DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX Impact Driver Review
With impact driver demand on the rise, DeWalt delivers with their new DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX Impact Driver. This impact driver packs plenty of power and run-time into one of the industry’s most compact platforms, making it super easy to fit into the tightest spaces. The new 20V MAX line of cordless tools from DeWalt offer improved performance, better ergonomics and more innovation when compared to their current 18V cordless products. The DCF885L2 comes with two 3.0Ah batteries, quick charger and a nice heavy-duty carry case. The small, lightweight design of impact drivers are ideal for cabinetmakers, HVAC professionals, steel stud framers, electrical, mechanical and general contractors who frequently perform drilling and fastening applications. The growing popularity of impact drivers is largely due to the fact that these tools are smaller and more compact than drills, and they eliminate reactionary torque thanks to the impact mechanism inside the tool.
Some of the cool innovations built into the DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX 1/4″ Drive Impact Driver include a chuck that conveniently accepts and holds one-inch bit tips and a metal belt hook that can be attached to either side of the tool handle. Three LED lights are located around the chuck which helps to provide visibility without casting shadows in dimly lit spaces. The even cooler feature is that the lights remain on for 20 seconds after the trigger is released, making it double as a flashlight when called for. This impact driver produces up to 3200 impacts per minute, has a max torque of 117 foot/pounds and free spins at 2,800 RPM. Electronics are built into the switches, making these tools smarter by maximizing the life of the tools and batteries and helping to protect them from overheating, overloading and deep discharge during use.
“There is an increased demand for impact drivers globally because these tools offer the versatility and durability professionals need in a compact yet very powerful package. Due to hundreds of hours of jobsite research around the world, we know that professionals are using impact drivers more frequently. We have optimized our 20V MAX Lithium-Ion models so they can handle a variety of applications and withstand daily jobsite wear and tear while giving users features that allow them to work more productively.”
– Jeremy Torok, Senior Product Manager of DeWalt
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DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX Impact Driver Features
As an added bonus, the quick charger for the 20V MAX Lithium-Ion system has dual voltage capabilities, making it compatible with the 12V MAX Lithium-Ion batteries. It should be noted that the 20V MAX designation is there to differentiate these tools from their 18V line. Operating in a tool, they measure a nominal 18 volts. The company wanted a way to avoid confusion here in the North American 18V market (which is their largest world market). Rather than a top post design like we know, the new 20V MAX batteries are a slide-on sled type much like what we have seen on their new 12V MAX compact cordless tools. They call the new battery style a Slide Pack. Just in case you are wondering, the 12V MAX batteries do not fit on the 20V MAX tools. The impact drivers will come standard with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract and 90-day money-back guarantee. The 3.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery packs come with a three-year free service contract. The only difference between the DCF885L2 and the DCF885C2 Impact Driver is that the other kit comes with two 1.5Ah batteries for a slightly lower cost.
Testing and Use
One of the big things that we first caught onto was how easy it was to put in a bit. Simply push the bit into the chuck and you’re all set. You don’t need to use a second hand to pull back on the outer chuck ring. Also, a standard 1″ long bit will fit and not fall out of the chuck which makes fitting the DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX 1/4″ Drive Impact Driver even easier into tight spaces. We tried our hand at a few different fastening applications, like putting in 3″ deck screws and drilling by using a thin metal hole saw to put some extra holes in a metal electrical box. Right away, it was evident that this impact driver had more than adequate power to do the tasks that we asked of it. As far as user comfort, this is where DeWalt really did some homework and it was evident by the new shape of the handle, the extra rubber overmold and the balance. Since the new sled-style 20V MAX battery does not have a top post that fits up into the bottom of the handle, the handle was narrowed down to make it fit more naturally in the hand. When we compared the motor body length to other 18V impact drivers on the market, the DeWalt was a little shorter. While some have mixed feelings about LED lights on tools, we like them. This impact driver actually has three LED lights that are arranged around the 1/4″ chuck so that no matter what angle you view the bit tip from, it casts
no shadows. To make it even better, touching the trigger will keep the LED lights on for an addition 20 seconds after it is released.
The DeWalt DCF885L2 20V MAX 1/4″ Drive Impact Driver looks to be a good choice if you’re on the market for some new cordless tools. Since the 20V MAX cordless product line is a departure from the well-known DeWalt 18V cordless tool line we suspect that this new platform would be a fantastic way start off a new DeWalt cordless tool collection. For our Performance rating, we gave this impact driver an 8/10 since it not only demonstrated plenty of power but also we appreciated its very compact overall size. The biggest bummer about this tool is that it has no battery level indicator. DeWalt claims their next versions will have this, but we feel a mature tool company should have surveyed the market caught this. For our Value rating, we gave this tool a 7/10 since we think that, given the features and the performance over the current 18V offerings, it’s worth coming up with the extra money to gain a more mature technology with the tool and the 20V MAX batteries.