Dewalt has come out with a new 20V Max “Power Detect” cordless hammer drill kit, DCD998W1. As with the new Dewalt Power Detect reciprocating saw, the new drill is said to deliver maximized performance when powered with a high-capacity XR battery.
Dewalt says that the new DCD998 cordless hammer drill will deliver “up to 29% more power” than their “standard XR drill.”
The DCD998 features a brushless motor, 3 speed gearbox, and 3-mode LED worklight.
Lowe’s specs say that it delivers 1072 in-lbs of max torque.
The kit, DCD998W1, comes with the hammer drill and auxiliary handle, an 8Ah battery, fast charger, and tool bag.
Buy Now via Lowe’s
Compare: DCD996 Kit via Amazon
Compare: Combo Kit via Amazon
We have a lot of questions about Dewalt’s new “Power Detect” technology.
First, are these tools exclusive to Lowe’s for the launch, or is this a long-term arrangement?
Will they work with lower capacity Dewalt 20V Max batteries? They presumably do, but what happens to the tool’s performance compared to when they’re used with higher capacity batteries?
Which higher capacity batteries deliver maximized performance? 6Ah? Only the 8Ah that’s bundled in the kit? What about FlexVolt batteries in 6Ah, 9Ah, 12Ah capacities?
Dewalt has told us that they cannot share any details or answer any questions at this time, and that more information will be available in a couple of weeks.
Overall, this seems like a good idea, or at least a reasonable one. Dewalt’s Power Detect tech seems to mirror what Milwaukee has done with their higher-performance M18 Fuel cordless power tools and High Output Li-ion batteries, and what Bosch is doing with their Core18V “BiTurbo” batteries and tools.
Shown here is the Dewalt DCD996 brushless drill. To my eyes, the new DCD998 looks identical on the outside. It seems to me that the only differences are perhaps tied to the motor and control electronics, but there might be other differences.
Dewalt recently updated several FlexVolt cordless power tools, making them more powerful, and so it seems that’s what they did here to create the new 20V Max Power Detect DCD998 hammer drill, the new DCS368 reciprocating saw, and also a new DCS574 circular saw that we haven’t posted about yet.
I wondered if these new Power Detect tools, which squeeze more performance out of higher capacity 20V Max batteries, contradicts Dewalt’s reasoning for developing their FlexVolt line of higher voltage and more efficient cordless power tools. Seeing as how the Power Detect lineup only includes 3 tools so far, there’s not much overlap with the FlexVolt line, and so I don’t see it as a reversal. This is simply a different and perhaps complementary approach.
Next, I’m wondering about how far Dewalt will develop or expand their Power Detect line of super-powered 20V Max cordless power tools. Perhaps we’ll see an angle grinder? Joist drill? Cordless air compressor? This new Power Detect drill looks to borrow very heavily from their 3-speed 20V Max hammer drill, while the reciprocating saw looks to borrow very heavily from their FlexVolt reciprocating saw. So will Power Detect be a hybrid 20V Max product family that takes elements from both 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tool lines?
Lowe’s description says that this drill, when equipped with an 8Ah battery, delivers up to 29% more power and 60% longer runtime, compared to Dewalt’s DCD996 brushless hammer drill when equipped with a 5Ah battery.
“Up to 29% more power” sounds good for anyone who has felt the DCD996 to be lacking in power.
It’s unclear as to whether there will be a bare tool version of the drill, and if or when Power Detect tools will be available beyond Lowe’s.
I wonder if there’s been an improvement in the cells themselves or if they just have more “smarts” in the battery (draw until too hot or something).
Change is gonna be in the tool motor, not the batteries. Unless they’re doing something even newer than the 21700.
They should explain this better before someone assumes this means it’ll shut off when you try to drill through a hot wire.
exactly my first thought
It is explained right in the description of the tools on the Lowe’s website and here in the description.
Anyone else see the elephant in the room? UWO is not listed but actually in-lbs???
Supposedly, but Lowe’s could have given the wrong units to UWO. It’s not notable until in-lbs specs are clearly shown in multiple sources.
