fbpx
April 15, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide

Connected tools are no longer just a Milwaukee thing. DeWalt is the second (and surely not the last) to push into the field of smart tools with user control and customization. But is using DeWalt Tool Connect as easy as they make it sound? And what can you actually do with it?


Those are great questions. I have three of the newly connected tools, a handful of connected batteries, and a Kyocera DuraForce Pro, so let’s see what kind of trouble we can stir up.

Also see our video review of DeWalt Connect.

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: What Can it Do?

Let’s start with what you can actually do using DeWalt Tool Connect. The three tools I have are the DCD797 compact hammer drill, DCD997 premium hammer drill, and DCF888 impact driver. I also have four Tool Connect 5.0 aH batteries to go along with them.

DeWalt Tool Connect Battery Function

Diagnostics Tab

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide
  • Battery Charge Status: You get the same 3 LED light indicator that you find on the battery. It would be great if it were precise enough to give you a charge percentage. It’s still nice to quickly check your packs to see which ones are ready to go and which ones David used but didn’t put on the charger.
  • Battery Temperature: The temperature displays in whole degrees Fahrenheit. For users outside the US, you should find it in Celcius.
  • Battery Enable/Disable: With a quick tap, you can disable the battery if it’s in range.
  • Last Seen: See the date and time the battery last connected to a DeWalt Tool Connect app is displayed by default. To view it on a map, you’ll need to login to the Tool Connect Inventory Manager.
  • First Pairing Date/Firmware Version/Hardware Version: All of this information is static on the home screen.
  • View Instruction Manual: If you’re in a bind, one tap takes you directly to the manual in the app. You can pinch to zoom and scroll around.
  • Lending Details: A quick glance if or to whom you have lent the battery

Actions Tab

  • Enable/Disable: Again, one tap can disable or enable the battery.
  • Disable if Out of Range: One tap will disable the battery if it leaves the range of your phone.
  • Lend: Allows you to set a date, time, and name of who you’re lending the battery to. You can also choose to get an alert at the end of the lending period. The battery shuts down at the time you select.
  • Unpair: If you need to relinquish ownership of your battery, unpair it to give the next owner control through Tool Connect.
Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide

Alerts Tab

You can turn on or off alerts for the following conditions:

  • Low Charge
  • Charge Complete
  • Out of Range
  • High Temperature
Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide

On all three tabs, there’s also a button to identify the battery. When you hit it, the battery will blink blue on its front indicator.

DeWalt Tool Connect Tool Function

Diagnostic Tab

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide
  • Battery Charge Status
  • Temperature
  • Enable/Disable
  • Last Seen
  • Version Data
  • Diagnostic Data
  • Instruction Manual
  • Lending Details

Most of the information here is identical to what you get with the batteries. The difference is your temperature is more subjective, using words like Excellent, rather than specific temperatures. Diagnostic Data gives you first pairing date, backup cell charge status, total runtime, trigger pulls, and last shutdown.

Actions Tab

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide
  • Enable/Disable
  • Disable if Out of Range
  • Lend
  • Unpair

Four of the settings in the actions tab are the same as the batteries when you’re using DeWalt Tool Connect for control. What most users are looking for is the Tool Settings menu. This takes you into the tool controls and is where you can customize your settings. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Four Modes: Home, 1, 2, and 3. Home is preset to maximum speed and LED light settings. 1, 2, and 3 are customizable.
  • Speed Control: Set the speed for each mode with a 50 RPM interval.
  • LED Brightness: Set the percentage of full LED light output with a 10% interval.
  • LED Delay: Set how long you want the LED light to stay on after you release the trigger from 0 – 60 seconds (5-second interval) or 0 – 20 minutes (1-minute interval).

With the speed settings, you’re just telling the tool what the top end is for a full trigger pull. You can see what it will be in gears 1, 2, and 3 on the premium hammer drill (or 1 and 2 on the compact) as you slide the bar along. Each mode on the impact driver ties to a mode button without having a separate gear switch.

What’s noticeably missing are torque settings. Since you’re essentially setting positive stops with each mode, you’re limiting your torque to where it is at the same RPM when you feather the trigger. Is this a deal breaker? No, but it is a key difference between DeWalt and Milwaukee.

Alerts Tab

  • Low Charge
  • Out of Range

You’re missing a couple of alert options in charge complete (no need for it) and high temperature. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’d like the high-temperature alert when I’m working on more power-hungry tasks. Realistically, the tool should shut itself off if it gets too hot, but I like having the option to be a bit more proactive.

