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DeWalt 20V Max Compact Brushless Drill/Driver DCD777C2 Review

One of the best drills we have seen, though it is held back by under-performing in battery life
DeWalt 20V Max Compact Brushless Drill/Driver DCD777C2
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $160 List | $99.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent drilling performance, tons of driving power, decently convenient
Cons:  So-so battery life, somewhat pricey
Manufacturer:   DEWALT
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Nov 10, 2021
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81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 16
  • Drilling - 35% 10
  • Driving - 35% 9
  • Battery Life - 20% 4
  • Convenience - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Although it narrowly missed out on the top spot overall, the DeWalt 20V Max Compact Brushless Drill/Driver DCD777C2 is still an excellent product. It did phenomenally well in our drilling and driving tests, even handling the hardest challenges with absolute ease. It has a solid set of features and functions that make it hassle-free to use and operate. However, it didn't deliver the most impressive performance in our battery life test, dropping it out of the top spot. It also is decently expensive, but this drill can handle any project you throw at it — as long as it has a freshly charged battery.

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Pros Excellent drilling performance, tons of driving power, decently convenientGreat for driving fasteners, heavy-duty, efficient use of battery lifePowerful, great battery life, fantastic integrated worklightImpressive drilling power, strong steel drilling performance, good control, great priceInexpensive, lightweight
Cons So-so battery life, somewhat priceyHeavy, takes some force to swap batteriesExpensive, only includes a single batteryOnly includes a single batter, so-so battery life in our testsWeak, minimal features
Bottom Line One of the best drills we have seen, though it is held back by under-performing in battery lifeIf you are looking for a top-tier drill to go with your existing Milwaukee batteries, this is your best betThe highest scorer in our group, this is a heavy-duty drill that can keep up with all your toughest projectsA decent drill for DIY projects that won't deplete your savingsAn okay drill for basic household tasks and assembly projects at a great price
Rating Categories DeWalt 20V Max Comp... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Kobalt 24-volt Max... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Drilling (35%)
10.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
4.0
Driving (35%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
3.0
Battery Life (20%)
4.0
10.0
9.0
4.0
3.0
Convenience (10%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Specs DeWalt 20V Max Comp... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Kobalt 24-volt Max... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Black+Decker 20V Ma...
Battery Capacity (Included) 1.5 Ah Tested w/ 2 Ah 2 Ah 1.3 Ah 1.5 Ah
Battery Voltage 20V 18V 24V 20V 20V
Max Chuck 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8"
Battery Chemistry Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
Drill Model Tested DCD777 2803-20 KDD 524B-03 CMCD700 LDX120C
Box Model (Kit) Tested DCD777C2 Tested tool-only, no kit 672823 CMCD700C1 LDX120C
RPM Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 1750
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
0 - 650
Peak Torque (manu) 340 UWO 1,200 in-lbs 650 in-lbs 280 UWO N/A
Measured Length 7-1/4" 7" 7-3/8" 8-1/4" 7"
Measured Weight 3 pounds
4.1 oz
4 pounds 1 ounce 3 pounds
15.2 oz
3 pounds 7 ounces 2 pounds
10.8 ounces
Measured Charge Time 65 minutes 25 minutes 75 minutes 58 minutes 210 minutes
Battery Indicator Location N/A Battery Battery Battery N/A
LED Location Above the trigger Above the battery Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The powerful DeWalt DCD777C2.
The powerful DeWalt DCD777C2.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Drilling


As expected, the drilling performance of each drill makes up a large portion of its overall score, accounting for 35%. To judge the performance of each tool, we evaluated and compared their drilling performance in three tasks: drilling through a solid door with a 5" hole saw, drilling through a 2x12 with a 1" paddle bit, and using both a ¼" and ½" twist drill to make some holes in a 16 gauge steel sheet. The DCD777C2 did extremely well.

