Dewalt recently announced their new 20V Max brushless mid-torque impact wrench, DCF896, featuring Tool Connect Bluetooth connectivity.
The new 1/2″ mid-range impact wrench is similar in specs to the DCF894 that came out last year.
- 1/2″ drive with hog ring anvil
- 330 ft-lbs max torque
- 600 ft-lbs max breakaway torque
- 0-2000 RPM no-load speed
- 0-3100 IPM
- 6.95″ length
- 3.48 lbs weight
- 3 fully customizable modes
- Removable belt clip
Tool Connect customizations require the use of Dewalt’s free app on your smartphone or other device. Once they’ve saved to your tool, you can put your phone away.
Precision Tap: In this mode, the tool can automatically alternate between forward and reverse directions, allowing for easier and faster cutting of threads, compared to manual tapping. With a manual tap wrench, or manual power tapping, you would alternate between forward and reverse directions in order to break up chips that could bind your tap and lead to breakage.
Note: Depending on the application, there are certain taps that you don’t have to back out when used (slowly) with a power drill.
With Tool Connect, you can select this setting for one of your 3 custom modes.
Precision Wrench: In this mode, you can set a runoff speed for the reverse direction, helping to prevent fasteners from speeding off a bolt and getting away from you. In the forward direction, you can set “pause before impact” duration, as well as an auto shut off time, which Dewalt says can aid in fastening consistency.
Other Tool Connect Adjustments
- Speed (and thus torque)
- LED brightness
- LED delay
It also provides for “last seen” tracking, and “out of range” automatic shut-off.
The kit, DCF896HP2, comes with (2) 5.0Ah batteries, a charger, belt clip, and kit bag. There will also be a bare tool option, DCF896HB, and with a detent pin instead of the hog ring (DCF896B, DCF896P2).
Pricing and Availability
- DCF896HP2 Mid-Torque Impact w/ Hog Ring Kit: $439
- DCF896HB Mid-Torque Impact w/ Hog Ring Bare Tool: $239
- DCF896P2 Mid-Torque Impact w/ Detent Pin Kit: $439
- DCF896B Mid-Torque Impact w/ Detent Pin Bare Tool: $239
See Also: DCF894
The DCF894 is similarly spec’ed, but without Tool Connect customizations or tracking.
See Also(Hog Ring Bare Tool via Amazon)
See Also(Detent Pin Bare Tool via Amazon)
See Also(Hog Ring Kit via Amazon)
See Also(Detent Pin Kit via Amazon)
The special tapping and wrench modes sound convenient, and so does the ability to tweak the speed (and torque) settings.
I should remind you that the Precision Wrench mode is also built into the DCF894 impact wrench, and this version (DCF896) takes it further by allowing the user to customize the delay times. The tapping mode and speed customizations are unique to these Tool Connect models.
Question: Have you ever used a 1/2″ impact wrench for thread-tapping applications? I have seen tap sockets, but I can’t say I have ever used them.
In theory, I like customizations. In practice, the LED work light brightness and “afterglow” delay aren’t variables I ever really feel the need to adjust. But the speed and torque settings? Yes, those are things that I’d be happy to be able to adjust, especially for repetitive tasks. I’d likely “set and forget” once, and then maybe later on if needed.
Compared to Milwaukee
Out of curiousity, how does the Milwaukee M18 Fuel brushless 1/2″ mid-torque impact wrench compare? I don’t remember looking at both models (Dewalt DCF894, Milwaukee 2861, 2860), but now seems like a good chance.
Read More: Milwaukee M18 Fuel Mid-Torque Impact Wrenches
For the moment, ignore the Dewalt Tool Connect capabilities, as there’s no Milwaukee mid-torque with One-Key option (unless I’m forgetting about it and also searched online using the wrong keywords).
The Milwaukee has more fastening torque (450 ft-lbs vs. 330 ft-lbs), and is also faster. The Dewalt is a lighter, at 3.48 lbs, but the Milwaukee isn’t too far behind, with a bare tool weight of 3.8 lbs. The Milwaukee is 5.3 lbs with XC battery.
The Dewalt has a more useful LED worklight placement.
Despite how things might appear, I am thinking that the max torque was more of a subjective decision by Dewalt, rather than an upper limit dictated by the components. Based on the on-paper specs, I am led to believe that Dewalt could have inched up the max speed and max fastening torque. Surely they could have matched Milwaukee’s mid-torque power if they wanted to. But, perhaps they drew the line where they thought users would have ample power and application speed to get through the types of tasks a tool like this is designed for. In theory, this would trade upper-end power and slightly faster speeds for greater runtime.
This is all speculation of course, but I think that Dewalt was deliberate about the balance between power and runtime, and that they could have increased the power consumption to achieve greater torque if desired.
If you need more torque, that’s what the heavy duty impact wrenches are for.
The DCF894 is a competitive brushless mid-torque impact wrench, and I think that the new DCF896 is a compelling offering for users who want a little more control over what the 3 preset modes can do to make their work easier or better.
