A solid drill with a long run-time that will stand up to demanding home and site conditions and use
Quality, single-piece, all-metal chuck
Spotlight mode is great for working in dim conditions
5Ah battery will last a long time on a single charge
Battery connection not the best
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A cordless drill in an invaluable addition to any DIYer's toolbox and this DeWalt DCD796 is a great all rounder. The compact 18V model is a cordless, brushless drill/driver/hammer drill capable of drilling into wood, most metals and masonry, as well as driving larger or longer fasteners.
With 70Nm of torque in the lower of the two gears, you’ll be able to drive large fasteners with ease. The huge 5Ah battery provides for great run-time, but if you want to reduce overall weight at the expense of the run-time, smaller Ah batteries are available.
(MORE: Best Cordless Drills)
- 3 years warranty
- 27/70Nm torque
- 18V, 5.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery
- No-load speed: 0–550/2,000rpm
- Maximum Impact rate: 34,000bpm
- Drill chuck: 13mm keyless chuck
- Weight (with battery): 1.8kg
- Drilling diameter in steel: 13mm
- Drilling diameter in wood: 40mm
- Drilling diameter in masonry: 13mm
Scope of Supply
- 1 battery pack DCB184 18V 5.0Ah
- Charger DCB115
- Carrying case
Speed and Torque
The drill has a two-speed gearbox which enables it to go from 0-550rpm in first gear and 0-2,000rpm in second gear. In first gear, the drill has 70Nm of torque and in second gear it has 27Nm of torque. It has an excellent quality, single-piece, all-metal chuck capable of supporting drill bits from 1.5mm to 13mm in size, and can drill up to 13mm in steel, 13mm in masonry, and 40mm in wood.
Selecting first and second gears are achieved by moving the gear shifter on top to the desired setting, whilst forward rotation is selected by pushing the control button in from the right-hand side, and reverse by pushing in from the left-hand side. A middle position locks the drill.
There are 13 torque settings selected by turning the torque adjustment collar. Select a lower torque setting for smaller fasteners and a higher torque setting for larger fasteners. Turning the collar past the torque settings allows you to select the drill or hammer drill mode.
Handy Extra Features
The drill is equipped with an LED work light that has 3 modes. In the first mode, when the trigger is pressed the LED will illuminate in a dimmed mode, and will stay lit for 20 seconds after the trigger is released. The second mode is similar, but the LED is brighter. The third mode isn’t common on drills and provides an even brighter spotlight mode. In this mode, the LED will stay lit for 20 minutes and can be used to illuminate dimly lit working conditions quite well.
There is a belt hook and a bit clip can be attached to either side of the tool to accommodate left- or right-handed users, and they can be removed completely if desired.
How Did the DeWalt DCD796P1 Perform in Our Tests?
- Drilling in steel and aluminium
- Drilling in woods of various densities
- Drilling in masonry comprising standard bricks, high and low-density blocks, concrete, and engineering bricks
- Driving screws of various diameters and lengths into woods of various densities
- Various tasks around the home and in the workshop including building outdoor planters, assembling furniture, and putting up shelving
Drilling into various materials up to the recommended maximums was straightforward. First gear and the 70Nm of torque it provides was perfect for larger bits, especially when used in hammer mode into both soft and hard masonry bricks, blocks and concrete. Second gear and the lower 27Nm of torque was more suited to small drill bit sizes. So long as you use the correct bits and the correct approach to drilling, the DCD796 isn’t going to let you down.
At 1.8kg with the 5.0Ah battery, it isn’t the lightest of drills but it remains well balanced. Like many of its competitors, it follows a very similar visual and ergonomic design and controls are easy to access and use.
DeWalt 18V batteries are compatible with the whole DeWalt XR range. The 5.0Ah battery supplied weighs 620g, charges in about 75 minutes, and has an LED battery charge indicator. If you wanted to reduce the weight of the drill, you could buy the 2.0Ah battery which weighs 400g and charges in 30 minutes.
There are two minor issues; it isn’t supplied with a screwdriver bit holder or bits and the battery to drill connection isn’t the best, which means the battery wobbles. Overall though, it’s a solid drill with a long run-time that will stand up to demanding home and site conditions and use.
Garry is an independent product tester, bringing decades of skill and experience in multiple trades to the art of authentic, real-world reviews. A technology geek, power tool addict, and soon-to-be Passivhaus self builder, he lives with his family in Worcestershire. He also has a passion for sustainability and plotfinding.