I saw a new comment to my Dewalt 12V Max brushless drill (EU launch) post, and a thought crossed my mind: how does the Dewalt Atomic 20V Max cordless drill compare in size to their 12V Max brushless drill?
In exploring this, I ended up answering a different question, about how the new Dewalt Atomic brushless drill compared in size against Makita 12V Max CXT and Milwaukee M12 Fuel models.
Compared to 12V Max Brushless
It turns out, they’re quite similar in appearance and even look to be nearly identical in size, although there are definitely some differences.
I have a Dewalt Atomic drill sample in-hand (thank you Dewalt!) and headed off to see how it compares. There are very strong similarities, which got me curious. The Dewalt 12V Max brushless drill has not been released yet, or even announced in the USA. But how does the Atomic drill compare to other brands’ 12V-class cordless drills?
The inspiration struck, and I retrieved a Makita 12V CXT cordless drill and the latest Milwaukee M12 Fuel drill, both also built with brushless motors, and took a quick photo of all three.
Compared to Makita 12V Max CXT and Milwaukee M12 Fuel
Things look a little “off,” due to smartphone camera distortion (sorry, I intended it to be a quick photo), but the size difference surprised me.
Dewalt describes the Atomic cordless power tool lineup with the tagline Where Size Meets Power, and positions them as an affordable entry point into their 20V Max system.
The Dewalt Atomic series drill and impact driver kits are budget-friendly tools, with $99 kit pricing (at least presently).
What follows is a short history of the other 20V Max budget-friendly drills that preceded the Atomic Series model. By “budget-friendly,” I refer to the Dewalt drills that are seasonally available in kits with 1.3Ah batteries around $99 pricing. These kits typically sell very well.
Despite a shared price point, the Atomic drill is certainly a far leap away from the DCD771 that it’s compared to in Dewalt’s marketing language. The brushed motor DCD771 is quite a bit larger, and I always felt like it has a cheaper appearance.
When Dewalt came out with their first budget-friendly brushless drill, the DCD777, I was impressed at the improvements it offered over the DCD771.
The DCD708 Atomic series cordless drill matches the DCD777 on power, but squeezes it into a slightly more compact package.
12V-class cordless power tools have gotten larger in size, most notably the M12 Fuel, although its shorter height with a compact battery required me to hold it up and at an angle to compare evenly in the photo.
Yes, the Dewalt Atomic cordless drill is a little wider, but its dimensions are a lot more comparable than I would have thought.
I should also mention that the Dewalt kit is less expensive than the two others in the photo.
I have more work to do in testing its performance, but so far it’s quite respectable for its size and value-conscious positioning.
I answered my question about how the Dewalt Atomic drill compared in size to the new 12V Max brushless model announced in Europe, and it was interesting to see how it compares against 12V-class tools. I had compared it to other 18V and 20V Max-sized cordless drills, but it wasn’t until today that I had considered sizing it against 12V-class drills.
Dewalt’s Atomic cordless power tools continue to interest me, and it’s been fun tracking the development of the lineup. With how Stanley Black & Decker has fit mention of Dewalt Atomic Compact Series cordless power tools between Dewalt FlexVolt and Craftsman tool brands in investor materials, I am certain there’s going to be much more coming from this line.
Buy Now(Dewalt Atomic Series tools via Acme Tools)
Separately, in case you’re wondering, unlike the obvious similarities between Atomic and 12V Max drills, the Atomic series 20V Max impact driver does not compare well against the new 12V Max impact, as the latter has speed adjustment controls and a longer gearbox section.