That’s according to Lowe’s spec page though. Not official from DeWalt, it could be a typo. The 1,072 number is likely close though, since the DCD996 was rated at 95Nm (~840in-lbs), and since the new drill is 29% more powerful, 29% more than 840in-lbs = 1,083.6in-lbs
However…. that number is also close to a potential UWO rating. DCD996 was rated at 820UWO and 29% more than 820UWO = 1,057.8UWO
So who knows. Either way, the numbers really never tell the whole story anyways.
Joe The Jerk
Inch-pounds? There’s your typo, unless Lowe’s is categorically stating that this drill has the same torque as a 3-banger Suzuki Swift (jokes welcome).
1072 / 12 = 89.333
That’s certainly meant to be inch-ounces, which becomes a more reasonable 5.583 foot-pounds (pounds-feet for the true nerdo-grouches).
He’s right, you’re wrong.
Cordless drills are almost always spec’ed with respect to inch-pound units. This is not the first cordless drill to be rated as being able to deliver more than 1000 in-lbs of max torque.
You’re correct, Stuart. The idea of a 5.583 ft-lb drill is crazy.
One thing I’ll point out is that the numbers don’t tell the entire story. Most of my guys (including me) are dewalt guys, but I had 2 makita guys for quite a while. I bought a Makita XPH07 (xph481 in canada) for one of them, rated at 1092 inch-pounds.
We couldn’t wait to try it out with those numbers, but were really surprised that our dewalt 995’s consistently out-powered it. I found out that this is because dewalt is WAY less conservative on their overcurrent cutout profile, so the drill will grunt when other brands shut off to protect their motors. I haven’t had a brushless one wear out yet though drilling literally 10s of thousands of 7/8 holes in studs wiring hotels (cross fingers).
The milwaukee 2704, rated at 1200 inch pounds destroyed our 995s, but then we caught back up with the 996s.
I simply can’t imagine how powerful the 998 is.
Seems like it is just the next generation of XR tools. Since battery tech has advanced, might as well make tools that can utilize those advancements. As they develop the next gen of XR tools, like a new grinder or 1/2″ impact wrench, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t design it with this Power Detect option. I don’t see every new 20V being designed around it though. Compact and low demand tools wouldn’t benefit nearly as much.
And FlexVolt will still be the highest end tools, but they too will probably be pushed even further. With the exception of the 3 recently updated tools (DCS578 Circular Saw, DCG418 Angle Grinder, DCS389 Reciprocating Saw), most if not all FlexVolt tools were also designed around 18650 battery tech. Just as they redesigned those three core tools to take advantage of new battery tech (if you read the fine print they only get more power when paired with the 9Ah/12Ah batteries vs the 6Ah battery, just like this Power Detect), new FlexVolt tools can be pushed further.
IMO, Dewalt is putting in place two different strategies. One for the people who don’t mind having more than one battery line. These folks can choose a 12v tool when they need something compact, 20v when they need normal performances and 60 when they need something heavy duty.
Now some people prefer to stay on the 20v line and that’s probably the users Dewalt is targeting with their atomic subcompact line and this new power detect line. You can have some of the benefits of the other lines without needing to buy new batteries.
Agreed. That’s how a lot of their competitors should operate; although Dewalt’s newer 12V line is woefully inadequate at the moment. Instead it tends to just be multiple battery lines. Metabo HPT seems to be doing something similar as Dewalt. Makita would have you double up on 18Vx2 for higher output but who knows how long that will even last with their new 40V line coming out.
I don’t see how this is anything but good news – maybe if this is step one in Dewalt giving up on Flexvolt? Otherwise it’s just Dewalt making better tools because the battery tech allows it. Best case scenario Dewalt can also keep similarly improving the Flexvolt line.
I could see it undercutting Flexvolt sales perhaps if the spec ends up similar but you don’t have to buy a special battery.
I think it’s interesting since Milwaukee’s HO and Dewalt Flexvolt are usually juxtaposed as different solutions to the same battery power ceiling, but this move seems like Dewalt is open to using both approaches concurrently.
