Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill Vs Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill

Dewalt DCD799 Angle 5

Dewalt DCD799

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill and Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill are fantastic drills for different users. The DCD805 is a flagship drill that shines in demanding tasks and maintains high RPMs at the top of its range to avoid bogging down. It also includes a more versatile work light with several setting options. But the DCD805 is bulky and heavy. Contrast that with the DCD799, a compact drill that isn’t as fast under load but still has enough power to breeze through any jobs around the home. As a result of its smaller footprint, the DCD799 is also lighter.

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
Brand Dewalt
Platform 20V Max XR
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs Not advertised
BPM 34,000.0
Clutch settings 15
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as DCD805B

Editorial opinion

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

Rating

4.25 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Impressive drilling and driving speed
  • Solid build quality
  • Versatile and configurable worklight
  • Includes a hammer drill mode
  • Brushless motor
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Loud noise output
  • No auxiliary arm included
  • No kickback control technology

Global rankings

18 models tested

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
TestResultRank
Drilling speed (sec.)10.12
Driving speed (sec.)7.12
Torque (in-lbs)Not advertisedNot ranked
RPM2,038.04
Bare weight (lbs)3.0013
Drilling Noise (dBA)96.117

Recommended configuration

DCD799L1

Includes (2) Max 12V 3Ah battery

Lab 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

Drilling speed

Drilling speed total time (drill mode, sec.): 10.1
Drilling speed average time (drill mode, sec.): 2.0
Drilling speed total time (hammer mode, sec.): 7.2
Drilling speed average time (hammer mode, sec.): 1.4
Hammer mode speed improvement: 28.7%

The DCD805 is an impressively fast drill that sustains high RPMs under demanding drilling loads. The DCD805 completed our drilling speed test blazingly fast in 10.1 seconds in the standard drill mode.

The results are even rosier in the hammer drill mode, which brought the time down to 7.2 seconds to bore five 1/2-inch holes. That’s a speed improvement of 28.7%, which is high compared to other hammer drills in our test fleet.

We further tested drilling wider and narrower gauge holes using a mix of forstner and spade bits. The DCD805 finished most of these tests without needing to downshift a gear for additional torque, which is rare for models we’ve tested.

While the power output is impressive and fun to experience, the DCD805 is arguably overpowered for most homeowners, who don’t push tools to their limits and may be more prone to wrist injuries when not using it appropriately. Consider the Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill if you want a more user-friendly drill for around the home.

Compare drilling 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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Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 7.1
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 1.4
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 6.1
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 1.2

Unsurprisingly, the DCD805 is also incredibly fast driving big fasteners. It delivered one of the swiftest results in our Summer 2023 drill test fleet, finishing five GRK RSS 5 1/8-inch fasteners in only 7.1 seconds, not counting down time between each screw.

We further tested the DCD805 by driving several longer and wider gauge lag bolts into stacked 2x6s. We didn’t run into a scenario where we needed to drop to the low setting for added torque to finish the job, rare for most drills.

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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

RPM

Dewalt DCD805 RPM Chart

Max RPM speed 2: 2,038.0
Max RPM speed 1: 649.0

The DCD805’s drilling and driving speed performance directly relates to the high RPM output. In all the action modes and transmission settings, we tested the RPM performance with a contact tachometer in a no-load scenario.

While no-load RPM output doesn’t tell the whole story of how a drill performs under load, our speed testing results confirm that the DCD805 has the muscle to sustain RPMs at a higher rate than many hammer drills 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 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.

Chuck

Dewalt DCD805 Chuck Closeup

Chuck size: 1/2″
Chuck sleeve material: Knurled metal

The DCD805 is a flagship hammer drill, so we expected it to have a premium chuck. It did not disappoint. The all-metal chuck locked onto bits and didn’t inadvertently loosen at any point throughout our lab tests. The metal knurling on the chuck sleeve also provides the right amount of friction when ratcheting the chuck by hand, which is helpful for quickly and confidently inserting drill bits.

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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Motor & BPM

Dewalt DCD805 Drill Modes

Motor type: Brushless
Action modes: Drill, hammer
Advertised blows per min. (speed 2): 34,000.0
Advertised blows per min. (speed 1): Not advertised
Variable speed trigger: Yes
Kickback control technology: No
Trigger draw length (in.): 0.250

There are two drilling action modes. The drill mode disengages the chuck for the highest torque output, which is ideal for boring big holes and driving lag bolts and structural fasteners.

