DeWalt DCD797 Crushes the Compact Class in Speed and Efficiency
We recently conducted our best cordless drill head-to-head review, where the DeWalt DCD797 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill finished very well in our compact category. Overall, it showed the requisite power, functionality, ergonomics, features, and value to put all but one competitor in the rearview mirror.
- Fastest drilling in the Compact class
- Highest efficiency in class
- 2nd highest torque in class
- Tool Connect controls, diagnostics, and tracking
- No major drawbacks
Features seem like a good place to start with the DeWalt DCD797. After all, it has a few worth mentioning, and they mostly relate to the tool’s capacity for customization. The DCD797 features DeWalt Tool Connect feature, which allows you to inventory and track the tool’s whereabouts via DeWalt’s app. You can even track diagnostics from the app, like tool temperature, battery life, trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running.
However, with the Tool Connect feature, you can also program the DCD797 the way you like it. It has a Home mode, plus 3 programmable modes to customize the speed and LED light brightness.
To avoid theft, you can set the Tool Connect feature to disable the hammer drill when it gets out of range of the app.
Beyond the Tool Connectedness, the DeWalt DCD797 features a 2-speed brushless motor (2 gears x 4 electronic modes = 8 total modes) and has 3 RPM and 13 clutch settings for better precision and control.
So all the bells and whistles are neat, but how does this hammer drill actually perform? As far as speed under load goes, it blazes past every other model we tested with its impressive quickness and efficiency. With a 3/4″ auger bit, we measured the DCD797 turning an average 1,948 RPM.
This is an incredible 98% of its no-load speed. the best efficiency any other model pulled was 80% and most of the drills are in the 60%–75% range.
With a 1-1/4″ self-feed bit in low speed, we measured an average speed of 512 RPM from the DCD797. This is 97% of its no-load speed. Once again, no other drill comes close to DeWalt’s speed and efficiency.
We also tested our hammer drills by drilling 3″ deep into concrete using a 1/4″ Bosch Multipurpose bit. The trend continues as the DeWalt DCD797 smoked every other hammer drill in the 18V Compact division. With an average time of 5.92 seconds, this hammer drill beat the next fastest drill to the finish line by more than a full second.
The torque generated by the DeWalt DCD797 was also really solid, though it did come in a distant second to the impressive Metabo HPT DS18DBFL2. Where the Metabo HPT model cranked out 312 in-lbs of torque to take first in the category, the DeWalt only cranked 221 in-lbs. That’s still good enough for second place with a pretty healthy lead over the rest of the field.
Footprint and Weight
With performance so high, it’s no surprise that there’s a trade-off somewhere. That mainly comes in the form of its footprint, where it’s near the largest end. Despite that, the 797 keeps its weight under control with a mid-pack 2.79 pounds bare and 3.56 pounds with a 2.0Ah compact battery.
There are several ways to get your hands on the DeWalt DCD797 hammer drill. If you don’t need Tool Connect, you can look at the DCD796. It’s the same drill without the smart controls.
DeWalt 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill with Tool Connect Options
DeWalt 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill Options
- Bare Tool (DeWalt DCD796B): $129.99
- Kit with Two 2.0Ah Batteries (DeWalt DCD796D2): $216.48
- Kit with Two 2.0Ah Bluetooth Batteries (DeWalt DCD796D2BT): $249
- Hammer Drill/Impact Driver 2 x 2.0Ah Combo (DeWalt DCK287D2): $319
- Hammer Drill/Impact Driver 2.0Ah/4.0Ah Combo (DeWalt DCK287D1M1): $239
Considering what you get, the prices are right about where they should be and within $10 either way of its major competitors for the bare tool. You can make the hit a little easier on your wallet if you’d prefer to go without Tool Connect.
The Bottom Line
Everything that DeWalt is putting out in the drill categories has performed pretty well in our shootout and this model is no exception. The DeWalt DCD797 was the fastest drill in its class under load, and it was no slouch in the torque department either. With a solid feature set that highlights the brand’s Tool Connect capability, this compact model should make fans of the brand happy and give other brands a target to aim for.
DeWalt DCD797 Compact Hammer Drill Specs
- Power Source: DeWalt 20V Max batteries
- Chuck Size: 1/2″
- Max RPM: 0-2000 RPM
- Tool Length: 7.4″
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Up to 100 Ft.
- Clutch Settings: 13
- Max Power: 460 UWO
- Number of Speed Settings: 4
- System: 20V Max
- Tool Weight: 3.6 lbs
- Warranty: 3-Year Limited
- MSRP: $179 (bare tool), $269 (kit)
For more information on this drill and to see its individual results, please check out our Best Cordless Hammer Drill head-to-head review.