After I posted some more information about the new Dewalt Power Detect cordless power tools last week, a tough question came in.
Mike commented, asking if the new Dewalt DCD998W1 hammer drill kit was a worthy upgrade. He wrote:
I use my 996 which is almost brand new with a 6amp 60v I want the best of the best is it worth it to upgrade to the power detect? thank you!!
See Also: New Dewalt 20V Max Power Detect Cordless Hammer Drill
If you want the best of the best that Dewalt has to offer, then yes, the DCD998 hammer drill will do that for you. Compared to the DCD996, the DCD998 can deliver up to 29% more power.
Is it worth it though?
Right now, if you have a DCD996, and are debating about the DCD998, that indicates that there’s more of a want than a need. The DCD998 kit is just only launching now, and so it’s at full pricing. If you’re on the fence about the small upgrade, then sit on the decision for a while.
The pricing of newly launched tools doesn’t soften up very quickly, but there might be a promo or discount that makes the upgrade a little easier on the wallet. If you don’t need the bump-up in power, which is delivered when the DCD998 is paired with the 8Ah battery (as included in the DCD998W1 kit), then why not wait.
But I can’t wait. Okay, that means it might be more of a need, and you could buy it now.
The price is unlikely to go up from the launch price, and it’ll be a while until the bare tool is available. Frankly, there’s no harm in waiting a little bit, and if there is, then don’t wait.
Right now Lowe’s is the only place you can buy this kit, but I believe this and other Dewalt Power Detect cordless power tools are heading out to other retailers this month.
Buy Now via Lowe’s
Compare: DCD996 Kit via Amazon
Compare: Combo Kit via Amazon – Best Alternate
As an Alternative…
The new Power Detect hammer drill kit is priced at $279. At the time of this posting, the DCD996P2 kit, which comes with 2x 5.0Ah batteries, is priced at $299. The best alternate to the new Power Detect kit, in my opinion, is the Dewalt DCK299D1T1 kit, shown here, priced at $279.
The DCK299D1T1 kit gives you the DCD996 brushless hammer drill, DCF887 brushless impact driver, a 2.0Ah battery that is best paired with the impact, a FlexVolt 6.0Ah battery that is best paired with the hammer drill, a fast charger, and tool bag.
The Power Detect hammer drill delivers up to 29% greater power. This combo kit gives you entry to the FlexVolt lineup – if you choose – and a very capable impact driver, in addition to a hammer drill that’s usually very good and highly capable.
Do you want the most powerful hammer drill, or a still very powerful hammer drill plus Dewalt’s best impact driver?
Having a more powerful Dewalt 20V Max cordless hammer drill available is a good thing. But unless you’ve been regularly maxing out the DCD996, repeatedly pushing it to its limits, it’s okay to wait. Using Dewalt’s second-best cordless drill or hammer drill isn’t a bad thing. Having access to more power is usually good, but there’s no reason to rush into things.
P.S. I just received a test sample from Dewalt (thank you!), and will attempt to answer the is it a worthy upgrade? questions from a power and performance standpoint. I expect the answer to remain at yes, if you need all the power you can get, but it will be definitely still be interesting to see how up to 29% more power translates with respect to speed and performance.
Personally I think I would still pair it with the smaller 5Ah for 95% of tasks and only throw on the 8Ah when I “need” that extra juice. So for me, I’d wait to buy it second hand or some sort of super coupon. Plus I tend to use the DCD130 for the heaviest of applications.
When we were looking at a new tool as a possible upgrade we’d try to do a cost-benefit analysis. For something like this tool (under $500) we’d be expensing the purchase rather than capitalizing it. We’d therefore be looking at trying to make it pay (PWA) for itself within 1 year. To do that we would look at what added productivity it would provide – and try to quantize that into dollars and cents. Then we’d look at externalities beyond productivity – things like enhanced safety, increased capability etc. Often we’d buy one or 2 new tools that looked promising to try them out. But seldom did we change out our whole “fleet” of tools at once based on some overwhelming economic case.
I have a neighbor who short-term leases a new high-end car so that he can have a new model almost every year. That seems to appeal to him – but that sort of cost/benefit does not make sense to me. Life is full of tradeoffs – if you can afford it and having the best and newest makes you happy then why not?
