DEWALT DCD777C2 Review
Pros: Excellent drilling performance, tons of driving power, decently convenient
Cons: So-so battery life, somewhat pricey
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The DCD777C2 finished right at the top of the group, just behind the Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 and ahead of the Milwaukee M18. The Kobalt and the DCD777C2 both did equally well in our drilling, driving, and convenience tests, but the Kobalt's far superior performance in our battery life gives it an overall edge on the DCD777C2. It also costs a little bit more. The Milwaukee M18 also costs a bit more than the DCD777C2, but struggled just a bit more in our hardest drilling tests compared to the DEWALT, knocking it down a few points.
In our quest to find the best cordless drill of them all, we started off by comparing tons of different tools, then buying all the most promising and well-regarded products out there. We pitted all of these products against each other in a series of side-by-side tests, rating and scoring their performance against their peers. We grouped these tests into four weighted rating metrics, with the DCD777C2's results in each outlined in the next sections.
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, earning a 10 out of 10.
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.
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.
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.
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, meriting a 9 out of 10.
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.
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.
After assessing the drilling and driving power of each tool, we next compared and scored the battery life and recharge time, as well as awarded some points based on the number of batteries included. Regrettably, the DEWALT DCD777C2 didn't do all that well in this metric — worth 20% of the total — earning a 5 out of 10 for its middle-of-the-road performance.
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.
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, earning it a 6 out of 10. 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.
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.
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.
Undeniably, the 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 had a bit better of a battery life.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer