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. A friend of mine who is in the market for a more power drill, need my help to buy the best cheapest cordless drill with the biggest power on the market.
Li-Ion batteries needs matching charger and this DeWALT DCD760KL comes with 30-minutes quick charger.
Additional nice feature on this DeWALT DCD760KL is LED Worklight which provides increased visibility in confined spaces.
Its compact size also makes it easy to drill in tight spaces like under sinks, and in corners, or a closet and makes drilling overhead or in tight spaces a cinch. All manufacturers except Dewalt put the battery in the handle which makes for a beefy handle and an off balance drill.
I have been using the DeWalt cordless drill since quite a while now but not this 18V model.
I did research Milwaukee Cordless Drill on some models but I decided not to buy it yet, until I found model that suite my needs. I plan to buy cordless drill based on your great recommendation here but haven’t decided one yet.
For any job around the house, DeWalt 14.4 drill offers a strong durability and reliability for any user. Among all cordless drills on the market, the DeWalt 14.4 drill is one of the most powerful. Troy has been using Dewalt 18V tools for years, but the tools and batteries are starting to go. Like I’m sure a lot of your readers, I bought one of the DeWalt 18V multi-tool packages several years back.
My question for you is: what is the best way to go about upgrading and replacing without buying EVERYTHING new? There currently are not any official battery or tool adapters, and there are unlikely to be any conversion adapters later on. The bright side is that, since Dewalt 18V cordless tool users are faced with having to buy everything new, they could shop around and decide which brand’s battery platform to buy into.
Having to upgrade from Dewalt’s 18V platform to a completely new Li-ion system, rather than simply being able to upgrade to latest generation tools and batteries as needed, is not the happiest situation to be in. Not a guarantee for the future, but Craftsman C3, Ryobi, and Ridgid all made their new 18v li-ion packs compatible with older tools. Perhaps I’m splitting the baby here or delaying the inevitable, but can I purchase an 18v li-ion tool (like a new drill) and use that as a bridge until the rest of my tools need replacement? Also, the 18 volt Lithium batteries will require a special charger compatible with the lithium batteries (can’t use your old charger) and will not work with the new 20v tools. If it were me (and its always easy how to tell someone else to spend their money) I’d replace your broken tool(s) with the platform of choice, and get a couple 18v batteries to finish wearing out your other tools. Now might be the time to make the jump, with Amazon extending their DeWalt discount, if that is the brand you want to go with. Ryobi 18V – if you want a series of dependable consumer-grade tools, with a positively huge span of applications.
Makita 18V LXT – if you want to have the absolutely largest selection of 18v tools available to you, Makita is your choice. Thank you for mentioning Bosch, Mike, I was beginning to wonder if anyone here even knew Bosch existed! I love Bosch’s tools, but their selection is awful short in this country, and their pricing is pretty high.
I don’t want to start an argument, but I get the impression DeWalt has a better image with do-it-yourselfers and consumers than it does with pros.
At the local weekend flea market there’s a humongous pile of deWalt 18V tools for sale, mostly drill drivers, almost all gleaming new. At that same flea market you can walk in with a new in package deWalt battery and use it like currency. Makita has the largest lineup you can grow in to, with multiple versions of drills, impacts and saws.
But, one of my biggest insights was when visiting my friend’s large commercial woodworking shop in Basel, Switzerland.
I just rebuilt all of my 18V battery pack for under $20 each – I went to harbor freight, bought as many different variations of the 18V packs as I could get my hands on, opened them all up, and compared the cell layout and lead position to my dewalt pack. Almost every time I pass a work zone or construction area, I try to take a peek at the tools being used. Dewalt didn’t just release a compact cordless driver, they kicked off a new 8V Max lithium ion cordless power tool platform around it.
With a product like this, I feel that it’s important to understand how and why it was developed. I had a lot of questions (as usual), so my [remaining] friends at Dewalt put me in touch with Jim Watson, group product manager and lead of the innovations team. I spoke with Jim for about a half hour, discussing various aspects of the 8V gyro driver’s design and development.
Cabinet installers, maintenance workers, tradesmen, and anyone who normally uses an impact driver for larger fasteners and manual screwdriver on smaller ones. The team designed this product for a 100% duty cycle (similar to Milwaukees M4 screwdriver). The driver was mainly designed with machine screws and lighter duty and repetitive installation tasks in mind. The handle position can be unlocked from both sides of the tool, but the swivel mechanism only works in one direction.

I initially found the screwdriver to be a little more comfortable, or at least easier to control, when held in the straight-grip position. The gyroscope and control circuitry are properly tuned and implemented, and allow for operation at any angle. If nut-busting torque is what you’re after, this is not the cordless screwdriver for you. You can hold the driver vertically downwards in a reverse grip, as when working inside an equipment box on the table, but don’t expect to get it right on the first try. The size difference between the 8V Max lithium ion battery pack and a common 12V Max battery pack is appreciable. It will be interesting to see what other types of products Dewalt designs around the 8V Max form factor. Some of you might find it interesting that the battery pack is made in Japan, evidently using Sanyo rechargeable cells.
