Scoring in the lower part of the group, we weren't overly enamored with the DEWALT DCD710S2. This drill delivered below average results in our drilling, driving, and battery life tests, only scoring about average in our assessment of convenience features. This drill is compact and lightweight, similar to the budget models we have tested but it costs significantly more, making it hard for us to recommend.
DEWALT DCD710S2 Review
Pros: Compact, convenient
Cons: Underpowered, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The DCD710S2 finished just behind the Makita XFD10R and ahead of the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C. The DCD710S2 did slightly better than the LDX120C when it came to driving in fasteners, while the DEWALT has an edge at drilling holes and has a few more convenience features. This pair of drills both have about the same battery life, but the list price of the DCD710S2 is over double that of the BLACK+DECKER. The Makita XFD10R is even more expensive than the DEWALT and is far better at drilling holes but it gave us some battery issues in the hardest tests, dropping it away from the top and mid-tier tools.
To find out which cordless drills stand out from the rest, we began by comparing the ratings of dozens of different drills, then bought all the best to test out for ourselves head-to-head. We analyzed and compared the results of each tool in a wide range of different tests grouped into a quartet of weighted rating metrics, with the DCD710S2's performance described below.
To begin, we rated and compared the power and speed of each cordless drill at drilling holes, which constitutes 35% of the total score for each tool. We scored the DCD710S2 as it drilled a hole in a solid door, dimensional boards, and a steel sheet with a 5" hole saw, 1" spade bit, and a pair of twist drills, respectively. It didn't do terribly well, earning a 3 out of 10.
The DCD710S2 very much struggled in the solid door with the 5" hole saw. It couldn't drill the saw to the full depth, overheating at around 2.5 minutes — even with a brief respite part of the way through.
It did a little better at drilling through the 2x12 with the 1" spade bit. It drilled the holes fine, though it was on the slower side. Additionally, you really had to push this drill and we could hear it straining the entire time throughout this test.
Unsurprisingly, it also struggled with drilling through the 16 gauge steel sheet. It did about average with the ¼" twist drill, making the hole in a little less than five seconds but you could definitely hear more of a struggle compared to the higher voltage models. It took about 30 seconds to make it through with the ½" drill, protesting and binding up the entire time when the best drill only took 3-4 seconds with the same drill.
The DCD710S2 did a little better in this metric, earning a 4 out of 10. For this metric, we graded each drill's performance at driving in both #9 screws that measured 3" in length and driving in a ½" lag screw that is 5" long. Overall, these two tests are also responsible for 35% of the total score.
This drill did alright with the smaller screws, driving them in most of the way relatively quickly and easily.
It did struggle a little bit towards the end, especially when it came to setting the countersunk head. However, it could usually set the head flush eventually.
Next, we compared and scored the battery performance of each cordless tool, which is responsible for 20% of the overall score. We awarded points on the effective runtime of each drill, as well as on the time it took for a dead battery to recharge and on the number of batteries included. The DCD710S2 again didn't do exceptionally well, earning a 3 out of 10.
To compare the runtime of each cordless drill, we alternated driving in 16 of the 3" long, #9 screws to their full depth in a pair of stacked dimensional 2x12s and then drilling three 1" diameter holes through a single 2x12 with the paddle bit with the DCD710S2. We then repeated this until the drill died, with the DCD710S2 unfortunately only making it through two full cycles of this and died two screws into the third cycle. The best tools made it more than 10 sets before dying.
The 1.3 Ah batteries of the DCD710S2 do charge relatively quickly, taking less than an hour to fully recharge and this drill did earn a few extra points by including an additional battery.
Our final set of tests dealt with the different functions and specs of each drill that make them more enjoyable and efficient to operate, which accounts for the remaining 10% of the final score. The DCD710S2 is about average for these products, earning it a 5 out of 10.
This drill does not have any sort of battery charge indicator and we found it to be a bit more difficult to install or remove the battery compared to some of the other tools. The release button for the locking mechanism also isn't the most user-friendly that we have seen so far.
This drill is on the lighter side, weighing less than 2.5 pounds and includes a belt clip. It has two different operating speed ranges — 0-400 and 0-1500 — and the chuck can expand up to ⅜".
It also has a built-in work light that turns on when you hold the trigger. However, we did find that it is a bit on the dim side and we would usually want supplemental lighting when working in a dark area.
The DCD710S2 is a terrible value, performing similarly to other drills that cost a fraction of the price.
Overall, we wouldn't really recommend the DCD710S2. It didn't score particularly well and has an overly high list price, with many less expensive drills scoring a lot better.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer