Best Product – New Dewalt 20V Max “Power Detect” Cordless Hammer Drill

Dewalt 20V Max DCD998 Power Detect Cordless Hammer Drill

Dewalt has come out with a new 20V Max “Power Detect” cordless hammer drill kit, DCD998W1. As with the new Dewalt Power Detect reciprocating saw, the new drill is said to deliver maximized performance when powered with a high-capacity XR battery.

Dewalt says that the new DCD998 cordless hammer drill will deliver “up to 29% more power” than their “standard XR drill.”


The DCD998 features a brushless motor, 3 speed gearbox, and 3-mode LED worklight.

Lowe’s specs say that it delivers 1072 in-lbs of max torque.

Dewalt 20V Max DCD998W1 Power Detect Cordless Hammer Drill Kit

The kit, DCD998W1, comes with the hammer drill and auxiliary handle, an 8Ah battery, fast charger, and tool bag.

Price: $279

Buy Now via Lowe’s
Compare: DCD996 Kit via Amazon
Compare: Combo Kit via Amazon


We have a lot of questions about Dewalt’s new “Power Detect” technology.

First, are these tools exclusive to Lowe’s for the launch, or is this a long-term arrangement?

Will they work with lower capacity Dewalt 20V Max batteries? They presumably do, but what happens to the tool’s performance compared to when they’re used with higher capacity batteries?

Which higher capacity batteries deliver maximized performance? 6Ah? Only the 8Ah that’s bundled in the kit? What about FlexVolt batteries in 6Ah, 9Ah, 12Ah capacities?

Dewalt has told us that they cannot share any details or answer any questions at this time, and that more information will be available in a couple of weeks.

Overall, this seems like a good idea, or at least a reasonable one. Dewalt’s Power Detect tech seems to mirror what Milwaukee has done with their higher-performance M18 Fuel cordless power tools and High Output Li-ion batteries, and what Bosch is doing with their Core18V “BiTurbo” batteries and tools.

Shown here is the Dewalt DCD996 brushless drill. To my eyes, the new DCD998 looks identical on the outside. It seems to me that the only differences are perhaps tied to the motor and control electronics, but there might be other differences.

Dewalt recently updated several FlexVolt cordless power tools, making them more powerful, and so it seems that’s what they did here to create the new 20V Max Power Detect DCD998 hammer drill, the new DCS368 reciprocating saw, and also a new DCS574 circular saw that we haven’t posted about yet.

I wondered if these new Power Detect tools, which squeeze more performance out of higher capacity 20V Max batteries, contradicts Dewalt’s reasoning for developing their FlexVolt line of higher voltage and more efficient cordless power tools. Seeing as how the Power Detect lineup only includes 3 tools so far, there’s not much overlap with the FlexVolt line, and so I don’t see it as a reversal. This is simply a different and perhaps complementary approach.

Next, I’m wondering about how far Dewalt will develop or expand their Power Detect line of super-powered 20V Max cordless power tools. Perhaps we’ll see an angle grinder? Joist drill? Cordless air compressor? This new Power Detect drill looks to borrow very heavily from their 3-speed 20V Max hammer drill, while the reciprocating saw looks to borrow very heavily from their FlexVolt reciprocating saw. So will Power Detect be a hybrid 20V Max product family that takes elements from both 20V Max and FlexVolt cordless power tool lines?

Lowe’s description says that this drill, when equipped with an 8Ah battery, delivers up to 29% more power and 60% longer runtime, compared to Dewalt’s DCD996 brushless hammer drill when equipped with a 5Ah battery.

“Up to 29% more power” sounds good for anyone who has felt the DCD996 to be lacking in power.

It’s unclear as to whether there will be a bare tool version of the drill, and if or when Power Detect tools will be available beyond Lowe’s.