Dewalt has a new 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage magnetic drill press, model DCD1623.
The new Dewalt cordless magnetic drill press can be powered by their 20V Max batteries, and delivers a performance boost of up to 32% when using a Dewalt DCB609 (9Ah) battery.
Features include a magnetic base and quick-change chuck system that allows for tool-free swapping between a 1/2″ keyed chuck and 3/4″ Weldon Shank chuck.
The Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage magnetic drill press also has an E-Clutch safety feature that is designed to cut power to he tool when it detects tool rotation.
The drill has 2 mechanical gears, each with 5 variable speed settings, for a total of 10 speed ranges, up to 810 RPM. It can drill up to a 2″ hole in 2″ thick structural steel.
Dewalt advertises on their website that this magnetic drill press is “up to 50% faster vs. competitor,” but I couldn’t find any further context.
Dewalt also says that the FlexVolt Advantage magnetic drill press is built to help prevent tool failure due to loss power. It secures to 1/4″ and thicker metal with a permanent magnet base that doesn’t require any electrical charge.
Key Features & Specs
- 3/4″ Weldon & 1/2″ keyed drill chucks
- Drills up to 40 holes per charge (13/16″ hole through 1/2″ A36 steel w/ DCB608G battery)
- Brushless motor
- E-Clutch safety feature
- 810 RPM (no-load)
- 5.8″ drill stroke
- LED worklight
- Forward/reverse switch
- Weighs 31.8 lbs
- Fluid reservoir with tube
- Includes chip guard, safety chain, annular cutter ejection pin, 1/2″ keyed chuck with key, kit box
- Tool Connect tracking-capable (chip sold separately)
Pricing & Availability
Tool-Only (DCD1623B) – $2,099
Kit (DCD1623X2) – $2,499
The kit comes with 2x oil-resistant FlexVolt batteries, a charger, and tool case. The tool-only version is also said to come with a kit box.
ETA: October 2022
Although Dewalt has the DCD1623 mag drill live on their website, and retailers have started accepting preorders, I have not yet seen press materials. (This isn’t unexpected, given the specialized nature of the product.) And so, while familiar with cordless magnetic drills, I’m not 100% sure about the take-away benefits here.
From what I can tell, the new Dewalt FlexVolt Advantage magnetic drill press bests older models I’ve looked at before, with respect to maximum drilling capacity, and also the number of possible speed settings and ranges.
Dewalt says that their new cordless magnetic drill is up to 50% faster vs competitor,” but it’s unclear which competitor they’re talking about, or under what contexts.
The mag drill delivers up to 32% more power when using a FlexVolt 9Ah battery compared to a 20V Max 5Ah battery, and this agrees with what has been said about other FlexVolt Advantage tools.
Dewalt marketing materials reference their oil-resistant 9Ah battery, but I would assume the drill can also be used with other 20V Max and FlexVolt battery sizes.
But, as mag drills are often used with cutting oils and fluids for cooling and lubrication, Dewalt’s oil-resistant batteries seems like an appropriate recommendation.
To me, this seems like an attractive expansion of Dewalt’s 20V Max and FlexVolt Advantage cordless power tool families. Get it? Magnetic… attractive…
There are deeper implications here, in how this is a 20V Max FlexVolt Advantage product, rather than simply FlexVolt. Users get a power boost when using FlexVolt batteries, but also full 20V Max power tool battery compatibility in a pinch, or for lighter tasks.
I would like to see Dewalt offer ToughSystem-compatible tool boxes for products like this, but perhaps the size of the mag drills couldn’t allow for that.
I’ve been thinking of picking up a mag base drill lately, so this is an interesting development to hear about. I haven’t done any research yet so I’m not really up to speed on how this compares to other models on the market, but at first glance it’s attractive to me. I’m already on the 20V and Flexvolt platforms, and it looks much better than the older Milwaukee corded model I used in the past. That one had two big disadvantages: only one gear, and an absolutely terrible connection between the tool and the cutters or chuck.
