DEWALT DCD996B | DCD997B | DCD998W1 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill Review

By | June 12, 2022
DEWALT DCD996 with battery
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In my Dewalt DCD996B review, you will learn about the features and benefits of the DCD996B drill.

You will also learn about the differences between DCD996B and DCD997B as well as the new DCD998W1 drill.

Why Dewalt DCD996?

Cordless power tools such as the DEWALT DCD996B cordless hammer drill are now becoming quite a trend in the industrial tool market.

More and more manufacturers adopt the technology of having battery-powered tools instead of the conventional wired ones.

I know you must have your own case having tripped over the wire so it must be quite a relief to find cordless tools now.

The new brushless cordless drills still cost a bit extra if compared with corded drills but the ease of use and versatility usually pays off pretty soon.

The heavy-duty hammer drill/drill/driver is the best cordless drill for a lot of applications. You will find that it performs well and that it finishes the job you set out to do in no time.

Not only does it make your jobs more comfortable, but it also has a long battery life that allows you to work for endless hours.

Compared to old battery technologies, the 20-volt MAX XR batteries give you more repeated charge and recharge cycles so you can use it over and over again.

Comparison Of DCD996 vs DCD997 vs DCD998 Models

  DCD996 DCD997 DCD998
Chuck Size 1/2″ 1/2″ 1/2″
Clutch Settings 11 11 11
Speed Settings 3 3 3
No Load Speed, rpm 0-450 / 0-1,300 / 0-2,000 0-450 / 0-1,300 / 0-2,000 0-450 / 0-1,300 / 0-2,000
Power, UWO 820 820 820
LED 3 mode Yes 3 mode
Bare Tool Weight ND 3.7lbs 3.5lbs
Bluetooth No Yes ND






When you are looking for information about the DEWALT DCD996 hammer drill, you will soon find out that there are 2 models with similar names – DEWALT DCD996B and DCD DCD996P2.

The difference is in the box contents.

DCD996B – B stands for ‘Bare-Tool’ because there are 3 items in this set – the DCD996 1/2-inch hammer drill, a side handle, and belt hook.

You can choose this model if you already own a Dewalt tool that uses a compatible battery and charger that can be used with this drill.

DEWALT DCD996B Bare Tool 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill (Tool Only)DEWALT DCD996B Bare Tool 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill (Tool Only)Check Price

DCD996P2 Kit – contains items from DCD996B plus battery charger, two 20V MAX 5.0Ah batteries, and a hard case called kitbox.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed (DCD996P2)DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed (DCD996P2)Check Price


If you are considering purchasing the kit version, please also check out the Dewalt DCK299P2 toolset which is similar to DCD996P2 but also includes Dewalt DCF887 impact driver.

The price is a bit higher, but you will get two drills (DCD996 hammer drill and DCF887 impact driver) instead of just one.

Dewalt DCD996 vs DCD997



The DCD996 and DCD997 basically is the same drill with one important difference.

The Dewalt DCD997 features the Bluetooth technology called Tool Connect.

Some of the Tool Connect features are:

  • theft protection that shuts down the tool if it leaves your Bluetooth range
  • a timer that allows setting the time how long somebody else can use your drill for before it shuts down
  • the last GPS location the tool has been seen
  • customization of speed and LED lights

It is also available as a bare tool Dewalt DCD997B and a kit Dewalt DCD997P2BT with Bluetooth enabled batteries.

Here you can see the side by side comparison.

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Dewalt DCD996 vs DCD998

The Dewalt DCD998W1 is a new model launched in 2020.

It is based on DCD996 with added Power Detect technology which provides more power when using select high capacity batteries.

The tool is available only as a kit with a new high capacity 8AH battery.

Dewalt DCD996 vs DCD991

The Dewalt DCD991 is the same tool but without the hammer drill functionality.

DEWALT DCD996 | DCD997 | DCD998 Drill Features

The new models are based on the Dewalt DCD996 with few minor differences, so everything said in my review about the DCD996 model applies to all models unless specifically mentioned.

Quick List of DCD996 Features

  • The drill has a ½ inch chuck that is self-tightening. Throughout the operation, it stays tight so that you have superior gripping strength
  • The 820 unit watts that the powerful motor can deliver will surely finish all your drilling and fastening tasks in no time
  • The high-efficiency motor of this hammer drill is indeed a significant advantage so you can finish your jobs faster

Not only is the Dewalt DCD996 capable of handling the fastening and drilling tasks, but it is also equipped with a LED work light in the front that helps you light your workplace. If you are working indoors, you might need a light to increase visibility in confined places. This hammer drill has this feature for your convenience.

The patented 3-speed all-metal transmission enables you to use this tool in a lot of applications. That, combined with the high power motor allows you to accomplish some different tasks. The speed selector is also very easy to operate so that your work is not interrupted every time you need to change your settings.

Power tools should be powerful so don’t just get a cheap inferior product for your heavy-duty tasks. Be a wise handyman and get this DEWALT DCD996 hammerdrill bare tool or kit and it just might be the answer to your home improvement.

Let’s get back to the deep dive into the Dewalt DCD996 features.

Powerful Brushless Motor

When it comes to the power of this amazing Dewalt DCD996, you can only expect the very best. The powerful brushless motor of this incredible product now offers 75% more runtime compared to old brushed motor. I am happy about it as it can allow me to work on larger projects for a longer period of time. It is very important to choose a drill that comes with a brushless power motor, as it allows the tool to be less noisy, but also more efficient in what it does.

Based on its size and built, this brushless motor speed and efficiency are effective enough for the DCD996 model. This motor run time will let you work on small and medium-sized projects with ease.

