Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 vs Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887

Dewalt DCF845 Angle 5

Dewalt DCF845

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 are both fantastic impact drivers with exceptional build quality and performance for the price. The main differences are the DCF845 trades faster driving speeds under load for lower torque output, making the DCF845 better for most DIYers and homeowners and the DCF887 for prosumers and professionals. The DCF845 is also modestly lighter and shorter tip to tail.

Brand Dewalt
Platform 20V Max XR
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 612.6
IPM 4,200.0
Drive modes 3
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as DCF845B
Brand Dewalt
Platform 20V Max XR
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 880.2
IPM 3,600.0
Drive modes 3
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as DCF887B

Editorial opinion

Rating

4.40 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Excellent battery run time
  • Great torque and driving speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Versatile drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • One-handed bit changes

Cons

  • Long collet to back length
  • Not ideal for light-duty tasks

Rating

4.47 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Excellent torque and driving speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Versatile drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • One-handed bit changes

Cons

  • Battery run time
  • Long collet-to-back length
  • Inconsistent accuracy finishing screws

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)12.82
Torque (in-lbs)612.610
Battery run time (min.)49.05
RPM3,214.07
Bare weight (lbs)2.0311
Impacting noise (dBA)97.412
TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)14.75
Torque (in-lbs)880.22
Battery run time (min.)39.013
RPM3,155.08
Bare weight (lbs)2.0913
Impacting noise (dBA)100.620

Recommended configuration

DCF845P2

Includes (2) Max XR 20V 5Ah battery

Lab results

Torque

Dewalt DCF845 Torquemeter
Dewalt DCF845 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 612.6
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 396.6
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

While the DCF845 sped through heavy-duty driving jobs in our tests, the torque output doesn’t explain most of the driving performance. The DCF845 is moderately powerful compared to impact drivers in the Dewalt lineup and outside of it. It is sufficiently powerful to handle demanding tasks, but the Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 has a far higher torque output for models in the Dewalt ecosystem.

Compare torque test results

Torque

Dewalt DCF887 Torquemeter
Dewalt DCF888 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 880.2
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 639.0
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The DCF887 is exceptionally powerful, with some of the highest torque output we’ve tested in the lab. The DCF887 took a podium position for its robust torque output within our Summer ’23 test fleet. Only the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 pushed out higher torque readings on our torque meter.

Compare torque test results

RPM

Dewalt DCF845 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,214.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,711.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,437.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,290.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,555.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,465.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

We appreciate that Dewalt didn’t design the DCF845 with an absurdly high RPM just to impress users with its on-paper performance. RPM does help drive screws fast, but torque does more to explain overall driving performance. An impact driver that ramps immediately to a high RPM results in frequent cam-out and stripping screws.

None of these are issues with the DCF845 with its moderate RPM readouts. There is also no noticeable RPM difference between forward and reverse in all three drive modes. Some Makita impact drivers include specialty driving modes with different forward and reverse RPMs for a given drive setting.

Compare RPM test results

RPM

Dewalt DCF887 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,155.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,956.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 2,547.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 961.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,169.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,857.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 2,809.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 1,067.0

One reason the DCF887 is solidly versatile is its balanced RPM profile. Our RPM tests demonstrate rotations across its drive modes that are moderately fast. While a higher max RPM could drive screws faster in some scenarios, it would be overkill for most uses.

Instead, the muted RPM profile helps reduce the potential for cam-out and stripped screws in the highest speed settings.

There is no meaningful difference in RPM for each drive mode in forward or reverse. Some impact drivers ramp up RPM in the reverse direction to assist in removing stubborn screws or bolts, but the DCF887 has more than enough twisting force and torque for these tasks.

Compare RPM test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 12.8
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.6
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 9.0
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 1.8

The DCF845 yielded some of the fastest results in our GRK driving speed tests. Dewalt designed the DCF845 with the right balance of features for excellent driving performance without the downsides, such as short battery life, that plague some high-end impact drivers.

The DCF845 is equally capable of driving more than just long GRK screws. We tested driving lag bolts, structural screws, drywall screws, and other standard sizes and lengths. This impact driver handled all with ease for nearly unmatched driving versatility.

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Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 14.7
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 2.9
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 10.1
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.0

The DCF887 confidently drives big, long structural screws and lag bolts into dense material, as evidenced in our driving speed tests. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 improves upon the DCF887’s driving speed if brute force is essential to you.

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Drive modes

Dewalt DCF845 Drive Modes

Drive modes: 3
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  Medium speed 
Drive mode 3:  Low speed/tightening 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

The DCF845 includes the essential drive modes that most users need. There’s a high and low speed impacting mode and a precision driving mode.

