The folks at DEWALT recently sent me their DCF895 20 volt XR brushless impact driver to review.
I’ve been working in the trades for almost 20 years now and it seems that I find myself driving more and more fasteners. Whether it building a deck, installing tile backer board, screwing down plywood subfloors or building headers I’m driving more and more fasteners than ever and I like it!
Love at First Sight!
My first impact driver was a 14.4 DEWALT and a gift from my brother the plumber. He told me he saw a carpenter using it on a job site, tried it and bought three impacts day. Two for his guys and one for me! I clearly remember the first time I used this impact – the raw, unadulterated power of the tool was impressive.
Impacts were originally engineered to do one job: drive screws, which it does faster and easier than any other tool. Impact drivers can drive long, large fasteners—including fat lag screws—that would stall most corded drills.
I retired my DEWALT 14.4 volt impact a year or so ago and traded it in for a DEWALT 20 volt, then later added the DCF895 20 volt brushless impact to the toolbox. Brushless tools run cooler, last longer and DEWALT claims has 57% more run-time than a standard brushed motor tool. At the time I was unsure if they could make anymore-noticeable improvements to the tool and battery. The power and run time were impressive I was happy!
The DEWALT DCF895 20 volt XR brushless impact driver has almost all of the features that my DCF895 has.
The New XR Line:
The DEWALT 20V XR Brushless Li-Ion Impact Driver was just released this year and the XR stands for “Extreme Run-time.”
This new impact driver delivers the same impact driving power as my DCF895 brushless predecessor but is intended to sell for less. DEWALT is making this model more affordable, about the price of a brushed version.
The difference is that this impact driver has only one impact speed range instead of three, and a conventional chuck instead of a recessed chuck with a push-button release. All other features are identical.
To me the sexy part of all this is that the XR batteries are touted to have 33% longer run-time than standard DEWALT 20V battery packs. That got my attention.
□ ¼” Hex
□ Quick release anvil
□ 0 – 2,800 no load speed
□ 0 – 3,200 Impacts / Min
□ 1,500 Max Torque [in-lbs]
□ Length 5.55”
□ 3 LED lights with 20 second delay after trigger is pulled.
□ One handed loading chuck
□ Belt clip
□ XR batteries have fuel gauges
Using the DEWALT DCF895:
As with all of the tools we test I took this one to work. I’m really not into driving 1000 screws into a board and counting them just to see how many fasteners I can drive on a charge. Call me a rebel but I’m more interested to see if this tool is durable and able to tackle tough fastening applications on the job site.
It so happened that we were working on a bathroom remodel so I gave the DCF886 loaded with a fresh 4.0Ah XR Premium battery pack to my brother the plumber and he used it to drill pipe holes in the studs and floor joists. My brother uses mostly Bosch cordless tools and was impressed with the power, weight and size of the DCF886. In the end he still prefers his Bosch tools.
I used the DCF886 to install 4” Truss Lok fasteners to head off floor joists to create a plumbers box and to install all of the SDS fasteners in the related joist hangers.
I then used it to install Durock on the shower walls and then screwed the new and existing ¾” sub floor down before installing ¼” Permabase CBU onto the sub floor. At one point I worked the tool so hard the casing was hot to touch, I was sure the brushless electronic circuitry would shut down the motor but it didn’t.
Usually in these situations the battery dies and I can have an excuse to take a water break – not this time I took the break well before the battery ceased! My palm was sore and this thing was just starting its second battery.
Suffice to say that the DCH886 got my attention that day. Since that remodel I have been using the DCF886 for every and all fastening applications.
WOW what a difference the XR battery makes! I really did not think I was going to be able to tell the difference but it was obvious to me that the batteries last longer. Just how long and how many fasteners? Who knows and who cares – I’ll leave that to the tech dudes.
All I can tell you is that the DCF886 is compact, durable a one-hellofa hard working tool.
2013 DEWALT Media Event – Review of the XR Line: