Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 Vs Makita 40V XGT GDT01Z

Dewalt DCF887 Angle 5

Dewalt DCF887

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 is the better impact driver for most people based on the performance offered for the price. Both offer flagship-level performance, but the Dewalt DCF887 is faster under load and pushes out significantly more torque. However, the Makita GDT01Z is shorter from tip to tail and offers vastly more specialty drive modes. The Makita GDT01Z is considerably more expensive.

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
Brand Makita
Platform 40V XGT
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 758.4
IPM 4,400.0
Drive modes 10
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as GDT01

Editorial opinion

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

Rating

4.51 / 5 stars

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Pros

  • Long battery run time
  • Brushless motor
  • Drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • Versatile light

Cons

  • Large and heavy working footprint
  • Poor noise performance
  • Requires two hands to remove bits

Global rankings

21 models tested

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
TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)16.210
Torque (in-lbs)758.45
Battery run time (min.)83.01
RPM3,113.09
Bare weight (lbs)2.1515
Impacting noise (dBA)98.619

Recommended configuration

DCF887D2

Includes (2) Max XR 20V 2Ah battery

Lab 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.

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Torque

Makita GDT01Z Torquemeter
Makita GDT01Z Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 758.4
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 718.8
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): 455.4
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): 263.4

One critical letdown of the GDT01Z is the torque output. While we were able to generate high levels of torque output with the GDT01Z, the bar is set much higher when considering the power potential inherent to a 40V platform and the sky-high price tag.

Consider the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20 and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 for models with better torque output.

Compare torque 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

RPM

Makita GDT01Z RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 3,113.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 2,854.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 1,733.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): 856.0
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 3,299.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 2,818.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 1,840.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): 922.0

The GDT01Z’s RPM readings were moderately high, but we don’t consider this a knock on the versatility and driving performance. The wide array of drive mode settings, torque, impacts per minute, and RPM provide more than enough driving power than most people will need, and it’s highly versatile.

Compare RPM test results

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.

Compare driving speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 16.2
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 3.2
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 12.3
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 2.5

With the GDT01Z’s size and advertised specs, we anticipated it blowing away the competition in our driving speed tests. The GDT01Z drives big screws and lag bolts powerfully, but the driving speed performance was one of the most glaring letdowns in our testing. Frankly, the bar is high with the price tag, so anything below flagship performance is a letdown.

Kitting it out with a higher Ah battery will improve driving speed, but the gains are minimal and especially underwhelming considering the size, voltage, and premium price tag.

The Makita 18V LXT XDT19Z, Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2953-20, Ryobi 18V One+ PBLID02, and Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF845 are alternatives for faster driving performance.

Compare driving speed test results

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.

Drive modes

Makita GDT01Z Drive Modes

Drive modes: 10
Drive mode 1:  Max impact 
Drive mode 2:  Hard impact 
Drive mode 3:  Medium impact 
Drive mode 4:  Soft impact 
Variable speed trigger: Yes

One of the standout features of the GDT01Z is its wide array of drive mode settings that give you unmatched driving versatility.

You can select from four impact-frequency settings, and there are also six assist modes for driving screws into different materials and loosening bolts. The ten driving modes can also be programmed to the quick mode-switching button near the trigger for toggling to a saved favorite drive mode.

Drive modes we label as 1, 2, 3, and 4 advertise max impacts per minute of 4400.0, 3600.0, 2600.0, and 1100.0, respectively.

When pressing the assist button, you can select from the following drive modes:

  • Wood: Prevents a screw from stripping and helps set the screw into your work material at the beginning of driving by starting with a slow RPM and then increasing the RPM once the hammer begins impacting.
  • Self-tapping 1: Prevents screws from over-tightening by stopping the tool soon after impacts start.
  • Self-tapping 2: Prevents cam-out and stripping of screws by slowing the RPM when impacts begin.
  • Bolt 1: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting. When in reverse, the impact force is setting 2.
  • Bolt 2: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting for 0.3 seconds. When in reverse, the impact force is setting 4.
  • Bolt 3: When in forward, the tool stops automatically once impacting for 1.0 seconds.

The assist modes are more than a marketing gimmick and work well in practice. The wood assist mode finishes screws nicely and consistently into your work material, and the jolt of turbo is welcome for longer screws. Consider that you lose some precision driving the screw to a desired depth as the RPM ramps.

The Self-Tapping modes precisely drive screws into thin or thicker metal and lower-density materials without over-tightening.

