Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCD706 Hammer Drill Vs Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill

Dewalt DCD706 Angle 5

Dewalt DCD706

Quick take

The Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCD706 Hammer Drill is exceptionally compact and lightweight compared to any 12V or 18V drill. The Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill is compact compared to most 18V drills. As a result of the voltage differences, the DCD799 is much faster under load, though it is heavier. The DCD799 is a better pick for homeowners and trade workers who want more power than what a 12V drill offers without sacrificing performance. The DCD706 is a fantastic all-around option for homeowners who only use a drill for basic maintenance tasks. Both drills include a hammer mode.

Brand Dewalt
Platform 12V Xtreme
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs Not advertised
BPM 25,500.0
Clutch settings 15
Chuck size 3/8"
Same as DCD706B
Brand Dewalt
Platform 20V Atomic
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs Not advertised
BPM 28,050.0
Clutch settings 15
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as DCD799B

Editorial opinion

Rating

4.16 / 5 ⭐️’s

Methodology used: Light duty

Pros

  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Compact footprint
  • Brushless motor
  • Includes a hammer drill
  • Solid warranty

Cons

  • Slow drilling and driving speeds
  • Plastic chuck

Rating

4.02 / 5 ⭐️’s

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Exceptionally lightweight and compact
  • Includes a hammer drill functionality
  • Brushless motor
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Plastic chuck sleeve isn’t as durable as metal

Global rankings

18 models tested

TestResultRank
Drilling speed (sec.)25.615
Driving speed (sec.)25.315
Torque (in-lbs)Not advertisedNot ranked
RPM1,475.016
Bare weight (lbs)2.042
Drilling Noise (dBA)93.715
TestResultRank
Drilling speed (sec.)17.211
Driving speed (sec.)12.710
Torque (in-lbs)Not advertisedNot ranked
RPM1,635.011
Bare weight (lbs)2.548
Drilling Noise (dBA)88.29

Kit and bare tool options

DCD706F2

Includes (2) Max 12V 2Ah battery

DCD706

Bare tool

Lab results

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright (no battery): No
Stands upright (w/ battery): Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Lanyard compatible: Yes

The DCD706 is compact for a drill and has a slight forward-leaning handle for the proper ergonomics when exerting forward pressure when drilling. It doesn’t lean as far forward as other drills and doesn’t have an upward-sloping head, ergonomics that better support an aggressive drilling position.

The DCD706 has a rubber overmold surrounding the grip, which is helpful for shock absorption and gripping power.

An all-metal belt hook included in the box is mountable on either side of the base.

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright (no battery): Yes
Stands upright (w/ battery): Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Lanyard compatible: Yes

The DCD799’s handle leans slightly forward to orient the drill on the correct plane when drilling. However, the combination of the angle for the handle and the head isn’t as aggressive as some heavier-duty drills. A more aggressive stance ensures the drill remains flat when rolling your wrist forward and applying extra pressure with your arm lined up behind the drill.

A rubber overmold around the grip provides the necessary friction for added grip and shock absorption under load.

There is no bit holder or magnetic plate to hold fasteners onboard, but both features can be purchased separately from third parties.

Lastly, an all-metal belt hook is included in the box and can be mounted on either side of the base in one of the available mounting slots.

Weight

Dewalt DCD706 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.04
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.53
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

One of the defining features of the DCD706 is its weight. This hammer drill is one of the lightest in our test fleet, weighing in at 2.04 lbs in its bare form. During our testing, we didn’t frequently experience hand or arm fatigue operating the DCD706, which is rare for any hammer drill.

We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the DCD706 with Dewalt’s 12V Max 2Ah battery for good drilling performance and weight balance in a lightweight setup.

Pair the DCD706 with Dewalt’s 12V Max 5Ah battery for a longer run time if weight is less of a concern. However, upgrading to Dewalt’s 20V Max drill lineup may be more suitable as you increase the battery Ah capacity since the weight and footprint increase moving up to a 12V 5Ah battery.

