The DeWalt DCK211S2 12V MAX Cordless Li-Ion Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Kit seems pretty good, and they are a long time in coming, so we were eager to see if these new 12V tools were worth the wait. These new tools come at a time when some other manufacturers are already coming out with their second and third-generation 12V tools. Having owned a construction company that had a lot of DeWalt tools on our job sites, a certain amount of brand loyalty had us holding out for these and we were excited to dive in and see how these new offerings from DeWALT sized up.
DeWalt DCK211S2 Features
The test tools arrived in a cardboard box with, the DCD710 3/8″ drill/driver, DCF815 1/4″ impact driver, two 12V MAX Li-Ion batteries, a fast charger, some bits, belt hooks, owner’s booklet and a nylon contractor bag. Upon initial inspection, the tools felt solid and I might even venture so far as to say tough. The handles are entirely covered with rubber overmold with smaller rubber bumpers located strategically on the sides so as to protect your work piece if you set them down on their sides. While we have seen our share of different 12V drills and impact drivers, with most following essentially the same form factor for the batteries, the engineers at DeWALT had something else in mind. These batteries, while called 12V Max, actually run at a nominal 10.8 Volts when under load (just like all the other 12V tools on the market today). What is different is the shape of them. By opting for an end-of-handle design, the tools have excellent balance and, when the battery is installed, it offers the user a great way to set the tool down so that it is standing up; which in some instances is actually pretty handy. We are hopeful that as these tools mature, and that the next generation will come with some kind of battery level gauges that are integrated into either the battery or the tool. The charger for the DeWalt 12V tools is dedicated to the 12V batteries only and offers a full charge in just 40 minutes.
To further investigate and test out these tools we will look at each of them individually.
DeWALT DCD710 12V MAX 3/8″ Drill Driver
- Voltage: 12V nominal (10.8V running)
- Max Power: 189 UWO
- Speed Settings: 2
- Clutch Settings: 15
- Chuck Size: 3/8″
- Chuck Type: single sleeve
- Tool Weight: 2.4lbs
- No Load Speed: 0-400 / 0-1,500 RPM
- Tool Length: 7-1/2″
The DeWALT DCD710 12V MAX 3/8″ Drill Driver follows very closely in the footsteps of its18V brothers. To give you an idea of the size of the new 12V drill/drive, we shot a few photos of it next to a DeWALT DC720 1/2” 18V drill that we had in our shop. In the photos you can see that the overall design and ergonomics are exactly in line with what you would be used to if you are a DeWALT tool user. While the new 12V tool is smaller and lighter, it is not dramatically so. The DCD710 comes with a two speed transmission and a clutch with 15 settings. The keyless chuck accepts bits up to 3/8” in diameter. While we get the idea behind the UWO (unit watts output) measurement for the power, at this time, it is a little tricky to compare the specs of this drill to the competition since everyone else still uses torque as their measurement of choice. We did a little testing and found that according to our electronic torque meter, this drill has somewhere in the neighborhood of 220-230 inch pounds of torque which is not too shabby. As far as the manufacturer claimed speeds verses what we tested out with our laser tachometer, we found that the specs agreed with our readings to within only a 1-2 percent difference. What we observed during our testing is that this drill did not seem to have a built in over-limit switch that cuts the power to the motor should you reach its maximum operating threshold. This means is that there is the potential you could damage the motor before it gives in if you try to use the drill in extreme situations or on things it was never designed to do in the first place.
As far as other features on the drill, it comes with an LED work light and probably one of our favorite features is the removable belt hook. You can set the hook on either side of the handle and we found that it really goes a long ways towards make this drill super handy when the user is up on a ladder or crawling around in an attic. The belt hook really helps keep this drill where you need it. As far as testing and usage, we have tried it in numerous drilling situations. It had no problem using a 3/8” drill bit to send a hole though 1/8” tool steel and it had the ability to do hundreds of 1/8” pilot holes on a single charge. This drill is a solid performer and if you are a DeWalt tool fan, then this new little DeWALT DCD710 12V MAX 3/8″ Drill Driver is going to feel very familiar and comfortable.
DeWALT DCF815 12V MAX 1/4″ Impact Driver
- Voltage: 12V nominal (10.8V running)
- Drive Size: 1/4in
- No Load Speed: 0-2,450rpm
- Impacts/Min: 0-3,400ipm
- Max Torque: 950in-lbs (79ft-lbs)
- Tool Weight: 2.3lbs
- Tool Length: 6-1/4″
The DeWALT DCF815 12V MAX 1/4″ Impact Driver is a welcome addition to the DeWALT line of Impact driving tools. While we really liked the 18V version of this tool, we also like the idea of a lightweight tool to handle most day to day fastening tasks. One of the standout features of this impact driver is the three-LED light ring that is set around the chuck end of the tool. What is special about these lights, is that they are angled in such a way as to eliminate all shadows on the business end of the bit. We tried it with several length bits and found that there was always a clear view of the bit end and the fastener. This can be critical for the tradesmen that are up in dark spaces doing electrical, plumbing or HVAC repairs. Also, what is nice is that you can even use the impact driver as a flashlight of sorts because the first bit of the trigger pull activates the LED’s yet does not set the chuck spinning. On the practical end of actually doing work with this tool we found that there is plenty of torque on hand and that there is more then sufficient power to drive 3-1/2″ deck screws or even 1/4″ lag bolts. Just like its drilling brother, a belt hook is also included for the impact driver. Just the idea of a belt hook tells you that this is not to be a benchtop tool but one that the folks at DeWalt envisioned hanging from the tool belt of a contractor.
The DeWALT DCK211S2 12V MAX Cordless Li-Ion Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Kit is a great start for DeWalt to enter the 12V compact cordless lithium-ion tool market. Both of these tools offer plenty of power with the familiar ergonomics that many are used to from DeWALT. While not perfect, we are pretty sure that the second generation versions of these tools will be off the charts. As these tools stand now, we are pretty sure that if Yellow and Black are your colors of choice, you will be satisfied with your purchase. For our Performance rating, we gave this combo set a 7/10 because it shows that DeWalt is well on their way to finally being player in the 12V market. For our Value rating, we gave the set a reasonable 5/10 for a couple of reasons, the first is that they are pretty spendy and they only come with a nylon carry bag. Secondly, there are just some features that have yet to migrate into these tools which are available on the competition’s products. If a battery meter, or even a better case was included for the money, we would have bumped this up for sure.