I have really grown to like Dewalt’s 12V Max Xtreme cordless screwdriver kit (DCF601F2). There’s a lot to like about this cordless driver – it’s powered by a brushless motor, it’s compact, it’s comfortable to use, it’s bundled with (2) 2Ah batteries, and it’s reasonably powerful.
I used this little cordless screwdriver to punch above its weight class this weekend, removing lag screws holding a customized pallet together, and was surprised that it worked. I grabbed a 1/4″ to 1/4″ square adapter, a 13mm socket, and went to work.
I didn’t really expect it to get the job done, but it did.
Today, I used it to remove a couple of screws from a wooden planter box.
Last week, I used it to assemble a small fixture with way too many machine screws.
Over time, I’ve learned a lot more about this compact cordless screwdriver, and the more I use it, the more indispensable it becomes.
It sits between a cordless drill and a cordless impact driver, delivering repeatable results with its clutch dial, and it’s more compact even with bit adapters than a drill with typical 3/8″ or 1/2″ chuck.
What’s different about this Dewalt Xtreme brushless screwdriver is that it’s a rare single-speed tool.
That’s right, it has a 0-1100 RPM gearbox. There’s no gear selection switch, which I’d think was done to make it more compact. What this means is that it’s not quite just a cordless drill with a different front end, it’s a distinctly different tool.
Frankly, this is perfect. If I need lower speeds I ease up on the trigger. If I need faster speeds, I can pull the trigger switch at full throttle. Cordless drills are a bit faster, and sometimes too slow in one setting and too fast in the other, at least when it comes to lighter duty or more delicate fastening tasks.
Repeatability and control is the name of the game here. For drilling, reach for a drill. For higher power, reach for an impact driver.
If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably spend more for the Dewalt. This is a big deal, given my affinity for Bosch’s 12V Max cordless power tools. But in a direct comparison, the Dewalt is a slightly more comfortable package while the Bosch is a little long in the tooth. The Bosch is more affordable for new users, but the Dewalt is a more modernized tool and I’d consider it better for more frequent use. Plus, the Dewalt has its flat-resting base, which is more important than it seems.
Dewalt’s 12V Max Xtreme cordless power tool ecosystem hasn’t grown much since their revamp, but Bosch hasn’t paid much attention to expanding their 12V Max lineup either.
I had expected to see $89 pricing on this Dewalt Xtreme cordless screwdriver kit again, but not so soon.
The difficult thing about cordless screwdrivers is that some users definitely need and benefit them, but for many it’s an optional tool that overlaps with what their drill and impact driver can do. This driver and others like it aren’t well-suited for drilling, nor can they handle the higher power tasks of cordless impacts.
But it makes up for being an in-between tool by handling smaller fasteners with greater ease, precision, and comfort, at least in my experiences.
Cordless screwdrivers have their places in a lot of tool kits, and this Dewalt Xtreme model is one of the best I’ve ever used. At $89 for a complete kit with two batteries, this is also one of the best values, too.
Sale Price: $89