The DCD777C2 went through 16 gauge steel like a hot knife through...
The DCD777C2 went through 16 gauge steel like a hot knife through butter.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The DCD777C2 easily drilled the 5" hole saw to its full depth in about 17 seconds, cutting through the solid door without any signs of slowing down or struggling. It packs plenty of power, letting you keep the drill in its higher gear the entire time, and delivered one of the best performances we have seen to date in this test.

The DCD777C2 made quick work of the hole saw test.
The DCD777C2 made quick work of the hole saw test.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This tool continued its fantastic performance in our steel drilling tests. It drilled through the metal with both the ¼" and ½" twist drill with absolutely no trouble at all, taking less than two seconds with the smaller drill and less than four with the larger one.

Drill testing with a 1" spade bit. This drill had no problem.
Drill testing with a 1" spade bit. This drill had no problem.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

It finished out this metric with another excellent showing in our last test, the 1" spade bit. This drill made it through the wood easily, but it didn't drill the holes quite as fast as the top drills — occasionally getting a little hung up and stalling for a brief moment when in its higher gear.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Driving


We then moved on to evaluating the driving performance of each drill, scoring each tool on how quickly and easily it drove in fasteners and if it could properly set a countersunk screw head without stalling. This also accounts for 35% of each tool's total score, with the DCD777C2 again doing exceptionally well.

Starting off, we drove in a ton of 3" long, #9 screws with the DCD777C2. It handled this task with ease, driving the screws in quickly and powerfully. It has no problem at all setting the heads to be flush with the surface of the wood and affords you tons of control so you don't accidentally overdrive the screw.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Our next driving test upped the difficulty a bit for each of the tools, as we had each of them drill a 5" long, ½" lag screw to its full depth to connect a 2x4 to a 4x4. However, we did drill a pilot hole first, as it is a bit unreasonable to drive in a screw that large without one. This tougher test proved no match for the DCD777C2, which drove the screw to its full depth without any issue at all, even tying with the best of the best in terms of speed.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life


After assessing the drilling and driving power of each tool, we next compared and scored the battery life and recharge time. Regrettably, the DeWalt DCD777C2 didn't do all that well in this metric.

This drill did earn some points by including a pair of 1.5 Ah batteries and for recharging slightly faster than average — it only takes a little over an hour to completely charge a dead battery with the included charger.

However, it was in the battery life test that the DCD777C2 faltered. For this test, we alternated between driving in 16 #9 screws and drilling three 1" holes with the spade bit until the drill totally died, scoring based on the number of cycles the tool did. The best drills were in the double digits before they died. Unfortunately, the DCD777C2 only made it through five full cycles before quitting; it drilled a single screw of the sixth set before the battery gave out.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


For the remaining 10% of the score, we looked at all the different convenience features that each drill has. Specifically, we awarded points for the quality of the built-in work light, the range of bits the chuck can hold, the different speed modes the drill has, its weight, and if there is a belt clip. Additionally, we also compared the ease of swapping the batteries and if there is an integrated battery charge indicator. The performance of the DCD777C2 rebounded a bit. This drill can be equipped with a belt clip but it isn't included.

The chuck can hold a bit with up to a ½" shank and the integrated work light on this tool is decent. It's located above the trigger and stays on for about 20 seconds after you release the button.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The DCD777C2 has two different gearing ratios so you can maximize speed or torque for your specific project, but it is one of heftier drills of the group, weighing in at 3 lbs., 4.1 oz.

It is super easy to install or remove the battery, with the locking tab releasing easily and a new battery sliding right into place without too much effort. However, it does lack a battery indicator to alert you that the battery is running low before it totally dies.

Value


The DCD777C2 is a decent value, holding its own against the best drills while having a slightly lower list price. It is still a bit expensive for the casual homeowner but could be a good pick for someone who wants exceptional drilling and driving performance and doesn't mind the reduced battery life.

Conclusion


Undeniably, the DeWalt 20V Max Compact Brushless Drill/Driver DCD777C2 is an exceptional cordless drill. It handed our toughest drilling and driving tasks with relative ease, usually tying for the top spot overall. It's not overly expensive and is decently convenient, but we did wish that it offered better battery life.

David Wise and Austin Palmer

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