Compare drill weight test results

Weight

Dewalt DCD799 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.54
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.34
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.96

One standout feature is the weight for a hammer drill. It weighs 2.54 lbs in its bare form and retains a lightweight status compared to other hammer drills in our test fleet with a battery attached.

We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the DCD799 with Dewalt’s 20V Powerstack 1.7Ah battery, which weighs less, has a smaller footprint, and runs longer than Dewalt’s 20V Max 2Ah battery, a solid alternative for a svelte setup.

Or pair the DCD799 with Dewalt’s 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved drilling performance if weight is less of a concern.

Compare drill weight test results

Footprint

Dewalt DCD706 Footprint1

Max height (in.): 8.500
Max width (in.): 2.500
Chuck to back length (in.): 6.625
Base length (in.): 3.500
Base width (in.): 2.500

The DCD706 is reasonably compact when measured in many of its dimensions. Notably, it casts a thin shadow from the front and behind, it isn’t tall with a battery, and the tip-to-tail length is short.

Combined with its weight, the DCD706 feels nimble in hand without the bulky heft that plagues most hammer drills, even some competing 12V models.

Compare drill footprint test results

Footprint

Dewalt DCD799 Footprint1
Dewalt DCD799 Footprint2

Max height (in.): 9.125
Max width (in.): 3.125
Chuck to back length (in.): 6.500
Base length (in.): 4.500
Base width (in.): 3.125

The DCD799 is incredibly compact compared to other hammer drills, a class of drills that is almost always bulky since a hammering mechanism must be designed into the head. Notably, the tip-to-tail length is far shorter than competing 18V models and improves upon the footprint of prior-generation Atomic hammer drills.

Compare drill footprint test results

Motor & BPM

Dewalt DCD706 Drill Modes

Motor type: Brushless
Action modes: Drill, hammer
Advertised blows per min. (speed 2): 25,500.0
Advertised blows per min. (speed 1): Not advertised
Variable speed trigger: Yes
Kickback control technology: No
Trigger draw length (in.): 0.375

Dewalt made the right call to include a brushless motor at this price point. Dated brushed motors are commonly found in cheaper, less durable, and less efficient drills.

There are two action modes: a standard drill mode that disengages the chuck for peak torque output and a hammer drill mode that does the same but adds 25,500.0 blows per minute (BPM). 25,500.0 BPM is comparably low, yet the hammer drilling mechanism improved drilling speeds sufficiently well in our below drilling tests.

There is no kickback control technology in the DCD706, nor is there a need for one since it’s not powerful enough where wrist injuries are a risk.

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Motor & BPM

Dewalt DCD799 Drill Modes

Motor type: Brushless
Action modes: Drill, hammer
Advertised blows per min. (speed 2): 28,050.0
Advertised blows per min. (speed 1): Not advertised
Variable speed trigger: Yes
Kickback control technology: No
Trigger draw length (in.): 0.375

Dewalt designed the DCD799 with a brushless motor, improving its longevity and efficiency over brushed motors, commonly found in cheap power tools.

There are two action modes. The drill mode disengages the clutch for unrestrained torque output. The hammer drill mode also disengages the clutch but layers in a hammering mechanism that impacts at a rate of 28,050.0 blows per minute (BPM).

You can review our drilling speed tests below, where we measure the speed improvement offered using the hammer drill mode.

There is no kickback control technology, which is a minor letdown. The DCD799 is right on the cusp of being a highly powerful drill. Wrist injuries can occur at this power tier, highlighting why kickback control could be valuable. Some of the best Milwaukee drills included kickback control technology.

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Clutch & speed settings

Dewalt DCD706 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 15

The DCD706 includes a standard two-speed transmission to run the hammer drill in a low or high-peed setting in any action mode or the 15 clutch settings. Setting it to drill mode in the low setting generates the maximum torque output.

15 clutch options are right in the middle of the pack. While some drills offer upwards of 20 clutch settings, 15 is more than enough to precisely fine-tune the DCD706’s torque output to avoid stripping screws and finishing with a perfect recess, regardless of the driving task.

