DeWalt DCD996B 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Review
With variable speeds and 11 clutch settings, you can match drilling pace and precision to your exact project requirements. And, as it’s cordless, arrives with a side handle and an LED work light, which includes three brightness levels — you have the operational freedom to use it in many worksite scenarios.
As a ‘Bare’ option, you don’t get much in the box except for the tool itself, a 360-degree side handle, and a belt hook. It’s currently one of the DeWalt brand’s latest options and designed with durability in mind.
The maker of the DCD996B, DeWalt, is one of the biggest tool manufacturers in the United States and specializes in making home and job site power tools.
Features and Benefits of the DeWalt DCD996B 20V MAX
In this section, I’ll detail its core features and benefits.
One of the first things you’ll discover when checking out this tool is that it has a brushless motor. While this may seem relatively insignificant, this feature is worthy of inclusion.
Let me explain.
To recognize the excellence of a brushless motor, we need to know the alternative — the brushed motor. While the latter offers plenty of power, it does have drawbacks. For example, most products possessing a brushed version are bulky and heavy.
Also, because of the design, it often produces sparks and a relatively high level of heat. This leads to a loss of energy in the tool — shortening the lifespan of the tool’s battery. Additionally, a brushed motor requires far more maintenance.
Thankfully, you don’t have any of these issues with the DeWalt DCD996B. Its motor has fewer moving parts — meaning, less friction. Hence, it builds up less harmful heat and offers more efficient energy usage.
With this type of motor, the tool only expends the energy required for the job in hand, instead of running at constant full power. And, since there are fewer moving parts, there isn’t as much wear on the motor, making it more durable and able to withstand impact.
The main appeal though, is the runtime you get. According to the manufacturer, the brushless motor delivers up to 57 percent more runtime than a typical brushed motor.
Projects are usually broken down into smaller tasks, which often means utilizing more than one type of drill to accommodate them.
Or does it?
Tools with variable speed controls are ideal because of their versatility, and the DeWalt DCD996B gives you this unique advantage.
Different jobs demand a faster or slower drilling pace, and with this hammer drill, you get the chance to determine the speed of the machine. It allows you to start drilling slowly to increase your accuracy while the bit gains a hold on the material. Then you can increase the speed as the tool penetrates deeper into the material.
This tool has speeds of 0-450 RPM, 0-1300 RPM, and 0-2000 RPM. You will therefore have just the right speed to carry out a variety of tasks.
Hammer drills are pretty powerful tools that, when not used correctly, can cause more harm than good. This is why you should look for features that offer you more control over the machine.
A clutch is one of these essential features. Its purpose is to disengage the transmission when it reaches certain torque thresholds. Therefore, you’re less likely to drill more than you intend on a surface, overdrive screws, or strip screws.
The DeWalt DCD996B is built with 11 clutch settings, which should be sufficient to keep your tool in line with your work.
If you’ve ever worked on a project, you’ll agree that flexibility and maneuverability are some of the best things a tool can provide.
The DeWalt DCD996B is a cordless model, and this offers you drilling freedom. Since it doesn’t need to be attached to a cord, you can carry it to wherever you want to use it — even if there is no electrical outlet near your job site.
Also, without a cord to potentially tangle or get in your way — working in confined or tight spaces is a straightforward affair.
However, cordless drills do require a power pack. This model is compatible with 20V XR 5.0 Ah batteries, which will require an additional purchase. That said, if you already own other DeWalt power tools that run with the same 20-volt system, this won’t be such an issue.
One thing is certain, a hammer drill requires serious grunt to tackle concrete walls, stonework and other super-hard surfaces. A consideration of many of the options in this price category reveals that most of them have maximum power ratings of 500 UWO (Unit Watts Out) or even lower. On the other hand, this machine’s brushless motor pushes out up to 820 UWO.
What this means for you is that you will accomplish your projects much faster. And, with the variable speed settings highlighted earlier, you have enough power to take on a wide range of tasks.
LED Light and Safety
For your convenience, DeWalt includes a built-in LED light, which makes working in limited-light conditions less of a challenge. You can activate it immediately once the trigger switch is pressed. Plus, the light is angled so that it hits your target location. As a 3-Mode option, you also get to decide the light’s intensity — low, medium, or spotlight.
As with any power tool, hammer drills can be dangerous if not used correctly. For this reason, it’s a relief to discover some safety features on this model. For example, it arrives with a forward and reverse control button that doubles as a lock-off switch. Thus, ensuring you won’t start up the tool accidentally. Additionally, the model sports a brake to stop the chuck immediately the trigger switch is OFF.