They aren’t giving up on flexvolt it’s heavy duty options for certain tools that need more power, you can make a 20/18v as powerful as a 60v but the motor is going to have to work harder more likely overheat quicker and giving you less runtimes, just look at the chainsaws both equally capable but when used constantly the Milwaukee will overheat the batteries quicker
Seems pretty straight forward. Improving the 20v’s with a common trend these days of using new battery capabilities as the base line. I don’t see improving the 20v line would be indicative of anything regarding the 60v, unless they started actively advertising those comparisons, which would make zero sense.
Another good point the power detect thing is quite misleading. I had a thought yesterday that the recip saw would sense when it was inches from a power line.
which honeslty would be a handy feature for some users.
Steve-O in NY
Maybe these power detect tools are capable of drawing power faster from the new 21700 cells, and that is what makes the difference. The kit includes an 8ah, but there is also a 6, 4, 3 and all the Flexvolt batteries that use those cells, if I recall correctly.
Ryobi has done something similar for a couple years with their HP batteries (available in 3 AHr, 6 AHr, and 9 AHr). They have a third contact, and are supposed to provide newer Ryobi brushless tools with higher performance. (I have a set of the 3 AHr batteries, but no Ryobi brushless tools yet).
I was going to make that comment earlier but I didn’t have the time to sit and type. I have the 9 and 3 ah batteries that have the extra terminals and one 4 ah that does not. The only brushless tool I have so far is the stick-vac that it a very good light duty cleaning tool for the house. I don’t need anymore power tools at the moment (gasp!) but as soon as I do, it’ll be a brushless model to take advantage of the extra power output of the HP+ batteries. When I first read this about Dewalt all I could think of is welcome to the world of TTI batteries.
I’m actually more intrigued by the metal auxiliary handle ?
But that sure seems like a nice drill. To bad I don’t need it?
I really hope they make a brushless blade left 6 1/2″ circular saw, or better yet, a flexvolt 7 1/4 blade left sidewinder.
The DCS577 is a sidewinder, but with the battery between the motor and handle instead of hanging off the bottom of the handle. As a result it has layout somewhat like a worm drive I guess.
I have the dcs577 rear handle saw, and it’s great, but not for 2×4 framing. Too heavy and awkward. I’m talking about a true sidewinder like the dcs575. Way more balance for one handed cutting. Every contractor I know loves the blade left saws. Why is Ryobi the only company I know that makes a cordless blade left 7 1/4 SW?
Does this 998 incorporate Tool Connect? If not can we assume there is a DCD999 on the way with Tool Connect and Power Detect?
If performance without the high capacity battery is equal to the DCD996 then the 996 will be discontinued?
Your assumption was half right. There is a DCD999 drill coming out, but it is not Power Detect and it is not exactly Tool Connect per se. The new DCD999 is something different they call FLEXVOLT Advantage. Very similar to Power Detect, but is centered around FLEXVOLT batteries. It actually is a bit more powerful than the Power Detect model at 1219UWO vs 1050UWO. It also looks slightly different than the DCD996/997/998.
As for its Tool Connect ability, it is:
“Tool Connect Chip Ready: Chip pocket accepts Tool Connect Chip DCE042 and connects with Tool Connect Site Manager app for easy asset management on the jobsite. (DCE042 sold separately)”
All of the new FLEXVOLT Advantage tools seem to have this Tool Connect pocket, allowing the user to choose if they want it be a Tool Connect version, based on needs. See the full lineup:
Im sick of dewalt putting out the same tools like they’re doing with atomic and 12v recip saw. I want something new. I am willing to spend money but there’s nothing worth spending it on. I want fresh designs and different tools. Don’t just put a sticker on a old drill and call it new and charge more.