If you have used the regular mid-torque impact, do you wish you had this Tool Connect version instead?
If the mid-torque impact wasn’t appealing to you before, does this one change your mind?
While we’re at it, here’s another question – are there other tools that you wish had Tool Connect customizations of some kind?
So my perspective will be skewed here. I’m wanting the mid torque wrench for mostly auto work. Why not the big version – becasue there is nothing on either of my cars or my truck that should be on that tight with very limited exception.
I want the compact ness of this to get into wheel wells and inside frames. something the bigger model won’t fit (I measured).
what is the max reverse torque of the milwaukee. Fastening direction it is higher but what about removal. I’m invested in yellow batter ecosystem so I’m leaning that way naturally but I could be swayed. I consider the IR models untill I priced one.
This is also sold as a MAC tool if I recall.
I would like to have the ability to set a upper torque limit on fastening – for putting on things say to 110 ft – lbs and then cross check/finish with my torque wrench.
Otherwise I don’t know I’d spend the extra on the tool connect model.
Max reverse breakaway torque is the same – 600 ft-lbs.
Your comment on that the mid torque will cover all your auto needs. I also thought that, but I also bought the high torque and stubby milwaukee versions. What I found out was that I use the stubby the most. It is convenient in that it is light and fits into tight areas (engine). If I need more torque I use the mid torque (suspension). What did surprise me was the amount I used the high torque version. Maybe because I live in the rust belt, but there are a number of times where the mid torque was not good enough and had to use the high torque. If you are going to get only one impact the mid torque is probably the way to go because of the size and power and will cover probably 80 to 90 percent of your needs, but you will be finding situations where you need a smaller (stubby) and more power (high) impacts.
I could see adjusting the LED time – sometimes, especially in the winter, I work outside in the dark around my farm. I can recall a week or so ago for example, installing a new cattle gate in the dark – using my DCF898B to drill the hole through the 6″ fence post. Might have been nice to have the light stay on longer so I didn’t need to play with the trigger as much. I just had a little Dewalt handheld worklight on the ground for illumination.
Certainly 330ft-lbs is enough for what I’d be doing with it. I use my DCF898B with a 1/2″ socket adapter quite frequently – and its always overkill (rated to 500ft-lbs). It was a deeply discounted Amazon purchase – and I thought I was future-proofing.
Maybe someday I’d come across a rusty bolt on some 50 year old tractor and be glad I’ve got something so big – but mostly it’s just heavy and cumbersome. This impact wrench looks like it could serve mostly the same function and be a lot easier to carry.
I have the Mac Tools version of this and it does an amazing job for lug nuts and such. Not something id use for hubs or high torque applications, because it wont do those. You would want the Dewalt DCF899 or Mac tools 151 with 1200 break free ft/lb.
Its lightweight, and very well built. I would have gotten the DCF894 if i hadnt found a stupid good deal on the Mac Tools one with batteries. used
I am a home gamer, but I rarely if ever tap threads without a drill press or mill head or other rigid way to keep the tap straight. “Precision Tap” sounds awesome on something that is not handheld.
I have the 894. I am not sure what I would do if buying today, but for what I use the 894 for I do not see a need to upgrade.
If these systems ever get to the point of “dial your torque” and they are accurate, I will be all about upgrading. I have the DCF888 Tool Connect Impact driver and I have not found a necessary reason yet to use the software.
That said, I am huge fan of the Tool Connect Software in that it allowed my to upgrade my DeWalt worklights to full brightness on battery.
Seems like a missed opportunity by DeWalt here. Milwaukee’s one key allows you to dial in specific torque values, but they only offer it on the high torque wrenches. Offering it in a smaller package seems like it would appeal to automotive techs.
Really don’t know much about it.?
Nobody should be using that on any automobile for torque settings, it isn’t accurate enough
It is accurate enough for the intended application. If the desired torque is 100, set the Milwaukee to 90. Then you go back with the precision torque wrench for final tightening.
I can do that with precision mode with this, I never go over 100
makita and Milwaukee hands down … anything else is shit .. simple as that. no matter what they try to come up with or no matter how fancy they make their tools they will still never be commercial grade .. just a fancier home owner that wants to impress his neighbors … but if you really want to impress them show up with makita and Milwaukee..
Blanket statements like this are foolish.
That may be the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever seen on here… clearly a non professional.
Dewalt and Milwaukee are equally common on commercial jobsites.
Fanboys as opposed to pro’s, right there lol anyone that thinks a single brand is the be all end all to tools, or conversely entirely garbage, is someone that buys tools trying to impress people that actually use them-as you’ve so conveniently stated, yourself.
despite the other comments just to point out your failure to check. This same Yellow Dewalt device is sold as a Red MAC Tool – on their trucks. As are a few others. and I know of a number of shops in my area where you will see someone using the MAC Tool. And if not that you see and IR tool. Ingresol Rand – and to be fair I wonder exactly who makes their cordless stuff – it’s ironically 20V too.
anyway – the MAC costs a good bit more usually yet they pull no punches about using Dewalt Batteries and chargers. OH and there’s a few race teams that use them too.
anyway back to the rest of the discussion.