Like the batteries, there’s an identify button on all three tabs. When you hit it, the mode lights will cycle blue. It works great for me as an individual, but tool crib managers might prefer it to trigger the tool’s LED lights instead.


Using DeWalt Tool Connect: The Definitive Guide

DeWalt Tool Connect Inventory Manager

It’s possible to write a book on using DeWalt Tool Connect Inventory Manager, so I’m just going to hit the highlights here.

  • Add any brand’s products to keep track of (no tracking data without the DeWalt Tool Connect Tag)
  • Location data down to a specific address set (map point is pretty accurate) with address, city, and zip code along with last seen date and time
  • Edit tool name, category, assignee, assignment end, product info (including purchase data), notes, and custom fields
  • Select as many or as few data categories as you want to see on the homepage
  • Create and divide tools into separate categories
  • Location creation to assign tools with address and mapping information
  • Create worker list to assign tools to with phone number for contact
  • Export list data report
  • Unpair tools
DeWalt Tool Connect Inventory Manager

For the individual user and smaller crews, the biggest benefit comes in the form of mapping data so you can see where your tools are or Tool Connect last connected to them. For larger construction firms, it can be a very helpful tool for crib managers to keep track of tools and maintenance schedules more efficiently.

Using DeWalt Tool Connect: How difficult is it?

The most challenging part of using Dewalt Tool Connect is actually connecting the tools. It took a few tries before I got the first one to connect with the app. I shut off the Bluetooth on my phone then turned it back on and they all connected very smoothly. This is not unusual for my phone, so it’s more than likely on its end than DeWalt’s. The app gives you easy instructions along the way so you know what to do. It’s really just a matter of taking the time to do it.

The only issue I ran into for control was the impact driver. I kept getting a message saying I couldn’t change the setting while it was in precision driving mode. After switching modes to home and restarting the app, we started getting along again. Each of the menu items is easy to see, find, and change in my opinion. So on a scale of 1–10 with 10 being easy as pie, I’d give Tool Connect an 8 for overall ease of use experience so far.

DeWalt Tool Connect Products

The original DeWalt Tool Connect batteries are still on the table along with the limits on their capability. However, new tools, connectors, and tags are joining the system to create this more comprehensive leap forward. We’ll take a look at each of the products in greater detail in the coming weeks, but until then, here’s the breakdown.

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Compact Hammerdrill

DCD797 hammer drill
  • DCD797B – $169 (bare)
  • DCD797D2 – $249 (kitted with two 2Ah batteries)
  • Chuck: 1/2 in.
  • Clutch settings: 13
  • Power: 460 UWO
  • Speeds: 3
  • Length: 7.4 in.
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs.

Key Features

  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your compact hammer drill was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Easily and quickly assign tools to jobsites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
  • Receive diagnostics on the tool like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
  • Set “Disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
  • Program 3 customized RPM settings for precise speed of application
  • Customize the brightness and delay of the integrated LED light
  • Integrated blue LED light indicates when your hammer drill is paired with your Tool Connect app
  • DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and comfort

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Compact Drill/Driver

DCD792 drill driver
  • DCD792B – $159 Bare
  • DCD792D2 – $239 (kitted with two 2Ah batteries)
  • Chuck: 1/2 in.
  • Clutch settings: 15
  • Power: 460 UWO
  • Speeds: 3
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.

Key Features

  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your compact drill/driver was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Easily and quickly assign tools to job sites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
  • Receive diagnostics on your compact drill/driver like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
  • Set “Disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
  • Program 3 customized RPM settings for precise speed of application
  • Customize the brightness and delay of the integrated LED light
  • DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and comfort

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Impact Driver

DCD888 impact driver
  • DCF888B – $159 (bare)
  • DCF888D2 – $229 (kitted with two 2Ah batteries)
  • DCF888P2BT – $339 (kitted with two 5Ah batteries)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Anvil :1/4 in. quick-release hex shank
  • Speed: 3250 RPM
  • Max torque: 1825 in-lbs
  • Length: 5.3 in.
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs

Key Features

  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your impact driver was last in range of your Tool Connect enabled device
  • Easily and quickly assign tools to jobsites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
  • Receive diagnostics on your impact driver like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
  • Set “Disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect™ app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
  • Customize your impact driver from your Tool Connect app, including speed and torque, the Precision Drive control feature and LED light brightness and delay
  • DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • Compact (5.3″ front to back), lightweight (2.8 lbs without battery) design fits into tight areas
  • Use Precision Drive in speed 1 for precise applications and added control
  • One-handed loading 1/4″ hex chuck with easy grip sleeve, accepts 1″ bit tips

