DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B Review
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DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B
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|Pros||Good speed and torque, decent battery life||Several fastening modes, nifty lighting approach, great battery efficiency||Incredibly fast, phenomenal torque, four speed settings||Fast, lots of torque||Convenient, compact, several settings|
|Cons||Loud, relatively pricey||Noisy, pricey||Not the best battery life, noisy||Loud, average battery life||Pricey, battery doesn't last long, loud|
|Bottom Line||An excellent addition to an existing fleet of DEWALT tools, but an expensive option if you've not already investing in DEWALT batteries||A powerful driver with a great battery life that's a fairly large investment||If you're looking for a fast 18V impact driver with excellent torque in a condensed size, we recommend this model||This driver is fast and provides excellent torque at an affordable price||Get this if you're looking for a light, small, 12-volt impact driver with great performance|
|Rating Categories||DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B||Makita XDT16Z Lithi...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Ryobi P238||Milwaukee M12 Fuel...|
|Specs||DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B||Makita XDT16Z Lithi...||Milwaukee M18 Fuel...||Ryobi P238||Milwaukee M12 Fuel...|
|Impact Driver Model #||DCF887||XDT16Z||2853-20||P238||2553-20|
|Average Measured Fastening Torque||238 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||143 ft-lb|
|Measured Breaking Torque||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||300 ft-lb||275 ft-lb|
|Measured Length||136 mm||114 mm||116 mm||161 mm||132 mm|
|Average Measured Sound Pressure Level||100 dBa||94 dBa||99 dBa||104 dBa||97 dBa|
|Quick Bit Insert?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple Fastening Modes?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B continues the company's legacy of high-quality tools and is more than likely to please DeWalt fans. However, if you haven't already invested in the DeWalt battery system, there are equally capable options available with slightly friendlier price tags.
The MAX XR DCF887B is one of the fastest drivers we've tested. It managed to drive a 3" long ½" lag bolt into a stack of plywood in just 18 seconds and pulled it back out in under 5 seconds. On average, the tools we tested took 30 seconds to drive in the same bolt, and very few were able to break the 20-second barrier.
This speed carried over into our ledger screw test, in which the MAX XR DCF887B was able to consistently drive 3-⅝" into a stack of plywood in under four seconds. This is nearly half the average time of 7 seconds. This driver was even faster putting those ledger screws into 2x12s, with its average time dropping to just 3 seconds.
We found the MAX XR to display exceptional torque when breaking nuts loose but only slightly above average torque when tightening those same bolts. This put it towards, but not at, the top of our torque leaderboard.
First, the good. The MAX XR DCF887B easily broke a nut that had been tightened to 300-foot pounds in our testing, doing so in under 2 seconds. This puts it on par with the most powerful drivers we tested.
Now the mediocre. In tightening a nut onto bolts that we welded to an I-beam, the MAX XR DCF887B reached a maximum of 245-foot pounds, with its average slightly less over three trials. While this is still above average than DIYers will ever need , other models in the same price category were able to fasten bolts to 300+ foot pounds easily.
While no model we tested has all of the convenient touches we want, the MAX XR provides more than most, earning it one of the top overall scores in this metric.
Perhaps our favorite user-friendly feature of this driver is the light. A string of LEDs placed around the chuck clearly illuminates where you're driving the screw or bolt, and it stays lit for 20 seconds after you let go of the trigger. This feature is nice, as you don't lose the light between trigger pulls when working in dimly lit areas. The light also turns on with a light press of the trigger before the chuck starts turning, so you can look at what you're doing before the driver engages.
A slide switch on the bottom of the driver allows easy adjustments between three different speed settings. This adjustability is nice for those times when you don't want to unleash the full power of the driver all at once. Front to back, the MAX XR measures 136mm. This length is slightly below average, making it more friendly for use in tight and awkward spaces than some of the other impact drivers we've tested. The chuck is a quick insert, which makes changing bits a quick process. However, there isn't any sort of bit holder to keep track of your spare bits, which some of our testers found somewhat disappointing.
The MAX XR DCF887B's battery turned in an above-average but not a field-leading performance in our tests. It has plenty of endurance to last through most home projects, but if you're one that often pushes tools' batteries to the limit, you may find the DCF887B somewhat wanting.
To test battery life, we loaded a fully charged battery into each driver, then drove 14 3-⅝" ledger screws into a stack of 2x12s, then we drove a 3" lag bolt into and back out of a stack of plywood. We then repeated this task over and over until the battery failed. The MAX XR DCF887B completed three full sets of ledger screws and then lag bolts. On the fourth set, it drove all the ledger screws and then died after pushing the lag bolt about ¾ of the way. For comparison, our average performance in this test was dying midway through the third set, but the best performers could complete five full sets.
In our tests, the MAX XR DCF887B routinely broke the 100-decibel mark, making it one of the loudest of the bunch. Noise is inevitable with these tools, but the MAX XR is noticeably louder than average. As always, it's important to follow the manufacturer's personal protective equipment recommendations while using a power tool.
Should You Buy the DeWalt MAX XR DCF887BB?
As a standalone impact driver, the MAX XR DCF887B is not a particularly good value. While its overall performance is admirable, it also costs significantly more than most models, including many that match or exceed its performance attributes. If you're already a proud owner of a fleet of DeWalt tools, the MAX XR is quite capable and likely less expensive than investing in a new brand that will require new batteries.
What Other Impact Drivers Should You Consider?
The DeWalt MAX XR DCF887B offers classic DeWalt performance but at a bit of a premium. It is not the best value nor the most powerful option for someone building a set of tools from the ground up. For someone looking for premium tools, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel or Milwaukee M12 Fuel — depending on if you want 18-volt or 12-volt power — is your best bet. But for those looking to build a more affordable tool set, Ryobi tools like the Ryobi P238 impact driver is your best option for value.
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