Dewalt has come out with the DCV517, a new 20V Max cordless hand vac. It’s heavily based on the 18V model, DC515, but with a few improvements.
Dewalt has come out with larger cordless vacuums a while ago, including the dual 20V Max and corded DCV581h that we reviewed, and I thought that maybe they had abandoned this form factor. I’m glad that they didn’t!
The new Dewalt DCV517 cordless vacuum is small, but versatile.
- 1/2 gallon capacity
- Gore HEPA filter is rinsable, reusable
- Flexible hose attachment, 2.5′ extendable to 5′
- Membrane filter allows for wet or dry pickup
- Gripped handle for comfort
- Built-in “gulper” nozzle
GORE is the same company that makes Cleanstream HEPA filters for shop vacuums.
Dewalt says that the new vac boasts improvements compared to the 18V model, such as significantly longer runtime, as well airflow and seal pressure, leading to ideal vacuum performance through high power and strong suction.
The press release was actually a little vaguely specific about how it described these specs:
This increased battery capacity will lead the DCV517’s improved performance on key vacuum specifications. Two critical specifications for rating vacuum performance are airflow and seal pressure. A balanced combination of high CFM and seal pressure ratings provides ideal vacuum performance through high power and strong suction. The new DCV517 exhibits a best-in-class seal pressure rating and high airflow rating.
I’m interpreting this to mean better seal pressure and air flow for higher power and stronger suction. Did you come to a different understanding?
Not that improved runtime, thanks to higher capacity Li-ion batteries, isn’t enough. But high power and strong suction are also good to hear.
Price: $79 for the bare vac, $179 as a kit
ETA: Very Soon
There will also be a Universal AirLock adapter, DWV9000, that allows the Dewalt DCV517 vac to work with standard Dewalt vacuum accessories.
My Dewalt DC515 vacuum is my last 18V NiCd tool still in use. Everything else I use is powered by Li-ion battery packs. I have since mostly used the Dewalt DCV581H for quick cleanup tasks, mainly when I don’t want or need a full-size corded vacuum.
The form factor of the DC515, and now the new 20V Max DCV517, lends itself well to jobsite and workshop use. It’s compact and portable, and has enough pickup power and capacity to make it useful.
Swing the whole thing around, making use of the built-in wide nozzle, or separate the hose for when you need more precise suction or greater reach.
The price is reasonable, especially if you already bought into the Dewalt 20V Max lineup.
Dewalt’s claim of best-in-class seal pressure rating and high airflow rating compare this vac to several 18V-sized models, as well as Bosch and Milwaukee 12V-sized models. I don’t know if that’s entirely fair, since the Bosch 12V Max and Milwaukee M12 are smaller, lighter, and designed for different kinds of uses.
I would use one of those 12V-sized vacs for minor cleanup tasks, and this new DCV517 vac for drilling, cutting, or cleanup operations. Speaking of which, I really wish Dewalt would come out with a 12V Max sized vac. Even better if it also came with a HEPA filter.
I really think that this will end up being a Dewalt 20V Max must-have. Can you tell that I’m optimistic?
Having small shop space means that I often do tool reviews in the same space where I do my photography, and even writeup tool preview and review drafts. I’m not going to pull out a shop vacuum or dust extractor for a little bit of sawdust, small pile of chips, or other tool-created dust and debris.
The new DCV517 HEPA vac stands a good chance at becoming my favorite portable cordless hand vac.
Can you think of any potential downsides that my glee might be blinding me to?
Also check out our Dewalt DCV581H review, which would be better for larger cleanup tasks.
is it really better than the old one? I’m curious. could you use the old one with the new Lipo adapter they came out with?
Otherwise I like the idea as I did buy into the dewalt battery system.
At $79 for the bare kit, it will be on my list too! I debated buying the larger 20v one but my experience with the Milwaukee M12 vac made me put it off. If you have the 18v one and are happy with it, I’m willing to give it a go for the DCV517.
The Milwaukee M12 vac is so underpowered that it makes me sad.
After dumping my DeWalt 18v tools on Craigslist 3 years ago and switching to Milwaukee, this is the one tool I miss (well, the 18v version of it). I agree with John Blair – the Milwaukee M12 vacuum is underpowered. If Milwaukee came out with something similar in the same price range, I’d be all over it.
Milwaukee does have a display at my local home depot for their 18v vac if you’ve seen this one. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Wet-Dry-Vacuum-Tool-Only-0880-20/202043806
Yeah, I have this one, and it’s great, albeit not very compact. Once I had DeWalt’s 1/2 gallon model (similar size to the Milwaukee M12 vacuum), the 2 gallon model never saw the inside of my work van again.
One word: Woo-hoo! (or is that two words?)
Is the new hepa able to fit the old 18v vacuum?
I suppose the only shortcoming is “no brushless motor”, but I dont’ think that will put me off of this puppy. For $79 bucks, I’m in. Maybe even for the kit, depending on what battery it comes with….
The hose is nice but anytime you use this you’d have bend over or be on the ground.
mike aka Fazzman
This looks nice,good for all sorts of stuff around the house and shop chores.
Give me the Makita backpack vac over this thing any day. This form factor is the worst of all worlds.
Coming to market a bit late. I have had a B&D l-ion (two actually) for over a year. They are light weight yet could likely suck the chrome off my trailer hitch – if I had a trailer hitch.
But doesn’t the B&D 20V Max vacuum have it’s own, non-replaceable battery, built in? i.e. It is not part of the B&D 20V Max family that uses the replaceable 20V Max batteries. Yes, no, maybe???
Forget the USA models. The 18v makita DVC350 vac/blower is the best. With two suction modes; a easy empty bag; a carry strap; and a nice long hose with two adapters to connect to a sander, saw, or whatever.
While the dcv350 is a great little unit (I purchased one from Canada) and works well in its niche, there are a couple of issues that set it apart here. Not HEPA (minor issue for me), and three(?) times the cost of this Dewalt unit (not so minor). The ability to use as a blower does help its case however, and works well in a pinch around the shop in that role.
Is this as screaming loud as the 18v unit?
MtnRanch – I have the same question about these vacs. The only decibel info I could find on Dewalt’s web site was on the DC500, which is the larger 2 gallon 12v/18v corded unit. The info is in the Q&A section under this tool where it states 77.5 db.
Stuart, maybe you could break out that Sears decibel meter and give us some feedback.
Oops – maybe when you get a copy of said vac to test.
I had one of the Nicad models – it was the most piercingly loud little vac I’ve ever used. You’d literally go deaf using it in a cabinet…
Great form factor though. I’m a Makita user now, but I’d buy one like this in a heartbeat if they made one. That UK model listed above looks much more clutzy for quick pickup uses. You’re only option is to use and have the long hose to deal with. The Dewalt style can be used one-handed.
Mine has almost completely stopped working. Very faint suction — and that’s with a fully charged battery pack and having just thoroughly rinsed/cleaned the filter. I even tested it w/o the filter in there at all (just against the back of my hand) and I could barely feel any suction. This is after about a day of pretty heavy drywall dust cleanup. This really sucks (or doesn’t suck I mean). Any ideas?
Silly question, but have you checked for a clog in the nozzle or hose? I’ve blocked up the hose on my test unit before.
I did thoroughly clean the hose and nozzle, yeah. Also knocked the whole unit around (gently) to loosen up anything stuck in there. Maybe I need to do a more thorough cleaning, though I seem to recall the owners manual warning against the use of compressed air to clean the parts….
Did you try a second fresh battery pack?
Sorry, I’ve got nothing aside from the obvious culprits.