Is it a safe presumption that “pro” corded machines will always be more powerful than similar battery-powered machines?
No. Already, some cordless power tools are more powerful than corded equivalents.
There are 2 key reasons. First, brushless motors are more efficient. Second, corded power tools can hit a lower electrical ceiling, with a theoretical peak of maybe ~1650 watts based on 110V and 15A circuits.
Not necessarily. Corded is limited to 110/120v @ number of amps on that circuit (for practice purposes 15A). Basically what’s coming out of the wall. Sure you could go to 220 but how many of those outlets are around? It’s theoretically possible cordless can exceed that someday. In practical application though there’s only so much power needed for certain tools anyway.
If you’re saying a battery can output more power than a receptacle in a certain time frame, then it follows that, no matter the “fast charging” scheme, it’ll always take more time to recharge than discharge, right?
I don’t use my stuff so intensely to notice those intervals, I don’t have such high power equipment, and my recharging periods have always been of shorter duration than my use periods.
Never thought of it in these terms before…thanks.
I have the DcD996 and it already has a substantial amount of power. 29% more would be close to mind blowing cordless tool performance.
JR3 Home Performance
Ha yeah agreed. The 996 has more than enough power. If anything better bind up control would be my preferred improvement.
“Mind blowing” , or pointless? How much further away do we need to throw the chips from a hole? The DCD996 is a beast of a drill. More powerful than most tradesmen can take advantage of. Not saying it is totally pointless, but the 996 can chunk a 1 1/2” self feed bit through 4” of pine in a few seconds. Dunno why it would need to be faster, apart from the fun factor.
Totally agree with you on that. I don’t typically use a side handle on a drill and my 996 has twisted my arm 90 degrees several times. It’s a very powerful drill. Most of the time it’s more drill than I need and when I do need more I can break out the rotohammer.
I appreciate everyones comments – lots to consider. Tell me if I made a mistake – I almost bought the 996 combo with an Impact Driver, 5ah battery, charger, and bag for $279. That said I just dropped the $259 on Amazon for the 998 with the 8ah battery, charger, and bag. Why? because I figured if I’m adding to my DeWalt Flexvolt collection, the 8ah battery is a nice addition that can be used with my chainsaw, miter or reciprocating saw. Also, had a power outage this week after lightning knocked out the neighborhood. I used all sorts of lights to keep the house bright and was glad to have the bigger batteries from these tools (including the tripod work light which lights up a whole room – I got that from Factor Authorized Outlet for $199 plus they are currently running a promotion that adds a 5ah batter for free!). The 998 has more power than I need – I’m an amateur wood worker. But I just bought a Mason Bee House that I want to hang on the side of my house and need to drill into the brick – so I’m guessing that I won’t have any issues. Better drill and better battery for $20 bucks less verses really good drill and impact driver with a lighter battery? – that my friends is the question!
Would it not be best then to just get an SDS drill if you need more power to do hammer drill things?
I have the 996 and it’s plenty powerful. I also have the SDS drill for bigger stuff, especially hammer drilling
A hammer drill isn’t just for masonry drilling. Higher powered drills are used to drill larger holes and more power comes in handy with certain accessories such as HVAC sheet metal circle cutters and mixing paddles.
For powered drilling and breaking of things like brick masonry and stone there is a progressions of choices from less to more powerful. At the low end of the spectrum you might get by (probably slowly) with a regular drill and masonry bit. Move up to a hammer drill and it might go faster. Move to a SDS Plus or SDS Max (or less common hex or spline drive) rotohammer and you get more capability – but maybe more weight and less general drilling capability. When the rotohammer won’t cut it maybe move to a pneumatic jackhammer – then up to a hoe ram. And finally when your faced with some big outcrop of schist – call in the rockdrillers and blasting crew.
