DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Review Tiling & Flooring Tool Reviews

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Unleashed


Cordless Nailers and Staplers

Build Quality
Ergonomics
Feature Set
Driving Performance
Value
Final Thoughts

Don't let the heavier weight of this cordless/hoseless stapler dissuade you - it works more quickly, cleanly, and conveniently than just about anything else you can find!

Overall Score 4.5 Pro Review

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A new wood floor brings remarkable beauty to a room but the installation can be literally back-breaking. It’s tough on the knees, too. Traditional flooring fastening tools don’t have a reputation for making the job easy. Most flooring nailers and staplers tether the installer to a hose and operate with a mallet and bumper. Other pneumatic designs omit the mallet-swinging but can still be cumbersome. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could cut the hose, increase installation speed (decrease the time stooped over), and get on to the next job? Well, DeWalt might just have a solution in the new DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler.

With battery and tool technology rapidly improving, we see a lot of world’s firsts. DeWalt’s new stapler looks like one of them as the first battery-powered flooring stapler. The tool is part of the company’s new offering including the 20V Max 15-Gauge Cordless Angled Finish Nailer and 20V Max 18-Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer. It’s not just the cordlessness that’s so interesting; it’s also the trigger design that we’re eager to see in action. If it works as advertised, we might have a new way to install wood floors! Let’s take a closer look.

Note: You’ll notice blue painter’s tape on the stapler’s head in some of the photos. This tape protected the tool from the adhesive we used in conjunction with the staples.

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Key Features

Motor and Battery

DeWalt’s 20V Max line now boasts over 100 tools. Its FlexVolt system is backward compatible with 20V Max tools, so you could slide a FlexVolt battery into the DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler for more runtime. If its battery technology gives it the chops to do the job, it will be liberating to leave behind those gas cartridges, compressors, and hoses.

Best DeWalt Tools at World of Concrete 2018

Regular readers will know that we like brushless motors for their longevity compared to brushed motors. They require less maintenance and allow for “smart” electronics – like protection from thermal damage. This DeWalt stapler might not be churning out the heat like a recip saw, but it’s still good to know the motor will outlast the older design.

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Review

Magazine and Fasteners

The DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler fires 18-gauge, 1/4-inch narrow crown staples from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ long. Its bottom-load magazine allows the user to refill the magazine without removing the tool from its firing position.

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Review

A tool-free depth adjustment quickly accommodates flooring thickness from 3/8- to 5/8-inch. In fact, DeWalt has emphasized the tool-free nature of the stapler, as you’ll see soon. Suffice it to say for now that you won’t need any extra tools to dial it in.

DeWalt 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Flooring Stapler

Paddle Trigger and Base

Perhaps the most promising feature besides the cordlessness is the tool-free selectable paddle trigger with sequential or rapid sequential modes. It’s has a long design that looks like it can be operated with more versatility than a traditional tool trigger, allowing the hand to be in more positions than just the pistol grip.

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Review

The stapler’s engagement with the wood’s tongue is easy to see with a high-visibility arrow.  In conjunction with the contact arm that’s optimized for flooring, that should make the firing position foolproof. There are also no-mar pads because scratching the floor as you install it defeats the whole purpose! The adjustable base is also tool-free.

DeWalt 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Flooring Stapler

Other Notable Features

Two LED work lights shine down on the fastening area from DeWalt’s base. This might be confusing if the tool is standing on its base until you realize its correct orientation! There’s also a tool-free stall release to quickly reset the driver blade in case the tool stalls. More on how the drive works in a moment. The whole package weighs in at 6.2 pounds.

Performance

That Was Fast

The tool feels rugged, with the tough tool plastic body in signature yellow with lots of rubber bumpers for added security. I admit I had some trepidation about the extra weight that comes as a trade-off for DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler’s hoseless-ness. But being free to roam about the job untethered by a hose and without the need for an air compressor is certainly worth a shot!

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Review

Well, any fear I had was quickly dispatched as I glided the stapler smoothly along the flooring. I opted for continuous fire mode (there’s also single actuation). By holding the conveniently long paddle trigger down, the stapler works as quickly as I can move. It was great. Because I wasn’t lifting the tool so much as sliding it, the heftiness was somewhat neutralized. I never had a misfire during the review.

Note: in single actuation mode, you’ll need to pull the nailer away from the board and reset it to fire the next staple.

There tends to be a firing delay in many cordless nailers on the market. While the motor does need to spin up at first, this stapler keeps up with nice, crisp shots rather than the sluggish delay you get with every trigger pull on some models.

Up Productivity Creek – With a Paddle (Trigger)

Every flooring Pro has experienced the pain-in-the neck situation of tongue blowout. That’s not when you make a funny face at someone. It’s what I call the damage that a fastener often inflicts a board’s tongue. (Hopefully) it’s needless to say that the groove of the next board and tongue of the last must fit smoothly and snugly. Well when you get a tongue blowout, the smooth, snug fit can’t happen. You have to spend precious time removing the splintered material for proper installation. What’s worse – that staple or fastener won’t actually hold down the board to the subfloor!

DeWalt 20V 18 Gauge Cordless Flooring Stapler

I’m happy to report that the DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler seems to eliminate this problem. It didn’t happen once – that is a huge improvement in productivity. So the tool is really has a productivity trifecta: cordless/hoseless, continuous fire, and elimination of blowout. At first, I thought the tool would be great for punch list stuff like a lot of cordless tools. But now I really think it’s capable of doing a better job than a traditional stapler at any time.

The battery life for the with the 4Ah battery was solid, too. It only took one recharge during several smaller jobs and one good-sized job.

