The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD800 is worthy of its flagship status. It is powerful and sustains high RPMs under load, blowing away the speed of many lesser drills in demanding tasks. It is also compact from tip to tail, offers advanced worklight features, and has an extended warranty. The primary downside is that it’s heavy like other competing drills, and there is no hammering functionality to improve drilling performance in masonry and thick lumber. The DCD800 is arguably overpowered for use around the home, and there are more balanced options for weekend warriors. It is most suitable for use on the job site.
|Drilling speed (sec.)
|Driving speed (sec.)
|Bare weight (lbs)
|Drilling Noise (dBA)
3.91 / 5 ⭐️’s
- Exceptional drilling and driving speed
- Advanced worklight features
- Short length
- Long warranty
- All-metal chuck design
- No hammer drill
- Moderately heavy
- No auxiliary arm included
Kits and bare tool options
Includes (2) Max Powerstack 20V 1.7Ah battery
Includes (1) Max XR 20V 5Ah battery
Includes (2) Max XR 20V 2Ah battery
Includes (1) Max 20V 2Ah, (1) Max Powerstack 20V 1.7Ah battery
Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill: This is the sister drill to the DCD800, and it includes a hammer drill to improve speeds in demanding tasks. It is slightly heavier and longer as a result. Compare side by side
Design & ergonomics
Stands upright (no battery): Yes
Stands upright (w/ battery): Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Lanyard compatible: Yes
The DCD800’s handle leans slightly forward to orient the drill in a flat plane when drilling. The handle’s lean and head’s flat angle aren’t as aggressive as other drills, which remain flat when rolling your wrist forward and exerting additional pressure with your arm in line with the head.
A metal belt hook is included and can be mounted on either side of the base in one of the available slots, which can also be used for a third-party bit holder.
Otherwise, a rubber overmold strategically surrounds the grip for shock absorption and grip.
The DCD800 is moderately heavy for an 18V drill, weighing in at 2.84 lbs in its bare form. The bulky weight does lead to muscle fatigue, as we experienced at several points running repetitive tests.
We tested different battery configurations since the working weight can differ meaningfully from the bare tool weight. We recommend combining the DCD800 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 DCD800 with Dewalt’s 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved drilling performance if weight is less of a concern.
The DCD800’s footprint is a tale of two stories, but it is compact in the areas that matter most. It is one of the shortest 18V drills in our test fleet from tip to tail and shorter than some less powerful and supposedly “compact” 12V drills. The tip-to-tail length is essential since it determines how easily it squeezes into tight areas, as we test below in our clearance tests.
However, the DCD800 is tall, and the head size casts a wide shadow.
Motor & BPM
There is only a single action mode on the DCD800. The drill mode disengages the clutch to offer unfettered torque output for boring wide holes and driving big fasteners. Unlike the sister Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill, there is no hammer functionality.
One feature Dewalt should consider adding is kickback control technology, which some of the best Milwaukee drills include. The DCD800 is exceptionally powerful, increasing the risk of wrist injuries when the drill bit binds up.
Clutch & speed settings
The two-speed transmission can run the DCD800 in the high or low setting in the single action mode and any of the 15 clutch settings. As with all drills, setting the drill to the low setting in the drill mode generates the maximum torque output.
While 15 clutch settings are fewer than some drills, it is enough to precisely tune the torque output to avoid stripping screws and finishing with the proper recess.
The all-metal ratcheting chuck offers better durability and build quality than drills with hybrid metal and plastic chucks. The metal knurled chuck sleeve is perfectly machined to provide the right amount of friction when locking in drill bits with your hand. We didn’t encounter issues with the three jaws loosening throughout our testing, making it completely frustration-free.
The DCD800 drills incredibly fast when under heavy load. It averaged 2.3 seconds per 1/2-inch hole bored in our drilling speed tests designed to explore each drill’s upper range. Critically for a contractor-grade drill, it sustains high RPMs throughout the hole depth and blasts out chips to avoid bogging down.
The DCD800 also chewed through other drilling tasks we threw at it, including boring narrower and wider holes with various spade and forstner bits. We needed to drop a gear for additional torque in a few instances.
But consider that the DCD800 isn’t ideal for the average homeowner who rarely pushes any power tool to its limits and could risk injury if not used correctly. There are more compact, powerful options that are more user-friendly, such as the Dewalt 20V Atomic DCD799 Hammer Drill.
The DCD800 is blazingly fast when driving structural screws. It took the podium position for driving speed in our Summer 2023 test fleet, averaging 1.3 seconds per fastener, not accounting for downtime between finishing each GRK RSS fastener.
We also tested driving several wider gauge and longer lag bolts into stacked dimensional 2x6s. The DCD800 similarly breezed through each scenario without dropping to the low setting for additional torque.
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.
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.
Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
The DCB115 charger included in many Dewalt kits charges batteries slowly compared to standard chargers from other brands. The charger charges at a rate of 28.7 minutes per Ah, which doesn’t compete with other brands that charge at a rate of less than 20.0 minutes per Ah.
However, one savior is that the DCB115 charges batteries on the 12V and 20V Dewalt platforms, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem.
When testing the RPM output on a contact tachometer, we found that the DCD800 matches Dewalt’s lofty advertised claims. The DCD800 generated 2,046.0 RPMs in our lab on the high setting and 648.0 RPMs on the low setting. As our drilling and driving tests demonstrated, the DCD800 is powerful enough to sustain high RPMs under load.
We noted in the Footprint section that the DCD800’s size is a tale of two stories. Let’s focus first on where the size positively impacts its performance in obstructed areas. Since the tip-to-tail length is short, the DCD800 sandwiches well between two vertical obstructions and squeezes into tight corners at an angle.
However, since the head is moderately bulky, the DCD800 doesn’t perform well in our top edge clearance test, designed to understand how easily a drill fits under shelves and in other situations when obstructed from above.
The DCD800 is quieter under load than other drills in our test fleet, especially when compared to the maximum noise output of a hammer drill. Still, 81.9 dBA under load is loud enough to cause damage with prolonged exposure.
Off, On, Spotlight
The DCD800 is one of the few drills we’ve tested that goes all out on its worklight features. The in-base light is bright and is configurable in three different positions.
There are also other advanced features. The light can be turned off entirely or act as a spotlight. In Spotlight mode, the light remains on for 20 minutes after pulling the trigger, and the brightness increases to an advertised 70 lumens.
There is no built-in Bluetooth app integration to track drill usage and location, display tool diagnostics, and allow you to set custom profiles on your phone. Some of Dewalt’s flagship power tools include ToolConnect natively, along with some additional features. But there is a slot in the base to add Dewalt’s after-market ToolConnect chip housing for Bluetooth connectivity.
Dewalt stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The DCD800 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 DCD800.