The various bolt modes loosen bolts quickly and precisely, partly because the trigger is more sensitive and ramps to the highest RPM faster to bust bolts loose.

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.

Collet

Makita GDT01Z Collet Closeup

Collet size: 1/4-inch hex
Quick-change collet: Yes
Bit-eject collet: No
Easy-insert collet: Yes

It takes two hands to remove bits on the GDT01Z, one hand to slide the collet and the other to remove the bit. The collet does include an easy-insert feature, which helps with one-handed bit insertion.

Most Dewalt impact drivers are ideal for one-handed bit changes since these impact drivers include a well-designed easy-insert and bit-eject collet.

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.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 4,400.0

Brushless motors are table stakes nowadays due to their improved driving performance, battery efficiency, and longevity over brushed motors. The GDT01Z’s brushless motor should have excellent longevity (though we’ve not tested the shelf life). It is also one reason the battery run time is so long.

We anticipated the high advertised impacts per minute would crush our driving speed tests, but that didn’t play out in practice, with the GDT01Z finishing in the middle of the pack.

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.

Compare battery test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 83.0
Battery tested: 40V XGT 2.5Ah (BL4025)
Voltage: 40

The GDT01Z shines regarding battery run time performance, topping the ranks in our Summer 2023 test batch. We tested the GDT01Z with a 2.5Ah battery, whereas other models tested used a 2Ah version. So, battery run time is understandably better since the test isn’t 100% apples to apples.

But consider that the GDT01Z has outstanding efficiency with a higher run time per Ah than other models tested. Accordingly, if Makita offered a 40V 2Ah XGT battery, we’d anticipate it outperforming setups running the same Ah battery.

We expect the battery run time to perform similarly well when running the GDT01Z with a 40V XGT 5Ah battery compared to other setups running the same Ah battery.

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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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Charging time

Makita 40V XGT Fuel Gauge

Charger tested:
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Coming Soon
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.):
Fuel gauge: On battery

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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.): 83.0
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.): 93.0

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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Weight

Makita GDT01Z On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 2.15
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs): 3.67
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

The GDT01Z is heavy as a bare tool and with a battery. We don’t recommend this impact driver in any battery configuration if you’re seeking a lightweight tool. The bare tool footprint is relatively compact, but Makita’s 40V XGT batteries are incredibly bulky.

The 40V XGT 2.5Ah battery tips the scales at 1.52 lbs, compared to around 1.0 lb for most other brands’ comparable battery sizes.

To keep it as lightweight as possible, combine the GDT01Z with Makita’s 40V XGT 2.5Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the GDT01Z with Makita’s 40V XGT 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance.

Compare weight test results

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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Footprint

Makita GDT01Z Footprint1

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.500
Max width (bare tool, in.): 3.375
Collet to back length (in.): 4.625
Base length (bare tool, in.): 3.750
Base width (bare tool, in.): 3.375
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.250
Handle circumference (in.): 5.125

The GDT01Z’s footprint is noticeably bigger than most impact drivers we’ve tested, except for the collet-to-back length. Notably, the max base and head width dimensions are wider than average. Add on a 40V XGT battery, and the working height is massive.

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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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Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.750
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.125
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 5.875

We don’t recommend the GDT01Z if you consistently drive fasteners in spaces requiring a lot of height clearance. A sub-compact or compact footprint can squeeze into these tighter spaces, especially if they have a shorter height.

However, it has solid clearances in our 45-degree driving test, thanks to its short collet-to-back length, surprising for such a bulky setup with the battery.

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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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Noise

GDT01Z Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 85.1
Max impacting noise (dBA): 98.6

While no impact driver is quiet, the GDT01Z is among the louder models we’ve tested when impacting.

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

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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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Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 17.9
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 2.0

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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.

Light

Makita GDT01Z Light
Makita GDT01Z Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: Yes
Number of lights: 2
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

The GDT01Z’s light illuminates work surfaces well with a large coverage area. You can also turn off the light when holding the drive mode settings button. Turning off the light is good for versatility and saves battery life. Otherwise, there is a 10-second delay for the light to turn off after releasing the trigger.

Another unique feature of the GDT01Z is that the impact driver acts as a dedicated flashlight. Set the forward/reverse switch to the neutral position, then squeeze the trigger to turn on the light and squeeze it again to turn off the light, all without the motor ramping up.

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.

Warranty

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

Makita stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The GDT01Z has a three-year warranty. Makita 40V XGT batteries include a three-year warranty.

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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