This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. Whether you’re a pro or a serious DIYer, you’re probably resigned to the fact that cordless tools will soon rule the world. With advances in brushless motor and lithium-ion battery technology, cordless tools often have the same – or greater – power as their corded counterparts. When you factor in the time and frustration saved by not having to mess with extension cords and locating a power source… ‘nuff said. We recently received a combo kit with two of the most useful cordless tools: A hammer drill driver and an impact driver. We’ll take a close look at the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit, and see if it has what it takes to rule YOUR world.
Both tools in the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit feature brushless motors. For those unfamiliar with them, brushless motors represent a big step forward in power tool technology. They’re more efficient than brushed motors; DeWalt claims you’ll get 57% longer run time than with a brushed motor. They run cooler, have more power, and are more reliable than brushed motors. Win/win/win!
To keep those brushless motors spinning, the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit also includes two Lithium-Ion batteries. A compact 2.0 Ah battery helps keep the weight down, and its small profile helps when you’re drillin’ and drivin’ in cramped spaces. The larger 4.0 Ah battery provides plenty of run time for longer projects. The kit also includes a charger, reversible belt clips for both tools, and a contractor bag to schlep everything around in. Sit back and relax, while we drill into the details on each tool.
The DeWalt DCK287D1M1 Combo Kit, Part One: The DCD796 Hammer Drill Driver
A sturdy 1/2” drill driver is a core tool in the collection of any contractor or DIYer. These versatile tools can accept a variety of bits to drill through wood, plastic, and metal. The DeWalt DCD796 hammer drill that comes with the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit is even more useful, adding the capability to drill into concrete. Here’s the list of maximum recommended capacities bit sizes, followed by the feature list from DeWalt:
Hole saw: 2”
Hole saw: 1-3/8”
• Compact (7.5″ front to back), lightweight (3.6 lb.) design fits into tight areas
• High-speed transmission with two speed settings (0-550/0-2,000 RPM) delivers up to 30% faster application speeds
• 3-Mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20X brighter than previous model
• LED Spotlight Mode features 20-minute shutoff function allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces
• Works with ToolConnect™ app to provide additional controls, alerts, and inventory management
• Functions include Alert when out of Bluetooth Range, Enable and Disable battery pack
• Toolconnect™ app free to download at the App Store or Google Play
The DCD796 has flexibility up the wazoo. A slide switch lets you choose from two speed ranges: Speed range 1 gives you slower speed and higher torque, range 2 cranks up the speed with less torque. The torque can be further fine-tuned along a range of 1-13, with the collar around the chuck. This provides great control to help avoid stripping, snapping, or over-tightening of fasteners. The drill has an all-metal chuck, that lets you easily lock your bits in place with one hand.
The handle is very comfortable, in part thanks to a layer of rubber overmold. The drill has what has become the standard push-through directional switch, along with a smooth variable-speed trigger.
The requisite LED light on the DCD796 is actually pretty spiffy; a sliding switch lets you choose low, Medium or SPOTLIGHT mode. When set to low or medium, the light stays on for about 20 seconds after the trigger is released. In spotlight mode, which is actually pretty bright, the light will stay on for 20 minutes after the trigger is released. That could be handy for finding your way out of a dark, scary space, or to serve as a flashlight substitute when working with another tool.
You Know The Drill…
For the hole-making portion of the festivities, I used the drill from the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit with a variety of bits. Since any two-bit drill (sorry) can drill small holes, I went straight to the big boys. First up was a big honkin’ 1” auger bit. Even though it’s a bit bigger than the 7/8” max recommended diameter, it had no trouble at all punching holes through several 6×6’s so I could run wiring. I then chucked up a 2-1/4” hole saw, and the drill chugged quickly through 2X material with no trouble.
I also wanted to test the hammer drill capabilities of the DCD796. The manual says the the maximum recommended bit size is 1/4”; that’s great for prepping for Tapcons, but doesn’t seem very challenging. I started out by following their advice, and made a couple of 1/4” holes into concrete block with ease. I then swapped it out for a 1/2″ masonry bit, and made a couple of holes with that.
The drill never bogged down or felt overloaded when drilling ANY of the holes, in concrete or otherwise. A note to the kit makers at DeWalt, though: When I was using the hole saw, and the gigundo auger bit, I was lusting for an auxiliary handle.
Since the DCD796 that comes with the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit is a drill DRIVER, naturally we wanted to check out its driving abilities. Turns out they’re pretty good. I used the tool to drive several 4” x #10 construction screws, and the DCD796 had no trouble at all burying them.
I then took a 6” Timberlok screw, and ran it into a scrap piece of 4×6 a few times. The drill had no trouble sinking it fully, but I could definitely feel the drill torquing around a bit. This is the type of task that’s perfectly suited to the impact driver, but it’s good to know the drill driver can step up and get the job done in a pinch.
The DeWalt DCK287D1M1 Combo Kit, Part Deux: The DCF887 Impact Driver
I had my first experience with an impact driver almost six years ago, and it immediately became one of my favorite tools. That driver happened to also be yellow – the DeWalt DCF895. It has weathered the years well, and still works perfectly.
After I started using the DeWalt DCF887 impact driver that comes in the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 Combo Kit, I realized it was the same tool we did a full review of last summer, as part of a different kit. I was impressed with the tool’s performance at the time, and it did a great job on my current projects, which include leveling the ceiling on an old farmhouse and working on a new shop building. I used the tool to drive dozens of screws and lags ranging from 2” to 6”, and it zipped them all in without breaking a sweat.
