Dewalt is coming out with a new 20V Max li-ion brushless cordless drill driver, model DCD790, which will be released alongside the also-new brushless hammer drill that we previously discussed. While some might look to compare this model to Milwaukee’s FUEL M18 brushless drill, it is worth remembering that Dewalt designed the DCD790 to be more compact and lightweight. The new drill also features a foot-mounted LED worklight, a la Bosch and Ridgid’s designs, for fewer shadows. Marketing images show that the DCD790 is shorter than other top brands’ competing models, but it is also substantially less powerful. The new brushless drill (center), hammer drill (right), and what looks to be a new impact driver (left, model DCF886).
If I could only work with one cordless drill, I would probably pick a more powerful compact 18V drill over this one. That all said, the DCD790 will surely be popular with users that mainly drill and drive smaller or shorter holes and fasteners.
Im interested in hearing about the specs of the new brushless impact and the reasoning behind it.
But my guess is that the new impact driver shares similar design and construction elements with the new brushless drills so that the same brushless motor could be used in all three tools.
I am so impressed with Dewalts impact driver that when money allows I will get this for drilling into steel at work. So you can’t really rely on on-paper specs, nor is it easy to rely on head-to-head comparisons. It’s easy to create comparison tests, but I have yet to find a way to interpret results with high enough confidence. At this point it doesn’t really matter that Dewalt adopted their own metric, now that some li-ion-powered tools shut down before they even get to the max-torque shutoff. Michael if it was the case that dewalt was trying to hide something don’t you think they would have picked a system that made their numbers look better instead of worse? It’s hard to say, but during testing there were times when I wished the 780 was *just a little bit* more powerful. Direct comparisons are incredibly complicated, especially now that li-ion batteries typically have built-in protection. There is no public UWO to in-lbs conversion, but I believe that the multiplication factor seems to be somewhere between 1 and 1.5. I believe I once read (or was told) that they adopted UWO because it allowed for a true measure of power between different Dewalt models, while in-lbs relates to no-load torque. While tool specs have less meaning than they used to, many buyers rely on them when buying new tools. With PCs it used to be processor speed in GHz, with digital cameras it was the number of megapixels, and with LED flashlights it’s lumens.
I read a while back on the dewalt website that one reason for the UWO measurement was to compare cordless tools to corded tools. On the other hand the light does now illuminate the tip of the bit, unlike the DCD780 which got in the way of its own light. Home Depot and Lowes are in a fierce marketing battle, with each saying their house brand makes the better 18V cordless drill driver. I owned a Ridgid 18 volt compact drill (older version of the one pictured), it was great drill with the exception of the short battery life,and the slightly odd placement of the LED. I would go with Ridgid, they’re an established powertool brand now, have a good warranty, proven support and have gotten a couple of generations of powertools lines under their belt now.
I’m just a little leery of new powertool launches, especially when I dont know who the OEM is and how long the tools will be around if the line doesnt pan out. I also have to say its weird that Kobalt, with less than six months and only 10-15 tools on the market would take on such a well established brand like Ridgid.