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Clutch & speed settings

Dewalt DCD799 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 15

The DCD799 includes a standard two-speed transmission that runs the drill in the low or high setting in all drill modes and clutch settings. Setting the drill to the drill mode in the low setting generates the maximum torque output.

There are 15 total clutch options to tune the torque output for a wide range of tasks. 15 options are fewer than some hammer drills offer. Still, 15 is more than most people will need in practice.

Driving without stripping threads or avoiding cam-out rarely requires precisely finding the single correct clutch setting. Hitting close to the correct torque output works most of the time, and there are no improvements in achieving that outcome with more clutch settings than are needed.

Compare drill clutch and speed settings

Chuck

Dewalt DCD706 Chuck Closeup

Chuck size: 3/8″
Chuck sleeve material: Plastic

The DCD706’s ratcheting chuck works well and locks down on bits without loosening with usage, as we discovered throughout our testing. However, the chuck sleeve is made of plastic and doesn’t match the premium feel and build quality of other models in our test fleet.

We didn’t perform any drop tests, though we presume any plastic chuck sleeve won’t be as durable as an all-metal sleeve with a direct impact.

Chuck

Dewalt DCD799 Chuck Closeup

Chuck size: 1/2″
Chuck sleeve material: Plastic

While an all-metal chuck is more durable, the DCD799’s ratcheting chuck works well with its plastic chuck sleeve and metal three-jaw design. Critically, we didn’t experience any instances of the chuck loosening throughout testing.

Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The DCD706 doesn’t include an auxiliary handle to control recoil and enhance stability during heavy-duty drilling tasks. But we don’t see this as a downside. The DCD706 isn’t designed to tackle the heaviest-duty drilling tasks, such as drilling wide and deep holes in masonry or wood, where an auxiliary handle is helpful.

Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The DCD799 doesn’t include an auxiliary handle to control recoil and enhance stability during heavy-duty drilling tasks. The DCD799’s power profile is on the verge of being powerful enough that including an auxiliary arm would be helpful to avoid wrist injuries.

Understandably, Dewalt wouldn’t include one in the box, but we’ll side with consumers and say that not including an auxiliary arm is a slight letdown.

Check out the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2904-20 Hammer Drill or Makita 18V LXT XPH14Z Hammer Drill if you want a more powerful drill with an auxiliary arm.

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 25.6
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 5.1
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): 20.9
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): 4.2
Hammer mode speed improvement: 18.4%

One potential downside is the DCD706’s drilling speed. This drill completed our heavy-duty drilling speed test in 25.6 seconds, one of our slower results. The included hammer mode speeds up the process when drilling masonry or thick lumber. However, we don’t recommend the DCD706 if you frequently bore 1/2-inch and larger holes. It can complete these tasks in a pinch, but it is underpowered for them.

Arguably, the performance in less demanding tasks should carry more weight. We further tested the DCD706’s performance in various common drilling scenarios around the home, such as drilling holes narrower than 1/2 inch into multiple materials. The DCD706 breezed through light and medium-duty jobs we threw at it, as do most comparable drills.

Compare drilling speed test results

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 17.2
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 3.4
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): 13.9
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): 2.8
Hammer mode speed improvement: 19.2%

The DCD799 impresses when considering the drilling speed for the size. No compact hammer drill can compete on speed with bulkier and more powerful flagship models. However, the DCD799 is one of our test fleet’s fastest compact hammer drills.

Importantly, it sustained high RPMs throughout the hole depth to clear chips and avoid bogging down.

The hammering functionality performed reasonably well at improving drilling speeds in stacked lumber. On average, we expect 20.0% or better speed improvement when using the hammer drill over the standard drill mode.

We also tested the DCD799 using a range of forstner, spade, and auger bits. We started to feel the DCD799 was underpowered once boring holes 3/4 inch and wider with the forstner and spade bits. It wasn’t underpowered in that it couldn’t complete each task. Instead, we had to drop to the low setting for additional torque to finish the job.

