Milwaukee M12 2462-20 Vs Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCF801

Milwaukee 2462-20 Angle 5

Milwaukee 2462-20

Quick take

The Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCF801 is a better impact driver than the Milwaukee M12 2462-20. The main downsides of the Milwaukee 2462-20 are its single drive mode, a brushed motor, and its high price for the feature set offered. The Dewalt DCF801 is lighter and includes several versatile drive modes, all for a much lower price.

Brand Milwaukee
Platform M12
Motor Brushed
Tested torque in-lbs 491.4
IPM 3,300.0
Drive modes 1
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as -
Brand Dewalt
Platform 12V Xtreme
Motor Brushless
Tested torque in-lbs 441.0
IPM 3,600.0
Drive modes 3
Collet 1/4-inch hex
Same as DCF801B

Editorial opinion

Rating

2.75 / 5 ⭐️’s

Methodology used: Light duty

Pros

  • Moderately lightweight
  • Fantastic tool and battery warranty
  • Solid battery run time

Cons

  • Brushed motor
  • Single drive mode reduces driving versatility
  • Slow driving speed

Rating

4.23 / 5 ⭐️’s

Methodology used: Light duty

Pros

  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Solid battery run time
  • Brushless motor
  • Precise drive modes
  • Long tool and battery warranty
  • One-handed bit changes

Cons

  • Bogs down driving big structural screws and lag bolts
  • Long collet to back length

Global rankings

21 models tested

TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)58.321
Torque (in-lbs)491.418
Battery run time (min.)42.010
RPM2,170.021
Bare weight (lbs)1.967
Impacting noise (dBA)98.021
TestResultRank
Driving speed (sec.)30.819
Torque (in-lbs)441.021
Battery run time (min.)44.09
RPM2,848.017
Bare weight (lbs)1.743
Impacting noise (dBA)95.66

Kit and bare tool options

2462-22

Includes (1) M12 Red Lithium CP 1.5Ah battery

2462-20

Bare tool

Lab results

Design & ergonomics

Stands upright w/o battery: No
Stands upright w/ battery: Yes
Grip material: Rubber overgrip
Magnetic holder: No
Bit holder: No
Belt hook: Yes
Handle angle (deg.): 90.0
Head angle (deg.): 103.0

The 2462-20 is highly ergonomic with its unique angles and stance. The battery slots into the handle to give it a svelte footprint compared to other models. Milwaukee’s higher Ah M12 batteries are more traditionally designed to widen and lengthen the base, albeit remaining extremely compact. Without a battery, the 2462-20 doesn’t stand upright.

There is an included belt hook mountable on either side, but no bit holder or magnetic fastener holder is onboard, unlike some Ryobi impact drivers with these features built into the tool.

The forward-leaning angle and head design provide nearly unmatched forward reach in specific driving scenarios.

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.): 82.0
Head angle (deg.): 90.0

The DCF801’s design is well thought out with ergonomics that curve well to your hand, and the rubber overgrip provides good control and shock absorption. The forward-leaning handle offers extra reach for driving screws in awkward or obstructed situations.

Otherwise, the DCF801 includes a belt hook that is mountable on both sides of the base. A bit holder isn’t included in the box but can be mounted on either side. Several Ryobi impact drivers include bit holders and magnetic plates to hold fasteners.

Weight

Milwaukee 2462-20 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 1.96
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.35
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs): Not tested

The 2462-20 is moderately heavy for a 12V impact driver. However, most 12V impact drivers are light compared to bulkier 18V models, great for reducing fatigue over longer driving sessions.

The working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it lightweight, we recommend combining the 2462-20 with Milwaukee’s M12 Red Lithium CP 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, Milwaukee offers several higher Ah M12 batteries in its lineup. However, you forego the in-handle design for a slightly bulkier footprint and weight. Upgrading to Milwaukee’s M18 lineup may be more suitable as the size increases.

Compare weight test results

Weight

Dewalt DCF801 On Scale

Bare weight (lbs): 1.74
Weight w/ 2Ah battery (lbs): 2.23
Weight w/ 2.5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 4Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested
Weight w/ 5Ah battery (lbs):  Not tested

The DCF801 is exceptionally light as a bare tool and with a battery, reducing fatigue over long, repetitive driving sessions.You can cut weight further by moving to the Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3453-20 or the Makita 12V CXT DT04Z.

