Cordless drill driver technology has come a long way. I remember testing a bunch of 12-volt cordless drills about 20 years ago. Back then cordless technology was just coming into its own, making for tools that could actually do some real work before the battery gave up the ghost. They were convenient, but if we really needed power, we pulled out a corded model.

Today, there are fewer reasons to use corded drill-drivers. A case in point is the new DeWalt DCD995 20V Max heavy-duty hammer drill. Here’s a drill-driver that can handle everything from regular screw-driving chores on up to drilling holes in concrete.

Basic specs

This cordless drill-driver has all the basic specs you expect in a modern tool of this class. There is a keyless chuck with ½-inch capacity, three speed settings, 11 clutch settings plus drilling and hammer drill. The variable-speed trigger works all the speeds smoothly. For those dark, cramped jobs, an LED light comes on when you pull the trigger, and the light goes out automatically 20 seconds after you release the trigger. And between jobs, you can use the belt hook to hank the drill on your belt.

The battery is DeWalt’s latest lithium-ion technology, offering lots of power with very light weight and quick recharging. Combined with the drill’s brushless motor, the batteries deliver increased capacity and run time. A particularly nice feature is the “fuel gauge” on the batteries that allows you to check the charge.

Power to spare

I’ve been spoiled by DeWalt’s handy 12V compact drill-driver that is so light weight and handy but powerful, it’s hard to reach for anything else. So, I was prepared to be put off by the extra weight of this hammer drill, but in use I found the extra weight was really not a factor.

Better yet, the power and versatility make the hammer drill really useful. Let’s face it, most woodworkers aren’t drilling into concrete every day, but it’s nice to have a drill that can do that without it weighing a ton. This unit is definitely worth checking out. Learn more at www.dewalt.com.

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