Compare drilling speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 25.3
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 5.1
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 27.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 5.4

The DCD706 is similarly slow when driving structural screws and lag bolts. The DCD706 doesn’t have the power to rapidly finish heavy-duty driving tasks, although it’ll complete them in a pinch.

We needed to drop a gear to the low setting for added torque to complete our driving speed test, explaining the slow performance.

Driving speed performance isn’t an issue with shorter and more common #6, #8, and #10 screws, which we also tested driving. The DCD706 competently completed the tests driving these screws into various material densities.

Compare driving speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 12.7
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.5
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 9.9
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.0

The DCD799 is powerful enough to drive structural screws and lag bolts quickly. Again, it isn’t as performant as drills designed for use on the job site. But context is essential when reviewing the driving speed results and determining how much speed matters.

The DCD799 finished 5 1/8 inch GRK RSS fasteners with an average time of 2.4 seconds per screw. The top-performing hammer drills in our test fleet finished with an average of 1.3 to 1.5 seconds per screw. We’ll let our readers determine if the speed difference is worth the higher cost of moving to a faster drill.

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Torque

Advertised max torque (in-lbs): Not advertised
Advertised max torque (ft-lbs): Not advertised

Dewalt no longer advertises the torque of its drills and we currently don’t test torque on a torque meter in-house, like we do for impact drivers.

Instead, review the results of our drilling and driving tests to understand each drill’s torque and RPM performance in practical applications.

Compare drill torque

Torque

Advertised max torque (in-lbs): Not advertised
Advertised max torque (ft-lbs): Not advertised

Dewalt no longer advertises the torque of its drills and we currently don’t test torque on a torque meter in-house, like we do for impact drivers.

Compare drill torque

Battery lineup

Dewalt 12V Battery Lineup

Dewalt offers 2Ah, 3Ah, and 5Ah batteries in its 12V Max lineup. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increases battery run time and improves drilling performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs.

Buying at least two batteries is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend buying two Dewalt 12V Max 2Ah batteries for most Dewalt 12V drill setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

Battery lineup

Dewalt 20V Max Battery Lineup

Dewalt offers 1.5Ah, 2Ah, 3Ah, 4Ah, 5Ah, 8Ah, 10Ah, and 12Ah batteries in its 20V Max lineup. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increases battery run time and improves drilling performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs.

Buying at least two batteries is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend purchasing a Dewalt 20V Max 2Ah and a Dewalt 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for most Dewalt 20V drill setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

Dewalt’s 20V Powerstack batteries may be a smart buying choice for some users. Dewalt advertises improved drilling performance, longer battery run time, and more battery cycles out of its 20V Powerstack 1.7Ah and 5Ah batteries than its standard 20V Max batteries. We plan on testing the performance differences to understand the cost tradeoffs.

Charging time

Dewalt DCD706 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 39.0
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.): 19.5
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Dewalt charger that comes with most kits (model DCB115) charges 12V batteries rapidly. In our tests, the charger topped off a 12V Max 2Ah battery in 39 minutes, or 19.5 minutes per Ah.

This charger also charges Dewalt’s 20V battery platform, helping to save space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem. But consider that the DCB115 doesn’t charge 20V Max batteries as rapidly.

Compare drill charging test results

Charging time

Dewalt DCD799 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 59.0
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): 139.0
Charging time per Ah (min.): 28.7
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Dewalt charger included with most kits (model DCB115) isn’t fast. Our tests took 59.0 minutes to top off a Max 2Ah battery and 139.0 minutes to charge a Max XR 5Ah battery. Expect that this charger will charge batteries at approximately 28.7 minutes per Ah. Faster chargers charge batteries at 20.0 or fewer minutes per Ah.

Nicely, the DCD115 works with Dewalt’s 12V and 20V platform batteries, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem.

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RPM

Dewalt DCD706 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 1,475.0
Max RPM speed 1: 432.0

We measured moderately low RPM output with the DCD706 in both speed settings, partly explaining why it didn’t shine in our driving and drilling tests. Higher RPM output would improve the drill’s speed throughout its range.

