The New DEWALT 20V XR Brushless 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver with POWER DETECT Technology (Model DCD998) has up to 29% more power than its predecessor (Model DCD996) in use with a 5.0Ah battery. This new DEWALT Hammer Drill achieves over 1072 UWO, has three speeds, 11 clutch settings, 38,250 BPM, and weighs in at 3.5 pounds without the battery.
DEWALT’s secret to the new power is newly developed electronics in tools called POWER DETECT Technology that can identify the battery the tool is paired with and adjust power output accordingly. This technology helps the battery and tool mate up to perform the best. For example, this Hammer Drill will know the difference between the capabilities of the 8.0Ah XR battery and the 5.0Ah XR battery and adjust the power of the tool accordingly. If you are thinking that most tools do this already, that is not true. Most tools will perform slightly better with a higher power battery attached, but they will not significantly increase the power of the tool like the new POWER DETECT tools will. The POWER DETECT will also lower the power of the tool to save batteries that will not supply the full load-bearing capabilities.
Unfortunately, the FlexVolt batteries do not raise the performance of the power detect tools above the standard 5.0 Ah XR battery.
DEWALT DCD998 Vs DCD996
The New DEWALT DCD998 is an improved model of the DCD996. The drills are almost identical from the outside. There are some differences on the inside that include the motor and other electronics. Also upgraded on the DCD998 is the auxiliary handle. The handle still slides on in a similar fashion, but the handle is much longer adding more control and safety to the drill. The LED light is still set up to be a work light if needed and is super bright and very useful.
This drill is still very effective at hammer drilling concrete, but it is still also very loud, just like the older model.
If you are looking at the DCD998 and comparing it to the cost of the DCD996 and wondering if it is worth the upgrade, it is, if you use the drill to its max. The new auxiliary handle is very nice and worth any extra the drill would cost if you use it. Many people never use a drill to the extent that they would use the handle and in that case, the DCD996 is everything they would need if there is a cost difference. To get the power in the drill you need a large battery. The 8.0 Ah battery is the size of a large FlexVolt and that is not something we would always want to be attached to our drill. On the other hand, if you are doing work where you need or want the extra power, that large battery would not make much difference to you.
Many people will love this drill for the above and beyond power it can supply. Many others would never need that power. Either way, there is no doubt DEWALT is taking their 20-volt line to a new level of performance with this new technology.
POWER DETECT Technology
For reference, RIDGID has a similar, but not as sophisticated, set up with the OCTANE tools they produce. In order for those tools to get the most power, they need to be paired with OCTANE batteries.
DEWALT is promoting this as a huge step forward for commercial contractor applications. The job site is where premium power, performance, runtime, and productivity are required. The new DEWALT POWER DETECT tools also feature upgraded motors and components compared to their predecessors. These upgrades, combined with battery pack identification, provide a premium capability for the professional user and continue the expansion of the cordless job site.
As technology grows, smaller and more powerful tools will be made. In some cases, the need for higher volt batteries will diminish and the properly sized tool will rule the job site. We will not always need a drill with an 8.0Ah battery, but when we need serious corded power, we can pull out these new powerful tools and get the job done.
These tools are available now. Each tool will come standard with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.