JR3 Home Performance
Agreed. Even a small single handed sds-plus way outperforms the 996 for hammer drilling. I was going nuts trying to drill some pilots for tapcons while installing foamboard on some foundation walls. I was using carbide tipped Bosch bits but just having a heck of a time. This was maybe the 4th job I was doing this on but for some reason this particular basement was extra difficult. That drove me to picking up the milwaukee 5/8 sds-plus m12. It was a night and day difference. I don’t see where 29% extra power will make a difference. The action of the sds is just way better. I wish I had it from the first job I was installing those tapcons. Would have just made the work faster and more pleasant
If you have to ask someone else whether you need to upgrade, then no, you don’t need to.
That’s a bit unfair. I see questions like this all the time with respect to computers, cameras, and other industries where products see incremental upgrades over time.
I also lean on my wife for certain questions. Outside opinion can be beneficial; sometimes I need a push off the fence.
With all do respect, what’s unfair? The facts about what this new drill is, it’s capabilities and improvements over the previous model have been laid out. We know what this drill is. If you personally don’t know if you need this new drill, then you don’t. However, if you need to drive a fastener or drill a hole and your current, but previously, most powerful drill won’t do it, then yes, you need this drill. If you want the “best of the best”, then no, you still don’t need this drill, you simply want it.
It’s no different with the other equipment you reference, if your current equipment does what you need it to do, you don’t need to replace it. Helping somebody to appreciate what a new model is capable of, what it does better, and what it does versus what their current model doesn’t do, still does not necessitate a need.
This is the case with your “Best drill” or “best, fill in the blank”, it’s quite misleading. Just because a tool has the most power, most features, biggest bragging rights, doesn’t mean it’s the best. The best tool is the one that fills the need. If all an individual does is fasten knobs to cabinet doors day-in and day-out, is a 998 or 996 the best drill, no. If a person is using a 4” hole saw to cut holes into 2×6 rough cedar all day, is a 791 the best drill, no it isn’t.
Asking for opinions, or having someone help sway you one way or the other is different than filling a necessity. If you need something, you will get it, if it’s within reason and within your means of course.
People mislead themselves, they want the best so they can let everyone know they have the best. How many people buy a new car and tell everybody it’s “loaded” with every option, but the vehicle has many options missing, and then the ones they do have they don’t use. Even though it’s against the law, people with brand new vehicles with Bluetooth and hands free everything still are poking away at their phone and holding it to their ear because they don’t know how to use what they have, but they are sure to let everyone know their vehicle is “loaded” with all the options.
But, I digress, buy what you want, you have every right , but that doesn’t mean you need it.
All I’m saying is that it’s OK to need or want a nudge off the fence.
Some questions don’t need others’ input and can be easily answered oneself. This one is tricky because one might know the facts but hope for outside perspective or interpretation.
Some readers/questioners may also be just seeking a reaffirmation about their own thought processes before making a buying decision – and that can be a good thing.
But I tend to agree with Hoser too. As an amateur photographer, I once joined a camera club. Some members were more enthused about the latest camera body or lens that they carried than the pictures that they produced. My thought was that your photographic skills needed to be developed first – then you might see if the camera you were using was limiting. A poor camera might never be capable of taking a good picture – but some of the folks sitting around in that camera club with their Leicas, Nikons, and Hasselblads produced few good photographs despite having the latest and greatest. Having bragging rights from carrying around tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear, however, might have been just as satisfying for some as winning a contest for a good photograph. And that’s OK – whatever makes you happy.
With tools, perhaps like cameras, there is another dimension – and that is the anticipation of some future need that might only be met by a cutting-edge tool. Statistically – we probably don’t run into such work requirements often – but some folks may be willing to pay a premium to be ready just in case.
If you are buying a fleet of tools, trucks etc. – one strategy is to mix and match so that you have what might look like mostly good – but not cutting edge items in general use. Then you can also have specialty and more capable tools stocked in your workout centers/shop for those occasions that warrant. Should you then find that the more capable tools are being called into use more and more frequently – you can start migrating.
