I Need a Powerful Tool for Tough Jobs
I have just been informed that my crew’s second air impact wrench was quickly destroyed. Working for the Florida Department of Transportation, I oversee a team of staff members from the Department of Corrections. They work hard, but they are tough on their tools. We are currently facing difficulties with larger bolts and need a higher performance solution. To meet the demands of our job while also striving for greener practices, we decided to try out the DeWalt DCF899P2, the newest addition to their lineup of 20V Max XR brushless high torque impact wrenches.
Evaluating Performance and Efficiency
Currently, we rely on a generator-powered compressor to run our pneumatic impact wrenches—an expensive solution for driving half-inch sockets. Since we have a solar inverter setup, it makes sense to explore cordless power if it can match the performance and runtime of our current system.
The DeWalt DCF899P2 High Torque Impact Wrench boasts an impressive 700 foot-pounds of tightening torque and 1200 foot-pounds of nut-breaking torque. With its 5.0 amp battery, it is a strong contender for nuts and bolts 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. Utilizing a more efficient brushless motor, it guarantees more power and improved efficiency. Since our team often deals with heavy-duty applications, we chose the DCF899P2 kit, which features a pin detent actuation design to securely hold the socket. The kit includes a charger and a pair of 5.0 amp-hour batteries. It is also available as a bare tool or a single battery kit. The pig ring design is available in the two-battery kit.
With its three-speed motor, this impact wrench offers enough power for light, medium, and heavy-duty applications. The DeWalt DCF899P2 stands out by equipping this model with a 5.0 amp-hour battery, giving users extra capacity and higher performance.
Hitting the Road: Real-World Performance
To gauge the wrench’s true capabilities, my crew and I put it through its paces on various assignments over the past few months. One common task involves repairing guardrails after car accidents. As we continue this type of work, we aim to assess its performance and suitability for even more challenging tasks.
When I first held the DeWalt DCF899P2, I immediately noticed its weight—it tips the scales at 7.2 lbs. Given that everything is housed within the tool, I expected it to be heavier than our pneumatic tools. It did take some getting used to, but it falls roughly in the middle compared to other cordless options. Ergonomics are challenging with heavier tools, but this model has a few stand-out features. The tool feels top-heavy but maintains a secure grip thanks to the rubber overmold on the handle, and the weight is well-distributed.
Right from the first bolt we tightened, it became evident that this wrench is a beast! Before offering permanent positions to our crews, DeWalt’s 20V Max High Torque Impact Wrench must prove its worth on the guardrails. Next on our list is boardwalk repairs, involving 18-inch-long bolts with a 1-1/4 head diameter. Once again, the DeWalt DCF899P2 impressed us with how effortlessly it tightened the bolts against pressure-treated lumber.
Our ultimate test for this impact wrench was installing elevated road signs. Some of these signs measure 30 feet in length and require bolts with 1-7/8 inch heads, tightened to specific torque. The torque required for different bolt sizes varies, and these are the largest. Normally, we would use a pneumatic impact wrench to tighten the bolt as much as possible, followed by a torque wrench to achieve the desired torque. However, we were surprised to discover that the DeWalt 20V Max High Torque Impact Wrench provided the necessary force within acceptable tolerances for the largest sign we installed. This revelation not only saved us time but also eliminated the need for multiple tools, the generator, and the compressor.
Combining the DeWalt DCF899P2 with our existing setup has been a game-changer. We no longer have to start the generator, run the compressor, or drag out hoses for aerial work. This upgrade to our kit has not only saved us time but also reduced the number of peripherals we have to carry.
One slight difference we noticed from the air wrench we used is in the trigger. Sometimes, when we don’t require full power, we can fine-tune the trigger on air wrenches for more control. With the DeWalt, the trigger almost delivers full power upon pressing. Although the wrench offers three modes to choose from, this feature takes some getting used to.
Another concern for me and my team was the runtime of the wrench. Would two batteries be sufficient for a long day’s work under the scorching Florida sun?
As it turned out, we had nothing to worry about. For our tasks, a single 5.0 amp-hour battery sufficed. We carry backup batteries just in case, but so far, we haven’t needed them. We simply swap out the batteries each day. The charging time is slightly longer than desirable, but since our battery never ran out during the workday, it didn’t pose a significant issue.
While the pin detent securely holds our socket in place, its design has occasionally posed challenges. Working on bridges and other dirty environments can cause dirt, mud, and debris to hinder the detent’s operation. Clearing the detent is as simple as blowing it out, but it can become a frequent occurrence in such conditions. If you are working in a dirtier area, I recommend using the retaining ring and keeping the pin for use in a cleaner shop.
When reading reviews, I often wonder if a tool really lives up to the manufacturer’s claims. DeWalt assures outstanding power—and this impact wrench undoubtedly delivers on that front. They also mention versatility, and I can confirm that it is not tethered to hoses or wires. I no longer need to lug around a generator and compressor to make an impact. The XR brushless motor is said to provide extremely long runtimes, and we have been able to use a single 5.0 amp-hour battery for an entire day.
DeWalt also emphasizes the design of their tools for comfort, speed, control, and working in dark spaces. Speed and working in dimly lit areas are crucial factors for us, and this wrench satisfies those requirements. Although we have greater trigger control with our pneumatic wrenches, the three-speed settings on the DeWalt provide a good alternative. Comfort is subjective with such a heavy handheld tool, but the DeWalt DCF899P2 offers excellent balance and handle design, meeting our expectations.
The Bottom Line
The DeWalt DCF899P2 20V Max XR High Torque Impact Wrench has saved me considerable time, subsequently reducing costs. It also lightens my load by eliminating the need for additional equipment to power the wrench. Based on our experience, I wholeheartedly recommend this product to any professional who requires high torque on a cordless platform.