Okay so if 1072 in-lbs is 29% higher than the current model than the current model has an output around 831 in-lbs which is not very good. Then again those are just numbers and they seem to be arbitrary and they have always seemed to perform decent against the competition. Oh and having to plug in an 8Ah battery seems like overkill and will probably be quite awkward and unbalanced with that big battery hanging off of it. I’m not in the DeWalt battery Platform so for me this just seems to muddy the waters even more, how many versions are there of these units 20V Max, FlexVolt, Power detect, etc. With Milwaukee you have M18 Fuel and regular M18 so it’s not hard to distinguish between the higher end stuff, at least it seems confusing for me but again I
m not completely familiar with the various lines DeWalt now offers though it does seem a bit confusing, especially for the customer who is getting into it.
Milwaukee still has 5 current drills. More if you add in previous gens that are sold alongside new gens for a while
Using both Milwaukee and DeWalt, neither is confusing to me. However, I know little about Bosch’s or Makita’s offereings.
Milwaukee seems pretty simple as the link shows, 3 drills and 2 hammer drills pretty simple. Top of the Line are the “Fuel” versions.
Is there such a map for DeWalt? Not saying it isn’t simple I just don’t keep up so I’m unfamiliar.
Dewalt’s drill and hammer drill lineup is a bit messier, but still manageable to sort through.
You have their holiday season and combo kit special buy DCD771, the DCD777 brushless drill, DCD778 hammer drill, Atomic drill DCD708, Atomic hammer drill DCD709, their 1st generation drill/driver DCD780, their current generation brushless drill DCD791, hammer drill DCD796, premium 3-speed drill DCD991, 3-speed hammer drill DCD996, Tool Connect versions of some of these drills, and also the new DCD998.
So that makes 11 models of 20V Max drills, not including any 18V drills that are still being made and sold.
There’s 20v, Flexvolt, and 12v, that’s it. This new power detect is still 20v, atomic is tiny 20v, XR is still 20v. Milwaukee has fuel, non-fuel, fuel hd, fuel hdho, but they’re all 18v, right? Flexvolt is its own thing. Fuel MX is Milwaukee’s own thing apart from 18v fuel. I don’t think anyone is confused by any brands 12v. Seems more like poking a brand, than actually being confused by nothing complicated.
Not poking just not familiar with the options available from DeWalt, Not sure you are very familiar with Milwaukee based on your long list of made up stuff. They offer 3 non-hammer drills, and 2 hammer drills in the current M18 line that’s it! One non-hammer drill and one hammer drill in their top of the line “Fuel” category. Then one brushed and one brushless and one more compact brushless. I think you’re confusing the various batteries, I was speaking to the actual tool. DeWalt has 6 versions in the 20V Max alone and then there’s Flexvolt. I’m just saying for someone just getting into this it could be confusing, not trying to dump on any brand, I know the DeWalt gear works great, no issues there!
I was recalling that the battery identifications were pertinent to corresponding tools that required the specified battery for optimal performance, but you’re correct that it would seem I’m not as familiar with Milwaukee as I thought. I will agree that DeWalt has a weird, even annoying habit of trying to brand every new tool/tool category. Most aggravating is slapping those tool brandings on consumables that almost always are immediately never advertised again. That leads to a lot of confusion regarding what they’re currently claiming is their newest, and assumedly best bits/blades are supposed to be, and as such why I forgoe everything of the sort in favor of consistent other brands like Diablo, Makita gold, wiha Terminator, slicers, etc. Back round to the original point, I can better see what you’re getting at with DeWalt’s apparent splintering of the main line, but I’d advise to approach it with the knowledge that they’re just name happy, and unless it says 12/60v, it’s gonna be all be 20v and compatible.
Looks like Lowe’s may have made a mistake. I use went to buy one of these at Lowe’s in Houston as they were showing as in-stock.
When I arrived they had cancelled my order. They then searched through and found that their warehouse had put the wrong sku code on the box. (This took about an hour)
After speaking to the manager (Tony), who was very helpful, they called through to another store who has the same problem.
I went to another Lowe’s today on the off chance that they might have one and they did.
I’ve done a little review and unboxing video on YouTube:
Sadly not much information in the instruction manual as to the specs, but I will do a more in depth review when I get back to the UK.
Full review and comparison with the DCD996
Also answers the question about if Flexvolt batteries work with power detect.