DeWalt DCD791D2 Review: Best Compact Drill
In the power tools industry, DeWalt is among the handful of companies with the best reputation. They have been on the market for a while, pumping out products year after year. And of course, considering how popular they are, each new product was given a warm welcome by consumers.
The DeWalt DCD791D2 is no different. As one of the higher-end cordless drills in the company’s portfolio, DeWalt has taken all of the steps to ensure that it’s worth the price.
How did they do this? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out in today’s DeWalt DCD791D2 review.
Cordless Drill Buying Guide: Things You Should Know
For people who are looking for their first cordless drill or aren't very well-versed with all of the technical terms, this short guide will get you up to speed.
Drill speed is one of the most important numbers you will read about in a drill’s specs sheet. It basically tells you how fast the drill’s motor can spin the chuck. The speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).
In theory, the faster the RPM rating of a drill is, the more powerful it is. But raw strength only plays a small part in drilling performance. How well your drill can work on different kinds of material also depends on the type of bit used.
For example, if you’re working on metal and use a small bit (1/16 to 3/16-inch), a high speed profile (over 3,000 RPM) is needed to effectively punch through the tough material. However, if you use a large bit (11/16 to 1-inch), a lower RPM between 350 and 1,000 RPM is more preferable.
Dewalt dcd791d2 lowes Via: Amazon
Modern drills have a transmission system to give you the ability to change the RPM at will. The majority will give you 2 speeds: a low-speed and a high-speed mode.
Torque power is a bit more complicated than drill speed. In short, a drill’s torque is the force it produces to turn the chuck. Usually, it is measured using pound-inch (in-lbs).
There are actually two kinds of torque force: Hard and soft.
Hard torque force refers to the force that’s instantly delivered to the material when the bit makes contact with it. As the bit sinks in, the torque force gradually softens. This weaker, but more consistent soft torque force is delivered all throughout the application (like driving in a screw).
How to use electric drill is as simple as applying just enough torque power at the most optimal drill speed.
That’s why, other than a speed transmission system, drills usually have an additional clutch system. It functions in the same manner as the transmission system, allowing you to flexibly adjust the torque force being generated.
Other than drill performance, torque power also has a safety implication. Drills with stronger torque are easier to lose control of. So be very careful while handling a high-torque drill.
The chuck size is going to tell you two things: it can tell you what kind of bit is compatible with the drill as well as providing you with a hint of the kind of work it’s made for.
Most drills on the market are usually equipped with either a ⅜-inch or ½-inch chuck.
Drills with a smaller ⅜-inch chuck tend to be made for light duty tasks that aren’t demanding like home renovating or small-scale DIY projects. They can only take bits with ⅜ inches shank diameter at most.
On the other hand, drills with ½-inch chuck are generally heavy duty. They’re made with professionals in mind and are capable of accepting bits with shank diameter of up to ½ inches.
Like we’ve mentioned before, there’s no doubt that the DeWalt DCD791D2 cordless drill is made for the upper market. This assessment doesn’t just come from the drill’s price, but also comes from the kind of performance it offers.
DeWalt DCD791D2 cordless drill Via: Amazon
DeWalt DCD791D2 Iowes features a new brushless electric motor capable of producing much greater drilling power when compared to traditional brush motors (57% difference, according to DeWalt.) The new motor is also more energy efficient, giving you increased working time alongside better performance.
The inside of the drill features a high-speed transmission system. You can adjust the drill’s speed to fit to whatever kind of surface you’re working on. Two settings are available: low speed (0-550 RPM) and high speed (0-2,000 RPM).
The hard torque power of the DCD791D2 can be as high as 619.55 in-lbs upon first contact and softens down to 238.97 in-lbs over time.
You can adjust the torque power using the drill’s built-in clutch system. But according to one DeWalt DCD791D2 review from one customer, even the lowest torque setting produces very strong torque. This isn’t always a good thing, as some materials require lower torque to effectively work on (hardwood and drywall, for example.)
The drill has a metal ½-inch ratcheting chuck. It can grip bits tightly and is compatible with the larger, heavier-duty bit types out there. This is one of the many reasons the DCD791D2 is recommended for professional users.
In terms of design, the DeWalt DCD791D2 20V Max XR is quite light at 3.4 pounds. Considering the kind of performance it offers, this is a very impressive weight. It’s also compact to boot. From front to back, the drill measures about 6.9 inches, which is the ideal size for working in cramped, difficult-to-navigate spaces.
Dewalt dcd791d2 20v Via: Amazon
Overall design is robust and made for user comfort. The drill is cast from impact-resistant plastic and the handgrip is textured for easier and more comfortable gripping.
This top rated cordless drill runs on a 20V Lithium-ion battery cell. Many customers in their DeWalt DCD791D2 reviews spoke highly of the battery life.
