DeWalt DWD520 Hammer Drill Review

Editor Rating: 4.7/5

Great Product

DeWalt DWD520

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Aug 17, 2022 @ 10:44 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

DeWalt DWD520 Review Summary:

Made by the world-renowned US manufacturer, the DeWalt DWD520, is a hammer drill that promises woodworkers, construction workers, and manufacturing professionals a robust, versatile, durable, and feature-rich functionality.

Possessing a 10-amp strong electric motor, this hammer drill includes two speeds — maxing out at 3500 revolutions per minute — allowing you to adjust for fast-paced or high-torque tasks depending on your requirements.

And, as it offers dual-mode capabilities, you can effortlessly change the operation between drill and hammer work — by means of the selector switch. This negates the need to carry an army of power tools around with you.

In terms of maximum drilling range — in masonry, it’s 0.75 inches. Meanwhile, in wood and steel, it can reach 1.5 and 0.5 inches respectively.

Additionally, the pistol grip or D-shaped design is built for ease of operation and stability — enabling you complete control during hammer time. While the DeWalt system is geared to offer additional safety in the event of overheating, thanks to the overload protection.

It includes a 360-degree adjustable side handle, with a soft grip for comfort, plus a chuck key to speed up drill bit changeovers and a depth rod for drilling accuracy. The DWD520 also comes with a 3-year warranty.

The tool is designed by DeWalt Industrial Tool Company, a US-headquartered manufacturer of hand and power tools for the woodworking, construction, and manufacturing industries around the world.

Pros:

N
Multifunctional in terms of modes and applications.
N
Increased overload protection.
N
Comfortable and easy to control.
N
Durable and reliable design.
N
Trigger-operated variable speed.

Cons:

N
Forward handle has a tendency to vibrate.
N
Carry case requires an additional purchase.

Features and Benefits of the DeWalt DWD520 Hammer Drill


What exactly makes this tool stand out from the rest? In this section, I’ll take a look at what this hammer drill has to offer professionals and industries.

Two-Mode Hammer Drilling Tool


The DeWalt DWD520 comes with a dual-mode of operation. And this is what makes it versatile. It allows you to hammer down when drilling into heavy-duty materials — such as stone or brick, but when you’re dealing with the likes of wood, it doubles as a regular drill.

A hammer drill works on the principle of percussion — a combination of rotational speed and strike. This action allows the release of two “toothed wheels” which, by rubbing against each other, will transmit a vibration to the drill.

The striking rate of machines like this, to be effective, must be high — typically around 48k strokes per minute are needed. However, the DeWalt DWD520 has impacts per minute (IPM) of 56k.

The drill attachment also executes rotating and striking movements at the same time. However, the individual blows are much stronger here, which allows use in concrete and generally enables faster work.

And, if you look closely, this hammer drill performs fewer blows per unit of time, but it has a significantly higher impact energy than an impact drill.

Incidentally, this hammer drill can also be used well in masonry blocks made of lightweight concrete. However, as it’s a percussion device, it’s a vocal piece of machinery — so ear protection is advisable.

Sturdy and Compact Build


If you need to use a handheld power tool continuously, you have to keep an eye on the weight and the size.

Most models usually vary between four and 8 pounds, but devices that scratch at the upper limit can be very uncomfortable after a few minutes.

Meanwhile, because of the robust metal and hard plastic construction as well as the extra functions of the device, it weighs 6 pounds. Therefore, it falls in the middle of the range in terms of weight, although a few users still say it’s on the heavy side.

But with its moderate dimension of 10.5 x 14.44 x 3.25 inches, its compact design enables access to tight spaces. Due to this, the rotary hammer should be ideally suited for overhead work.

And, its metal front end ensures it can handle worksite abuse and day-to-day use.

Two-Speed Function


The DWD520 sports not one, but two speed ranges — 0 to 1200 RPM and 0 to 3500 RPM.

With this dual functionality, you can make straightforward switching between high and low-speed drilling applications. Hence, having an electronic speed variator allows you to adapt the pace according to the material — no slippage and no jerks.

And, while a drill possessing a one-speed gearbox must be used as precisely and slowly as possible. Its two-speed cousin, found in the DWD520, can call up additional power — drilling holes much faster.

Pistol Grip Handle


One of the key features of the hammer drill is that it’s pistol-shaped, so, as the name suggests you hold it a bit like you would a gun. Combine this design with the two-finger trigger switch and it transpires to better control during your hammering and drilling jobs.

What’s more, the soft-grip handle ensures increased comfort — meaning, it’s ideal for heavy-duty applications and time-lengthy tasks.

DeWalt DWD520 Specifications

 DeWalt DWD520
Motor power10 amp
No-load speed0-1200 / 0-3500 RPM
Impacts per minute0-19200 / 0-56000 IPM
Wood Capacity (Ø)1.5 inches
Steel Capacity (Ø)0.5 inches
Masonry Capacity (Ø)0.75 inches
Power/speed level2
Weight6 pounds
Length14.44 inches
Chuck size0.5 inches
Drill typeCorded electric
Max speed3500 RPM
Voltage120 volts
Extra features360-degree adjustable handle, chuck wrench and depth measure.
Warranty3 years

What Users Say About The DeWalt DWD520 


In this DeWalt DWD520 review, you’ve had my perspective on this power tool. However, for a true reflection of its performance in the field, what do bonafide users have to say on the matter? What do they think is positive, and what are the underlying challenges?

