October 28, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

DeWalt Atomic Compact 20V Max Impact Driver | DCF850

DeWalt DCF850 Atomic 20V impact driver

DeWalt Announces Their Shortest High-Torque Impact Driver Ever

DeWalt adds to the Atomic Series of 20V Max tools with an updated edition of the compact impact driver. The DeWalt DCF850 boasts an almost unbelievably short length. That should make it even easier to work in tight spaces. That’s not the big deal, though—what surprised us were the specs.

What’s the Big Deal?

Typically, DeWalt Atomic tools provide “compact tool” power on a 20V battery. However, in this case, the updated DeWalt DCF850 impact driver pumps out the same power as their current flagship DCF887 impact driver (this is the DCF888 without Tool Connect).

The DeWalt Atomic Impact Driver measures a mere 3.97 inches long, making it easy to get into tight spaces. This could be particularly helpful in cabinetry applications, as well as in those tight spots that come up in framing work. It also only weighs just over 2 lbs, making it one of the most lightweight 18/20V impact drivers on the market.

DeWalt DCF850 Atomic 20V impact driver

The DeWalt DCF850 features a brushless motor that delivers up to 1825 in-lbs of torque, as well as 3250 rpm and 3800 impacts per minute. A variable speed trigger and a 3-speed setting give you the precision and control to work with small fasteners all the way to your larger, heavier-duty large fasteners and spade bits.

Other Features

  • Three speed modes
  • Tri-LED worklight
  • Belt hook

Side By Side

With the DeWalt DCF850 soon to hit the market, and what with the upgrades to size and performance DeWalt claims that it brings, we wanted to see its specs next to their flagship impact driver and a competitor.

ModelDeWalt DCF850DeWalt DCF887Milwaukee 2853
Drive1/4 in.1/4 in.1/4 in.
Max Torque1825 in-lbs1825 in-lbs2000 in-lbs
Impact per Minute0-3800 ipm0-3800 ipm0-1200/3400/4300 ipm
Speeds (rpm)0-1000/2800/32500-1000/2800/32500-1900/2800/3600
Max Speed3250 rpm3250 rpm3600 rpm
Length3.97 in.5.3 in.4.59 in.
Weight2.1 lbs2.1 lbs2.2 lbs.
Kit Price$199 (includes 5.0Ah battery)$199 (includes 5.0Ah battery)$299 (includes two 5.0Ah batteries)

How the DeWalt DCF850 Stacks Up

As far as their existing DCF809 Atomic impact driver, DeWalt hasn’t dropped any weight. We are, however, seeing some marked improvement in both compactness and performance. DeWalt shaved a little more than an inch off the tool’s length with this Atomic 20V tool. We can also see improvements in speed, torque, and impact rate.

Whether this is a rolling change to the core tool or another option altogether, we can’t say. For now, at least, you can still find the DCF809 kit for around $149, a $50 savings over the updated model. Priced to match the DCF887, it would be crazy not to grab this Atomic over any other DeWalt impacts at this point.

And, because it seems to be fun for a lot of people to pit DeWalt against Milwaukee, we took a look at how the Atomic 20V Impact Driver stacks up against the Milwaukee M18 Fuel version of this tool. The Milwaukee 2853, now a couple of years old, does perform at a marginally higher level with torque, impact, and speed output. However, it also measures longer and just a bit heavier than DeWalt’s upgraded Atomic model. It also comes in at about $100 more for the kit, though it does include an extra 5.0Ah battery (The 2853-20 runs $139 for the bare tool).

DeWalt DCF850 impact driver


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. If an extra battery or two wouldn’t hurt, you can pick up one of the kit options. For $199, you can pick up the kit that includes one 5.0Ah battery, charger, and a bag. DeWalt backs their tool with a 3-year warranty as well. The DCF850 just started to hit stores in October 2021.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Driver Specs

  • 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 (kitted with one battery); $279 (kitted with two batteries)

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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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