Unleash the Full Power of the DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drill
DeWalt has introduced two innovative lines of battery sensing: Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage. After putting the FlexVolt Advantage hammer drill to the test, we were eager to see how the DeWalt Power Detect hammer drill stacked up.
Pros: Unlock the Full Potential
- Exceptional performance with any battery, especially the 20V Max 8.0Ah battery pack.
- Capable of maintaining high speeds with a wide range of bit sizes.
- Equipped with a versatile 3-speed gearbox.
- Adjustable LED light intensity for improved visibility.
Cons: Some Trade-offs
- Not as compact as certain other premium hammer drills.
- Requires a larger battery for optimal performance.
Be sure to check out our article on the best DeWalt drill bits.
What Sets DeWalt Power Detect Apart from FlexVolt Advantage?
Essentially, DeWalt’s Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage share two similar technologies but utilize different batteries. In tools like the DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect Hammer Drill, the Power Detect tool performs well with a 2.0Ah or 5.0Ah battery, but truly shines with a 20V Max 8Ah battery.
The FlexVolt Advantage follows a similar pattern, with a power boost occurring when switching from a 20V Max battery to a FlexVolt battery pack.
The DeWalt DCD998 goes head to head with the DCD996, DCD997, and DCD999, boasting an impressive top speed of 2000 RPM and a hammer speed of 38,250 BPM. However, what sets it apart is its raw power.
In terms of power output, the Power Detect hammer drill with its 1072 UWO sits between the other two. The 20V Max XR and Tool Connect versions offer a maximum of 820 UWO, while the FlexVolt Advantage can reach an impressive 1219 UWO.
To put these specifications to the test, we ran the DCD998 on the PTR Drill Test Track. This allowed us to compare Power Detect’s performance with other DeWalt models. If you’re unfamiliar with the PTR test track, it involves:
- Driving in 20 drywall screws.
- Drilling 10 holes with a 1/2-inch auger bit.
- Drilling 10 holes with a 3/4-inch spade drill bit.
- Drilling 10 holes with a 3/4-inch auger bit.
- Cutting with a 1-inch hole saw.
- Cutting with a 2 1/8-inch hole saw.
Using the 5.0Ah battery as our benchmark, the DCD998 completed the course in an impressive 2 minutes and 19 seconds. With the new 8.0Ah battery pack, it shaved off 14 seconds, finishing in just 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
What’s interesting is that Power Detect’s final time was actually faster than the FlexVolt Advantage’s fastest run time of 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Removing the points where human error may come into play, such as drill bit changes and driving in drywall screws, revealed that Power Detect was consistently faster in every aspect.
Here’s a breakdown of the test results:
|Power Detect||FlexVolt Advantage|
|Twist drill part||8.36 seconds||9.35 seconds|
|Spade bit part||14.50 seconds||14.71 seconds|
|Auger part||17.97 seconds||18.84 seconds|
|1 inch hole saw||2.53 seconds||4.35 seconds|
|2 1/8 inch hole saw||5.45 seconds||6.17 seconds|
It’s important to note that neither of these tests pushed the drills to their maximum speeds. Nonetheless, both Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage demonstrated exceptional performance, and they didn’t have to rely on maximum torque for every type of bit.
To truly put them to the test, we used a 2 9/16-inch self-feeding drill, and both models completed the hole swiftly, even at high speeds. These drills are undoubtedly high-performance impact drills.
Speaking of Hammer Drills
The DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect Hammer Drill introduces a unique feature when switched into hammer drill mode. The collet subtly protrudes, signaling the engagement of the hammer mechanism. Additionally, the speed is boosted in this mode, running at 500 – 2250 RPM instead of the 450 – 2000 RPM in drill and drive mode. This enhanced speed makes for quick and efficient drilling, particularly in concrete.
Design Notes for the DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect Hammer Drill
Size and Weight: Power Comes at a Cost
While many manufacturers strive to make their flagship impact drills lighter and more compact, DeWalt chooses to prioritize power first. As a result, the overall size of the DCD998 is very similar to the DCD996/DCD997 models. It measures 8.4 inches from front to back and weighs 3.5 pounds (without the battery). With the 5.0Ah battery, it weighs 4.9 pounds, and with the 8.0Ah battery, it weighs 5.6 pounds.
Comparatively, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hammer Drill offers a noticeable difference in size and weight.
LED Control: See What Matters
If you’ve ever wished for more control over the intensity of the LED light on your drill, the DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drill has you covered. It offers three levels of brightness, allowing you to adjust the light according to your needs. However, it’s worth noting that there is no option to completely turn off the LED light.
Notably, the brightest setting remains active for 20 minutes after releasing the trigger. This feature eliminates the need for a separate flashlight or headlamp when working in dimly lit areas.
Additional Features: Enhanced Performance and Versatility
The DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drill offers a range of additional features, including:
- Compatibility with all 20V Max and FlexVolt batteries.
- 1/2″ Nitrocarburized Metal Collets for improved durability.
- All-Metal Transmission for enhanced reliability.
DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drill vs. 20V XR and FlexVolt Advantages: A Quick Comparison
|DCD996 (20V Max XR)||DCD998 (Power Detect)||DCD999 (FlexVolt Advantage)|
|Maximum Speed||2000 RPM||2000 RPM||2000 RPM|
|Maximum Power Output||820 UWO||1072 UWO||1219 UWO|
|Hammer Rate||38,250 BPM||38,250 BPM||38,250 BPM|
|Length||8.4 inches||8.4 inches||8.4 inches|
|Weight (Bare)||2.8 lbs||3.5 lbs||3.6 lbs|
|PTR Test Track Completion Time||2:34||2:05||2:19|
DeWalt DCD998 Power Detect Hammer Drill Prices
The best way to get started with the DeWalt DCD998 is to get the DCD998W1 kit. It includes an 8.0Ah battery for maximum performance out of the box and is priced at $279. If you prefer just the bare tools, the price is $179.
There is also a combo kit available, which includes the Power Detect Hammer Drill, DeWalt DCF887 impact driver, 2.0Ah battery, 8.0Ah battery, and charger. This comprehensive kit sells for $399.
The Bottom Line: A Powerful Choice
If you’re seeking the best that DeWalt has to offer in an impact drill, the choice is between the Power Detect and the FlexVolt Advantage. Rest assured, neither will disappoint you.
If you do not plan on utilizing the FlexVolt platform for 60V tools, the DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect Hammer Drill is the ideal choice. However, if you intend to take full advantage of the FlexVolt system, the FlexVolt Advantage model may better suit your needs. Either way, you’ll end up with one of the finest hammer drills available.
For more information on DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drills, click here.
DeWalt Power Detect Hammer Drill Specifications
- Model: DEWALT DCD998W1
- Motor: Brushless
- No-load speed: 0-450/0-1,300/0-2,000 RPM
- Clutch Settings: 11
- Height: 8.2 inches
- Length: 8.85 inches
- Width: 2.55 inches
- Weight: 3.5 lbs.
- Warranty: 3 years
- Kit Price: $279