Bits lock into the chuck just by inserting them, and can be removed with a quick pull of the knurled collar.
I must embarrassingly admit that it took me a few minutes to figure out where to place the removable bit holder.
Pros: compact, lightweight, almost pocketable, offers wide speed control range, can be used manually for final fastener tightening or initial breaking free. I can definitely recommend the 8V gyro-controlled driver for installers looking for a cordless screwdriver with greater low-torque and speed control.
The digital gyroscope sensor is set so that its sensor axis (at least the one that is used in case of a 2- or 3-axis chip) is parallel with the front part of the tool.
Thanks for the feedback and kind words, and I’m glad you find the reviews to be useful! Would you please give us a performance comparison between the Dewalt and B&D Gyro drills?
The Dewalt is also rated for continuous duty, while the B&D tool most certainly is not. But about the screwdriver, gyro is cool but it should just since with direction you turn the screw and engage.
If I had to drive 30 screws a day with a screwdriver, I would buy this for home in an instant. This was a cool article, I was looking for a Delta Regis electric screwdriver to do cell phone repair but this had some overall good info about normal screwdrivers. 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. As expected, the higher the voltage, the greater the power, or in that matter, torque (we talk about torque later).
Weighing in just 4 lbs with a compact size at 8.2 inches, this cordless drill is the first choice to work all day without putting excessive strain on wrists and hands, which helps boost productivity. NiCad battery contains toxic material called Cadmium, which over time can find its way into groundwater if the NiCad battery is thrown in the trash and not recycled properly. Dewalt puts the battery at the bottom which balances the drill and allows it to have a more ergonomic grip. Mine is DC742KA 12V and this drill has just never let me down, its very handy and very comfortable to use, literally goes through everything! Hence I don’t need to open many tabs on my browser to compare those Makita, Bosch and Dewalt. It’s worth checking back, though, as Home Depot has reanimated deals a couple of times in the past month. The hammer setting on the compact hammer drill can be turned off via the adjustable clutch. I went to use it today, and killed the battery removing a few screws from a door panel, and drilling a few holes. The need to upgrade everything could be delayed with the purchase of new 18V batteries and replacement or upgraded tools as needed, but that’s just postponing the inevitable need for a complete upgrade.
I don’t see them offering anything over any of the other companies in price, performance, selection, backward-compatability, or warranty.
I have an old Ridgid set that I was able to upgrade to li-ion by just buying a new drill kit on sale; 2 new batteries and charger were more expensive. The 18v lithium batteries will come down in price (hopefully) and keep my 18v stable going strong for a while. With over 80 different tools, including a planer, right-angle impact driver, 16 gauge nibbler, die grinder, and a host of other niche tools, Makita has almost every application covered. I’m a big fan of their organization and 12v tools, but feel that Milwaukee 12v is better for a number of reasons. The simple reason for the existence of this pile is simple: holiday specials that included 2 batteries and a cheap drill driver for $99.
It has everything to do with the fact that all the other laborers are using deWalt tools and chargers, and the batteries are high quality and very available. I currently own several Makita 18v tools and wish I was invested in the Milwaukee 18v platform. The only professional power tool brand the local Sears carries is DeWalt, and I was dissatisfied with the Craftsman power tools they had there. They also have a huge service network, so I know I have someone to go to if I ever run into an issue. The main problem some of my friends have had with DeWalt batterys has been with the NiCad batterys.
During my trip to London last July, I caught glimpse of a few city workers preparing to do minor work on a foot bridge. Even so, it hit me by surprise when Dewalt announced they were coming out with a gyroscopically-controlled lithium-ion cordless screwdriver of their own (DCF680 preview).
Both are smaller inline drivers that don’t have pivoting handles, and the DCF681 has an integrated reamer attachment. If you’re not interested in this part, just scroll down to the next photo to resume the review.
The gyroscope allows for speed control over a wider range of motion, compared to a traditional trigger. Dewalt’s driver, however, is not quite as initially intuitive to use, at least in the pistol grip orientation. A flick of the wrist is easy to adjust to, a flick of the wrist and shift of the arm takes a little more time for muscle memory to develop. Remember, the electronic gyroscope sensor used in this tool measures relative motion and is not the same type of mechanical gyroscope that spins around like a top. The driver could handle it, but barely – I had to manually use the powered-off driver to finish tightening the screws. In practice, I don’t hold the driver with the grip as shown, I typically hold it so my wrist is straight, with my thumb on the activation switch and my pointer finger resting on the Dewalt logo.
Dewalt’s 12V Max batteries are arranged differently, which is why this seemed to be a better comparison. This helps avoid unintentional activation when the driver is transported in a tool bag, tool box, or pouch next to other tools that might press on the activation switch.