I have both the DCF899H and DCF894. I haven’t used the big one since I got the mid. I like features like the tool connect but I don’t feel I need them so I probably would save the money and buy the non tool connect again.
Hard to explain, but one thing that has not come natural for me is allowing the tool do it’s thing and not trying to make the tool do what I want it to do. For example, a good variable speed trigger vs setting the speed and just pressing a trigger. I like to be able to finesse my work if you know what I mean. The skill of being able to finesse a tool seems to be getting lost.
That’s exactly how I feel. Zipping on a lug nut but stopping at 50% of final torque spec, a variable speed trigger should be fine. It seems as if the are adding more features because they can. Meanwhile the Bluetooth in the tool will drain a battery if left for too long. I have one tool with Bluetooth and found a dead battery after a few weeks of sitting where my dumb tools still have more than 75% charge after sitting 6 months.
Adding more features because they can or have to keep up with competition is one aspect. The other is to make the job more foolproof. I’m not sure if these smart tools are making dumb mechanics better or if they are just making dumb mechanics.
Question. I’ve been thinking of getting an impact wrench for auto work, think 3/4 ton truck and small cars. I would need some strong breakaway for the wheel lug nuts, maybe a couple break items, but this seems overkill for me. Do you think the smaller mid Dewalt with 500ft would do auto jobs find?
As a owner of a dewalt 899, and the older 18v high torque impact, i would get the
899 big one first. You can find them on ebay for $150 to $250 on deals.
As one that has old cars and takes vacations to Upull junkyards, the 899 has
saved my butt more than once. I have run into a few situations where even the
899 was not enough on strut nuts and a occasional lug nut, but for the most
part it will do the job on most items in the rust belt. I have my john holmes
harbor freight long breaker bar for those situations. you would be surprised
how many stupid gas station idiots use there air tools to over tighten lug nuts.
Lot of scams on ebay right now on dewalt tools, don’t fall for the zero feedback
seller that just registered his account with a tool price way too cheap to be true.
make sure to get at least a 5aH battery if your buying a kit. and preferably the
yellow fast charger.
Seems like a good addition to the DW impact wrench lineup, just too bad SBD doesn’t offer anything in the B&D 20V line for impact wrenches still.
All the bluetooth/wiress app stuff has me wondering what happens when the bluetooth/wiress and/or data module goes bad from vibration/age/impact. It might mean your settings are just stuck at whatever they were at that point, or who knows if the tool even works right if it’s not getting any info.
As for thread tapping, I can see that being useful, but only for REALLY big thread sizes. Even then, I’m not even sure an impact wrench would be the best tool for the job. Maybe there are construction/heavy equipment applications where holes are drilled, just rough tapped, and a bolt driven in.
I have the original version without Too Connect, and I couldn’t care less about upgrading. I wish you were able to turn the led on & off without having to use an app. I wouldn’t like having to stop the work I’m doing to mess around with an app on my phone. Those basic settings should be quickly toggled by a button on the tool. I’m okay with tool makers utilizing apps, but it shouldn’t be required for any basic setting, only the more in-depth ones.
As far as DeWalt’s torque & runtime vs. Milwaukee’s, I agree with your assessment that if more torque is needed then you probably need to step up to the big dog torque wrench. I’m torn on Milwaukee. I can’t deny they’re pushing the envelope on driver specs, which seem to be verified in tests. But I do not like how they’re trying to use the Apple business model, which releases a slightly fancier model every year. Are they doing that because the tools have an engineered expiration date? And often on paper Milwaukee has vastly superior specs, then performs only slightly better than the competitor. It just seems like it’s all flash. Even their product launch events just seem so flashy (corny) compared to other tool brands. Personally, I would choose the tool with slightly less power, that has more runtime, and that’s designed to last me years.
As an electrical technician on custom built electrostatic oiler machines, I tap a lot of holes. A lot of freaking holes. I use tap sockets on a regular either with a rachet if im tapping into thick steel or my impact driver if im tapping through steel usually no more than 5/8ths. Im extremely skeptical about using a high torque application. its so easy to snap smaller taps without a good feel for your tool and precise speed control. I would def have to test it out a few times before using it on a 500k machine that has to go out the door. Tap Sockets are a god send for the experienced. But so is a very straight drill hole .
Short of a portable magnetic drill press, how do you get a very straight hole on a 500k machine?
Glad to see the 20v line expand..as one guy pointed out, better specs doesn’t mean better performance…I was a big skeptic of tool connect ,but it does work well for certain applications.
….I prefer my IR cordless impact wrenches over every other brand.,I love the dial on the back. I too think a mechanical dial will last longer than electronic controls.
I want one. I shouldn’t but I do. My Birthday is Thursday, if anyone was curious.
Detent Pin preferred, hint hint…
tapping with an impact wrench seems like a great way to break taps….