DeWalt 20V MAX XR Tool Connect Hammerdrill

DCD997 hammer drill
  • DCD997B – $179 (bare)
  • DCD997P2BT – $369 (kitted with two 5Ah batteries)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Chuck: 1/2 in.
  • Clutch settings: 11
  • Power: 820 UWO
  • Speed: 0-2000 RPM
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Length: 7.9 in.
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.

Key Features

  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your premium hammer drill was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Easily and quickly assign tools to job sites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
  • Receive diagnostics on the tool like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
  • Set “Disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect™ app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
  • Program 3 customized RPM settings for precise speed of application
  • Customize the brightness and delay of the integrated LED light
  • Integrated blue LED light indicates when your hammer drill is paired with your Tool Connect app
  • DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and comfort

DeWalt Tool Connect Tag

DeWalt DCE041 Tool Connect tag
  • DCE041 – $29 (Single Tag)
  • DCE041-4 – $99 (Tag 4-Pack)
  • DCE041-10 – $199 (Tag 10-Pack)
  • DCE041-25 – $449 (Tag 25-Pack)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Battery life: 3 years
  • IP rating: IP68
  • Dimensions (HxL): 0.45 x 2.2 in.
  • Weight: 1.3 oz.

Key Features

  • Track any job site asset including large tools, pallets, material, heavy equipment, job boxes and more – regardless of brand, make or model
  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where the asset was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Increase job site asset security by getting out-of-range alerts sent right to your device, alerting you of possible theft or unauthorized use
  • Fast and simple pairing process that makes it easy to re-assign tags when needed. Just hold the Tag near your device and press the pair button for 3-5 seconds.
  • The Identify feature makes it easy to identify which Tag you are viewing on your app, ideal for a large site with hundreds of Tags
  • The Tag is designed to be small and inconspicuous so it can be easily hidden on tools and equipment and therefore helps prevent tampering.
  • IP68 rating means it’s dustproof and water-resistant and built to withstand job site conditions
  • Connects up to 100 ft of a Tool Connect-enabled device

DeWalt 20V MAX Tool Connect Connector

DeWalt DCE040 Bluetooth Tool battery connector
  • DCE040 adapter – $39
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Battery life: 3 years
  • Length: 2.2 in.
  • Weight: 4.1 oz.

Key Features

  • Connect your existing DEWALT 20V MAX tools
  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your connected tool was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Easily and quickly assign tools to job sites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager web portal increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
  • Set “Disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
  • Internal rechargeable coin cell battery
  • Blue LED indicator light that indicates pair mode and easily identifies the Connector, so you know which one you’re viewing in the app
  • The rechargeable internal coin cell battery will charge once a 20V MAX battery is inserted into the Connector
  • Can disable the tool if it is out of range of a device with the Tool Connect app, helping to deter theft

DeWalt Stackable Corded/Cordless LED Area Light with Tool Connect & Built-in Charger

DeWalt DCL070 DeWalt Tool Connect
  • DCL070 – $359
  • LED bulb
  • Lumens: 5001-10,000
  • Weight: 27 lbs.

Key Features

  • LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where the light was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
  • Remotely turn light on/off and program light with scheduled times using Tool Connect app
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button for 3-5 seconds
  • Compatible with any DEWALT 20V MAX or FLEXVOLT battery
  • AC outlets provide flexibility and convenience to daisy chain lights or power for corded tools
  • Stack lights for easy storage and convenience on the job
  • On-board charger with door lock option for security
  • Instant on/off with no warm-up, dimming as low as 500 lumens
  • Right and left sides can be used together or separately to illuminate specific areas

DeWalt Bluetooth Enabled 100 Foot Laser Distance Measure TLM99S

  • DW099S – $72, including (2) AAA Batteries
  • Additional info TBA

Related articles

What to Look for on a Pro Level Drill

No tool is more iconic of work around the jobsite or the home than a drill. If there’s work to be done, somewhere along the line it likely requires a hole made, a fastener driven, or a screw removed. If only the ancient Egyptians or Romans, who used drills of some fashion, could see how technology […]

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gareth Dixon

Liz Gribbin

1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x