It also appears that this model might be able to feed the coolant through the center of the annular cutters? If so, that’s a huge improvement over models which don’t have that feature, it really makes your coolant go a lot farther and it makes less of a mess.
Used a (corded) Milwaukee back in the day for safe drilling – it was sweet!
I’m really curious to read more about it when we learn more but it’s fun to see more new cordless tools from DeWALT!
Hmmm….price isn’t bothering anybody?
In the context of cordless mag drills, corded, or in general?
The price seems to be in line with the Milwaukee (kits sell in the $2600 to $2700 range) While Fein does sell a kit for $1800 – it looks to be less complete and less capable. We were happy with corded tools from Bux and Jancy (now part of Fein) – but if I were buying today, it might be Dewalt or Milwaukee – unless I were already invested in Metabo or Fein batteries.
I paid around $2200 for my Milwaukee Lineman’s setup which I believe had 2 9Ah batteries, it also came with an inverter for my vehicle, instead of just a battery charger with a 12V plug. These prices are well in line with that, and I can tell you they are worth it if you need to pop holes in the field.
It’s not cheap, that’s for sure, but it’s not out of line with what other similar models cost. There are even many corded models with only a single speed gearbox that cost about $2k.
Its closest competitor seems to be the Milwaukee, and the comparison is actually quite favorable for the Dewalt. They both use the same type of permanent magnet system. The Dewalt is cheaper (at least going by list price). I also think the Dewalt is likely more powerful since it is advertised as rated for a 2″ cutter while the Milwaukee is rated for 1.5″, that makes sense given the additional power from the Flexvolt battery over the basic 18V and is consistent with their claims of being “faster than the competition”.
So at least going by specs on paper it looks like a good value.
Does the Flexvolt battery on a 20v tool really offer more power over competitors’ 3-row 18v batteries?
I’m guessing the DeWalt here is more powerful because it’s a newer design.
The FV batteries operating in 20v mode with their 3 rows of 5 cells are, on paper, identical to the M18 12.0, which also has 3 rows of 5 cells.
The only difference would be the FV 15ah battery with 30 cells–now that could make some serious power.
That is an interesting question. When someone sticks a Flexvolt battery in a Flexvolt Advantage tool, does it run in 20V mode or 60V mode? My understanding–which may well be wrong–was that they run in 60V mode. But it’s also possible that they run in 20V, just with a higher current limit in software? This would be interesting to hear Stuart’s thoughts on.
I’d like to know that too!
I assumed “Power Detect” was drawing more at 20v from the larger batteries, but “Flexvolt Advantage” was actually flexing it’s voltage to 60v. If it isn’t, that would explain why Dewalt doesn’t just make all new “Flexvolt” tools as “Flexvolt Advantage” so everyone can use the 20v packs as backup.
Yes, that was my understanding about “power detect” as well. I always though that Power Detect allowed a higher current limit from the larger capacity packs, while Flexvolt Advantage ran in 60V mode.
I have very little experience with the Power Detect tools so I don’t feel comfortable saying much about them but I have used Flexvolt Advantage and the difference in power when running on Flexvolt batteries is obvious.
I’m confident that the Flexvolt Advantage tools are just 20 volt tools. DeWalt always calls out “20V” in the titles. Example: “Dewalt 20V MAX 1/2 Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver with FLEXVOLT Advantage DCD999”.
I think the reason the tools benefit from Flexvolt packs is the same reason Milwaukee tools benefit from the HD9.0 and 12.0 batteries: 15 battery cells (versus a traditional 5 or 10).
Flexvolt battery packs MUST have a multiple of 15 cells. That’s the only way they can hit 60 volts max. 15 cells * 4 volts each = 60 volts max. They can have 30 cells as well (see the FV 15 Ah).
15 cells in a battery should be able to put out way more power than just 5 or 10 cells in a battery pack.
