DeWalt Atomic Impact Wrench Squeezes Strong Muscle into Tight Spaces
This is the ever-present conundrum of impact wrenches – how to get more torque in a tighter space. The DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench is designed to solve that problem once and for all.
DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench: Compact Power
At first glance, it's clear that DeWalt designed this impact wrench to be compact. It measures less than 5 inches (4.97 inches) from tip to tail. On top of the handle, the head slopes up slightly, allowing you to use the space more easily without the battery getting in your way.
The tool is also relatively lightweight. It weighs 2.5 pounds bare metal, 3.3 pounds with a 2.0Ah battery, and 3.9 pounds with a 5.0Ah battery pack.
Even though it's compact, the brushless motor packs some legit power. It has a nut breaking torque of up to 450 foot-pounds and a tightening torque of up to 300 foot-pounds. This, combined with 2500 RPM and 3550 IPM, brings you the joy of unbolting.
It's powerful, and we compared it to wireless and pneumatic options to see where it really fits. Milwaukee's M18 Fuel 2855 sets an impressive standard for compact 18V impact wrenches, but at 250 foot-pounds for tightening and tightening nuts, it isn't strong enough.
Using Ingersoll-Rand as an aerodynamic benchmark, their subcompact 36QMax is capable of 640 foot-pounds of breakaway torque and 360 foot-pounds of tightening torque.
Currently, the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench leads the cordless category in strength, but there are still more powerful pneumatic options.
We decided to test the Atomic impact wrench rather than just take DeWalt's word for it. We set the torque on the rig to various levels and found that this model was able to consistently remove 450 foot-pounds using the 5.0Ah battery. We've even broken bolts up to 461 foot-pounds.
The impact wrench has four power/speed settings. Two of them are standard low/high modes. Two more prevent overtightening and runaway with the Precision Wrench control, while the Timber Screw mode optimizes the speed of the tool as you tighten wood. w
At this level of performance, there are three Atomic models to choose from. The DCF921 has a 1/2" arch ring (friction ring) and the DCF922 has a 1/2" pin detent. The DCF923 is downsized without changing the spec class and features a 3/8" arched ring.
We love the LED lights on these wrenches. Three lights surround the driver, and there are controls to turn them off or choose between two intensity modes. They're great when you're lounging around the engine!
- Glass-filled nylon housing resists damage from certain oils and solvents
- Includes belt hook
DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Prices
Whichever model you want, it's $199 bare. Kit options are also available for both friction ring models. Using two 5.0Ah batteries, the kit costs $399. Alternatively, you can get two 5.0Ah oil-resistant batteries for $499.
As always, DeWalt backs these effects with a 3-year warranty, 1-year service agreement, and 90-day money-back guarantee.
the bottom line
The DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench is an impressive tool that instantly jumps to the top of its class for power. Its compact size and light weight are sure to make it a favorite of mechanics, contractors, and other professionals who need high performance in tight spaces.
DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Impact Wrench Specifications
- Models: DeWalt DCF921 (1/2″ Hog Ring), DCF922 (1/2″ Detent Pin), DCF923 (3/8″ Hog Ring)
- Motor: Brushless
- Impact per minute: 3550 IPM
- Maximum Tightening Torque: 300 ft-lbs
- Maximum Breakaway Torque: 450 ft-lbs
- No-load speed: 2500 RPM
- Height: 8.2 inches
- Length: 4.97 inches
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
- DCF921B Bare Tool – $199
- DCF921P2 kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR batteries – $399
- DCF921GP2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Oil Resistant Batteries – $499
- DCF922B bare metal – $199
- DCF923B bare metal – $199
- DCF923P2 kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR batteries – $399
- DCF923GP2 Kit with (2) 5.0Ah XR Oil Resistant Batteries – $499