DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench

DeWalt DCF961 Claims Top Performance Among Cordless 1/2-Inch Impact Wrenches

One of the benefits of continued developments in battery and brushless motor technology is how strong the best cordless impact wrenches have become. A great example is the DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench, pushing the bar higher for what you can expect in the 1/2-inch class.

DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Performance

DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench
  • 1200 ft-lbs fastening torque
  • 1750 ft-lbs nut-busting torque
  • 1200 RPM max
  • 1950 IPM max
  • 8.4 pounds bare

DeWalt makes no doubt that this impact wrench is about power. Using a single 20V Max battery, it can produce 1200 ft-lbs of fastening torque, and 1750 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque. This isn’t a FlexVolt Advantage or Power Detect model, either. You don’t need to use a bulky battery to get higher performance—a 5.0Ah pack does the job just fine.

There are four modes to work in. Three standard modes max out at 1200 RPM and 1890 IPM. There’s also a Precision Wrench mode that helps avoid overtightening in forward and runaway fasteners in reverse.

Obviously, this is a pretty big tool—that’s what we expect from the high-torque class. It’s nearly 8 1/2 inches long from tip to tail, and it’s a beefy 8.4 pounds bare.

Checking the Claims


DeWalt claims this is “the industry’s highest rated max torque cordless 1/2″ impact wrench.” We checked around to see what some of the other usual suspects have up their sleeves.

For team Teal, Makita has the GWT07 mid-torque on its 40V XGT platform that 560 fastening ft-lbs and 810 ft-lbs for nut-busting. On the 18V LXT line, there’s the high-torque XWT08. However, its 740 ft-lbs of fastening and 1080 ft-lbs of nut-busting are well short of DeWalt’s mark.

Flex’s hard-hitting 24V high-torque model fares a bit better. But its 800 ft-lbs of fastening and 1150 ft-lbs of breakaway torque are well under DeWalt’s numbers.

Metabo HPT moves higher on its 36V platform. The WR36DGQ4 boasts 1033 ft-lbs for fastening and 1475 ft-lbs for nut-busting.

Taking a look at Milwaukee, the race gets tighter. The M18 Fuel 2966 and 2967 offer 1200 ft-lbs of fastening torque, matching DeWalt. However, the nut-busting torque is 1600 ft-lbs, coming up just short.

Even Ridgid, Bosch, and Ingersoll Rand didn’t reach high enough to knock DeWalt from its perch.

DeWalt DCF961 20V Max XR 1/2-Inch Impact Wrench Price

The bare tool retails for $369, and there’s also an auto tech-friendly kit available. For $449, you get the impact wrench along with a 5.0Ah oil-resistant battery, charger, and kit bag.

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

The Bottom Line

Currently, there’s no more powerful cordless 1/2-inch impact wrench than the DeWalt DCF961 (though you can step up to 3/4 or 1-inch models for more). That’s a win DeWalt fans will surely enjoy hanging their hats on. As you would expect, there’s a weight penalty that comes from a tool at this level, but you don’t have to turn to the largest battery packs in order to get that performance. So if torque is what you’re after, and you want to stick with the popular 1/2-inch drive size, DeWalt is King of the Moment.

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