Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


DeWalt Atomic Compact 20V Max Impact Driver Review DCF850

PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.4

While the specs are the same as the DCF887, the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact driver has slightly slower performance in tougher driving tasks. Don't let that dissuade you, though. The DCF850 is a seriously compact impact driver that still has plenty of speed and muscle to be the only impact driver you need in your tool bag.

Overall Score 9.4 (out of 10)

DeWalt DCF850 Redefines What it Means to Be a Compact Impact Driver

PTIA 2021

At first glance, it’s pretty obvious the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver is very different. So how much performance do you have to give up to get such a compact design? We took a deep dive and tested the DCF850 against the 20V Max XR DCF887 to find out!


Pros

  • Most compact 18/20V impact driver we’ve tested
  • 3-LED light ring around the collet

Cons

  • No significant drawbacks

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver Performance

Out of the gate, the DCF850 sports some familiar specifications. With 1825 in-lbs of torque, 3250 RPM, and 3800 IPM controlled with 3 speeds and a variable speed trigger, the design team dialed the brushless motor in to match the larger DCF887/888.

With the design being so much smaller, we wanted to compare the two side-by-side to see how they do when the rubber hits the road.


The test we ran uses 8-inch RSS screws from GRK Fasteners. We run them into stacked OSB plywood to give us a consistent medium to work with. To make sure it was as fair as possible, both impact drivers started with a freshly charged 5.0Ah battery.

Atomic 20V Max DCF85020V Max XR DCF887
Test 110.28 sec9.11 sec
Test 210.22 sec9.06 sec
Test 39.28 sec9.65 sec
Test 410.14 sec10.83 sec
Test 510.69 sec9.53 sec
Average Time10.12 sec9.64 sec

In this test, the Atomic was about a 1/2 second slower on average. Does half a second matter that much?

It’s up to you, of course, but we don’t mind it for the lighter weight and more compact design you get.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver Design Notes

Next-Level Compact

Taking over the title of the most compact impact driver, the DCF850 measures just 3.97 inches long. It’s so small, the battery would stick out beyond the collet. DeWalt deals with that by angling the head up slightly, so the battery kicks back a little.

On the weight side, it’s 2.1 lbs. With the 5.0Ah battery we used, the total weight is 3.5 pounds. If you want to go as compact as possible, pair it with a PowerStack battery and the weight is just 2.9 pounds.

Other Features

  • 3-LED light surrounding the collet
  • Reversible belt hook

DeWalt DCF850 Vs DCF887

In terms of design and specifications, here’s how the DeWalt Atomic DCF850 and XR 887 models compare:

DeWalt DCF850DeWalt DCF887
MotorBrushlessBrushless
Drive1/4 in.1/4 in.
Max Torque1825 in-lbs1825 in-lbs
Impact per Minute0-3800 IPM0-3800 IPM
Speeds (RPM)0-1000/2800/32500-1000/2800/3250
Length3.97 in.5.3 in.
Bare Weight2.1 lbs2.1 lbs
Kit Price$199 (includes 5.0Ah battery)$199 (includes 5.0Ah battery)

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver Price

DeWalt offers the Atomic 20V Max 1/4 in. Brushless Cordless 3-Speed Impact Driver in a few options. If you’re good on DeWalt batteries, you can pick up the bare tool for $149. The kit option is $199 and includes a 5.0Ah battery, charger, and carry bag.

DeWalt backs the tool with a 3-year warranty, 1-year free service agreement, and 90-day money-back guarantee.

The Bottom Line

While the specs are the same as the DCF887, the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max impact driver has slightly slower performance in tougher driving tasks. Don’t let that dissuade you, though. The DCF850 is a seriously compact impact driver that still has plenty of speed and muscle to be the only impact driver you need in your tool bag.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: DeWalt DCF850B/DCF850P1
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Drive: 1/4 in.
  • Max Torque: 1825 in-lbs
  • Impacts per Minute: 3800 IPM
  • No-Load Speed: 3,250 RPM
  • Length: 3.97 in.
  • Height: 8 in.
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $149 (bare tool); $199 (1 x 5.0Ah kit)

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BigM

Nice tool but this DeWalt or the M12 Stubby?

Big Richard

Considering its performance specs are identical to the current flagship XR model, one can’t help but think a new XR model is around the corner.

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