Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill Review

Dewalt DCD805 Angle 5

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCD805 Hammer Drill is worthy of its flagship status. The DCD805 shines most with its drilling and driving speed in demanding tasks, beating out many equally impressive professional-grade hammer drills. There are also several additional useful features, such as an advanced worklight with customizable features. To pack in such performance, the DCD805 is heavy and moderately bulky. The combined performance and features make it most at home in a tool belt on the job site, not in the jeans pocket of a weekend warrior, since it’s overpowered for most needs around the house.

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

Global rankings

18 models tested

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

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.25 / 5 stars

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

Recommended configuration

DCD805D2

Includes (2) Max XR 20V 2Ah 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.): 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.): 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.

Compare driving speed 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.

Compare drill torque

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 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.

Compare drill motors

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.

Compare drill clutch and speed settings

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.

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 DCD805 has a familiar forward-leaning handle to orient the drill on the appropriate flat plane when drilling. However, the head angle uniquely slopes down minimally. Most drills either have a flat or upward-sloping head angle. In practice, the DCD805’s downward head angle means the drill isn’t held flat when rolling your wrist forward, which some users do when drilling aggressively.

Nearly all Dewalt drills include the same rubber overmold grip design, including the DCD805. The rubberized grip provides necessary shock absorption and grip under load.

There are two accessory slots on the base of the DCD805. These slots accept the all-metal belt hook in the box, or you can add third-party features, such as a bit holder.

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 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.

Compare drill footprint test results

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.

Compare drilling clearance test results

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 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.

Compare drill noise test results

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 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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