Dewalt announced two new Atomic 20V Max cordless drills, a 1/2″ drill/driver (DCD794) and a 1/2″ hammer drill (DCD799).
Both of the new Dewalt cordless drills feature brushless motors and are said to more powerful and smaller in size.
The new tools are said to be Dewalt’s shortest 20V Max cordless drill/driver and hammer drill, with respect to head length.
The Dewalt DCD794 Atomic cordless drill delivers up to 404 UWO and 1650 RPM, and its head length is 5.88″.
The DCD799 Atomic hammer drill delivers up to 552 UWO, 1650 RPM, and 28,050 BPM, and its head length is 6.49″.
Both tools have 1/2″ ratcheting chucks, 15 clutch settings, and a variable speed trigger.
As a reminder, Dewalt uses UWO as a measure of drill power, rather than max torque. Read more: Dewalt Cordless Power Tools, UWO, and Torque – Here’s What it all Really Means.
Price: $159 for the drill kit, $189 for the hammer drill kit
The drill/driver kit (DCD794D1) comes with a charger and 2Ah battery, while the hammer drill kit (DCD799L1) comes with a charger and compact 3Ah battery.
Both drills will also be available as bare tools (DCD794B, DCD799B).
Okay, here’s where things get interesting and messy.
Dewalt claims that the DCD794 drill delivers up to 16% more power, and the DCD799 delivers up to 14% more power. Compared to…?
The drill, when paired with a 2Ah battery, is up to 16% more powerful than the Dewalt DCD771 when paired with a 2Ah battery. The hammer drill, when paired with a compact 3Ah battery, is up to 14% more powerful compared to the Dewalt DCD778 when paired with a compact 3Ah battery.
The DCD771 is the brand’s value-focused brushed motor drill/driver. It’s an old model that delivers 300 UWO and a max speed of 1500 RPM. The DCD778 is Dewalt’s value-focused brushless hammer drill, which delivers m340 UWO and a max speed of 1750 RPM.
These comparisons are somewhat reasonable, especially the DCD778 which has been paired with the same compact 3Ah battery before, but I feel comparisons against existing Atomic series drills would be more interesting and relevant.
The Dewalt Atomic DCD708, often kitted with 1.3Ah batteries by itself or with an impact driver, delivers up to 340 UWO and has a max speed of 1650 RPM. Its head length measures 6.3″.
The Dewalt Atomic DCD709 cordless hammer drill, often kitted with 1.3Ah batteries, delivers 340 UWO and has a max speed of 1650 RPM. Its head length measures 6.8″.
So, compared to the first generation Atomic drills, the new Dewalt cordless drill has an 18.8% higher UWO rating and is nearly half an inch shorter, while the new hammer drill has a 62% higher UWO rating and is around 1/3 of an inch shorter.
Additionally, the new drill is kitted with a 2Ah battery, and the hammer drill with a compact 3Ah battery. These are much more usable than the 1.3Ah batteries the other/older Atomic series drills are usually kitted with.
Each drill is only kitted with a single battery. But, personally I’d take a single 2Ah or 3Ah battery over 2x 1.3Ah batteries.
To summarize all that, the new drills offer more power, shorter head lengths – the shortest within the Dewalt 20V Max cordless power tool system – and they are kitted with better batteries. This seems like a big upgrade to me.
Update on Power/Performance Specs
The Atomic series cordless hammer drill delivers 552 UWO when paired with the DCB230 battery it is kitted with. When paired with a DCB230 battery, the Atomic series drill/driver will also deliver up to 552 UWO of power.
The drill/driver and hammer drill driver will deliver comparable performance when paired with the same 20V Max battery, with the only difference being the hammer function.
I noticed the odd comparisons as well. Why not just compare them to their predecessors? Or at least compare the new 794 to the 777 so it aligns with comparing the 799 to the 778. Who knows.
My question that I’m waiting on clarification from DeWalt is: The 799’s 552 UWO rating is measured using the 21700 based DCB230 3 Ah pack. While the 794’s 404 UWO rating is measured using the 18650 based DCB203 2Ah pack. Would the 794 also see that 552 UWO rating if using the DCB230 pack? In the past their standard and hammer versions of drills always had the same rating, so I found it odd that they rate them differently.
They have done this before, comparing other drills (including the first generation Atomic) to their baseline brushed motor model, and so at least they’re consistent.
As there’s no baseline hammer drill, the DCD778 seems like a reasonable choice.