But remember that the DCF801’s working weight can differ significantly depending on the battery run in your setup. To keep it as lightweight as possible, we recommend combining the DCF801 with Dewalt’s 12V Max 2Ah battery for a good balance of performance and weight.

If weight is less of a concern, pair the DCF801 with Dewalt’s 12V Max 5Ah battery for a longer run time and improved driving performance. But consider that adding the 5Ah battery meaningfully increases the weight and footprint. Upgrading to Dewalt’s 20V impact driver lineup may be more suitable as the size increases, especially if you want a more powerful impact driver.

Compare weight test results

Footprint

Milwaukee 2462-20 Size

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.000
Max width (bare tool, in.): 2.250
Collet to back length (in.): 6.375
Base length (bare tool, in.): 1.625
Base width (bare tool, in.): 1.625
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.500
Handle circumference (in.): 6.250

The 2462-20 casts a thin shadow viewed from the front and back. However, it is bulkier from other angles, especially the collet-to-back length. This extended design makes it feel slightly less nimble in hand compared to other 12V impact drivers with stubbier heads.

Compare footprint test results

Footprint

Dewalt DCF801 Footprint1

Max height (bare tool, in.): 7.375
Max width (bare tool, in.): 2.500
Collet to back length (in.): 5.000
Base length (bare tool, in.): 2.625
Base width (bare tool, in.): 2.500
Trigger circumference (in.): 6.625
Handle circumference (in.): 5.000

The DCF801 has a svelte footprint in certain areas but is not as small as other 12V and 18V impact drivers. Nicely, the max width and base measurements are incredibly compact, excellent for squeezing through tight spaces.

Dewalt’s 12V Max batteries are also highly compact. But the max height and length from the collet back can be beaten by more compact models.

All said, the DCF801 is still nimbler than most impact drivers.

Compare footprint test results

Motor

Motor: Brushed
Impacts per minute: 3,300.0

One critical feature cut to make the price point is the 2462-20 uses a brushed motor. Brushed motors are less efficient, less durable, louder, and don’t drive as well as brushless motors, which are commonly used in most models nowadays.

The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z, Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20, and Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCF801 are excellent competing models with a brushless motor.

The 2462-20’s anvil hits with 3300.0 impacts per minute, low compared to most 12V impact drivers. Whether this makes a difference to you depends on your intended usage. The low impacts per minute are one reason the 2462-20 consistently and cleanly finished screws in different work materials in our tests. However, the impacts also explain why the 2462-20 drives big screws and lag bolts slowly.

Motor

Motor: Brushless
Impacts per minute: 3,600.0

Brushless motors offer significant performance improvements over brushed motors. The brushless motor in the DCF801 improves longevity, driving performance, and increases battery run time.

The DCF801 won’t win most contests for driving speed, partly due to its low advertised 3600.0 impacts per minute. However, the DCF801 is highly capable for most fastening needs around the home, and the advertised impacts per minute are enough to drive big screws or lag bolts in a pinch.

Drive modes

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

Only one drive mode reduces the 2462-20’s versatility. Additional drive modes would help the 2462-20 tackle differing driving tasks, ranging from precisely recessing screws into soft materials like MDF to driving lag bolts in timber.

This said, the single drive mode is well-balanced. It accurately finished differing-length screws in dimensional lumber, MDF, and drywall, albeit with less brute force than other impact drivers.

Drive modes

Dewalt DCF801 Drive Modes

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

There are three drive modes on the DCF801, high and low speed impacting and precision mode. These drive modes work well, providing excellent versatility spanning light and heavy-duty tasks.

The high-speed mode capably enough drove big GRK screws in our driving speed tests. This mode is also most effective in driving screws into dimensional lumber.

The low-speed mode works exceptionally well, driving screws flush into less dense materials, such as MDF, plastics, and drywall studs. This speed mode also works incredibly well to accurately recess screws to a desired depth by feathering the variable-speed trigger.

