Dewalt DCF886 Cordless Impact Driver Review

The Features

Dewalt offers a comprehensive and comparable warranty of 3 Year Limited Warranty, 90 Day Money Back Guarantee as well as a 1 Year Free Service Contract.  Other features include:

  • (2) 20V MAX* Lithium Ion 1.5 Ah Battery Packs
  • NOTE: There is an option for 3.0 Ah Battery Packs too. Personally I think unless you’re using this 8+ hours a day and fairly consistently, go with the 1.5 Ah.
  • (3) Strategically Placed LED Lights (tool front for low-light areas)
  • 30 Minute Fast Charger
  • Kitbox
  • No Load Speed: 0 – 2,800 RPM
  • Impacts/Min: 0 – 3,200 IPM
  • Max Torque (ft-lbs): 117-lbs
  • Tool Length: 5.55”
  • Tool Weight: 2.8 LBS

My Thoughts

I love how Dewalt tools are packaged, always have. The black case (kitbox) provides great protection, transportation and storage options. The first thing I noticed once I got it out of its box is how small, compact and ergonomically pleasing it is. I was really impressed with the weight of the tool, how balanced it is in your hand, and how comfortable it feels when you hold it.  As with most of the other Dewalt tools I’ve owned, this tool exudes quality and durability.  There is no better way to conduct a product test than to put it through its paces on several projects.

Project 1: Attic Crawl (tight space & dark)

Three LED Lights.

Three LED Lights.

One of the very first projects I worked on with this tool was crawling the attic and installing Teflon loops to run some structured cable for a home network. I was driving 2.5” Teflon coated screws in a very dusty, cramped and dark work space.  The result? It performed WONDERFULLY. First, I was able to get 2-3 hour’s worth of work done with one charge on the battery which was great since getting up and down from the attic is not that fun or easy. Second, often times I only had one hand free to drive screws and there were many awkward instances where I was leaning over or laying on ceiling joints driving screws. This tool does all the work. You don’t have to apply huge amounts of pressure to the back of the tool for the bit to stay in the screw.

Perhaps my favorite feature of this tool is the three perfectly placed LED lights that come on with a trigger pull and stay on for 20 seconds after trigger release. I was blown away with how much light these LEDs kick off.  It made working in this particular environment a lot less miserable. On one or more occasion I actually used the LEDs as a flashlight to find something I dropped in the insulation.

Project 2: Framed Mirrors (delicate)

This project was a bit more delicate. I built very large framed mirrors for two bathrooms. The screws I was driving could have easily been stripped out.  I wanted to see how much control I had over the tool and it turns out plenty. I drove #8 x.5” pan-head screws and with a little practice and patience I was able to insert 50-60 of these quickly with no stripping. Note: My Dewalt Drill/Driver would have been the best tool for this project but I wanted to put the DCF885 through its paces.

Project 3: Installing Cabinets (general use)

This tool was perfect for this project. The tool does all the work driving the screws with almost no effort from me. This is much different from the Drill/Driver I used to use. Most of the time I was doing this one handed while leaning back into a cabinet. I was able to get screws just tight enough without over tightening.

The NET NET

I love this tool. Here are the things I really like about it and some things I didn’t think were perfect. I don’t have any “CONS” for this tool.  I think it’s that good.

  • The ergonomics of the tool are amazing. It is perfectly balanced in your hand.
  • Good (not great) Battery Life – When the battery dies, it does so suddenly and on the 1.5Ah Battery there is no way of checking charge status.
  • Good (not great) Trigger Response – I like to have great control over my work.  This tool provides good trigger response and should be sufficient for most projects but it is not as good as some of the driver/drills I’ve used from Dewalt.
  • The LED Lights – What a great feature!  I used this way more than I was expecting to.
  • Weight & Size – Easy to get into tight places and light enough not to cause excessive fatigue.

Buying Guide

Depending on how much you use your cordless gear and what you already own, I would suggest the following.

  1. Step 1: What tools do you need to add or replace? Consider reading the related article at the bottom titled “Cordless Impact Drivers, Drill/Drivers, & Hammer Drills Demystified: Why So Many Similar Tools?”
  2. Step 2: Decide on the 1.5 Ah or 3.0 Ah models.
  3. Step 3: Select, buy, wait for package and enjoy!