Overall, it’s favorable.

While a few users said the impact action could be better, and the device could be more lightweight in design, many expressed they’re satisfied with the functionality of this drill. Comments regarding the powerful hammer action were also frequent, explaining how it bores holes in less than 20 seconds.
And, corroborating my perspective on the sturdy construction of the device, many also note how solid and rugged it feels, how easy it is to handle, and how well it works.

Alternatives To The DeWalt DWD520 


While the users rate this power tool highly, it doesn’t mean the DeWalt DWD520 is going to suit everyone. Hence, if you, for whatever reason, feel it doesn’t tick all your drilling boxes, I’ve picked out a few alternatives for you to consider.

Wagner Spray 250
If the weight of the DWD520 discourages you, then the DCD996B, a 20-volt hammer drill weighing just 4 pounds, may warrant a closer look.

With a cordless design, the MAX XR Hammer Drill can be used without a direct connection to the mains. So, it’s ideal if you’re always on the move or you need it for no-connection applications.

It features a LED light for working in limited light conditions, a brushless motor and three speed settings — max 2000 RPM. And, while this hammer drill can make up to 38250 BPM for fast drilling in tough jobs like masonry, it’s lower than the DWD520.

  • The DCD996B is a cordless design, as opposed to the corded DWD520.
  • Both the DWD520 and DCD996B are of a similar price point.
  • Weighing 4 pounds, the DCD996B is lighter than the DWD520.
Like the DeWalt model, the Makita HR 2475 rotary hammer is corded with a pistol-grip build. It features multiple modes – rotation only, hammering only and hammering with rotation — meaning, this drill could appeal to those who seek versatility for their projects.

The HR 2475 boasts a 7-amp motor and a top speed of 1100 RPM, while max drilling ranges equate to — concrete (one-inch), steel (0.5 inches) and wood (1.25 inches). It also features an oversized trigger and variable speed for user-friendly control.

What’s more, the Makita arrives with a carry case, side handle and depth rod.

  • Both drills are of comparable weight.
  • Harder on the pocket than the DWD520.
  • The HR 2475 features a 3-mode function — the DWD520 has two.
If you’re new to the pneumatic drilling world — or feel you’ll only be using your right-angle machine on an infrequent basis — you may seek something a little lighter on the wallet than the Freeman. This unit from Central Pneumatic could be the budget drill you’re after.

As with the FAT38AD, the CP69495 incorporates a 0.375-inch chuck, aluminum housing, and a 90 psi requirement at 4 CFM. However, at a lower price point than the Freeman, it may appeal more to casual users.

  • No user-selectable speed settings — unlike the FAT38AD.
  • At 2.65 pounds, it’s heavier than the Freeman.
  • Unlike the FAT38AD, it doesn’t include oil, connectors, or wrenches.

Conclusion


Ordinarily, working on wood, concrete, and metal can be tough on its own. But shifting from a device to a more suitable one can add to the complexity of the manufacturing, woodworking, or construction job.

However, this shouldn’t be a problem, as you only need to switch from the hammering to drilling operational mode. And this dual-mode means that while it’s suitable for brick, masonry and blocks, it’s also a dab hand for use with wood and metals of a heavy-duty hardness — tailoring to whatever your project demands.

What’s more, with the selectors on this power tool, you can also change from low-speed to the high-speed setting during high-torque applications. Plus, the included depth rod makes series drilling a no-fuss affair.

Hence, if you’re interested in a multi-material hammer drill for your various woodworking or construction projects, why not check out the DeWalt DWD520.

DeWalt DWD520 FAQs

Q: Can a DeWalt Hammer Drill Be Used as a Regular Drill?

Yes, the DeWalt DWD520 hammer drill can be used as a regular drill. Remember we said this is a two-mode model. As in, you can use it for either hammering or drilling.

Q: Is DeWalt DWD520 Drill Suitable for Concrete?

The device works great in metals and poured concrete. The hammer drill can drill holes of up to 0.75 inches (20 mm) into masonry works in general.

Q: How Much Does the DeWalt DWD520 Cost?

The DeWalt DWD520 is a dual-function drill, boasting hammer and drill only modes. Its pistol-grip design and two-finger trigger allow complete speed control.  To check out the current cost of the DWD520.

Q: What Is the Best Brand of Hammer Drill?

Some manufacturers have become indispensable when it comes to hammer drills in the DIY and professional sector. These include DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Einhell, and more.

  • DeWalt is a subsidiary of Black and Decker, one of the most recognized brands in power tool manufacturing.
  • Bosch has a pioneering role when it comes to rotary hammers because the company was the first in the world to mass-produce these tools.
  • Makita is a Japanese company that specializes in the development and manufacture of battery-operated power tools in recent years.
  • The German company Einhell manufactures hammer drill devices that are primarily intended for private use. This not only applies to hammer drills but also many other electrical tools.

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