Regarding the UWO specs, the hammer drill’s 552 UWO has a footnote which says “based on using DCB203 battery.” This implies that the UWO rating is independent of battery selection, and that the hammmer drill is engineered (whether via hardware or software) to deliver more power than the drill/driver.
This is why I was hoping for some clarification, because the footnote on the press release does say “based on using DCB203 battery”, while their website says “based on using DCB230 battery”. One must be a typo, but considering the hammer drill is kitted with the 230 and they reference the 230 when comparing specs to the DCD778, I believe the former is the typo. But until we get clarification, can’t say.
Isn’t it the spectrum disorder the Milwaukee can beat de Walt.. De Walt is to fast ? Sawdust on fire..
I nodded off when they started talking UWO and made me jump through mathematical-hoops to try to make sense of their jibberish. /haha. What a turn off.
I’m not a fan of UWO either, though it doesn’t bother me that much. If I was only invested in the Dewalt platform I could just compare it to whatever I was using now. Instead I have to hunt for more details – maybe see if torque test channel has done a relevant comparison.
I just re-read that Toolguyd article about UWO that was included as a link in the post. Great article, but if anything I’m even more annoyed by UWO now. 😄
We can’t even “ball park” it? Ugh. Even if it’s better, it’s like Bosch’s X-lock – with nobody else adopting it it might be both awesome and still kind of a hindrance.
Exactly, I wanted to reference against the 18V Metabo triple hammer WH18DBDLL2 kit I just bought that does 2,900rpm 1832 in-lbs. Found Toolguyds’ article, saw the math, and went scram. 🙂
Re Metabo probably my last tool from them given the horrible charger; has a fan, 4 colors of charging indicator – red, blue, green, purple and with several blink rates to decipher. And the charger seems broken anyway so I gotta call them and jump through that. (brand new kit).
Keep in mind DeWalt does rate their drill’s torque, usually both soft and hard torque, in other parts of the world. A quick google of its specs and then convert Nm to in-lbs.
I haven’t seen these particular models’ numbers yet, but I will add them when I do.
Atomic drills are powerful , but built to break , toolgiyd should disassemble one to see how many quality corners are cut to shorten the overall length , no wonder prices are sub $100 for DCD708.kit , hope these new models have a better build quality.
So, these are slightly smaller and apparently slightly weaker than the DCD800/805?
Correct. Kind of a mash up between the 20v XR DCD800/805 and 12v Xtreme DCD701/706.
Yes. And less expensive.
Yep, so pretty pointless. A drill has to have a metal chuck, otherwise it’s a waste of money. My 800, purchased after my 796, is amazing.
The whole Atomic series is rather unexciting! Except for the Atomic 20v Max cordless 4 1/2” circular saw, which is great.
I’ve only bought 20V Atomic DCF921 3/8″ stubby impact wrench 450 break away. But it’s nice, has a nice trigger vs Red. DeWALT’s trigger let’s me feather on from off/zero and gently ramps up, whereas Red jolts from off-to-on then featherable. Maybe the trigger just needs to be worn-in a little on the Red, it’s new. Both nice but the little 921 is cool.
actually it makes alot of sense – would this atomic drill driver happen to be around the same size as the 12V installation driver? with it’s drill head.
as soon as I saw the picture I thought of that model for comparision – with this being a bit stronger all around.
It’s sort of like taking the middle grade drill driver from 4-6 years ago and making it a full inch shorter in length with same power and chuck size. In general I like the item and might actually get one.
I think the person who came up with the UWO marketing nonsense should be fired. So some other numbers were lower than some other company’s numbers so what. They are all just indications and don’t directly translate to anything. And the unit is the watt. Just say max power out 5000 watts not UWO ffs.
UWO makes a lot of sense and allows for easier comparisons than just torque alone.
Which is the better cordless drill? 400 in-lbs or 380 in-lbs? Most people would think 400 in-lbs. But what if that model has 2 speed ranges 0-300/0-1200 RPM, and the 380 in-lbs drill has 2 speed ranges 0-500/0-1800 RPM? The 380 in-lbs max torque drill might be capable of higher power output, which would mean faster application speeds.
Power tool brands are supposed to adhere to guidelines set by their industry group, but it seems Dewalt wanted to go with a different metric.
Yes, it confuses things when shopping across brands.
But if you take the time to understand what it all means, it’s not at all “nonsense.”
In my opinion, the issue isn’t that there’s a UWO spec, but that it’s beyond the familiarity of most users and not well-explained enough. You shouldn’t have to have an engineering background or read a whitepaper to get up to speed.
The acronym is the problem and that’s what I call marketing nonsense. As a metric it might be useful but there are units of power already in use. Why call it University Wisconsin, Oshkosh?