As far as Power Detect–I believe that’s DeWalt’s equivalent of Milwaukee’s “high output” batteries: batteries designed around 21700 cells which generally have higher rated constant discharge currents than 18650 cells.
To my knowledge, FlexVolt batteries are set to 20V Max when idle and disconnected from anything.
When you physically connect a FlexVolt battery to a FlexVolt tool, internal mechanical switches interact via the connection plate, switching the internal configuration from 5-series 3-parallel mode to 15-series mode.
When connecting a FlexVolt battery to a 20V Max tool, FlexVolt Advantage or not, there is no means of mechanically switching that battery over to 60V Max mode.
Thus, the FlexVolt Advantage part here is more of a digital handshake that allows the tool to draw higher current from the battery. As FlexVolt batteries have 50% more cells than 20V Max 10-cell batteries, they have a higher ceiling for power delivery, which FlexVolt Advantage and Power Detect tools can take advantage of.
PowerDetect is a much more limited platform, presumably so Lowe’s can offer more premium Dewalt core cordless power tools without stepping on what seems to be a FlexVolt exclusivity arrangement with Home Depot.
Power Detect delivers a power boost from higher capacity 10-cell batteries (such as 8Ah) as well as FlexVolt, but is limited to a couple of core tools, whereas the FlexVolt Advantage line has expanded to include tools that were or would be FlexVolt 60V Max tools.
That’s a reasonable explanation and it should be very easy to confirm or deny. If anyone has a Flexvolt Advantage tool lying around look at the socket where the battery fits and see if it has the special wedges which trip the switch in the Flexvolt batt. I’d be happy to check but alas, I only have standard Flexvolt and 20V max tools.
I have flexvolt advantage tools and I can confirm that their is no wedges to trip the switch in the flexvolt battery.
Well that’s pretty sweet, but unfortunately is not priced for non-professionals like myself.
I’m not trying to be rude, just genuinely curious. What non-professional applications would you need a mag drill for? Most DIY metalworking projects that require a circular hole can be tackled with either industrial drill bits or metal-cutting hole saws unless you’re planning on working with some really thick steel.
I cannot emphasize how much this comment made me laugh out loud. Congratulations sir! Have a wonderful day.
I have a ranch and have had various one-off fabrication projects where a mag drill would’ve made the job easier. It’s not that I need one; in fact every project was completed using regular drill bits as you suggested. All I meant was that I’m not a professional metalworker and therefore can’t really justify buying a $1500 mag drill for those random projects alone.
Am I reading this incorrectly, or will you have to pry a large permanently magnetic base off each time it needs to be used? Wouldn’t that be a bit of a struggle, especially if it was overhead or something? I don’t know, maybe I’m interpreting that wrong. Any clarification is welcome!
It has a mechanical switch on it which moves the magnets inside the housing and makes it let go, so you can basically turn the base on and off at will mechanically rather than electrically.
Oh, like a magnetic pick up roller. That makes sense, thanks!
It actually has two sets of magnets, and you rotate them 90 degrees with the lever. In one position the fields cancel each other out (the ‘off’ position), and in the other they add together (the ‘on’ position). Or there’s another type where in the off position there’s a piece of iron that ‘shorts’ out the magnetic field preventing most of it from leaving the case. If you google switchable magnet you can find more info, they’re pretty interesting!
Our really cool and expensive brake for a vertical stage uses permanent magnets to brake (so it will brake if the machine loses power) with electromagnets that counter act the permanent field when moving. The plus is that engage / disengage time is in the low milliseconds.
As the others have commented, I share in the understanding that a mechanical switch inserts and removes the magnet into position within the base.
This could work in a similar manner to smaller magnetic bases. https://toolguyd.com/noga-magnetic-base/
It’s not clear to me how exactly the Dewalt base works, but with smaller magnetic bases the field is rotated into and out of position.
Similar to suction cups, magnetic holding force is highly directional, and so you can manipulate strong magnets very easily depending on the direction of linear or rotary motion.
