Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD709 Hammer Drill Vs Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill

Dewalt DCD709 Angle 5

Dewalt DCD709

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill is a newer generation of the Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD709 Hammer Drill. Both models are similarly powerful and have the same BPM, so performance in practice is very similar. We recommend opting for the Dewalt DCD799 since it is shorter from tip to tail, though modestly heavier.

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 DCD709B
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

4.00 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Brushless motor
  • Includes a hammer drill functionality
  • Solid warranty

Cons

  • Plastic chuck sleeve isn’t as durable as metal
  • Moderately loud under load

Rating

4.02 / 5 stars

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.)15.98
Driving speed (sec.)12.19
Torque (in-lbs)Not advertisedNot ranked
RPM1,623.013
Bare weight (lbs)2.467
Drilling Noise (dBA)90.313
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

Recommended configuration

DCD709BWP034C

Includes (1) Powerstack 1.7Ah battery

Lab results

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 15.9
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 3.2
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): 15.0
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): 3.0
Hammer mode speed improvement: 5.7%

Dewalt did a solid job packing sufficient performance into a compact footprint. The DCD709 turned in good results in our drilling speed test, which is designed to understand each drill’s limits.

Critically, it sustained high enough RPMs under load to easily clear chips from the hole and avoid bogging down. However, it doesn’t have enough muscle to be considered a professional-grade hammer drill. Upgrade to the Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill for flagship drilling performance.

We were underwhelmed by the hammer drill functionality in our testing. The hammer drill improved drilling speeds by only 5.7%. Other more effective hammer drills improve speed by upwards of 20.0%.

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.): 12.1
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.4
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 10.4
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.1

The DCD709 was reasonably fast in our driving speed test. Again, it doesn’t offer flagship speeds that are needed on the job site. Still, it finished driving 5 1/8-inch GRK RSS fasteners without bogging down or needing to drop a gear to the low setting for improved torque output.

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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.

Compare driving speed test results

RPM

Dewalt DCD709 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 1,623.0
Max RPM speed 1: 430.0

The DCD709’s RPM output doesn’t match the speed offered with more powerful drills, partly explaining its performance in our drilling and driving speed tests.

We also measured the RPM output with a contact tachometer in the low setting to understand the speed capabilities when torque matters more than RPMs. In the low setting, the DCD709 is slower than many models in our test fleet. In practice, expect that the DCD709 will have enough torque to finish demanding drilling jobs, but it will do so more slowly.

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.

Compare drill RPM test results

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.

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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.

Compare drill torque

Chuck

Dewalt DCD709 Chuck Closeup

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

While the chuck sleeve is made from plastic and metal is better for durability, the DCD709’s ratcheting chuck works well. The three jaws lock onto drill bits and didn’t loosen with usage during our tests.

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.

Motor & BPM

Dewalt DCD709 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.): 0.250

The DCD709 includes a brushless motor, improving its durability and efficiency over dated brushed motors. There are two action modes that disengage the chuck for unfettered torque. The hammer drilling mode adds in 28,050.0 blows per minute (BPM), which is needed to efficiently drill masonry and thick lumber.

However, the hammering functionality wasn’t effective at improving speeds, as our drilling speed tests below highlight.

The DCD709 doesn’t include kickback control technology to reduce the risk of injuries when binding up.

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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 DCD709 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 15

The DCD709 has a familiar two-speed gearbox that runs the drill at the high or low speed in all of the 15 clutch settings and action modes. The highest torque output is achieved in the low setting in drill mode, like all drills.

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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.

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Charging time

Dewalt DCD709 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 that is standard in most kits (model DCB115) isn’t as fast as chargers from other brands. In our tests, it 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 DCD112 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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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.

Compare drill charging test results

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

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

Weight

Dewalt DCD709 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.46
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.26
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.88

The DCD709 is moderately lightweight for a drill and is exceptionally lightweight compared to other 18V hammer drills in our test fleet. In practice, we encountered fewer situations of muscle fatigue compared to other hammer drills, which are all bulky.

We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the DCD709 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.

Pair the DCD709 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

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 DCD709 Footprint1
Dewalt DCD709 Footprint2

Max height (in.): 9.125
Max width (in.): 3.125
Chuck to back length (in.): 6.875
Base length (in.): 4.500
Base width (in.): 3.125

One defining feature of the DCD709 is its size. Hammer drills almost always feel bulky and cast a big shadow. However, the DCD709 is moderately compact when measured across its dimensions. Notably, the tip-to-tail length is shorter than most competing hammer drills, helping it squeeze well into obstructed spaces.

The Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill is worth considering for equivalent performance in a smaller footprint.

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.

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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.500
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.375
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.500

Dewalt’s Atomic tools are designed to be compact and agile, so we entered the drilling clearance tests with high hopes for the DCD709.

It performed exceptionally well for an 18V hammer drill. Notably, the tip-to-tail length is shorter than most competing models in our test fleet, helping it fit into tight corners and between two vertical boards.

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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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Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The DCD709 doesn’t include an auxiliary handle to control recoil and enhance stability during heavy-duty drilling tasks. Since the DCD709 is a moderately powerful drill, including an auxiliary arm could improve user safety in demanding jobs.

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.

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.

Noise

Dewalt DCD709 Noise Chart

Max no-load noise (dBA): 80.0
Max drilling noise (dBA): 90.3

The DCD709 is loud, just like all hammer drills under load when impacting. It generated 90.3 dBA during our drilling load tests with the hammer mode engaged. This level of noise output rivals the noise that impact drivers generate, and 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 DCD709 Light Wall
Dewalt DCD709 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 DCD709’s in-base light sufficiently lights the intended drilling area but isn’t the design we prefer. Light’s located near the trigger that shine directly forward more accurately illuminate the intended work surface. Admittedly, we’re splitting hairs here and the light location isn’t critical. Sufficient is good enough for 95% of the time.

There are no advanced features otherwise. Some of the best Dewalt drills include an in-base light that can be positioned in three settings and has advanced features, such as a spotlight mode and the ability to turn off the light when pulling the trigger.

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.

Warranty

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

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The DCD709 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt’s 20V Max batteries include a three-year warranty as well.

 

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.

Picture of 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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