The precision mode works similarly well driving screws, but we found ourselves favoring drive mode 2 for precision driving tasks due to the extra power offered. Precision mode is most useful for extra lightweight materials or using the DCF801 like a cordless drill. The driving force is light enough and the trigger is accurate enough to drive soft screws without cam-out or stripping threads, such as on electrical outlets, though overpowered for this task.

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 58.3
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 11.7
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 49.1
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 9.8

The 2462-20 scraped the bottom of the barrel in our GRK driving speed tests. However, this test doesn’t tell the whole story, and the 2462-20 can handle similar driving tasks when you don’t have the perfect tool within reach.

All 12V impact drivers bog down driving big structural screws and lag bolts. 12V impact drivers can do the job in a pinch, but their batteries drain quickly with the motors working overtime.

We tested driving other common screw lengths and sizes into different-density materials, such as treated lumber, dimensional lumber, MDF, plywood, and soft and hardwood. Speed isn’t what matters in these tests since speed isn’t markedly different across models. The 2462-20 handily and accurately drove screws in all these situations tested.

Compare driving speed test results

Driving speed

GRK total driving time forward (sec.): 30.8
GRK average driving time forward (sec.): 6.2
GRK total driving time reverse (sec.): 20.6
GRK average driving time reverse (sec.): 4.1

Most 12V impact drivers we’ve tested range from 25 seconds to 30 seconds in total drive time for the five GRK screws in our test, including the DCF801.

The DCF801 capably drove GRK screws in our driving speed tests, but no 12V impact driver is the weapon of choice for repeating these heavy-duty tasks. Sub-compacts don’t have sufficient torque to repeatedly and efficiently drive big screws and lag bolts, and their batteries drain quickly with the motors working overtime.

Compare driving speed test results

Torque

Milwaukee 2462-20 Torquemeter
Milwaukee 2462-20 Torque Chart Image

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 491.4
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The 2462-20 is moderately underpowered for a 12V impact driver, and it can’t match the twisting force of more powerful 18V models, which are ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The torque output further highlights the 2462-20’s intended usage, primarily light and medium-duty tasks that don’t demand high torque output.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3453-20 has among the highest torque output we’ve tested in the 12V class.

Compare torque test results

Torque

Dewalt DCF801 Torquemeter
Dewalt DCF801 Torque Charts

Max torque drive mode 1 (in-lbs): 441.0
Max torque drive mode 2 (in-lbs): 214.2
Max torque drive mode 3 (in-lbs): N/A
Max torque drive mode 4 (in-lbs): N/A

The DCF801 isn’t designed to have a robust torque profile like more powerful 18V impact drivers. This theme held in our torque tests with the DCF801 turning in results that were among the lowest in our test fleet, including underperforming most other competing 12V models. This performance further highlights its intended usage for light and medium-duty tasks.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3453-20 has the highest torque in its class, nearly doubling the twisting force of the DCF801.

Compare torque test results

Battery run time

Power type: Cordless
Battery run time (min.): 42.0
Battery tested: 12V Red Lithium CP 2Ah (48-11-2420)
Voltage: 12

The 2462-20 turned in a respectable battery run time, especially for a brushed motor, including beating out many 12V impact drivers we tested. The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z and Ryobi 18V One+ PSBID01 are worth considering for improved battery performance.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. With a higher Ah 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.): 44.0
Battery tested: 12V Max 2Ah (DCB122)
Voltage: 12

The DCF801 turned in a solid battery run-time performance in our testing, surpassing many competing 12V impact drivers.

We tested battery run time with the 2Ah battery version. We expect the battery run time to perform similarly well when running the DCF801 with a 12V Max 2Ah battery and comparing it with other brands running the same Ah setup.

Compare battery test results

Battery lineup

Milwaukee M12 Battery Lineup

Milwaukee offers 1.5Ah, 2Ah, 2.5Ah, 3Ah, 4Ah, 5Ah, and 6Ah batteries in its M12 lineup. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increases battery run time and improves driving performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs. The 4Ah and higher batteries increase the base footprint over the in-handle-only, smaller Ah versions.