One of the few extras included is a side handle. This offers you a sturdy grip — an essential requirement when working with a high level of torque. It also rotates a full 360 degrees — allowing you to position the tool however you want.
Hammer Drill Mode
This bad boy gives excellent drilling performance. It’s a versatile option that can work not only as a hammer drill but also as a regular drill.
It’s particularly impressive as a hammer drill due to the nitro-carburized chuck that’s made of high-grade metal material. Additionally, the chuck has carbide inserts constructed out of durable material. The chuck also locks the bit in place, ensuring that your exertions do not displace the business end of the tool.
Another reason why this tool is so good at hammering, is that it has a solid metal gear housing that improves its reliability and durability when used on hard surfaces. So the pounding action from the two ridged discs in the mechanism allows you to bore holes quickly through masonry and concrete without worrying about whether it would damage the tool.
DeWalt DCD996B Specifications
I’ve put together some of the DeWalt DCD996B specs, take a look below:
|Chuck Size||0.5 inches|
|Maximum Power||820 UWO|
|Chuck Type||Metal Ratcheting|
|Total Speed Settings||3|
|Maximum RPM||0-450 / 0-1300 / 0-2000 RPM|
|Nominal Voltage||18 V|
|Tool Weight||3.5 pounds|
What Users Say About The DeWalt DCD996B
One way of knowing the quality of a product and whether it might be suitable for you is by checking out feedback from those with first-hand experience.
In writing this DeWalt DCD996B review, I did just that. I scoured the cyber highways to discover what fellow drill fanatics had to say.
Many praised the durability of the tool, mentioned how energy efficient it is, and how long the Lithium-Ion batteries last. Additionally, a large section of home improvement enthusiasts rated the tool’s ergonomic design, citing how the handle is made to feel balanced and comfortable in your hand — even with extended use.
And, the LED light is regarded to be the best in its class by most users.
Alternatives To The DeWalt DCD996B
While, in my view, the DCD996B is one of the best hammer drills from DeWalt, especially in this price range, you might be thinking differently.
If you feel it doesn’t meet your requirements, I’ve provided three alternatives that might be better suited.
However, it’s suited to DIYers that have a hard time keeping track of their tools. The addition of integrated Bluetooth technology makes this a relatively better option. With this, you can connect this tool to the free mobile app and track it. Plus, you can also carry out diagnostics — to keep tabs on maintenance opportunities.
- At 4.7 pounds, it weighs more than the 3.5 pounds of the DCD996B.
- Both models include a brushless motor.
- Integrated Bluetooth technology — unlike the DCD996B.
The DCD998W1 is DeWalt’s provision for users that want something straight-outta-the-box and job-ready.
Not only does it include the hammer drill, but an 8.0 Ah rechargeable cell, battery charger, side handle, belt clip and a carry bag for keeping everything together and transporting convenience. It also includes the Power Detect Tool Technology.
- Higher price point than the DCD996B.
- Both include — max of 2000 RPM, three speeds and 11 clutch settings.
- Incorporates Power Detect Tool Technology, which the DCD996B doesn’t.
It offers three modes of operation, a depth gauge and a gear damage-prevention clutch. And, like the DCD996B, it sports a side handle. However, the maximum speed is slightly lower — 1100 RPM.
- Both are of a similar price point.
- Maximum speed of up to 1100 RPM — lower than the 2000 RPM of the DCD996B.
- Corded tool, whereas the DeWalt is cordless.
Boasting both hammer and drill modes, plus pushing out 820 OWU, it’s a functional and powerful combination — ideal for those challenging surfaces. And, with variable speed control, a powerful motor, and longevity-centric construction, you have a tool that will work for many years with minimal maintenance.
Hence, if you’re looking for a hammer drill that puts out plenty of power, is efficient, and durable, then I suggest you head on over to the DeWalt DCD996B.
DeWalt DCD996B FAQs
Q: What Is the Difference Between DCD996 and DCD996B?
The tool’s specs are the same. The only difference between the two is the contents of the box. The DCD996B arrives with the tool, a side handle, and a belt hook. On the other hand, the DCD996 includes all the DCD996B has, including a battery charger, a pair of 20V MAX 5.0 Ah batteries, and a storage box.
Q: Are DeWalt 20V Max and 20V Max XR Different?
Yes. XR means that the motor of the tool is brushless. Also, the XR batteries last longer than the MAX batteries of the same size.
Q: Can a DeWalt Hammer Drill Be Used as a Drill?
You can use some models, like the DCD996B, as regular drills. However, when doing so, ensure the hammer action is switched OFF.