Each cell is long-lasting enough to be able to pull through an entire working session before needing to be recharged. Charging time is quick and furthermore, you have an extra battery in the box. If one was to run dry and you still have more work to do, switch to the extra cell and continue using the drill.
The drill comes with a 3-mode LED light for when you have to work in the dark (the attic, for example.) According to DeWalt, the new LED light is 20 times brighter than the ones in older models.
Don't worry because you can easily work in the dark with its 3-mode LED light Via: Amazon
Smart Brushless Motor
Brushless motors are the future of power tools. Compared to traditional brushed motors, they are far more efficient and more durable. According to DeWalt, the DCD791D2’s motor is 57% more efficient than the ones in older models.
A brushless motor doesn’t have the carbon brushes and commutator like in traditional motors. Instead, it uses a circuit board to deliver electricity into the copper windings. The presence of a circuit board is the reason why brushless motors like the one in the DCD791D2 are considered smart motors.
While you’re driving down screws into soft materials like wood or drywall, the motor can sense the material resistance and only draw a small energy current from the battery. On the other hand, if you work with tougher materials like metal, the motor will automatically draw more power to meet up with your needs.
Light & Medium-Duty Drill Speed
The DeWalt DCD791D2 20V Max XR has a 2-speed transmission that allows you to flexibly adjust the drill’s RPM for different jobs.
The low mode offers 0-550 RPM. This mode is meant for delicate tasks like fixing around the home or drilling on softer materials. If you need more power, there’s always the high speed mode, which can provide 0-2,000 RPM.
Its impressive power means the drill can be used for light duty to medium duty tasks. It may not be able to handle heavy duty jobs like drilling through inch-thick metal sheets, but thin metal? No problem.
High Torque Power
The hard toque power of the drill is 619.55 in-lbs and soft torque is 238.97 in-lbs. Using the clutch system, you can up the torque as high as you want or suppress it. But like we mentioned before, even at the lowest possible torque setting, the drill is still considered to be way too powerful for some drilling jobs.
Keep this in mind if you’re looking for a home or DIY drill. After all, this drill is partly aimed at the professional market.
The DeWalt DCD791D2 cordless drill is compatible with DeWalt’s 20V Lithium-ion battery cell. This is the same type of battery that is used in modern, advanced electronics such as smartphones.
DeWalt DCD791D2 uses 20V Lithium-ion battery cell Via: Amazon
Li-ion cells can carry a larger energy load than older battery techs and they can last longer before degrading. Advancement in battery safety technologies also make them significantly safer to use, as well.
The DCD791D2 delivers 20V instantly, but lessens down to 18V as it runs on. So it can be said to be comparable to a DeWalt 18V XR drill than 20V.
Taken from the words of most DeWalt DCD791D2 reviews from consumers, the majority of consumers love its enduring power. Each cell can last for a long time before running dry. Once it does, fortunately, the charging time is fairly quick. You only need to plug the cell into the accompanying charger for 3 to 4 hours before it’s ready to go again.
In the box, you will find an extra battery cell, which can be quickly interchanged with the cell in the drill. With this in mind, if one cell runs out of energy while you’re working, you can put a fresh one in and continue as normal.
Metal ½-inch Ratcheting Chuck
The large ½-inch chuck is a boon for professionals. The ability to accept larger bits is highly appreciated at the job site. When combined with the drill’s innate performance power, it can make drilling jobs significantly easier.
Because the chuck is made from metal, it can last much longer than models with plastic chucks.
Unfortunately, most of the criticisms about the DCD791D2 are aimed at the chuck. It doesn’t have a secure grip on bits and has a tendency to grip the bit the wrong way (by the corners rather than the flat edges.)
Durable, Lightweight & Compact Design
Last but not least, we have to talk about the design.
DeWalt DCD791D2 was designed durable, lightweight and compact Via: Amazon
We’ve gone fairly in-depth into the positives of the design in the overview section: lightweight at 3.4 pounds and compact with back-to-front measurement of 6.9 inches. Ideal for small, cramped spaces both at home and at the job site.
Delving deeper, the design is made from quality plastic that’s impact resistant. It can definitely survive a tumble and a long fall without taking too much damage. Rough-handling shouldn’t be much of an issue with this drill, either.
The grip is also made from hard plastic, but it’s molded to fit better with the fingers. The portion at the back of the handgrip is textured in case your hands get sweaty. It won’t slip out of your hand easily, even when you don’t wear gloves.
Although the handgrip design of the DCD791D2 is adequate, it would have been better if it has soft rubber coating. It would make handling the drill a much more comfortable experience.
The storage case that comes with the DCD791D2 is excellent. Unlike the cloth bags that often come with cheaper drills, this one is a hard plastic case. When you have to transport the drill around the job, the case will protect the drill along with everything else inside from drop damages.