The hammer drill mode operates in the same manner but adds in a hammer that impacts at a rate of 34,000.00 blows per minute, which is among the highest in our test fleet. We tested the hammer’s effectiveness in our drilling speed test below to understand the speed improvements offered.

One area for improvement is including some kickback control technology to enhance safety when since an auxiliary arm isn’t included. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2904-20 Hammer Drill includes kickback control technology.

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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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Clutch & speed settings

Dewalt DCD805 Clutch & Speed

Speed settings: 2
Clutch settings: 15

There is a standard two-speed gearbox and 15 clutch settings. The high and low settings can be run in any action mode and clutch setting. The DCD805 generates the maximum torque output in either of the drill modes in the low setting.

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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

Charging time

Dewalt DCD805 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

One letdown is that the standard charger included in most Dewalt kits (model DCB115) charges batteries slowly compared to other manufacturers. In our testing, the DCB115 charged at a rate of 28.7 minutes per Ah. Several other brands charge at a rate of 20 minutes per Ah or lower.

However, this charger charges 12V and 20V Max platform batteries in one, conveniently saving shelf space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem.

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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 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

Weight

Dewalt DCD805 Angle 7

Bare weight (lbs): 3.00
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 3.80
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs): Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 4.42

The DCD805 is a heavy hammer drill, weighing 3.00 lbs in its bare form. You can comfortably hang it from a sturdy work belt by the belt hook. But it’s not light enough to comfortably drop in your jeans pocket for portability.

Many professionals will use this drill with a high Ah-capacity battery. When kitting it out with a 20V Max XR 5Ah battery, the setup weighs 4.42 lbs. We ran into several instances throughout testing where hand fatigue set in, which is expected in this brute force class.

To get sufficient performance in as lightweight a setup as possible, we recommend combining the DCD805 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.

Compare drill weight 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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Footprint

Dewalt DCD805 Footprint1
Dewalt DCD805 Footprint2

Max height (in.): 9.375
Max width (in.): 3.125
Chuck to back length (in.): 7.000
Base length (in.): 4.500
Base width (in.): 3.125

The DCD805 is moderately large when measured in many of its dimensions. To fit the hammering mechanism, the head is wider and longer than its non-hammer drill sister, the Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD800. The increased head size also adds length from tip to tail, though it’s not an overly tall hammer drill.

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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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Drilling clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.625
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.500
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.875

The DCD805’s moderately large footprint didn’t help it shine in our clearance tests, designed to understand the obstructed spaces and tight areas each drill fits into. Notably, the moderately long tip-to-tail length and bulky head limit the spaces it fits into, including scenarios such as drilling under shelves and fitting into restricted corners.

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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.

Auxiliary arm

Auxiliary arm: No

The DCD805 is a powerful drill that should include a detachable auxiliary arm in the box to improve user safety when the drill binds up. The Makita 18V LXT XPH14Z Hammer Drill and Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2904-20 Hammer Drill are powerful and include auxiliary arms.

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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Noise

Dewalt DCD805

Max no-load noise (dBA): 84.7
Max drilling noise (dBA): 96.1

The DCD805 is one of our test fleet’s loudest drills under load. While the high hammering rate vastly improves drilling speed, it is also incredibly loud, generating 96.1 dBA of noise. This result rivals the noise output of powerful impact drivers, which are also harmful with prolonged exposure.

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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.

Light

Dewalt DCD805 Light Wall
Dewalt DCD805 Light Closeup
Dewalt DCD805 Light Customization

Light: Yes
Light location: In base
Light positions: 3
Customizable light settings: Off, On, Spotlight
Light count: Single LED
Light active time (sec.): 20.0

We’re big fans of the DCD805’s worklight. The multi-position light does the essentials well and brightly illuminates the surface directly in front of the nose of the drill, whether using a short or long drill bit.

A switch behind the light can disable the light or enable Spotlight mode, which runs the light for 20 minutes and increases the brightness to an advertised 70 lumens.

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.

Warranty

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

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The DCD805 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 DCD805.

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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