Dewalt’s new 20V Max compact cordless drill (DCD780C2) is powerful enough to tackle most common drilling and driving tasks without being weighty and tiring to use. Dewalt designed this bad boy to be compact and lightweight, and it looks like they’ve done a great job.
Features & Specifications
Full specs are listed in our Dewalt 20V Max drill comparison, but here they are again in summary: 1/2″ ratcheting chuck, 0-600/0-2000 RPM, 350 UWO torque, 3.4 lb weight, includes 1.5Ah batteries.
There are only 16 clutch settings – 15+1 – and they seem to match well with the drill’s torque delivery. 20-24 settings would offer finer control, but there’s no real need for it here. We were actually surprised as to how smooth the clutch adjustment turns. The knob has rounded detents, which make it as easy to grip with a gloved hand as the bumpy knob on the 12V DCD710S2 drill we reviewed last year.
The ratcheting chuck locks beautifully with a satisfying click-click-click, and doesn’t loosen up at all, even when holding thinner drill bits. We were slightly concerned about how much we’d like the speed selection switch, but it toggles easily with a thumb or 1-2 fingers.
Rubber bumpers protect your work surface should you place the drill on its side, and a removable belt hook and bit holder can be fixed to the drill just above the battery. Also, the LED work light stays on for about 20 seconds after you release the trigger. This isn’t an earth-shattering feature, but it’s a thoughtful tweak.
Ergonomics & Comfort
If you recall, we gushed about the ergonomics of Dewalt’s 12V Max tools. The pistol-grip on the 20V Max drill is ever so slightly scaled up and lengthened, but it more or less retains the same great grip profile. The pistol grip is pushed further back on the drill than we’re used to, but if anything this improved the grip’s comfort and balance even further.
The drill/driver is balanced just right when paired with a 1.5Ah compact battery. It does not quite approach the lightness of a 12V drill, but it’s as light as we could ask for.
This is a compact drill, not a heavy-duty powerhouse. As such, it runs into a little trouble drilling very large holes and driving large/long lag bolts. Overload-current protection does not seem to be as sensitive as with other brands’ compact offerings, allowing us to push it a little bit further.
One thing that we definitely appreciated was the higher 2000 RPM capabilities of the motor since we often work with smaller drill bits. This leads to better performance and drill bit longevity.
We can’t find anything to complain about – the DCD780C2 is just a phenomenal compact drill kit. If we had to sum it up, we’d say that the drill is powerful enough for most medium-duty tasks and comfortable enough to use all day.
The compact drill/driver is best suited for DIYers and Pros looking for a compact 18-20V that can deliver more power than 12V models. It is not optimized for those looking for a heavy-duty drill-through-anything and drive-any-bolt model.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
The DCD780C2 kit comes with the drill, 2x 1.5Ah batteries, a quick charger, and carrying case. You can also find the DCD780 drill bundled in a 2-tool combo kit with the new 20V Max impact driver.
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the sample for this review unconditionally. Review samples are typically returned, donated, or in some cases retained for further testing or comparison purposes.