Here’s a list of features and specs, followed by some excerpts from the previous full test and review we did.
• Three speed settings for optimized application versatility
• Precision drive in speed 1 for precision applications and added control
• Mode 1 240 in/lbs.
• Mode 2 1,500 in/lbs.
• Mode 3 1,825 in/lbs.
• 3 LED lights with 20 second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
• 1-handed loading 1/4 in. hex chuck with easy grip sleeve
• Compact and lightweight design to fit into tight areas (2 mm shorter than the previous DCF886)
• Accepts 1 in. bit tips
Small Tool, Big Impact
To provide a little perspective, my first-ever impact driver cranked out a max torque of 1,500 in/lbs., has a max RPM of 2,850, and max IPM (impacts per minute) of 3,300. The DeWalt DCF887 impact driver provides 1,825 in/lbs. of max torque, max RPM of 3,250, and can bang out 3,800 IPM. The price five years ago for the impact driver kit, which included two 1.5 Ah batteries and a charger, was $235. The current price for the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 Combo Kit, which includes bigger batteries, the contractor bag and charger, and the DCD796 hammer drill, is only $249. That’s a lot more bang for an extra fourteen bucks.
For those unfamiliar with impact drivers, prepare to be amazed. These tools are much smaller and lighter than most drill drivers; the DCD796 hammer drill weighs 3.6 lbs., the DCF887 weighs 2 lbs. Don’t let their compact size fool you, though; these babies pack enough power to drive big lag screws – without snapping your wrist in the process.
The mode switch on the DeWalt DCF887 lets you dial in the combination of power and speed you need. Unlike the drill, where setting 2 gives the fastest speed but lowest torque, setting 3 on the impact driver gives you max speed AND max torque: 3,250 RPM and 1,825 in/lbs. This is the setting you’ll use for the biggest fasteners. Mode 2 is recommended for “normal” impacting, and cuts down a bit on both speed and IPMs.
On the other end of the spectrum, the DeWalt DCF887 can dial it way back. Mode 1, aka “precision drive mode,” provides great control when driving smaller fasteners, preventing them from stripping out, snapping, or being overdriven. It takes a little getting used to, though; when the driver senses the resistance of the screw head contacting the material, it stops momentarily. If this is the placement you want, you’re good to go. If you want it a tad deeper, just keep holding the trigger, and the driver will very slowly snug it down.
The DCF887 also has the requisite LED light. It’s actually a set of three LEDs spaced around the chuck, in a lunar landing module kind of setup. The lights actually do a pretty good job lighting the target area, and are brighter than the similar lights on the older driver.
The driver can use any standard ¼” hex impact-rated accessory. Inserting them is simple: push them in. To remove, pull out on the collar around the chuck, and slide the accessory out. So let’s slide one in, and go make some noise!
Bring On The Torque
Before we pull the trigger, it’s time for a HomeFixated public service announcement: Impact drivers are LOUD. Once they encounter resistance, and start impacting, it’s like listening to a miniature jackhammer, or an episode of The View. If you want to be able to savor all the subtle musical nuances at that next Metallica concert, hearing protection is mandatory.
One common use of impact drivers is to sink big lag screws, for attaching a ledger board for a deck, for example. I took the famous 6” Timberlok screws and ran them into four stacked pieces of 2X lumber. It will sink them in mode 2, but mode 3 is super fast, burying the screws in about five seconds. I sank and removed them several times, and the DeWalt DCF887 made it seem effortless.
I then sank a bunch of the 4” x #10 construction screws. Wow – in less than two seconds, they’re buried sub-flush. For the final test on the bigger stuff, I took some 3/8” x 6” lag screws, and buried them in my stack of lumber. Once again, the DeWalt had no trouble fully sinking them, although it took a bit longer than the Timberloks, at around 13 seconds each.
I also wanted to try out Mode 1, aka the kinder, gentler mode. I took a couple of little screws around ½” long, set the selector to position 1, and fired away into a 2×4 with no predrilling. I’m not sure what kind of Yellow and Black voodoo is in play here, but the DeWalt DCF887 slowly drove the screws in, using enough force to get the screws totally sunk. As soon as the head made contact with the surface of the board, the driving stopped, paused for a couple of seconds, and then very slowly started impacting, tightening the screw down very slowly. I can see where this would be a very handy setting for someone installing cabinet hinges, or any other delicate fastening jobs.
Ready To Git The DeWalt DCK287D1M1 Combo Kit?
Buying a kit is almost always a great way to get more value for your money, and the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit is no exception. The tools are both contractor-grade, and the batteries are well matched to the tools. Everything stows nicely in the included contractor bag, and even though it’s not a huge bag, there’s room for the tools and charger, plus an assortment of drill and driver bits.
Whether you’re just starting your quest to build a quality tool collection, or you want to upgrade or supplement some older tools, the DeWalt DCK287D1M1 combo kit is definitely worth considering. The tools are well made, have plenty of power, and work very well. And for those who care – and that includes me – both tools are made in the USA. DeWalt backs the tools with a three-year warranty and a year of free service, and the 90 day return policy gives you a risk-free opportunity to drill, drive and make an impact.
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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.