Dewalt’s 20V Max DCD771C2 drill/driver kit appeared last year during the 2013 Black Friday and holiday season, and popped again into the spotlight for Father’s Day. It’s the new “special buy” drill that’s marketed towards budget-minded users and gift-givers.
We have already seen the DCD771 featured in Sears’ Black Friday 2014 sales flyer, and it’s a safe bet to assume that it will be promoted as part of Home Depot and Lowes’ sales as well.
A new 2-piece combo will be on sale at Lowes for Black Friday, and is part of a ToughSystem bundle at Home Depot, but there’s something magical about a $99 or $100 drill/driver kit that holiday shoppers tend to flock to.
So is the Dewalt 20V DCD771 a good deal?
Yes, and no.
Yes, because it’s an easy out for gift-givers, holiday shoppers, and casual DIYers who don’t want to spend more than a couple of minutes picking out a capable drill/driver. Yes, there are definitely better cordless drill kit options out there, but pickings are slimmer at the $100 price point.
I’m willing to bet that Bosch’s newest basic cordless drill kit, DDB181 will be positioned head-to-head with the Dewalt this year. There’s also a $99 compact Makita drill kit that’s currently on sale for the holidays. I wouldn’t be surprised, and am in fact expecting, to see a Milwaukee 1-battery drill kit or Ridgid 2-battery kit this year.
I didn’t do a roundup last year, but take a look at the list of drill/drivers that were $100 or less during the 2012 holiday season. Many of those links no longer function because the models were “special buys.”
So why is this NOT a good deal? While worth the money, it’s not a good deal for users who will call on the drill frequently for drilling and driving tasks. In my opinion, there are too many compromises.
Compared to the 20V Max DCD780 drill, Dewalt’s “regular” compact drill model, the DCD771 is:
- Longer (8.7″ vs. 7.5″)
- Heavier (3.6 lbs vs 3.4 lbs)
- Weaker (300 UWO vs. 350 UWO)
- Slower (0-450/0-1500 RPM vs. 0-600/0-2000 RPM)
- Bundled with lower capacity batteries (1.3Ah batteries vs. 1.5Ah)
- Bundled with a slower charger (60 mins vs. 30 mins)
- Bundled with a contractor bag instead of a hard plastic case
- No belt clip, but there are mounting locations if you have one from a separate tool
On the bright side, it does feature a ratcheting single-sleeve chuck and LED worklight. Plus, the kit comes with Li-ion battery packs, albeit lower capacity ones, which makes this a better option than any NiCd kit.
But all of these compromises add up, and make the Dewalt DCD771 drill a lesser choice for hobbyists, DIYers, homeowners, and professionals who would use the drill more than once in a blue moon. Heavier users could use this drill/driver, but will be better served with a different model.
Don’t let me discourage you – the DCD771 is definitely worth the money. It’s designed to sell at the $100 price point, and delivers great value for what you pay.