches, but it isn’t as strong with 250 ft-lbs for both fastening and nut-busting.

Looking to Ingersoll-Rand for a pneumatic benchmark, their ultra-compact 36QMax is capable of 640 ft-lbs for breakaway torque and 360 ft-lbs for fastening.

For now, the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact wrench leads the cordless category in strength, but there are still stronger pneumatic options.

Rather than just taking DeWalt’s word for it, we decided to test the Atomic impact wrench. We set the torque on our rig to varying levels and found that this model was able to consistently remove 450 ft-lbs using a 5.0Ah battery. We even broke bolts as high as 461 ft-lbs.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Features

Advanced Controls

The impact wrench features four power/speed settings. Two of those are standard low/high modes. The other two prevent overtightening and out-of-control run-off with Precision Wrench control, while a Timber Screw mode optimizes the tool’s speed when you’re fastening wood.w

Controls

Model Options

There are three Atomic models to choose from at this performance level. The DCF921 has a 1/2-inch hog ring (friction ring) and the DCF922 has a 1/2-inch pin detent. Dropping down in size without changing the spec ratings, the DCF923 has a 3/8-inch hog ring.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Drive Options

LED Lights

We LOVE the LED lights on these wrenches. Three lights surround the drive and there are controls to turn them off or select between two intensity modes. When you’re nosing around an engine, they’re great!

LED Lights

Other Features

  • Glass-filled nylon housing resists damage from some oils and solvents
  • Belt hook included

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Price

No matter which model you want, the bare tool is $199. The two friction ring models also have kit options. With two 5.0Ah batteries, the kits run $399. Alternatively, you can get them with two 5.0Ah oil-resistant batteries for $499.

As always, DeWalt back these impacts with a 3-year warranty, 1-year service agreement, and 90-day money-back guarantee.

The Bottom Line

The DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact wrench is an incredibly impressive tool that immediately jumps to the front of the class for power. Its compact size and lightweight are sure to make it a favorite among mechanics, contractors, and other Pros who need high performance in tight spaces.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Specs

  • Model: DeWalt DCF921 (1/2″ Hog Ring), DCF922 (1/2″ Detent Pin), DCF923 (3/8″ Hog Ring)
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Impacts per Minute: 3550 IPM
  • Max Tightening Torque: 300 ft-lbs
  • Max Breakaway Torque: 450 ft-lbs
  • No Load Speed: 2500 RPM
  • Height: 8.2 in.
  • Length: 4.97 in.
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price:
    • DCF921B Bare Tool – $199
    • DCF921P2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Batteries – $399
    • DCF921GP2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Oil Resistant Batteries – $499
    • DCF922B Bare Tool – $199
    • DCF923B Bare Tool – $199
    • DCF923P2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Batteries – $399
    • DCF923GP2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Oil Resistant Batteries – $499

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