DeWalt DCD996 vs DCD997 Review - Don't Buy Before Reading This...

DeWalt DCD996 vs DCD997 Review

DeWalt DCD996 vs DCD997 Review

When you compare the DeWalt DCD996 vs. DCD997, you can’t help but notice that the tools are almost identical in every respect. Entry-level hammer drills don’t get much better than these two options, so for a first-time buyer, it’s hardly an easy choice. In this comparison, we will cover in-depth features and attributes of both the DCD996 and DCD997—and provide an accurate comparison—to help you decide which of the two cordless power tools you should buy.

At a glance:

Best for Hobbyist Woodworker: DeWalt DCD996

Best for Professional Contractor: DeWalt DCD997

DeWalt DCD996 Review

The DeWalt DCD996 is a cordless ½” hammer drill with an extra-strong carburized metal chuck, a brushless motor that runs for 75% longer than brushed motors, and an LED spotlight that stays on for up to 20 minutes. Its drilling capacity is 55mm for wood, 16mm for masonry, and 15mm for steel, and it weighs just 4.6lbs.

A much faster electronic clutch and improved automatic high-speed settings are two notable upgrades from the previous model. Eleven clutch positions give you more control over the tool’s maximum torque of 95Nm, so the DCD996 can deliver high levels of screw-driving precision for differently sized screws. 

Moving on to the 13mm keyless chuck, you’ll notice the automatic spindle lock, which facilitates quicker, tool-less bit changes. 

Driving this rich assortment of components is a brushless all-metal motor with an 820-uwo (unit watts out) rating. That gives you more than decent no-load speeds on all three speed settings, starting from 0 – 450rpm, 0 – 1,300rpm, and 0 – 2,000rpm.

Last but not least, the DCD996 features a high-output LED torch with high/medium/low settings and an impressive 20-minute delay. It’s ideal for working in a dark space for an extended time, especially since the LED torch is 20 times brighter than the previous model.

Specifications

4.7 / 5

Battery Type/Voltage: 20V Lithium Ion

YES

Chuck Size/Type: ½” metal ratcheting

YES

No-Load Speed: 0 – 450, 0 – 1,300, 0 – 2,000rpm

YES

Motor: Brushless

yes

Max Power (unit watts out): 820 uwo

yes

Torque Settings (Clutch): 11

yes

Speed Settings: 3

yes

Bluetooth connectivity

NO

Remote tracking via Tool Connect app

NO

DeWalt DCD997 Review

The DCD997 comes from the same line of second-generation XRP hammer drill drivers from DeWalt. It is nearly identical to the DCD996 in most physical aspects, including the weight (4.6lbs), chuck size (1/2”), length (7.9”), and ergonomic grip.

XRP stands for extra runtime performance, and like its sibling, the DCD997 is full of capable performances, partially due to the 20V MAX (18V under load) brushless NiCad motor that runs the tool. When paired with the lithium-ion battery, which has a lifespan of three years, they make a formidable tool capable of years of service.

The DCD997 has one more speed setting than the DCD996. However, it offers the same number of torque settings on the clutch (11) and similar power output (820 uwo), bringing it to par with the abilities of the earlier model. Nevertheless, it lacks the reinforced carburized metal chuck, and as a result, the carbide inserts which provide the extra strength in the DCD996.

The LED setup remains the same, and the 20-minute delay and adjustable LED settings are just as useful here. Working in the dark with either of these tools shouldn’t be a problem.

What it lacks in bit-gripping strength, it makes up for with two features: Bluetooth connectivity and a handy tool-tracking/inventory app that gives you access to data from the tool.

What sort of data can you collect from a hammer drill? Tool Connect®, as the app is called, shows you diagnostics such as tool temperature, total runtime, the number of trigger pulls, and remaining battery life. However, its main function is to keep track of the tool, not just to deter theft but to monitor the tool’s day-to-day usage remotely.

Tool Connect® in DCD997

The app comes with a long list of features, such as the Last Seen feature, the Inventory Manager, Remote Disable, and Programmable Modes. Last Seen forwards you the last recorded street address where your tool was in range, so you can track it down quickly if it’s lost or stolen. The Inventory Manager lets you assign and keep track of tools to prevent unnecessary equipment losses, a valuable feature for enterprises. The Remote Disable feature automatically disables the tool when it is out of range, serving as a deterrent to theft. Lastly, you get three programmable modes and a default Home mode where you can customize the device’s speed and LED settings.

Pairing the tool with the app is as easy as pressing and holding down the drill's Pair button for three to five seconds.

Specifications

4.8 / 5

Battery Type/Voltage: 20V Lithium-Ion

YES

Chuck Size/Type: ½”

YES

Motor: Brushless

YES

Max Power (unit watts out): 820 uwo

yes

No-Load Speed: 0 – 450, 0 – 1,300, 0 – 2,000rpm

yes

Torque Settings (Clutch): 11

yes

Speed Settings: 4

yes

Bluetooth connectivity

yes

Remote tracking via Tool Connect app

yes

Features

Dewalt DCD996B

DEWALT DCD997B

Speed

3

4

Max Torque

95Nm

95Nm

Clutch Positions

11

11

Chuck

13mm keyless ½” metal ratcheting

13mm keyless ½”

Unit watts out (UWO)

820

820

No-Load Speed (rpm)

0 – 450/0 – 1,300/0 – 2,000

0 – 450/0 – 1,300/0 – 2,000

No-Load Impact (bpm)

0 – 8,600/0 – 25,500/0 – 38,250

0 – 8,600/0 – 25,500/0 – 38,250

LED Spotlight

Yes, 3 brightness settings, 20min delay

Yes, 3 brightness settings, 20min delay

Bluetooth Pairing

No

Yes, with Tool Connect®

Accessories

Belt hook, 360° side handle

No

Who is it for?

Best for hobbyist

Best for professional contractor

Other than wireless connectivity, the DCD997 retains pretty much everything else its predecessor comes with, with only some minor upgrades and changes.

It lacks the stronger carbide-tipped chuck that the DCD996 has, but apart from that, it is clearly the superior hammer drill of the two.

That’s not to the discredit of the DCD996, even though it gives you three speeds instead of four and lacks wireless connectivity. Tool Connect® can be a very useful app for enterprises and contractors that manage job site equipment, but for the average DIYer, it’s nothing more than a fancy dashboard that keeps track of your usage. If you’re interested in intricate tool diagnostics, then the DCD997 is perfect for you. However, if it all feels like overkill, then the DCD996 is a cheaper alternative with more or less the same performance rating.

Also, the DCD996B (B for the bare tool) comes with a belt hook, and a 360° side handle that dramatically improves control and accuracy. The DCD997B, however, does not, unless you purchase them separately.

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