There has been a lot of buzz about the DeWalt DCF900 20V XR cordless impact driver. It has been hailed as the best 0.5-inch impact driver, mostly because of the highly impressive torque specs. This review intends to answer a question so many are asking: Is the DeWalt DCF900 the most powerful impact driver?

It’s not often that a new power tool release generates as much interest as the latest DeWalt half-inch cordless impact driver. The DeWalt DCF900 is an upgrade to the DCF899 and promises to deliver 47% more power than the previous model. The older model was featured in the Top-Power Tools Best Electric Torque Wrench Review, back in 2020.

Well, it’s time for the old-timer to step back and make way for the new reigning champion.

With Milwaukee boasting the most powerful battery-powered impact driver, is the relative newcomer from DeWalt going to knock the red and white off its pedestal?

The DeWalt DCF900 punches out a whopping 1,400 Ft-LBS of nut-busting torque and 1,030 max fastening torque. Specs for the Milwaukee ½” M18 cordless torque wrench are very similar – 1,400 Ft-LBS breakaway torque and 1,000 Ft-LBS fastening torque.

This places the DeWalt a snippet above Milwaukee in terms of the best power output for a ½” cordless impact driver. Heck, it’s more powerful than many pneumatic drivers. This really is an impressive tool, as this DeWalt DCF900 review will reveal.

DeWalt DCF900B | Comprehensive Review

Specs & Features:
  • Brushless XR motor.
  • ½” Drive.
  • Max torque: forward – 1,030 Ft-LBS; reverse – 1,400 Ft-LBS.
  • Precise variable speed trigger.
  • 0 – 2,200 IPM.
  • 0 – 2,300 RPM.
  • Hog ring anvil.
  • LED light.
  • Precision wrench prevents overtightening.
  • 4 speed modes.
  • BatteryGaurd battery connection.
  • Weight: 6.4 LBS.
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty; 1-year free service plan; 90-day guarantee.

The DeWalt DCF900 is one of the few ½” cordless impact drivers that can meet the requirements of a professional auto shop. Power specifications are off the charts. This is certainly impressive, and it has many more pretty amazing features that make it one of the best. There really isn’t much that’s not to like about this phenomenal machine.

The DeWalt DCF900 has got mechanics and engineers talking about the insane power that it offers. For a ½” 20V cordless impact driver, 1,400 Ft-LBS breakaway torque is about as good as it gets. Over 1,000 Ft-LBS tightening torque, that’s just incredible.

Okay, so having the most potent ½” impact driver is great, but how is that power delivered? Much like the Milwaukee high-power impact drivers, DeWalt has provided several torque mode settings to help you manage all that power.

The DeWalt DCF900 has a 4-mode selector switch that controls the RPM and torque. Modes 1 – 3 set the maximum RPM and torque. In mode 1, the maximum speed is 650 RPM and 100 Ft-LBS of torque. The intermediate, mode 2 setting, delivers 600 Ft-LBS torque and 0 – 1,040 RPM. In mode 3, you have all of the 1,030 Ft-LBS forward torque in the palm of your hand, up to 2,300 RPM. The final, 4th power mode, dubbed precision wrench, prevents overtightening. It also prevents fastener run-off when loosening in reverse.

When tightening a bolt, the precision mode will start off slow (820 RPM) until the first impact. Then it pauses for ¾-second before beginning impacts at 2,200 IPM. In reverse, the speed remains constant in all modes (0 – 2,300 RPM). When using the precision wrench mode in reverse, it will sense when the fastener breaks free and stop.

In addition to the power mode selector switch, the DeWalt ½” impact driver has a great variable speed trigger switch, giving you incredibly precise control over the speed. It also has an LED light with high, low, and off settings.

For some reason, this light is at the base of the machine, just above the battery, instead of at the anvil, which is where I would expect it to be. I really like the triple, triangular LED setup on most DeWalt impact drivers and drill/drivers. I’m not sure why they decided not to use this proven, shadowless configuration for the DCF900.

As with any DeWalt XR power tool, battery working times are really great. The efficient brushless motor, combined with very clever power management electronics means that you get the best performance from any of the DeWalt 20V MAX or 20V/60V FlexVolt batteries.  

When talking about the DCF900 and batteries, the BatteryGaurd connection definitely deserves a mention. To combat the high vibrations from the impact that’s blasting many times per minute, the DeWalt engineers devised an innovative battery connector that absorbs most of the impact energy, thereby protecting the battery.

I guess some might feel that the DeWalt DCF900 is a tad heavy at 6.4 LBS. If you’re using one of the larger batteries, it is quite a bit heavier. However, we need to bear in mind that this is a high-power impact wrench. These tools are never light. Even a pneumatic impact wrench is reasonably heavy.

I like the sturdy construction, with a metal gearbox housing and good-quality plastics used throughout. I wouldn’t expect anything less from DeWalt. Since this is one of the more expensive half-inch impact wrenches, I’d want to be sure I’m getting something that will withstand the test of time and work hard. I’m pretty sure the DCF900 will.

My overall impression of the DeWalt 20V MAX impact wrench is one of admiration. I suppose you should take this from whom it comes. I seldom have any issues with a DeWalt product. It’s one of my favorite power tool brands.

Apart from the price, I can’t see anyone passing this machine over for one of its competitors. Though, when compared to similar machines from high-end brands, like Milwaukee or Makita, the DeWalt DCF900 is competitively priced, especially when you consider the spec level.

If you’re searching for the best mechanic’s ½” cordless impact wrench, and are prepared to pay for it, the DeWalt DCF900 is certainly one of the top contenders. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat.

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