Someone could likewise be unsure of whether or not this improvement reaches a threshold that could prove useful enough to purchase. You may be interested in something for a perceived immediate benefit, but aren’t sure if there’s further benefits which you might be unaware of. I own 2 cordless rotohammers- 1″ and a 2″: I’ve used the 1″ for years, and will immediately replace it whenever it fails. I’ve run into instances that I was asking a little much of it, so I started looking at complimentary models with more capabilities, and my battery platform had 4 options at the time (5 now). Just needed the next step up, but of course I also coveted the much bigger stuff. Might have been confirmation bias of sorts, but the more I kept researching them I learned that, “Holy crap, I can core slabs and drive ground rods with that!” Ended up with the much higher powered model, maybe initially from want, but in the end because I discovered much more potential for need than I had considered. So, “Is it worth it?” Is a perfectly valid question. There’s a good chance that everyone has some room for immediate benefit that they aren’t necessarily aware of.
I’ve had the DCD995 for many years now and have yet to find a hole it won’t drill. Therefore I don’t need to upgrade to a drill with more power.
If you’re current drill does everything you need it to then you don’t need to upgrade it.
Well guys , home depot had a 2 piece kit with a dcs 575 & dcd 996 with 6ah flexvolt batteries and the drill was rated at 1150 uwo on the box … so today i put a 8ah 20v battery in my dcd 996 next put a 2&9\16″ self feed bit in the chuck and put the drill in 2nd gear and drilled through a stud ??? that drill is only rated at 820 uwo with a 5ah battery !!! the drill was on a different level with a 8ah battery so what gives ???
My question is if you don’t need the hammer, if we’re just talking about drilling which is a better drill the power detect or the flexvolt DCD130T1.
The DCD130 maxes out at 600 rpm, which is not fast compared to the DCD998’s 2000 rpm. The DCD130 is for heavy drilling applications: thick metal, large hole saws, large auger bits, mud/concrete mixing, etc.. And it is heavy. It’s an awesome drill, but definitely not cheap and not very general purpose.
If he wants to pay for the R&D part for the rest of us, can afford it, and is willing to point out any bugginess it may have, then please go ahead.
The chuck is 1/2″ and I know it can do up to 3/4″ masonry bit. Then a 29% increase would be approx 1″ masonry bit. Horizontal drilling would be better than a standard vertical test.
In my experience, general field craft is that if you’re pushing North of a 3/8″ masonry bit, look for a rotohammer. All hammer drills do for masonry is skip the chuck off a bumpy gear, and that gear and speed are not likely changing in this upgrade. I’d bet money that the masonry capacity is identical to the previous. Rotohammers have percussive mechanisms that upgrade with model upgrades. Hammer drills CAN drill masonry (better than non), but not well.
Agreed, I don’t go bigger than a 1/4″ with hammer drills. If you only have one hole to drill, sure you could do an 1″, not worth buying an SDS to drill one hole. More than that, I’d upgrade to an SDS.
Workshop addict just released a video on the grinder and he said it’s quite a difference… It’s like a smaller flexvolt basically. Tons of power
Guys, it is pretty obvious to me what is going on here. DeWalt is worried about knockoff replacement batteries cutting into their bottom line. Power “Detect” is a way to require DeWalt branded batteries be used. Same reason printer companies switch up their cartridges and Keurig coffee makers went to Keurig 2.0. The fake batteries are either getting too good or the patent is running out. “29% more power” does not mean 29% more actual strength delivered. It only means 8ah batteries vs 6ah batteries, which will last about 29% longer. It’s a marketing ploy to distract you from thinking about buying third party batteries. Bottom line, definitely not worth it. It’s not even a real upgrade. If you’re worried about battery capacity, buy yourself some 9ah or 12ah batteries.
Actually, the power difference for the 998 is real. It comes from the upgraded battery’s ability to allow higher surges in current. The upgrade is in Unit Watts Out (820 vs 1072), not in reference to battery runtime. Although, of course the larger battery will mean longer runtime for the same application. Without the specific battery, it will produce the same results as 996. However, the 998 is able to take advantage of the higher current surges the upgraded battery will allow. The 996 will not.
In short 996 with 4ah battery vs 998 with 4ah battery will perform practically identically.
Throw the upgraded battery on both and the 998 will show the 29% power gain. Due to the ability to draw higher current allowable by the upgraded battery. Likely a higher C rating. The new 8ah batteries use newer Li-Ion cells that can maintain higher current draw when demanded.