Hammer Drill Mode

When it comes to receiving only the best hammer drill performance, you really have to look no further than the Dewalt DCD996. The hammer drill mode of this bad boy comes equipped with a super cool and efficient nitro-carburized chuck made of strong and heavy duty metal. The chuck comes with durable carbide inserts, which provides users with incredible grip and of course, better performance.

I find the nitro-carburized chucks of this product to be really effective because it provides me with the efficiency and durability that I require for projects.

3 Speed Transmission

If you are icky like me when it comes to speed settings, I think you will quite probably like the 3-speed transmission feature that this model comes with. The transmissions are actually pretty easy to make, so you can go from one setting to the other with a simple flick of a button.

The fast transmission allows you to optimize the tool for quick applications. This in turn provides a better run-time where you are able to complete what you want to do in half the time.

The best thing about the transmission is that they are very smooth to make, so you will not be hindered or bothered while working either. You can either go for a speed of 400, 1300, or a maximum of 2000 RPM. The transmission piece is also completely made of metal, so you can expect zero shaking while working.

For larger twist bits and metals, going for a speed of around 400 to 1,000 RPMs can provide you with amazingly smooth results.

Such a quick and easy to optimize transmission allows the product to work properly and with complete ease on masonry materials. In the hammer drill mode with the Dewalt DCD996, you can work at speed of up to 38,250 BPM (beats per minute).

The speed selection on the Dewalt DCD996 are also pretty smooth and easy to make, so you can continue working without having to waste time on tweaking the settings every now and then.

11 Clutch Settings

When it comes to clutch settings, the Dewalt DCD996 comes with 11 different settings. This means you now have over 11 different torque amounts to choose from for your choice and kind of work. 11 here states the highest torque amount, while 1 obviously states the lowest. This high number of clutch settings just proves how powerful the drill really is.

I think this clutch setting number is ideal because it allows me to work with as much torque power that I really want. Even though the drill itself is pretty compact in size, the clutch settings of it pack in a mighty punch.

The clutch setting of a drill is always required to be of high quality because it is mainly what allows you to control how much depth you require from the fastener you’re driving.

You want the clutch settings to be varied and complete with numeric settings for ease of usage. The clutch should also be able to disengage the transmission whenever required with good torque amount.

People usually use a good quality drill with moderate clutch settings as it helps them to drive screws into walls during interior decoration.

3 Mode LED

Unlike its previous model, this Dewalt DCD996 now comes with 3 different LED mode settings, which honestly is the best thing ever for someone like me who prefers working at night.

The 3 LED modes are bright and can operate for a really long period of time so that you get a clear and unhindered view of your work for longer. It offers 3 different LED modes, ranging from low, medium to a bright spotlight mode. The three modes are bright enough to work in darkly lit rooms for a long period of time. The 1st and 2nd mode stays on for about 20 seconds after being turned on, while the last mode can operate for over 15 minutes at a stretch!

The LED stay on for more than 15 seconds to even 20 minutes straight depending on which mode you go for.

Side Handle

The side handle on the Dewalt DCD996 is very easy to hold onto and provides users with a good enough grip when working with high torque power. Make sure to always hold onto the side handle when going over a torque power of 3. The side handle is also very easy to rotate into any direction that you want.

You can rotate and move the side handle on this model in any angle or direction that you want. I sometimes like using the side handle on the Dewalt DCD996 especially as a depth rod, so you can guess just how versatile the product really is.

Lithium Ion Batteries (Come With Kits)

Included with the Dewalt DCD996P2, DCD997P2BT, and DCD998W1 this model is juiced up with Lithium Ion batteries that work at a 20 Volts. The battery capacity is suficient and will work efficiently for larger projects for the entire day.

DCD996P2 and DCD997P2BT

These kits come with two 5AH batteries – DCD996P2 with regular DCB205 LiIon batteries, and the DCD997P2BT with Bluetooth-enabled DCB205BT batteries.


DCD998W1 comes with one high capacity 8AH battery that provides more power thanks to the Power Detect technology built in the DCD998 drill.

Kitbox (Come With Kits)

Likewise, the kits also come with a plastic kitbox that includes the batteries alongside a really heavy duty case and a charger to juice this baby up whenever required.


The Dewalt DCD996 sports a bright yellow color for the body. The product is also completely cordless, so say goodbye to messy wire tangles! The grip on the entire body is of really high quality rubber material, complete with a strong and durable, rust resistant metal on the sides and front. There is also a button and belt hook on the side of the body. The overall body of the product is completely resistant to rust, further equipped with sealed switches that are easy to press down on when required.

I absolutely love how the switches and buttons are completely sealed, which actually helps it avoid moisture. This in turn will definitely prolong the longevity of the product by years.

Pros and Cons


  • The product is constructed of heavy duty metal
  • 3 speed transmissions are easy to make
  • 3 different LED modes are very bright and allow clear working
  • The clutch settings are distinct and effective
  • Incredible brushless motor is more efficient
  • Amazing speed settings allow better efficiency
  • Amazing 360 degrees side-handle rotation system.


  • Very slight wobble at high speeds


The need for cordless power tools is now increasing in demand, and more and more different models are being released that promises excellent performance. So, watch out for the one that you should get or else you’ll be wasting your money on inferior equipment.

If you want to finish the task in a reasonable time, the speed and an improved run time of DEWALT DCD996 tool will be quite an advantage for you.

To summarize, Dewalt DCD996 is really efficient and effective in what it does. The only problems associated with it seems to be its inability to be of the perfect size actually, as judging by today’s standards, neither of the models it offers are exactly compact and easy to hold onto for a long period of time.

But then again, that is where their amazing handles come into play. This feature makes the product a tad bit easier and more comfortable to deal with, so in a way you can still enjoy the full experience of working with such incredible drills.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it was helpful to you. The amazing features of Dewalt DCD996 series too amazing to not invest in!