Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 Impact Driver Review

Dewalt DCF887 Angle 5

Quick take

The Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF887 breezes through heavy-duty tasks, and the drive modes are excellent for versatility. Dewalt also offers a long tool and battery warranty, highlighting its build quality. However, one letdown is the battery run time, plus it’s louder than competing models when impacting. Tally it all up, and the DCF887 is best for prosumers who appreciate a quality, powerful tool and trades workers who aren’t overly concerned with battery life. Note that we tested the Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF888 in this review, which is the same impact driver, but includes a native Bluetooth ToolConnect app integration for tool diagnostics and custom profiles. In most cases, we recommend buying the DCF887 since the ToolConnect features are helpful in some scenarios but not worth the extra cost for most users.

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

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

Editorial opinion

Methodology used: Heavy duty

Editorial rating

4.47 / 5 stars

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

Recommended configuration

DCF887D2

Includes (2) Max XR 20V 2Ah battery

Series lineup

Model #PlatformDrive ModesTorqueIPMReview
DCF84520V Max XR3612.6 in-lbs4,200.0Full review
DCF85020V Atomic3659.4 in-lbs3,800.0Full review
DCF88720V Max XR3880.2 in-lbs3,600.0Full review

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.

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

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

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 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: 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.): 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

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.

Compare charging test results

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 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.

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.

Compare footprint test results

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.

Compare driving clearance 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.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

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

Compare vibration test results

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 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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