Best Cordless Impact Wrench – DeWALT Vs Milwaukee
Choosing the Best Cordless Impact Wrench: DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCF894B vs. Milwaukee 2767-20 M18
We put two of the powerhouses of the power tool industry head to head. Can DeWalt take on and topple Milwaukee here or not?
If you have a rusty bolt that refuses to loosen, an impact wrench might be what you need. It’s specifically for tightening and loosening large bolts, lug nuts, and lag screws. It provides an easy way to tackle tough jobs. Investing in the best cordless impact wrench will take out rusted bolts from your list of worries.
Before now, impact wrenches were mainly the pneumatic kind. An air compressor, which significantly limits mobility, had to be available for the wrenches to work. Since they couldn’t go everywhere, they were mostly in automobile shops and garages.
On the other hand, this cordless tool uses battery technology. Since it’s rechargeable, you only have to ensure it gets a reasonable charge. You won’t need to invest in an air compressor, which is good news.
These utility devices are so powerful. The torque they generate supersedes those of impact drills and drivers. Powerful impact drills can give a torque of 90 ft-lbs, and sturdy impact drivers can offer 150 ft-lbs of torque. The most powerful cordless impact wrenches can deliver up to 1400 ft-lbs of torque.
With this high torque, there is no limit to your work. You can use the cordless impact wrench for lug nuts easily. Or fasten lag bolts into a post and beam securely. Plus you can quickly loosen tight nuts and bolts in steel columns and structures.
10 Features to Consider When Buying a Cordless Impact Wrench
#1 Drive Size
The drive size aids in the torque performance of the impact wrench. Cordless wrenches are available in all the standard drive sizes such as 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″. The most common drive sizes are the 1/2″ and 3/8″ models.
The higher the drive size, the higher the torque you’ll need. Therefore, choose a size that applies to your kind of work. 1/2″ will have high torque and is suitable for serious work while the 3/8″ has low torque and is ideal for lighter work.
A high or low torque may be adequate, depending on the job you’re doing. A high torque offers more tightening power but could break bolts. A low torque could ensure that you don’t make your bolts too tight, and your battery may last longer.
With many impact wrenches, there is a torque adjustment feature, allowing you to control the output torque of the wrench. Consider tools with high torque that you can adjust to what you need.
You may want to choose brushless motors over brushed motors. Most of the newer versions of the cordless tools have brushless motors. Unlike the brushed motors with a short lifespan, brushless motors have higher efficiency and longer life. Since they have fewer parts, it’s effortless to maintain them.
#4 Battery Voltage
Basically, the higher the voltage, the more powerful the wrench is. However, just like the torque, the choice of voltage depends on the job that you are doing. For light work, you can use a battery with 12V. Wrenches with 18V or 20V will do a better job and are more of what you’ll find in the market.
#5 Battery Size
An amperage hour (Ah) is measured by how long a battery can last after a single charge. Many cordless impact wrench reviews online complain about battery size. No one wants to use a wrench that lasts for only 20 minutes after a long charge of 5 hours. It’s smarter to purchase an impact wrench that can hold a charge for a long time.
What helps you know the speed of the wrench is its number of revolutions per minute (RPM) and impact per minute (IPM). The RPM indicates its rotation speed in a minute, while the IPM shows how many times the hammer strikes the anvil.
Some manufacturers indicate the RPM in no-load-speed, a term that describes the tool’s rotation speed when it has no load on it. A high speed automatically translates to less human effort.
Generally, cordless wrenches are available in two shapes: in-line and pistol-grip. In-lines have the shape of conventional screwdrivers. They function best when you’re working in tight spaces.
The pistol-grip wrench has the shape of a handgun. Although bulkier, it’s more ergonomic, allowing you to work for long hours without strain on your hands.
You may want a wrench that is light-weight, but it might not be as powerful as a heavy wrench. There has to be a balance between weight and power. For a short duration of work, weight might not be a factor. With longer work hours, you might want to sacrifice a little torque for a flexible and compact wrench.
A good design will offer both comfort and durability. Ergonomic handle grips and anti-vibration features help to reduce discomfort. Design enhancements such as metal and high-strength plastic gear housing can prevent damage arising from falls.
Many brands of cordless tools allow for swapping of their batteries and chargers. If you have the same brand of other cordless tools, you may want to consider buying a wrench manufactured by the same company.
You might be able to use the battery of your drill when that of your wrench fails. However, ensure that the battery power is compatible before swapping.
The Review: DEWALT MAX XR DCF894 vs. Milwaukee 2767-20 M18
- Torque: 330 ft-lbs
- Power: 20V
- Drive size: 1/2 inch
- Speed: 0-3100 IPM
- Low no-load-speed: 0-900RPM
- High no-load-speed: 0-2000RPM
- Motor: Brushless
- Material: Metal
- Shape: Pistol grip
- Weight: 3.48 lbs
- Dimension: 8.1 x 3.2 x 9.6 inches
- Warranty: 3 years
The DEWALT MAX XR DCF894B has a 1/2 inch drive capable of fitting nuts and bolts up to that size. With this drive size, it’s obvious you’ll get a good torque out of the device.
The DEWALT cordless impact wrench has a maximum fastening torque of 330 ft-lbs. It’s a mid-range tool, perfect for compact spaces. The wrench is suitable for jobs such as wheel lugs, pipe flanges, grooved couplings, and concrete anchor setting.