To show how mixed up they are with remembering which imaginary torque rating they’re using at the time, they have a new 12V impact at Home depot.
The Kobalt tools are made by Chervon, an OEM that makes tools for Craftsman and other well-known brands.
I own a ridgid set, and the drill chuck recntly stopped ratcheting, I went to the local ridgid authorized shop, and it came back like new, no hassle at all, are you speaking from experience?
I think you will find that most manufacturers are very helpful solving any issues you may while the unit is in warranty. What I have never understood is why customers think it is ok to try to ripoff stores by trying to return units that are out of the mfg. After the Bosh cordless drill battery quit on me, I did some research to help me decide what company made the best cordless drill to fit my needs. Individual battery purchases carry a three year warranty only, based on the purchase receipt. I agree with the comment above that the warranty is a selling point but a fraud in practice. I did have a challenge registering with Ridgid—that took about 8 months, but it got done. I’m a carpenter and use cordless drills all the time for roofing, framing, remodeling, decking, etc.
And on top of all that the 15.4v Rigid out performs the 18v Dewalt, if that tells you anything about performance. The kit comes bundled with their new 2.0Ah li-ion batteries that provide up to 33% more runtime with 50% longer recharge time (45 mins vs. If Dewalt didn’t change the balance or handle profile too much, the ergonomic should be great as well. And if I could only work with two, I would pick a high performing compact and lightweight 12V model (such as the brushless Milwaukee M12 Fuel), and a more powerful compact or heavy duty 18V model. The DCD790 builds upon the 780’s strengths with a couple of improvements, most notably the brushless motor and metal chuck.
I couldn’t get used to the bit release mechanism and put off a lengthy testing session for so long because of this that the sample got buried somewhere. But that doesn’t take into account that PTI member brands should all be following the same testing methodologies to ensure fair and honest torque comparison.
UWO is almost impossible to calculate and they are the only company that has been doing this type of measurement. When viewing drills side-by-side, customers will see and think that 650 in-lbs is better than 600 in-lbs, even if lesser specs would suffice for their needs.
Ignoring everything else, what would you rather buy for $150, a 650 in-lb drill, or a 600 in-lb drill? I couldnt find what I remember reading but heres an article listing why they chose UWO as a more reliable rating system over torque measurements. Lowes struck first, with an in-store banner behind their new Kobalt cordless power tool displays comparing the Kobalt Li-ion drill driver to Ridgid’s. But looking at the Ridgid sign it says the Ridgid drill has 537 inch lbs of torque, but the web site says its equal to the Kobalt at 455. The Ridgid sign says that those are the PTI torques, which doesn’t make sense since why would they rate their tools’ torque as lower than PTI-compliant results? My experience with both stores is that their warranties are no better than the paper they’re printed on.
I work 40 hours a week with them and put an excessively hard effort on the 18 volt Li-Ion drill. And if you use drills often you know that balance is key, the Rigid has a much better battery to drill balance than Dewalt or Kobalt as well.

That particular Bosch compact drill is conveniently left out of Dewalt’s size comparison photo. What role does the new one fill when they already have 2 outstanding impact drivers (brushed and brushless)? For example, a drill’s performance can drastically change depending on which battery is used. In one case, a higher-rated model shut off and a lower-rated model kept pushing until it smoked up.
Some will look at other factors, but a lot of people will go for the one with the higher rating. As discussed, I feel it’s hard to know what to think now that a lot of tools shut themselves off way before they stall. The new grips are fatter and the trigger is farther away: both negatives for my medium hands.
Ridgid torque levels are different depending on whether you use the slim or extended capacity battery, so maybe that has something to do with it. It also wouldn’t be a good idea for to Lowes to suggestively compare the Kobalt power tools to other brands they carry, such as Porter Cable. In the 18 months that I have owned the tools I have had 3 problems (all replaced without hassle at the local Lowes store). Only the batteries accompanying a qualifying RIDGID cordless power tool purchase, qualify for that coverage, if that coverage has been obtained for the qualifying RIDGID cordless power tool purchase that the batteries came with. This is further complicated by how some brands have updated their tools and battery packs without changing the model numbers.
The shape is similar and would still be excellent if my hands had grown from medium to large, but my hands remain the same so the new grips are too big. Torque ratings always seemed to be skewed by the manufacturers, along with RPM’s and other ratings. Do you really think that Ridged’s impact is more powerful than everyone else on the market at a almost $100 lower price point? I believe UWO is a better gauge of how fast a tool will perform most applications than just listing torque because it takes into account RPM as well. Register your guns and they have a lifetime warranty on batteries, chargers, guns, parts, etc. Thankfully Lowes replaced all items including the drill on my first trip to the store with no receipts and no hassle whatsoever. I really want the newer compact one and would hope the old one would break for a logical reason to buy the newer one with the newer X4 hyper lithium ion batteries, that I gather reading from ppls messages up above are even better and more longer lasting. I was already insanely happy with the quality and performance before, but to know they are constantly updating and upgrading their generation of product lines, I am satisfied they are not going anywhere and will back their brand reputation and quality. Home Depot will exchange batteries for you up to one year, and the chicken made it blatantly obvious its most people lazy and not registering is the real problem. People complaining are being extremely lazy and ignorant and unfair to the actual LIFETIME warranty that they offer everyone who buys their stuff and takes the time to register like they ask. So anyways when buying Ridgid I noticed the two batteries plus now are lithium ion without memory problems.

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