March 2, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

DeWalt Xtreme Subcompact Series Impact Wrenches

DeWalt Xtreme Impact Wrenches Deliver Upgraded Torque

DeWalt has updated the 12V Max Impact Wrenches in the Xtreme Subcompact line. While the previous models were impressive in their own right, both the 3/8″ and 1/2″ DeWalt Xtreme Subcompact Impact Wrenches feature torque upgrades in packages that have managed to stay compact.

What’s the Big Deal?

There are a few things worth mentioning here, but power gets top priority from us. The DeWalt Xtreme Subcompact Impact Wrenches have seen a pretty substantial power boost from the last edition. DeWalt says that they both provide up to 250 ft-lbs of tightening torque and 400 ft-lbs of nut-busting (breakaway) torque.

DeWalt DCF901 impact wrench

These numbers pretty much double the torque put out by the DeWalt DCF902 impact wrench. They also clearly improve upon and upgrade the DeWalt DCF813S2 kit that kicked off DeWalt’s 12V line. It’s amazing to think those tools came out over a decade ago. The DeWalt Xtreme Impact Wrenches even look to have bested the torque output specs on the impressive Milwaukee 12V Fuel Stubby impact wrenches.

Despite the major power upgrade, DeWalt has managed to keep the Xtreme Subcompact Impact Wrenches, well, compact. Like the last edition of these tools, the DCF901 and DCF903 measure just 5-inches in length and weigh 2 pounds. This makes it easy to get them into tight spots.

DeWalt 12V Impact Wrenches Compared

ModelDeWalt DCF901/DCF903 DeWalt DCF902DeWalt DCF813S2Milwaukee “Stubby”
Anvil Size1/2″ / 3/8″3/8″3/8″1/2″ / 3/8″
Max Speed2850 RPM2850 RPM2450 RPM2700 RPM
Max Impact3250 IPM3600 IPM3,400 IPM3200 IPM
Tightening Torque250 ft-lbs.125 ft-lbs.95 ft-lbs.250 ft-lbs.
Breakaway Torque400 ft-lbs.200 ft-lbs.95 ft-lbs.250 ft-lbs.
Length5.25 in.5.1 in.6.25 in.4.9 in. / 4.8 in.
Height7.75 in.7.4 in.7.7 in.7 in.
Weight2 lbs.2.2 lbs.2.3 lbs.2 lbs.
Bare Tool/ Kit Price$149 / $349$84 / $149$147.99 (kit)$179 / $269

What We Think

The increase to 250 ft-lbs of max tightening torque makes a world of difference for a compact impact wrench. 400 ft-lbs max breakaway torque seems like no slouch spec either. The increased specs while retaining the small size makes for a great upgrade in our opinion.

Compact impact wrenches tackle so much work in the automotive world, it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t used. From hard-to-reach spaces to simply grabbing an untethered tool that doesn’t weigh you down, the DeWalt DeWalt DCF901 and DCF903 deliver two options sure to please.

PB901-02-11-13B rubber boot

Finally, DeWalt continues the use of a tri-LED light ring but does a better job encasing the front of the tool. More power and greater durability make for a great update to these popular products.


Both the DCF901 1/2″ and the DCF903 3/8″ DeWalt Xtreme Subcompact Impact Wrenches hit stores Q1 2021. They’ll come as either a bare tool or kitted with two batteries (an oil-resistant 3.0Ah and an oil-resistant 5.0Ah battery) and a charger.

Dewalt Xtreme 12V oil-resistant battery

The bare tool option for either tool will run $149 while the kits will retail for $349. DeWalt also has a protective rubber boot available that slips over the tool. The PB901-02-11-13B is available for $19.99.

DeWalt Xtreme Impact Wrenches Specs

  • Model: DeWalt DCF901 & DCF903
  • Anvil Size: 1/2″ Hog Ring & 3/8″ Hog Ring
  • IPM: 0-3250 IPM
  • RPM: 0-2850 RPM
  • Max Torque: 400 ft-lbs.
  • Length: 5.25 in.
  • Height: 7.75 lbs.
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Available: Early 2021
  • Price: $149 (bare); $349 (kit)

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keith stimpson

Will the 2.0Ah 12v battery power the new tools? If they will, will the tool still have the same torque ratings? I have 2 of the 2.0Ah batteries (they came with my 1/4″ impact driver kit).

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