Hey now, I have some friends that went to UW-Oshkosh, or Sloshkosh as it is affectionately known.
DeWalt used to advertise power as Max Watts Out, MWO, not sure why they changed it to the term UWO.
I really like the 12v line, but the many of Dewalt’s releases in the past 2 years really make me regret buying into the line. I appreciate their efforts to put out smaller form factor items in the 20v line.
More of the same. Surfing through local classified sites, I have seen Dewalt tools for sale as a “set” more than any other brands. People are switching to something else.
That doesn’t mean anything
If I was getting into a system, I’d see how the Dewalt felt and compare the feel to other quality brands. I like the handle and ergonomics of a number of Dewalt tools, but my for my needs, how important is the race for more power? My M18 and M12 Fuel drills and drivers are “long in the tooth” yet do everything a drill and driver needs to do in every situation I’ve come across. As much as I like new (and very old) tools, I don’t even have any desire for anything more powerful. Quieter and less vibration on the impacts? Yes.
My Toyota Matrix has under 140 hp. Gets up to speed on the highway safely, lots of fun shifting thru turns on winding roads. If I had 400 hp, I’d still stay at less than 10 mph over the speed limit on the highway, and still stay between 30-50 mph on winding country roads. I do like older American muscle cars, but in terms of what is needed to do its job, how much more power do we need? Of course we need more efficiency. Better battery, safety features etc. but power? Hopefully someone will respond and point out their industry/need for more powerful drills and drivers.
I’m still using a DCD991 as my main drill. I think it’s at least 10 years old. The newer models have more power but I can’t imagine needing it. If I need “more power” than that it means I’m stepping up to a totally different class of tool–either a drill press, a roto-hammer, or a stud-and-joist drill.
What appeals to me with many of the newer cordless tools are some of the electronic control features, especially bindup protection aka “e clutch”. That old 991 can hurt you if you aren’t careful, when it finally kicks the can and I replace it I think the main thing I’m really going to appreciate about the new model will be the kickback protection. Also, while raw power isn’t so important for some tools, having high power in a compact package can be. For example the DCCS438 multi-cutter. Many companies make a tool like that but the Dewalt really stands out because it’s so much more powerful than the others. Also, mechanic’s impact wrenches and ratchets are always going to be a race to see who can cram the most torque in the smallest package.
Can’t wait for Dewalt to come out with the 20v atomic 3in angle grinder , and 20v atomic power bolt cutters (So like for example the Ryobi 18v power bolt cutters) … alright enough said **☆*☆**… -Rickee
If you want small and light the 12V range is amazing and very similar to thr atomic.
I have in one large T-Stack. A hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, impact driver, electric screwdriver, multitool, a drill driver, torch and batteries/bits.
It’s a great set of tools that is easy to take with me when I have to visit a friends/family to do a little job.
A 12v angle grinder would be nice.
They really need to trim back their old batteries and make power stacks the more prevalent one. If it is so great why not differentiate the market. Flex is the only other one that has them I believe.
A lot of people prefer the lower/lowest priced option.
I think if I was starting out all over again as an apprentice with a young family, I think the atomic line would appeal to me more. As it stands though, I’ve generally opted into the 12v versions of many of the dual platform tools, mostly just got the portability. Pretty sure my daily is still the compact XR 794 or 1, whichever is the non hammer version, and has been my favorite since we’ll before atomic came around, and I’ve got most of the 60v heavy hitters for whenever the XR stuff seems inappropriate. I do have the atomic bandsaw and love it, conveniently came out just before my old brushed one gave up the ghost, but that’s it for atomic and me. For all the compact stuff I’ve gone 12v; drill/driver, 3 speed impact, and the newer heavy duty 1/2″ impact getting the most use. Those 3 plus the original 3speed 3/8’s with half a dozen batteries, some hand tools, and 4-5 tough cases all make-up my single tstak box that I travel with and move between vehicles weekly.
They have also updated their non-Atomic compact brushless drill/drivers:
Oddly enough, they look almost identical to the gen I Atomic drills, with only a few minor cosmetic differences. Compared to the newer gen II Atomic drills in this article, they are a bit longer but slimmer, power output is the same 404 UWO as the gen II Atomics, when using a 2Ah DCB203 battery. Speed also appears to be the same as the Atomics at 1650 RPM.
Another difference is that the Atomic hammer drill, DCD799, is kitted with a more premium 21700 based 3Ah battery, while this compact brushless hammer drill DCD798 is only kitted with the 2Ah.