Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD709 Hammer Drill Review

Dewalt DCD709 Angle 5

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD709 Hammer Drill delivers on the Atomic lineup’s goal of offering performance in a compact footprint. It drills and drives reasonably well in demanding tasks, includes a brushless motor, and is exceptionally lightweight for an 18V hammer drill. However, it can’t compete on speed with flagship models within and outside of the Dewalt ecosystem. This performance profile explains why the DCD709 is a fantastic option for homeowners who want agility and a powerful enough drill to complete common tasks around the home. It’s also a fit for woodworkers with the size and power profile. We don’t recommend the DCD709 for use on most job sites since it’s best used for demanding tasks when a dedicated, more powerful tool isn’t within reach.

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

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

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.00 / 5 stars

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

Recommended configuration

DCD709BWP034C

Includes (1) Powerstack 1.7Ah battery

Series lineup

Model #PlatformAction ModesMax Torque (in-lbs)Review
Dewalt DCD70920V AtomicDrill, hammerNot advertisedFull review
Dewalt DCD79920V AtomicDrill, hammerNot advertisedFull review
Dewalt DCD80020V Max XRDrill onlyNot advertisedFull review
Dewalt DCD80520V Max XRDrill, hammerNot advertisedFull review

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Compare drill motors

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.

Compare drill clutch and speed settings

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.

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

The DCD709’s handle leans slightly forward for ergonomics when drilling. However, the combination of the handle lean and head slope isn’t as aggressive as other drills. The more aggressive the design, the easier it is to exert forward pressure with your hand and arm while keeping the drill in a flat plane.

There is a rubber overmold surrounding the grip, which provides necessary shock absorption and friction for gripping power.

An all-metal belt hook is included in the box and can be mounted on either side of the base. There is no onboard bit holder or magnetic place for fasteners, though both features are available aftermarket through third-party vendors.

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

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

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.

Compare drilling clearance test results

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.

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.

Compare drill noise test results

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.

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.

 

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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