The precision mode works well for light-duty tasks, such as general woodworking or driving soft screws in a pinch when your cordless drill is out of reach. But we found ourselves using drive mode 2 more frequently when precision was paramount, such as accurately recessing screws into MDF and drywall studs. The increased driving power is more versatile than what’s offered with the precision drive mode while retaining most of the same accuracy.

Users desiring best-in-class driving versatility should look to a Makita impact driver. The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z and Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z include similar drive modes as the DCF845 but layer in additional assist modes, including self-tapping and bolt-specific settings.

Drive modes

Dewalt DCF887 Drive Modes

Drive modes: 3
Drive mode 1:  High speed 
Drive mode 2:  Medium speed 
Drive mode 3:  Low speed 
Drive mode 4:  N/A 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

The DCF887 includes the essential drive modes. There’s a high, medium, and low-speed impact mode.

The high-speed mode is ideal for driving big structural screws, lag bolts, and common-sized screws into dimensional lumber, but it lacks precision for a good finish.

The medium-speed mode best suits finishing screws at a consistent depth in all material densities. We found it most helpful in driving smaller screws accurately into dimensional lumber and hardwoods, plus driving longer screws into MDF and drywall studs.

We found ourselves not using the low-speed setting in favor of the medium-speed setting for the extra power offered with similar precision. The low-speed setting includes a precision drive hesitation feature, which helps drive soft screws and for some woodworking tasks. In this mode, the motor rotates on a delay after stopping, giving some additional driving force and precision.

Users desiring more driving versatility should look to a Makita impact driver. The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z and Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z include similar drive modes as the DCF887 but layer in additional assist modes, including self-tapping and bolt-specific settings.

Collet

Dewalt DCF845 Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: Yes
Easy-insert collet: Yes

The DCF845 is excellent for one-handed bit changes. There is an easy-insert feature that doesn’t require sliding the collet forward to accept a bit. A bit-eject feature also lightly ejects the bit when sliding the collet forward.

Dewalt’s collet design is better executed than other brands offering similar features. The easy-insert mechanism is smooth for simple operation, and the bit-eject feature doesn’t jettison the bit too hard to potentially miss catching the bit.

Collet

Dewalt DCF887 Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: Yes
Easy-insert collet: Yes

The DCF887 is excellent for one-handed bit changes. There is an easy-insert feature that doesn’t require sliding the collet forward to accept a bit. A bit-eject feature also lightly ejects the bit when sliding the collet forward.

Dewalt’s collet design is better executed than other brands offering similar features. The easy-insert mechanism is smooth for simple operation, and the bit-eject feature doesn’t jettison the bit too hard to potentially miss catching the bit.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 4,200.0

As should be expected at this price point, the DCF845 includes a brushless motor, which improves longevity, battery efficiency, and driving performance compared to a brushed motor. This motor choice explains some of the impressive battery run time and driving speed performance.

The high advertised 4200.0 impacts per minute also explain the capable driving performance.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 3,600.0

Dewalt included a brushless motor with the DCF887. Brushless motors have become table stakes for anything other than budget impact drivers, primarily due to the improved efficiency that translates to better battery performance, longevity, and driving power.

While the advertised 3600.0 impacts per minute is low, the DCF887 performed well in our driving speed tests.

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 49.0
Battery tested: 20V Max 2Ah (DCB203)
Voltage: 20

The DCF845 is among the best-performing heavy-duty impact drivers we’ve tested, with 49.0 minutes of no-load run time. Adding a 5Ah battery should result in outstanding run time, though we didn’t test the run time with this setup.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With a 20V Max XR 5Ah battery, expect the battery run time to continue outperforming competing models running the same Ah setup.

Compare battery test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 39.0
Battery tested: 20V Max 2Ah (DCB203)
Voltage: 20

The primary letdown of the DCF887 is its battery run-time performance in our tests. The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845, Makita 18V LXT XDT14Z, and Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z are better options if you want better battery performance.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With a 20V Max XR 5Ah battery, the battery run time will continue underperforming competing models running the same Ah setup.

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Charging time

Dewalt 20V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 59.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
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 20V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 59.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
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 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.