Over the years, many customers have bought and left feedback about the DCD791D2. Reading these reviews will give you a better sense of what it’s like as the owner of the drill. And since they’re also the ones who have used the drill themselves, it can assure you somewhat about the quality of the drill.
Here are some notable DeWalt DCD791D2 reviews we think you should read.
A couple of alternatives in the same pricing range are available if you want to see more options other than the DCD791D2.
#1- DeWalt DCD797D2
If you need a drill with more power than the DCD791D2 and don’t mind paying a little bit more for that, this model will be an excellent alternative.
DeWalt DCD797D2 Via: Amazon
The DeWalt DCD797D2 has the same compact body size as the DCD791D2, but it packs considerably more power and is incorporated with some advanced features to boot.
To begin, this model features a hi-powered, 2-speed brushless motor. It has 2 different gears and 4 electronic modes, which grants you 8 modes in total. There are 3 RPM settings compared to the DCD791D2’s 2 settings, so you’ll be able to control the drill’s speed far more flexibly and accurately.
As for the clutch system, this model has 13 clutch settings.
All of the standard features found in the DCD791D2 like the 20V Li-ion battery and metal ½-inch ratcheting chuck are available. This cordless drill weighs 3.6 pounds and is a little bit larger in size than the DCD791D2 having a front to back measurement of 7.4 inches. Nonetheless, it’s still mini enough to be considered a compact cordless drill.
Most of the DeWalt DCD797D2 reviews spoke fondly of the drill’s biggest selling feature: Bluetooth connectivity, or as DeWalt called it Tool Connect. You can pair the drill up with your phone via DeWalt’s mobile app. With it, you can track all of the data on the drill such as battery life, motor temperature and even number of trigger pulls.
Use DeWalt’s mobile app to pair the drill up with your phone to track all of the data on the drill
Other than giving you a greater insight into the operation and health of your drill, it will also give you extremely valuable diagnostic data if something went wrong down the line.
The other selling point of the DCD797D2 is that it is a hammer drill. The hammering motion will allow you to drill through the toughest materials like concrete. Compared to most hammer drills in this price segment, the DCD797D2 performed excellently, capable of drilling through concrete slabs quicker and more efficiently than the rest.
DCD797D2's hammer drill can drill through concrete slabs Via: Amazon
#2- DeWalt DCD777C2
The DCD777C2 is the affordable alternative for the DCD791D2 and is going to be an excellent choice if you’re shopping on a budget. Despite being marked with an entry-level price tag, the DCD777C2 has many attractive features found in the previous high-end drills.
DeWalt DCD777C2 Via: Amazon
For example, this drill also has the smart brushless motor and performance is relatively close to the other two. The no-load drill speed of the DCD777C2 is 0-500 RPM at low speed and 0-1,750 RPM at high speed. Torque force is calculated to be around 500 in-lbs and can be adjusted using the 15-setting clutch.
Chuck size for this model is ½-inch (single sleeve ratcheting), so you can use all of the large bits if you need to. And as you can see, DCD777C2 certainly has the power to put these larger bits to good use. Unfortunately, according to some DeWalt DCD777 reviews, this drill’s chuck is quite slippery and has a tendency to release spontaneously.
This is also a Compact-class drill, weighing around 2.6 pounds and has a front to back length of 7.52 inches. As for battery, it uses the same 20V Li-ion cells found in other models.
#3- DeWalt DCD996B
The DeWalt DCD996B hammer drill is a mid-range pick if you need semi-professional grade performance for cheap.
DeWalt DCD996B Via: Amazon
It has a brushless motor that can deliver enough power to work on masonry materials with relative ease. In drill mode, the DCD996B offers 0-450 RPM at low speed and 0-2000 RPM at high speed. In hammer drill mode, performance is better with a low RPM of 0-500 and a high RPM of 0-2,250.
Torque power is very high, much higher than our safe for most limit (about 650 in-lbs) at 840 in-lbs. Therefore, if you’re new to this whole drilling business, you should exercise extreme caution while handling this drill.
DeWalt DCD996's chuck holds up bits more tightly well while drilling Via: Amazon
According to DeWalt, it is a ½-inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck that also has carbide inserts to grip bits more tightly while drilling. According to most DeWalt DCD996 reviews, the chuck holds up pretty well, so the science lives up to its promise.
Measuring about 8.4 inches from front to back and weighing 4.7 pounds, the DCD996 is the longest and heaviest drill in this article. Nonetheless, it’s still light and compact enough to be compared to the other three drills.
Li-ion battery cells fuel the motor. It is the same 20V cell that’s used with all of the other compact models. You get an extra cell in the box.
With all that said, we hope you have enjoyed this DeWalt DCD791D2 review! These are the best compact drills that DeWalt has to offer, so whichever you end up choosing, they’ll make a great addition to your toolbox.