A reader emailed in, asking about the possibility of Dewalt coming out with 20V Max brushless versions of their premium drill and hammer drill.
I’ve been thinking about picking up the DeWalt 20v compact brushless hammer drill (DCD795D2). However I’d rather have a brushless version of their premium hammer drill (DCD895). Do you foresee them making one like that in the near future? It isn’t something I need to buy today or tomorrow as I have an older 18v model I can use. However I don’t want to sit around and wait forever for a model that may not come out.
This is actually a very common question.
When is Dewalt coming out with a brushless premium drill?
When is Dewalt coming out with a brushless heavy duty cordless hammer drill?
When is Dewalt expanding their brushless line with cordless saws, premium drills, and heavy duty drivers?
It also seems that some Dewalt users are thinking of switching over to Milwaukee.
Javier recently wrote in:
I have the 20v max tools from dewalt. A premium hammer drill and the original impact driver. I think these tools are great but milwaukee seems to have tons of innovation lately and I’ve been wanting brushless tools. I’m thinking of selling my dewalt 20v tools and buying the milwaukee m18 fuel hammer drill and fuel impact driver. I’m also interested in their new fuel tools like the circular saw. What do you think about me switching? Do you know if dewalt is coming soon with comparable brushless tools like a premium brushless hammer drill or brushless circular saw. Should I wait and stay with dewalt? I currently have the 3.0 xc packs and if I switch to milwaukee I would be starting out with 4.0 xc packs, that plus brushless should be a huge difference in run time.
Tools That Are Out Now or Coming Soon
Dewalt currently offers several cordless brushless tools: premium brushless impact driver, budget impact driver, compact drill/driver, and a compact hammer drill. They are coming out with a brushless framing nailer and a new rotary hammer that several sources described as being brushless.
Other brands are pushing the brushless envelope further, such as Makita with their automatic down-shifting impact driver. Expect to see new brushless drills and drivers from other brands this Fall.
Dewalt’s Brushless Emphasis is on Runtime
With their premium cordless drill and hammer drill, the emphasis seems to be more on power and the 3-speed gearbox. New premium kits recently came out, pairing the tools with Dewalt’s new 4.0Ah battery packs. This should provide a 33% boost in runtime, compared to kits with 3.0Ah battery packs.
Strategy and Marketing
Dewalt’s premium cordless drills are large and heavy, but they offer features that other brands’ offerings – even brushless ones – lack, namely 3 speed ranges.
Current 20V Max premium drill users who want more runtime are probably more likely to upgrade to a higher capacity battery than to upgrade their still-relatively-new tools.
18V premium drill users will still see a runtime advantage if they upgrade to one of the new 20V Max 4.0Ah premium drill kits.
Dewalt is most certainly exploring ideas about how to best develop a brushless premium cordless drill/driver. I would even bet that prototypes have been developed and are currently being tested.
“Brushless” is a very hot buzzword right now, and that won’t change anytime soon. If Dewalt does not eventually release brushless versions of their premium drill/driver and hammer drill, they potentially stand to lose market share to Milwaukee and other brands.
Although, they probably already are losing market share to Milwaukee. Ignoring whether you already bought into either brand’s battery platform already, would you rather use Milwaukee’s brushless drill/driver that is smaller, lighter, very powerful, and long-lasting, or Dewalt’s brushed premium drill/driver that is bulkier, heavier, very powerful, and with its 3 speed settings?
Head-to-head, Milwaukee’s Fuel drills seem more appealing, except for the 2- vs. 3-speed gearbox.
That all said, I do not think Dewalt is planning to release a brushless premium cordless drill/driver or hammer drill in the very near future, or even in the next 4-6 months. But in my opinion, it’s definitely on the way.
A while back I posted about how Dewalt and other brands were slinging mud against each other through YouTube videos. Dewalt tried to show with chuck-to-chuck testing, speed of application testing, and cement mixer durability testing (yes, seriously) that their premium brushed motor cordless drill driver holds up well against Milwaukee’s brushless model.
One of the takeaways from Dewalt’s videos was the idea that their premium drills don’t need brushless motors in order to be competitive. Interestingly, those videos have been taken down and marked as “private.”
The reality is that brushless premium drills are coming. They have to be. Brushless is too big of an influential marketing keyword for brands to ignore.
Milwaukee pushed the boundary, and Dewalt and other brands will have to respond accordingly. That’s just how it is. Otherwise their brushed-motor cordless tools will look stale and outdated to users accustomed to be seeing heavy marketing that lauds the benefit of brushless motors.
For instance, Dewalt has been advertising their compact brushless drills as EXTREME RUNTIME!! with up to 57% more runtime. Marketing like this has users thinking brushless = best and brushed = not the best.
To Wait or Not to Wait?
I have discussed this before, but there will always be better tools on the horizon. If you must have a brushless heavy duty cordless drill, go with Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel. Personally, I wouldn’t wait for Dewalt to come out with a brushless version of their premium drills. There’s no telling when the tools will be released – assuming they’re even in active development right now – and even then availability might be questionable.
That all said, Dewalt’s premium drills are very well built and highly capable. They could be improved in regard to size, weight and runtime, which are all aspects where a brushless motor upgrade might be able to help.
Why Wouldn’t We See A Brushless Version?
There could be challenges in improving runtime, as well as reducing tool size and weight, without diminishing peak power output. Cost is another potential issue. There wouldn’t be much benefit if Dewalt couldn’t produce a brushless heavy duty drill without doubling retail prices.