Compare drill RPM test results

RPM

Dewalt DCD799 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 1,635.0
Max RPM speed 1: 439.0

The measured RPM output for the DCD799 is comparably low, explaining some of the speed performance against faster drills in our test fleet. A higher RPM output profile throughout its transmission settings would improve the DCD799’s speed under load.

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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.250
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.375
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.750

Since it is a compact hammer drill, the DCD706 drills wells in situations where there are obstructions or tight corners to reach into. Notably, it performed best in our interior width and top-edge clearance tests. In practice, the DCD706 fits easily between two vertical boards and easily reaches under shelves and when obstructed from above.

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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.125
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.500
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.625

Since the DCD799 sits within the Atomic lineup, we expected it to perform well in our clearance tests. Notably, the DCD799 is incredibly short for a hammer drill from tip to tail. This sizing helps it fit easily between two vertical boards and in tight corners.

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Noise

Dewalt DCD706 Noise Chart

Max no-load noise (dBA): 79.8
Max drilling noise (dBA): 93.7

The DCD706 is moderately loud when drilling under load. We measured the maximum noise output when hammering and drilling stacked lumber. The dBA results rival the same noise the top impact drivers generate, which can be harmful with prolonged exposure.

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Noise

Dewalt DCD799 Noise Chart

Max no-load noise (dBA): 79.5
Max drilling noise (dBA): 88.2

Under load with the hammer drill engaged, the DCD799 is moderately loud. We measured 88.2 dBA of noise when boring holes in lumber with the DCD799. This level rivals the noise output of the best impact drivers, which are also harmful with prolonged exposure.

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Light

Dewalt DCD706 Light Wall
Dewalt DCD706 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light location: In base
Light positions: 1
Customizable light settings: None
Light count: Single LED
Light active time (sec.): 20.0

There is a single bulb located in the base that shines upward. It sufficiently illuminates the work surface in front of the DCD706’s nose. However, we prefer drill designs that include the light near the trigger and shine straight forward, improving the light’s versatility and ensuring the intended area is most brightly lit.

There are no advanced light features, such as a dedicated spotlight mode and the ability to turn off the light, which some of the best Dewalt drills include.

Light

Dewalt DCD799 Light Wall
Dewalt DCD799 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light location: In base
Light positions: 1
Customizable light settings: None
Light count: Single LED
Light active time (sec.): 20.0

The single in-base light shines upward and illuminates a sizeable area where it is focused. Still, lights near the trigger that shine directly forward are more versatile and always precisely illuminate the intended location.

There are no advanced light features, such as a spotlight mode or multi-position light, which some of the best Dewalt drills include.

App integration

App integration: No

There is no Bluetooth app integration to track drill usage and location, display tool diagnostics, and allow you to set custom profiles on your phone.

Dewalt’s ToolConnect-branded drills include an app integration, but you’ll only find the ToolConnect feature built natively into its flagship models. Milwaukee utilizes the same approach with its One Key lineup, which offers similar app features and is only available in flagship tools.

App integration

App integration: No

There is no Bluetooth app integration to track drill usage and location, display tool diagnostics, and allow you to set custom profiles on your phone.

Dewalt’s ToolConnect-branded drills include an app integration, but you’ll only find the ToolConnect feature built natively into its flagship models. An after-market ToolConnect chip can’t be added to the DCD799, unlike some Dewalt drills with a slot in the base to accept the chip housing.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 3
Battery warranty (years): 3

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The DCD706 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt’s 12V Max batteries include a three-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCD706.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 3
Battery warranty (years): 3

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The DCD799 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt’s 20V Max batteries include a three-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCD799.

Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton
Nathan Hamilton is the founder of DIY Gear Reviews and a recognized expert in the home and DIY space. He has over 200 bylines covering topics such as power tools, hand tools, and woodworking. Nathan is the strategic director for DIY Gear Reviews, deciding everything from the content covered to designing the testing methodologies for lab-tested reviews. He can be emailed at nhamilton@diygearreviews.com.

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