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DeWalt DW120K Review

Editor Rating: 4.6/5

Great Product

DeWalt DW120K Review

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Aug 27, 2021 @ 9:29 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Review Summary

A right-angle drill — such as the DeWalt DW120K — certainly isn’t among the tools common in most DIYer’s armories. Its purpose is to access spaces that are tight and hard-to-reach — and is invaluable for jobs such as carpentry or plumbing. When you have to do some drilling in a place that’s inaccessible to a standard drill, using the right angle model is the correct choice.

And the DW120K fulfilled these functions — but unfortunately, no longer.

Designed for heavy-duty jobs, the DeWalt DW120K was ideal for hardcore applications. A keyed chuck promised reassuring bit stability — while a choice of three-speed settings — 400, 600, and 900 rpm — permitted you to utilize the most suitable rapidity for your current project.

Featuring triple reduction gears, torque was elevated while reducing stress on the motor and cogs — increasing the lifespan of the unit. Furthermore, a die-cast housing provided reassuring durability, while a five-position side handle elevated control and accuracy — allowing you to tailor your drilling position to suit your target material.

While the DW120K proved popular with tradespersons and aspirational DIYers — after seven years of production, DeWalt discontinued the tool in 2018, replacing it with the more compact DCD740C1. However, as the new version is battery-powered, unlike the corded DW120K, I suggest that our top pick — the Makita DA3010F — is a more suitable alternative.

Features and Benefits of the DeWalt DW 120K


Although the DeWalt DW 120 K is no longer available, here are the features that made it a popular choice with trade users.

Build


The fact that this model was the real deal was noticeable right out of the box. It sported a highly durable build quality, having a housing made from heavy-duty die-cast metal that protected the unit’s vital parts from damage. Yet, its 9.75 pounds of weight made it something of a hefty machine — an issue that would induce fatigue on more time-consuming projects.

Power


The DW120K came with a seven amp motor that used three different speed settings – 400, 600, and 900 (max) rpm — allowing you to utilize the appropriate speed for the task at hand, making the drill incredibly versatile. The triple gear reduction was there to reduce the gear stress and provide increased torque, allowing one to use this unit even for hardcore drilling jobs.

Auxiliary Handle


Even though it weighed close to 10 pounds, handling the DW120K was a breeze thanks to the presence of a five-position auxiliary handle. It allowed you to cater your grip to the most comfortable position for the particular application. Whether you were drilling through subfloors or studs, you could simply adjust the handle and move comfortably and quickly through the work.

The model sported a forward & reverse switch right above the trigger. Using it was seamless, as you could easily access it with either the pointer finger or the thumb.

Accessories & Warranty


DeWalt DW120K Box Kit
Along with the drill, the package also included a convenient plastic toolbox, a side handle, an Allen wrench, as well as a chuck key and holder. The unit came with three years of limited warranty, one year of a service contract, and a 90-days money-back guarantee.
 DeWalt DW120K
Weight9.75 pounds
Chuck0.5-inch keyed
Speed400/600/900 rpm
Cord LengthEight feet
Voltage120V AC
Motor7.0 Amp
Number of Speed Settings3
WarrantyThree years

What Do Users Say?


Although no longer in production, the DeWalt 120K DW still maintains a loyal following amongst trade users — a testament to its durability and reliability.

Users deem the DeWalt DW120K as an “ideal tool for a lot of jobs around the house.” It received universal acclaim from both the professional contractors and DIY hobbyists, as it sported enough flexibility to be used by both of these groups.
Consumers were pleased with the drill’s build quality and excellent performance, as well as with the included accessories and the three-year warranty.

Admittedly, some guys were unimpressed, feeling that the three speed settings were restrictive, with many comparable units currently on the market — such as the Makita DA3010F — offering a full variable speed option.

That said, for hardcore drilling with multi-angle versatility, the DW120K remains a resilient, albeit discontinued, drill that stands up to extensive use.

Alternatives


As the DW120K is no longer available — unless you purchase a second-hand machine — I have sourced some highly creditable alternative machines.

In my opinion, the ultimate corded right-angle drill currently on the market.

More compact than the DeWalt, the DA3010F offers greater versatility for close-quarter applications — allowing you to work in more confined areas. And, boasting variable chuck rotation from 0-2400 rpm, it provides elevated drilling rapidity and user-selectable speeds.

  • Lacks the auxiliary handle of the DW120K.
  • Incorporates an LED lamp — not a feature of the DeWalt.
  • Significantly lighter than the DW120 — 3.5 pounds as opposed to 9.75 pounds.
If you’re seeking a right-angle drill with a similar grunt as the discontinued DW120 K — this machine may be of interest.

Featuring the same 7.0 amp motor delivering significant torque, it also boasts an auxiliary handle like the DeWalt, to elevate control and pushing power. Furthermore, with a 0.5-inch keyed chuck — identical to the DW120K — it’s an excellent alternative.

  • Slower maximum speed — 750 rpm compared to the 900 rpm of the DeWalt.
  • Like the DW 120K — it arrives with a carrying case.
  • Features a 360-degree swivel head — identical to the DeWalt.
If the now obsolete DeWalt 120K was a little too substantial for your projects — this corded right-angle drill may appeal.

Incredibly compact, the Milwaukee 0370/20 is pleasingly lightweight at 3.9 pounds, compared to the 9.75 pounds of the DeWalt. Furthermore, at half the length of the DW120K, it’s more suited to accessing confined areas.

  • Smaller chuck — 0.375 inches as opposed to the 0.5-inch of the DeWalt.
  • More rapid — maximum 1300 rpm compared to the 900 rpm of the DW120K.
  • Longer warranty — five years in contrast with three years of the DeWalt.

Conclusion


With 7.0 amps of power, an industrial-grade 0.5-inch chuck, and an auxiliary handle — the now discontinued DW120 K was a robust machine ideal for trade users tackling heavy-duty projects.

Its robust metal gear housing provided impressive longevity — while its 360-degree rotating head permitted impressive operational freedom. And, with many satisfied owners still using this machine — it illustrates that this was a serious unit built to last.

However, all good things come to an end.

So, if you’re looking for a unit worthy of the strength and build quality of the DeWalt DW 120K — I suggest checking out the equally creditable Makita DA3010F instead.

DeWalt DW 120 K Right Angle Drill FAQs

Q: Where Can I Buy the DW120K?

Unfortunately, this corded right-angle drill has now been discontinued. For an equally robust and trade-grade unit, I suggest checking out the Makita DA3010F.

Q: Where Can I Find A DeWalt DW 120 K Manual?

Although this drill is no longer available, you can access the user guide for the DW120K by clicking here.

Q: Is the DW120K Cordless?

No. The DW 120K right-angled drill from DeWalt was powered by an eight-foot mains cable.

Q: Where Can I Find DeWalt 120K Parts?

Although no longer in production, DeWalt still provides some replacement components for the DW120K drill. To identify the part you need, check out this exploded diagram.

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