The first tool of Dewalt’s new 12V Max compact cordless tool lineup that we’ll be reviewing is the 3/8″ drill/driver DCD710S2. We already reviewed the handle and common features of the 12V Max lineup, so you may want to check that out before or after this one. As expected, the drill was a pleasure to use, and operates pretty darn well.
Specifications & Features
Here is a brief summary of the drill’s specs fromw hen we introduced it a few months ago:
- Compact and lightweight (2.4lbs)
- 2-speed transmission: 0-400 and 0-1500 RPM
- 15 clutch settings + drill mode
- 3/8″ single-sleeve chuck
- LED worklight
- Belt hook
- Ergonomic handle and flat-bottom battery
- Function, Build Quality & Features
Feel & Performance
If you’ve read our review of the new Dewalt 12V Max handle, you’ll know that we absolutely love it. It’s ergonomic, it’s comfortable, and it’s extremely well designed. The rest of the drill’s body is just as impressive.
Toggling the reverse switch and speed selection switch is quick and easy, with a very nice click as they’re set into place. I don’t quite like mushy-feeling buttons and switches, such as the one on Craftsman’s RAID. One thing to note is that the switches are somewha smaller than those on Bosch’s compact cordless drill/driver. This isn’t a criticism or downside, only an observation.
The 15+1 setting clutch is easy to adjust, and its raised bumps are a nice touch that improves how it feels through gloved hands. We’re a fan of ratcheting chucks, and this one is no different. The chuck is a single-sleeve ratcheting design that is quick to spin and hand-tighten. A “click-click-click-click” lets you know when the chuck is fully tightened and a bit held tight.
Size-wise, the drill is larger than some competitors’ models, but its slimmer handle and improved balance more than make up for this. When lined up and compared to Dewalt’s 18V compact lithium ion drill, the compact size of the 12V Max drill is highly noticeable.
Dewalt rates the power of its tools in UWO (unit watts out), and it should come as no surprise that the 12V Max drill can put out a little more than half the power of a full-size 18V drill. This ratio is comparable to other brands’ rated performance.
We tested the drill’s performance in a number of projects, drilling hard and soft woods, plastic, aluminum, and thin gauge steel. We tested the accuracy and repeatability of the clutch in several driving applications as well. One of these days we’ll setup benchmarking test protocols, but for the time being we prefer to test tools in real-life applications.
Overall, the performance of the tool is on par with other compact cordless tools we’ve tested before. One thing to note is that the 12V Max tools do have built-in sensors and circuitry to prevent damage to their batteries from over-temperature, over-current, and under-voltage conditions.
Dewalt appears to have designed these preventative measures in a different way than other companies have. It is our understanding that the 12V Max tool’s electronic switch will adjust subtly to avert potential damage whereas a competitor’s tool might shut off at the first sign of trouble or stalling, In some applications, it seemed that this made the Dewalt drill seem much more powerful than competing tools, but we have no way of knowing for certain.
Finally, the drill does have an LED light at its front, but as with most other drills, the chuck blocks a good portion of light from making it to the workpiece. There is no battery gauge, nor is there on-tool bit storage, but to be fair we found ourselves missing neither.
The 12V Max drill is a pleasure to use overhead and for extended periods, and as mentioned its ergonomics are quite marvelous. It packs a great deal of power for its size, and handles light to medium duty drilling and driving tasks with ease. We absolutely recommend it for jobsite use by electricians, installers, woodworkers, other tradesmen, and definitely for homeowners and DIYers of all levels as well. We loved it!
Dewalt bundles the 3/8″ drill as part of a standalone kit (DCD710S2) including two batteries, a charger and a soft bag for $159, and as part of a 2-tool kit (DCK211S2) that adds an impact driver to the kit for $40 more.
Dewalt 3/8” 12V Max Drill/Driver via Amazon
Dewalt 3/8″ Drill/Driver & Impact Driver Combo Kit DCK211S2 via Amazon
Product Info via Dewalt
The full product line is also available via CPO Outlets.
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the sample for this review unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or in some cases kept for further testing or benchmark and comparison purposes.