DeWalt DCF887 20V Max Impact Driver Review
DeWalt DCF887 Slides But Still Relevant More than 3 Years Later
Back in 2015, we tested eleven of the cutting edge 18V impact drivers. At the top of that pile was the DeWalt DCF887, an impact driver that was brand new at the time. It’s been a few years, and we brought back the DCF887 to defend its title in our recent Best Impact Driver shootout. With the exception of the optional upgrade for the Tool Connect (DCF888), nothing has changed about this tool. However, it still has relevant performance and design in its class.
DeWalt’s DCF887 stays in the top half for performance, design, and value. It’s in a place where you really have to question whether it’s worth upgrading beyond Tool Connect on the DCF888. When we look over this tool, there’s nothing that stands out and says “fix this”. DeWalt’s product team just needs to decide if they want to chase the numbers that other brands are pushing forward or if they’re content knowing they have an excellent impact driver. As a DeWalt user, the only decision is whether you want Tool Connect or not.
* Results as of February 11, 2019. Check out our Best 18V Impact Driver main page for updates as new models hit the market.
The two main areas we tested each impact driver are speed and torque. Head over to our Best Impact Driver main page for our testing method details.
On paper, the 887 has a no-load speed of 3250 RPM with 3250 IPM. It also generates a respectable 1825 in-lbs of torque.
Please realize that our torque tests do not and cannot replace how manufacturers test for their specifications. Head over to our main shootout page see the details.
Speed Under Load
In our speed test, the DeWalt DCF887 maintains 429 RPM under load. We expect to see a Pro-level impact driver in this class maintain a 400+ RPM. The DeWalt can hit this mark with a comfortable margin and has no trouble driving a 1/4″ screw, though it finishes in 11th place for this test.
You can expect to drive anything up through timber screws and smaller lags. I recommend getting your hands on an impact wrench if you’re going to drive anything larger than those.
Despite its adequate-but-forgettable performances in the speed test, the DCF887 gets its act together in the torque department. When we test for fastening torque, we expect to see these tools generating at least 1500 in-lbs of hard torque.
Most of these tools can swing that number, although we did find a few stragglers. The DeWalt performs closer to the high end of that spectrum, generating 2237 in-lbs of fastening torque and landing it in the 7th-place spot.
Cranking out a respectable 3000 in-lbs of nut-busting torque, the DCF887 finishes our testing tied for 6th place with 5 other models. A quick conversion brings that 3000 in-lbs to 250 ft-lbs – the same kind of power we see in compact impact wrenches.
Weight and Footprint
DeWalt’s impact driver does a pretty admirable job at staying light and compact. As a bare tool, it weighs in at 2.1 lbs, and the battery only adds a pound to the weight. This placed it in the 5th place spot for our shootout, with the top three places only marginally lighter.
One of the selling points of the DCF887 is that it is one of the more compact models on the market. Four years after it’s original launch, it’s still not bulky. After all, it’s still only 5.3″ long and 7.7″ tall. Impact drivers like Makita’s XDT16 have gotten so small and compact that DeWalt’s standing as one of the smallest drivers is no longer the case, finishing in 6th place.
Welcome to Loud Town, population, 2: you and the DeWalt DCF887. No lie, this thing can generate some serious noise. Granted, it isn’t the loudest we tested, but registering a 104 dB(A), it comes in just one decibel away from the top honors. Better get that hearing protection ready.
- Tool Connect (upgrade to the DCF888): DeWalt’s Tool Connect feature allows you to check battery status and tool diagnostics, customize your tool’s power settings, manage your inventory, and set security alerts. It’s easy to use and it adds another level of value to your impact driver. This feature is available on the DCF888, which is a carbon copy of the DCF887 with the smart controls.
- Three-speed settings with a precision mode: We like mechanical switches as opposed to blister buttons. They are more reliable and durable than their electric counterparts. The DCF887 has three-speed settings for customizing your speed and power. Plus, the first setting acts as a precision mode for delicate applications and finish work.
- One-handed bit loading: We appreciate the simple things in life, and one of those simple things is when we don’t have to set our tool down to change out bits. You can load a bit up without pulling the collet forward and it will use a spring to eject the bit when you do.
- Brushless motor
- 3 LED lights surrounding the chuck
- Made in the USA with global materials
The DeWalt DCF887, paired with one 2.0Ah slim pack battery and a charger, retails for $199 (DCF887D2). It comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, a 1-year free service agreement, and a 3-year limited warranty.
Against its performance, DeWalt lands the 5th spot in our table with 72 points, but that’s a little deceiving with some Prosumer models in the mix. Against the general Pro competition, its value score is 2nd behind only Ridgid.
Other Ways to Buy
The Elephant in the Room
If you’ve checked out our 18V shootout page, you know that Craftsman ranked one place higher than DeWalt and it’s not a typo. Consider the areas that we can test and quantify, though. We’re not engineers and we’ll never claim to be, so trying to attach a number to the quality of the parts between DeWalt and Craftsman would be guesswork on our part, so we leave it out of the scoring.
We expect DeWalt to have better build quality than any of the DIY/Prosumer brands and trust it to live a longer life on the job site than any of them.
The Bottom Line
Can the DeWalt DCF887 stand for an update? Sure, if DeWalt wants to chase bigger numbers. There’s no reason to shy away from this model and unless DeWalt has a major upgrade up their sleeves, we don’t see a reason to change it for something minor.
DeWalt’s 20V Max lineup runs deep, so if you’re looking for a new cordless platform to buy into, the DCF887, 888, or one of their combo kits is a great place to start.
DeWalt 20V Max Impact Driver Specs
- Model: DeWalt DCF887
- Power source: 20V
- No Load Speed: 0-1,000/ 2,800/ 3,250 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 0-240/ 1,500/1,825 IN-LBS
- Impact Rate: 3600 IPM
- Bare Weight: 2.1 lbs
- Weight with Battery: 3.1 lbs
- Length: 5.3″
- Height: 7.7″
- Warranty: 3 years limited