DeWalt is a very reliable tool manufacturer that has managed to admirably grow out of the shadow of its parent company, Black & Decker.
The DCD771C2 is perhaps the biggest example of why DeWalt has become such an essential component of the cordless drill market. You have probably heard of this cordless drill whenever such tools are being discussed. However, you need an accurate understanding of how good this drill truly is. In this review, we will be judging this drill based on three factors: performance, battery life, and ease of use. We’ll throw in a value assessment for good measure too.
There are two ways in which you might use this drill, namely drilling and driving. We tested this drill out with different bits to see how effectively it could drill holes, starting off with the 5 inch hole saw. The hole that this bit created was very smooth, although the drill took a bit long to finish the process. Still, getting a five inch hole in under a minute is impressive by any metric even if it is a bit slower than some tools made by DeWalt’s competitors.
The 1 inch paddle bit did a lot better. We used it on a 16 gauge sheet of steel, and the drill managed to create a perfect hole in just under two and a half seconds. Again, this is somewhat slower than what you might get with other drills but it’s still impressive enough to warrant a good rating in this regard.
We now move on to driving. This is another important task that a cordless drill should be able to perform flawlessly. In our opinion, this DeWalt cordless drills performance was absolutely top-notch when it came to driving. Not only does it complete the driving process quickly, but it also gives you a lot of control over where you position your screws. What’s more, is that once you set the position of the screw it will be very unlikely that the end result would be crooked or twisted in any way. This much accuracy is always desirable in a cordless driver, so it’s nice that DeWalt performed so well in this test.
Overall, the performance of this drill is actually pretty good. While it’s not quite as mind blowing as you might expect, it still holds up against some very high quality drills. We decided to give this drill a “B+” grade in this category. It would have been a A but we felt like the somewhat slower drilling meant that such a score could not be justified. The excellent driving brought the grade up significantly though. We might have given it a B or maybe even a B- if the driving test did not go so well. Now we will move on to the next category, namely battery life. It’s an essential part of any drill and we conducted several tests to see how this tool from DeWalt would perform.
While the DeWalt DCD771C2 did fairly well in the performance department, it failed to measure up when it came to battery life. The way we arranged our test was to first drive a number of screws into a piece of wood after which we drilled holes using the drill bit. We kept doing this process until the drill’s battery died, and we counted how many cycles we were able to perform until the drill ran out of power. It’s fair to say that this cordless drill did not impress here, and in fact was a bit of a disappointment.
This cordless drill ended up running out of power during the fifth cycle. This is about half as many cycles as you would get with most cordless drills made by other brands. It is important to note that the DeWalt DCD771C2 comes with a 1.3 Ah battery, which is lower than most other drills that usually come with 1.5 Ah or perhaps even 2 Ah batteries. However, the performance was still low even if you took the difference in battery capacity into account.
Overall we decided to give this drill a D- for its battery life. The cordless drill was saved from getting an F in this category by the inclusion of two batteries instead of one. DeWalt is clearly aware that their battery would leave something to be desired, so it’s good that they provided a spare battery that you can use while your other battery charges thereby ensuring an uninterrupted work process. However, we do think that more effort should have been put into making the batteries longer lasting in the first place. Having to switch battery packs in the middle of the job is not the most convenient thing for anyone to go through after all.
Ease of Use
The final testing category determines how convenient this drill is while you are using it. Performance and battery life matter of course, but even the most powerful and long lasting drills aren’t worth it if using them would be a pain. The DeWalt DCD771C2 did reasonably well in this category. One thing that we feel is relevant is the battery swapping mechanism.
Battery swapping is something that you would unfortunately have to do rather frequently with this drill, so it’s good that the locking button is so easy to access and that the batteries never get stuck on their way out. That said, the lack of a battery meter is a real issue. Some situations require uninterrupted drilling, and not having a battery meter means that you would never be able to tell when a preemptive battery swap might be beneficial.
Weight is another factor that needs to be considered, and in terms of weight this drill did just fine. It came in at around 1.5 kilos which is approximately the same as those of other cordless drills. However we were somewhat disappointed at the lack of a belt clip, as this is a really useful feature that really should be provided in this kind of price range. Overall we decided to give this cordless drill a C+ in this category.
Value for Money
While we don’t provide a grade for value for money, we do like to give you our thoughts on it to help you make a smarter decision. This drill is a bit on the pricey side, and it does a good enough job to warrant the price. However, we feel that a lack of extra accessories and features as well as some serious underperformance on the battery life side means that some more affordable drills might turn out to be better options for you.
This is a decent drill if you want something with power. You can definitely do better in terms of battery, but for the most part the spare battery as well as easy battery swapping makes up for this issue to a certain extent. We have decided to give this drill a final rating of B-. It does the job and does it well, and while we do think that it’s a little overpriced it’s still a good tool to have.