Very cool. I just never understood why they cost so much. The corded version is $800 regularly. $800 seems high for what it is. $2500 seems crazy. I mean, buy the powerstation, get 4 batteries and buy the corded version and you’ll still be ahead of that price tag and have a battery generator. Is the electromagnetic mechanism so expensive to make? And if it’s simply mark-up because they make fewer units due to low demand, then what is the mark-up?
I suspect that the more niche a power tool like this becomes the higher the markup is.
For example, consider that you can easily buy a standard drill-driver for under a hundred bucks, with variable speed control, gears, a metal chuck, clutch, etc. Meanwhile you can easily spend over a hundred bucks for a worklight that has zero moving parts, no expensive components like gears, motors, etc. It’s just a housing with some wires and an LED in it yet it sells for more money. I’d bet that the companies make relatively little selling things like mid-tier drills, saws, and sanders which compete for the lowest price every time there’s a sale, while they make massive amounts of money on the specialty items for niche trades–the drain tools, crimpers for electricians and plumbers, the oddball specialty drills like this one, that $1500 remote-controlled light Milwaukee has, etc.
If we look at what’s in this mag base drill, it’s basically a big drill motor, 2-speed gearbox, a rack-and-pinion system, and a base with a magnet in it. Well, there are plenty of big Dewalt drill motors with 2-speed gearboxes on the market in the form of the various stud-and-joist drills, and those can be had for about $300 for the bare tool (for example, DCD460B Flexvolt or DCD445B F. A.) So we need to add the cost of the rack-and-pinion (not much, honestly), and the cost of the magnetic base. I have no clue what it costs to make a base like that, but I have bought permanent magnets for lifting steel parts with a crane and they’re the same kind of thing as what’s in the base of this tool. Such a magnet costs about $550, though I suspect that price is artificially high as all lifting equipment tends to be. Anyway, even if we say the rack and pinion costs $100 (which is ridiculous), we’re still under $1000.
I estimated the magnet price by looking up a magnet rated for lifting 800 lbs with a 3:1 safety factor (Industrial Magnetics PNL0800). That 2400lb figure is higher than Dewalt’s quoted 2000 lb strength for their magnet. Also the two are approximately the same size and have the same sort of on-off lever, so I assume they’re similar.
Thank you all for the magnet explanation. The corded units that I have used in the past were electromagnetic. If they lost power, the magnet let go. A safety chain or strap was a must when using vertically or upside down. These are super handy tools in the right applications. If we are talking about expense, don’t forget to add in a good set of annular cutters. They add up quick! I like that this unit seems to be able to switch between annular cutters and a chuck for conventional bits in a tooless fashion. Mag drills make for a decent portable drill press, if you have a piece of steel plate to use for a base.
interesting item. I’ve only ever seen mag drills in steel building construction or in movies (drilling safes).
I’ve never seen one used in any other application but good to know there are choices.
Another common application for these is for drilling holes in the frame rails of trucks for bolting on trailer hitches, different types of beds, etc. They even make special low-profile models which can fit inside the C-channel of a frame. That was actually the first application I ever saw a mag drill being used for, drilling a semi truck frame to add some kind of brackets for the suspension.
One of my business ventures was a metal fabrication shop where we used magnetic drill presses to drill in places where a drill press (even radial-arm) could not reach. There were also times when taking the drill to the work was much easier than vice versa. Clamped down or jury-rigged with a steel platform auxiliary base, they were even useful for drilling thick non-ferrous metals in the field. As others have said, they work well with rotabroach style annular cutters.
I work on communication towers (cell towers). This tool will be a game changer. Structural modifications (beef ups) can have us drilling hundreds of holes at elevation. Right now we use conventional corded mag drills but sometimes it is a pain getting power to 500’ in the air (now we have to hoist a generator too). I really want to try this out but don’t want to be the 2k Guinea pig.
I have been waiting so long for this lol