Maybe this is by design, maybe by coincidence, but it’s nice to not have to reach for pliers to remove a stuck bit.

In my interview with Dewalt’s product manager, I learned that the clutch is actually tuned to the low end and is not linear. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for benchmark and comparison purposes.
If they come out with an 8V screwdriver, it will probably be a direct replacement for the 7.2V driver and of a similar style. There are 88 fasteners that I had to tighten, loosen, adjust, tighten, and loosen again by hand. Or an electrician or tradesman attaching new outlet or switch faceplates in a residential or commercial location. The Dewalt screwdriver has a pivoting handle, as well as adjustable clutch settings that allow for torque tuning and greater repeatability. Meaning the Dewalt is designed for all-day use if necessary, while the B&D Gyro is going to be designed mainly for homeowners and DIYers. 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. Just drive him down to a local hardware store, chose the best price or item on sale and buy one.
With few important elements above I help him get into details and find his best cordless drill on the market today.
Typically, the higher the battery voltage, the higher the drill’s torque, but you will notice that torque does vary between different models featuring the same battery voltage. My wife tried some of the other drills with the battery in the handle and found them awkward to hold because of the size of the grip.
I’ll write my review here once I decide on the brand and model that fit into the project requirements, as well as the budget ceiling.
The motor offers a high power to the drill, so you will get good performance from it.  This performance is delivered through a dual speed motor which goes around 0-400 to 0-1400 RPM’s. Seems like calling these new ones 20V when they are infact 18V li-ion in a different form factor is quite a marketing gimmick. Ryobi’s line is very affordable, often on sale and widely available at Home Depot and other outlets. Most of my tools are Milwaukee M18 fuel, but I still have a few Ryobi tools that I use mostly for outdoor chores. Laborers buy the $99 special and then sell the drill driver for a few bucks and use the batteries on their existing tool set. I’ve killed a 18v Dewalt, a Makita drill, my Hitachi tools are holding up really well. Twist the tool clockwise to drive screws and fasteners forward, or clockwise to loosen or remove them.
Users can give it a quick twist (~10°) for full speed, or a feather touch across ~0-35° for greater sensitivity and finer adjustments. The 7.2V driver delivers up to 80 in-lbs of torque, while the 8V Max gyro screwdriver has a peak torque of up to 24 40 in-lbs. With the B&D Gyro, the axis of rotation is in your hand and is closer to the center of wrist rotation.
If I don’t hold it in such a manner, my wrist ends up bent and uncomfortable when I twist the driver to drive or remove a fastener. This gives users greater control and the ability to fine-tune the tool to the exact torque they need for small fastener installation tasks. Twist the tool left or right and it will measure the angular deviation from the zero point. A driver like this probably would have cut down on the time I spent with a manual hex driver. I use dewalt power tools at work but have become such a fan of milwaukee that I bring my own tools from home and use those. Still, that means the Black & Decker Gyro is 46% more powerful than the Dewalt Gyroscopic Screwdriver. I would like to see an engraver, precision screwdriver, two-way radios, label maker, stud finder, multimeter, man I can just think of them all day. Based on the price markdown I saw ($10 off retail at Lowes) , I think a lot of us are having issues getting used to it, so it must not be selling well.
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. By having more power, generally it does have heavier battery and therefore the heavier the cordless drill will be. Located immediately behind the chuck, the clutch will disengage the drive shaft of the drill and make a clicking sound when a preset level of resistance is reached. If that matters to you, you would have to look at the premium kits or individual kits and bare tools.
If you think you’ll need a spare, the 2-battery kit (DCF680N2) will soon be available. With this driver, you have to align the tool, squeeze the activation trigger, twist the tool, and shift and adjust your arm to compensate for how the tool moves sideways as you twist it. Sounds like a gripe but in my trade (access control) I tighten allot of screw terminals and every step removed adds up big time in production work.
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? Along with the drill, the user receives a double ended screwdriver bit, which allows you to use it for any kind of job, a flat head and a Philips head. Using a wire welder you can zap the battery pack and they are usually restored to like new condition. As a Glazier I find your knowledge and insight great for both professionals and diyers to come and get the information on the latest and greatest to make a informed decision.
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. Buying a cordless drill based on the price alone, later on will be end up with trouble, particularly if the cordless drill will be used on a regular basis.
If so, lightweight cordless drill will minimize fatigue and won’t put undue pressure on wrist. Better drills tend to have more clutch settings and DeWALT DCD760KL equipped with 17 clutch settings! Also a two battery pack is offered, giving the possibility to use one until is discharged and then switch it with the other. The only thing i can see wrong with this thing is that it sometime slips out of 2nd gear in to 1st when drilling i don’t know if the was a design flaw or what but other then that i like. As expected, he doesn’t know and just hoping to find the cheapest and the best cordless drill on display.
Well, I told him a few important things to keep in mind when searching the best cordless drill suited his needs.
Hilti and Festool are very good, but too expensive and limited number of tools on the platform.

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