I need to see what options are available because I've just been told my crew's second air impact wrench was destroyed in relatively short order. I contract for the Florida Department of Transportation and manage several staff members with the Department of Corrections. My people work hard and they are hard on the tools.
Given our current setup, we're having some trouble with the larger bolts. I'm not going to name names here, but it's clear I need to set my sights on higher performance to get the job done. With the higher ups asking us to be greener, we brought in the DeWalt DCF899P2 as their newest and most powerful 20V Max XR brushless high torque impact wrench to see if it could brighten my day.
Performance aside, we are currently using a rig equipped with a generator to run our compressor to power the pneumatic impact wrench. That's a lot of money to drive a set of half inch sockets. Since we also have a solar inverter set up, it would make sense to use cordless power if its performance and runtime can keep up with theirs.
The DeWalt DCF899P2 High Torque Impact Wrench features 700 foot-pounds of tightening torque and 1200 foot-pounds of nut breaking torque. DeWalt has equipped these with a 5.0 amp battery, so it should be a pretty compelling match for nut-bolts that typically run in the 1" to 2" diameter range.
Check out how this model performed in the Shop Tool Reviews Shootout!
DeWalt DCF899P2 20V Max XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Specifications
- Model: DEWALT DCF899P2
- No-load speed: 0- 400/1200/1900 RPM
- Tightening Torque: 700 ft-lbs
- Breakaway Torque: 1200 ft-lbs
- Impact rate: 2400 IPM
- Driver: 1/2″ Pin Detent (hog ring also available)
- Length: 8-13/16″
- Weight: 7.2 lbs
- Included in Kit: Tool, (2) 5.0 Amp Hour Batteries, Charger
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $249 (bare case), $349 (1 battery pack), $449 (2 battery packs)
The DeWalt 20V Max High Torque 1/2" Impact Wrench is part of the XR Brushless (Extreme Runtime) Series, which utilizes a more powerful, more efficient brushless motor. Because our team will be working on some heavy duty applications, we chose the DCF899P2 kit, which features a pin detent actuation design to hold the socket more securely. The kit comes with a charger and a pair of 5.0 amp-hour batteries. It is also available as a bare tool or a single battery kit. Pig ring design can be exposed in two battery kits.
There is plenty of power available so light and medium duty applications can be handled more precisely with the help of the 3 speed motor. I like the fact that DeWalt has stepped up that fact by equipping this model with a 5.0 amp-hour battery. Users will love the extra capacity of DeWalt's higher performance tools.
hit the road
I need two things to get my guys through the day: power and run time. Over the past few months, we have had several assignments to complete with DeWalt. One of our most common jobs is walking around repairing guardrails after a car accident. As this kind of work continues, it gives us an opportunity to see if we can expect greatness in even more difficult tasks.
My first impression of the DeWalt DCF899P2 is the weight. This thing weighs 7.2 lbs. I expected heavier than our pneumatics since everything is housed in the tool, but it did take some getting used to. Still, it's about halfway between the other cordless options available, so I shouldn't complain too much. Ergonomics are hard to establish with heavier tools, but there are a few points to make. The tool is clearly top-heavy. The rubber overmold on the handle helps maintain a secure grip, and the weight is nicely centered.
From the very first bolt we tightened it was clear this thing was a beast! DeWalt's 20V Max High Torque Impact Wrench needs to prove itself on the rails before we can offer permanent positions to our crews, and we have a few other skillsets. Next up is boardwalk repairs on our check-in list. The bolts for this item are 18 inches long with a 1-1/4 head diameter. Once again, the DeWalt DCF899P2 proved its worth, considering we were going to snug the bolts and washers against pressure-treated lumber without all the effort.
Finally, the torture test of our impact wrench – the elevated road sign. Some of these things are 30 feet long and must be installed with bolts with 1-7/8 inch heads and tightened to the specified torque. When it comes to flags, the amount of torque varies for each size bolt, and these are the biggest. Our normal procedure is to tighten the bolt as far as possible with a pneumatic impact wrench, then use a torque wrench behind it (my guys usually call it a power bar) to get the proper torque. On the largest sign we installed, we were shocked to put a torque wrench on the bolt and find that a DeWalt 20V Max High Torque Impact Wrench had given it the force it needed within acceptable tolerances.
This revelation saved my team a ton of time as they only had to tap each bolt with one tool. Combine that with not having to start the generator to run the compressor, or dragging out hoses for aerial work, and this upgrade to our kit is money in the bank.
One thing we noticed that was different from the air wrench we used was the trigger. Often, when it's in a more powerful mode than we need, we can smooth the trigger for more control. With the DeWalt influence, it's almost full power when you press the trigger. While there are three modes to choose from, it helps a lot.
Another pressing issue for me and my partners was runtime. Will two batteries keep up with us after a long day in the hot Florida sun?
As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. For the things we do, a 5.0 amp-hour battery will do. We have backups in the kit if needed, but so far we don't. We just change the batteries every day. The charging time did take longer than I'd like, but our battery wasn't dead so it wasn't a big deal.
The pin detent has been a hiccup for us from time to time, although it holds our socket securely. Sometimes we work on bridges and other places where dirt, mud and other debris can get in and make it hard to press the brakes. All we really need to do is blow it out, but that happens a lot sometimes. If you're working in a dirtier area, I recommend using the retaining ring and keeping the pin for use in a cleaner shop.
When I read reviews, I wonder if the tool works as the company says it does. DeWalt promised power—and we absolutely delivered. They mention versatility – mine isn't connected to hoses or wires, nor am I lugging around a generator and compressor to make an impact. The XR brushless motor is said to provide extremely long runtimes – we've been using a 5.0 amp hour battery all day.
DeWalt also said they designed their tools for comfort, speed, control and working in dark spaces. Speed and working in dark spaces are absolutely key. The control is great because the tool has three speeds, but we actually have more trigger control on our pneumatics. Comfort is relative for such a heavy handheld tool. Good balance and handle design make it as good as we expected.
the bottom line
The DeWalt DCF899P2 20V Max XR High Torque Impact Wrench has saved me a ton of time which in turn has saved me money. It also reduces the amount of peripherals I have to carry to run the tool, saving me even more. I can easily recommend this product to any professional who needs high torque on a cordless platform.