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The Bottom Line

I am really impressed with the DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler. It has simple yet durable adjustments on the head, a precise depth gauge, and a good overall feel despite being heavier than a pneumatic stapler. The lights and actuation modes – single or continuous fire – are welcome extras that add a lot of usefulness to an already great tool. Continuous fire mode makes the job go much faster than pneumatic staplers. In full disclosure, I am a DeWalt guy, but that’s because I think they are typically great – and this is another quality product in the line!

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Features

  • World’s first battery-powered flooring stapler
  • Tool-free adjustable base accommodates flooring thicknesses from 3/8 to 5/8 inches
  • Paddle trigger provides easy use in multiple orientations
  • 100% battery powered. Eliminates the hassle of using gas, compressor, and hose
  • Brushless motor maximizes runtime and durability
  • High visibility tongue engagement for fast installation and non-marring profile tips to prevent floor scratches
  • Multi-functional lights help to provide both workspace illumination and tool diagnostics
  • Tool-free selectable trigger for sequential or rapid sequential actuation modes
  • Integrated tool-free stall release lever to quickly reset the driver blade in the event of a stall
  • Bottom Load magazine for easy loading and removal of jammed fasteners
  • Compatible with all DeWalt 20V Max batteries

DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Specifications

  • Item Numbers:
    • DeWalt DCN682B (Bare)
    • DeWalt DCN682M1 (Kit)
  • Base Adjustment: Tool-Free
  • Depth Adjustment: Tool-Free
  • Fastener Length: 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches
  • Fastener Type/Gauge: 18 Gauge, 1-4 inch Narrow Crown Staples
  • Firing/Actuation Mode: Tool Free Selectable Trigger
  • Jam Clearance: Tool-Free
  • Height: 12.2 inches
  • Length: 11.7 inches
  • Width: 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Trigger Type: Paddle Trigger
  • Prices:

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Our Take

If you’ve ever put in the effort of tongue and groove flooring installation, you know what a challenge it can be. Not only is your body in an uncomfortable posture – bent at the back, weight on your knees – for long periods of time, but then there’s the standing up and kneeling down again for trips to the saw for cutting pieces to length or for notching around doorways. The nailer or stapler is usually powered by a gas cartridge or a compressor and hose to which you must be tethered.

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Then you might have to contend with the inconsistency of the nailing angle and splitting of groove rails.  You could use a flooring nailer with a hammer for consistent angles, but that can be tiresome, especially for large jobs. DeWalt might just have a solution with the DeWalt 20V Max Flooring Stapler that just intuitively looks like it will make your flooring installation life a whole lot easier.

More than Just Cordless

DeWalt 20V Max Flooring StaplerYou’ll immediately notice the cordless nature of the tool – the first of its kind. Cutting the cord/hose is probably enough to convince most people that this stapler is superior to most. But there’s much more here. The stapler’s adjustable, non-marring base gives it an upside-down orientation when in use and ensures proper fastener angle every time. You can quickly slide the stapler down the groove and fire off fasteners quickly with the tool-free selectable trigger for sequential or rapid sequential actuation. To add to the potential speed, molded to the traditional trigger is a paddle trigger which allows the user to sink staples just as fast as the motor will cycle.

In addition to all that good stuff is a brushless motor which extends tool and battery life, work lights, and a bottom load magazine. We have a feeling that the DeWalt 20V Max Flooring Stapler is a big leap forward for flooring installation. It might not eliminate the bent-over and kneeling posture required, but it certainly looks like it will significantly cut down on the time you have to be in it.

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DeWalt 20V Max Flooring Stapler Features

  • World’s first battery-powered flooring stapler
  • Tool-free adjustable base accommodates flooring thicknesses from 3/8- to 5/8-inch
  • Paddle trigger provides easy use in multiple orientations
  • 100% battery powered. Eliminates the hassle of using gas, compressor, and hose
  • Brushless motor maximizes runtime and durability
  • High visibility tongue engagement for fast installation and non-marring profile tips to prevent floor scratches
  • Multi-functional lights help to provide both workspace illumination and tool diagnostics
  • Tool-free selectable trigger for sequential or rapid sequential actuation modes
  • Integrated tool-free stall release lever to quickly reset the driver blade in the event of a stall
  • Bottom Load magazine for easy loading and removal of jammed fasteners

DeWalt 20V Max Flooring Stapler Specifications

  • Model Numbers: DeWalt DCN682B (Bare), DeWalt DCN682M1 (Kit)
  • Adjustable Base: Tool Free
  • Depth Adjustment: Tool Free
  • Fastener Length:  1/2- t0 1-1/2-inch
  • Fastener Type/Gauge:  18 GA 1/4-inch Narrow Crown Staples
  • Jam Clearance: Tool Free
  • Height: 12.2 Inches
  • Length: 11.7 Inches
  • Weight: 6.2 Pounds
  • Width: 3.7 Inches 3.7 IN
  • Trigger: Paddle
  • Prices: $319 (Bare), $399 (Kit)

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5 Comments on "DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Flooring Stapler Unleashed"

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Mike Rhum
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I wonder if it could be made to work for ¾” thick traditional tongue-and-groove flooring by shimming up the base. This is normally laid directly on the joists and fastened with 8d (2½”) nails. Anyone have any experience trying this?

Scott Dennison
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Scott

Derrek Van Klein
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Ben Larson

Luke T.
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I recently bought the 16 gauge nailer for re-finishing my basement. It made base board/window casing install a breeze. I love the hose free usage. The few times I am going to use it a year makes it nice and easy to store without having to purchase a compressor and deal with the noise. My wife (7 months) pregnant literally slept on the floor above me while I trimmed out the basement!