Detent Anvil Pin
This DEWALT model offers a detent anvil pin. The pin provides a stronghold on the socket when running. At low torque, I didn’t have to lock the pin in the hole on the socket, making it easier to remove. However, it’s advisable to always use the pin during high torque mode for safety.
This DEWALT cordless impact tool has an impact per minute value of 3000. It also has a variable speed trigger with two-speed control settings. You can switch between a no-load-speed of 0-900 RPM for low settings and 0-2000RPM for high settings.
3-Mode Settings and Precision Control
The 3-mode settings in the wrench allow you to perform different torque applications. You can control from its base and select high, low, or precision mode.
The precision wrench control feature provides a balance during use. When fastening the tool, you can pause before the impact to prevent over-tightening. When loosening, the speed lowers towards the end to avoid a run-off of fasteners.
The addition of a brushless motor boosts the torque of this wrench. It also ensures that the wrench gets a longer running life.
I particularly like DEWALT because of its weight. It weighs 3.48 lbs without a battery and 5 lbs with a 5000mAh battery. This size is compact and light-weight. If you work long hours, you’ll enjoy using it.
It has an LED light to help illuminate dimly lit areas. It also offers a soft-grip rubber handle for a comfortable grasp. The back of the tool has a rubber over-mold, and the front or head has a rubber bumper. When you’re setting the device down, it’ll rest on the rubber front and back, protecting it.
This DEWALT MAX XR is a bare tool, with the battery sold separately. Although you can find another model of the same tool with batteries online, buying a wrench without batteries is cheaper if you already have a range of DEWALT cordless tools.
You only need to ensure that any battery you’re using has a 20V capacity. I use a 20V 5000mAh battery with my DEWALT, and it works fine. Otherwise, you can purchase the appropriate battery and charger as separate items.
- Has a 3-mode adjustable torque settings
- It has a variable speed trigger
- It’s light-weight and compact
- Offers a detent anvil pin for safety
- It’s not suitable for heavy-duty work
- Buying accessories are more expensive than the kit.
- Fastening torque: 1000 ft-lbs
- Busting torque: 1400 ft-lbs
- Power: 18V
- Drive size: 1/2 inch
- Speed: 0-2100 IPM
- No-load-speed: 0-1750RPM
- Motor: Brushless
- Material: Plastic
- Shape: Pistol grip
- Weight: 5.91 lbs
- Dimension: 3.5 x 10.2 x 9.1 inches
- Warranty: 5 years
Just like the DEWALT tool, the Milwaukee 2767-20 M18 has a 1/2 inch drive. With the size of this drive, you’ll be able to do fairly serious work.
Milwaukee 2767-20 offers a powerful fastening torque of 1000 ft-lbs and nut-busting torque of 1400 ft-lbs. This torque is twice that of the DEWALT tool and is capable of loosening stubborn nuts easily.
Friction Ring Anvil
It features a friction ring design to ensure quick and easy changes of its 1/2 inch sockets.
Milwaukee 2767-20 provides an impressive IPM of 0-2100 and a no-load-speed of 0-1750 RPM. It has a lower speed than DEWALT’s due to its high torque.
You can vary the driving speed with an increase or decrease pressure on the trigger. The more you pull the trigger, the higher the speed you’ll get. To stop the tool, simply release the trigger.
4-Mode Drive Control and Bolt Removal
My favorite feature is the 4-mode Drive Control with bolt removal mode. This feature is similar to DEWALT’s 3-mode setting and precision control. You can select four different torque settings, depending on your work.
Bolt removal mode gives you ultimate control when removing fasteners, even at the breaking torque of 1400 ft-lbs. The speed automatically slows down to 750RPM once the fastener loosens.
At 5.91 lbs, the Milwaukee 2767-20 may not appear to be heavy. When you attach a battery, it can get up to 7.5 lbs. After using it for some time, you might begin to feel its weight.
I bought this Milwaukee model recently for some tight bolts. Since I don’t work long hours, I’m able to use it quickly before it starts to feel heavy.
Despite its weight, when you compare it with most high-torque wrenches in its class, its length of 8.39″ is compact. This length allows for more access to tight spaces.
The 2767-20 M18 has a premium rubber over-mold design. This design withstands corrosive materials and provides increased comfort during prolonged use. It also has an LED light to illuminate your work area.
There is the REDLINK PLUS intelligence feature. This feature prevents the tool and battery from damage due to overloading or overheating.
This Milwaukee tool has no battery and charger with it. You’ll have to purchase a battery and charger separately. A battery that is 18V of 9000mAh or as high as 12000mAh will work fine with it. If you have any Milwaukee cordless tool of 18V, its battery will probably work with the 2767-20 M18.
- It has an excellent torque power
- It features 4-mode Drive Control with bolt removal mode
- It’s capable of withstanding corrosive materials
- It offers protection from overheat and overload
- It gets heavy with a battery
- You might spend more money if you need to purchase accessories.
The Bottom Line
When considering the features of each wrench, your priority might depend on the kind of task you do. However, if you’re shopping for an impact wrench, you likely have tough jobs.
Between both tools, I’ll rate the Milwaukee as the best cordless impact wrench for automotive repair, construction work, and other tasks that involve frozen bolts. Its torque value is proof of how powerful it is.
In comparison, the DEWALT DCF894B has lesser torque, making it the best for mid-range work. It’s also cheaper than the Milwaukee wrench. Although its size is impressive, it’s just not powerful enough.
I use both tools interchangeably, and I love them, but when it comes to choosing just one, I’ll pick the Milwaukee wrench. I can use it for mid-range to heavy-duty fastening of bolts and loosening of tight nuts.