Having at least two batteries in your setup is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend buying two Milwaukee M12 Red Lithium CP 2Ah batteries for most M12 impact driver setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

Many Milwaukee impact drivers come in kits with chargers that charge multiple voltage batteries in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

Battery lineup

Dewalt 12V Battery Lineup

Dewalt offers 2Ah, 3Ah, and 5Ah batteries in its 12V Max lineup. Upgrading to the higher Ah options increases battery run time and improves driving performance, though we’ve not tested all of these batteries to understand the cost tradeoffs.

Having at least two batteries in your setup is best so you don’t miss a beat when draining one battery. We recommend buying two Dewalt 12V Max 2Ah batteries for most Dewalt 12V impact driver setups for a good balance of performance, price, and size.

Many Dewalt impact drivers come in kits with a hybrid 12V and 20V charger in one, which conveniently saves space in your shop if you have multiple tools in the ecosystem.

Charging time

Milwaukee 2656-20 Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Milwaukee M12 & M18 Multi-Volt (48-59-1812)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 38.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.): 19.0
Fuel gauge: Onboard tool

The Milwaukee M12 and M18 multi-volt charger (model 48-59-1812) included in most kits is reasonably fast at charging batteries, including to beat out team red’s most frequent adversary, Dewalt. It takes 38 minutes to charge an M12 2Ah battery, or 19 minutes per amp-hour.

Milwaukee’s 48-59-1812 charger charges multiple battery voltages in one, conveniently saving space in your shop if you have several M12 and M18 ecosystem tools.

Compare charging test results

Charging time

Dewalt 12V Fuel Gauge

Charger tested: Dewalt 20V Max (DCB115)
Charging time 2Ah battery (min.): 39.0
Charging time 2.5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 4Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time 5Ah battery (min.): Not tested
Charging time per Ah (min.): 19.5
Fuel gauge: On battery

The Dewalt charger that comes with most kits (model DCB115) charges 12V batteries rapidly. In our tests, the charger topped off a 12V Max 2Ah battery in 39 minutes, or 19.5 minutes per Ah.

This charger also charges Dewalt’s 20V battery platform, helping to save space in your shop if you have several tools in the Dewalt ecosystem. But consider that the DCB115 doesn’t charge 20V Max batteries as rapidly.

Compare charging test results

RPM

Milwaukee 2462-20 RPM Charts

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 2,170.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 2,045.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

The 2462-20’s single drive mode has very low measured RPM, great for precision driving but a downside combined with its torque profile for quickly driving big screws and bolts.

There is no significant RPM difference between forward and reverse. Some Makita impact drivers increase RPM in select drive mode settings in reverse to help in loosening bolts and stubborn screws. The 2462-20 won’t bust loose stingy bolts (it doesn’t have the RPM and torque), but it handled removing any difficult screw we tested.

Compare RPM test results

RPM

DCF801 RPM Charts Update

Max RPM drive mode 1 (fwd.): 2,848.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (fwd.): 1,958.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (fwd.): 983.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (fwd.): N/A
Max RPM drive mode 1 (rev.): 2,831.0
Max RPM drive mode 2 (rev.): 1,921.0
Max RPM drive mode 3 (rev.): 970.0
Max RPM drive mode 4 (rev.): N/A

Dewalt hit a good RPM balance all around with the DCF801. This impact driver is designed for versatility, so don’t expect it to top the charts with high RPMs across its driving modes.That result isn’t a downside in most scenarios. The low RPM does explain some of the bogging down when driving big bolts and screws.

However, the low RPM also explains why the DCF801 is exceptionally accurate, all the better since it’s powerful enough to drive big screws and bolts in a pinch, regardless.

Compare RPM test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 9.125
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.000
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 7.000

The 2462-20’s uniquely-designed angles and long collet-to-back length don’t make it ideal for driving inside all tight spaces and corners, as demonstrated in our clearance tests. This performance is most noticeable in our 45-degree interior clearance test, where the long length significantly hindered its performance.

Compare driving clearance test results

Driving clearance

Min. interior width clearance (in.): 7.500
Min. top edge clearance (in.): 1.250
Min. interior 45-deg. clearance (in.): 6.250

The DCF801 has solid clearances in our various tests but lags behind other 12V and other highly-compact 18V impact drivers in our 45-degree interior clearance test. This performance results from the extended length from the collet to back.

