DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver No-Impact Fastener Setting Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

12V Screwdrivers

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Final Thoughts

DeWalt's 12V brushless screwdriver is an excellent choice for cabinetry and woodworking, where control is more important than flat-out speed. It does its best work on precision fastening and is also capable of light drilling in spots that are tough for a standard drill driver. 

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DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver Review DCF601B


DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver Dares to Drive Where Other Drills Won’t Fit

When you need to drive screws in tight spaces, an impact driver goes where a standard drill can’t. But what if you don’t want the violence of the hammer and anvil? That’s when you turn to a cordless screwdriver. The DeWalt 12V brushless screwdriver promises a compact, lightweight design with excellent performance. In my opinion, the DeWalt DCF601B nails it.

Pros

  • Shorter head than other 12V drills and impact drivers
  • Less than 2 pounds with a battery
  • 3-LED light right
  • 15+1 clutch settings
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Recommendation

DeWalt’s Xtreme Compact line is crushing it with top-end 12V performance and legitimately compact designs. The DeWalt DCF601B brushless screwdriver continues the trend with a tool that can both drill and drive in tighter spaces than just about anything other than a right angle drill. Even its price is competitive.

This is an excellent choice for cabinetry and woodworking, where control is more important than flat-out speed. It does its best work on precision fastening and is also capable of light drilling in spots that are tough for a standard drill driver. 

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Compact Performance

Tight Design

Like the new 12V brushless impact driver, the DeWalt 12V brushless screwdriver makes incredible improvements in size. The previous model (DCF610) measured 6.25″ long. That’s long enough that it might as well have been a standard drill.

The DeWalt DCF601B drops all the way down to 4.8″, even shorter than the new impact driver. That’ll get you into some pretty tight spaces. Few cordless drivers other than a right angle drill driver can get much tighter.

DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver Review DCF601B

DeWalt helps you out even more by ensuring the 1/4″ collet accepts 1″ bits, leaving only the last 5/16″ of bit exposed.

Precision Performance

The whole reason you reach for a 1/4″ hex screwdriver is to save space without the violence of an impact driver. Typically, you’re working with smaller fasteners or more delicate materials.

Even so, DeWalt still puts 200 UWO of power in the motor. That’s an increase of 25% over the previous model. To put that in perspective, the new 12V brushless drill has 250 UWO and the previous brushed drill had 189 UWO.

Let’s consider speed for a moment. The DeWalt 12V brushless screwdriver maxes out at 1100 RPM. With the idea that we’re looking at more control for fastening, it’s not a surprise to see it well under the brushless drill’s 1500 RPM (the brushed drill also has 1500 RPM).

DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver No-Impact Fastener Setting

But let’s toss one more log in the fire. Even though this screwdriver has a 1/4″ hex collet for holding driver bits, there are plenty of drill bits with 1/4″ hex shanks. There’s enough power in this screwdriver to use a reasonable range of drill bits in tight spots as well.

You just need to plan on drilling more slowly than normal. With a sharp bit, that shouldn’t be an issue if it lets you drill a hole where a longer tool won’t.

Feature Set

Clutch Performance

What you don’t get with the compact design of an impact driver is much driving depth control. The DeWalt 12V brushless screwdriver has a 15+1 clutch design, giving you more control when you need it.

DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver Clutch

Size and Weight

We touched on the compact design of the DeWalt DCF601B already, but let’s take it a little farther. With a compact 2.0Ah battery, the tool stands 8.4″ tall with a 4.8″ head length.

Without a battery, the tool only weighs 1.5 pounds—11 ounces lighter than the previous model. With a battery, it’s still lighter than the DCF610 bare at just 1.98 pounds.

LED Light Ring

DeWalt sticks with their 3-LED light ring around the chuck. It’s a design we highly prefer over lights just above the trigger or down by the battery.

DeWalt 12V Brushless Screwdriver LED Light Ring

One-Hand Bit Insert and Ejection

There’s no need to pull the collet when you’re inserting a bit and a spring ejects the bit when you’re ready for a change.

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Pricing

You can get the DeWalt 12V brushless screwdriver for $89 as a bare tool. However, the kit is currently running just $10 more for a charger and 2.0Ah battery, so I recommend going that route.

There are a handful of similar models running about $10 to either side of DeWalt’s pricing. For what you get, it’s a fair price.

The Bottom Line

DeWalt’s Xtreme Compact line is crushing it with top-end 12V performance and legitimately compact designs. The DeWalt DCF601B brushless screwdriver continues the trend with a tool that can both drill and drive in tighter spaces than just about anything other than a right angle drill. Even its price is competitive.

This is an excellent choice for cabinetry and woodworking, where control is more important than flat-out speed. It does its best work on precision fastening and is also capable of light drilling in spots that are tough for a standard drill driver.

Specifications

  • Model: DeWalt DCF601B
  • No-Load Speed: 0 – 1100 RPM
  • Max Power: 200 UWO
  • Height: 8.4″ with battery
  • Length: 4.8″
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds bare, 1.98 pounds with battery
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $89 bare, $99 kit with one 2.0Ah battery

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Christopher Wise

Where’s a small sized 23 gauge battery operated nailer that can fit to 2” brads? Now that’s a challenge and needed in the field of furniture techs. ( speaking from experience.)