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Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: Yes
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 80.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: Yes
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 83.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

Weight

Dewalt DCF845 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.03
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.83
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.43

The DCF845 isn’t lightweight in its heavy-duty driving class, instead, middle of the pack. The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z sheds some weight and is a better option if you covet a light, equally powerful setup.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it as lightweight as possible, We recommend combining the DCF845 with Dewalt’s new 20V Powerstack 1.7Ah battery, which weighs less, has a smaller footprint, and performs better than Dewalt’s 20V Max 2Ah battery, which is a solid alternative for a svelte setup.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the DCF845 with Dewalt’s 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance. Moreover, this setup is one of the lightest 5Ah kits we’ve come across.

Compare weight test results

Weight

Dewalt DCF887 Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.09
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.89
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): 3.49

The DCF887 is considerably heavy in its bare tool form. However, the working weight with one of Dewalt’s 2Ah or 5Ah 20V Max XR batteries beats many competing models.

To keep it as lightweight as possible, We recommend combining the DCF887 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, which is a solid alternative for a svelte setup.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the DCF887 with Dewalt’s 20V Max XR 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance. Dewalt also offers a 20V Powerstack 5Ah battery that reduces the overall size meaningfully.

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Footprint

Dewalt DCF845 Footprint1
Dewalt DCF845 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.375
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Collet to back length (in.): 5.125
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.500
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.000
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.750
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The DCF845 has a narrow profile but isn’t highly compact like the Dewalt 20V Atomic DCF850, which has a far shorter collet-to-back length. Held in hand, the DCF845 still feels nimble compared to some of its competition.

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Footprint

Dewalt DCF887 Footprint1
Dewalt DCF887 Footprint2

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.875
Max width (bare tool, in.): 2.500
Collet to back length (in.): 5.375
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.875
Base width (bare tool, in.): 2.625
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.750
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

As with many impact drivers in this class, the DCF887 is moderately bulky, but we’d still consider it solidly compact. The Dewalt 20V Atomic DCF850 is far more compact with a shorter collet-to-back length that squeezes into tight spaces better.

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Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.750
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.250
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.500

While the DCF845 casts a thin shadow viewed from the front, it didn’t shine in our interior clearance tests, which is somewhat expected for a heavier-duty impact driver. The primary reason is the long collet-to-back length. Otherwise, the footprint resembles many competing impact drivers with similar average results in our clearance tests.

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Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 8.000
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.250
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.500

While the DCF887 casts a moderately thin shadow viewed from the front, it didn’t shine in our interior clearance tests. The primary reason is the long collet-to-back length. Otherwise, the footprint resembles many competing impact drivers with similar average results in our clearance tests.

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Noise

DCF845 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 78.8
Max impacting noise (dBA): 97.4

No impact driver whispers while impacting, including the DCF845, a moderately loud impact driver that can damage your ears with prolonged exposure. You can shave off a few decibels of impact noise performance with the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, but you’ll need to switch up impact driver classes to markedly improved noise performance.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are hydraulic impact drivers with more subtle impacts, albeit lower torque.

Compare noise test results

Noise

DCF887 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 83.6
Max impacting noise (dBA): 100.6

The DCF887 is one of the louder impact drivers we’ve tested, with a decibel readout that surpassed 100 dBA under impact. You can shave off several decibels with the Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z or Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02, but these models are also harmful with prolonged exposure.

Jumping to hydraulic impact drivers like the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 reduces the noise considerably since oil-impulse models have more subtle impacts.

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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 32.9
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.9

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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 105.5
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 3.1

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Light

Dewalt DCF845 Light
Dewalt DCF845 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 3
Light time delay (sec.): 20.0

The DCF845’s work light illuminates a moderately large and bright surface area that is focused in the correct location. One minor head-scratcher is Dewalt’s choice of a 20-second time delay for the light, which is unnecessarily long and drains battery life.

There is no dedicated flashlight mode, one featured included with some Makita impact drivers, where the trigger acts as an on/off button to turn on the light without moving the motor. You also can’t disable the light.

Light

Dewalt DCF887 Light
Dewalt DCF887 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 3
Light time delay (sec.): 20.0

The DCF887’s work light illuminates a small surface area focused in the correct location. Oddly, the light casts a Dewalt-ish orange glow since the LEDs are inset behind orange plastic housing surrounding the lights.

One minor head-scratcher is Dewalt’s choice of a default 20-second time delay for the light, which is unnecessarily long and drains battery life. But you can change the time delay inside the ToolConnect app or disable the work light entirely.

There is no dedicated flashlight mode, one featured included with some Makita impact drivers, where the trigger acts as an on/off button to turn on the light without moving the motor.

Warranty

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

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The DCF845 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt 20V batteries include a two-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCF845 and three years for its 20V batteries.

Warranty

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

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The DCF887 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt 20V Max XR batteries include a two-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCF887 and three years for its 20V Max XR batteries.

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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