Check out the Milwaukee M12 Fuel 3453-20 or Makita 12V CXT DT04Z if you want to stick with a 12V driver that squeezes into tight spaces better.

Compare driving clearance test results

Noise

2462-20 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 71.9
Max impacting noise (dBA): 98.0

The 2462-20 is loud when impacting, surprising for such a small impact driver. This impact driver turned in some of the highest decibel noise performance we’ve come across in our tests.

The Makita 12V CXT DT04Z is a better pick for improved noise performance.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are incredibly quiet impact drivers since both are hydraulic impact drivers with far more subtle impacts.

Compare noise test results

Noise

DCF801 Impact Driver Noise Chart

Max noise no load (dBA): 75.3
Max impacting noise (dBA): 95.6

The DCF801 is comparatively quiet when impacting, making it a good option if you don’t want to irk your neighbors. Of course, no impact driver is a wallflower, and any impact driver’s noise is harmful with prolonged exposure.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Surge 2551-20 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge 2760-20 are quieter options to consider since both are hydraulic impact drivers with more subtle impacts.

Compare noise test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 14.5
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 0.7

Compare vibration test results

Vibration

Max head vibration no load (m/s2): 44.6
Max grip vibration no load (m/s2): 1.6

Compare vibration test results

Light

Milwaukee 2462-20 Light
Milwaukee 2462-20 Light Closeup

Light: Yes
Light on/off: No
Number of lights: 1
Light time delay (sec.): 10.0

The work light brightly illuminates a moderately large work area. As expected with the best budget impact drivers, the work light can’t be disabled and doesn’t act as a dedicated flashlight.

Several Makita impact drivers include a dedicated flashlight functionally with the forward/reverse switch set to neutral.

Light

Dewalt DCF801 Light
Dewalt DCF801 Light Closeup

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

The DCF801’s LED light array illuminates a large surface area. One minor gripe is the light’s time delay, which doubles the time for most impact drivers, unnecessarily draining battery life.

There is no dedicated flashlight mode, such as 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.

Collet

Milwaukee 2462-20 Collet Closeup

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

The 2462-20 is not suitable for one-handed bit changes. It takes two hands to change bits, one to slide the collet and the other to insert or remove the bit. The collet has no easy-insert or bit eject feature, which helps with one-handed bit changes.

Milwaukee rarely includes a bit-eject feature on its impact drivers, but some models have a smooth easy-insert design.

Many Dewalt impact drivers include easy-insert and bit-eject collets that are smooth with the best collet design we’ve come across.

Collet

Dewalt DCF801 Collet Closeup

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

The DCF801 is excellent for one-handed bit changes. The quick-change collet has 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 impact drivers have a collet design that is executed better than other brands. 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.

App integration

App integration: None

There is no bluetooth app integration to review impact driver diagnostics or to customize driving profiles on your phone. Some high-end Milwaukee impact drivers come in a One-Key version which includes an app integration to track impact driver usage, displays tool diagnostics, and allows you to set custom driving profiles, such as adjusting the RPM for each drive mode.

App integration

App integration: None

There is no bluetooth app integration to review impact driver diagnostics or to customize driving profiles on your phone. Dewalt models like the high end Dewalt 20V Max XR DCF888 come in a ToolConnect version which includes an app integration to track impact driver usage, displays tool diagnostics, and allows you to set custom driving profiles, such as adjusting the RPM for each drive mode.

Warranty

Tool warranty (years): 5
Battery warranty (years): 2-3 (depends on model)

Milwaukee stands behind the durability of its drills with exceptionally long warranties. The 2462-20 has a five-year warranty, which is among the longest offered by any manufacturer. Milwaukee’s M12 Li-Ion batteries have two or three-year warranties, depending on the specific model.

The long warranty removes most concerns over the durability of the brushed motor included in this impact driver.

Warranty

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

Dewalt stands behind the durability of its impact drivers with exceptionally-long warranties. The DCF801 has a three-year warranty. Dewalt 12V batteries include a two-year warranty.

Dewalt also offers free maintenance and replacement of worn parts for one year for the DCF801 and two years for its 12V batteries.

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.

Related

Leave a Comment