This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. Impact wrenches were once seen as a tool that only professional garages had or possibly the DIY, a.k.a backyard mechanic, with a large air compressor. DeWALT has provided a powerful and affordable alternative to the air tool with the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench, officially referred to as DeWALT 20-Volt MAX XR Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless 1/2 in. Impact Wrench with Detent Pin Anvil (Tool-Only), Model DCF894B. This wrench will have an immediate impact on projects ranging from automotive to concrete anchoring fasteners and projects far beyond the reach of the compressor hose. DeWalt sent us one to put through its paces – join us as we check out just what kind of impact this tool makes!
DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench Packs a Punch
The DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench weighs in at under 3.5 lbs yet delivers up to 330 ft/lbs of fastening torque. With 3 speed settings combined with a variable speed trigger, you have all the control over this powerful tool. Automotive manufacturers provide specific specifications for everything from head bolts to lug nuts. The DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench provides both the precision and power to address them all. When using the wrench on the Low setting and stopping within approximately 10 seconds of the lug nut seating, it recorded 100 ft/lbs of torque. When using it on the High setting, it quickly secured the lug nut at over 150 ft/lbs of torque. This illustrates the tremendous power packed in the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench.
No tractors where harmed in the testing of this tool, but I did want to give this DIY impact wrench an authentic test of its power. Enter Henry – a life-long farmer, retired doctor and compulsive scrapper/recycler. We used the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench on his John Deer tractor along-side his air impact wrench and were pleasantly impressed with the smooth and powerful performance of the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench. When Henry used it on the first hefty bolt in the rear case of his John Deer his response was “Whoa. I’m impressed. Yeah, I’m impressed.” As far as direct quotes from a man who has spent nearly 7 decades living on and working farms, that is a ringing endorsement. Darn near effusive – in a John Wayne sort of way.
DeWALT 20V MAX XR Impact Power with Powerful Comfort
The DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench delivers up to 330 ft./lbs. max of fastening torque and a lightweight, ergonomic design. This tool is genuinely comfortable to hold and use, with a great balance and ergonomically designed grip. The design provides solutions to applications where a lot of torque is needed in a compact space. The integrated LED light is invaluable when working in those dark, tight spaces or out in the field when the sun is going down. While the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench may weigh in less than 3.5 lbs without the battery, I can assure you that it does an excellent job of absorbing the shock and force of the impacts. It is doing all of the work which allows your arm and wrist to remain in fine working order when it comes to cracking open that cold beverage of your choosing after a job well done.
The factory specs from DeWalt are as follows:
• Up to 330 ft./lbs. max of fastening torque
• 3.48 lbs
• ½ in Drive
• Includes the new precision wrench control feature helping add more
control when using the tool in forward and reverse.
• In forward, the tool will pause before impacting to help prevent
overtightening, in reverse, the tool lowers speed when fastener is
loose to help prevent run-off
• 3 mode settings – Low, Medium, & High – to complete a variety of
• Variable speed trigger helps to provide speed control
• 3100 Impacts Per Minute
• Maximum Speed 2000 rpm
• DEWALT-built brushless motor for increased efficiency and runtime
versus brushed model
• LED light to help illuminate dimly lit areas
• Compact and lightweight design for comfort when working in tight spaces
DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench – Detent Pin or Hog Ring?
You can have either one. With the DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench, you have the anvil of your choice. Model# DCF894B, tested and reviewed for this article, has the detent pin anvil but DeWALT has similar models such as their model# DCF899HB that has the Hog Ring Anvil – also referred to as a Friction Ring Anvil. Both models are very similarly priced, have similar features and operate with the same battery.
The Hog or Friction Ring is either an o-ring or an o-ring with a metal C-clip over it that applies pressure, or friction, to the socket helping to keep it on the anvil. The Detent Pin, pictured below, is a tapered pin that, with the aid of an internal spring, pushes up into the hole in the side of the impact socket. A simple search will provide a wide range of “strongly held” beliefs about these two anvils. O-rings do wear out but can rather easily be replaced. The Detent Pin of some tools are longer, less tapered and/or have a stiffer spring which can make removing the socket more difficult. There have been times and tools when a pin or awl is needed to push the Detent Pin down as you are pulling off the socket. This was not the case with the DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench in our testing. Regardless of whether I had the Detent Pin in the hole or not, the socket stayed securely attached and was not difficult to remove.
When Is Enough Impact Enough?
To be clear, as long as you are pulling the trigger, the DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench will continue to impact/hammer on the fastener. You are not able to set the impact wrench to 120 and have it stop at the desired ft/lbs of torque. This means you can over-tighten bolts, you can strip the threads or compress projects to the point of needing to start over. One example of this occurred to me years ago, back when I had a full head of hair and a 1977 Chevy Nova complete with AM/FM 8-track. A garage had used an impact wrench to put my rear tires on during an inspection. When I was attempting to work on the car and needed to pull the tire off, I could not break the lug nuts free. I could literally stand on the tire iron, when I added a length of pipe to the end of the tire iron for added mechanical advantage, I was able to successfully bend my tire iron. Had I been on the side of the road with a flat tire, I could not have changed my own tire.
I was able to head back to the garage and have a more experienced (less trigger happy) mechanic address my lug nuts but a valuable lesson was learned. The DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench is powerful tool that the average Do It Yourselfer needs to use wisely. Stripping the studs for mounting your tires will be both frustrating and potentially costly. Overtightening the lug nuts on your significant other’s vehicle, similar to my ’77 Nova, could have you sleeping on the couch.
Another point to make would be that if you are primarily working out of your shop and you have an adequate air compressor, then the attractiveness of the hose-free impact wrench diminishes somewhat. As long as you have electricity running your compressor, you can run a standard impact wrench all day long. The batteries for the DeWALT 20V MAX XR 1/2 in. Impact Wrench do charge quickly, but they also do run out. The application and running time are considerations that should be taken into account.
Impact Wrench Sockets Set Public Safety Announcement
Not all sockets are created equal, nor are they all intended for the same application and use. While standard socket sets and impact sockets look very similar, there are significant structural differences that need to be noted. Impact sockets are not hardened to the same degree that standard socket sets are. This enables the impact sockets to withstand the continued shock of the impact against the bolt head. Impact sockets are have thicker walls that help them to absorb the shock and last longer.
The repeated impact on the harder, and consequently more brittle, standard socket can lead to cracking or shattering. The real danger is in the shattering of the socket which can lead to bodily injury. Please, if you are able to invest in the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench, make the investment in your safety by purchasing a set of impact sockets and always wear the appropriate eye and safety protection.
Impact Socket sets can range from $40-$200 depending upon your needs. From AES to Metric, deep well to shallow, extensions to hex-head drivers, you can spend as much or as little as you like. I have always been a fan of getting the base set to get rolling and then grow the set over time. If going ‘all in’ is in your budget, you will be ready for anything with your the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench.
Impact for All Occasions
The DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench cuts the apron string (or air hose) and provides mobility and freedom. Whether you are packing your camping and tools for a weekend of 4-wheeling and off-roading or climbing an extension ladder to secure a load bearing beam across your second story deck, the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench is there to provide all of the power and torque without the need of a heavy duty air compressor and length after length of air hose.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical of a battery powered impact wrench. But the first time I pulled the trigger on the DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench I wholeheartedly agree with Henry, “Whoa. I’m impressed.”
You can buy the tool-only DeWALT 20V MAX XR ½ in. Impact Wrench at the Home Depot today for just $199:
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.