Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

12V Impact Wrenches

Pro Rating
Final Thoughts

The DeWalt 12V brushless 3/8" impact wrench is among the higher performers in its class, though there are models like the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Stubby that have more power. It's a great fit for light-duty automotive use and driving hex head fasteners in construction applications.

Overall Score 4.5 Pro Review

Get it Online

Acme Tools

DeWalt 12V Brushless 3/8″ Impact Wrench


DeWalt 12V Brushless 3/8″ Impact Wrench Packs Compact Performance

DeWalt’s 12V brushless line has been a huge step forward and we’ve really enjoyed using them so far. Wrapping up our look at the initial launch, the DeWalt 12V brushless 3/8″ impact wrench steps into the hot seat. There aren’t a lot of surprises here, but considering what it’s designed for, it does very well.

Pros

  • Same compact design as the 12V brushless impact driver
  • Excellent performance in its class
  • Excellent value ($99 kit)
  • Precision Wrenchtrade mode helps prevent overtightening and running off nuts
  • LED light ring around the square drive

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Recommendation

The DeWalt 12V brushless 3/8″ impact wrench is among the higher performers in its class, though there are models like the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Stubby that have more power. It’s a great fit for light-duty automotive use and driving hex head fasteners in construction applications.

What I like most about is that I get more power transfer through the square drive than I do with an adapter in my impact wrench. Thanks to a pretty compelling kit price, it’s also easy to justify adding to your 12V arsenal.

Performance

The DeWalt 12V brushless 3/8″ impact wrench is the exact same tool as the 12v brushless impact driver with a 3/8″ square drive instead of a 1/4″ hex collet. It has the same size, footprint, motor, etc. It’s the same 2.2 pounds with its compact battery, 7.4″ tall, and 1/8″ longer (5.1″) with its square drive. I’m not complaining, though.

Speed

Typically when you move from an impact driver to an impact wrench, you’re looking at a performance boost. That’s not the case here, though. We measured near-identical no-load speeds on both tools.

Even though the impact wrench specs the same no-load speed in high as the impact driver (our tachometer actually gave the impact driver a slight lead), it drove 100 RPM faster. Again, a non-flexing square drive helps deliver more of the motor’s power directly to the fastener where an impact-rated nut driver or socket adapter absorbs some of it.

Power

The fastening torque was similar as well. The DeWalt DCF902 dropped about 30 in-lbs compared to the DCF802 impact driver, requiring 579 in-lbs of torque to break. That’s a little less than 50 ft-lbs.

Our fastening torque results are not a replacement for manufacturer’s specification testing. Check out the method to our madness in our impact driver shootout.

On the nut-busting side, we were able to break 150 ft-lbs (1800 in-lbs) consistently but didn’t break the 200 ft-lbs DeWalt claims in their specs. However, it did break an extra 25 ft-lbs over the impact driver. Not using a socket adapter that flexes gives you a bit of an advantage there.

Noise

The noise level is on the lower end of our scale at 94 decibels, though the impact driver registered 1 decibel lower.

Feature Set

Precision Wrenchtrade

In addition to standard high and low modes, the DeWalt 12v 3/8″ brushless impact wrench also includes Precision Wrenchtrade. In this mode, you drive forward until the first few impacts. The motor hesitates for 1/2 a second and continues driving in high. The hesitation is designed to give you a moment to avoid overtightening.

In reverse, it impacts just like in high until it senses the nut come loose. At that point, it stops to prevent running the nut of completely and sending it scurrying across the floor.

LED Light Ring

DeWalt’s 3-LED ring surrounds the square drive and nearly eliminates shadows. It’s a superior design to LEDs mounted just above the battery or trigger.

Price

 

There are currently three ways to get your hands on the DeWalt DCF902:

  • Bare Tool: $109
  • 2-Battery Kit (2.0Ah): $99
  • TSTAK 2-Battery Kit (2.0Ah): $114.99

The inverted pricing between the bare tool and kit options should send nearly everyone to go for the extra batteries and charger even if you already have DeWalt 12V lithium-ion batteries. No matter which kit you pick up, the price is a solid value at this performance level.

The Bottom Line

The DeWalt 12V brushless 3/8″ impact wrench is among the higher performers in its class, though there are models like the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Stubby that have more power. It’s a great fit for light-duty automotive use and driving hex head fasteners in construction applications.

What I like most about is that I get more power transfer through the square drive than I do with an adapter in my impact wrench. Thanks to a pretty compelling kit price, it’s also easy to justify adding to your 12V arsenal.

SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS

DeWalt 12V Brushless Impact Wrench Specifications

  • Model: DeWalt DCF902
  • Power Source: DeWalt 12V lithium-ion battery
  • No-Load Speed: 0–2850 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0–3600 IPM
  • Fastening Torque: 125 ft-lbs (1500 in-lbs)
  • Breakaway Torque: 200 ft-lbs (2400 in-lbs)
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds with battery
  • Length: 5.1″
  • Height: 7.4″
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $99

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of